There was a time when I thought the WaPo website was the future of online journalism. via BuzzFeed via EatLiver
I stopped feeling that way a long time ago.
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
Theme this week: determination
If you get that story done, I’ll take steps to get you a new cushion for your chair.
H. W. Ross
For our readers we will do no less.
-New Yorker founder Harold Ross writing to encourage E.B. White to finish an essay, as quoted in “A Note to Our Readers,” about the release of the magazine’s iPad app, Oct. 4
I’ve taken some writing courses from Columbia in my spare time, learned a hell of a lot about the newspaper business, and developed a healthy contempt for journalism as a profession. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. If this is what you’re trying to get The Sun away from, then I think I’d like to work for you.
-Hunter S. Thompson, Oct. 1, 1958, in a cover letter to the Vancouver Sun made public this week, via BoingBoing. Continue reading
Theme this week: the enemy is everywhere.
There were 11 alleged Russian agents arrested this week, under accusations that they’d been living as Americans while reporting back to the mothercountry. But mostly we care about the hot one.
-Monica Hesse, “Alleged Russian agent Anna Chapman could have warmed up any Cold War night,” Washington Post, 7/1/10
So if the only IP address StatCounter has to report is your own, and your comments section features a chorus of crickets rivaling that field behind the cabin you visited last weekend (and posted about in painful detail), face it: Your blog is that pathetic, friendless kid who skulks under the jungle gym at recess and reads Lois Lowry books in the bathroom during lunchtime.
– Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz of Stuff Hipsters Hate, “Is your blog the unpopular kid?” CNN Netiquette, 6/29/10 Continue reading