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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Does Ashton have as big of a voice as the entire team of CNN? Seriously? Can a former model and mediocre actor have the moxie of 4,000 news professionals, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all over the world?

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Apparently, Ashton seems to think that his voice is just as important as the media powerhouse based on the number of tweellowers he’s got: both are racing to see who reaches one million first.

Yeah, it’s come to this.

I’m one of those ludites still trying to figure out the chatter on twitter, and seeing items like this does not help. Are news just becoming a popularity contest? Don’t laugh, it’s a real question. Are personalities egos that overblown that they imagine they can compete with a real news operations? Or are they going to get special ratings for the number of bored teenagers who want to learn every bit about Ashton’s life? Oprah just called. Had nightmares about Ted Turner. A+ is the best grade U can get. I know a blogger that could use a Backpfeifengesicht.

Hey, that one is kinda cool. 🙂

If somebody had told me a year ago I would be adopting this point of view today, I would have said ‘you are out of your pinche mind.’

Well, maybe I am. But I don’t think so.

I’m sure you all have seen the most recent brouhaha at our venerable and quickly sinking L.A. Times. This katzenjammer was provoked by an ad on the front page of the paper that was cleverly “disguised” as a news story.

Boy, oh boy. Have you no pride, L.A. Times executives? Why are you shamelessly trying to sell this sacrosant product with shameless vulgarity on its once pure front page?

Sorry, I can’t help it. Are we not understanding yet that this product is DYING, that is on LIFE SUPPORT and that it needs a lifeline more than balsero stranded outside the Keys? What is it that we need to read or hear to understand that the old rules of newspaper production no longer apply? There are no sacred cows in this business any longer, and the sooner we all come to grips with how much the industry needs to change, the better off we’ll all be.That way we can stop the whinning and the purer-than-that attitude.

Newspapers are losing money in the millions probably every day. Companies have to renegotiate their massive debts. Venerable institutions are closing. People are losing their jobs. And we’re getting our pants in a tizzy because there’s a lousy ad on the front page of the paper? Honestly, what are you people smoking?

The media revolution is so profound and so far reaching that we all need to be prepared to do things we never though of before. Along with embracing new technologies, we need to have completely new attitudes. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

I’m going to be very honest here. Well, I’m typically very honest (sometimes to my detriment) but I felt the need to clarify.

This posting is the equivalent of double-dipping.

I got an assignment for another class to  write on my blog (and this is the only one I have) and talk about three of my favorite blogs. And because this blog is about the media, i figure the blogs I should praise have to be on media as well.

Number one: Ken Doctor’s Content Bridges. I like him because he’s knowledgeable and right on. And I agree with him.

Number two: Alan Mutter’s Reflections of a Newsosaur. Usually a good predictor of bankruptcies and debt defaults.

Number three: Alexandre Gamela’s O Lago/The Lake: Grouchy, irreverent, well informed and forward looking. If I weren’t married I’d ask him out on a date.

Just when you thought we would get a respite from the onslaugh of bad news, here comes Dean Singleton and the much expected announcement that, indeed, he’s basically defaulting on his loans.  I know, I know, it’s old news but hey, I’m supposed to have a job waiting for me at a Media News paper, so I guess I was still believing in the Tooth Fairy.

But so much for whining. In doing the requisite surfing for this blog, I came across an interesting piece in Editor & Publisher Shoptalk column questioning whether J-schools are doing the right stuff to train the future journalists.  Seth Porges, an editor at Popular Mechanics Magazine and a graduate of Medill’s wonders if his alma matter and other schools are placing too much emphasis in teaching the technological aspect of the journalistic revolution (which by necessity is ever changing) at the expense of storytelling and new forms of narrative (which are presumably more enduring). It made me wonder about the job we’re doing here at Annenberg.

I have mixed feelings about what I’ve learned at Annenberg. While I’m definitely much more knowledgable about new media, I still don’t know how to build a webpage (which Porges claims you don’t really need to learn in J-school). I wish I had, though, but then again, the knowledge I’ve gained about the big picture has been precious. I guess I can learn HTML on my own.