Krista Speaks from the PulpitOver these past five years, I’ve been utterly charmed with the effort that’s put into producing a weekly national program. We’ve been making great commitments to reveal this part of the process through releasing Krista’s unedited interviews, videotaping editorial sessions and face-to-face interviews, and blogging about the correspondence we have among our staff and the ideas that inform our roles.

But, commitments require Krista (and sometimes staff) to speak at public and private events — ranging from speaking engagements at our funders’ board meetings to lectures at local public radio stations’ fundraising events. These forums can be quite inspirational and enlightening, revealing another aspect of Speaking of Faith’s mission to reach larger and more varied audiences.

My goal is to share more of this side of Krista and Speaking of Faith with you. One way to do this: put our managing producer’s iPhone to work. A savvy news person, to be sure, Kate’s also a poet and quite a wit — an exquisite match for Twitter (follow us @SOFtweets). She acceded to my request and so began the experimentation while Krista, at the invite of WLRN, spoke at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Miami:

I’ll be retweeting our managing producer’s Twitter fiesta from Krista’s event at Trinity in Miami tonight. Doing some catch-up now.
7:19 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos In the Green Room eating Sun Chips. That is not a product placement. http://twitpic.com/3uw9v
7:20 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos Miamians v. friendly plus equip seems to work. Winning combination! Plus warm here.
7:20 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos Am told Miami audinces come late. Don’t fret. I’ll manage my little punctual problem. Cuticles. Joke.
7:20 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos Krista and Mabel. Mabel makes everything work. http://twitpic.com/3uy30
7:21 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT our senior producer @mitchhanley @katemoos Glad to hear the equipment is working. How’s the turnout?
7:22 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos @mitchhanley Little hard to say but 400?
7:22 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos Krista sites Parker Palmer. To let the soul speak one must create quiet, trustworthy spaces.
7:23 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos @mitchhanley Sorry that was a typo. 300?
7:23 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos I am a drop in the ocean. But I am also the ocean. Larry Ward
7:24 PM Apr 23rd from web

@katemoos is on a roll. She was hesitant to commit to too much for Krista’s event tonight. Parker Palmer, Larry Ward, and Sun Chips Kate? :)
7:26 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT-1 @katemoos questioner here asks Krista to account for that Scottish singer.
7:28 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT-2 @katemoos KT’s theory on that is short. But she applauds intimacy of radio. Sound.
7:28 PM Apr 23rd from web

RT @katemoos Iphone battery death! GBye dear Tweets! From Miami, Katy Lou signing off.
7:31 PM Apr 23rd from web

Oh no! @katemoos is down. Any stealth twitter junkies in the Cathedral?!
7:32 PM Apr 23rd from web

@lance_agena Oh, back-ups, back-ups, back-ups. We always prepare for Krista but how about behind the curtains. I will or I’ll retweet if so.
7:38 PM Apr 23rd from web in reply to lance_agena

One final RT from our dear @katemoos: BTW anyone calls me KatyLou and I will find you and make you pay. Finito!

7:39 PM Apr 23rd from web

Well, we’ll be doing more of our regular twitter conversation. Next week Krista speaks in Cleveland, using her new format.
7:42 PM Apr 23rd from web

We’ll be sure to have @katemoos working the scene and we’ll give you a heads-up.
7:53 PM Apr 23rd from web

And, if you haven’t heard, Krista has a live public event on May 20th with Obama’s head of faith-based initiatives, Joshua DuBois!
7:56 PM Apr 23rd from web

Kate will be tweeting from Cleveland this Thursday and we’ll be doing more of these in the coming weeks — including Krista’s live conversation with Joshua DuBois, Obama’s head of faith-based initiatives — so please give us your feedback. We’re still finding our voice(s) and style for this format.


Share Your Reflection

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Reflections

I wonder how this relates, for you all, to the points made in Krista's conversation with John Kabat -Zinn about mindfulness?
I work in music, and one of my closest friends is a musician [okay, almost all my friends are]. point being, I know what's it's like to be there at a public presentation which is new for the audience but which you've seen, enjoyed -- and evaluated -- many times before. the longer I do this, with music, the more i learn that both for the person on stage and for anyone I may tell about it, personally or professionally, it is important for me to be present there. meet work demands, yes, but be present, even if I have heard that song or that story a hundred times. I'd think twittering, however connecitng it may seem to be, would take away from this?

My work life is a series of compromises. We want to be there for Krista and attend to line producing events like this. This is a concern Kate and I discussed yesterday. We also want to serve our audiences better and more completely. I consider it a great privilege to be able to attend these events, and many people can't for many different reasons. And sometimes writing up the event afterward doesn't capture the spirit of the moment, of the audience, of the person communicating.

