Thursday, May 31, 2007

An actor in the White House?

Hey, it happened (at least) once. Now another man appears to be moving closer to making that decision. How he might run his race is detailed in this story.

Keeping up the pressure

Who's doing it? Why? Click here for those answers, and more.

It keeps getting worse...

...for Katie Couric and CBS News. Read the (slipping further behind) ratings story here.

It's the news, stupid!

And the person using that mantra definitely is CORRECT! Read more here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hu-GO protestors!!

Although I doubt President Chavez would agree. Find out what the Venezuelan leader has done that has angered many people, especially students.

Fahrenheit 451 has come to Kansas City

One Kansas City used bookstore owner is burning books. Why? And how has the public reacted? Read more here.

While I understand the frustration this man is feeling, I'm horrified at what he's doing. But I also think he's calling attention to a problem.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

An important lesson

Each year my son's Cub Scout Pack joins with other local Packs, Boy Scout troops and Girl Scout troops to place flags on the gravesites of local veterans. Last evening, he and I joined perhaps 50 other Scouts, their siblings, parents and the occasional friend to complete this important lesson in learning, respect and history.

On a lighthearted note, no matter how many times a Cubmaster (me, by the way) tells a group of boys NOT to run in a cemetery...well, you know what's going to happen. With their flags in hand (and legs at the ready), they were off.

As the evening progressed, I became more and more interested in the small talk in which the Scouts were engaged. They seemed very interested in a couple of things: in which war the deceased veteran had served, and how old he (yes, there were some female veterans as well) was when he passed away. I got the sense, though I never asked, if the boys were trying to be the one who could find the "oldest" veteran.

But as the evening wore on there was another type of grave that had many Scouts talking and thinking: those that were for babies and children. At least one grave site I saw had a born and death date that was the same. That was numbing. My wife and I, who by the way celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on Thursday, have two wonderful boys; and I couldn't imagine being in the position a parent is in when forced to bury a child. For our Scouts, the site of a gravesite for a child brought on the usual questions: Why? What happened? Those are questions that offer no easy or simple answers. But to be the parent in that situation is so much more traumatic.

My son and I left about two hours after the program started. As we headed home, he talked to me about the important lesson he had learned: paying respect to people who served our country. But he also couldn't stop thinking about the graves of the youngest people. Neither could I.

Kimberly Dozier updates

The now-recovered CBS News reporter can't wait to get back to the Middle East...so that she can cover the news, instead of being the news.

Real honesty from a communications company exec

Who's the exec? And what did he say? You've got to link here for the answer.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Blocked!

If this were a basketball game...a block would be a good thing. But it's not...it's the attempt to disseminate information around the world. And in that game, I believe a block is always a bad thing. Read more here.

Closed doors at Virginia Tech

Which doors? Who closed them? Why? You need to link here for the answers.

Russian media troubles

From public protests...to state-ordered evictions...to temporary arrests...to a struggling independent newspaper...indeed, it's not the best of times to be a (real) journalist in Moscow and Russia these days.

Is it the FCC's job to curb violence on television?

Read the "pro" and "con" arguments.

The worst kind of news...

...the death of a journalist. Additional details here.

Pasadena...via india follow-up

Add another voice to the chorus against covering news from the U.S. with reporters in India.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The joys of a Friday night at the ballpark

Time for one of my very few truly personal postings...

My 8-year-old is playing Little League baseball this spring for the first time, and he is having a blast. He had a game earlier this evening, and what a site it was. (I'm leaving out the details of his unassisted force play at 2nd base that ended a rally for the other team and his RBI single because I don't want to appear to be too much of a dad!!)

His team -- the Marlins -- was playing the Tigers. The coaches for that team have a policy -- if the team scores a certain number of runs, then everyone gets ice cream after the game. (Not a bad deal, if you ask me!) Well tonight, they were getting close. Really close.

In the bottom of the 5th, they needed only one more run to reach the magic figure. The team cheered wildly for "Lucy," whom I don't know. The site of 8 or so little boys standing and popping their heads out of the dugout while screaming wildly for a teammate to get a hit was great to see. Lucy and the next batter didn't get the key hit. In fact, the 5th inning ended with one of my son's teammates making a leaping, stumbling, fall into the dirt and dust catch.

The Tigers were not through. In the 6th (and final inning), they kept working and working for that key hit...that might bring home just one more run. Sadly, for them, it didn't happen. The game ended with a close play at first base.

