manhattan_skyline_nite

The Signal Podcast

For the past several months my friend Jill Duffy and I have been developing a podcast. On Sunday we recorded and released the pilot episode of The Signal, a discussion show about news, technology, and culture.

We put a lot of thought and consideration in to what The Signal podcast could be, and we cycled through various formats. We settled on a (reasonably) succinct weekly discussion show about the news. We will produce an initial season of four or five episodes, then take a small break to assess what works and what does not. Episodes will focus a newsworthy topic, run for approximately one hour, and feature guests and interesting experts.

I have a long history with podcasting and am excited to co-produce a new show with a good friend. While podcasting has always been noisy and fun, I’m pleased to see it emerge as a unique and legitimate medium. The Signal approximates a hobby more than professional endeavor, and it will take many weeks to iron out the rough edges. As the name implies Jill and I would like the show to be interesting and useful, rather than blabby and rambly.

Episodes of The Signal will always be available for download here. The show is also on YouTube, Soundcloud, and soon iTunes.

Ping us any time. Because The Signal is a passion project, your feedback is particularly important. As the show evolves we’d love to hear from you and your thoughts about the news, suggestions for future topics, and critiques.

Thanks for listening.

washington_post_brand_connect_dhp

Stories for The Washington Post Brand Connect

washington_post_brand_connect_dhp

I recently reported and wrote a series of articles for The Washington Post Brand Connect about the impact of regulation on small and middle market business.

angels_of_death

The Iron Pipeline: Investigative Reporting with Contently Dot Org

angels_of_death

I recently had the opportunity to work with Contently and StudioAtGawker on a long-form investigative story about gun trafficking on the so-called Iron Pipeline, a stretch of Interstate 95 that connects a number of major east coast cities. The reporting work was in conjunction with the launch of Contently Dot Org, a not-for-profit platform in support of investigative journalism.

For two months our team – editor Brad Hamilton, data journalist Sam Petulla, and Contently’s Sam Slaughter – conducted research, interviewed sources and experts, and crafted a story that attempts to humanize the realities of gun trafficking. I was the primary writer and reporter.

Angels of Death

Tiana never saw herself as a killer.
The daughter of a prostitute, she grew up in an inner city housing project surrounded by crack cocaine, day-time shootings and illicit money making. Hustling was in her family’s blood. Her grandmother ran an after-hours booze business from their apartment, selling bottles of beer and pints of liquor until three in the morning.

For Tiana, who was determined not to follow her mother into the sex trade, guns became the hustle.
Buying weapons for the men in her life—a practice that police call straw purchasing—was easy money.

“I hung out a lot with guys because I didn’t figure that women could teach me anything,” she told me. “Guys taught me … to deal with the street. And part of that was guns.”

Read the full story.

Learn more about Contently Dot Org.

hacking_jack_rice_dan_patterson

Hacking Explained: Jack Rice and Dan Patterson on Progressive AM 950


Download Audio

Jack and Dan discuss a brief history of hacking, explain how the NSA captured personal user data from major internet providers, and provide a few essential security tips for the web and mobile on Minnesota’s progressive talk station, AM 950.

Learn more about about the NSA from expert James Bamford, and security from host Steve Gibson.

Thanks for listening to Jack and Dan.

Stay tuned.

sudan_stories_airstrip

Sudan Stories with Jack Rice and Dan Patterson on Progressive AM 950

Recorded on AM 950 in Minneapolis as commentary on media training conducted by Small World News in Cairo, Egypt. 

Download Audio

jack_rice_dan_patterson_am950In which I join talk radio host, former CIA agent, and public defender Jack Rice to share stories on 950 AM in Minneapolis about storytelling, reporting from Cairo, and digital journalism in conflict regions.

Learn more at AM 950 Progressive Radio and on Jack’s website.

Thanks for listening.

سلام

Learn More:

Sudan Stories:

sudan_language_guns_phones

Sudan Stories: Language, Guns, & Phones – Media Training In Cairo

Recorded in March 2014 as part of a media training by Small World News in Cairo, Egypt. 

Download Audio

cairo_skylineFrom an ad-hoc classroom through the bustling streets of Cairo to the Pyramids of Giza, this is an audio journal of stories and  thoughts recorded while working with Small World News to train Sudanese media makers in March of 2014.

