Archive for January, 2012

Are you in an “information silo”? Do you report that way? Do you know many reporters who do? This doesn’t need to be a rant on the “liberal” media. That’s too easy. Oooops, maybe I just tipped my hand. But here’s an honest question: Where do you get your news? Do you only seek that with which you agree?

Fascinating read in the WaPo, picked up locally by the Seattle Times.


Recent article in the New York Times:

“ABC’s new push to humanize the news and CBS’s heavily promoted emphasis on hard news may make NBC News the Goldilocks news division — not too hot, not too cold, just right”.

But is humanizing the news really a “new push” for any good journalist? Isn’t that an effort any good journalist brings to his/her work every day? It is for the ABC News reporters I know like former KIRO-TV (CBS Seattle) colleague David Kerley.

There’s nothing new about Kerley’s solid and original work. He’s always taking a new perspective on conventional wisdom. Take for instance one of his latest reports comparing Ronald Reagan’s re-election prospects with Barrack Obama’s. A tough stretch? Kerley makes a good case.

Kerley is easily one of the best reporters in the nation today, always seeking to bring a human face to the news, always looking for a new angle. TV network reporters like Kerley bring a level of hard work, tenacity and creativity under pressure that would wither most of us.

Five mornings a week for the last seven years, while you were sleeping – Lily Jang has gotten up to go to work. Her alarm clock is set for 3:45 am. “I never hit the snooze button,” says Jang. “I get paid to be myself.” Lily Jang has worked in Seattle TV news for 11 years, for the last seven as the lead morning anchor for the Q13 Morning News
Still, in six weeks all that will change. Because Lily Jang is leaving Seattle to go back home to Texas. Her new purpose? Connecting with family and starting a new job as morning anchor for KHOU-TV (CBS) in Houston. She was born in Vietnam. Her parents, Vivian and David Jang are Chinese. She is fluent in Cantonese and Vietnamese. Jang says her main purpose is to be with her father who’s suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
“Everything I ever did was because of my parents,” Jang says.

Right now she just wants to tell stories, mainly those she considers “American Dream” profiles. Her inspiration comes from her mother and father. Vivian Jang got out of Vietnam with Lily and her brother in the spring of 1975 when Saigon fell to Communist forces. Because of bureaucratic red tape her dad had to wait three years to get out of the country.

Her mom worked as a secretary. “All they ever did was support me.” Eventually the couple opened a Chinese restaurant and grew the business. “Everything they ever did was because of me and my brother.
But today, with her father suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Jang feels it’s time to go home. “If not now – when?” she asks. On a recent trip back to Texas Lily noticed her dad’s shaking (a tell-tale sign of Parkinson’s) had gotten noticeably worse. But Lily says being at her father’s side seems to break the side effects of Parkinson’s – for now. Jang says being back home will make her father happy. Her parents still live in the Houston house in which Lily grew up.
Jang graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in broadcast journalism. One person who always believed in her was her mentor, James Lynch, Q13 News reporter. Lynch was an anchor in Austin, Texas when Jang was just getting into the business. As a young reporter she bugged him for advice. Lynch used to implore Lily to “give it your 150 (percent).” He was among those giving the young journalist encouragement but Jang’s always had enough confidence. “I got into the business with the attitude that I could do better than that girl.”

“And being nosey helps.”

Lily Jang is a journalist who embraces social media with both arms. She has 19,000 Twitter followers and 6,200 Facebook friends. When she first mentioned her plan to leave Seattle TV news a few weeks ago, she got 580 comments on her Facebook page . She read every one. They were overwhelmingly supportive. But as much as she uses social media, Lily describes herself as a private person. And she marvels at the idea that what she’s doing is some grand gesture. “I don’t think it’s such a big deal. I’m not obliged to do this, it’s an honor. My parents did everything so my brother and I could live the American Dream.”

“And when you make a decision from the heart you never regret it.”

Lily Jang’s last day anchoring the Q13 Morning News is Friday, February 10th, 2012. That’ll be her last day of “sleeping in”. Three days later she begins her new morning job at KHOU-TV.  Then she’ll be setting her alarm for 2:30am.