Oh John Carroll

Tag: journalism (page 1 of 2)

In The New York Times, David Carr writes about the war on journalists being waged by their fellow journalists:

So, too, are the journalists who aid them. It’s not surprising that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who brokered the publishing of Private Manning’s documents, and Glenn Greenwald, the columnist for The Guardian who has led the Snowden revelations, have also come under intense criticism.

What is odd is that many pointing the finger are journalists. When Mr. Greenwald was on “Meet the Press” after the first round of N.S.A. articles, the host, David Gregory, seemingly switched the show to “Meet the Prosecutor.” He asked, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”

At The Philly Post, Gail Shister writes about her experiences as one of the first female sports reporters:

I was totally alone. Virtually none of the sports guys spoke to me, except columnists Bill Lyon and the late Frank Dolson, both gentleman of the old school. Because the sports department was a dank man cave that was physically isolated from the newsroom, I didn’t meet another female reporter or editor for a full six months.

This is a great piece, written as a sort of accompaniment to ESPN’s Let Them Wear Towels documentary. I’m still astounded that the locker room interview occurs: it’s not even a question of women belonging or not (because, duh, of course they belong), but simply a matter of “Can’t we all wait until everyone’s dressed and able to speak in a more public and comfortable space?”

Perhaps this will be an easier transition as print newspaper deadlines become a thing of the past (because, well, print newspapers are becoming a thing of the past).

I just learned of this “Law” today.  It’s pretty spot-on:

Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.

Beyond A Set Of Facts →

My pal K. Tyler Christensen interviewed Ted Conover for Café Americain:

Many people’s voices go unheard and I think it’s important to attend to them. The advantages I had growing up, from supportive family to a good education, empowered me to serve as a witness to some of these lives, and I think it’s a worthy calling. Apart from that, I’m just curious. Class and privilege create blinders, and I like to see if I can take them off.

Go check it out.  Conover’s Newjack is one of the best books I’ve read in the past 5 years.

America’s Doctor →

I recently saw Dr. Oz on television, and thought to myself: “What’s this guy’s deal?”  Soon enough, Michael Specter and The New Yorker came to provide some answers:

Oz’s popularity isn’t hard to understand: he speaks to Americans about problems that many find impossible to share, and he talks to them in ways that few other physicians would. Want to know how many orgasms you will require each year to prolong your life? Oz says two hundred—give or take. He also suggests how often we should move our bowels and what they ought to look like when we do (at least every other day, brown with a hint of gold, shaped like an S, he says, and “it should hit the water like a diver from Acapulco”). Oz likes to be in the news; he was on the air with students from the Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, three days after the shootings there. And you never know who his guests will be. Not long ago, Michelle Obama appeared on the show to talk about her effort to end the epidemic of childhood obesity. A few weeks later, Oz welcomed back Theresa Caputo, a Long Island-based medium who helps people commune with dead family members. “The last time she was here,” Oz told the audience, “her readings blew me away.”

At times, equally fascinating and terrifying.

Your Most Humiliating Secret →

For The New York Times “Draft” series, Susan Shapiro explains the thinking behind her signature writing assignment:

Over 20 years of teaching, I have made “the humiliation essay” my signature assignment. It encourages students to shed vanity and pretension and relive an embarrassing moment that makes them look silly, fearful, fragile or naked.

You can’t remain removed and dignified and ace it. I do promise my students, though, that through the art of writing, they can transform their worst experience into the most beautiful. I found that those who cried while reading their piece aloud often later saw it in print. I believe that’s because they were coming from the right place — not the hip, but the heart.

I’m really curious about this being the signature assignment for a course in feature journalism.  I like the assignment’s idea, although I think age and experience play a role.  As a young writer, so much of workshopping extends beyond your own writing — you’re learning how to workshop as well, as both a reader and the writer.

(via Jamie-Lee Josselyn, another friend who has helped produce a surprisingly busy Sunday of blogging)

Eating Our Paper →

Craig Mod has an excellent post about digital publishing, inspired in part by Marco Arment’s new iOS-exclusive publication The Magazine.  He writes:

In product design, the simplest thought exercise is to make additions. It’s the easiest way to make an Old Thing feel like a New Thing. The more difficult exercise is to reconsider the product in the context of now. A now which may be very different from the then in which the product was originally conceived.

Punditry Serves No Purpose →

Philip Butta conducts a great interview with Nate Silver for Chicago Magazine.  I could pull many great quotes from this, but I’ll limit myself to one:

How can you cover politics and not have any sense for where you think the truth lies in the problem? That disturbs me. A lot of journalism wants to have what they call objectivity without them having a commitment to pursuing the truth, but that doesn’t work. Objectivity requires belief in and a commitment toward pursuing the truth—having an object outside of our personal point of view.

Filet Dot Com

Philly.com launched its new design overnight.  I’m a bit disappointed in how it turned out.  Based on the cleaner, minimal appearance, I initially thought they had gone the Boston Globe route, constructing an adaptable web site that shaped itself to whatever device was opening it.

Instead, Philly.com seems to have copied the look but none of the functionality.  And that’s a shame, because the Globe’s look only became satisfying when I saw how adaptable the site was.  A site that flexible needs a clean, minimal and easily scaled design.

In attempting to clean-up their site, Philly.com has managed to make it worse.  The page lacks very simple guidance — the artwork doesn’t illuminate any of the pieces in specific ways.  I certainly understand why Sandy coverage dominates the front page news, for example, but the clump of similar artwork renders their inclusion moot.  The images might as well not be there, as they’re not distinguishing their attached pieces from one another.

Similarly, the titles lack very basic identifiers.  When I wandered into the Sports section, I found myself looking for a Sixers game recap but opened up columns rather than reports.  I’m not sure who to blame here: the guys writing the headlines, or the designers eliminating columnist images or headline tags.

I’ve always been proud of Philadelphia’s two daily, competing newspapers, but Philly.com’s continued bungling has me wondering if the city’s competitive print news culture has forever doomed its web presence.

“Hyperbolic Headline” →

I am a few weeks late on this (the Instapaper effect!), but I loved Joe Eskenazi’s Bleacher Report piece in San Francisco Weekly.

I could have used this piece in a course I taught last year on argumentative sportswriting.  While it’s not often hard to tell when a student is using Google as his or her only academic research, it was painfully obvious in a sportswriting class.  I only had to look for the Bleacher Report links on the Works Cited page.

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