Friday, October 20, 2017

Ye Olde College Days

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Liberal Learning

“I speak of these matters here at Yale because of the self-evident truth that a great university is always enlisted against the spread of illusion and on the side of reality. 

“No one has said it more clearly than your President Griswold: ‘Liberal learning is both a safeguard against false ideas of freedom and a source of true ones.’

“Your role as university men, whatever your calling, will be to increase each new generation’s grasp of its duties.” 

—President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), commencement address, Yale University, 1963

 
Editorial Comment: I’d say we’ve lost our grasp.



PeezPix by Ted Pease

Low Tide







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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
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“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Picture Is Bleak

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Covfefe?
 
“Words are but pictures of our thoughts.” 
 
—John Dryden (1631-1700), England’s first poet laureate















Editorial Comment: Not a pretty picture.




PeezPix by Ted Pease

I’m thinking about cookies













Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dumbing

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Down

“The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

—Carl Sagan (1934-1996), scientist and author, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995

  Editorial Comment:Slow decay”? This is kind of quaint, really.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Paul’s Squashes








Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Interviewing Skills for Tough Times

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Whaaat?!?

“‘Seriously?’
 

“Journalists should always look the person they’re interviewing in the eye and ask, ‘Seriously? You’re seriously saying that to me with a straight face?’ 

(This question can be repeated as often as necessary.)” 

—Luke Burns, writer, “Additions to the Five Journalistic W’s,” The New Yorker, Jan. 31, 2017

  Editorial Comment: Problem is, they are serious. And the poor slobs out here lap it up.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Face Plate












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Monday, October 16, 2017

Bad Pizza

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First, Get Their Attention


“‘If you do things a little differently,’ [Trump] writes of the media, ‘if you say outrageous things and fight back, they love you.’ The free publicity that results from deliberately provoking controversy is invaluable. And if a bit of exaggeration is what it takes, Trump doesn’t have a problem with that. ‘When,’ he asks ‘was the last time you saw a sign hanging outside a pizzeria claiming ‘The fourth best pizza in the world’?’” 

—Matthew Yglesias, writer, “The Bullshitter-in-Chief,” Vox, May 30, 2017.



Editorial Comment: Cheesy.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Pound Puppies Available 









Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Friday, October 13, 2017

Small-Town News

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Commitment


“All across America, I’ve spoken with journalists who are committed, working their butts off and forever looking for new ways to keep their organizations going financially. There’s no shortage of the will to do solid journalism, to help people better understand what’s happening in their towns and cities. But with the death of traditional newspaper funding and the ongoing corporate consolidation of American local press, the situation can seem grim.” 

—Kathleen McLaughlin, journalist, “America’s local newspapers might be broke, but they’re more vital than ever,” The Guardian, Sept. 11, 2017.


Editorial Comment: No news is bad news.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Woodley Island






Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Delicensing the News

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Frankly Disgusting
“It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should look into it.”

“The press should speak more honestly.”

—Donald J. Trump, First Amendment scholar, “Trump Threatens NBC Over Nuclear Weapons Report,” New York Times, Oct. 11, 2017.


Editorial Comment: Just lop that first thing off the Bill of Rights. It’s just an amendment anyway. Fake rights! 


PeezPix by Ted Pease

More Pesky Rights











Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Outside the Box

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Empathy


“[T]he reporter must be able to empathize with personalities outside his usual imaginative range, mentalities unlike his own, kinds of people he would never have written about had he not been forced to by encountering them inside the journalistic situation. This last is what first attracted me to the notion of narrative reportage.” 

—Truman Capote (1924-1984), novelist and screenwriter, in interview with George Plimpton, “The Story Behind a Nonfiction Novel,” The New York Times, 1966.


Editorial Comment: Get outside your comfort zone, and take up with axe murderers, plumbers, journalists, politicians and other unsavory sorts.



PeezPix by Ted Pease

Bigfoot Lives!









Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard