Monday, December 9, 2019

The Morass


“We have all these new channels and tools to understand the world as it happens, but there’s no reliable algorithm for sorting through the morass. 

“It used to be to read the morning paper on the way to work and read the evening paper on the way home. Now we have to invent a new personal methodology every day. And if we’re waiting for things to settle down and become simple, that’s never going to happen.” 

—Jim Gleick, journalism and author, in “Lost in Space,” The New York Times, April 23, 2013.
  

Editorial Comment: It’s exhausting.
  


PeezPix

Pietime

 










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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, December 6, 2019

Apostrophe Protections Extended


“A retired journalist who founded a campaign to preserve the correct use of the apostrophe is bowing out because ‘ignorance has won.’

“The Apostrophe Protection Society was started by John Richards in 2001 to tackle misuse of the punctuation mark. The 96-year-old said: ‘We have done our best but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won.’ . . . 

“‘It seems that fewer organisations and individuals care about the correct use,’ he added. ‘Those who do will get it right but those who can’t be bothered will just carry on sprinkling it about where they feel it looks nice.”’ 

  
  

Editorial Comment: What about the Save the Ümlaut League?


UPDATE: News of Mr. Richards’ despair resulted in “a 600-fold increase in demand,” which crashed the Apostrophe Protection Society server. According to the site: “As a result, we have closed the full site until early January 2020. We apologise for disappointing you but do come back in the New Year! The APS Website is NOT closing Down!” [emphasis and color original]


PeezPix

Beach Lumps









FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
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, December 5, 2019

Too Much Fun to Be Grumpy



“[H]er new role is punishing — too many candidates, too few reporters, not enough hours in the day. But she’s having too much fun to dwell on the downsides.

“Even those times when you’re grumpy and have been on the road all day and nothing is going right, you still just pinch yourself and say, ‘Wow, they pay me to do this,’ she says. ‘As some of our senior reporters have told me, it’s like sitting in the front row of history.’” 

—Brianne Pfannenstiel, chief politics reporter, The Des Moines Register, in Tim Alberta’s “Inside the Shrinking Newsroom of the Newspaper that Shapes the Primaries,” POLITICO, April 26, 2019.
   


 
Editorial Comment: History makes for a good story.



PeezPix

Sadie, Sprinkler Dawg












FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
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, December 4, 2019

Vultures Roost at Chicago Tribune



“Alden [Global Capital]’s strategy and operating practice is unapologetically cutthroat. The company’s executives believe that newspapers are on a permanent decline, headed inevitably toward a value of zero. However, there are differing opinions about how far away that zeroing-out point is, and over a long interim, smart operators can make a lot of money on the way down.” 

   
 
Editorial Comment: Run that black border.

Note: Alden Capital’s newspaper arm, MNG Enterprises (formerly Digital First Media), is now the second-largest newspaper group in the U.S.; the newly combined Gatehouse-Gannett is largest.


PeezPix

Burnt Ranch, California








FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
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, December 3, 2019

To the Death!



“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.” 

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish poet and playwright.
 













Editorial Comment: And I, sir, will defend to the death your right to dress like that . . .




PeezPix

Houda Hump









FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
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, December 2, 2019

Readers Needed


From the WORDmeister: Have you been feeling WORDless? Sorry about that. Here at the International Galactic WORD Headquarters and Spa, we’ve been in a blackout since Tuesday. The cause was not PG&E incompetence this time — the weather weinies said cyclonic winds hit the North Coast of California, knocking stuff down all over the place. We got our power back Friday night after 76 hours of powerlessness. No heat, either. Warming up now. Send soup.

“There is no shortage of wonderful writers. What we lack is a dependable mass of readers. According to a Pew Research Center survey, adult Americans read an average of twelve books a year, heavily weighted on either end of the age spectrum. How many read fiction? God only knows.” 

—Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) and Suzanne McConnell, coauthors, “Pity the Reader: On Writing with Style,” 2019. Image: Yousuf Karsh, 1990.
 



Editorial Comment: I’ve recently learned that a blackout is good for reading books.




PeezPix

Houda Beach














FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
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, November 26, 2019

Aliens



“The degree of alienation is new. In the late 1970s, nearly three-quarters of Americans trusted newspapers, radio and television. Walter Cronkite read the news every night, and most Americans went to bed with the same set of facts, even if they had different political views. These days, less than half of Americans have confidence in the media, according to Gallup.”  

—Sabrina Tavernise and Aidan Gardiner, “‘No One Believes Anything’: Voters Worn Out by a Fog of Political News,” The New York Times, Nov. 18, 2019.


Editorial Comment: Come back, Uncle Walter!



PeezPix
 Hot off the Presses: December's Senior News











FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
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, November 25, 2019

Macabre


“I have this touching fantasy that maybe one day some senator will look at one of my cartoons and actually say to another senator, ‘You know, he has a point here.’” 

—Gahan Wilson (1930-2019), cartoonist, 2010. “Gahan Wilson, Vividly Macabre Cartoonist, Dies at 89,” Nov. 22, 2019.










Editorial Comment: Everyone uses “macabre” in describing Gahan Wilson. Wonder what descriptor will spring to mind for me? “Ruggedly handsome”?




PeezPix

Pacific Winterscape




















FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
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, November 22, 2019

Remembering JFK

 
JFK & The Press

John F. Kennedy was the first president to use the new medium of television to speak directly to the American people. No other president had conducted live televised press conferences without delay or editing.  Between his inauguration on Jan. 20, 1961, until his death in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, JFK had held 64 news conferences, an average of one every 16 days. —John F. Kennedy Presidential Library URL

“[W]hen President Kennedy started televised press conferences, there were only three or four newspapers in the entire United States that carried a full transcript of a presidential press conference. Therefore, what people read was a distillation . . . . We thought that they should have the opportunity to see it in full.”

—Pierre Salinger (1925-2004), JFK’s press secretary

In a December 1962 televised interview, NBC’s Sander Vanocur asked the president about this view of the press.


“I think it is invaluable, even though it may cause you . . . it is never pleasant to be reading things that are not agreeable news, but I would say that it is an invaluable arm of the presidency, as a check, really, on what is going on in the administration, and more things come to my attention that cause me concern or give me information.

“So I would think that Mr. Khrushchev operating a totalitarian system, which has many advantages as far as being able to move in secret, and all the rest — there is a terrific disadvantage not having the abrasive quality of the press applied to you daily, to an administration, even though we never like it, and even though we wish they didn’t write it, and even though we disapprove, there isn’t any doubt that we could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press.”

—John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th president of the United States, 1962. Video 




Editorial Comment: Those were the days.




PeezPix

Morning Sky














FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
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