Moving To New Zealand: This Week On Fresh Powder

The lede

True story: Less than a week after the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s history, its government not only put into motion but passed, effective immediately, a ban on military-style assault weapons which includes a buy-back program and eliminating the license that enables the sale of the weapons: CNN. (All this and time for the victims’ funerals, too? Who knew?)

…  In brief, from The New York Times, on New Zealand’s prime minister: “Jacinda Ardern Is Leading by Following No One.”

…  The Roots of Jacinda Adern’s Extraordinary Leadership After ChristchurchThe New Yorker

…  Jay Willis in GQ: “What New Zealand just did is not astonishing, though. It is the only safe, rational, and sane thing to do. We are the insane ones.”

…  New Zealand gun owners were already voluntarily giving up their firearms before the law passed, reported BuzzFeed News.


“At the heart of the bribery scandal lies the toxic belief that college acceptance confers value. That parents might go to jail over this reveals how deeply rooted this belief is. But I worry that legacy admissions are just a socially-acceptable expression of this same mindset.” Nailing it in two minutes or less is Maya DiRado Andrews, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and former legacy student of Stanford herself.


In important political news, “Veep” returns this weekend: On its final season (IndieWire), Selina Meyer’s best-selling book (EW) and an interview with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (GMA).

…  As countdowns go: Less than a month now until “Game of Thrones.” Read Emilia Clarke’s wrenching personal essay for The New Yorker“I had just finished filming Season 1 of “Game of Thrones.” Then I was struck with the first of two aneurysms.”(Long live our Queen!)


To a generation of clickbait lovers, “Florida man” is near and dear. For Poynter, a fun-sucker’s old-man take on why “The ‘Florida man’  is not so funny sometimes.” (Is this one of those, “If you don’t think you have that friend it’s because you are that friend” things?)

…  Hey, look, puppy pics!


MLB’s Los Angeles Angels gave outfielder Mike Trout a new contract worth more than $430 million over the next 12 years; naturally, that made everyone else want one, too.

…  Because maybe you and Trout look kind of alike, or because of your kid’s presumed athletic potential (with video proof).

…  “When you think of the Angels, you think about Mike Trout,” a teammate told ESPN, but I don’t know… there’s still this. (Shoulder shrug emoji.)

Thinking ahead

That dude Mueller’s report dropped like a new Beyonce album and nothing’s changed. Only new Beyonce can save us now. (Here’s the latest intel.)

This also happened last week: Twitter went bananas for a photo of a monkey that one tweeter equated to every journalist’s headshot, and I strongly recommend scrolling through the replies.

It’s Aunt Becky Calling: This Week On Fresh Powder

A summary of journalism news and pop culture brought to you by  SNO

The lede

On the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice,” a lot was written. From The New York Timesa well-organized cheatsheet that’d get you into USC.

…  “In the back of his head, he couldn’t help but wonder if his spot was taken by someone who paid their way into a program others were competing for. In that sense, for young people at implicated schools … the scandal was downright paranoia-inducing.” What UT, USC, and Georgetown Students Are Saying About the College Cheating Scam, from Vice.

…  In the midst of the scandal, honest, hard-working college applicants talk to The New York Times as they await admission results.

…  With Lori Loughlin implicated, Jezebel wonders what’s next for the Hallmark Channel. (Spoiler alert: It’s Gretchen Wieners.)

…  Entertainment Weekly already cast the movie, seeing it as inevitable, so save the date.

…  Meanwhile, there’s still another college scandal ongoing. It isn’t an Instagram model, but it still matters: The latest in the FBI’s investigation into NCAA recruitingcenters around Kansas.


“We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis,” says pigtailed teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg, to BuzzFeed News. The 16-year-old is nominated for the Nobel Prize; but what’d you do this weekend?


YouTube doesn’t always lay a golden egg, but last week it added another name to its list of personalities that got their start on its platform. Meet Lilly Singh. She was picked to replace Carson Daly on late night TV — a step toward a more diverse variety series genre, but a step that happens way past my bedtime, I’m afraid.

