More journalism lulz

1) From part 3 of Held by the Taliban, New York Times reporter David Rohde’s account of his kidnapping and seven months held in captivity by Taliban extremists:

I argued that the United States was not the menacing, predatory caricature that they believed. I also tried to counter their belief that all Americans were astonishingly rich. Nothing I said, though, seemed to change their minds.

One day, I received a copy of Dawn, an English-language Pakistani newspaper, that featured an article on the perilous financial state of The New York Times. I saved the newspaper until commanders stopped by for visits.

Showing them the headline “New York Times Struggles to Stay Afloat,” I explained that the American newspaper industry — as well as the American economy — was in a free fall. They listened to what I said and nodded. Then, they ignored me.

HA! Stupid terrorists. Your naive Pollyannaism about the newspaper industry is downright charming. Maybe I could hand the phone over to a copy boy or a rewrite girl instead? Don’t you even read Romensko?!

Which brings us to:

2) The latest entry from StuffJournalistsLike

#47 moonlighting


Having money isn’t everything not having it is

– Kanye West

Journalists go into journalism knowing they probably won’t be able to buy that dream house, take that exotic cruise or pay off those student loans with their day jobs alone.

In order to enjoy the finer things in life like a full tank of gas and not carrying the shame of sneaking in a day-old Starbucks coffee cup to sneak a refill, another thing journalists like is moonlighting.

After seven hours covering city hall for the people, many journalists hang up their reporter’s notebooks, and put on an apron, nametag and hairnet and serve the public in another capacity.

And journalists have perfected the art of being nice to mean people, be it a source or a guy yelling to supersize his fries.

Writing the first draft of history is rewarding but the pay isn’t.

Read the whole post

And finally, 3) from the Onion this week. Ah, but there’s a major factual error in these grafs! Can you spot it? canyacanyacanya?:

Report: Majority Of Newspapers Now Purchased By Kidnappers To Prove Date


Print journalism owes its solvency to the loyal hostage-takers still paying cover price.

NEW YORK—According to a report published this week in American Journalism Review, 93 percent of all newspaper sales can now be attributed to kidnappers seeking to prove the day’s date in filmed ransom demands.

“Although the vast majority of Americans now get their news from the Internet or television, a small but loyal criminal element still purchases newspapers at a steady rate,” study author and Columbia journalism professor Linus Ridell said. “The sober authority of the printed word continues to hold value for those attempting to extort large sums of money from wealthy people who wish to see their loved ones alive again, and not chopped into pieces and left in steamer trunks on their doorsteps.”

“These are sick, sick individuals,” Ridell added. “God bless them for saving our industry.”

In an effort to cater to their sole remaining customer base, many newspapers have started to run features and advertising targeted at the ruthless abductors. The Washington Post recently sold a two-page advertorial to a popular ski-mask manufacturer, while The New York Times now offers a real estate section dedicated primarily to abandoned warehouses, remote wooden sheds, and converted industrial meat freezers hidden from prying eyes.

Read the whole story.

Did you see it? Here it is: The study was published by the American Journalism Review, an industry publication put out by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland (TerpsTerpsTerps!).

But the study’s author is cited as a professor at Columbia University, publishers of the rival Columbia Journalism Review.

BAM! I guess tough times for the print industry mean even L’Onion can’t afford fact checkers any more. Someone make sure to tell the terrorists.

3 responses to “More journalism lulz

  1. One thing I can say for the Taliban is that they have done a great job of using multimedia…. They were producing pretty epic “viral” videos even before I figured out how to create awful video clips from high school tennis matches.

    I wonder if the Taliban leaders order their underlings to complete their jihad assignments with multimedia. DIGEST: Tuesday: Bin Laden — Roadside bomb, with video clips; Mohammad Al Hambra — Kidnapping, with audio;

  2. Kathlyn, what do you think a Taliban blogroll would contain?

  3. the image of Jeff Kidd as Taliban warlord just flashed into my head and I can’t help but laugh at it.
    Also don’t forget the mid-level overworked taliban day city editor checking over their shoulder every few minutes to see when a web update of the ransom threat would be ready. Then they took away the Taliban’s Palmetto Passes and no one was happy any more

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