Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Back in action

Okay, so TMD is back in action at themediadrop.com, so check us out over there. There might be a few hiccups this week, but I don't expect too much of a problem. If you become disoriented or begin having delusions of no TMD, then drop by here - themediadrop.blogspot.com - where I find myself clickity-clacking away when and if problems arise.

Thanks for your patience!

Technology always wins...err...loses?

Louisville, Kentucky's Courier-Journal has an item Tuesday by Bill Wolfe that describes the issue with yesterday's issue, as it were. It seems that the paper had made changes to their printing process this Fall, including a new plant, the use of completely new paper, and more dependence on computers, causing some problems in the last few months - but not so much of late. I especially liked the comments of Michael Przybylek, vice president of production, who said that "this is all computerized, so everything has to be perfect," when describing the new hardware and setup.

Short term problems, long term benefits, one would think. But it's still a bummer if you don't get your paper in the morning.

Small town, big town - it's all news

In the Quincy Herald-Whig, David Adam writes about Cheri Preston, an ABC News Radio staffer who grew up in the Illinois town, went to the local college, and is now doing "top of the hour" news updates on the national radio network in New York City. Preston offers details on her day-to-day (hour by hour?) role gathering and writing news items, most amusingly the fact that while she works "with" Peter Jennings, Sam Donaldson, and Charles Gibson, she rarely sees them - for they're in another ABC location.

How does the Taricani case change journalism, if at all?

In mid-November, Rhode Island television reporter Jim Taricani was convicted of contempt of court for not revealing a source close to a trial of former state government employees, and was sentenced on December 9 to six months of house arrest by a judge. He is not permitted to do any reporting during this time, and his employer, WJAR, also informs that he is to have no access to the Internet.

This week, the Society of Professional Journalists made a
statement about Taricani's situation, as they are very concerned about the use of confidentiality in journalism going forward.

The lingering question about whether confidentiality was promised should serve as a cautionary reminder for all journalists about the potential pitfalls of promising confidentiality in return for information.

Doug Fisher, who knows Taricani personally, states his case.


This week, the Chicago Tribune announced its new advertising campaign, the concept of which is around "What's in it for you?" The ads look to "demonstrate how someone's day was made better by interaction with the newspaper."

Louisville / Kentucky radio situation still up in air

At InsideTheVille.com, Mike Hughes shares some more details on the recent announcement that Clear Channel Communications would place University of Kentucky sporting events "ahead" of University of Louisville games on some radio stations.

Monday, December 13, 2004

RSS feeds for newspapers

If you are happening to land here trying to find the RSS feeds list for U.S. newspapers, it can be found here.

I'm having a few difficulties with my hosting service at the moment, hence the temporary posting here at blog*spot. (Thanks, Blogger / Google!) Prior posts from December can be found here.

I will be updating the original listings with any new submissions, and plan on having it re-sorted by state just as soon as I can. Feel free to contact me with suggestions or comments, or if you have questions about the list.

Thanks for your patience!

Longtime Newsday columnist goes to Long Island Press

On Monday, the Long Island Press announced that longtime Newsday staffer Ed Lowe would have his column featured Thursdays on their pages. Lowe, described as being a "unique and honored journalist" by Press co-owner and publisher (along with John Caracciolo) Jed Morey, had been a columnist at the Tribune publication since 1976.

Free press isn't a universal concept

Over at OpinionEditorials.com, Jane Novak writes about the treatment of newspaper editors and staffers at "opposition" press in Yemen. If you're looking for perspective, the facts in this piece are stunning - while her comparison of "big media stories" in this country being of the Dan Rather variety is probably a little egregious (though not too far off base), it should make Americans realize the freedoms that we do have, as compared to people living half a world away.

Former Mercury News reporter found dead

The San Jose Mercury News' Jessica Portner writes about the death of Gary Webb, who worked at the newspaper as an investigative reporter for eight years until leaving in 1997. Webb, 49, was found on Friday at his home, and appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Kentucky Post has more.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

They couldn't get Urban Meyer either

On Sunday, Andy Rooney had a little fun with the idea of his taking over for the soon departing Dan Rather from the CBS evening news - but don't worry, you won't see him in the anchor chair anytime soon.

Dear Abby ditched from Oregon paper

Michael Arrieta-Walden, public editor of The Oregonian, explains in his weblog on Sunday about the newspaper's recent choice to drop the "Dear Abby" column from its pages to offer another advice column, "Ask Amy," on a daily basis. Arrieta-Walden informs that while there were complaints, the amount was "smaller than I anticipated." In fact, there were "more than 50 readers made the effort to thank" the editors for making the move.

A quality use of a blog, IMHO - informing a newspaper's readers of the ins and outs of what goes on inside the publication - wonder if this column appeared in the print edition as well.

