Posts filed under ‘Penn Staters in the news media’
Nipson spent 38 years at Ebony magazine, the last 15 of those as executive editor. He started as an associate editor there in 1949 and was named editor in 1972, so he was on staff throughout an important time: the U.S. civil-rights movement.
He’s credited with expanding the magazine’s reach substantially during that time, according to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times: “By the time he retired … the magazine enjoyed national recognition and mainstream appeal for both its issue-oriented reporting and its cultural coverage.”
Nipson, a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus, grew up in Clearfield, Pa. He’s thought to be the first black student on the staff of the Collegian; he started there in 1936 and eventually was named assistant sports editor. He also ran cross-country for Penn State.
You can read more about Nipson at BlackHistory.psu.edu.
Tina Hay, editor
Best known as a respected baseball writer for Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci ’82 also serves as a field reporter for TBS during the MLB playoffs. It was in his TV role Thursday night that Verducci ended up in the winning locker room following the Detroit Tigers’ divisional series victory over the New York Yankees. He was trying to interview pitcher Jose Valverde, who earned the series-clinching save for the Tigers. Here’s a look at the conditions Verducci was forced to work under:
There are many more difficult jobs in the world, and I’m sure Verducci knows how lucky he is. But I can tell you, having spent time in victorious NBA locker rooms during my own sportswriting days: Getting champagne in your eye stings like crazy.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Of the many obituaries today for Steve Jobs, two of the most relevant and (I’d imagine) widely read were written by Penn Staters. Ted Anthony ’95 was given the task of summing up Jobs’ life by the Associated Press, and it’s a great read. He leads with a memory of the day the Apple co-founder introduced the Macintosh to the world. “In dark suit and bowtie, he is a computing-era carnival barker—eyebrows bouncing, hands gesturing, smile seductive and coy and a bit annoying. It’s as if he’s on his first date with an entire generation of consumers. And, in a way, he is.” If you haven’t already, you can read the AP obit here.
Then there’s Steven Levy ’74g, who has spent much of his career documenting the innovation that made Jobs a tech icon and Apple one of the wealthiest companies—and arguably the most influential—on the planet. Levy now writes for Wired, and his obit gets right to the point: “It had taken a while for the world to realize what an amazing treasure Steve Jobs was. But Jobs knew it all along.” Levy’s piece is here.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Michael Weinreb ’94 is one of our go-to feature writers, and his terrific piece on Rosey Grier ’56 in our July/August issue (out in a few weeks) is a great example of why. Among Mike’s other projects (including books) is a new gig with Grantland.com, the big-deal, ESPN-affiliated sports and culture website that debuted earlier this week. Mike’s first Grantland piece is up today, and it’s loaded with Penn State references; one of those is of Mike sneaking away from the reception at a friend’s wedding years ago to watch the Nittany Lions play Wisconsin on a portable TV hidden in a coat closet.
That was my wedding, actually. On Sunday, I’ll be in Long Island to watch Mike get married; the bride-to-be is a Northwestern grad, but we approve of her anyway.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Back in March, we talked with Jeff Ballou ’90, deputy news editor for Al Jazeera English. At the time, AJE was attracting thousands of new viewers for its 24/7 coverage of the Egypt riots. Jeff explained how the positive attention was helping to dispel some of Americans’ misconceptions about the Arab network—and expressed his hope that the public would continue to embrace it.
An editorial in the May/June Columbia Journalism Review echoes Jeff’s thoughts. According to the article, Al Jazeera has earned an unfair “anti-American” label, and the hostility from cable systems—who are wary about picking up the network—is unwarranted. (Right now the only cable systems in the U.S. that offer AJE are in Washington, D.C.; Burlington, Vt.; and parts of Ohio.) Americans are hungry for this global perspective, claim the writers, and resistance is based on “racism and Islamophobia.” Check out the quotes from former Nightline reporter David Marash, who says AJE’s fair-minded reporting is “the model of television news coverage.”
Mary Murphy, associate editor
US News is out with a new ranking of the best diets, according to this story by Angela Haupt ’09, a Penn Stater who covers the health beat for that publication. A diet you may not have heard of, called the DASH Diet, turns out to be the best overall; it was developed by the National Institutes of Health and stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
The US News panel of nutritionists also liked the Mediterranean Diet, Weight Watchers, and Jenny Craig, to name a few. Among those getting at least 3.5 stars out of a possible 5 was the Volumetrics Diet, developed by Penn State professor Barbara Rolls.
The experts rated the diets based on such factors as ease of following the diet, nutritional quality, safety, and effectiveness not only for weight loss but also against diabetes and heart disease.
There are other Penn State connections to the story: Penny Kris-Etherton, a distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State, was one of 22 experts on the US News panel. So was Sachiko St. Jeor ’80g, who got her Ph.D. at Penn State and is now at the University of Nevada-Reno.
Angela has a couple of related articles: one on how to stay on a diet (if you figure out how to do this, please let me know!) and one on the importance of including exercise in your weight-loss efforts.
