Spring at the Monitor

All of the heds
Turn up the ledes in here baby, extra heds I want y’all to see this.

It’s been a miserable spring weather-wise, but I’m at least thankful I’ve been in Boston, rather than my two former homes, Chicago and Minneapolis. A month straight of below 0 degree high temperatures in the Twin Cities? Snow in April? I’ll take a noreaster any day.

As I near May, however, the temperatures are finally warming and I’ve been able to do a bit more exploring in Boston instead of just wrapping myself in five layers, strapping on the crampons, and making my way to Back Bay every day. Recent microadventures include the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum (sort of like poking around an eccentric great aunt’s attic), a sunny afternoon Red Sox game at Fenway, World’s End park in Hingham, commuting by ferry from the South Shore (when in Boston, right?), the Harvard Natural History/Peabody Museum, biking to Harpoon Brewery, and an afternoon trip to Providence, RI. I’m big on being a tourist in your own city, especially when that time is limited.

Some spring wandering via my Instagram.
Some places where I have drank coffee and propped up my feet this spring.

Speaking of, my time will be up at the Monitor at the end of May. I’m so thankful for the last eight months. I’ve grown quite a bit as a writer, reporter, and overall journalist. I also feel like I have a better understanding of the struggles, changes, and triumphs that news outlets are going through every day as we all attempt to navigate this strange new world of digital journalism. It’s a tough transition, but there are some exciting things happening. I’m glad to still be a part of it.

I know where I’m heading next, but I’ll save that for another post. For now, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite stories I’ve done this spring.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 2.37.39 PMBoston marathon coverage was a big part of the last month — it felt like everyone was writing about the victims, what we’ve learned, and how runners came together over the tragedy. I had a chance to look at how researchers are using this horrible incident as motivation to make the life of amputees better through incredible prosthetics innovations. 

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 2.41.15 PMOne of the biggest entertainment stories in the past few months has undoubtedly been Stephen Colbert’s move to “The Late Show.” As a huge fan of Colbert’s brand of “truthiness,” and hilarious satire, I was a little surprised given the disparity in audience. So I took a look at what Colbert’s move to primetime network TV will look like by the numbers.

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Another huge story this spring: what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? Though the mystery unfortunately still remains, the Monitor business desk decided to look past the news event. What will this do to Malaysia’s emerging tourism industry? The answer is unsurprisingly nuanced.

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The intersection of social media and government is endlessly fascinating to me, especially when it is used as a tool of control and coordination. The Turkey Twitter ban provided a great opportunity to take a look at what actually happens to social media activity when it is squashed, and what lengths people will go to to have their online voice heard. However, it should be noted that Turkey may not be trying to quiet social media so much as villainize it. 

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Covering Google Doodles are a particularly enjoyable intern task in my opinion, because they let me wander into areas that I would normally not cover. Like, for example, the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement. Ever heard of Claudette Colvin or Ella Baker?

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The past year has been a watershed moment for LGBT rights, most recently when major beer companies pulled their sponsorship of major St. Patrick’s Day parades due to anti-gay policies. When did supporting LGBT rights become more profitable than getting a brand in front of the eyes of millions of parade-goers? Turns out, this has been the case for a long time.

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Oh Obamacare. What a fascinating, yet endlessly frustrating year you have had. As a Millennial, I watched with growing exasperation as the ads targeting my generation grew increasingly desperate. In line with my generation’s stereotype, I decided to tell everyone about it and ask actual young people their thoughts.  Also see: the 8 wackiest Obamacare ads. 

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Anyone who pays attention to the tech world knows it has a major woman problem. Aren’t familiar with the issue? Take a look at Julie Ann Horvath’s experience at Github and it will quickly become clear. Unfortunately this is no new story, but what is new are those who are fighting against the trend.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.55.48 PMThough the need for a more robust military cyber defense has been apparent for some time, the last year has really highlighted the need for better cyber security in the private sector. I looked at an annual college cybersecurity competition in San Antonio to highlight the growing need, and how we’re readying the next generation of cyber defenders. (Note: added to this post on May 3)

Etc, etc, I could go on and on. I suppose being cooped up all spring has at least been good for the journalistic creative flow. Here are a couple others I enjoyed writing: Meet iBeaconTaking page from Disney, Comcast revs up Orlando theme park business‘Wolf of Wall Street’ or Warren Buffett: Who’s your investment guru? , Welcome to the Google Doodle Book ClubKellogg pushes sustainable palm oil: Is it enough?Users weigh in on Facebook’s new custom gender optionsLower calories, higher profits for food companiesState of the Union: Obama outlines United States of Technology, and How LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook changed college admissions.

Can’t wait for the next season of stories.

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