Saturday, August 2, 2014
What has given me second thoughts? All the press on the shootings/murders there, that's what. I keep thinking that it's not safe anymore and Steve and I can figure out somewhere else to go for a getaway.
Then I saw this story today on National Public Radio's website. It's an interview with two young students who wrote an op-ed this week for the Chicago Tribune called "You Don't Know Us." After reading the article, it made me think twice about what I am reading in newspapers -- even ones I used to write for, and the Trib was one of them.
But I can't lay this one on them -- I've been reading about the Chicago shootings on NBC's website and because of it thinking I shouldn't consider Chicago as a weekend destination. The bottom line is I gave Chicago the short shrift because of it, and that's wrong.
What is even more wrong is the media painting the Windy City as a war zone. I really don't want to treat mainstream media like grocery store tabloids, but I'm thinking it may not be that far off the mark anymore...and that's a shame.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Monday, June 30, 2014
That is the number of days we had to post in Blogathon 2014 and with this post, I have done just that.
Also just got home from my brother's wedding and am beat...so the topic I wanted to write about will be tomorrow's post.
In the meantime, here is another goofy siblings photo from the wedding.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
Sunday, June 22, 2014
It's amazing what people get rid of -- thankfully, many (but not enough) are recycling, rather than throwing out this stuff. For the first time in I don't know how many years, we were inundated with mostly televisions -- and some really not that old.
Yes, I know flat screen and similar type televisions are the norm today -- except in my house. We don't watch a lot of television. But seriously -- do we always need the best and greatest the minute it hits the market? Based on what I saw yesterday, I guess the answer is "yes." Okay, I'm not going to get people to stop buying electronics the minute a new one appears on the retail horizon. But, do me a favor and read these recycling facts and statistics by dosomething.org, a social change organization for young people.
Then recycle the electronic device you are replacing. It's not that hard to do.
11. Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to:Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes, LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma televisions, Portable DVD players with LCD screens.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
Apparently I am not alone - the last figures reported by the Alliance for Audited Media shows that (at least for the top 10 shown here) that print papers have higher circulation than their digital editions. I expect that to change as more and more people are using their digital devices to read newspapers, rather than paper versions of not only newspapers, but magazines and books. We'll see.
Read more about this here on the Alliance's website.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
People write negatives things, cause they feel that's what sells. Good news to them, doesn't sell. – Michael Jackson I've come to recognize what I call my 'inside interests.' Telling stories. And helping people tell their stories is a sort of interpersonal gardening. My work at NBC News was to report the news, but in hindsight, I often tried to look for some insight to share that might spark a moment of recognition in a viewer. – Jane Pauley
The one function that TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if it were. – David Brinkley
Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day - 23 minutes - and that's supposed to be enough. – Walter Cronkite
Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age. – Colin Powell
If the news isn't there, don't create it. If I look at local news, I don't know what's real. – Willie Hereton
People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news. – A.J. Liebling
I think everyone knows the news has become ridiculous. It's entertainment driven. – Adam McKay
Gossip is news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress. – Liz Smith
Monday, June 16, 2014
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
I was recently in my hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and looked at the Sunday edition of its newspaper, the Oshkosh Northwestern. Not only am I familiar with the paper because I grew up reading it, it was my first full-time reporting job out of college. I learned a lot from my editors there. Back then it was privately owned. Now it's a Gannett paper. I'm quite familiar with Gannett -- I've been a staffer at three of their newspapers in my career.
What struck me going through that paper -- and it didn't take long -- was the fact there was so little local news. I think I counted three local stories in the front section, with wire copy making up the rest.
Though very disappointed, I was not surprised. The same holds true for many newspapers across the nation. I now live in Michigan and subscribe to the Jackson Citizen Patriot. Though I am a subscriber, I only physically receive the paper at my home three days a week -- Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. They figure I can read it online all the other days.