Tina Hay, editor
When the Egyptian protests broke out in January, Al Jazeera English quickly emerged as one of the top sources for 24/7 news coverage. Thanks to the network’s live online broadcasts, web traffic to the Al Jazeera English website exploded, with an increase of more than 2,500 percent, with 50 percent of those web visitors coming from the U.S. There’s now talk of the network landing a spot on U.S. cable and dish lineups.
Jeff Ballou ’90 is deputy news editor for Al Jazeera English. Since 2006, Ballou has worked from the network’s Washington, D.C., bureau, vetting and gathering news from the Western hemisphere for its global news bulletins. We checked in with Jeff this week to hear about his experience covering Egypt’s revolution (spoiler alert: no sleep) and the future of Al Jazeera English.
Al Jazeera English seemed to “scoop” many of its competitors with the live broadcast from Egypt. Why was providing this coverage important?
I think what’s really interesting is that events have been unfolding so fast across the region that from the time I finally had time to address Egypt, we had gone full-on covering Libya—thanks to actions attributed to Muammar Gaddafi, a far more violent, graphic, and disturbing story. And we still have to keep Tunisia, Yemen, and Bahrain on the radar.
We provided in-depth coverage on Egypt first because it was an enormous story. There has not been this kind of recent popular uprising in at least two decades a la Eastern Europe. Second, as the one major independent global news network not based in the West, we felt it important to not only cover the unfolding events, but explain them with the experience and analysis like no one else could.
In the past, Al Jazeera has been criticized for having an anti-American bias. How do you respond to that? (more…)
Never a guy to shy away from attention or controversy, Joe Bastardi ’78 EMS is in the news lately more than usual. A former Penn State wrestler, prolific local columnist, proud body builder, global-warming skeptic, and respected long-term forecaster, Bastardi last week abruptly quit his post at AccuWeather, a move that made national news.
So this is well timed: Bastardi was featured a few days ago in a Q&A on the Vanity Fair website, in which he discusses his work, his muscles, weird 1970s holiday cartoons, and the reliability of Punxsutawney Phil. It’s highly recommended reading.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
He was only on stage Thursday for 22 minutes, but that was plenty of time for Barack Obama to cover all the bases required for a president visiting Penn State.
Joe Paterno reference? Check. “I just met this guy,” Obama said shortly after he took the stage at Rec Hall,” I hadn’t heard of him before, but apparently he coaches your football team…”
Pointing out his own Penn State connection? Check. Obama mentioned Lt. Col. Sam Price ’95, an Air Force officer charged today with “carrying the football,” aka the nuclear launch codes the president keeps near at all times, just in case.
Giving the crowd a reason to cheer? Check. In fairness, Obama didn’t have to try all that hard to get the crowd on his side — based on his reception, the president (check our Facebook page for more photos) is still wildly popular with younger voters, who made up a sizable chunk of the 3,000 audience members in the Rec Hall stands. But the president made sure he connected with Penn Staters of all ages, and with current students in particular, by emphasizing far-reaching — and, in his words, vital — goals in his brief time at University Park.
“The reason I wanted to come here, (more…)
So we’re camped out on the east end of the floor at Rec Hall, along with dozens of (or maybe a hundred?) media members, a few hundred invited guests, and about 3,000 additional folks in the stands. And while I can’t say for sure it’s the hottest ticket of the week on campus — “Weezyville” seems to be a pretty big deal — I can say the excitement level for a visit from the President of the United State is pretty high.
Barack Obama is scheduled to land at University Park Airport sometime after 11 this morning, after which he’ll tour a few campus labs (including, apparently, the engineering buildings that surround the Hintz Family Alumni Center, which explains why those of us in the Alumni Association aren’t allowed in our offices until this afternoon), and then head over to Rec Hall for a speech focused on energy innovation. The theme ties in with the “Winning the Future” mantra Obama introduced last week in his State of the Union address; Penn State earned the visit in large part due to its lead role in the Philadelphia Energy Innovation Hub, for which it recently received hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal funding.
It’s worth acknowledging that, for a lot of people in the old gym today (which by the way looks terrific after recent renovations), the specifics of Obama’s speech may be less compelling than the simple fact that the leader of the free world is on our campus. According to our friends in Public Information, Obama is the ninth U.S. president to visit Penn State, a run that started when Dwight Eisenhower dropped in for his brother Milton’s 1950 inauguration as University president. Obama of course, was on campus in 2008, when he was a senator campaigning for the job he now holds.
Our editor Tina Hay, senior editor Lori Shontz and I got here around 9 a.m. to go through security, although Tina, who doubles as our crack staff photographer, actually showed up at 4:45 to hold a spot for her camera equipment. Thank goodness for the wireless service in Rec Hall, as there’s otherwise not much to do until the president shows up (and it’s looking like he might be running late to boot). It looks like you’ll be able to watch his speech live on the Big Ten Network, and we’ll post again this afternoon to let you know how that goes.
Ryan Jones, senior editor