Our hotel was located down a busy, dusty ally in downtown Cairo. Each day our team scribbled on charts and whiteboards in a top-floor classroom with windows that opened to the noisy clanking of perpetual construction. For two weeks over coffee and sheesha with our Sudanese colleagues we used Android devices to review the techniques of telling stories that deeply resonate with people.

Our group was remarkable, and individually live fascinating lives in different regions of Sudan. Each day was an opportunity to learn more about family, music, language, and culture. With the help of great translators listened to personal stories, asked questions, and recorded audio. As with my prior trip to Sudan, I also occasionally recorded short audio journal entries of our activity. Far from an official report, this is a narrative that tries to capture the essence of the people of Sudan, as well as the sounds of Egypt.

cairo_antenna

In this episode you’ll hear a number of captivating stories:

  • The story of a mother awake in a storm anxiously awaiting the return of her son.
  • The impact of the Egyptian revolution on tourism at the Giza Pyramids.
  • The impact of violence and systemic marginalization on language, music, and dance in Kordofan.
  • How mobile phones are empowering disenfranchised groups.
  • The pop music of Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.

cairo_roof

Notes: 

The experiences shared in this story are raw, unvettable, and sometimes shocking. Yet these experiences are shared by thousands of Sudanese  refugees and internally displaced persons. To learn more about systemic marginalization and the wars in Sudan, Kordofan, and Darfur please read Richard Cockett’s Sudan, Darfur, Islamism and the World.

The stories shared in this episode were conducted with a local, untrained translator and recorded on the fly with a Marantz PMD620. I speak Arabic poorly and did my best to keep up with the narrative, but surely much nuance and context was lost in translation. Arabic clarification and edits are welcome.

Thanks for listening.

سلام

Learn More:

Sudan Stories:

cairo_streets

story_of_n_blind

Sudan Stories: The Story of N – Imprisoned and Blinded

Recorded in March 2014 as part of a media training by Small World News in Cairo, Egypt. 

Download Audio


cairo_sunsetN is from a city in Sudan. I met her during our training course in Cairo. N was a media student for two weeks and I had to opportunity to know her well. In Sudan, N has a reputation as a hard-working and warm-hearted activist. Her loud voice was heard and noted by the UN and the international community, but was largely ignored by the Sudanese government. Until she witnessed corruption and spoke too loudly.

For the crime of witnessing and reporting corruption, N was imprisoned and kept in solitary confinement. She placed in a stark cell and kept alone for months. Her only company was the bright light that shone perpetually, keeping her awake for days at a time. From time to time she was removed from her cell and forced by her captors to stare in to a blinding light during brutal interrogations. 

Then, just prior to Ramadan for reasons still unknown, she was released. She’s worried about government surveillance, her family, and her safety. She wanted to learn to make media as a form of empowerment. Over coffee and cheap cigarettes N shared her story as we sat and looked at the Cairo sunset.

The experiences shared by N are raw, unvettable, and sometimes shocking. Yet N’s experience is shared by thousands of Sudanese  refugees and internally displaced persons. To learn more about systemic marginalization and the wars in Sudan, Kordofan, and Darfur please read Richard Cockett’s Sudan, Darfur, Islamism and the World.

Notes:

The experiences shared by N are raw, unvettable, and sometimes shocking. Yet N’s experience is shared by thousands of Sudanese  refugees and internally displaced persons. To learn more about systemic marginalization and the wars in Sudan, Kordofan, and Darfur please read Richard Cockett’s Sudan, Darfur, Islamism and the World.

This interview was conducted with a local, untrained translator and recorded on the fly with a Marantz PMD620. I speak Arabic poorly and did my best to keep up with the narrative, but surely much nuance and context was lost in translation. Arabic clarification and edits are welcome.

Thanks for listening.

سلام

Learn More:

Sudan Stories:

story_of_m_choice

Sudan Stories: The Story of M – Sell a Kidney or Make Bombs

Recorded in March 2014 as part of a media training by Small World News in Cairo, Egypt. 

Download Audio


sudan_thumbs_in_cairoM is a Sudanese activist living in Cairo. As a young man in Sudan M was kidnapped, forced to join the military, and punished for refusing to learn bomb-making tactics. Years later M was released and built a life in Sudan. Yet he was seized again and tortured by the government. He bribed his way to freedom, sold his house, and fled to Cairo. Now he’s running out of money. M faces a choice between selling a kidney and becoming a suicide bomber.

I was introduced to M by friends in our Sudanese training program. On the final day of training our translator tugged my sleeve while I was busy checking the encryption on a mobile device. M – shy, short, with a strong voice but sympathetic disposition and dressed in Western clothing – was was introduced as a Cairo resident friend of our group. M shared his story as we sat together on cracked brown couches in the bright, smoke-filled lobby of a small hotel in downtown Cairo.

Notes:

The experiences shared by M are raw, unvettable, and sometimes shocking. Yet M’s experience is shared by thousands of Sudanese  refugees and internally displaced persons. To learn more about systemic marginalization and the wars in Sudan, Kordofan, and Darfur please read Richard Cockett’s Sudan, Darfur, Islamism and the World.

This interview was conducted with a local, untrained translator and recorded on the fly with a Marantz PMD620. I speak Arabic poorly and did my best to keep up with the narrative, but surely much nuance and context was lost in translation. Arabic clarification and edits are welcome.

Thanks for listening.

سلام

Learn More:

Sudan Stories:

alive_in_sudan

Alive In Sudan: Training Sudanese Media Makers in Cairo

“Sometimes the camera can be more powerful than the gun.”  

- Sudanese Human Rights Activist [40:20 link]

alive_in_sudan

Working with Small World News, I recently traveled to Cairo, Egypt and trained a group of Sudanese media makers on the fundamentals of mobile storytelling.

The group of media makers originated from disparate regions of Sudan and was selected through a vetting process led by SWN in conjunction with regional partners.  Our small team – in person with Brian Conley and a local translator, facilitated Stateside by Steve Wyshywaniuk – gathered daily in a nondescript hotel in bustling downtown Cairo. Classroom lessons ran for several hours per day and spanned two weeks. In the West we often take elements of media composition and story for granted. In rural Sudan, however, media archetypes are non-existent. Our lessons began with the fundamentals of story, then shifted to photo and video composition, and concluded with basic mobile safety tactics. Some of our lessons were guided by the StoryMaker Android app, a mobile news tool developed by Small World News.

During our time in Cairo I also conducted a number of interviews with Egyptians and Sudanese about local culture and politics. The interviews I recorded, while some times difficult to listen to, articulate personal stories of struggle against totalitarian regimes, war and torture, and the stark decisions faced daily by many thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons. Over the next several weeks I will release these interviews, along with a small audio journal of reflections recorded daily during our the training event. Additionally, Small World News will release the stories produced by our trainees recorded live from their homes and communities in Sudan. I’ll link to their site when content is published.

To learn more about systemic marginalization and the wars in Sudan, Kordofan, and Darfur please read Richard Cockett’s Sudan, Darfur, Islamism and the World.

My previous work in Sudan can be found here.

Stay tuned, stories TK.

السلام عليكم

- DHP

Learn More:

Sudan Stories:

small_world_news

Training: Journalism & Technology with Small World News

middle_eastUPDATE: Information about and reports from our Sudan media training can be found here.

Last month I started working on a journalism project with old friends Brian Conley and Steve Wyshywaniuk of Small World News. In late-Winter Brian and I will travel to a few countries in the Middle East to train journalists on the fundamentals of mobile digital reporting.

Beyond simply teaching the fundamentals of journalism and the social web, our training use the Storymaker application to emphasize encryption and secure communication.

Small World News has a decade of experience reporting from Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia. Our mutual penchant for boots-on-the-ground reporting has helped strengthen our relationship over the past decade, and I’m excited to work with and learn from Brian and Steve. We first met in the early days of podcasting. In 2005, while I produced Creepy Sleepy from the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota Brian produced Alive in Baghdad from Iraq. Our paths crossed again at Podcamps in Boston and NYC, and I turned to Brian for advice when I covered Darfur and Southern Sudan in 2008. Using the social web, we cheered each other on during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

(more…)