Should A’s worry Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray will choose football?

first_imgOklahoma’s star quarterback Kyle Murray reiterated his plan is to leave football behind after this season and focus on playing baseball for the A’s.But should the A’s, who signed Murray for nearly $5 million, be worried he’ll change his mind?Murray, who has become a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy during his spectacular season for Oklahoma, didn’t exactly squash speculation Monday.“I feel like I can play in the NFL,” Murray told reporters in Oklahoma. “But as far as giving …last_img read more

South African journalists shortlisted in global awards

first_imgInvestigative journalists risk their own safety when exposing corruption and crime. The Global Investigative Journalism Network honours those fearless reporters with the Global Shining Light Award. A South African team has been shortlisted for the award this year, following the win by another South African team in 2013. A team of South African journalists has been shortlisted for the Global Shining Light Award, to be handed out on 10 October in Norway. (Image: Pixabay)• The Conversation goes live in Africa• Suzelle’s DIY takes South Africa by storm• South Africa’s women in politics• South Africa’s Rugby World Cup journey• South Africa in top 20 best places to raise children Priya PitamberA South African investigative journalism story, “Goldfinger”, which aired on television current affairs show Carte Blanche, has been shortlisted in the Global Shining Light Awards.The story, which explores the manner in which tons of illegal gold is laundered into the legal market, made the cut alongside 12 other stories from around the world. The illegal gold, the story explains, is masked as second-hand jewellery. “So lucrative is this VAT scam that it has drawn sophisticated and dangerous organised crime gangs into the trade,” reads the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) website.The finalists were chosen after the GIJN received 76 submissions from 34 countries. The awards will take place on 10 October in Lillehammer, Norway, during the Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC).The team behind the “Goldfinger” story is producer Graham Coetzer; journalist Susan Comrie; and Devi Sankaree Govender as presenter.Watch more on the story here:What is the Global Shining Light Award?The award “honours investigative journalism in a developing or transitioning country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions”, states the GIJC website. It takes place every two years.The winner walks away with an honorary plaque, $1 000 (about R13 700 today), and a trip to the conference to accept the award.Congrats to the 12 finalists of the Global Shining Light! Winner will be announced at #GIJC15— GIJN (@gijn) September 19, 2015“More and more journalists are being killed, and media outlets attacked, because they are carrying out important efforts in investigative journalism – exposing uncomfortable truths, shining light on systematic corruption, and providing accountability in societies yearning for democracy and development,” informs the conference’s website.The awards recognise and celebrate the brave work conducted by the investigative press around the world. The majority of the press in sub-Saharan Africa is partially free. Click on the image for a larger view. (Image: US News)Previous South African winnersIn 2013, a team of South African journalists from the Sunday Times shared the top award with reporters from Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic.The South African team, Stephan Hofstatter, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, and Rob Rose; worked on what became known as “Cato Manor: Inside a South African Police Death Squad.” It exposed police corruption.Find out more about that story from Afrika, and the threats he faced:last_img read more

Tech trends fostering new links to consumers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Retail grocers and innovative farmers are using technology and new store concepts to address changing demographics, capitalize on new shopping trends, and bring consumers closer to the source of their food.Smart phones have now become the most important kitchen tool. They’re used to look up recipes, research brands and ingredients, check prices, interact with foodie friends, get advice from experts and key influencers, and trace the origins of food items. Statistics show that food accounts for the most popular posts on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and other major social media sites. Consumers also use social media to engage directly with farmers.Grocers and others in the food industry now are scrambling to meet the desires of Millennials, who recently overtook Baby Boomers as the largest working population in the U.S. A recent study conducted by Deloitte, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute showed that beyond the traditional drivers of taste, price and convenience, more than half of Millennials make purchase decisions by weighing “evolving drivers” — including health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience and transparency.Millennials treat grocery shopping as part of their social activities. They’ll meet for coffee, an in-store restaurant experience or cooking class and then pick up a few groceries. They’re willing to save on budget items in order to spend more on select luxury foods, often meeting friends to build their shopping trip around a particular recipe. Upscale markets have even become hot dating sites in some urban areas.Grocery stores are retooling to accommodate consumers’ changing tastes to include more story-telling as part of the shopping experience. With more than 80 percent of the U.S. population living in urban areas, few consumers will ever visit a farm. Retailers and farmers are using technology and innovative new store concepts to bring farms to consumers.• A new Whole Foods flagship store in Alpharetta, Georgia, features interactive digital elements like Instagram feeds to show produce being grown at local farms which supply the store.• BrightFarms Hydroponic Gardens is working with more than a half dozen grocery chains to build and manage hydroponic greenhouses on store rooftops, or in nearby parking garages and empty lots. Farmers trained by BrightFarms will grow tomatoes, salad greens and herbs for local sale and delivery. They’re also planning a 100,000 square foot farm in Brooklyn that will be able to grow a million pounds of produce each year.• The Farmery is developing a transportable “aquaponics store” made of stacked shipping containers. Reversible growing panels will allow customers to pick their own strawberries and leafy greens. Empty panels can be replaced by new panels from other containers stacked above the store level.• Wegmans Food Markets recently announced a new, on-site mill in the bakery of its Pittsford, New York, location. The first-of-its-kind, the mill will be used to grind raw grains, featuring Einkorn and rye sourced from a nearby farm. Commodity groups are also fostering innovation. The California Avocado Commission is receiving accolades for its creative approach to connecting with shoppers during the Super Bowl.  Every time a food or beverage commercial aired, they posted Twitter links to videos showing how California avocados would pair with it – from beer to soft drinks, snacks to grilled foods and even candy bars.More innovation is coming still! Consumers already can use their phones to scan bar codes or read Radio Frequency Identification tags in a grocery store to see ingredients, look up recipes and get more of the story behind their food. Increasingly, customers are able to use their phones to learn more about the farms or ranches where their food was grown, or even chat with the farmer who grew it.Thanks to social media tools, more farmers are making farm and ranch life come alive for consumers. This increased interaction is more important now with fewer and fewer consumers living near a farm or ranch. Innovative shopping trends and technology are bringing consumers and farmers closer together than ever before.last_img read more

