unrequited narcissism

Archives: media
Archives: media
September 03, 2006
September 03, 2006
walt disney wants your fingerprints media  - northwestern

congratulations to my wonderful friend laura, whose article on walt disney's fingerprinting collection was published recently as part of the news 21 initiative on the future of journalism (read more about the program here). boing boing even picked it up, and you know that's when you've made it! anyway, i encourage you all to read it.

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August 22, 2006
August 22, 2006
lucky them! media  - northwestern

it's been decided - i will be covering congress and all affairs political for both the Yo/rk Da/ily Re/cord and the Han/over Eveni/ng S/un come this september. those ARE in pennsylvania, right? anyway, don't doubt it - i'm going to be coming to all my savvy media friends for insider political quotes. you know who you are. also, do i have any savvy pennsylvani in-the-know friends? cause, uh, i could use your help.

time to research! and try to convince both papers to redo their web sites! because, oi.

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August 06, 2006
August 06, 2006
scumbags! media  - politics  - pop culture

It appears that Exxon is astroturfing YouTube, producing content designed to look like an authentic, amateur piece belittling Al Gore's efforts to bring attention to the climate change crisis.

It's been a while since I got really upset by an advertising campaign. I sort of thought I'd grown out of it, to tell you the truth. Guess not. Kriston thinks I'm crazy, but I still believe there should be some sort of disclosure requirement that makes this kind of sleaziness nonviable.

More realistically, YouTube might want to think about introducing such a requirement into its license terms, if it wants to maintain the cachet it's currently enjoying. Eventually the copyright owners will yank their content. If all that's left is a collection of cutting-edge marketing efforts, interest in the site will evaporate pretty quickly.

comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
August 03, 2006
August 03, 2006
or not D.C.  - media

fishbowl's annual hot media hotties hot hot list is up - and in the male off-air selection alone, we have three competitors of whom i know. 1) joe heim: wonderful man. sweet as pie. i interned for him at washingtonpost.com. 2) nick gillespie: he must be hot, because i am a bag-eyed ho unworthy of his love. 3) a mysterious man who i hear likes chia pets.

who to vote for?!

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July 31, 2006
July 31, 2006
article bleg media

hey y'all, besides asking your opinions on my quite-possibly-hideous-taste-in-shoes, i have another favor to ask. i'm writing an article for you-know-who on the decline of the indie store - you know, big chains taking over and fun, quirky, small stores closing, etc. why it's happening, where it's happening, will independent stores cease to exist at all one day, etc etc. so i'm asking you for any thoughts, fresh angles, or sources who might be willing to be interviewed (store owners and employees, patrons, um, indie store pontificators and experts?). if you've got some tips, shoot me an email, or leave a comment.

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July 13, 2006
July 13, 2006
that's the life! atlanta  - media

things i like about working here: cutie canadian metrosexual and space/tech reporter da/ni/el sieb/erg was behind me this morning in line for starbucks. you may have seen him recently on cnn's coverage of the shuttle launch. the cashiers greeted him enthusiastically (apparently they are all good friends) and said they hadn't seen him in a while. he responded, "well, i've been on the road. that's the life of a correspondent, you know."

indeed. also, he smelled good.

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July 12, 2006
July 12, 2006
fame and fortune D.C.  - media

rob got linked on romenesko. cool!

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July 05, 2006
July 05, 2006
that's it atlanta  - media

actual words emitting from anchor lady's mouth: "next up: more on kim jong-il. some say he's just crazy; some say he's crazy like a fox. stay tuned."

in other news, tommy and the weather gods must be in touch, because after driving home last night from having drinks with the ex who's in town for business, my little dodge neon and i were nearly EFFING WASHED AWAY. seriously, there was a poorly-drained intersection where i swear to god, i actually started to feel my car float. it was scary. so i hereby, from my 10 days' worth of living experience, deem atlanta the goddamn rainiest city in the world. its slogan should be: "atlanta! you don't think of it as a rainy city, but you should. also, you'll drown."

