The Monday Media Diet with Katrina Craigwell

On martinis, Anxious People, and the charms of Bermuda

Katrina Craigwell (KC) is a longstanding friend and one of the first WITI subscribers. (The signup list can’t lie!). She’s an NYC-based marketer, and Noah and I had the pleasure to make some cool work with her back in her GE days when we were at Barbarian Group. Have a great week. -Colin (CJN)

Tell us about yourself:

I was born and raised in Canada and moved to New York City right after college. I still say sorry too often and will probably be working on that forever. I’m a lover of steak dinners and martinis, a big traveler (pre-COVID), and watch A LOT of streaming TV.

Professionally, I’ve worked in media, financial services, and tech and have made it a point to explore as many industries as I can throughout my career.

I live with my husband in NYC and three orchids that we’ve managed to keep alive since February.

Describe your media diet:

I get most of my updates from newsletters, starting with The New York Times every morning. After that, I scroll through The Information, The Huffington Post, Ozy, The Guardian, and Digg (which I must have signed up for years ago). I always like seeing the differences and similarities between what the outlets are covering and how they’re covering it.

What’s the last great book you read:

Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman. Set in Sweden, it tells the story of a bank robbery gone wrong, a small group of extremely nervous hostages, and two policemen working hard to unravel what’s happened. I was laughing out loud for most of the book.

What are you reading now:

Hot Seat, by Jeff Immelt. Having spent many formative years at GE, I appreciate getting to review the tapes from Jeff’s perspective.

What’s your reading strategy when you pick up a print copy of your favorite publication:

Usually, I’m either traveling or at the grocery store and a cover story catches my eye. I tend to cycle through Fast Company, Inc. and The Economist and do my best to read cover to cover once I’ve started. I also like to flip through Departures which I receive at home (can’t remember why TBH) mostly for the escapist photography.

Who should everyone be reading that they’re not:

One of my favorite reads from the last year was Passing, by Nella Larsen. It was published in 1929 and tells the story of two mixed-race friends, Irene and Clare, and the paths they take through adulthood. Throughout the novel, Clare passes as white and is married to a wealthy white man (a sadly dangerous endeavor for the time). 

Reading it brought up so many reflections on racial identity. How much of it is about society’s perception of the color of a person’s skin and the resulting assumptions and biases about who that person is supposed to be? How do we make room for each individual’s dynamic and rich identity, when society is so quick to tag people as this or that? One of the many difficult passages in Passing includes Clare’s husband using a racial slur as a ‘humorous term of endearment’ (my quotes) for her because she tans so well for a white woman. Little does he know… 

This will definitely be a book I come back to. If movies are more your speed, it just premiered at Sundance starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga and directed by Rebecca Hall.

What is the best non-famous app you love on your phone:

This one’s probably semi-famous – I’ve been using Duolingo since the beginning of the pandemic and am on track to hit 365 days straight this month. I’ve been refreshing my French, brushing up on my Spanish, and even learning a little Arabic. It’s been a welcome routine through a crazy year.

Plane or train:

Plane. I definitely miss the freedom of being able to go anywhere in the world in a day.

One place everyone should visit:

Bermuda. For East coasters, it’s a short two-hour flight away and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. If you visit in the last week of July, you’ll be able to catch Cup Match, an annual island-wide cricket tournament between two long-standing rival teams representing the west and east ends of the island and Non-Mariners, a boat race for all featuring handcrafted, homemade vessels.

Rabbit hole:

I recently binged The Serpent on Netflix, the story of a French serial killer who preyed on young tourists in Asia in the 70s (light viewing!). He would charm unsuspecting travelers and then drug, rob, and usually kill them. He got away with it for years. He would tamper with passports and move from country to country relatively undetected. Watching the story unfold, it was wild to think about how much a person could get away with pre-technology – no digital records, no cell phones, no way to get a ping on his location, and no way for enforcement agencies to share critical information in a timely manner. I won’t spoil the ending, it’s worth the watch! (KC)

Thanks for reading,

Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN) & Katrina (KC)

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