Wednesday, November 24, 2010

En Español

The AP translates the captions, too.

 One of the coolest things about working for the AP is that we serve members in a handful of different languages, including Spanish.

Because many of my stories revolve around the immigration issue, they get picked up by the Latin America desk and are translated in New York, then shipped to the Spanish-speaking and Spanish-reading world.

For me, it's fun reading the translations - sometimes the interpretation is right on; in others, they have to modify the sentence so it makes sense in Spanish. Some English idioms can't be translated.

If you want to practice your Spanish reading skills, check out some of my stories in español:

  • Despite legal status, undocumented immigrants canvassing for votes
  • Undocumented immigrants leaving Arizona for three states for drivers licenses

Saturday, November 20, 2010

18 Seconds of Four Loko Video Glory

This past week I spent three hours driving around Seattle looking for a mini-market owner willing to talk about the ban on Four Loko and how that ban, which took effect last week, helped sales.

In the end, the interview wasn't used by the producers but I got 18 seconds of Internet glory in this video. Enjoy!

RIP Four Loko.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green Burial, re-cut

This video is an extended cut of my AP video report on "green" burials. I've written about this project before here. 

To summarize, I followed an Oregon man as he chose his burial spot in a private nature reserve.

Steve Sall was an avid outdoorsman before he was stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease. He chose a "green" burial. These burials are a small but growing industry. With these burials, people chose to be laid to rest in the most natural way possible - no concrete, vaulted coffins or chemicals. Just the body and the earth.

I followed Steve when he picked his burial spot.  Three months later, he died.

In this cut, I expanded the video to about six minutes. It shows more of Steve as he picked his spot.

The Green Burial of Steve Sall from Manuel Valdes on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Technically, a photo illustration.
No video or photo for this post. The above picture is one of print outs of a document I got through a Freedom of Information Act request, or a FOIA. It also shows file stories I printed out.

We wanted to explore the effectiveness of I-9 audits being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It wasn't necessarily ground-breaking, but it's always good to keep filing records request -- I just wish it hadn't taken ICE six months to get back to me.

From the FOIA, came this story: "Warnings abound in enforcing immigration job rules"