Happy Mother’s Day: Now, about that pay gap

This is the weekend we celebrate moms. Thank you, moms. Without you, there is no us.

Those of us who are dads should make breakfast in bed and send mom out for a massage. But more importantly, Mother’s Day should be a reminder that dad’s duty goes far beyond eggs and toast.

Dads have an essential role in supporting our moms, wives, sisters and daughters whether they choose to stay home or return to work.

When it comes to working moms, us dads play a key role in eliminating the gender pay gap that exists 53 years after President Kenney signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963. Today women earn 79 cents for every dollar men earn, according to the Census Bureau.

Iceland leads the world in gender parity, according to the World Economic Forum. The United States ranks 28th, its lowest ranking since 2009.

My own mom left the workforce to raise my sister and I in the late 1970s and early 1980s, returning to work years later. It didn’t occur to me at the time but she clearly sacrificed earning potential to care for us. My wife did the same after the our son was born and the pay gap is real in our own household.

That pay gap continues today even as more women enter the workforce, and it exists even when men and women do the same job, according to research by a Harvard economist. Women who are surgeons, for example, earn 71 percent of what men earn. Food preparers earn 87 percent.

As my own wife pointed out, a Kauffman Foundation report on motherhood and working shows that “women’s work has resulted in more money to spend in the economy and a higher GDP.” Women have helped grow the GDP in spite of the lack of supportive public policy.

So for us dads, the best thing we can do for our moms, wives, sisters and daughters is to take on more of the household duties so the women in our life are freed up to work the same pace and hours we do. Or as Fusion put it, dads need to lean out so women can lean in.

Our wives, families and GDP will be better off for it.


The Future of Student Media: Planes, trains and automobiles

Screenshot 2016-04-09 12.57.39


We had a blast and learned a ton about the future of the college media industry this weekend at the Future of Student Media summit at Ohio University. I helped wrapped up our key lessons and shared a few things we learned at the University of Oregon. A full reading list from our visit, along with other supporting material, is enclosed below.

Reading list to learn more

How to Achieve Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

Why diversity matters to your tech company
USA Today, July 2015

How to Bridge That Stubborn Pay Gap
New York Times, January 2016

Google’s Larry Page on why moon shots matter
Wired, January 2013

Breaking News:Mastering the art of disruptive innovation in journalism
Harvard Nieman Report, Fall 2012

Marketing Myopia
Harvard Business Review, 1960


Screenshot 2016-04-09 12.58.07

For more about the Emerald

Why We Killed Our College Daily Paper for a More Digital Future
May 2012, MediaShift

What Media Companies Could Learn From a Student Newspaper
June 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek

Covering the Olympic Trials: 8 Lessons in Journalism Education, News and Business
July 2012, MediaShift

Ken Doctor: The newsonomics of college news innovation
ecember 2012, Nieman Journalism Lab

13 Lessons from Killing Our College Daily Paper and Pushing Digital
May 2013, MediaShift

Past presentations

A plan to reinvest in community journalism
December 2013

How to own the local market for online news and advertising
October 2013

How to bring disruptive innovation to college media
October 2013

Structuring your newsroom for print and digital success
October 2013


Stuff to read on the road to the Future of Student Media Summit


I’m doing some homework this week on the latest trends in news media innovation in advance of the “Future of Student Media Summit” at Ohio University. I started a list of essays and posts I discovered or liked so much I wanted to re-read. Here’s my list with an assistant from Andy Rossback.

What else should be on this list?

Recommendations from college media innovation friends:

Five rules for Little League: Smile, listen, hustle, safety and orange slices


Little League’s version of spring training started in our house today. Our preschool-age daughter grabbed her brother’s old jersey and her pink bat for her first ever T-ball practice, and our second-grade son started AA ball.

This will be my third season coaching my son’s teams. I learn a little more every year about how to lead 12 fidgety grade school kids through a successful 10-week season.

This year, I committed more time than ever to learning about the craft of coaching. I was inspired in part by great coaches and leaders who have been part of my life: My dad, high school baseball coaches and good bosses.

Last May, I heard St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny on “Fresh Air” talking about his experience coaching 10-year-olds. His approach connected with me. He judged his success as a Little League coach not on the team’s record but on whether the kids wanted to come back for the next practice and the next season. His “Matheny Manifesto” is packed with thoughtful approaches worth copying.