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April 20, 2006
April 20, 2006
powerpointable media  - misc  - northwestern

for those of you who have been reading for a while, you may recall my invective against the evils of powerpoint. it's something i still sort of vaguely stand by, but mostly because i really suck at powerpoint, not because of any particular reason. however, in our media management class, we've been forced to create powerpoint presentations no less than four or five times already, and the application will be a major part of our final presentation to the star tribune. so, you know, you suck it up.

i've also already become a more skilled powerpointer in part thanks to my friend andrew, whose partner cliff is a powerpoint guru. he literally wrote the book on powerpoint. apparently, since this quarter started, cliff was getting a bit miffed at andrew all of the sudden asking millions of powerpoint questions when he had never showed a real interest in his work before. so andrew did what any loving boyfriend would do: he called up all his media contacts on a friday afternoon, and voila: yesterday, the la times wrote a major business section article on cliff and his skills (which have of late been shown off in the vioxx trial). pretty sweet, no? it's actually a pretty interesting read, no matter what you think of powerpoint. the article was also the most emailed one on the site yesterday, and get this as an additional bonus: cliff's book shot up to #4 on amazon. not too shabby!

comments [9] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
April 19, 2006
April 19, 2006
pretty spaces in office places chicago  - media  - northwestern

our class spent today at the chicago tribune building, talking to the folks of Red Eye (the chicagoan version of express, for you d.c. folks), chicagotribune.com, and tribune interactive. everyone there was lovely and smart, of course, but what was really great was seeing the inside of this gorgeous building. even better was the office space for tribune interactive, which was in the basement, where the printing presses used to be!!1!! i found that really cool, for some reason. it's very sleek and modern and loft-like down there - not your typical basement office. certainly a space where i wouldn't mind working. apparently it's won all sorts of awards. check it out.

i should also mention that we got to check out the printing plant of the daily herald last week, and for all i think of print papers, that is one impressive piece of machinery. check out some images of the press (not the DH's; a german company, i believe) here. though the daily herald is the third largest paper in illinois, it's still what many consider a suburban paper, but its printing presses are some of the newest and most sophisticated in the country. they also have scary machine forklift type robots that load the enormous 20-ton rolls of paper and i almost got run over by one. or, like, it came within 20 feet of me.

printing presses. i know! exciting! alright, more voyeurism - you can check out the pretty faces of some of my classmates here.

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April 09, 2006
April 09, 2006
gah gah gah chicago  - media

i'm an idiot. i think, on the way down from observing the amazing view from the hancock tower this morning, my family and i rode in the elevator with eric zorn. who is eric zorn, you may ask? only my FAVORITE JOURNALIST BLOGGER EVER. he's a columnist/blogger for the chicago tribune, and he's excellent. he covered the ryan trial and recent local elections like no one else's business, but he also uses his blog for silly, fun, bloggy stuff.

i didn't recognize him - he was outfiitted in cubs gear, with a similarly-styled young daughter, and he was very talkative, but pleasantly so, on the 96-story ride down. at one point on the elevator, the sign, for whatever reason, reads "EZ," and his daughter said, "look, dad! your initials!" a small lightbulb went off at that point, but i really didn't think too much of it. but a google image search seems to confirm my suspicions, i believe. ah well. two ships passing in the night, or the elevator, or something along those lines.

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April 01, 2006
April 01, 2006
the future is now, suckers media

remember when i joked that i wanted to be a journalism futurist? well, looks like the new york times is hiring...a futurist. i didn't think positions with ridiculous names like that actually existed, but there you go!

if you click through to when i wrote about the futurist thing, you can also get an account of my first weekend ever in chicago, with susan, which was about one year ago when we were checking out grad schools, and includes references to the now-infamous tequila bender from hell. tommy and (crossing fingers!) kriston might be coming out here soon, so i'll have to make sure to take them to that bar. and try not to puke in a cab in the process. that's right, i set high standards for myself.

comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
npr blog media

this is probably way old news to everyone else, but i only found out a few weeks ago that NPR has a blog, mixed signals...and it is faboo. the normal blogger is jj sutherland, but he's currently off in iraq for a few weeks, so there's a guest blogger who's doing a fine job. but the real gems are jj's occasional posts from baghdad. check it out. it's pretty much my new favorite blog.