Being mindful, in my opinion, is more than being solely attentive. I believe the benefit to be nobler and that we are better stakeholders and journalists when we share these experiences in whatever format possible for that situation. I long for these speeches to be recorded on video or on tape, but the overhead is too much. Perhaps viewing technology as an obstacle or a vehicle for dissonance does a disservice to the focus it may bring — that a different type of clarity and deep listening is involved, and in the process certain points are highlight. It's much like editing: some points are lost in order to give greater prominence to other poignant ones.

There are always costs when making these trade-offs. I fear that in striving to be mindful a certain solipsism takes over. But, you are right. Making these decisions are always a struggle. I try to make the best ones I can and hope that others are served well in the process.

Kerry, right after I wrote this, I asked Kate to weigh in since she's the one who has most recently done this. She said to me (somewhat to my surprise) that she thinks Twittering may help her be more mindful and be in the present. The medium actually encourages her to ask herself, "What I am I doing right now?" "How am I feeling right now?" "What am I thinking right now?"

Trent,
I think for me that sort of discrete thinking, if I understand Kate and you correctly, would not be what I'd want to do while at an event, but that's just me. I see how it might work well and also be of service to listeners [and I've never meant to suggest otherwise, by the way, just figured you all had given this sort of thing some serious thought before you did it and wanted to hear about that]. I did some live blogging for MPR during the inauguration [I was in Ireland, giving a perspective on coverage there] but that to me was a rather different thing than being at and/or working a live event. useful experience but reservations about it. as you could guess.

I entirely understand the dilemma and your reservations. I have the same ongoing concerns, although mine revolve more around multitasking as I'm gathering content on the road. Mitch (senior producer) and I have spoken about this at some length too.

Trying to capture good audio, acquire video, shoot stills, blog, tweet, etc. while on location with only one or two people becomes too much. I often feel like a failure after these production trips. In choosing to do many things, what's sacrificed? I'm trying to make better decisions once I get there to choose my poison and stick with telling the story that way -- albeit with some regret at times knowing that I've missed an opportunity on film, for example.

Live blogging for MPR in Ireland: Minnesota Public Radio?

definitely have faced/still face all those choices. I find that the longer I do it, when planning to write about an event the fewer notes I take -- still experimenting with that. also leads me to say, if you have the inclination, take a look at what I do with music and stills at http://kerrydexter.shutterfly..... ways of thinking about the music, telling the story, and taking notes as well, sometimes.

yes, MPR=Minnesota Public Radio

"choosing your poison" = maybe choosing your style of storytelling?
or the context in which you choose to set it? no bad thing-- makes the story more clear, albeit through what you've chosen

I do find the enforced concision of Twitter exacts a certain discipline that has a dimension of awareness and self-awareness. It requires me to focus on what matters. And what matters, in 140 characters, may or may not be a linear account of events. It might be a succinct appraisal of how an event or a moment in time makes me feel, or an association it brings to mind. It also--invention being the mother of necessity--forces creative use of language, and causes me to stretch my vocabulary. Or make words up. Like, "bwah!" a current fave at the office.
Tools like Twitter may cause the world to go to hell in a hand basket if it means no one reads The Brothers Karamazov anymore. Or writes big fat serious literature. But short of that dire outcome, it actually invites creative use of language very much in the moment.
I do not Twitter from my yoga class, however. Nor can I imagine Twittering on a silent retreat, for example. But in other devotional settings, I think it could be done quite effectively.

it's not the concision that bothers me. I'd bet most song lyrics are 140 characters or less a line, and lots of poetry. it's the focus on translating what I am thinking/feeling experiencing into words as I'm experiencing it that gives me pause. not saying it's a bad thing, just perhaps for me, more balance between immediacy and reflection is right for the way I work. really interesting to read your twitter streams after the fact, though, Kate, and it sounds as though you're learning things from doing them.

Trent,
I like your point about attentiveness being like editing. It is . I've always been a bit wary of mindfulness as something to srtive for -- a discipline, sure, but as you point out, one may become too aware of it, not enough -- either of which gets in the way.

I've done loads of live music coverage over the years, in all sorts of situations, as a writer, photographer, and producer and it is always a challenge -- an engaging one, to be sure -- to find the balance of immediacy with other sorts of context. It's not about me, it's? about the music. and the interaction/intersection of audience, music, and performer, I sometimes think, and those who see my take on an event will learn what they need to know about me from my choices. Yet, I am the one who is there and others are not, so I have wider context. New ways to work within all these ideas as things such as twitter develop.

thanks for continuing the conversation.

apples