…  Also on that list, there’s Lindsay Ellis: How YouTube Made a Star Out of This Super-Smart Film Critic, Wired reports.

…  And: 29-Year-Old Akilah Hughes Turned YouTube Into a CareerForbes says.


Not to be confused for a musical about Britney Spears’ life, “Once Upon a One More Time” (hit me, baby) is only a musical featuring Spears’ music. A snippet of the plot, relayed by CNN: “A group of famous fairy tale princesses gather for their fortnightly book club, to read together.” (Count me in — obviously.)

… That features the song “Toxic”?


Instead of basking in its NCAA Tournament glory, Bradley tarnishes its reputation by picking a fight with a local reporter, by the Chicago Tribune.

Thinking ahead

It’s time to fill out your March Madness bracket. But first, a few things to consider: A Handy Guide for Filling Out Your March Madness Bracket, from The Ringer, and a ranking of all 68 team mascots, from

This also happened last weekThey were racing babies at the ACC Basketball Tournament; elsewhere, a rescue dog named Kratu made a mockery of an obstacle course.

The News Digest Is Back: This Week On Fresh Powder

A summary of journalism news and pop culture brought to you by  SNO

The lede

Like something out of Dolores Umbridge’s desk in Harry Potter, “Some individuals have a colored ‘X’ over their photo, indicating whether they were arrested, interviewed, or had their visa or SENTRI pass revoked by officials,” NBC 7 San Diego described from its investigation into leaked documents of a U.S. government-created database of journalists, activists and influencers covering or involved with the migrant caravan.

…  The Intercept went further in-depth on this issue: Journalists, Lawyers, and Activists Working on the Border Face Coordinated Harassment from U.S. and Mexican Authorities


“Most people don’t even understand whether moving the clocks forward gives them more sunlight or less sunlight in the morning. They just can’t remember what it does, because it so defies logic,” says the man who wrote the book on daylight-saving silliness to The New York Times.


Apparently, the haters took an off-week from their usual commitments to, instead, focus their attention on Brie Larson, aka Captain Marvel, by trying to sink her moviebefore its wide release.

…  If they’d waited to see the movie, however, they would’ve seen the gaping hole in their plan: Captain Marvel can fly. So, the movie did more than fine.

…  Larson, meanwhile, leaned in: Brie Larson surprised fans opening weekend at a ‘Captain Marvel’ screening and working the concession stand in New Jersey, Insiderreported.


“Millennials have been very hard at work explaining to their readers how millennials are very hard at work,” scoffs a not-Millennial writer for Slate.

…  Writers will keep spending bandwidth on this recycled take because of people like this who keep, hashtag, doing it for the selfie.

…  The zoo sends its prayers to the jaguar and her family.


The Pittsburgh Steelers dealt All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders, proving once and for all that anyone can force their ascent into eternal irrelevance so long as they kick and scream long enough. Hope you brought soda money, AB. Welcome to Oakland.

…  Ever the check and balance of the NFL, the trade didn’t jibe with the Madden algorithm.

Thinking ahead

Milwaukee and Charlotte, N.C., just became the two least-desirable vacation spots for Summer 2020 travelers, thanks to Democrats and Republicans.

This also happened last week: A pitch invader attacked Aston Villa footballer Jack Grealish in the middle of a match. Later the same day, it happened again (sans-attack) with a different fan, field and game, and, by that point, announcers on the NBC telecast had had enough.

SNO Merch!


Stories you can localize and deadlines to meet: this week on Fresh Powder

Localize this

Maybe your brain works this way, too: You click on a couple of the latest articles from Wired and while reading each one, it hits you, “Hey! Why couldn’t we do this article, too?”

… First, there’s the uber-simple election coverage — just pictures! This photographer captured New Yorkers standing in voting lines, thus capturing the resilient spirit of said voters. Here’s an idea, FREE OF CHARGE: Go out and take portraits of your school’s voters. Who are they? What do they look like? What motivated them to vote? Think “Humans of (Insert School Here),” except “Voters of (Your School).”

