Tag Archives: old media

Great piece from David Simon

David Simon, who was one of the creators of “The Wire,” has a fantastic piece in the Sunday Washington Post. It’s a great reminder, if we needed another one, of the value that professional watchdog journalism brings to civic life. Here’s a little excerpt:

On Feb. 17, when a 29-year-old officer responded to a domestic dispute in East Baltimore, ended up fighting for her gun and ultimately shot an unarmed 61-year-old man named Joseph Alfonso Forrest, the Sun reported the incident, during which Forrest died, as a brief item. It did not name the officer, Traci McKissick, or a police sergeant who later arrived at the scene to aid her and who also shot the man.

It didn’t identify the pair the next day, either, because the Sun ran no full story on the shooting, as if officers battling for their weapons and unarmed 61-year-old citizens dying by police gunfire are no longer the grist of city journalism. At which point, one old police reporter lost his mind and began making calls.

If you haven’t seen “The Wire,” it’s worth watching. Netflix the first season. Or if you’re willing to figure out who people are in midstream, watch the fifth season, which focuses on The Sun.

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The Rocky Mountain News

I suppose I should have something interesting to say about this, but I’m empty. The paper is closing two months shy of its 150th birthday. The possible good news is that they’re selling their archives and Web site, so maybe someone can soldier on with just the costs associated with the site.

This part from their closing story depresses me more than anything else:

“In the past decade, the Rocky has won four Pulitzer Prizes, more than all but a handful of American papers. Its sports section was named one of the 10 best in the nation this week. Its business section was cited by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as one of the best in the country last year. And its photo staff is regularly listed among the best in the nation when the top 10 photo newspapers are judged.”

I realize there’s only a tenuous link between quality and sustainability, but dammit, that’s how business is supposed to work — your superior product should outsell everyone else’s. And their product was so much more entertaining than the Post’s.

Maybe I’ll come back to this later. But I can’t now.

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I expect better out of the NYT

Especially the technology section. Here’s a story about the “slow pace of convergence” between the Internet and TV. I clicked on the link figuring it would be a story about how slowly TV content is coming to the Web (Hulu is awesome, but still very limited).

Nope. Instead, it’s a story about how long it’s taking to build TVs that can browse the Internet.

Now, leaving aside for a moment the fact that a TV is basically just a big image processor, have these people done any research at all? I mean, WebTV still exists. And there’s also the Apple TV, the Xbox Media Center, WinXP Media Center, et al.

But the paragraph that really hacked me off was this one:

For instance, he said that such Internet access could run through the servers of the cable companies, allowing them to screen for viruses, add parental controls, and generally prevent some of the less desirable aspects of full Internet access.

The “he” referenced above is Richard Doherty. He’s described as “an industry analyst at Envisioneering, a consumer-electronics market research firm.” I suppose it’s possible that a research flack doesn’t know that cable companies already provide users with teh Interweb, but seriously?

I’m guessing the reporter meant this to be the nut graf:

Should televisions be able to get access to the Web? And not just the thin slices of the Web allowed by a few services, but the whole cacophonous, unregulated, messy thing? And if they should, how should they?

My answers would be: Yes, Yes, and Through existing and user-controlled means wherever possible.

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