What I’m reading these days

Photograph by Kate Ter Haar

Photograph by Kate Ter Haar

So far the summer has given me a wonderful opportunity to catch up on my reading. I’ve had time to escape into fiction, discover new fitness trends and follow stories that pique my interest. In the event you’re looking for some light distraction from the Monday grind, this is what I have been reading by as of late.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

This fantasy fiction novel is the perfect read for anyone who waited for their Hogwarts acceptance letter or hoped to travel to a magical land through their bedroom closet. I was introduced to the trilogy while working with Syfy network on the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfront. Syfy will soon premiere a TV show based on Grossman’s series that looks fantastic. As any true bookworm can attest, I had to read at least the first installment before the show began and, let me say, I am now a big, big fan.

10 Cool Podcasts Every Woman Should Know by Madison Feller

There’s no doubt about it, radio is making a comeback in the form of the podcast. After falling victim to NPR’s Serial, as many did, I have a new found appreciation for the medium. This article from Levo League highlights 10 podcasts that are especially appealing to women. First up on my list is Dear Sugar, featuring the one and only Cheryl Strayed.

Blast Calories With This Full-Body Tabata Workout by Anna Renderer

To say that I’m addicted to Popsugar Fitness would be an understatement. Their daily email newsletter is the first thing I check in the morning and my go-to lunch time debrief. They have great health and fitness tips, videos, recipes and routines. Lately I’ve been varying my workouts, focusing on exercise classes and HIIT routines because plantar fasciitis has me taking a break from running. Anna Renderer has nearly every type of fitness video you can imagine and is a fantastic virtual trainer. My goal is to some day work with her in person.

Lauren Conrad Bans the Word “Skinny” from her Website by The Hollywood Reporter staff

Hooray!! I was thrilled to read that style and lifestyle icon Lauren Conrad banned body shaming terms, such as “skinny,” “slim,” and “thin” from her popular site. Whether you like LC or not she is an influential figure to women and girls around the country. Many covet her site for tips on fitness, health, cooking, fashion and home decor. In my opinion, this is a win for the fight against negative female body imagery found all over the media, especially on health and fitness platforms. Conrad is taking a step in the right direction to give young girls positive, healthy role models to look up to.

Which Social Network Should You Advertise On? by Olivia Allen 

Olivia Allen breaks down the pros and cons of using LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook for advertising and when companies should focus on which platform.

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What I’m reading: media-related articles that recently caught my eye

I read some great pieces in the past two weeks that have stuck with me. I’m sharing them to inspire conversation in others, as they have in me.

“The Forbes digital content model and power of the long-tail,” by Rachel Bartlett on Journalism.co.uk.

Lewis D’Vorkin, chief product officer at Forbes, found that 50 percent of the site’s traffic is generated by content that is at least 30 days old. To someone who has been told that journalists have to churn out content constantly in the digital age and that stories are old news nearly as soon as they’re uploaded; I was shocked.

When D’Vorkin explained what he realized to be the “long-tail” of the content, it resonated a bit more with me. An interesting read for anyone who is also interested in the business and analysis of digital media.

Young People Let Digital Apps Dictate Their Identities, Say 2 Scholars,” by Marc Perry in The Chronicle of Higher Education

This article explains that when the internet first gained traction among teens it was thought that it would be a great way for then to express and find themselves. However, the opposite effect is being seen. Teens are deciding who they are early and it is almost permanent because of how social media publicizes it. They are essentially branding themselves when they aren’t even freshmen in high school.

‘The pressure is to consolidate and to post and to have as many friends and likes as possible,” [Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist] says, ‘not to experiment and to learn from one’s more or less successful attempts.'”

“Dear Young Creatives: Forget Overnight Success,” by Haniya Rae on Digiday.

As a young person starting out their career, I took this piece to heart. Sometimes I get caught up in my passion and ambition, expecting my life and career to move as quickly as my mind. It is good to be reminded to slow down. Success takes time.

If you love the process, it shouldn’t matter how long it takes. If you love what you do every day, I would want it to take longer, because then you can continue to do it every day,” Jeff Ng tells Rae.

Breaking News: Resources for covering shooting,” by Anna Li on Poynter.

I was in the MSNBC newsroom when the LAX shooting occurred. It is the biggest breaking news that I have worked on since beginning as a PA, and it was overwhelming. This piece has great tips and resources for journalists covering a shooting.

“AOL May Sell Patch or Deepen Cuts,” by Tom Risen on U.S. News and World Report.

As a Connecticut native, I am very familiar with Patch.com. There are 67 Patch sites in Connecticut. I have many friends who freelanced or worked as editors for the company. I was sad to read that they are struggling and that many have been laid off.