… Then there’s this national story about the internet-caused “homework gap” of students in America. Does your school have a large population of students living in rural areas? How’s their access to internet? Is it hindering their ability to learn and, sticking to theme, do their homework assignments? You may not realize it, but this may be the most consequential issue at your school. Not, you know, vaping.

Making deadline

When it comes to print deadlines and Election Night in the professional world, here’s the truth: It’s the one night a year news editors order pizza and pat themselves on the back for meeting their deadline. But guess what?

Sports editors do that every… single… night. And they don’t ask for Pizza Hut as a reward. But that’s besides the point. (Sorry! I had to get that off my chest.)

In a publishing world increasingly overtaken by design hubs, rather than local staffs, print deadlines keep getting earlier and earlier. And when you miss deadlines, you cost your publication money. So, on Election Night, very little concrete information shows up in the next morning’s newspaper, as Nieman Lab found out. Like a scan of Newseum’s top front pages of the day (and old past time), Nieman Lab found very little on the A1s of Wednesday editions. Some news outlets made a conscious decision to do this, to urge viewers to go online for it. (Yay for online!) Others did it because, well, they ran out of time.

According to front pages, voter turnout was amazing! But who knows who won their elections?

This also happened last week: A field goal kicker for the Chicago Bears had an amazing game, had he been playing H.O.R.S.E. Freeform is starting to get out of control. It started its countdown to the countdown of its “25 Days of Christmas.”That’s right, people. The world needs more Thanksgiving movies.

Criticism, endorsements and the future: this week on Fresh Powder

But what if it’s bad?

Consider for a moment the significance of recent box-office hit Crazy Rich Asians, which many student journalists are filing reviews of lately. Great, right? But is it actually any good? New York Times critic Wesley Morris wrote a thoughtful essay about how cultural criticism — that of art, television, movies — has worsened, in 2018, by becoming more about what the piece stands for, or it’s “moral correctness,” than its actual quality. As Morris argues, you can be happy that TV has a place for Insecure, whereas it likely wouldn’t have a decade ago, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t criticize it. Let your review writers and columnists read this one, going inside the mind of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Wholesale changes

It’s the time of year when newspapers’ editorial boards sit down, debate and draft endorsements for candidates in the upcoming election. The Des Moines Register,which is in Iowa, a pretty consequential state for political happenings, took it a step further than individual endorsement. “The (Republican) party needs to be voted out of power and spend a few years becoming again the party of Lincoln, no the part of Trump,” The Register’s editorial board wrote.

Hits and misses

A man sits down in the Library of Congress and pilfers through every issue of Wired’s 25-year history. Why? To see what predictions they’ve gotten right (like the cameraphone revolution), wrong (like sending smells through the internet), and not right or wrong — the ones that still seem to be on the horizon. Which reminds me: Where’s the flying car that makes icy Minnesota highways completely irrelevant? (Prayer hands emoji.)

This also happened last week: We all found out the passcode into Kanye West’s iPhone and a Russian government official is in trouble after his wife’s filming of a twerking music video literally stopped traffic on a busy highway in Moscow.

Surrealism, a bunch of memes, and a wedding: this week on Fresh Powder


You might have seen The Weather Channel give new meaning to the word “infographic” when it virtually embedded a meteorologist in (begin LeBron voice) not three, not six but nine feet of water in a surreal demonstration for Hurricane Florence. By our research, the demo was widely praised for inventing a new way to lay onto viewers the life risk of trying to ride the storm out when you’re being asked to evacuate. It’s a highly-impactful segment in that it begins as a typical weather report with numbers on a screen and a colored map, until suddenly the meteorologist is on a neighborhood street corner, no different than yours or mine, and water is rushing up around her. To do it, The Weather Channel utilized a “green screen immersive studio” it recently built at its Atlanta studio, which includes a wrap-around green screen (that’s where the water builds up), with help from its partnership with Unreal Engine, which specializes in “interactive mixed reality.” Both of those things likely make it beyond any of our reaches to recreate it, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. Did you watch the clip? Whatever, just watch it again.

