In the department of jobs you may not have known existed, Kate Braestrup is the chaplain for the Maine Game Warden Service. Lest you think that she spends her time blessing moose and praying for trout, read this excerpt of her book, Here if You Need Me: A True Story (Little, Brown), featured in UUWorld last November. She describes the complex and emotionally raw situations she encounters in her work in a fascinating interview on Speaking of Faith this weekend.
The Hartford Courant, in a sign of the times for the traditional print daily, will lay off a quarter of its newsroom staff and slash a quarter of its news pages. Jon Fine at Businessweek discusses the "bloodbath," and includes an internal email explaining the "re-invention" of the paper.
Re-inventing a newspaper is a huge undertaking under the best of circumstances. Doing it with significantly reduced resources in a tight timeframe is even more challenging. Now, we must forge ahead with that work while we make the tough decisions about who will go and who will stay.
The Courant is owned by the Tribune Company, which also announced cuts at another of its big papers, the Baltimore Sun. Gloomy days for newspapers, indeed.
The reporters now updating their resumes may find "My Career: The Remix" by Amy Alexander (co-author of Lay My Burden Down: Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis among African-Americans) interesting reading. Alexander discusses her twenty-year career in journalism, how she's moved from being a "journalist" to a "content producer," and how the seismic shift from old to new media will play out for journalists of color and the people whose stories they tell:
As America's demographic face continues to become browner and poorer, who will lead and execute coverage of that evolution? How well will this particular zeitgeist be described and contextualized for consumers who are living it—and who are growing agitated by its gradual, relentless creep? Not to say that only journalists of color can write about people of color, but let's be real: Would the Rev. Jeremiah Wright story have consumed so much ink and airspace if more black journalists controlled the levers of power in big newsrooms?
Traces of the Trade, a documentary about one family's encounter with their ancestors' role in the slave trade (a journey also chronicled in Thomas DeWolf's Inheriting the Trade), is airing this week on PBS stations around the country as part of their P.O.V. series. Check your local listings for air times this weekend, and while you're at the PBS website, read an excerpt of the book. DeWolf has posted on Beacon Broadside about the 2008 Presidential Campaign, the film's showing at the Sundance Film Festival, and the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
And to continue this week's attention to women's basketball, yesterday JaVale McGee was picked 18th in the NBA draft by the Washington Wizards. His mother, Pamela McGee, played for two seasons in the WNBA. This is the first time a son of a WNBA player has been drafted to the NBA, but it surely won't be the last.