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March 24, 2006
March 24, 2006
cp superstars media

Alright, so they're both already well on their way to conquering the art and online worlds, but there's still something cool about seeing your friends show up in dead-tree format on every streetcorner in a city. So go check out the item by Kriston and the piece about Molly in this week's CityPaper.

I'm sure I'm irrationally drawing attention to what they consider to be a minor blip in their respective campaigns for multimedia domination — but this is the first time the struggle has made its way to a publication lowbrow enough for me to read.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
March 21, 2006
March 21, 2006
cellphones and the post media

the post's city guide just added a somewhat cool feature to their establishments' info - you can now send the name, location and phone number of a bar, restaurant, etc to your cellphone. that's neat, but it would be better if they would do a couple of things: actually publicize this in a venue beyond their post.blog, which is a neat blog but not widely-read by the kind of people who would actually be using the cellphone feature (maybe a post on the GOGblog as well? or a note on the front page of the city guide). second, and maybe this is in the works as far as i know, it would be cool if they had a google-ish text message feature, where you could SMS a particular number with a zip code and a description of what you're looking for - beer, chinese, whatever - and the city guide would send you back what's available in that area along with a brief descriptive blurb from the city guide's review. i'd hit it.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
ugh media

this has to be one of the stupidest opinion pieces i've ever read: this woman claims that the reason we traipsed so happily into the iraq war was that not enough people were reading newspapers. i'm sorry, was she even reading newspaper articles and columns around that time?

Think a little further. If more Americans had had a comprehensive view of the world -- the kind that is irrevocably blurred by the 80,000 new blogging sites launched every week -- it would have been barely possible for the 30 people who in essence started the Iraq war to have acted without the accord of the American people.

yes. the iraq war is the fault of bloggers and their dastardly plan to have readers read them. shite newspaper reporting had nothing to do with it.

that's the first ridiculous point. the second ridiculous point is basically that the reason for circulation declines is the readers' fault (with a healthy dose of blogs, of course). god forbid anyone ever think that maybe people don't read newspapers as much anymore because maybe newspapers aren't delivering what they need. the condescending view that only newspapers can properly educate people and the reason they're failing nowadays is the fault of the idiotic american public is one of the things that is sure to rile me up into a frenzy.

"My theory is that we Americans have so picked and chosen our news that we have lost that comprehensive view of the world that only a newspaper gives."

huh. if only we could do something about this...something like not allowing people to pick and choose what they want to read...perhaps a government-licensed newspaper that everybody is forced to read? that sounds like just the ticket!

comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
March 07, 2006
March 07, 2006
blondes have equal amounts of fun media

shouldn't the new york times at least be a) more accurate than and b) more ahead of the curve than yglesias?

(channeling atrios) time for a blogger ethics panel!

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March 04, 2006
March 04, 2006
famous friends! media  - personal

my dear friend claire agre, who i met while working in milan and who is now a graduate landscape architecture student at harvard, is in the new york times today! woohoo! it's an article about the environmentally responsible redevelopment of a historic piece of former mining land in colorado. check it:

Academics and experts on mine reclamation---one of the biggest environmental problems of the West, where there are perhaps 500,000 abandoned mines---say that Breckenridge's groundbreaking path could change how mine reclamation works. With ownership of the pollution and control of the land, they say, comes the power to shape the post-mining landscape in a way that goes far beyond just cleaning it up.

"Breckenridge can lead the way," said Alan Berger, an associate professor of landscape architecture at Harvard and founder of the Project for Reclamation Excellence, a group at the design school that works on reclaiming land damaged by resource extraction. "The opportunities of what the town and county can do here are completely open-ended."

And so are the burdens. The property is hatch-marked by miles of unmarked and unmapped trails carved by generations of backcountry users at a time when no owner was around to say boo. The new owners are bracing for what they expect will be contentious public meetings beginning this spring as managers decide which trails to keep open and who may use them. The town favors things like hiking and biking, while the county wants to make sure that motorized users have their say as well.