I looked around for blogs and podcasts to dive deeper. The Winning Youth Coaching podcast provided great tips on how to manage a youth team and how to get the most out of our players. (One gem: Teach and celebrate transferable life skills: Put another way: Don’t prepare your players for the season. Prepare them for life.)

Every year, our teams have had one short set of rules. The rules are always simple and basic. (Another podcast tip: Always, always keep it simple.) But these rules also serve as our core values, the foundation upon which the entire season and experience is built. They also happen to be useful life skills we want our players to continue developing to be productive students, professionals and citizens.

At the start and end of every practice and game, we recite the rules with the players to remind them of what matters most. The phrases have evolved every year but the messages have been the same. Here’s what we used to kickoff the 2016 season:

  1. Smile: Having fun is far and away the most important part of any sport, especially for younger kids. Kids who have fun at practice learn better and improve faster.
  2. Listen: This is meant broadly to include focus and concentration. These are hard for young players. They talk over coaches. They ask questions. They build sand castles at second base. But without listening, focus and concentration, we can’t teach. Players who can’t listen sit the bench and spend practice in the bleachers.
  3. Hustle: We told our parents tonight: We may not finish in first place but we will lead the league in grass stains. One of most repeated drills this year will teach the players how to sprint down the first base line.
  4. Safety: Remember, we’re arming these kids with metal bats. Safety has to be a core value.
  5. Orange slices: Is there a sweeter way to end practice? Everyone leaves feeling satisfied and energized. And if we’re successful, they’ll want to come back next practice, next game and next year.



A resolution to read books again, for real this time


I love books. But I don’t always read them.

Our shelves are full of books. There’s a dozen heavy boxes in the basement overflowing with books and yet more in random stacks I took out to admire, then left in a leaning tower next to Christmas ornaments and Woody, the kids “Toy Story” doll.

We moved our books from our Portland basement to our Eugene rental in 2011. The movers cautioned that we should move them ourselves because the weight would quickly drive up the bill. We moved them again ourselves to Las Vegas in 2014, then back to Oregon again (ourselves) nine months later.

Clearly, we care about our books, the printed ones. This is even after my retired professor, Dean Rea, said he got rid of his books for a Kindle and encouraged me to do the same. I can’t.

My collection is mostly non-fiction. Politics, journalism, business, history, sports. Lots of sports. I own far more books than I’ve managed to read. I’m a sucker for anything by Michael Lewis or David Halberstam, two writers who managed to master sports, politics and business. I have a ridiculous catalog of journalism, marketing and business how-tos and tutorials and a box full of Oregon history, hikes and campsites.

Too many of them have been held and cared for, but unread. For the last eight years, I blamed parenthood for putting my book-reading life on hold. The kids are now old enough that the excuse is lame.

So for New Year’s, I made a resolution to read books again. For real. I set a goal to read 52 books this year. That’s a pipe dream. But it’s an easy metric for me. One book a week. I’d like to branch out to fiction and new and diverse writers. I will still allow myself an occasional how-to and some nonfiction.

To keep me honest, I’m using this post as a log of the books I read and finish. (Giving myself a head start by counting books I finished on Christmas vacation.)

  1. “How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck.” Trying to learn to shoot video. It’s OK. Nothing better than hands-on learning, though.
  2. All the Light We Cannot See.” Fiction that my wife (who is far better read than me) said I would like. I did.
  3. The Idea Factory.” A profile of Bell Labs, AT&T’s famous R&D center from the mid-century. I wanted inspiration for innovation. I got an overly detailed manual on the 182 men who mattered at Bell Labs. I couldn’t keep track and speed read the last 200 pages.
  4. The Girl on the Train.” Heard an interview with the author on NPR. As someone who likes riding trains and wondering about other riders’ lives, I fell in love with the story.
  5. $100 Startup.” Found it for $7 at a used bookstore in Bend. It had been on my list for a while. It’s a fantastic guide for anyone who’s dreamed about striking out on their own. Plus, the author is a Portlander who wrote the book in the same coffee shops I hang out in.
  6. The Boys in the Boat.” Recommended by my sister. “I slowed down because I wanted to savor every word,” she said. It’s as good as she said. Bonus: It’s a deeply Northwest book.

So I can keep track of my wish list for the year, here are more books I’d like to get to. I’d love your recommendations, too. This list has been updated based on feedback from friends on Facebook and Twitter. Also, I’m now on Goodreads.

