Category

Journalism

Journalism, Non Fiction, Social Issues

NOV 24: Pulitzer Prize Winner Eric Eyre with Death in Mud Lick

Why Death In Mud Lick Booka town called Kermit with only 382 residents prescribed 12 million pills in 3 years.

In Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic, journalist Eric Eyre set out to expose the mysteries, tragedies, and government corruption behind the opioid crisis in West Virginia.

Eric joins us to share stories from the investigative research that took him to counties at the heart of the opioid crisis—small rural counties with the highest overdose rates in the United States.  We discuss the  importance of strong independent journalism, and community journalism in particular. Eric also shares the  concept of sustained outrage and how even tiny actions can make a huge impact.

About Eric Eyre

For more than 20 years, Eric Eyre was a reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.  His series of investigations into massive shipments of opioids to West Virginia’s southern coalfields was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2017, and led to his book, Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic.

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Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction

NOV 17: Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth with Michelle Black

How a Green Beret wife restored her husband’s good name

When Green Beret Bryan Black and three of his team were killed during an ambush in Niger, the military spun a tale of disinformation, misdirecting blame and shame. The media repeated it. Over and over. And that fueled widow Michelle Black‘s journey to find the truth.

Michelle shares how she went from being wife and mom to investigative journalist. We discuss life before the fatal mission–one that wasn’t supposed to happen. How leadership ignored the plea to abort. And the many challenges Michelle faced in interviewing survivors, and exposing the military cover up that left her children fatherless.

About Michelle Black

Michelle Black is mother to two boys, a Gold Star widow, and author. She has a degree in environmental sciences and horticulture. She’s been published in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, and Task & Purpose. Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth is her debut book.

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Journalism, Non Fiction

SEP 08: Stephen Kurczy’s journey to understand The Quiet Zone

Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence

What if there’s a place where you can totally disconnect from everyday tech? Where you’re not supposed to use cell phones; where forest hikes are never interrupted by ringtones or one-way conversations? Where getting lost means using a map because GPS won’t work?

When Stephen Kurczy began his three-year quest to understand The Quiet Zone, he figured a community based in quiet would be idyllic. He hadn’t owned a cell phone for 10 years, so he’d fit right in … right?

Among the hippies, mountain men, and electrosensitives, he also discovered the darker side of this Appalachian region — unsolved murders, Nazis, a government spy facility. Can you say conspiracy theories?

About Stephen Kurczy

From the muddy jungles of Cambodia to the dense rain forests of Brazil, award-winning investigative journalist Stephen Kurczy, reported stories from around the world for The Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, The New York Times, and other publications. The Quiet Zone is Stephen Kurczy’s debut nonfiction book.

 

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Journalism, Non Fiction, Social Issues

JUN 16: Gabrielle Bluestone with Hype (& Why We Fall For It)

How Scammers, Grifters, & Con Artists are Taking Over the Internet – & Why We’re Following

Gabrielle Bluestone says we are at the natural end of a society primed to trust their own emotions over objective, verifiable facts.”   She joins us to share insight into why scammers do it, and why – despite the availability of myriad resources – we blindly believe what we’re told without verifying facts.

From celebrities to politicians, and the little-known, we discuss why we get sucked into their spiel. The role of influencers and social media. How messaging and soundbites create images that can make or break reputations and campaigns. Why Fyre was the greatest festival that never happened. Where greed plays a role. And why you shouldn’t trust cosmetic surgery photos because even they are often digitally altered.

About Gabrielle Bluestone

Gabrielle Bluestone is a journalist and licensed attorney from New York whose writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Observer, Sunday Times Magazine, and more. She’s the Emmy-nominated producer of Netflix’s  documentary Fyre. And the associate producer of Different Flowers, winner of the 2017 Kansas City FilmFest Festival Prize.

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History, Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction

May 05: The Explorer Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

ICEBOUND by Andrea Pitzer

In the 1500s, William Barents became the first Dutch polar explorer to set sail in an attempt to discover a northern route to China. Andrea Pitzer became fascinated by his story. So much so, that she did what all curious journalists would do—she set sail to retrace his journey.

We discuss what Andrea learned about Barents’ three Arctic expeditions, and some of the little known history around his challenges and successes. Andrea also shares how her own expedition to the Russian Arctic was life changing; what surprised her the most. And the highlight of her experience sailing on a tall ship, where she spent time high up the mast.

About Andrea Pitzer

Icebound: Shipwrecked At The Edge Of The World is the latest book by critically acclaimed author and journalist  Andrea Pitzer. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Vox, and Slate. Andrea’s two previous books are One Long Night and The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov.