… Also surreal

The Weather Channel was not alone in doing something uniquely interesting. Who better than The New York Times? The paper created its first holographic video recording to accompany a story about model and activist Ashley Graham — and it, too, is pretty surreal; I mean, seriously, this is nuts. Here’s how they did it: Using Microsoft’s new “volumetric capture” technology, a brief recorded sequence of Graham walking can be endlessly available (like a Boomerang) to be projected into the world. Readers with the New York Times app can “project this ‘hologram’ of Ashley into their spaces as she demonstrates poses and her runway walk,” the Times’ explainer writes. Hello, Weird Science. Nice to meet you, Princess Leia. She’s literally walking on water on the desktop site. News graphics really advanced a lot this past week.


A couple controversial things happened this past week: one in the news, one in advertising. The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a White House “senior official” titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The internet, as it does, took the headline and “fixed it” into varioushilarious memes. Enjoy! The same happened in advertising when Nike unveiled its Colin Kaepernick campaign. One last time, enjoy!

On the podcast

We talked to The New York Times design team responsible for the revamped desktop homepage about how it all happened. Listen and subscribe now!

This also happened last week: Thomas, your SNO support superhero, got married last weekend. MARRIED! Please join us in congratulating him.

Embedding takes a loss, plus covering and anticipating the news: this week on Fresh Powder

When journalists use Twitter’s powers for good, it can all at once be an engine for story ideas and source generation. It houses widespread reaction to all things. In the spirit of news gathering, tweets about Shaun White’s snowboarding gold medal and Parkland, Florida, students’ rebuttal to President Trump’s tweets are embedded to make stories.

Type “twitter reacts to” into any search engine and see how far it takes you.

Storify, which will cease to exist in May, in fact existed as a tool news organizations used to organize a prettier display of gathered tweets.

It’s part of modern reporting to use Twitter as a resource like this. That’s all The Boston Globe thought it was doing in 2016 when embedding a photo from Twitter, posted by an unaffiliated photographer, that appeared to show the Boston Celtics brass using star quarterback Tom Brady to help woo NBA free agent Kevin Durant. But the photographer sued several publications that shared it, and Durant didn’t pick the Celtics either.

This week, he won that case, with the judge concluding the publications violated his exclusive display rights — a result you should be surprised by, and one that could set a precedent for similar litigation in the future.

Now, get your notebook ready. Here’s how other news organizations could avoid the same trouble: a) ask social media users for permission to use the photo or video in a tweet, or b) embed tweets without the media attached (already an option Twitter gives you). For all the rest, embedding simple tweets from people congratulating Shaun White or rejecting the president’s prayers is still “overwhelmingly” protected by the law.

Cover your bases

It will always be better to have been proactive than reactive about your editorial policies, especially when a tragedy happens, like the one in Parkland, Florida, last week, and you suddenly find yourself covering it and trying to decide what should and shouldn’t be published. As Poynter outlines, there are a few standards you should be discussing early and often in preparation for any kind of jarring news event… because your audience may want answers.

Why are we or aren’t we showing graphic images? (This is the biggie.)

Then, specifically as it relates to a shooting, why are we or aren’t we using the name(s) of the suspect or suspects? And why are we or aren’t we describing the weapon?

Plus: Acting unintentionally as a companion piece, this by The Atlantic reflects on seemingly level-headed readers’ comments on coverage from past tragedies.

Purposeful composition

Two of my best friends from working on the college paper were photographers, so I picked up a little second-hand planning and strategy here and there. That’s essentially all the insight this Slate reporter wanted from a photographer capturing the Winter Olympics. How do you get these great photos? It’s a good, close study for any photogs, though the one interviewed makes it sound easier than it is. A few of the lessons here: Scout your location, plan for the shots you’re picturing in your head, arrive early, move around for more variety, and (duh!) know how to work a camera.