Mining's legacy on the forest is another headache. In gold's heyday, lumber was needed for mills and tunnels, and by the late 1800's the Horseshoe was stripped. The result today is a narrow monoculture in which the oldest trees are about 120 years old---mostly lodgepole pines.

Pine beetles, which have ravaged vast parts of the West, are just hitting this part of Colorado. Local officials warn that the bugs, which love mature lodgepoles, could kill 80 percent of Horseshoe's trees.

But Breckenridge, which has carved a tourist niche around its mining history and historic buildings also wants to incorporate the story of the Horseshoe into the fabric of the local economy. That means thinking about mines and miners, and how they gave rise to Breckenridge.

That is where Claire Agre, a Harvard graduate student in landscape architecture, enters the picture.

you'll have to read the rest to find out what superhero claire agre is doing to save the world!

you can see my world-renowned series of "claire, pensive" photos here, here and here.

comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
March 01, 2006
March 01, 2006
media management project media  - northwestern

for those of you vaguely interested in the media management project i'll be doing this spring at medill, (not many of you i imagine, so i'll put the details behind the cut) we've received the info:

MORE...
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February 26, 2006
February 26, 2006
we're FAMOUS! D.C.  - media

...for d.c. as the saying goes.

there's a quick piece in the reliable source column this sunday where tommy and i are interviewed about the Legend of the Butterstick. though tommy isn't given really proper credit (he came up with the name, but the article doesn't mention that), AND our blog URL is not mentioned (le sigh) it is still a nice article, and, hoorah! and it mentions dcist a lot, which is awesome. anyway, there we are: our names in the washington post. maybe one day i'll actually get mine in there for something non-zoo critter related.

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February 22, 2006
February 22, 2006
famous for medill media  - northwestern

me: omigod
jodi wilgoren who changed her name from the nytimes is in the newsroom
and she was just introduced as wilgoren
and she's all like, "actually, now it's RUDoren"

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February 20, 2006
February 20, 2006
a staggering work of journalistic excellence media  - northwestern

y'all, one of the things you are lucky about is the fact that you get to read this here blog, and you get to see the intimate workings of a Real Live Journalist. not THAT intimate, sicko. but you know, thought process, research, super interview tips (hint: super interview tips do not include dropping contents of purse on interviewee's floor including, ahem, lady things, and inadvertently yelling, "shit!", not that i do that kind of stuff).

i thought as, you know, an extra special treat for you all, i would document my inner monologue as i attempt to complete a 1200-word article that is due, uh, tomorrow.

start: sit down to computer, full of two homemade cappucinos, buzzed, elated, ready to CHANGE THE WORLD with my story because i am a Journalist and we can change the world and shit.

write lede.

word count: 42 words. shit.

think: hmm. most heinous lede ever? well, what am i going to do about it? it's already there. jeez.

add quote. wow. adding a quote adds, like, a lot of words. hmm.

cut and paste about 17 unrelated quotes from pages of typed-up interviews. word count: a lot more! jeez, i'm practically done! now all i have to do is construct some sort of coherent narrative, with flow and wisdom and insight. easy peasy. totally rocking the espresso. you can totally do this, Reporter Catherine!

hmm.

i really hope george didn't sleep with meredith. lordy. that would be bordering on, like, nasty incestuous, also, i would have to kill meredith. with a pointy stick. that had been rubbed with chili powder.

espresso really, really...starts to kick in. in a bad way. goddamn. write two or three paragraphs very quickly with laser-like intensity. no matter they barely make sense and, uh, could potentially be incorrect. libel schmibel! the editing comes later! hey, i think the computer screen is starting to shake for some reason.

beer would be good way to counter espresso buzz, no? yes, yes i think it would.

word count. has not change since the 37th time i've word counted. microsoft should really do something about that. i should also really do something about only having miller lite in my midget fridge.

write a couple of seriously lame sentences.

fuck.

fuckity fuck fuck.

give up to chat on IM and rewatch some veronica mars. story isn't due till 5pm tomorrow; only 800 words to go. totally doable, no?

see, y'all don't need to be worried about the future of journalism! you have bright young things like me to carry the torch forward!

