• New York

    National Geographic Society Names Azu Nwagbogu Explorer at Large

    Nigerian Curator and Visionary Azu Nwagbogu will be recognized as an ambassador for the global nonprofit organization

    Photo of Explorer at Large Azu Nwagbogu

    The National Geographic Society has appointed Nigerian curator, thinker and visionary Azu Nwagbogu as a National Geographic Explorer at Large on January 25th.

    As an Explorer at Large, Nwagbogu will serve as an ambassador for the National Geographic Society and receive support to continue his storytelling work across Africa and globally. The National Geographic Explorer at Large title is bestowed on a select few global changemakers. Nwagbogu joins iconic National Geographic Explorers such as Shahidul Alam, Bob Ballard, Sylvia Earle, Maya Lin, Rodrigo Medellín and the late Thomas Lovejoy.

    “As an organization grounded in storytelling, we could not be more thrilled to name Azu to this role,” said Jill Tiefenthaler, Chief Executive Officer, National Geographic Society. “For over two decades, he has created and cultivated spaces to elevate African art, stories and the African diaspora globally. Azu is a visionary who understands that in order to break barriers, we must break new ground in storytelling and we are excited to work together to expand his incredible work.”

    A world renowned curator, Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non-profit organization based in Lagos, Nigeria that is dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary African arts and artists. Prior to that, he served as the Interim Director/Head Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa. He also serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography held in Lagos. He is the creator of Art Base Africa, a virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary African Art.

    “My passion for image making and visual storytelling has been influenced by the work of explorers of all disciplines,” said Nwagbogu. “To be a part of this diverse community involved in addressing the urgent ecological concerns of survival, biodiversity, climate change and other contemporary issues of the Anthropocene that threaten our common humanity is truly humbling. I am honored to be amongst global change makers in the cohort of National Geographic Explorers at Large.”

    “Azu has spent his career curating and championing African stories and storytelling talent,” said Kaitlin Yarnall, the Society’s Chief Storytelling Officer. “We are thrilled to recognize his work and the opportunity to collaborate with him to help bring those stories to audiences across the globe. Azu’s bold and compelling storytelling work is the embodiment of how the Society creates impact though its community of Explorers.”

    In this role, Nwagbogu will receive an annual stipend and access to additional grant opportunities from the Society to support work that’s aligned with the Society’s mission to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.

    About National Geographic Society

    The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

  • New York

    12 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers by Rocky Parker

    Kicking it back into high gear after the holidays can be a challenge, not least of all for journalists and bloggers. Many writers are feeling overwhelmed and likely burned out from a hectic year in the media. It’s not the best mindset in which to begin the new year.

    But setting some new year’s resolutions can be a great way to get off on the right foot. Whether you’re back in the office or still working from home, working for a large publisher or starting your own freelance journey, these resolutions for writers can help freshen up your writing and your routine.

    Before you decide on the specific goals, though, it’s important to understand what’s doable for you and what you believe you can handle. Toastmasters recently shared some helpful goal-setting tips to help you achieve your resolutions.

    Once you’re ready to make specific, actionable goals, check out these ideas for inspiration.

    1. Add more diversity to your sources

    Improving the diversity of sources in your stories allows you to present a more fair and complete picture and ensure your story is relevant to your audiences. If it’s not a company initiative, make it a personal one. NiemanLab offers four tips for improving your source diversity:

    • Broaden your definition of what makes an expert.
    • Build relationships before you need sources.
    • Let them know what to expect.
    • Practice cultural competence.

    And while you’re ensuring your sources are more diverse, it’s also important to make sure your content is accessible to a wide audience. Here are some tips to make your content more accessible.

    Tip: Need to connect with subject matter experts for your next story? Fill out a ProfNet query form to get matched with relevant sources. Here are some experts that recently made themselves available to reporters.

    2. Try a new medium

    Creating content in a different way can help you see the story from a new angle, appeal to a different audience, and learn a new skill. Switch it up this year and make (or guest-spot on) a podcast. Have a post that would be best with some sort of visual element? Use one of these tools to create an eye-catching video or infographic for your social media profiles or blog. Always write long-form posts? Have fun with a shorter listicle, Q&A, or how-to article.

    3. Use a new tool or app

    There’s an app for everything, right? Make a goal to try out a different app or online tool to help make your day-to-day easier. Check out this list of our favorite tools, which includes options to help with brainstorming, social media, multimedia creation, organization, and writing.