  • “Dead Wake”
  • “Once in a Great City”
  • “The Index Card”
  • “A Passion for Leadership”
  • “Ready Player One”
  • “Fourth of July Creek”
  • “The Warmth of Other Suns”
  • “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena”
  • “Astoria”
  • “And the Mountains Echoed”
  • “The Drifters”
  • “The Power of the Dog”
  • “The Son”
  • “For the Time Being”
  • “A Little Life”
  • “Open”
  • “Cutting for Stone”
  • “Beyond the Beautiful Forever’s”
  • “The Free”
  • “Fates and Furies”
  • “The Man Without a Shadow”
  • “he Case of Lisandra P.
  • “Alexander Hamilton”

David Boardman’s roadmap for newspapers: Build a superb Sunday paper, then invest in tech

David Boardman maps out a wise future for newspapers: Make print less frequent but higher quality, then reinvest in technology for a rich user and producer experience. Read full post on Poynter and our my favorite points highlighted below:

Move past daily: Let’s get real. The seven-day-a-week printed newspaper – particularly in metropolitan areas – is terminally ill. Working to sustain it is not only futile, but ultimately destructive to the very values its champions espouse.

Sunday is where the revenue and readers are: For years, newspaper publishers and editors have known through market research that the Sunday paper is a different, more intimate experience for consumers. A good Sunday edition, with a mix of investigative journalism, profiles, cultural reporting, perspective pieces, sports analysis, photography, comics, crosswords and coupons, is an experience many people value and even love. And for most papers, the Sunday edition already accounts for more than half of their total revenue. For some, it’s around 60 percent. It’s a proven, effective vehicle for advertisers.

Make print higher quality and less frequent: So, I say to publishers: Invest in a superb, in-depth, last-all-week Sunday (or better yet, Saturday) paper, a publication so big and rich and engaging that readers will devour it piece by piece over many days, and pay a good price for that pleasure.

Then re-invest in tech: Then turn your attention and your resources where they belong now: Creating meaningful, engaging and sustainable news products for emerging technologies, where most of you are already woefully behind such innovative rivals as Vox and Vice. Move deliberately to one weekly, “lean back” printed paper and an array of quality, interactive, “lean in” digital products, especially for mobile devices, to which your readers are moving far faster than you are.

Make the transition with confidence, courage and transparency: Finally, make this transition in a brave, bold, confident – and candid – way. Pick a date certain – say, January 1, 2018 – and tell your readers and advertisers unapologetically that that’s where you are headed, why you are headed there, and that you want their help in figuring out how to get there in a way that will serve them and the community best. They – and the 38,000 journalists still working for American newspapers – deserve the truth. They can handle it. Can you?

IRE14: The wrap-up: Big lessons, key tipsheets and the city

san fran hill


Big lessons

A good conference inspires us to do something better on Monday, as long as other things don’t get in the way. Here are the big lessons I’ll take back to the newsroom. Some of these are basic or often repeated but it’s a good time to be reminded.

  • Investigative reporting is a craft. Perfect it. It’s easy to get lost in the daily production cycle of journalism. To produce compelling investigative work, we have to work at it every day and every week. If you want to learn Excel, find a story on Monday that will force you to learn it.
  • Experiment. The future is here. The world has adapted to the information revolution. (Here’s a clear reminder, if you need one.) That means we must adapt our work habits, too. We should experiment with new ways to use technology to report and tell stories. Areas ripe for experimentation: Data, social media, mobile, geo-location, distribution, partnerships.
  • Data. It’s everywhere. Use it. Because it matters.
  • Ask for help. Someone somewhere in IRE is an expert in whatever you want to learn. Just ask for help. If you like data, the NICAR listserv is a great place to start.
  • Fight on. The business of journalism is tough. We can whine. Or we can suck it up, open another spreadsheet and find the next story.

Key tipsheets

You can find all conference tipsheets on the IRE site. Some of my favorites:

General investigative reporting



Documents + public records


Web + tech

Blog posts

Here are my round-ups of sessions I attended on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Or check out the full thread.

And a another big thanks to the staff, volunteers and speakers who put everything together.

The city

It’s hard not to have a good time in San Francisco. The best parts.

  • AT&T Park. A beaut.
  • Specs. A fine example of North Beach life. Unionized bar tenders and cans of Oly.
  • And so is Caffee Triste. Crappy website. Fantastic lattes.
  • City Lights Books. Not as good as Powell’s. But still cool.
  • Chinatown.
  • Getting lost with this guy because of we were too busy staring at the view of the bay.