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February 18, 2006
February 18, 2006
interposse media  - tech

Today's Post has a an interesting profile of a botnet operator — one of those jerks who remotely infects computers, amassing swarms of enslaved machines that are then used to send spam, extort websites, steal information and generally do nasty things. The subject remains anonymous, only identifying himself as a high school dropout living in a small midwestern town. The three businesses closest to his house are also mentioned, but not named.

Except — whoops! It looks like the Post failed to scrub its photos very carefully. Within thirty minutes of the story being picked up by Slashdot, a user had noticed that the Post's photos contained metadata saying "Location: Roland, OK". Which, as you may have deduced, is a small midwestern town (pop. 3000). Another slashdot commenter googled for the businesses mentioned and was able to take a guess at the intersection where the guy lives.

Pride goeth before the fall and all that, I suppose. Have fun in jail, asshole.

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my weekly blog post slamming the modern love section; am not sure why i cannot stop media

i'm going to go out on a limb here and say, in response to this paragraph:

It's O.K. to fall deeply for one loser after another. It's O.K. to show up at a guy's house with a dozen roses and declare your undying affection. It's O.K. to have too much to drink and call your ex 20 times and then to be mortally embarrassed when you realize your number must have shown up on his caller ID. It's O.K. to stand at a phone booth in Times Square on New Year's Eve, drenched like a sewer cat in the pouring rain, crying your eyes out because the man you are infatuated with has decided that he needs some space.

that it's actually probably not O.K.

comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
to read media

a compelling account from a journalist reporting from iraq for three years.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
February 15, 2006
February 15, 2006
beep beep chicago  - media  - northwestern

just a note to mark the launching of beepcentral, a web site aimed at young chicago surburbanites published by the daily herald, a newspaper serving the areas northwest of chicago. beepcentral grew out of a recent medill media management project, one of the reasons i applied to medill in the first place.

every year, a group of students who select to do the project basically spend a full quarter working as a consulting group to a local newspaper or publishing company. essentially, the company says "we want _____"; the students design, build and market a product from the ground up to suit the company's needs. generally the companies want a) something designed to bring in younger readers and b) an online component.

i'll be doing the project this spring quarter. i've heard rumblings that the partner this time around will be the minneapolis star tribune. i'm really excited about it, even though i have no clue as to what the project could be this time around, but i'll keep you informed!

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
damn media

don't know if anyone else subscribes to email tipster service daily candy - i do for both chicago and d.c., and while i often find their tips to be a) more geared to people earning $80,000/yr and up b) too cutesy, every once in a while they know what they're talking about.

well, i guess those folks knew what they were doing - they could soon be sold for more than $100 million, says the WSJ:

Mr. Pittman bought a controlling stake in the site for about $3.5 million in 2003. With traditional and electronic publishers keen to get their hands on Internet-advertising properties, Daily Candy could fetch more than $100 million, people familiar with the matter say.

While a relatively small transaction, a Daily Candy auction will be an important barometer for the pace and valuation of Web deal making. During the past 18 months, Internet media transactions have attracted top valuations, as publishers worry that advertising dollars are migrating online and away from newspapers, magazines and television. Big media players such as News Corp.; Dow Jones & Co. Inc., which publishes The Wall Street Journal; and E.W. Scripps Co. all have made Internet-related acquisitions.

Daily Candy's business is a simple one: It produces urbane email newsletters that make daily recommendations on shopping, entertainment, food and media. Originally written for a clutch of trend-obsessed New York City women, the site produces 11 electronic newsletters, including editions for Chicago, San Francisco and London. Advertisers pay for access to the newsletter subscribers.

