Recent Reads Loves a Good Fighting Raccoon Story

The tale of a woman attacked by a rabid raccoon caught our attention this week. How could it not? We are inspired by her courage. We’re also reading about another amazing woman – Wonder Woman, though the film would be more realistic if she fought a raccoon – along with the end of car ownership, the Chicago Cubs’ marketing techniques and the news media’s struggles when faced with not covering “new news.”

Little Did She Know… I love stories about joggers battling raccoons. This one transcends the genre by opening with the best lead I’ve read in a long time. Rich with detail, every word selected to create a picture in the reader’s mind, the opening sentence perfectly sets up the bloodshed to come. – Brandon Copple

Everyone Needs To Read This List Of How Kindergartners Reacted to ‘Wonder Woman’ We sometimes forget how powerful media can be in influencing how we view ourselves and each other. The list of “Wonder Woman”-influenced happenings in a kindergarten classroom captures this and makes me wonder how much more quickly gender and racial equality could progress if Hollywood made more similar movies. As Uncle Ben (of “Spider-Man”) said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Hollywood and the entertainment industry certainly have great power. – Tana Watanabe

The End of Car Ownership This article caught my eye because it’s been more than three years since our family car’s engine died and we decided to see how long we could go carless. Our experiment was about efficiency and freedom, which, ironically were for years the words associated with car ownership. As this article acknowledges, car ownership has long been part of Americans’ cultural and emotional identities. So it will take a smart PR campaign to move large portions of the population to a new model of ride sharing and self-driving cars, complete with creepy technology that knows your every move and habits. Nevertheless, I’m excited to take my first self-driving car ride someday soon. – Pam Munoz

How the Cubs’ Marketing Evolved as the Team Went From ‘Lovable Losers’ to World Series Champs This piece lays out best practices from the marketing team that evolved the Cubs World Series Champion brand, something we touched upon in a recent blog post. Starting with “honesty is the best policy,” the article breaks down the risks the team took in abandoning the “this is our year” message and asking fans to get on board with potentially waiting a few years to see success on the field, trusting there was a long-term plan. That combined with putting the fans center stage, reviving longstanding Cubs traditions with campaigns such as #FlyTheW and hosting a birthday party for Wrigley Field, and taking advantage of their national audience are just a few takeaways from the article. Plus, it gives us another reason to talk about Chicago’s favorite topic: the Cubs. – Jessica McNellis

The Media Bias Toward “New” News Helped the GOP Hide Its Secret Health Care Plan – Fair warning that this contains political opinions that some people might not agree with. But I was struck by how the article addresses a blind spot in the news media regarding what the author calls “new news.” Essentially, without hearings, events, announcements, etc., really important matters just won’t get covered, or covered that much. It reminds me of something a journalism professor once told me about a particular news outlet: “It does a good job of covering the news but not uncovering the news.” – Paul Wilson

A Mother’s Death, A Botched Inquiry and a Sheriff at War A frightening story about how local officials can abuse their power. A fascinating story about how reporters’ questions can change the arc of a story. A tragic story about a grieving family torn apart. This is all those things and, not incidentally, just a great story, period. – Brandon Copple