Tag Archives: journalism

Frank Sinatra has a kale salad

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Frank Sinatra ate something once and someone probably reported on it.

Celebrities ate (and drank) a lot of things in 2013. Sometimes a print media reporter was present to capture it. Here is a 2013 history of food consumption as told through through celebrity profiles.*

Steve McQueen, director 12 Years a Slave: curry

“We’d each ordered curry, and when the young waitress came back to ask about the food, McQueen pointed at the B-grade health-inspector placard in the window, joking, in his hurried London accent, that it deserved an A.”

Jimmy Fallon, late-night host: Peppers with anchovies

“At Frankies Spuntino restaurant in Brooklyn, Jimmy Fallon orders the peppers with anchovies to share.”

Renata Adler, author: the briniest mollusks

“I met Renata Adler on a cold December day – actually, on 12/12/12, a date that spawned mass weddings and superstitions – at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York. We realized within minutes of being seated that the plan was a mistake. Over endlessly echoing, impossibly loud lunchtime noise, we ordered Bloody Marys and the briniest mollusks and agreed to just treat lunch as lunch.”

Armie Hammer, actor, The Lone Ranger: steak

“Alas, the bar doesn’t open till 8 p.m., the waiter tells us. Acceptance settling in, Hammer orders a steak, rare.” Continue reading

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So You Want to Be a Journalist

via Gina

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Spiking gets spiked at the Washington Post

The Washington Post’s new CMS eliminates the option to “spike”a story  to indicate it wasn’t going to make it in the paper. The anachronistic newsroom colloquialism was replaced instead with the colorless “delete.”

The Post’s John Kelly writes:

To “spike” a story is to eliminate it before it sees print. It has its origins in a physical act. If you look at old photos of newsrooms from the ’30s or ’40s, you will see eyeshade-wearing men, their sleeves held up with garters, sitting at long tables. Sticking up from those tables are metal spikes. A story that was insufficient for whatever reason would be smashed atop the spike, the paper perforated and pinioned like a butterfly or the head of a traitor. We long ago stopped using metal spikes, but the word persisted. In our old computer system, you could dispatch a story by clicking on a drop-down menu, highlighting the word “Spike” and clicking enter. It was a bloodless, digital spiking, but I always got a kick out of knowing the word connected me to journalism’s past. Continue reading

Is RoBernstein the future of journalism? Input!

Declining advertising revenue, slow adoption of new technologies and fealty to a crumbling old model of news distribution were already doing a number on the psyche of the average news reporter. But this one is a

RoBernstein. Not pictured: Wood3PO

pretty low blow. Scientists in Tokyo, who apparently have nothing better to do than jabbing a salt-covered pencil into the eyes of journalists worldwide, like say oh, I don’t know, creating a viable renewable energy infrastructure or attacking the moon or building more of these things that will take on the responsibility of driving your drunk ass home or limiting the number of emails I get with the word ‘fuckstick’ in the subject line, have created a journalist robot that can gather and publish basic information. More from SingularityHub:

Researchers at the Intelligent Systems Informatics Lab (ISI) at Tokyo University have developed a journalist robot that can autonomously explore its environment and report what it finds. The robot detects changes in its surroundings, decides if they are relevant, and then takes pictures with its on board camera. It can query nearby people for information, and it uses internet searches to further round out its understanding. If something appears newsworthy, the robot will even write a short article and publish it to the web.

Hat tip to Alyssa, via KnightBlog

OK, so this article is a bit vague here, and does not provide any examples of work the RoBernstein has produced (“5-8 bit clips minimum; applicant robots should also include a cover letter and several reference programs”) or any information on how it would possibly be used, so I’m not entirely buying the game-changing tone of the article just yet. It’s unclear what counts as “changes in its surroundings,” how it considers these changes relevant, how it chooses which photos to take, what sort of questions it asks bystanders and how it processes the answers. The post’s author hypothesizes the robots could be used in battle zones too dangerous for human reporters to enter. Continue reading

How to report the news like a Dream Team

Been meaning to post this funny and dead-ass skewering of TV news style, with much thanks to Kathlyn for the tip.

The BBC’s Charlie Brooker, essentially a limey Jon Stewart, on how to report the news.

Not that print journalism doesn’t have its own well-worn and weary styles lazy reporters fall back on all the time. How many times have you read a celebrity profile that opens up with something like: “Mark Linn-Baker sat across from me munching pensively on his cracked pepper mescalin salad, as he chewed over the cosmic fundamentalism of a digital world where cousins can longer truly be strangers. “You’d be surprised how much the invention of Geneology.com and Facebook would have shattered the original TGIF lineup,” Linn-Baker said while ripping off a heel of 15-grain ciabatta loaf and dipping it into the tub of triple-pressed olive oil carried over to him by an obsequious publicist wearing a leather thong.

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Journalism!

Everyone’s favorite punching bag:

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From Sit Down, Shut Up.

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You said it, sister

From Gawker, The Plight of Print’s Lucky Ones:

Admittedly, complaining about your well-paying job at a time when a lot of very capable people are out of work altogether won’t engender any sympathy. But Q’s little booze-soaked soliloquy does raise a question that seems to weigh heavily on the minds of media folk of a certain demographic these days (those over the age of, say, 27, who have already spent 5-plus years toiling in the trenches at publications that are vastly different in scope and size than when they started). Namely: Where do we go from here?

Because right now, as the Summer of 2009 gives way to fall, the answer is pretty damn unclear.

The whole post is well worth a read, as it captures the broad industry wide malaise that’s got a strangle hold on this certain generation of journalists, those too young to call it quits on a career but not young enough to avoid wading into this swirling pool in the first place. I am, by the way, exactly 27.

I differ from the author of this post and from other woe-begotten journos in an important way: Even if I knew what was going to happen to the industry, I still don’t think that would have caused me to change majors in college or pursue another career path after graduation. But I would have probably went about it another way (and would have hoped my j school was on board). I also probably would have taken that interview I had for an internship at Washingtonpost.com a little bit more seriously.

I mean, they had a room full of free sodas in the office. That was a big selling point for them at the time. Who would’ve known that’s where the serious shit was happening?*

*we all should have known