About that ‘Roots’ remake …

‘Roots’ Remake Strong for Kids, But Tells Brutal Truths Almost four decades after the original, the History Channelreimagining of Alex Haley’s account of his family history goes into uncomfortable, but necessary details By Deborah Douglas, May 30, 2016 The Memorial Day airing of the History Channel’s reimagined slavery epic Roots ain’t your mama’s Roots from back in the…

Viola Davis’ big wig reveal …

I wondered for weeks when Viola Davis was going to get rid of that awful wig she wore the first season of Shonda Rhimes’ “How to Get Away With Murder.” As an expert in the politics of nappy hair, I knew the night she did so, it would be a talker. So why not start…

New take a song of the summer

A staple of summer features coverage would not be complete with a story or two about the song(s) of the summer. From Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” to Hanson’s “MMM Bop,” these are the songs that mark time and memories, hopefully the good ones. I couldn’t pass up the chance to take a different…

Consulting: Nielsen Knows …

I consulted with The Nielsen Company to leverage their rich data and intelligence around consumer habits by crafting accessible messages for company spokespersons.

Messaging: Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network

As a consultant, I have worked with organizations and individuals to support their communications needs, including Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network (GOH). In the Chicago-region, there is a great need for minority organ donors, and I have teamed up to organize and promote donor drives and messaging campaigns to accomplish this goal….

Audience development: Otherwise known as Fluff

OK, but seriously, Reader media critic Mike Miner called to make fun of Fluff , the Sun-Times and me for doing something publishers do all the time: Launch profitable titles that satisfy reader appetites. In addition to developing Fluff, I had spent the previous three years incubating Controversy, a Sunday analysis section in the Sun-Times….

Body & More magazine

My team at Thomson Target Media (a division of Thomson Corp.) spent weeks brainstorming a name for our new healthy living publication where I served as editor-in-chief. We focused-grouped names, and those that made it through were thwarted by the trademark process. Then one day, I came to work early; I wanted to get a…

Kaiser Foundation Fellowship: Tanzania

In 2009, I was selected as a Kaiser Family Foundation/NABJ Fellow to study malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention in Tanzania, which informed my writing on a range of issues, including PEPFAR and the George W. Bush presidential legacy.

Sperm bank moms: An open letter at XoJane

I’m thinking 13,000 shares means this piece on a litigious couple suing their sperm bank touched a nerve. The piece was picked up by Time. I wrote about it at Xojane.com. Clearly, the plaintiff deserved redress for sloppy work at the Chicago-area sperm bank which mixed up a sample. However, details in the lawsuit proved…