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The Obligation of Being a Professional Communicator


I don’t usually do this on my blog, but I am stepping onto my soapbox. I am not going to talk about the causes of violence, constitutional amendments or civil rights. I have my feelings about all of those, but this is not the place.

What I am going to talk about is the obligation that I share with many others... that of being a professional communicator. I studied journalism and worked in the field for many years. I left in part because I became frustrated with the path that it was on (and have since become even more frustrated). Journalism is about reporting and discovering the truth, not spewing opinions and repeating the same images repeatedly until they imprint upon the brain.

Many of you reading my blog have the knowledge to create. Perhaps it’s graphics, photos, or videos. You know how to tell a story and show meaning. I challenge you to do so for something that matters.

Right now we have a world that is racing towards ignorance. In the last few weeks I have seen the following acts occur.
  • A sensationalized story milking an act of random kindness between a homeless man and a police officer. Where is the social justice of staffing and supporting shelters for those who’ve lost the path to self-sufficiency?
  • A newspaper running a photo and story of a man pushed to his death on a train platform. Nothing was to be gained by running the photo except pure profit.
  • Politically chest puffing over a country that continues to plummet towards greater financial instability.
  • The refusal to pass a UN proclamation protecting the rights of those with disabilities.
  • A rush to dissect and blame the horrible deaths of school children and teachers. Everyone offered up solutions and things to blame. So few mourned or took time to experience grief.

Here is my challenge to you. Start showing the world what type of place it can be. Document the good works that happen in your world. Showcase the causes and people that need volunteers and money. Give of your time to help others, but most importantly your talents. Help spread the word through the power of photos, videos, writing, and viviid imagery.

You have talent.... Please start making a difference with it. Choose clients wisely, donate your time and skill where you can. Think before you repost something rooted in hate. The ability for humans to show kindness and compassion still exists.

I know we can be better... I know I can be better.

Please let’s start working together to make the world better.

Use the comments below to offer stories you know of or causes that can use help.

Here are a few groups that I’ve interacted with that make a difference. You can get involved with them or another.

If you need to find other causes, this site is good at understanding charities and their efficiency in getting their work done.

The Obligation of Being a Professional Communicator Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Dec 16, 2012 at 7:27:19 amComments (5) Personal

What I Remember About 9/11

NOTE: This is a personal statement and has nothing to do with technology or video. It does have to do with my core beliefs and events that have shaped me. It is opinionated and it is emotional. I originally only posted it to a private Facebook page, but was encouraged to share it. I hope it makes you think and believe that the world can be a better place.


What I remember most about today was being in a classroom teaching 1 mile away from the Pentagon.
We were just taking a break and a student said that a plane had just crashed into New York City. We were all confused and concerned.
This was before the news groups put much on the net.  This was before the web video revolution.  We just didn't know.
The first plane hit New York and we were stunned. Then the second and we knew something was terribly wrong.
Soon we could see the smoke and hear the sirens. Rumors that explosions and fires were throughout DC spread.  Students were panicked and we had to keep them calm.  I had to hold that classroom together and make sure that people didn't leave.
Eventually we all went home... numb. Everyone was driving about 3 miles and hour. All I could think about was my family and loved ones.  We couldn't really talk much, couldn't get a phone line.  Somehow I let people know that I was OK.
Got home to my wife... we all just sat there in shock.  I had to stop watching TV.  I couldn't stand to see what was happening.
Through work, I got to help a very important client.  The American Red Cross was my client and we put together several important commercials to raise money and help the healing.  I remember waiving most of my billing so I could help.

These are real people… not actors. These are true stories that I had the honor to edit.

It was hard to see the pain.  Even harder to look at the footage from Ground Zero that the Red Cross had and couldn't share. About a year after the event, I was asked to edit together footage to honor the first responders.
Here is a link to that video... it is very painful for me to watch.  But I think it helps people rise above.

What we need now is for the good in people to rise. We need a nation that is united in the belief of making a better world and not one where people just look out for themselves. We need to move past hatred, past partisanship, past economic inequity, and all of the things that just lead to greed and evil.
Now is the time to remember and rise.

What I Remember About 9/11 Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Sep 11, 2011 at 7:36:31 pm Personal

I've Seen the Future?


For this week, I will be posting several blog entries in advance. I am taking a proper vacation, one that will include little social media, blogging, or email (and lots of rum drinks, sun, and ocean breeze).

It is time for a family getaway... I'll recharge my batteries, get some great photos, and be back real soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy the posts from the future. I've put a particular emphasis on your economic well-being... so I hope these resources help.


I've Seen the Future? Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:07:00 pm Personal

Giving Thanks

I just wanted to make a quick list of people who've helped me in my professional life... this list is not complete (and is being written in a moving car). Thanks for all the help through the years.

  • Scott Bourne
  • Robbie Carman
  • Amy Delouise
  • Michelle Gallina
  • Larry Hawk
  • Serena Herr
  • Karyn Johnson
  • Scott Kelby
  • Craig Kornmesser
  • Ben Kozuch
  • Dave Legg
  • Ron Lindeboom
  • Dave Moser
  • John Pascuzzi
  • Nancy Peterson
  • Paul Temme
  • Jack Tow
  • Mark Weiser

Thanks again... you let me do what I do... and have made me better in some way.

Giving Thanks Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Nov 25, 2010 at 12:30:31 pm Personal


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