Without costs for printing or the need for much editorial product, Daily Candy boasts margins of nearly 60%, say people familiar with the matter. The hope for 2006 is that the business will produce revenue somewhere less than $20 million, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the low-teen millions, these people say.

anyone interested can read an old but good interview with founder dany levy here.

comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
February 14, 2006
February 14, 2006
reporting bleg chicago  - media

i'm doing an article on the lawyers for the creative arts, an organization where lawyers donate their time and services to artists and creative entities in chicago to help them with contracts, intellectual property, tax exemptions, etc. i have an interview today with the head of the organization, but i'm also looking for people who might have used their services and i'm having a bit of a hard time. i'm sure the head of the org. will point me towards the right folks, but i was hoping someone out there might know somebody, too! so if you do, shoot me an email.

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February 11, 2006
February 11, 2006
citizen schmitizen chicago  - media

i don't mean to be cynical (she said, smirking evilly, because she almost always does). the chi-town daily news seems like a good organization, intent on focusing on citizen journalism, which i, as a new media person, should totally be behind (though i must say that sites that think they can exist solely on the efforts of citizens' articles, without any work or input or guidance or pieces by editors, are doomed to fail - though it doesn't appear as if this site isn't trying to do that).

but i just find it funny that, without fail, almost every news story published on the site every day is written by somebody from the medill news service. (we're a free wire service that sends out stories to several local newspaper clients.) that doesn't seem very citizen-journalism-y to me...

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
February 01, 2006
February 01, 2006
ugh media

definitely worst part so far of reporting: going to a press conference about a big federal indictment, finding one of the defendant's phone number through some random internet research, calling him up and discovering he didn't even know he was being indicted by patrick effing fitzgerald. then having to tell him he was being indicted by patrick effing fitzgerald.

surprisingly, the response was "no comment."

that really sucked.

UPDATE: the case had to do with online piracy. you can read the tribune's account (they are speedy motherfuckers) here. if i'm lucky and they want it, my story will be appearing in the glorious nw indiana times tomorrow.

comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
January 27, 2006
January 27, 2006
do my work for me media

hey folks. you are all brilliant, lovely, interestingly-employed people who know a thing or two about getting a job, right? well, maybe you could help me out. i seriously need to update my resume but i've always been terrible at doing so. there's a couple of jobs i'm putting feelers out for, and i want to pass around the shiniest, awesomest resume i possibly can. so in the interest of taking advantage of your vast knowledge, i created a resume writeboard. if anyone who is any good at these sort of things could take a look and perhaps make some edits, content or grammatical (wolfson, i'm looking at you), i would very much appreciate it.

also, it's too long. cut it down!

the writeboard is here. password is catherine.

comments [16] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
January 19, 2006
January 19, 2006
go, journalism! chicago  - media

one reason i love my very local chicago news station that i watch in the mornings: as i was getting out of the shower around 7:15, this is what i hear coming from the television:

"stacey, can you run the clip of the monkeys riding horseback?"

comments [14] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
January 16, 2006
January 16, 2006
facebook media

so, this facebook.com thing. i'm doing it. sort of. i became aware of facebook's existence a couple of years ago when my brother, then still an undergraduate at UVa, talked about it. i basically got out of it that it was a friendster for college kids, which sounded fun, but SO BELOW wise old me.

well, now that i am a graduate student, and many of the people in my class happen to be fresh-outta-college kids who are facebook connoisseurs, i have been forced to create a facebook profile in order to appear hip and not-ancient and to maintain my new media internets cred. it is hard, but i am doing it. but generally, i don't understand why facebook is so popular, except that you can stalk people...which you can do with any social networking site. why do college kids prefer it over friendster? maybe because friendster sucks balls and is clunky and cluttered and difficult to use? hmm. maybe. facebook's design and features are pretty slick, i'll give it that - i especially like the photo album/upload features (though flickr is still superior to any photo features any site has going on). i guess its main appeal lies in the school affiliation. undergrad loyalty is a super-strong theme, and facebook takes advantage of that. beyond that, i don't really see a huge difference between it and friendster or myspace. but please, god, don't make me have to create a myspace profile, too.

for those who have a college email, you can access my facebook profile here.