Like my hometown rag, this paper runs more wire copy than local copy. They also re-run stories that are in the Monday, Wednesday and Friday papers on the "delivery" days in case you didn't buy it at the newsstand (What? I"m a subscriber! I shouldn't have to get it at a newsstand!). At least the Northwestern delivers seven days a week to subscribers.
What I don't get? Research shows locals still look to their local papers for local and community news. The National Newspaper Association's annual survey of local subscribers shows that 83 percent of readers rely on newspapers for local news and information and 75 percent read all or most of the paper. Yet, dailies are cutting staff and the amount of local news they run.
Of those readers with internet access, 49 percent said they never read the paper online. Local newspapers - are you listening?
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Needless to say, they were edited like crazy. In some cases, they were assigned to a reporter to follow up on and turn into a story. With a byline.
In addition to freelance writing, I also handle communications for a local non-profit. I keep the website up to date as well as write press releases and provide other media information.
Imagine my surprise when I saw my press release published in my local newspaper in Jackson, Michigan...with a byline attached to it. The funny thing is, it wasn't mine! The writing was -- but the byline was that of a stringer for the paper.
Really? No, I didn't want my name on it. That's not the point. But taking credit in the form of a byline for a press release? Yuck.
I realize that the way small town journalism is today means there are probably not as many opportunities like the one I had when this photo at the right was taken -- I witnessed the kidney transplant of a local resident -- one I had interviewed about his journey prior to the organ transplant. I also followed up once he was home.
If the press release byline is the new media, then we're all in trouble.
Monday, June 9, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
I saw it on the NBC Nightly News this week. A young man in Florida overcame the rigors of losing his mom to cancer, as well as homelessness and graduated as valedictorian of his high school class with a 4.0+ grade point average. He also gave the commencement speech to his fellow students. This awesome young man will be attending college -- and rightly so.
Congratulations, Griffin Furlong. You are an inspiration to us all.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Until then - don't judge. About the fairest coverage I've seen on this so far is in The New York Times.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Then, all of the sudden, the woman, Juanita Vega, didn't see the man, Richard Coleman, anymore. As it turned out, he died and was destined to burial in a "potter's field." Ms. Vega, with the help of her boyfriend, who works at a funeral home, paid to have him properly buried in a cemetery in New Jersey.
Read about it here. God bless you, Juanita Vega.
|His final resting place, due to the kindness of Juanita Vega.|
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Why? I'll tell you why.
I did not see one of the athletes, no matter of what age, throw a temper tantrum, swear or do anything else derogatory because they missed a shot -- in this case, the competition was bowling. Everyone was pleasant to each other, no matter what team they were on. There was a lot of high fives and "Good Job!" exclamations by both athletes and coaches.
One young lady, who looked like she suffered from Down's Syndrome, threw a strike. She turned around with a big smile on her face and then teared up. So did I.
Well done, Michigan Olympians. Now I know why they call you all "special." You sure are.
Monday, June 2, 2014
It was an excellent commencement address, and rather than me paraphrasing it, you can read about it here.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
So it's out there - I'm a participant and plan to go the distance this year in the Freelance Success/WordCount 2014 Blogathon. While lately I've been writing about the news media and it's lack of accuracy (among other things), topics may run the gamut during this competition.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
During a panel discussion, which included Ripon alumnus and Los Angeles Times editor Mark Porubcansky, the topic was today's media. What these three veteran journalists sadly acknowledged is that quickness overshadows accuracy in much of the news media today.
I totally agree -- and here are some examples I came across while reading the "news" (and I use the term loosely) this morning. Quick sure doesn't mean accurate...or intelligent.
We celebrate the arm in Jackson...
I didn't know John Barnes was writing Tim Skubick's op eds for him. Bet Tim and John didn't know either...
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
But instead of pointing it out to people as they are speaking, I am a nut about pointing grammar and spelling errors out on billboards, television shows and ads...and my favorite target -- newspapers.
As I've pointed out previously, one used to get fired for making mistakes like the one I'm about to show you. Today, however, you just get grumps like me blogging about it. Ironically, this was the paper's e-version -- which they could correct, if they wanted to.