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Biography, Journalism, Non Fiction

NOV 04: Sarah Smarsh with She Come by it Natural

Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs

“Country music…is how we talked to each other in a place where feelings aren’t discussed” writes Sarah Smarsh.

We discuss what Dolly Parton means to working class women living in poverty. Why Sarah describes Ms. Parton as the ultimate “woman of paradox.”  And why, despite her huge success as a sex symbol, creative genius, and philanthropic juggernaut, Dolly Parton does not consider herself a feminist. 

About Sarah Smarsh

Sarah Smarsh is a journalist who’s covered socioeconomic class, politics, and public policy for The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Harper’s. She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs is Smarsh’s second book. Her first, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, was a New York Times Bestseller, and a finalist for the National Book Award.

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Journalism, Non Fiction

Apr 22: Death in Mud Lick with Eric Eyre

Death In Mud Lick BookWhy would a  small town called Kermit, with a population of just 382 people, need 12 million pills in 3 years? In his new book, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Eric Eyre investigates the mysteries, tragedies, and government corruption behind the opioid crisis in West Virginia.

The counties where the story unfolds have the highest overdose rates in our country and Eric joins us to share some of his investigative journey to Death in Mud Lick. We discuss the importance of strong independent journalism, and community journalism in particular. The concept of sustained outrage. And how small actions can make a big difference.

Eric Eyre was a reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Mail more than 20 years. In 2017, his  series of investigations into massive shipments of opioids to West Virginia’s southern coalfields was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. His new book, Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic.

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Conservation, Environment, Journalism, Social Issues

SEP 02: Multi-time Award-winning Filmmaker John de Graaf

John de Graaf is one of the good guys in our world, always right there with the next important, life-affirming idea,” says The Giraffe Project’s Ann Medlock.  The late 70’s gave birth to John’s award-winning documentary film career that continues to this day.

Today, we’ll explore John’s career as a filmmaker and activist, and find out why he does what he does. We’ll hear about his latest film, REDEFINING PROSPERTIY, and some of the activism he’s engaged in. We’ll discover how John chooses projects, and how he navigated his own prolific creative path while still making a difference in people’s lives.

“I’m an author, filmmaker, speaker, and activist with a mission to help create a happy, healthy, and sustainable quality of life for America,” reads John’s mission statement.

With over 40 documentaries and countless short films to his credit, he has received over 100 regional, national, and international awards for filmmaking.  15 of his films have been broadcast nationally in primetime on PBS, and he has taught filmmaking at the University of Washington, Evergreen State College, and Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts.

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Conservation, Journalism, Non Fiction, Social Issues, Spirituality

JUL 01: James Hoggan’s I’m Right and You’re an Idiot & Aliza Kelly’s Starring You

If you’ve ever wanted firsthand access to some of the extraordianary thinkers of our time, look no further than I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up.  Author and communications expert James Hoggan shares their insights on how our will is manipulated through tribalism and misinformation, and how open-mindedness, empathy, and dialogue are crucial to our strength and unity.

Over the past two decades, James has earned a reputation as a tireless advocate for ethics and integrity in public relations, a field in which he is regarded as one of Canada’s leading professionals. He is president of the PR firm Hoggan & Associates and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation board.

Later, does astrology really work?  That is the question that our second guest, astrologer and author Aliza Kelly, refuses to prove.  Find out why, along with the connection between empathy and astrology as Aliza discusses her new book, Starring You.

Aliza is a New York City based astrologer, host and author, and is the resident astrologer for Cosmopolitan magazine.  She also hosts and podcast, writes horoscopes for Sanctuary, and has contributed to numerous publications including Allure, Bustle, Buzzfeed, and more.

 

 

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Conservation, Environment, Journalism, Social Issues

DEC 10: Award-winning Filmmaker John de Graaf

John de Graaf is one of the good guys in our world, always right there with the next important, life-affirming idea,” says The Giraffe Project’s Ann Medlock.  Beginning in the late 70’s, John embarked on an award-winning documentary film career that continues to this day.

Today we’ll explore John’s extensive career as a filmmaker and activist, and why he does what he does. We’ll hear about his latest film, REDEFINING PROSPERTIY, and some of the activism he’s engaged in. We’ll discover how John chooses projects, and how he navigated his own prolific creative path while still making a difference in people’s lives.

“I’m an author, filmmaker, speaker, and activist with a mission to help create a happy, healthy, and sustainable quality of life for America,” reads John’s mission statement.

With over 40 documentaries and countless shorter films to his credit, he has received over 100 regional, national, and international awards for filmmaking.  15 of his films have been broadcast nationally in primetime on PBS, and he has taught filmmaking at the University of Washington, Evergreen State College, and Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts.

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