[hat tip: Steve Rubel]

Nevada school gets outpouring of media support

The Associated Press has the story about $2 million in pledged donations from both the Las Vegas Sun's Brian Greenspun and Jim Rogers of Sunbelt Communications to Nevada State College at Henderson. The school is trying to build its first "permanent" structure on campus, and hopes to garner a few more donations to bring this to fruition.

Lexington reigns over Louisville, says Clear Channel

The Associated Press reports that Clear Channel Communications will now offer "priority" status for the University of Kentucky's sports teams over the University of Louisville, a reversal of sorts. As of 2007, Kentucky's Wildcats will be featured on at least four stations that feature both schools' basketball and football events.

Jerry Springer gets his radio on

The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Kiesewetter writes Friday about Jerry Springer's foray into daytime talk radio in the Ohio city - and he's looking to syndicate the show nationally. I'd say this not only signals Springer's "desire to change his image from trash-TV-show ringmaster to serious political thinker," but makes it look more and more like a true push to go full force (again) into the world of politics.

[via Uncle Horn Head]

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Site problems 2

Well, today TMD has suffered its second (and final) site problem with its current webhost. More details on this later, but I'm in the middle of trying to recover my Movable Type installation, which seems to be a problem for that host - who has now dropped my site from functionality with no communication whatsoever. Again.

I'll be posting here for the near future, but all TMD posts are still working over at the original site, just in case you have hyperlinks pointed there. My commenting and trackback functions have been disabled, as has my backend publishing abilities.

I'll be moving to a new host, probably sometime this week, as soon as I get everything recovered, so please bear with me.

To peruse the posts prior to this one, please click here, and you will be taken to the prior post, "
Looking for an internship?" You can then click the links at the top of the posts to scroll through from there on back. The search function is not currently working, so going to Google and adding "site:themediadrop.com" to your query will search the site for any terms you're looking for. If you still can't find something or have another question, please contact me via email at themediadrop@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Canadian sports reporter gets caught lifting

CBC Sports Online reports that Scott Taylor, sports reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, has left the paper after admitting to plagiarism in a recent article about the NFL.

Has anyone been evicted from blogging yet?

This afternoon, I was tipped off about this post by a seemingly anonymous blogger going by the name "Bill," who has been writing the "Blogging versus Journalism" site since October 4. That post from Monday bears a significant resemblance to this column by Steve Outing from November 19 at Editor & Publisher. It is not the whole article, but grafs used here and there, with a few tweaks to the text. There is no credit, no mention of Outing or E&P, nothing.

I'm not sure if the blogger is really a journalist or not, as the blog*spot site is "justacrazyjournalist.blogspot.com," but s/he isn't doing any favors for him/herself, nor bloggers as a whole.

I thought perhaps this was an oddity, and took a random scroll through the site's archives. While many of the entries are blockquotes with attributed links, that isn't the case for everything, unfortunately.

As Drudge would say, "DEVELOPING."

[Thanks, Mark]

[update] Some good examples here and here.

The discussion is continuing here at Steve Rubel's Micro Persuasion. Rubel is rightly "keeping an open mind" on the matter, but anonymity is keeping us from being able to get a response from "Bill" at this point. Needless to say, this looks kind of iffy, IMHO.

The FCC and a la carte TV

Ron Orol writes in today's Daily Deal that the FCC seems to be moving towards denying a push for 'a la carte' cable television pricing.

[ed: previously discussed here and here]

The show off the air - isn't that fine enough?

The Miami Herald's Christina Hoag informs about a $55,000 fine that is pending against WQAM-AM 560 out of Miami. The station is being fined for comments made by Scott Ferrall, a host who had been fired by the station a year ago this month, on a sports-themed show in September of 2003.

And in a development that
Jeff Jarvis is sure to love, the fines would be the result of one complaint, filed by Coral Gables-based attorney Jack Thompson (FMQB calls him a "attorney/indecency crusader"). To boot, Thompson is calling for WQAM's license.

So how do we really feel about how complaints and the FCC works - do we think that one complaint should be enough to get a company or individual in trouble? Does there need to be some sort of consensus? One thing is for sure, there's no 'consensus' that what the current system is doing is right.

Non-car insurance related "I have good news"

Well, the good news is, my MT installation is recoverable on my server. The bad news is I can't do it from where I am currently present, so hopefully that'll be up and running tonight.

Also - commenting *may* be down temporarily when the site resumes at themediadrop.com, until I figure out some other methods of stopping the comment spam. At the very least, it appears that I will have to apply comment registration through TypeKey.

All your Dan Rather in a row

RatherBiased is compiling a great roundup of Dan Rather-retirement related coverage. They're definitely the one-stop shop for news on this topic.

