Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What NOT to do when pitching an idea

From Seinfeld: George proposes to Jerry a unique approach to pitching a new TV comedy series to NBC. George melts down just before pitch meeting. After the pitch meeting that George screwed up by saying he wouldn't compromise his "artistic integrity, Jerry explodes.

And don't get in this bind: In a totally different episode, George quits a job in anger and without a plan. . .then ponders his career options.

Why don't we have public TV like this in U.S.?

Weeks before the Iraq invasion, Jeremy Paxman of BBC's "Newsnight" and skeptical British citizens literally cross-examined Prime Minister Tony Blair about evidence/reasons/legality behind the invasion. This interview with Blair resurfaced last year during Britain's official Iraq inquiry. (Here's another tough Paxman interview of Blair having nothing to do with Iraq.)

In our country, intimidation from politicians + lack of insulated funding = embarrassing timidity at so-called "public television" . . . as evidenced by PBS surgically removing Tina Fey's swipes at Republican hero Sarah Palin from a broadcast a few months ago.

Country by country comparisons of spending on public broadcasting in this study (at page 31.)

Despite our system's shortcomings, PBS on occassion offers exceptional programs. (H/t Evie)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pro Publica wins 2nd Pulitzer...

...and gives credit to its collaboration with public radio's Planet Money and This American Life. (H/t TJ)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fast, fair Internet in U.S.

U.S. falling backward on broadband access and Internet speed.

There's a digital divide in our country whereby middle-class kids like my daughters grew up with computers in the home, but kids in poor rural areas and inner cities don't have access to computers or fast Internet. Here are videos of rural Southerners asking the government in 2009 to step in and help folks get broadband.

Big Internet providers such as Verizon, Comcast, AT&T DID NOT APPLY for any of the billions in stimulus grants for building out broadband infrastructure, according to the Wall St. Journal, because recipients of our tax money had to agree to respect Net Neutrality or Internet Non-discrimination.

Last August, the now-defunct Olbermann show on MSNBC (now owned by Net Neutrality foe Comcast) did a strong segment on Net Neut.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beware: "Drudge Exclusive"

Perhaps Matt Drudge should stick to aggregating content from elsewhere (with revved-up headlines) rather than "report" -- as demonstrated by this 1999 "world exclusive."

And as demonstrated by his 2007 "exclusive" in which he accused CNN reporter Michael Ware of "heckling" Republican senators during a news conference in Iraq and "laughing and mocking their comments." Drudge's evidence-free charge -- based on an anonymous "official" -- was picked up by rightwing blogs and the Washington Times.

It wasn't just Fox News and TV news. . .

...that conveyed's false impressions about ACORN, leading to the group's demise. The NY Times "Public Editor" laughably tried to defend an aspect of that paper's bogus coverage.

Video distortions by bogger (and later, MSM)

US Dept of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod was fired last July by the Obama White House soon after posted a 1 minute/40 second video excerpt purporting to show that, during a speech to the NAACP, Sherrod boasted about discriminating against a white farmer while she was a federal agriculture employee during the Obama administration. Actually, she was describing events in the 1980s when she was Georgia field director for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, a nonprofit that had grown out of the civil rights movement to help Black farmers; she was not a federal employee at the time.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, a fuller version showed that Sherrod told the story to illustrate how she had overcome her racial hostility toward whites and ultimately helped the white farmer save his farm.

BigGovernment is headed by Andrew Breitbart, a former DrudgeReport staffer.

Months earlier, other selectively-edited tapes distributed by Breitbart's (played repeatedly on Fox News and elsewhere) helped put the anti-poverty group ACORN out of business. Rachel Maddow dissects the distorted presentation that doomed ACORN.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What if...

...twitter existed at time of Civil War? (H/t Taylor & WashPost) communications technology existed at time of Woodstock Music Festival in 1969?

You want a glamorous career as a journalist?

Cute video on launching one's journalism career. (H/t Carly & Carly's mom)

2008: Mayhill Fowler of HuffPost 'Off the Bus'

Mayhill Fowler says she didn't hide that she was recording ex-President Clinton's angry words about a Vanity Fair reporter, while he greeted voters in public as he campaigned for his wife in June 2008. BUT Clinton obviously did not know Fowler was a HuffPost "citizen journalist." Should she have ID'd herself? (She clearly got a more honest take from Clinton than if he'd known she was a journalist.)

Should public figures know nowadays that anything said -- especially rants (or racism) -- in public will be recorded and on record forever? Example A, example B.

Mayhill Fowler's earlier reporting scoop that launched "Bittergate" uproar.

Blogger Takes Ethical Action

Here's an apparent example of a blogger acting professionally and ethically as per SPJ Code of Ethics. Blogger Ken Krayeske -- who gained fame locally by questioning University of Connecticut's basketball coach about his huge taxpayer-paid salary -- announced in Oct. 2009 that he wouldn't be covering Hartford City Hall because his girlfriend had a job there.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

From student blogs

TJ noticed this ad paradox on Bill Jacobson's blog.

Google-bashing video (h/t Colin).

MissRepresentation video on sexism in news coverage (h/t Andrea).

Website giving visibility to homeless people (h/t Susannah).

Newspaper urges its reporters to approach businesses and sell ads (h/t Evie).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Big Bucks to You Tube Stars

What the Buck? Could Michael Buckley really have earned over $100k in a year from YouTube videos. . .and then a development deal from HBO?

YouTube star Lisa Donovan or "LisaNova" has real talent IMHO. Like Tina Fey, she likes to play Sarah Palin, including in the famous McCain/Palin rap. I wonder who she's hoping will run for prez in 2012.

Cory Williams and his smpFilms hit the bigtime with "Hey Little Sparta" (aka "The Mean Kitty Song", nearly 40 million views!). He told the NYT in 2008 that he was earning over $200k per year, partly from (ugh!) product placements within his videos.

PhillyD is my 14-year-old daughter's favorite YouTube star, offering his take on current events, tech and celeb news. That's where my girl gets her news. Shouldn't I be monitoring her better?

Become a YouTube Star and appear in a hugely popular music video with Weezer or the earlier one from Barenaked Ladies.

"Where the hell is Matt?" became so popular, the guy has long had his travels paid by corporate sponsors.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blogger/columnists can be independent . . .

. . .or they can be overly partisan. Even partisan hacks of the kind that have bickered with each other for decades on CNN. Here is some critical commentary from the conservative National Review Online within hours of John McCain selecting Sarah Palin as his running-mate in April 2008.