An eye for this

Rachel is single again. Before Jennifer Aniston and her husband announced their separation last week, Slate reporter Ruth Graham smelled something fishy. She’s followed celebrity relationships — studied their outcomes — and the Architectural Digest story about the couple’s Bel Air home, published a couple weeks earlier, was when she sensed something was going on. Such an article in that specific magazine has prefaced breakups before. I guess the best Hollywood gossip reporters know all the warning signs.

This also happened last week: The Winter Olympics. This piece by The Ringer’s Katie Baker, on Tara Lipinski, is as good a story about a television commentator as I’ve read. I saw The Post. It’s, for one, a really accurate representation of the tug-o-war between the corporate and editorial sides of many newsrooms across the country.

How front pages, photos and scandals are — or aren’t — made: this week on Fresh Powder

How A1 is made

Late breaking news can be the bane of an editor’s and designer’s existence. Here’s how: After several staff meetings, you have an idea of what’s in the news and you plan the day’s front page when, out of nowhere, the newsroom’s alerted to a Grade A, above-the-fold breaking news story. Crumple up those plans and toss ’em — you’re starting over. That’s what happened last Tuesday, in the newsroom of The New York Times and many others, when President Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey. The Times writes about these processes from time to time (like, when it prepared for the U.S. to elect its first woman president). As for last Tuesday, the Times made a unique (widely praised) decision to run an image of the actual termination letter as dominant art. “It helped tell the story in a way that was much more explicit,” The Times’ creative director said.

Super photogenic, huh?

It’s a grind: It’s hard to find a good, usable photo of POTUS, isn’t it? And when we say “good” and “usable” we mean one that makes it look like the president actually enjoys his job. That’s because the current administration doesn’t seem to value the old picture-worth-1,000-words way of thinking, in that President Trump hasn’t hired a chief photographer to think about imagery 24/7. In fact, WIRED reported news photographers aren’t allowed the space, equipment or opportunity to capture appealing images. This is real: the White House may not bring in manufactured lighting (for better photos) because strobes wash out Trump’s hair.

Teen mags have opinions, too

Think Teen Vogue is a niche magazine? Think again. Though some readers thought Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca had gone beyond her depth with a scathing criticism of the president in December, The Atlantic’s Julia Carpenter recently reported Duca’s editorial aligns with the genre’s general direction. Teen magazines are building bigger online audiences by expanding their coverage of cultural issues and politics, a practice they’ve been working on for years. “Teen magazines are supposed to be about clothes and glamour and summer jobs and relationship advice, right? Actually, wrong,” Carpenter writes.

How scandals start

Watergate crawled back into the national conversation last week, following the generally-fishy Comey firing. But really, this has been coming for a while. A lot was said about emails and private servers during the campaign, then accusations of tapped phones. Finally, there was the termination letter and tweets to follow referencing private conversations and possible secret recordings of said meetings. (I’m probably missing something) It all sounds very 1970s, except the whole emailing and tweeting thing, right? Maybe there’s nothing to this latest scandal. But for journalists, it’s confirmation that technology is still at the center of political scandals. Just maybe not Xerox machines so much any more.

This also happened last week: Designing a new font, or just like typography? Here are some of the weird test words and phrases designers use to put their fonts through the ringer.

Media Boom, ESPN’s Health, and Text-to-Novel Tech: this week on Fresh Powder

Business is booming

Sorry, Donald. The media is winning your War on the Media; in fact, the President might have given us the ammunition for the uprising — all that “Fake news” yada yada yada. Despite him, business is booming at many national publications (The New York Times and The Washington Post, for example) and networks (CNN, MSNBC, etc). Turns out, the media was boss-level tough.

