Category Archives: Uncategorized

Abolish the NCAA (cont.): Alabama edition

By Christopher B. Daly

Now comes news that a major university is throwing in the towel on big-time college football — and this is happening deep in the heart of football territory. Officials at the University of Alabama-Birmingham have declared game-over for football. It simply costs too much. (Not to mention all the other bad results of intercollegiate athletics. If you want to see more, just type NCAA in this site’s search box.)

Students working hard at entertaining others.  (Credit Eli Baylis/The Hattiesburg American, via Associated Press)

Students working hard at entertaining others.
(Credit Eli Baylis/The Hattiesburg American, via Associated Press)

Maybe the NCAA will disappear one sport and one school at a time.

Here is the Times’ version. (Nice touch on that headline, using the verb “spiraling.”)

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Monday round-up

By Christopher B. Daly 

As a service to readers, here is a compendium of recent reporting and commentary about journalism:

–First up, Boston University Prof. David Carr’s latest Media Equation column for the NYTimes. I have to agree: the legacy media are being disrupted to their cores.

Elsewhere in the Times:

–Here is an “Editorial Observer” opinion piece by Times reporter Ernesto Londono, noting the passing (for now, anyway) of a Defense Dept policy of “embedding” journalists with military units in war zones. Well worth reading, from one who was there.

–I’m delighted to see the run-up in the valuation of Vox, a remarkably and consistently interesting online news site, run by CEO Jim Bankoff and led editorially by Ezra Klein. Apparently, investors feel they can bank on Bankoff.

IN OTHER NEWS. . .

Here is a package in the Boston Globe about the experiences three of their journalists are having now, while they are being portrayed by

Globe staffers pose with the actors who will be portraying them in a new film, to be called "Spotlight."

Globe staffers pose with the actors who will be portraying them in a new film, to be called “Spotlight.”

Hollywood for a new feature film about the Globe “Spotlight Team” investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse of children by priests.

Here is the latest episode of Brian Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” on CNN.

And here is the latest from NPR’s “On the Media.”

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Yes, the Times caters to rich readers — and that’s just fine

By Christopher B. Daly

In her latest column, NYTimes public editor Margaret Sullivan expressed a certain angst over the newspaper’s practice of accepting ads for high-end products. To me, this is a puzzling kind of problem for her to have. Who does she think pays her salary? And the salary of everyone else in the Times newsroom? Continue reading

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Serious online journalism keeps expanding

By Christopher B. Daly 

19glasser-pic-blog225Three cheers for Politico! They must be doing something right, because they have enough money to keep hiring more journalists. Today’s Times brings news that Politico has just named Susan Glasser (age 45!) to fill the vacancy created by the recent departure of former NYTimes political reporter Rick Berke. Glasser is a heavy-hitter: former WaPo reporter, Foreign Policy editor, serious book author. She’s also an insider’s insider, a Harvard grad married to NYTimes White House correspondent Peter Baker. Just prior to this promotion, she was running Politico’s twice-monthly print magazine.

No real surprises here. But what caught my eye in the Times story about Glasser was this passage, quoting Politico co-founder Jim V:

“It’s so much harder to break through today,” Mr. VandeHei said, “so you have to be smarter and even more ambitious. We want to keep it growing and growing and growing.”

The site will most likely make more hires for its leadership roles, he said.

Keep on hiring!

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Get to know about a new use of narrative

Here’s an update about the Story in the Public Square project, which is going on in Rhode Island (and in which I have a small role). From a blogpost about a recent planning meeting:

Ideas flow at Story in the Public Square’s First Story Board Meeting

By Alisha A. Pina

PROVIDENCE — A Narragansett Tribe elder and oral historian named Sunflower.

An Emmy Award-winning producer and director.

An author and Bryant University professor who has archived the wartime letters of countless women.

These are three of the about two dozen dedicated and diverse members of the Story Board, a group advising The Providence Journal and Pell Center leadership with its Story in the Public Square initiative. Since its inception in 2012, there have been two day-long conferences that studied, celebrated and practiced storytelling in its many forms.

