Sorry, I didn't mean to be on the record. My bad.

Sometimes interviews are on the record, sometimes they’re not. But what happens when a company’s PR rep changes their mind at the end of an interview? Something like this, courtesy of State Impact New Hampshire.

Q: So for my post, can you tell me a little bit about GMO?

A: Sure.  It’s a $100 billion institutional money management firm.

Q: Do they only invest in land, or do they have a wider portfolio?

A: They invest in a variety of different things.

Q: Great.  Thank you. [about to hang up]

A: I’d rather not be quoted on any of this.

Q: Wait…what?  You don’t want to be quoted declining to comment or describing the company?

A: No.

Q: But you’re the PR guy!  You know you’re on record when you talk to the media.  Are you seriously asking me not to quote you declining to comment?

A: We’re just declining to comment.

Q: Seriously, what’s with the cloak-and-dagger?  This is all pretty straight-forward.

A: It’s not cloak-and-dagger.  We’re just declining to comment.  Declining to comment is just declining to comment.

Q: I’m going to quote you on what you said.

A: Ok.  Let me know if I can help you any more.

Q: (Laughing) I would, but I doubt you could go on the record declining to answer my questions.

A: (Laughing)…Thanks!  Click.

Check out Boomtown, a multimedia piece about fracking in Towanda, Pennsylvania. It was reported by StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow, photographed by NPR’s Becky Lettenberger. The project was produced by Wesley Lindamood, Christopher Swope, Claire O’Neill, Jessica Pupovac, Yan Lu and John Stefany.

Photo Credit: Becky Lettenberger/NPR

A few weeks ago i attended a three day workshop at this program known as CodeNow. CodeNow is this program that teaches high school students how to program using the language, Ruby. So on the second workshop day, Mr. John O’Connor, a former journalist for StateImpact and The Miami Herald, visited us and wanted to find out more about computer programming. In order to get more information he interviewed Ryan Seashore, the head of the program, another instructor, and few students including myself.


P.S: There is an audio as well :)

Educating Twitta’

Twitter is being used in many different ways. For business, news, and just plain fun, it has become the default sharing engine for many of us. We are able to create our own little information bubbles based in the topics we’re interested in, and tailor conversations around each of our points of preference.

But how are we preparing our next generation to harness this resource? In 2006, I started working with the Intel Education Foundation team showing teachers around the globe how to incorporate emerging technology into their classrooms. While developing ways to reinvent established pedagogy to include emerging and evolving advancements, I discovered Twitter. And Blogger. And a number of other services we now take for granted. 

It seems like every day there’s a launch of another resource which could make our education system better. As long as we use them. The highly motivated among us can gather Ph.D.-level knowledge and skills with nothing more than a Wi-Fi connection using tools like iTunes U and YouTube, and Codecademy.

Are these resources being incorporated into the de facto education systems we force onto our youth? The question is becoming more and more important as our unemployment rate remains at difficult levels while potential employers are desperate to fill skilled jobs. We need to make sure that we are creating workers for the next economy, not just creating students who can fulfill some politically motivated standardized testing quotas.

In a few weeks, NPR‘s “Tell Me More” will host a live forum in conjunction with member-station WLRN in Miami to talk about the state of education in the U.S. The broadcast, part of the compelling StateImpact project NPR has been producing, will air 10 October, but you can participate in the lead-up to the show right now on Twitter. Host Michel Martin has invited listeners to begin a conversation before the broadcast using the #NPRedchat hashtag. If you’re interested in participating, let them know now. 

We should all be doing more to make sure that we are building the right kind of education system for today’s students and tomorrow’s innovators. And in this election season, now is the time to make sure those who are responsible for implementing changes are hearing what we are saying. If you have thoughts, don’t remain silent. Our progress depends on your participation. 

Gather your ideas. Post them on Twitter. Share them with your friends, family, and elected officials. And we can talk about them more when I see you on the ‘morrow, on the Web.

  • Listen

As part of the debate over guns and violence, there’s a new twist developing in Texas. The head of one state agency is proposing that its employees should be provided training, so they can legally carry a concealed handgun — on the job. The agency has inspectors that enforce the rules on the state’s surging oil and gas drilling industry. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling learned why some believe those inspectors need protection.

Global Warming And The Texas Surge Of New Chemical Plants - StateImpact Texas

Global Warming And The Texas Surge Of New Chemical Plants – StateImpact Texas

Global Warming And The Texas Surge Of New Chemical Plants

StateImpact Texas
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Figures released yesterday show state tax revenues are surging. That’s raising expectations that funds will be restored to things like education that suffered painful cuts. That would be good news even in Texas towns where the energy industry has been booming. Because as StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found — even a good local economy hasn’t spared some communities from feeling the pinch.