Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Final WORD for 2011

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The WORDster writes: Buried by life and the end of the semester, we’re sending the WORD off to the sanitarium at St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Overwritten a bit early this year for a little holiday break. Rumination and reflection are needed. With that (or this), I thank you all once again for your patience and restraint. If you’re still reading this, you are a better man than I, Gunga Din! Have a lovely December break. Take a dog for a walk. Hug someone you love. And then do it again. God bless us, every one.

Dr. Ted

Perfesser of Interesting Stuff


Enough, already!


“Words! Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!


I get words all day through;

First from him, now from you!

Is that all you blighters can do?


Don't talk of stars burning above;

If you're in love, Show me!


Tell me no dreams filled with desire.

If you're on fire, Show me!

Here we are together in the middle of the night!

Don't talk of spring! Just hold me tight!


Anyone who's ever been in love’ll tell you that

This is no time for a chat!

Haven’t your lips longed for my touch?

Don’t say how much, Show me! Show me!

Don't talk of love lasting through time.


Make me no undying vow. Show me now!

Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!


Don't waste my time, Show me!”


—“My Fair Lady,” Lerner & Lowe, 1964

(Thanks to alert—and fatigued—WORDster Tony Seton)


MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

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Disclaimers:
• • •
TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent weekdays during the school year to 1,800 or so misguided volunteer subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@usu.edu. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. WORD archives, commentary and reader discussion at http://tedsword.blogspot.com (Disclaimer: I just quote 'em, I don't necessarily endorse 'em. All, in theory, contain at least a kernel of truth.)
• • •
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff
Utah State University, Logan, Utah
To receive Today's Word on Journalism, or to flame the WORDman, email ted.pease@usu.edu
"Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little." --Tom Stoppard
• • •
CALLING ALL UTAH STATE U. JCOM ALUMS: Where are you? We're updating our alumni list. Please check in with Perfesser Ted.
• • •

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shovel-full

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A WORD for Final Exam Week

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.”

—W.C. Fields (1880-1946), comedian-philosopher-savant











• Editorial Comment.
No comment.


MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Veterinary science no longer a ‘man’s world’ – women now a majority, by Rachel Kenley
Bad winter air seeps back into Cache Valley, causes asthma and illness, by Lindsay Nemelka
Home brew: Art of making wine and beer on the rise in Utah kitchens, by Rouchelle Brockman
‘Fix it’ ticket for headlight turns into arrest for failure to appear in court, by Nick Bolinder

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Disclaimers:
• • •
TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent weekdays during the school year to 1,800 or so misguided volunteer subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@usu.edu. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. WORD archives, commentary and reader discussion at http://tedsword.blogspot.com (Disclaimer: I just quote 'em, I don't necessarily endorse 'em. All, in theory, contain at least a kernel of truth.)
• • •
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff
Utah State University, Logan, Utah
To receive Today's Word on Journalism, or to flame the WORDman, email ted.pease@usu.edu
"Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little." --Tom Stoppard
• • •
CALLING ALL UTAH STATE U. JCOM ALUMS: Where are you? We're updating our alumni list. Please check in with Perfesser Ted.
• • •

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Papa sez

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Advice from Papa Hemingway

“[W]rite when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.”

—Ernest Hemingway
(1899-1961) writer
(Thanks to alert WORDster Ryan Jensen)








• Editorial Comment: That sure would reduce the amount of noise in the system.



MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Veterinary science no longer a ‘man’s world’ – women now a majority, by Rachel Kenley
Bell choir startles stressed students with ringing flash-mob concert, by Heidi Hansen
Weber County man pleads guilty to stealing from USU dorm, by Allee Evensen
‘Fix it’ ticket for headlight turns into arrest for failure to appear in court, by Nick Bolinder

PeezPIX by Ted Pease

PeezPix cards & prints
. . . Catalog here.







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Disclaimers:
• • •
TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent weekdays during the school year to 1,800 or so misguided volunteer subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@usu.edu. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. WORD archives, commentary and reader discussion at http://tedsword.blogspot.com (Disclaimer: I just quote 'em, I don't necessarily endorse 'em. All, in theory, contain at least a kernel of truth.)
• • •
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff
Utah State University, Logan, Utah
To receive Today's Word on Journalism, or to flame the WORDman, email ted.pease@usu.edu
"Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little." --Tom Stoppard
• • •
CALLING ALL UTAH STATE U. JCOM ALUMS: Where are you? We're updating our alumni list. Please check in with Perfesser Ted.
• • •

Monday, December 12, 2011

High Hopes

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What a Dreamer

“I am entirely persuaded that the American public is more reasonable, restrained and mature than most of the broadcast industry’s planners believe.”

—Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965), journalist, Radio and Television News Directors’ Convention, 1958 URL
(Thanks to alert WORDster Ann T. Berry)


• Editorial Comment: Mr. Murrow, meet Mr. Murdoch.

MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Veterinary science no longer a ‘man’s world’ – women now a majority, by Rachel Kenley
Bell choir startles stressed students with ringing flash-mob concert, by Heidi Hansen
Drug Court helps addicts help themselves, one step at a time, by Rachel Kenley
Smithfield City Council signs on for canal rebuilding project, by Nick Bolinder


PeezPIX by Ted Pease

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Backpack Journalism

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Golden Age

Terry Gross: “Do you feel like, as a reporter who covers the business of media, that you are reporting on the dismemberment of your own profession?”

David Carr: “No, I think we are entering a golden age of journalism. I do think there has been horrible frictional costs, but I think when we look back at what has happened, I look at my backpack that is sitting here, and it contains more journalistic firepower than the entire newsroom that I walked into 30 to 40 years ago. It’s connected to the cloud, I can make digital recordings of everything that I do, I can check in real time if someone is telling me the truth, I have a still camera that takes video that I can upload quickly and seamlessly.

“I think that the ability to sit at your desk and check everything against history and narrative, it’s part of how newspapers ended up becoming . . . daily magazines. All the analytics are baked in because the reporters are able to check stuff as they go.”

—David Carr, New York Times media writer,
with “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross, National Public Radio,
October 27, 2011 URL
(Thanks to alert WORDster Jim Foust)
Image: Idaho’s first newspaper, The Golden Age, Lewiston, Idaho, 1862-1865

• Editorial Comment: If a backpack falls in the newsroom, does anyone pay attention?

MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Bell choir startles stressed students with ringing flash-mob concert, by Heidi Hansen
Drug Court helps addicts help themselves, one step at a time, by Rachel Kenley
Customers queue up in the cold, wait for hours for free food at Cafe Rio, by April Ashland


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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Telepaths Wanted

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Interpreting the Horserace

“As the political reporting heats up, I am reminded once again of how many journalists are totally ignorant of the basic background on what most seem to consider the big story: public opinion polls. I said ignorant, not stupid. They don’t understand the nature of social science research methods, and as a result, they mistakenly believe that with a large enough sample, the polls reveal popular thoughts with the accuracy of teams of telepaths. . . . [S]ince so many reporters are users of social science data, why doesn’t journalism education commonly require courses in social science research methods?”

— Herbert Jack Rotfield,
business professor,
Auburn University, 2011
(Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson)

• Editorial Comment: Telepaths—great idea. (For the record, our students must take both stats and research methods for exactly this reason.)


MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Bell choir startles stressed students with ringing flash-mob concert, by Heidi Hansen
Cesspools still exist in Logan; council says they can be legal, by Mitch Figgat
You’d better watch out — for prowlers, not Santa, by Lindsay Nemelka


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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Professional Responsibility

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Step Up or Get Out of the Way

“It is my belief that the writer, the free-lance author, should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives. It is easy enough, and always profitable, to rail away at national enemies beyond the sea, at foreign powers beyond our borders who question the prevailing order. But the moral duty of the free writer is to begin his work at home; to be a critic of his own community, his own country, his own culture. If the writer is unwilling to fill this part, then the writer should abandon pretense and find another line of work: become a shoe repairman, a brain surgeon, a janitor, a cowboy, a nuclear physicist, a bus driver.”

—Edward Abbey (1927-1989), author, iconoclast, environmentalist, the “Thoreau of the West,” said Larry McMurtry
(Thanks to alert WORDster Christine Arrington)

• Editorial Comment: As the Girl Scouts say, “Leave your campsite better than you found it.” (Thanks to Bev Kees. RIP.)


MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Bell choir startles stressed students with ringing flash-mob concert, by Heidi Hansen
Interview with Guns N’ Roses’ Dizzy Reed as band tours U.S., by Ben Hansen
Locker room search leads to arrest of Logan High student, by Allee Evensen


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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Craning for Understanding

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The Newspaper

“A newspaper is a collection of half-injustices
Which, bawled by boys from mile to mile,
Where every one is kindly and unfairly tried
By a squalor of honest men.
A newspaper is a market
Where wisdom sells its freedom
And melons are crowned by the crowd.
A newspaper is a game
Where his error scores the player victory
While another’s skill wins death.
A newspaper is a symbol;
It is feckless life’s chronicle,
A collection of loud tales
Concentrating eternal stupidities,
That in remote ages lived unhaltered,
Roaming through a fenceless world.”

—Stephen Crane (1871-1900), novelist, poet and journalist,
from War is Kind and Other Lines
(1988)
(Thanks to alert WORDster Andrew Merton)

• Editorial Comment: “Eternal stupidities” is about right.

MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Permit for proposed Richmond ski resort still on hold with Cache P&Z, by Mandy Morgan
New campus eatery’s 1st week so good, it’s already looking to expand, by Katrina Warburton
Love That Cookie! wins approval from Wellsville Planning & Zoning, by Mandy Morgan


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Monday, December 5, 2011

The ‘Public Interest’

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Just Say No

“Journalists in Britain have traditionally justified shady practices by arguing that they are in ‘the public interest.’ Asked by an inquiry lawyer how he would define that, [former News of the World deputy features editor Paul] McMullan said that the public interest is what the public is interested in.

“‘I think the public is clever enough to decide the ethics of what it wants in its own newspapers,’ he said. Referring to articles about Charlotte Church, a singer who told the inquiry this week of her distress at her family’s treatment by the tabloids, he said, ‘If they don’t like what you have written about Charlotte Church’s father having a three-in-a-bed with cocaine, then they won’t read it.’”

—Sarah Lyall, reporter, The New York Times,
British Inquiry Is Told Hacking Is Worthy Tool,” Nov. 29, 2011
Note: Rupert Murdoch’s 168-year-old tabloid News of the World folded this fall
amid a hacking scandal. These comments by a former editor
at a British government inquiry last week on journalism ethics.


• Editorial Comment: Explains a lot about both the press and society.

MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Permit for proposed Richmond ski resort still on hold with Cache P&Z, by Mandy Morgan
New campus eatery’s 1st week so good, it’s already looking to expand, by Katrina Warburton
Wellsville’s Christmas decorations are hand-made and ‘down to earth,’ by Allie Jeppson


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Friday, December 2, 2011

Pimp

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Big Brother

“An editor should have a pimp for a brother so he’ll have someone to look up to.”

—Gene Fowler (1890-1960), reporter, editor, screenwriter
and author, 1927






• Editorial Comment:
. . . someone close to give you the bird.



MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Plea in abeyance lets woman avoid jail for minor in possession charge, by Lindsay Nemelka & D. Whitney Smith
Keep up with news to stay afloat in journalism’s sea changes, by Allie Jeppson
JCOM’s Communicators Guild hosts students, alumni in first event, by Max Parker Dahl

PeezPIX by Ted Pease
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• PeezPix & MORE! at TONIGHT’s 9th annual Cache Valley Winter Gift Market, Dec. 2-3.




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Thursday, December 1, 2011

He said what?

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Smashing Good Fun

“After Paul McMullan, a former deputy features editor at Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, had finished his jaw-droppingly brazen remarks at a judicial inquiry on Tuesday, it was hard to think of any dubious news-gathering technique he had not confessed to, short of pistol-whipping sources for information….”

“‘I absolutely loved giving chase to celebrities,’ he said. ‘How many jobs can you have car chases in? Before Diana died, it was such good fun.’”

—Sarah Lyall, reporter, The New York Times,
British Inquiry Is Told Hacking Is Worthy Tool,” Nov. 29, 2011

See also . . .
The Guardian:
Paul McMullan lays bare newspaper dark arts at Leveson inquiry: Former News of the World man defends brutal Sunday tabloid world,”
Nov. 29, 2011.
• The New Yorker: “Is Privacy Evil?” Dec. 1, 2011

• Editorial Comment: Amoral dirtbags.

MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café





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• PeezPix & MORE! at 8th annual Cache Valley Winter Gift Market, Dec. 2-3.




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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Period

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More on Punctuation

“There is not much to be said about the period, except that most writers don’t reach it soon enough.”

—Edith Wharton (1862-1937),
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (The Age of Innocence, 1920) and short story writer.
(And, apparently, overindulgent dog owner...)



• Editorial Comment: Sometimes I don’t make it that far.



MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

More than 100 artisans launch gift-giving season at Novemberfest, by Kristi Ottley
Logan car burglaries almost double over 2010, police say, by Rouchelle Brockman
TONIGHT: New student Communicators Guild invites JCOM alumni back to campus, by Rhett Wilkinson

PeezPIX by Ted Pease
PeezPix cards & prints
. . . Catalog here.


• PeezPix & MORE! at 8th annual Cache Valley Winter Gift Market, Dec. 2-3.




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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sanitized

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Protecting U.S. Sensibilities?

“Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. Often, America's cover is quite, well – different. This week offers a stark example. Witness:



“Yes, what you see is TIME devoting its cover in international markets to a critical moment in Egypt's revolution – perhaps the most important global story this week – while offering Americans the chance to contemplate their collective navels (with a rather banal topic and supposition, to boot). . . . ”

“Viewing these covers, a question must be asked: do these moments of marketing (through a choice in covers) reveal more about Americans, or about the state of American journalism?

