WGBH’s Basic Black panel discusses the second presidential debate

Such a fantastic panel, including Kim McLarin, Phillip Martin, the brilliant Kenneth J. Cooper and me.

Callie Crossley continues to amaze me with her wit and her ability to keep the conversation focused. It was my second appearance on the WGBH-TV program.


American Indian Journalism Institute 2012

AIJI participants, Will Ferrell, and me. (Photo by Janine Harris)

Below are highlights of the work done by students who participated in the American Indian Journalism Institute in June. We worked long hours for 10 straight days, but it was fun. It was amazing to watch how quickly these energetic budding journalists took to creating video packages.

AIJI has been helping young people realize their dream of becoming journalists since 2001. The program offers a mix of theoretical and practical workshops, as well as real-world experience in newsrooms. It is underwritten by the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute.

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Oh, was there a game on?

Tonight, I celebrated my XLVIth Super Bowl Boycott. (You’d think a New Yorker who lives in Boston would get sucked into the game, but my disdain for the game is greater than my need to socialize and be a part of the conversation.)

I did, however, watch part of the half-time show. Madonna was brilliant. She continues to amaze me with her strength and agility. (Reminder to self: start lifting weights again.) I wasn’t too keen on her entrance. Men as slaves is hardly provocative. To me, a Goddess would have no need to subjugate. She should be of the people. But, OK, I get that it’s theatrics.

Cindy Rodriguez · Journalism · MoJo · Uncategorized

Tips on preparing for a foreign reporting assignment

The International Center For Journalism’s Claritza Jiménez interviewed me for a Q&A on how I prepared to report overseas for my ICFJ International Reporting Fellowship. It was published on IJNet.org, the International Journalists’ Network.

Here’s a screen grab of the first few grafs:


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Why I love Foursquare

I’m an avid Foursquare user. I like to check into places and occasionally add a comment or photo, especially if I like the place. If I don’t, I just don’t go there any more, rather than write a snarky comment about the place.

Non-Foursquare users usually ask me two questions: 1. Aren’t you worried about stalkers? (My answer: No. I’m not important enough to have a stalker.) 2. What’s the point? Here’s my answer to that second question:

Being the mayor of a place has certain advantages. For example, at Boloco Commons I get a free meal for myself and two buddies every Monday as long as I’m still mayor when I check in. I’m still waiting for a student to take over my mayorship, but I’m hoping he/she will take me to lunch on Mayor Mondays. It’s also a great way to keep up with where my friends are headed and to find out if anyone I know is in a particular place. (I use Sonar to help me figure out if a friend of a friend there.)

Early in the fall semester, my graduate student Barry Thompson asked me to hold the mayorship of Emerson College’s Walker Building because he writes a regular “Meet the Mayor” feature for the Boston Phoenix and wanted to wait until the end of the semester so there would be no conflict of interest. I had been rivaling someone known to me only as Michelle Z. for the honor and came to find out she’s an Emerson staffer! Michelle, I wish Foursquare would let me be your deputy mayor.

Barry’s write-up can be found here. I’m now prepared to teach students how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. Thanks for the head’s up, Barry.


Riots in West Bank postpone my visit

Photo by Oren Rosenfeld

I was looking forward to heading into the West Bank Sunday, to interview a rabbi who runs a yeshiva in the Israeli settlement town of Shilo. My fixer, Oren Rosenfeld, a veteran journalist who has worked for many international news organizations, including the BBC, was going to drive me there and help with translations.

It wouldn’t be my first time entering Palestinian territory, but it would be my first in a controversial settlement town. But Oren called midday Saturday, telling me it would not be safe for us.

He’d spent Friday in the town of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, covering riots that had broken out. A 17-year-old Palestinian boy was shot to death by guards of Jewish settlers living in Beit Yonatan, an apartment building.

Oren told me rioters had thrown tear gas into the building and set it aflame. Guards were trapped inside, so they shot their way out and one of the bullets hit Milad Ayache in the abdomen. He died at a hospital a few hours later. News reports including this one from ynetnews and this one from Al-Jazerra English do not have these details.

Milad Ayache

The funeral was held today and there were clashes with police, resulting in multiple injuries.

Oren said Ayache’s death would stoke anger among Palestinians Sunday, which was also Nakba Day, the annual day that Palestinians protest the establishment of Israel, which forced 700,000 Palestinians to flee the country and led to the creation of the occupied territories.

Oren has been covering riots and battles for 15 years. “Usually, I’m the first to say, ‘Let’s go,’ ” he told me. “But it’s dangerous and not worth it.”

Agreed. He’s going to call the rabbi tonight, after sunset, the end of Shabbat, to rearrange our meeting. Hopefully in a few days the rioting will subside and I’ll be able to visit Shilo and see the yeshiva where the rabbi teaches.


I love these shtreimel hats

From wikipedia:

shtreimel (Yiddish: שטרײַמל, pl. שטרײַמלעך shtreimlech) is a fur hat worn by many married ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, particularly (although not exclusively) members of Hasidic groups, on Shabbat and Jewish holidays and other festive occasions.[1]

In Jerusalem, the shtreimel is also worn by ‘Yerushalmi’ Jews (non-Hasidim who belong to the original Ashkenazi community of Jerusalem, also known asPerushim). The shtreimel is generally worn only after marriage, except in many Yerushalmi communities, where boys wear it from theirbar mitzvah. In the dynasties of Chabad-Lubavitch and Karlin-Stolin, the shtreimel was reserved for the Rebbe only.