How stereotypes impact your writing

On Tuesday, the UMASS Daily Collegian printed a good read by Adam O'Neal about a session where the school's journalism students were informed on how they can do a better job when writing about people with disabilities.

Gannett / HomeTown merger might get closer look

Reports surfaced last week that Gannett was to purchase midwest newspaper publisher HomeTown Communications. On Wednesday, the Cincinnati Post's Greg Paeth informs that this potential merger "is expected to draw scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department."

Welcome to TMD's temporary home

Hello, those who have been redirected. In case you're wondering, I've been unable to publish since about noon Eastern time on Tuesday, November 23 due to a *ahem* problem with my webhost, who has "removed" my Movable Type installation due to the problems with my site being a target for comment spamming.

Thankfully, all of my posts have been recovered and are still there, so permalinks and all that will still work, but I am still not able to access the site to publish. So for the time being, I'll be located here.

Here is a link to the prior post at themediadrop.com, and you can search the site from Google by putting "site:www.themediadrop.com" in the query along with the search terms. I plan on having the site up this evening at the latest, so hopefully this won't be necessary.

Monday, September 13, 2004

CBS News Transcript 9/13/04

[ed: on behalf of RatherBiased.com, we're hosting the transcript of tonight's CBS News discussion about the Bush ANG documents that may be fraudulent.]

DAN RATHER: Coming up on the "CBS evening news," more on the controversy the president's national guard record. It's tonight's "inside story." [commercial break]

Besides checking on John Kerry's service record, CBS has been checking president Bush's service in the national guard, including whether or not he did or did not fulfill his commitment. We're gathering information, asking questions and probing. CBS is also addressing questions about documents used to corroborate some of the information in our reporting. Documents used to corroborate some of the information in our reporting. Some of these questions come from people who are not active political partisans. It is tonight's inside story. At a democratic national press conference today, some of the shots fired at military men were aimed at president Bush's national guard service.

But official records showed he skipped a physical and was grounded. Do you know how hard it is to get your annual physical? I took 37 of them in a row.

RATHER: There has also been criticism of the new documents obtained by CBS. But CBS used several techniques to make sure these papers should be taken seriously. Talking to handwriting and document analysts and other experts who strongly insist that the documents could have be created in the 70s.

Everything in those documents that people are saying can't be done, as you said, 32 years ago, is totally false. Not true. Like I said, proportional spacing was available, superscripts was available as a custom feature. Proportional spacing between lines was available. You could order it any way you like.

RATHER: Richard Katz, a software designer found other indications in the documents. He noticed the lower case l is used in documents instead of the actual numeral one. That would be difficult to reproduce on the computer today.

If you were doing this a week ago or a month ago on a normal laser jet printer, it wouldn't work. The font wouldn't be available to you.

RATHER: Katz noted the documents have the superscript "th" and a regular-sized "th". That would be common on a typewriter, not a computer.

RICHARD KATZ: There is one document from may of 1972 which contains a normal "th" at the top. To produce that in Microsoft word, you would have to go out of your way to type the letters and then turn the th setting off or back over them and type them again.

RATHER: CBS news relied on an analysis of the contents of the documents themselves to determine the contents authenticity. It is in line with is known about the service and dates.

For instance, the official record shows that Mr. Bush was suspended from flying on august 1, 1972. That date matches the one on a memo given to CBS news, ordering that Mr. Bush he be suspended. Shortly after "60 minutes" broadcast the new documents last week, "usa today" obtained another new document. In the memo dated February 2, 1972, Colonel Killian asked to be "updated as soon as possible on flight certifications, specifically Bush." That appears to be in line with newly released white house documents that indicate changes in Mr. Bush's flight certification in early 1972. An analysis shows that instead of exclusively flying the f-102 he'd been certified in, the president began additional training in a lower level plane and flight simulators.

CBS news asked the White House today to answer a number of questions: Did a friend of the Bush family use his influence with the Texas house speaker to get George W. Bush into the National Guard? Did Lieutenant Bush refuse an order to take a required physical? Was he suspended for failing to perform up to standards? And did he, in fact, complete his commitment to the guard?

In reply, a White House spokesman told CBS's John Roberts: "As you know, we have repeatedly addressed these issues, including during the interview you conducted on behalf of Mr. Rather last Wednesday." The White House and the Bush-Cheney campaign always point out President Bush received an honorable discharge.

What is in the "60 Minutes" report CBS news believes to be true and believes to be authentic. Straight ahead on the "CBS Evening news," they're supposed to inspect your bags, not steal from them. He got caught red handed.

Friday, September 10, 2004

The Media Drop @ blog*spot

In the eventuality that some sort of server disaster came about, I plan on relying on this site on the blog*spot servers as a backup. I may choose to cross-post here at blog*spot just to be consistent, but I have not made plans for this just yet.