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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Changes at Creative Ink

Starting tomorrow, my career will take a new turn as I embark on my new job as communications officer for the Sisters of Charity Health System. Essentially, I'll be responsible for the internal and external communications of the health system, which include hospitals St. Vincent Charity (Cleveland), St. John West Shore (Westlake), Mercy Medical Center (Canton), Providence Hospital (Columbia, SC); outreach ministries including Early Childhood Resource Center (Canton), Healthy Learners (Colombia, SC), Joseph's Home (Cleveland), Center for Fathers and Families (SC), Caritas Connection (Cleveland); foundations including Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, Cleveland and South Carolina; and eldercare facilities Regina Health Center and Light of Hearts Villa.

The position is a new one and my charges are many, but initially I'll be working with a team to roll out the health system's new brand across all the ministries both internally and externally. This was a unique opportunity to use more than my writing skills in a job that will be demanding and strategic in its scope.

Of particular appeal to me was the mission of the Sisters of Charity to healing not only the physical body, but also the mind, spirit and daily life of individuals. I'm inspired by its commitment to the urban environment and the marginalized in society and I'm delighted by the wonderful people with whom I'll be working.

Why have I gone to the dark side of PR as journalists often say of such conversions?

Over these past few months I recognized that my ability to stay in Cleveland and continue working as a journalist at the level that would match my experience and abilities was extremely limited given the turmoil of the journalism industry in general and the state of Cleveland journalism in particular.

After talking with a number of people who had left journalism, I found not one who regretted the decision. Rather, I discovered that the decision to leave opened doors to using those skills in ways that could have a tremendous impact on an organization. I was inspired by their stories and encouraged by their efforts.

This is good news considering last weekend alone I heard from two SPJ colleagues (one in Phoenix, one in Charleston, SC) who had each lost their jobs after many years at a their respective papers. The bloodletting, I am certain, will continue for the foreseeable future.

And so I've made the leap in PR. The learning curve is steep, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. As one colleague told me last week, being a journalist is the best preparation for a job in PR. Certainly the pay is better.

There will be limited opportunity to continue writing here at Creative Ink. I'm undecided as to what to do with the blog. I won't delete it because it is a record of my thoughts, work and activities over the past four and a half years. However, I may opt to make it private.

In the next few weeks, I hope to have my final KnowledgeWorks book available. The story is a long one (about 10,000 words). I plan to post it here in a serialized fashion. I'm very proud of the work and would welcome feedback on the final product.

Thanks to my regular and occasional readers for your support and encouragement. I've felt empowered here to push myself and grow as a writer. Now I'm pushing beyond writing.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Stop the pissing match already!

I'm getting positively fed up with the tone of this presidential campaign and the self-righteous indignation the GOP handlers have toward the press. Who the heck do they think they are? What job do they think they're seeking? Head janitor?

This country is seriously messed up and the best they can come up with are character attacks? What a bunch of intellectual lightweights. If I were an educated GOP member, I would burn my membership card in protest. We don't need more stupid, small-minded people running our country. The GOP has become a caricature of far right-wing, gun-toting, Bible-thumping Manicheans instead of the smart, fiscally conservative, small government party it used to be.

This pissing match with the press (not to mention violation of people's rights to speak openly) needs to stop--NOW! Be a man, McCain! Be a woman, Palin! Answer the freaking questions or take your shovels and leave the sandbox! You're behaving like petulant adolescents instead of potential world leaders and it's embarrassing.

Americans deserve better.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday Musings

Oy, I've been remiss in posting. So much going on and so I've been Twittering instead of posting because I can't seem to find the time to write something more thoughtful. I've started two posts on the economy and I get too depressed and I'm too reluctant to share my own story publicly. So instead, those posts sit in my drafts folder with a collection of quotes, links and thoughts that I'll probably never complete here.

But there is news to report today. First off, a gigantic congratulations to Jennifer Boresz who e-mailed last night to tell me that she and her long-time boyfriend Brian got engaged this past weekend. Jen is moving back to the Cleveland area from Toledo later this month and I'm looking forward to catching up with her when she returns. After a lot of soul-searching, she has decided to leave her television job to return to freelancing for print and broadcast.

Speaking of freelancing, I'll be speaking to a class at Lorain County Community College next Tuesday about freelancing. And again to a John Carroll University magazine journalism class later in November.

Congratulations to Catalyst Ohio magazine editor, Charlise Lyles, who released an updated version of her memoir, "Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? From the Projects to Prep School," published by Gray & Co. She was featured on Dee Perry's "Around Noon" program today on WCPN. Listen here.

Questions of Sen. John McCain's character are the subject of a scathing story in Rolling Stone. In short, the article describes McCain's long history of suffering from Napoleon's disease, misogyny, drinking, gambling, cavorting and essentially reveling in mediocrity. The reporting makes me feel sorry for any woman who has ever been part of McCain's life. To wit:
During his 1992 campaign, at the end of a long day, McCain's wife, Cindy, mussed his receding hair and needled him playfully that he was "getting a little thin up there." McCain reportedly blew his top, cutting his wife down with the kind of language that had gotten him hauled into court as a high schooler: "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." Even though the incident was witnessed by three reporters, the McCain campaign denies it took place.
It's a long read, but takes the notion of McCain's always putting country first to the test.