 The Story Board, which was created after a coffee house conversation, met for the first time Wednesday at The Providence Journal to brainstorm for the third annual Story Day conference being planned for the spring of 2015 — and future projects.

“The room overflowed with ideas,” said G. Wayne Miller, a longtime Providence Journal reporter and visiting fellow at the Pell Center.

Miller is leading the initiative with Pell Center Executive Director Jim Ludes, who on Wednesday likened the Story Board to chocolate and peanut butter because it fits so well with enhancing Story in the Public Square.

The still-being developed theme for Story Day 2015 is music — its abilities to heal, narrate emotion, bring strangers together and move past global boundaries.

“Music transcends,” said Kendall Moore, a Story Board member, award-winning filmmaker and University of Rhode Island professor. “…It has impact everywhere.”

Suggestions from Story Board members include discussing the origins and necessity of black gospel; two types of classical music in India; how the hearing impaired still enjoy music; the importance of arts and music education in schools; and creating a block of time for young musicians to jam with a seasoned artist (s).  There could be bands, dancers and solo artist between lively panel discussions.

Getting additional youth and community members involved was also emphasized, as well as topics for the annual youth contest.

Said Miller, “this is not a closed club.”

Providence Journal Staff Writer and Columnist Alisha A. Pina is a member of the Story Board, a culturally, ethnically and creatively diverse advisory board with representation from every Rhode Island college and university and members from the broader community. Meet all of the Story Board members at www.salve.edu/story-board

 More information about Story in the Public Square can be found online atwww.publicstory.org; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StoryInThePublicSquare; and by following @pubstory on Twitter.

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The Monday round-up

Here’s the latest from David Carr, about the iconography of beheading.

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Here’s the new issue of Common-Place, a terrific site about history, complete with a mystery story about a “missing” congressional election in Massachusetts in 1814. Hmmm. . . 

 

 

Here’s a discussion on NPR’s “On Point” about my friend and colleague Mitch Zuckoff’s new book on Benghazi.

 

Here’s an inconclusive report on the resignation of the executive editor of Politico. (Reminder: one of the “5 W’s of journalism” is “WHY?”) Hmmm. . .

 

Here’s where the Times‘ public editor Margaret Sullivan wrestles with the issues raised by doing “profiles in the news.” 1101330313_400

 

(Preview: not all the people journalists cover are admirable; deal with it.)

 

 

 

 

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Vice Media: extremism in the defense of liberty

By Christopher B. Daly

Two stories about the news media nicely frame a major dynamic that is remaking the practice of journalism. On the one hand, USA Today, the most expensive launch in the history of Old Media, announced the layoffs of 70 people, including about three dozen from the newsroom. When USA Today was launched in 1982, it was the disruptor, challenging theimgres staid, b+w, graphics-free traditional printed serious newspaper. The journalistic Establishment hated USA Today and mocked it, saying it was vulgar and represented a dumbing-down of Serious Journalism. Ten years and more than $1 billion later, founder Al Neuharth of Gannett proved that there was a market for shorter stories, punchier graphics, and color inks, and for a while USA Today flourished.

 

Fast-forward: the other big news of the last 24 hours is the announcement that upstart Vice Media has attracted half a billion dollars in investments recently, giving it instant heft and standing in the new media landscape. What is Vice up to? One insight comes from one of the co-founders, the Canadian Shane Smith. He has said Vice is engaged in a “relentless quest for total media domination.” Sounds just like Al Neuharth – or Joseph Pulitzer or William Randolph Hearst, for that matter.

[Update: here’s a version from The Economist. Fun fact: it’s “dated” Sept. 6, even though today is only the 4th, because of the magazine’s traditional print schedule of publication in separate “editions.” — There’s a quaint idea from another century.]

Along with stories about penis size and dog meat, Vice has ambitions to play in a bigger league and pursue higher-impact stories, financing expensive film expeditions to remote locations. More power to them! I hope they use most of the new $500 million to hire lots of young, smart, multimedia journalists (at least more than the dozens laid off at USA Today).

They’re ready for Vice; is Vice ready for them?

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