    4. Write something different

    Feeling burned out with writing about COVID-19, politics, or Twitter drama? Give yourself a break and try writing a story for a different beat. If that’s not an option, get creative and use writing prompts to practice writing short stories, poetry, or even a nonfiction novel. It could be a nice way to flex those creative writing muscles, which maybe haven’t seen the light of day in a while.

    5. Refresh your workspace

    The pandemic taught us that switching up our work environment can be a welcome change. If you’re working from home permanently, make a goal this year to reconfigure your desk, work from a different room several days a week, or try working outside. If you need to get out of the house, work from a local café or library.

    If you’re unable to physically change your work location, just changing the sounds in your space can have a positive impact. This site has a massive library of background noises to boost your productivity and transport you somewhere else.

    6. Learn to code

    Having at least a basic knowledge of coding has multiple benefits for journalists, but many aren’t taught about it in school. Not only is it an in-demand skill for employers, but an understanding of coding can give journalists more independence in their work and improve their abilities to uncover unique stories.

    Set a goal this year to boost your skills in coding.

    7. Take a social media break

    At this point, who isn’t burned out on social media? If you’re making goals this year that revolve around your mental health, make a resolution to set aside some time when those social media notifications won’t be a distraction. Whether it’s certain times of the day, days of the week, or even taking an extended break from social media (if doable with your job), quieting that noise can be hugely beneficial.

    8. Let that project go

    Sometimes you need to realize that a project just isn’t for you anymore and it’s time to say goodbye. But don’t consider it a failure. Occasionally, the story just doesn’t come together and it’s best to move on to another project.

    9. Attend a workshop or conference

    It’s easy to get stuck in our ways and get too comfortable. Attending a workshop or conference can be a great way to learn skills in a new area, network with industry experts and fellow writers, and improve your writing. The good news is there’s a conference for just about everything – and many are still offering virtual options if travel isn’t in the cards (or budget). Plan ahead and check out these upcoming events for journalists and bloggers.

    Are you hosting an upcoming webinar or conference perfect for journalists and bloggers? Let the team know.

    10. Upgrade your tech

    A new monitor, keyboard, or mouse can make a bigger difference than you’d think. If your monitor’s been straining your eyes, your chair’s been hurting your back, or your mouse has been hurting your hand/wrist, it can have negative impacts on your mood and work, not to mention your health. Make a goal to splurge (if you’re a freelancer) or put in a request with work to upgrade your workstation.

    11. Work the climate crisis into your writing

    You may not write for a climate or environment beat, but in some way or another, the climate crisis is sure to impact the industry you cover. Publishers are boosting climate coverage and the content is attracting more interest from advertisers, so it needs to be on your radar. Make a goal for 2023 to look at the bigger picture and factor in the climate crisis and its effects into your content.

    Looking for Environmental, Social & Governance news? We’ve got you covered.

    12. Don’t make resolutions

    Yes, you may have come to this post in search of a goal for the year, but we feel this one is necessary to mention. Resolutions don’t work for everyone, and that’s OK. Resolutions can create anxiety and feelings of guilt if they don’t quite work out the way we thought they would.

    And after several years of stress, maybe giving yourself yet another task to accomplish isn’t what’s best for you. Perhaps just taking the year (and its challenges) as they come and continuing to just do you is what’s going to lead to the best 2023.

    Go back to the goal-setting tips we mentioned at the beginning of this post and decide what’s doable for you.


  • food,  Health,  New York

    Vegan Food Tech Company Launches Meltable American Slices

    Cutting-edge global food tech company, Armored Fresh, announces the consumer launch of ‘Almond Milk American Slices,’ their latest innovation in zero-dairy, plant-based cheese. ‘Almond Milk American Slices’ marks the company’s second product launch, which is available through retail distribution in more than 100 NYC regional supermarkets including Key Foods, Met Fresh, C Town, City Acres, & Associated stores throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. To announce the launch, Armored Fresh has unveiled its latest billboard on 49th Street and Broadway.

    Using their proprietary world-changing technology and plant-based ingredients, Armored Fresh’s ‘Almond Milk American Slices’ replicates animal proteins found in dairy, resulting in a delicious cheese that duplicates the aroma, texture, and flavor of their dairy counterparts. Armored Fresh developed a process that allows for their ‘Almond Milk American Slices’ to have the perfect melting properties, a characteristic that is long considered technically difficult to achieve with vegan cheese. Through their cutting-edge innovation, Armored Fresh has improved on the texture that challenges other plant-based cheese brands.

