A conversation with New Haven Independent Founder Paul Bass

Photo (cc) 2015 by Anna Hanks

Today my class had the chance to hear from Paul Bass, a man at the forefront of the race to rethink the journalism model. 

Bass is the founder of both the New Haven Independent and the affiliated WNHH Radio, both of which are run out of New Haven, Conn. The Independent is a non-profit, online-only newspaper that relies on donors and grants for funding, an interesting model in an era where both subscription and ad revenue are shrinking around the country. WNHH is described on the Independent website as broadcasting “original New Haven news and arts programs with dozens of local hosts.”

As a hyper-local site, the Independent has had a demonstrated impact on the New Haven area. Bass told how the paper covered the potentially unconstitutional arrests by local police of two people who were filming the officers. The coverage led to legislation at the state level to protect citizen’s recording rights.

As a member of the small organization, he has to wear many hats, from radio host to reporter.“I have to make sure not to get burnt out,” he said.

In fact, the company as a whole seems to live at the intersection of several genres of media.

“Are we a radio station or a news site? Our answer is yes,” he said.

Bass highlighted the diversity of his reporters and radio hosts. For example, the WHNN host staff is 40 percent African-American, 40 percent white and 20 percent Latino.

He believes it’s good for people to know journalist’s bias. To remain fair, he suggested reporters acknowledge their own bias and “try twice as hard to get people you don’t agree with [as sources].”

His main piece of advice to my class? Find a good newsroom, and focus on interesting people over prestige in the search. “The opportunities will follow,” he said.


Emma Watson plays Santa Claus – with Books

Photo (cc) 2012 by David Shankbone
Photo (cc) 2012 by David Shankbone

Emma Watson is having a big week. Entertainment Weekly’s cover story is about the upcoming live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” in which she stars as Belle.

But it’s her role as a feminist activist, not as an actress, that’s taking over the London Underground. 

On Monday, she tweeted:

The next day, she personally hid 100 copies of “Mom & Me & Mom.” The book is by feminist icon Maya Angelou and discusses Angelou’s relationship with her mother.

Watson is supporting Books on the Underground, an organization that encourage the spread of books on the train lines.

Watson has been a UN Women Goodwill Ambassadosince 2014 and works with feminist organization HeForShe.

Inside Northeastern University’s Co-op Application Process

Photo (cc) by ksparrow11

As a Northeastern University student, I’ve experienced the process of applying to the co-op program for myself twice. Northeastern has an unusually strong focus on co-op, with many students taking more than five years to graduate in order to do multiple six-month placements. The co-op application process for the Spring semester is at its height in October, so I spoke with two searchers and a current co-op to get their stories. This video examines the process many students at Northeastern are participating in right now.