Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

    Dumb ideas from smart people

    Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

    Let me start by saying this: I loathe FOX News. My reaction to an episode of Glenn Beck is probably like what Rush Limbaugh’s reaction would be to an episode of the Rachel Maddow Show — I usually regard the coverage as a bunch of malarky.  I think, however, that President Obama has made a horrible decision to freeze out FOX from the White House press pool.

    I understand the aggravation Obama must feel when the cable news network warps coverage to perpetuate rumors that he is the devil, but come on, Mr. President, aren’t you the uniter and not the divider? In this case, Obama looks like the bully.

    This latest attack on FOX will do the president more harm than good; it’s already fodder for right-wingers used to calling him a commie. Such ongoing efforts to marginalize FOX will give die-hard critics and VOTERS good reason to judge him as an unreceptive leader, catering only to those who cater to him.

    Prove that you’re better than that, Mr. President.

    Media outlets, regardless of slant, deserve access to Obama. All it takes is him truthfully answering questions and letting media deliver as it may.

    It’s not any president’s job to determine the validity of a news organization and its people because — like religion and politics — one person’s falsehoods are another person’s truths.

    ‘If your mother says she loves you…’

    Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

    Today, about 2:30 in the afternoon, I got a text message from a friend who notified me (and probably the rest of her Address Book contacts) of an “Amber Alert” arising from an alleged local kidnapping.

    The text, which also had been forwarded to my friend, divulged the place of alleged incident, make of a car and a license plate number. The tail-end of the message read: “KEEP THIS GOING. YOU WOULD IF IT WAS YOUR CHILD!”

    I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I didn’t keep the message going.

    My initial reaction certainly was to send it blazing through our telecommunications highway — to every one of my contacts — but as I began to compose my very own text message, skepticism stood up to call a Time Out.

    It’s now 4:13 p.m., and I’ve spent the past 90-plus minutes agonizing about my decision to not forward this message. Instead, I scoured Snopes.com, visited the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, signed up for wireless Amber Alerts and e-mailed two government agencies seeking for validation of the alleged kidnapping.

    But I couldn’t just pass on a simple text message to friends for the sake of empathy and worry? Even if it turned out to be wrong?

    It feels as though I never left journalism.

    A vow before the vows

    Friday, September 12th, 2008

    To all the generous friends and relatives who have been helping me plan my fall wedding, I promise you that, no matter the mounting stress, I will not become a Bridezilla.

    With that being said, I will tell you that I’m a hardass when it comes to deadlines, and that just can’t be helped.

    Out of touch

    Saturday, June 14th, 2008

    Did anybody witness the recent and now-infamous “fist bump” between Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle?

    A fist bump or “closed-fisted high-five,” as The New York Times referred to it, is commonly called a “pound” or “dap.” It’s been used for decades as a greeting or a gesture to signify respect. What it’s not is “Hezbollah-style fist-jabbing” the nutty, ignorant, racist fear mongers call it.

    Fox News aside, does this mean that neither The Times nor the Washington Post, which called it “fist bump,” had people in their newsrooms who could enlighten fellow editors about today’s lingo? And if that’s the case, shouldn’t readers be worried?

    I remember a discussion with a co-worker a while back about fair and accurate representation by media. She said some of the journalism coming out of our newsroom — and others around the country — suffers because of homogeneity among its representatives: Many of us are around the same age, married with children, and live in modest homes in middle-class neighborhoods. She went on to say that we’re not paying attention to wide representation among sources in stories either, thus forgoing variety and complexity for convenience and familiarity.

    Knowing this, could an African-American college student from out of state depend on us to report the news in a way in which he could relate? On news that matters to him? How about a single mom on welfare who is working two jobs to pay her rent? Or a lesbian shopkeeper living in a “gay-friendly” part of the city.

    Who in the newsroom is serving these vastly different individuals? Because it’s not us. Not yet.

    It all makes me sad, really. We journalists couldn’t even call a pound by its true name. Now the inaccuracy has us going out like fist-bumping suckers.

    And if we can’t get something so simple right, how much more are we getting wrong?


    Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

    I’ve been fantasizing lately about walking away from my seven-year-old career. I say it as though it’s an era, when it’s not. Seven years is a laughable timeframe when compared to so many of my co-workers, one in particular who has not only been a journalist for 30-plus years, but has worked at the same company for that long. This fact makes me feel as though I’ll never be accomplished.

    I’ve worked for my current employer for a year and eight months, and I’m getting antsy, restless.

    I’m bored. I feel invisible. What should I do? What if i quit? What would I do next? Am I capable of anything but this? Nobody likes me; everybody hates me. I guess I’ll eat some worms.

    The thoughts consume me, and then I begin to pout.

    My good friend told me the other day that if I decide on another career path, self-adjustment will be necessary.

    It’s hard for journalists, she said, to not let their job dictate their identity.

    So, that’s the challenge.

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