    “We are very excited to introduce our ‘Almond Milk American Slices’ to the U.S. market. At Armored Fresh, we believe we can make a great impact through plant-based food that is delicious,” says Rudy Yoo, Armored Fresh Founder & CEO. “Through extensive development and testing, we created zero-dairy cheese slices that is also zero-sacrifice. We’re confident people will love the taste.”

    Armored Fresh’s plant-based cheese is made using an innovative technique that mimics the process of creating dairy cheese, substituting almond milk and plant-based lactic acid. This gives Armored Fresh’s cheese a soft texture comparable to that of regular cheese and its characteristic fragrant flavor. The addition of ‘Key-mix,’ infuses nutrients to create a healthy, plant-based cheese that is also zero cholesterol, zero GMO, and zero gluten.

    Armored Fresh recently showcased their ‘Almond Milk American Slices’ at the Food Tech section of CES 2023, the world’s largest consumer electronics and IT exhibition. The company made their U.S. debut in October 2022 with plant-based cheese cubes after raising $23 million in Series Pre-B funding. The company has plans to expand nationally and will launch ‘Almond Milk Cubes’ & ‘Almond Milk American Slices’ on www.ArmoredFresh.com & Amazon in March 2023. For more information, please visit their website.

  • Eco,  food,  Health,  Los Angeles,  New York,  San Diego

    Small changes add up to big impact, Upright is building a world of better-for-you foods and beverages.

    Amazing to use as a milk substitute while baking, cooking, or brewing up your favorite lattes! Upright is an instant oat milk alternative. More convenient than your average oat milk product, Upright single-serving packets can be easily packed in your bag. Just add water and you have a glass of nutritious oat milk to drink or add to your coffee on the go. With 8 grams of oat protein in every serving and added vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamins A, B12, and D, Upright is the expert-approved oat milk choice.

    Oats are Upright main ingredient because they’re a powerhouse for both health and sustainability. The formulas are created in partnership with food scientists, pediatricians and world-leading experts.

    High-protein instant oatmilk – just add water! Made with just oats, a blend of vitamins and minerals, and natural flavors like chocolate and vanilla, each creamy cup packs 7 grams of oat protein and offers calcium, vitamins A, B12, D, and plant-based prebiotic oat fiber. 

    Upright bulk format is perfect for using at home, making a big family-sized batch for the week, scooping into smoothies or protein shakes, and adding to cooking or baking recipes for an extra boost of nutrition.

    PLUS: Fight climate change with each cup

    HOW TO ENJOY: Mix the contents of 1 sachet or 2 tablespoons of Upright with 8oz water & enjoy! Add more or less water based on your preferences. TIP: Use a blender bottle or electric whisk for the fastest blending!

    PACK SIZE: Choice of 1 pouch, 2-, or 3-pack. Net weight 340g (12 oz) per pouch. Each pouch makes 12 cups or 3 quarts of high protein oatmilk.

    GREAT FOR: Allergen friendly, flexitarian, vegetarian, plant-based, FODMAP, omnivore, and picky-eater diets.

    Made in the USA. Plant Based. Earth friendly. Female & AAPI-founded.


  • food,  Las Vegas,  Los Angeles,  New York,  San Diego

    Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Kicks Off 2023 Girl Scout Cookie Season

    Girl Scouts are now selling new berry-blasted Raspberry Rally™ cookies exclusively online,
    with all the iconic cookies, powering amazing experiences outdoors, STEM, and beyond.

    Today, January 29th, The Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio kicked off the 2023 Girl Scout Cookie Season in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. For the next seven weeks, Girl Scouts and their troops will rally their communities to support the world’s largest entrepreneurial program for girls.

    “New to the 2023 cookie season, the highly anticipated, online-exclusive Raspberry Rally™ cookie joins the iconic lineup, alongside classic family favorites like Thin Mints®, Caramel deLites®, Peanut Butter Patties®, and more,” said Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio’s President & CEO, Cynthia H. Breunig.

    Girl Scout Zaira B 6 from Highland, Girl Scout Troop 1751. Girl scout Analyse H. 15 from Rialto is carrying her.