It's a ritual for all teams in this league to line up, shake hands and then run the bases, once a game ends. As the Tigers lined up, one boy had tears in his eyes. I was close enough to see the tears, but I couldn't hear the words. But I'd swear the words that came out of his mouth were these: "So we don't get any ice cream?"

Ah, kids. They are so wonderful.

The most frequent complaints heard by the FCC

What is...and is not...on the list might surprise you.

Katie stays positive...

...and so do her bosses. Read more on Katie Couric and her thoughts on what has been a rough first year at CBS News.

Now this is just plain dumb

No other way to say it (at least no other way that won't involve some interesting word choices). Find out more here.

Here's a deal Google doesn't want to make

Kind of sad, too, if you ask me. The clout Google has might spark some much-needed enthusiasm for the industry in question. Read more here.

30% down...70% to go...7 months to get there

Unravel the numerical confusion here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Piling on?

Although I'm not posting any links to highlight my point, there are plenty of indicators that mainstream media organizations, the blogosphere and journalists (including those from the Wall Street Journal) are opposed to the potential sale of the Dow Jones Company to Rupert Murdoch.

It will be interesting to me to see how this story is framed over the next few weeks. On one hand, there will be those who will see this as another example of the liberal media beating on Murdoch and attempting to smother his legitimate business expansion plans.

Others will see it as further evidence of the conglomeration of media.

Others will see it as inevitable, meaning that the days of family-owned (however big and powerful) news media organizations cannot survive in this corporate media world.

Stay tuned.

Time to throw Couric a life vest?

It might at minimum be time to think about it. Check out this report about her ratings during this ever-important sweeps month.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Kudos to Virginia Tech's journalism students

Here's the latest to applaud the work done by those young men and women.

A story ABC's Charles Gibson was glad not to be part of

Find out which one, and some other interesting tidbits about the ABC World News anchor here.

Big deal on the horizon?

Looks like that will be the case.

Political civility...or lack of same

I mentioned at the end of March that several Point Park University broadcast students, one of my colleagues and I had a chance to meet with CBS News veteran Bob Schieffer during our annual faculty/student trip to Washington. I came across this interesting article about Schieffer. I think many of you will agree with his opinions.

Did the WSJ do the right thing?

Yes, this blog typically deals with broadcast-related issues, but I think this is a very interesting story about journalism ethics.

Bill Clinton has a new job

Don't be CROSS with me as you look for the right WORD to use in response to this posting. Once you link here, you'll see what I mean!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Where will they end up?

Graduation is Saturday.

Three words that cause tremendous excitement and probably more than a bit of trepidation for those who are graduating from Point Park University this weekend. The reasons for the excitement are obvious -- completion of a 4-year (or more) task, the conclusion of an academic career, the beginning of a professional existence, etc.

But the trepidation can't be ignored. There is now a real expectation of accepting responsibility. There are probably loans to repay or other types of financial commitments to meet. There is a fear of getting that first job, or for those who already have a job the concern about when to tackle a new professional task.

I likely will never again see many of our 2007 journalism graduates once they get their diplomas, take a few pictures, smile, and maybe shed a tear or two this weekend. In some ways, as I have relayed to other colleagues in recent days, graduation for me has become a bit like watching a child grow up. (My boys are only 8 and 3, but it won't be long before they are taking the important steps into maturity. If there was a way to slow down their train, I would. My wife would, too.) This weekend some very talented young men and women whom I've had the pleasure of teaching and learning from over the past two years are about to be all grown up.

That's a good thing. But there's also a tinge of sadness. I wonder where they'll end up and what they'll become. If you'd have told me when I received my BA from the University of Southern California in 1989 that I'd be a university educator before I turned 40, I'd have laughed at you. Laughed hard, in fact. The old adage is true -- you just never know.

My hope for the students I'm losing this weekend is that whatever dream they seek, they find; whatever goal they desire, they reach; whatever challenge they face, they beat. Melodramatic? Probably. But does any educator feel differently?

Bill O'Reilly and name calling

Here's a small hint...he does it a lot.

Clear signal to Clear Channel

Your deal is in trouble.

This journalist for hire

No, not me.

But hiring journalists is being used more and more in one country. Which one? And why? Find out here.

Fair or foul?

A study by two researchers suggests there might be racial bias at work in one of the four major sports. Who's committing the fouls...and who's calling them is the key to understanding the research.