“I fear the answer.”

—David Harris Kershon, The Kos Group,
STUNNING: Comparing U.S. & World Covers for TIME Magazine,”
Nov. 25, 2011

Note: more examples at Kos.

• Editorial Comment: I can hear the marketing guys now—Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil—and their boss, O. Strich.

This seems to be a disturbingly standard practice. In the past, CNNinternational has often aired video that is much more graphic than the sanitized (or missing) version seen in the U.S. Al Jazeera and other non-Western news organizations frame events very differently than U.S. media do—one returned Iraq veteran told me shortly after he got back that troops routinely watched Al Jazeera more closely for their news than U.S. sources. Who’s protecting us, from what? And why?

MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

More than 100 artisans launch gift-giving season at Novemberfest, by Kristi Ottley
Logan car burglaries almost double over 2010, police say, by Rouchelle Brockman
Wednesday: New student Communicators Guild invites JCOM alumni back to campus, by Rhett Wilkinson

PeezPIX by Ted Pease
PeezPix cards & prints
. . . Catalog here.


• PeezPix & MORE! at 8th annual Cache Valley Winter Gift Market, Dec. 2-3.




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Monday, November 28, 2011

Tom Wicker, RIP

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They don’t make many like Tom Wicker, 1926-2011

MONTPELIER, Vt. - On Nov. 22, 1963, Tom Wicker was in the first press bus following John F. Kennedy’s motorcade when the president was assassinated. Wicker, The New York Times’ White House correspondent, would later write in a memoir that the day was a turning point for the country: ‘The shots ringing out in Dealey Plaza marked the beginning of the end of innocence.’

“At that moment, however, all he knew was that he was covering one of the biggest stories in history. ‘I would write two pages, run down the stairs, across the waiting room, grab a phone and dictate,’ Wicker later wrote. ‘Dictating each take, I would throw in items I hadn’t written, sometimes whole paragraphs.’” . . .

“Gay Talese, author of the major history of The New York Times, wrote of Wicker’s coverage: ‘It was a remarkable achievement in reporting and writing, in collecting facts out of confusion, in reconstructing the most deranged day in his life, the despair and bitterness and disbelief, and then getting on a telephone to New York and dictating the story in a voice that only rarely cracked with emotion.’” (AP obit here) . . .

“The searing images of that day — the rifleman’s shots cracking across Dealey Plaza, the wounded president lurching forward in the open limousine, the blur of speed to Parkland Memorial Hospital and the nation’s anguish as the doctors gave way to the priests and a new era — were dictated by Mr. Wicker from a phone booth in stark, detailed prose drawn from notes scribbled on a White House itinerary sheet. It filled two front-page columns and the entire second page, and vaulted the writer to journalistic prominence overnight. . . .”

“Mr. Wicker had many detractors. He was attacked by conservatives and liberals, by politicians high and low, by business interests, labor leaders and others, and for a time his activism — crossing the line from observer to participant in news events — put him in disfavor with many mainstream journalists.”

—Robert D. McFadden, in Wicker’s New York Times obit, Nov. 25, 2011

• New York Times slideshow.

• Editorial Comment:
A pretty good legacy for a journalist—on the front lines of huge events, reporting to the world, and attacked by critics on all sides, including journalists. Tom Wicker, an intrepid career with neither fear nor favor. Thank you.

MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

More than 100 artisans launch gift-giving season at Novemberfest, by Kristi Ottley
Logan car burglaries almost double over 2010, police say, by Rouchelle Brockman
Wednesday: New student Communicators Guild invites JCOM alumni back to campus, by Rhett Wilkinson

PeezPIX by Ted Pease
PeezPix cards & prints
. . . Catalog here.


• PeezPix & MORE! at 8th annual Cache Valley Winter Gift Market, Dec. 2-3.




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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hit the Couch!

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The WORD is taking the rest of this Annual Week of Overindulgence off to remember what and whom to thank. And to practice for the Annual Black Friday Burping Cotillion. Enjoy.

TV Therapy

“Seeing a murder on television can help work off one’s antagonisms. And if you haven’t any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.”

—Alfred Hitchock (1899-1980), filmmaker




• Editorial Comment: Sure. TV always makes me want to kill someone. Mostly my TV.








MORE INTERESTING STUFF . . . .

Visit our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

News Flash: USU mathematician named best prof in Utah in 2011
Logan car burglaries almost double over 2010, police say, by Rouchelle Brockman
New student Communicators Guild invites JCOM alumni back to campus, by Rhett Wilkinson


PeezPIX by Ted Pease
PeezPix cards & prints
. . . Catalog here.


• PeezPix & MORE! at 8th annual Cache Valley Winter Gift Market, Dec. 2-3.

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