September 30th, 2007
06:14 PM ET

Your Opinion: Traffic Signs

Monday's show took you to Bohmte, Germany, where traffic signs are a thing of the past.  (You can check out the video right here.)  The mayor says fewer rules would result in fewer accidents and more attention to driving; an insurance representative says that without signs, there would be more deaths and injuries.  What would your town be like without street signs?  Would you feel safer?  Would this work in large cities as well as smaller ones?  We're looking forward to your comments!

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
September 27th, 2007
10:07 PM ET

Off the Beaten Path

One question I get asked a lot is what my favorite stories are.  You'll find most of them in our "Off the Beaten Path" reports.

From the world's most expensive ice cream sundae (it costs a thousand bucks!) to runners in gorilla suits to anything with a Chihuahua in it, the offbeat stuff is always the most fun, if not the most important.  My friends joke that I'm a little off the beaten path...

So while I enjoy reporting on everything from political headlines to video game studies, I always wrap up an offbeat segment with a smile – usually because I can't help it.

And if you're wondering what my deal is with Chihuahuas, let's just say that a pet I used to have appears regularly in one of our graphics, and I'm convinced they're the best dogs on the planet.

Filed under: Behind the scenes
September 25th, 2007
09:04 PM ET

Thanks for Writing In!

You guys are awesome.  We were really impressed with the number and quality of responses we received after asking for your opinions on the Iranian leader's speech at Columbia University.  You can check out the original posting by our producer, Gerald Smith, here.

We hope this blog becomes a place where you'll regularly log on and sound off.  Any show can give you information; we want to include what you have to say.  So please tell us your thoughts on anything you see on our program or in this blog, especially if you have a unique view on something or feel differently than the other folks who write in.  We won't criticize you, but we will be happy to hear from you.

Oh, and many of you did a nice job on spelling the Iranian president's name.  I won a county spelling bee back in the day, but I was never asked to spell "Ahmadinejad." 

Filed under: Uncategorized
September 24th, 2007
09:24 PM ET

Your Opinion: Ahmadinejad at Columbia

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made quite an impression at New York's Columbia University on Monday. You can read all about it here, and it's our top story on Tuesday's CNN Student News.

His appearance at Columbia sparked protests and demonstrations outside the university. Protesters cited Ahmadinejad's views on the Holocaust, Israel, and Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism as reasons why he should not be allowed to speak. But, as a bastion of higher learning, and a place for open debate, does his visit make perfect sense? You tell us.

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Filed under: News Coverage
September 24th, 2007
05:54 PM ET

An Issue of Timing

We had a tough call to make in today's editorial meeting:  whether or not to air a story on the United Auto Workers' strike against General Motors.  Usually, our discussion revolves around how we approach a story, how we can explain it in an interesting and clear way, and what kinds of interstitials we can work in (a Word to the Wise on either "strike" or "union" was being considered).

Today, though, we had to think of timing.  Shortly after the strike began, union leaders said they were willing to resume negotiations, and General Motors said it was hopeful for a quick deal despite the start of the strike.  So it put us in a bit of a bind:  What if, after our show was finished, the strike ended?  Students on Tuesday would be hearing a story about a strike, but if it were over by then, we'd be awfully dated.

So we decided to hold off on this story until either a gridlock or a deal is reached.

Filed under: News Coverage
September 21st, 2007
10:28 AM ET

Classroom freebies coming

In the business, this is known as a tease. But your friends at CNN Student News will soon have details about a cool (we think anyway) promotion, so stay tuned...

Filed under: Uncategorized
September 20th, 2007
10:18 PM ET

Switching It Up

We’re dynamic, y’all!  Start off with a Shoutout?  Sure.  Add different maps or interstitial segments?  Yeah, boy!  There aren’t a lot of set rules for our format, so we’re working on switching it up a bit to keep things cooking.  This includes everything from when we air our interactive segments to how we set up the camera.  (This week, I had a few stand-up shots in front of the plasma-screen TV.  Last Friday, we were in a different studio altogether, with a huge wall behind me that showed off our graphics.)

We’re always looking for new approaches to our show, so if you have any suggestions or comments (thank you, Mr. Langhorst), please be sure to send ‘em our way.  And have a great and safe weekend – we know the Autumnal Equinox can get pretty crazy.  Or not.

Filed under: Uncategorized
September 18th, 2007
09:55 PM ET

“You Go, Girl!”

Ugh – just typing it makes me cringe.  Our writer, Jordan Bienstock, once asked me if there was anything I didn't ever want to say on air.  The phrase, "You go, girl" was the only thing that came to mind.  It's got enough cheese to fill Wisconsin.

So, to have a little fun after Wednesday's "Before We Go" segment, Mr. Bienstock thought it'd be humorous to write that very phrase for me to read.

I got my revenge just before saying goodbye.

Filed under: Behind the scenes
September 18th, 2007
09:55 PM ET

Letters for Youssif

We've received some requests (thank you, Ms. Mason!) for an address where students can send letters to Youssif, the five-year-old Iraqi boy who was badly burned in an attack.  He's now undergoing treatment at the Childrens Burn Foundation in California.  Here's where you can send him your well wishes:

Youssif – Care of Keely Quinn

Childrens Burn Foundation

5000 Van Nuys Blvd, Suite 300

Sherman Oaks, CA 91403-1784

Thank you all for your e-mail concerning this story.  We're sure Youssif would approve.

Filed under: Uncategorized
September 16th, 2007
07:49 PM ET

It's Constitution Day!

...And there's no way we'd let you down.  Now we're a little short on video of the Founding Fathers, but we could've asked our graphics artist to draw up some pictures of men in wigs debating how to run a country.  That might've made a fine history lesson.  But our goal was to show how the Constitution isn't just something historical that you can see at the National Archives; it's something that's alive and working for us just as much as the day it was signed (and I don't care if that sounds cheesy – it's true!).

So we looked at some recent actions of the president, the Congress, and the Supreme Court to show how the Constitution applies to daily life in 2007.  And we hope today's story will help you recognize that the world's oldest governing document that's still in use is also still keeping the country on track.

Filed under: News Coverage
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