GIVEAWAY! Win An All Expenses Paid Trip to NAB Show

first_imgPACKAGE INCLUDES:• 3 night hotel stay at the LVH• Roundtrip airfare from the US• Pass to NAB Show• $500 spending money UPDATE: THE CONTEST HAS NOW ENDED.  Thanks to all who entered. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for info on future giveaways!Royalty free music leader, in partnership with, is giving away an all expenses paid trip to the 2013 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada – an $1,800 value! One lucky winner will be chosen at random and contacted on 11/17/12.Must be over 18 to enter. Open to international entrants, void where prohibited. Official giveaway rules here.About NAB ShowThe annual NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada is the world’s leading trade show for video, film and media content creators. With nearly 100,000 attendees from across the globe, NAB showcases the latest gear and equipment from from exhibiting companies and organizations.About is an online community led by DSLR authority Dave Dugdale. Dave share’s his passion for creating high quality DSLR videos in his frequent video tutorials, product reviews and engaging interviews. Check out THE STORE, a new extension of that provides high-quality in-depth video tutorials and training on DSLR cameras, equipment and techniques.last_img read more

3 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Team’s Accountability

first_imgIt isn’t easy to create or maintain a culture of accountability, one where people are responsible for their results. Most organizations have too little accountability and struggle to create an environment where it can take hold. Autocratic leaders are often so strong in their unrealistic demands that the people in their charge work to survive, working together to tell a good story. Leaders who are too democratic and seek consensus for everything, including accountability, seem to provide “suggestions,” lessening responsibility from those who believe their opposition provides them with options. Here are three ways leaders destroy their team’s accountability.Lack of Goals and TargetsIf people don’t have a goal, then you are missing the first essential ingredient for creating a culture of accountability. If you don’t have a target, then any performance is acceptable. There has to be something to measure your performance against, some standard, for there to be accountability.Where accountability is missing, there is often a lack of clear goals. People may be working hard, and they may want to succeed, but without a target, they can end up doing too little or working too hard on things that don’t matter. With clear goals, you define what is most important, and you provide people with strong direction and a sense of purpose.Because a leader is the one responsible for delivering the future, they are responsible for establishing goals and targets. Accountability depends on clarity on the goals, targets, and initiatives. Without goals and targets, not only will people find themselves caught up in “The Drift,” but the organization will find itself going in a direction at odds with what you want.Lack of Clarity on How to Achieve GoalsBecause people have a specific title or occupy a particular role, you can believe they know how to achieve their goals. Maybe some of the people in your charge know how to reach their goals without you providing any guidance. However, as many or more will have no clarity as to how they are supposed to reach their goals. Building a culture of accountability requires that you ensure people know how they are supposed to achieve their goals.Here is a terrible and oft-repeated sales-related example. The leader decides that fast growth is necessary and doubles everyone’s quota. The team has never reached its existing quota but are now required to double it. While it is good to have a clear goal, even a monstrous stretch goal, if you can’t tell people how they are supposed to achieve their goal, you cannot expect them to be able to tell you how they’re going to do it.The single biggest mistake I made as a young leader was believing I could hire people with experience and not have to manage or hold them accountable. You have to lead, coach, and develop your leaders, too. Cultures of accountability tend to have more discipline around coaching. They value initiative and resourcefulness in their people, but they also coach their people on how they are pursuing their goals, making adjustments, identifying additional resources, and removing obstacles (all necessary tasks required of leaders).Without a plan to reach your goals, you are not likely to reach them. If you do reach your goals without a plan, your goal probably wasn’t what you were capable of delivering.No Inspection of OutcomesAs a leader, you may want to believe that your people are working hard and achieving their goals. You may believe that you shouldn’t have to impose frequent meetings for people to report their progress. In the worst cases, you might allow the complaining to cause you to remove meetings or make them less frequent. When this is true, you are lessening—or eliminating—accountability.There is a fundamental problem with looking at metrics and reports at the end of the quarter; these reports are an autopsy. When the body is already dead, there is nothing you can do for it. You are too late. The meetings and milestones along the way provide you with something more like a visit to a medical professional, someone who can give you information about what ails you and what you should do about it—before you suffer some more significant consequence.The most common sales-related version of this accountability killer is sales leaders and sales managers who refuse to look at the number of new opportunities their team creates each week, not wanting to impose a prospecting discipline. Because there is no accountability for the creation of new opportunities, they discover too late that their pipeline wasn’t capable of delivering their goal.If the goal isn’t important enough for you to inspect it as frequently as is necessary, you destroy accountability by allowing people to believe it is a suggestion, not a goal.On SuggestionsWhen people don’t have clear goals, a clear understanding of how they are to reach them, and frequent inspections of their progress, you don’t have accountability; you have suggestions. A suggestion implies that something is optional, and if it is optional, people are being given permission to opt-out. Recommendations don’t provide for accountability. Neither does neglect.Like anything else, the establishment and maintenance of a culture of accountability are made up of a few simple—but challenging—disciplines religiously adhered to over time. Without these disciplines, accountability will be absent, and so will the results that only responsibility provides.last_img read more