Election analysis

FBI Director James Comey was back in the CNN daytime programming cycle last week, defending himself over that ill-timed Clinton emails letter late in October. On the subject, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver put the media on the defensive. His analysis determined the letter and the media’s subsequent coverage of it cost Hillary Clinton 1-4 percentage points in the polls (she lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than one). Silver, being a stats guy, cited an algorithm which tracked the letter and emails as the mainstream media’s No. 1 story for a good six or seven straight days leading up to Election Day. The report was the 10th in a series analyzing what happened in the election.

A novel, by SMS

Maybe tablets and iBooks tried getting kids to pull up books on one of their many differently-sized screens, but recent reports suggest that has gone backwards as the printed word makes a slight comeback. Although that seems like good news, the universe is trying again with an app called Hooked, for which authors are writing fictional text message conversations for publication. Readers pull up a story and flip through segmented text threads split into a series of “episodes.” Heavy on dialogue, obviously, but you won’t find chunky, exploratory paragraphs here. No, sir. But how will Cliffs Notes summarize “Texts from Dad”?

New game plan

So you followed ESPN’s 100 no-holds-barred layoffs a week or so ago, and now you’re worried about The Worldwide Leader’s ability to keep saturating you with 24/7 sports coverage? Don’t be. Alas, where there’s football, there will always be ESPN. But, if it’s smart, the network will reconsider the way it’s disseminating all of its programming by dropping its allegiance to cable companies, like us cord-cutters contributing to ESPN’s slow bleed, and start thinking like HBO — in the direct-to-consumer kind of way (any new, original programming like Game of Thrones is just a bonus).

This also happened last week: First, a quick update on Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino: it was terrible, but some random neighborhood cafe wants credit for it. And now, something fun for you to try: As a kid in school, you asked your grandparents about the world wars you were studying in class and your parents about those curious 1960s. Have you ever since wondered what your children, or children’s children, will ask you about the events in their shiny new history books? Well, The Atlantic wants to prepare you for that with this tool.

A Huge Time-Saver, Social Decisions, and a Hard Job: this week on Fresh Powder

Quick-quotes quill

Meeting deadline just got way easier, guys. Transcribing interviews is one of the biggest headaches and most time-consuming tasks for any journalist. Now, Trint (forever giving Trents everywhere a good name) will do it all for you — for a price of course. The web app can listen to audio recordings and video, long or short, of two or more speakers (or just one, if, say, Sean Spicer doesn’t take questions one day) and turn it into a written transcript that’s easily editable and searchable. It’s been tested, and it’s good enough because, let’s be honest, what reporter hasn’t vowed to pay for that kind of thing if it existed? It’s Rita Skeeter’s quick-quotes quill, in the flesh.

A losing battle

It’s a big parenting decision: when to give your kid a cell phone or tablet and how to mediate their use of it once they have one. Well, the ball’s still in mom and dad’s court to decide when to give their kid license to tweet, but a new study suggests controlling their use of it may be more complicated than “No phones at the dinner table.”  Of 790 teens surveyed, 38 percent of the ones whose parents forced them to take a break from social media reported being more anxious about not having it and more likely to increase their posting frequency once they were granted access again. Parents just can’t win, can they?

China’s watching

The media is under intense scrutiny in the current political climate, with real and imagined fake news making journalists’ jobs all the more difficult. But there are still tougher landscapes to work in. Enter China, for example. The New York Times recently caught up with its Beijing bureau chief, who basically does most of her job through back channels, or virtual private networks, to avoid the Great Firewall. “Some work relatively well for a few months, then all of a sudden they slow down, a sign that the government has successfully interfered with them,” she said. That’s comforting…

Walking the red carpet

Remember the six Pittsburg, Kan. high school students who uncovered fraudulent credentials of their newly-hired principal in a story for their student newspaper, the The Booster Redux? They got their moment in the sun last weekend as the Huffington Post’s guests at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Bravo!

This also happened last week: The Trump administration opened a hotline for the public to report “criminal aliens,” and calls came flooding in about people’s close encounters with the third kind. Speaking of space, a new study determined Americans’ need for personal space is actually quite average, but you better keep your distance in Romania.