Reporting on opioid crisis in Tompkins County, hate speech at Cornell, Uber opening in Ithaca

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I’ve been doing a bunch of reporting lately for WSKG and am including some of my recent clips here.

Why Are So Many New York Counties Suing Big Pharma Over The Opioid Crisis?
Ride Hailing’s In Ithaca Now. So, We Rode With An Uber Driver
Cornell Black Students’ Group Demands Hate Speech Policy, Permanently Banning Psi Upsilon Frat House

Tompkins County To Consider Joining Opioid Lawsuits

Black Students United silently protested at the University Assembly meeting on Tuesday. CREDIT: LAURA ROSBROW-TELEM

Black Students United silently protested at the University Assembly meeting on Tuesday. CREDIT: LAURA ROSBROW-TELEM

It’s been quite a learning process doing more radio. A few things I’ve learned:

  • The importance of capturing “scenes,” not just interviews. This is very different from print. So, taping live events, such as public court sessions, protests, a night out with an Uber driver, etc, are key. It also makes you understand why broadcasting sound bytes, for better or for worse, are so crucial to the medium.
  • This is technical, but I figure important for anyone here interested in radio reporting: Even if someone is speaking into a mic, it’s always better to put your mic close to them, rather than hooked up to an audio system or close to a speaker. A space’s sound system can often be bad and I’ve sadly had to not use really good tape because I made the rookie mistake of mic’ing a speaker rather than up close to a person.
  • Always record more “ambient” sound than you need. What I mean by “ambient” is background sound of whatever events or interviews you’re doing. It saves a lot of time in the editing process if you have extra ambient sound. I had no idea how much radio reporting needs ambient, even if you’re narrating something that’s unrelated to you being at a certain place. My editorial supervisor for The New Normal, Jonathan Miller, wisely suggested always getting one minute of “room sound” before or after an interview. This is super good advice.

Also, for folks subscribed to my website, I’m a lot more active in posting updates to my Twitter and Facebook profiles. So, if you feel like following me there, go for it! Thanks as always for your support and thoughts.

Doing more radio, clip with NPR

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I know I haven’t written here in quite a while. Over the past year, I have gradually decreased my responsibilities at Geektime and been digging deep into learning how to/now doing more radio work. And I’m very excited.

Here’s a taste of what I’ve been up to: my first clip with NPR’s Binghamton/Ithaca station. It’s just a minute and a half, so won’t take too much of your time, if you would like to listen. It’s about how Ithaca’s mayor, who is advocating to open a supervised injection site for drug users, thinks that proposing such a radical measure has made it possible to fund other drug-related programs. Also, for those hard of hearing, there is a transcript in the link as well.

Svante Myrick

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. CREDIT CLIFF OWEN / AP PHOTO

 

An image that shows what my move feels like

As most of you know by now, I am moving to Ithaca, NY in September. My husband has been offered the opportunity to do a PhD in physics at Cornell – I’m very proud of him and excited to start this new chapter of our life together.

As you can imagine, my emotions are all over the place, particularly now that we’re beginning to pack and say goodbye to people. I think this image best sums up some of what I’m currently going through. (The following image and text first appeared on Instagram.)

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 9.40.31 PM

“I have moved a lot in the last 13 years, and have had the privilege to live abroad for a bit more than half of them. My first time living out of the U.S. was in Senegal 11 years ago, when I studied there for my junior year abroad. I still have a few photos (this was before smartphones and at the very beginning of Facebook) and this: this little, Senegalese wicker basket. It’s never served much purpose beyond decoration. Now, as I’m packing up my husband’s and my place as we embark on moving to the U.S., I thought I could pack this little souvenir amidst some sheets. I guess I hadn’t touched it in years – upon contact, the threading started dusting off like flaky wax. Alas – getting to the age where some moments will only be able to live on in my memories. Without that year in Senegal, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to move to Israel.”

I appreciate all your love and support as we embark on this journey and I look forward to being in more touch with many of you.

Tech that Matters: This smartphone-attached lens screens for skin cancer

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I finally got to post the first piece from my new Tech that Matters column on Friday, which profiles a company called Skin Analytics that has created a great, pretty affordable device that screens for skin cancer. Since 97% of people diagnosed with skin cancer at stage 1 survive, this could be huge.

Skin Analytics’ device in action. Photo Credit: Skin Analytics / YouTube

Skin Analytics’ device in action. Photo Credit: Skin Analytics / YouTube

As always, let me know what you think, including if you know of other people working in this field that I should talk to. Hope you’re all well!

Tech that matters

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I know that it’s been quite a while since I posted. This year I’ve been working hard at developing Geektime, where I am now managing editor. To get a sense of my writing over the last year, you can simply visit my author page.

In an effort to report on technology that has a real impact beyond selfie apps, I am launching a bi-monthly column called Tech that Matters. Here, “We want to interview companies, teams, and individuals that are doing just that: creating technology that impacts large amounts of people in profound ways. Whether it’s medical technology, social entrepreneurship in low-income communities, or mass transit systems like the Hyperloop, we want to increase the amount of coverage that impactful, meaningful solutions get in tech media.”

Man who just went through brain surgery. Photo Credit: Kevin Stanchfield / Flickr

Man who just went through brain surgery. Photo Credit: Kevin Stanchfield / Flickr

The response so far has been amazing: Lots of great individuals and companies have gotten in contact with us. If you know of anyone or any company doing important work that needs to be written about, please have them email me at laura@geektime.com.

Writing at Geektime

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I’ve actually been pretty busy publishing on Geektime, Israel’s leading technology news blog. It’s been fun writing about tech again. You can check out my full list of pieces on Geektime, but I’m just going to share a few pieces here.

Courtesy of Geektime

Can tech solve acute depression? As you can imagine, I wrote this in the wake of Robin William’s tragic death. It has a few morsels of optimism. 

Courtesy of Geektime

How China is shaping the global economy in 5 charts It’s insane how much China’s economic growth dictates the the state of the world economy. For reals: check out this piece and see some graphs made by yours truly. 

Hopefully I’ll have more clips to share soon. Thanks everyone for your support, as always. And if you have any ideas for articles, send them over my way!

These Images Sum Up the Mood in Israel Right Now

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If you’re wondering what it’s like to live in Israel during Operation Protective Edge, this piece should hopefully give you a pretty good picture. Here’s my Mic debut, titled “These Images Sum Up the Mood in Israel Right Now,” about the Israeli-Hamas conflict.