    “I love selling Girl Scout Cookies,” said Girl Scout Zaira B from Highland, Girl Scout Troop 1751 “This program has helped me build confidence and I love doing booths with my Girl Scout friends”.

    “Please support our local Girl Scout troops by purchasing your favorite varieties and trying the new, Raspberry Rally™ available exclusively online.  The new thin, crispy cookie is infused with raspberry flavor and dipped in the same delicious chocolaty coating as the beloved Thin Mints® cookies,” said Breunig.

    The new Raspberry cookie is the first in the Girl Scout Cookie lineup to be exclusively offered for online sale and direct shipment only.

    “This enhances our girls’ e-commerce sales and entrepreneurial skills. This latest approach will help to guide the evolution of the cookie program for the digital future,” said Breunig.

    This season, Girl Scouts will run outdoor cookie booths and sell online.

    “If you know a Girl Scout, ask how she’s selling cookies via the Digital Cookie online platform for direct shipment or local delivery,” said Breunig.

    The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the world’s largest entrepreneurial program for girls. Girl Scouts’ newly updated Financial Literacy badges offer entrepreneurial playbooks for every age level.

    From the Cookie Goal Setter badge earned as a Daisy to the Entrepreneur Accelerator for girls in high school, the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls financial literacy, planning, budgeting, teamwork, innovative thinking, and confident decision making.

    How to Purchase Girl Scout Cookies This Year

    • If you know a registered Girl Scout, reach out to her to find out how she’s selling cookies.
    • Text COOKIES to 59618 to be among the first to receive information about Girl Scout Cookies and to find out about other exciting Girl Scout news.
    • Visit the Girl Scout Cookie Finder to find a booth near you, to purchase cookies for direct shipment to your home, or to donate cookies to local causes.

    “The Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio’s Cookie season is from January 29th – March 19th.  Girl Scouts in grades K–12 can start their journey to fun, friendship, and new experiences by joining the world’s largest entrepreneurial organization for girls at any point in the year,” said Breunig.

    To join the Girls Scouts or to volunteer go to: www.girlscouts.org/join, or call (909) 307-6555.

    About Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio

    We serve more than 10,000 girls in Riverside and San Bernardino counties with the dedicated support of 3,000 adult volunteers.  We believe that in order to be a leader within your community, you have to truly become a part of that community.

    Girl Scouts offers girls the unique opportunity to identify and support issues that are important to them, form partnerships with other people, businesses, and organizations, and create sustainable projects that change the world around them.

    To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit gssgc.org, or call (909) 307-6555.

  • Books,  Health,  New York

    Round Zero: Inside the NFL Draft by Andy Phillips

    ROUND ZERO is a behind-the-scenes look at football’s most thrilling procedure. Drawing from interviews with coaches, general managers, agents, players, and more, Andy Phillips reveals the ins and outs of the NFL Draft with clever anecdotes and unexpected insights from some of the biggest names in football, including:

    • Cris Carter
    • Bill Cowher
    • Terrell Davis
    • Brett Favre
    • Steve Largent
    • Steve Mariucci
    • Warren Moon
    • Aaron Rodgers
    • Mike Singletary
    • and more!

    Millions of people watching globally, hundreds of hopeful athletes and their families on pins and needles waiting, and billion-dollar football franchises making strategic decisions—the Draft is a big deal. The decisions made during this critical selection process will set the stage for entire years of football games to come.

    From lead-up to game day, ROUND ZERO is a comprehensive tell-all that helps shed light on misconceptions that viewers of this great sport have held for years. How much do the players know before the Draft? How do coaches make decisions on who to draft, and when? What role do agents play, before, during and after? It all starts here, in football’s round zero.

    About the Author

    ANDY PHILLIPS is a contributing writer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A former 2x Division-1 Football Captain, he played as an offensive lineman in four preseason NFL games with the Green Bay Packers.

    Praise for ROUND ZERO

    “…gives you the inside stories from the true angles of the NFL Draft.”
    —TRENT DILFER, Super Bowl champion quarterback & former first round pick

    “…offers a real-life glimpse into the Draft to provide the full picture.”
    —IAN RAPOPORT, NFL Network Insider

    “…pulls the curtain back and leaves no stone unturned.”
    —DAVE HEEKE, Vice President & Director of Athletics, University of Arizona

    “To understand the Draft from the inside requires the insiders’ knowledge and perspective Andy Phillips reveals in Round Zero.”
    —RICH DESROSIERS, Pro Football Hall of Fame