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January 15, 2006
January 15, 2006
i'm a journalist, bitches media  - northwestern

that's right, folks: the two articles i wrote last week for my legal affairs reporting class? the two genius pieces on samuel alito? they were sent out over the wire to our client papers and i received the honor of being published in the...(wait for it)

NORTHWEST INDIANA TIMES!

literally dozens of people have now read my name in print! HOORAH.

comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
January 09, 2006
January 09, 2006
beware media

just thought i'd put a warning out there: i now have a Real Press Pass. also, as of 11:30 this morning, i am BFF with patrick fitzgerald's spokesman.

watch out, world!

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
January 08, 2006
January 08, 2006
newsvine media

long shot, but if anybody out there has an invite to newsvine.com, i would love, love, love to have one.

UPDATE: yay! thanks to mike, both tommy and now have accounts, so presumably i can invite other people. let me know if you want one. you can read cyberjournalist's take on newsvine here.

comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
December 19, 2005
December 19, 2005
SO MUCH FUN media

one of my favorite pasttimes while eating shrimp, ham, drinking wine at 5 p.m. and sitting in my pajamas all day in front of the internets is obsessively searching job listings. it's too early for me to apply to any of them (i won't graduate till august or september), but i still like keeping tabs on what's out there. and i'm glad i did today, because i found a listing that any fun, hip, young journalist would die for: pop culture reporter at the washington times. witness:

Did we mention this is a dream beat? It encompasses movie, television, CD and concert reviews; essays and think pieces; artist profiles, trenders and other features; even investigative reporting. Pretty much anything on the pop culture horizon, as long as you can report aggressively and write with intelligence and style. Dream applicants desire stimulation of the imagination and intellect, unusual room to roam across subject boundaries, and wide exposure. They also are ready and able to write a ton and improve rapidly. And to have fun, an indecent amount of fun.

it is difficult not to imagine that addendum, "...an indecent amount of fun," being whispered maniacally with much cackling and rubbing together of evil conservative hands. of course, an "indecent amount of fun" at the washington times is likely the equivalent to the amount of fun that katie holmes is having being the indoctrinated zombie child bride-to-be of tom cruise, but still. different strokes, etc.

comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
November 29, 2005
November 29, 2005
here comes the fear again media  - northwestern  - personal

if there's one thing the folks here at northwestern are very good at, it is instilling the ever-loving fear of god into you. mostly fear that you, despite attending a top-notch journalism school, will never obtain a job outside of licking the boots of some magazine editor or, barring that, serving up the delicious will-be-the-death-of-me pumpkin spice lattes at starbucks. i still have two weeks left in my very first quarter and i. am. already. terrified. so i do what i usually do when i am scurred: turn to the internets. internets, will you help me get a job or, at the very least, a prestigious summer internship? i feel like an idiot asking for a summer internship, since that is so very junior year of college circa 2001, but my advisor recommends it if possible and if i feel like taking a quarter off of school.

ideally, internets, i would like a job/internship at an online news site. if i'm going to get all specific, i would like a job at washingtonpost.com or chicagotribune.com. a job that is queen of everything. or, whatever. i'm flexible. i'm also open to consulting positions for new media companies. my full resume is on my dead-monitor computer, but i will post some suckily-formatted basic qualifications behind the cut, and if my dead-monitor computer is ever fixed, i'll upload a real resume. if you have any contacts, or friends, or ideas, or alcohol, send me an email. thanks!

zunta.org: asking for your job help since november 2005.

MORE...
comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
November 22, 2005
November 22, 2005
mashingtonpost media

holovaty & co officially present post remix. the goal, in adrian's words:

* To spotlight the work of outside Web developers who've made cool and interesting projects ("mashups") using Post content.
* To provide information about washingtonpost.com's various data offerings (APIs and RSS feeds).

could be neat! *especially* if they figure out a way to improve washingtonpost.com's RSS feeds. i do love getting my post RSS feeds two days after an article has been published.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
October 12, 2005
October 12, 2005
newspapers: the future media

frank ahrens discusses the future of journalism technology in the post today, in both an article (referencing a wall street journal size change different from the asian wall street journal tabloid format change that i mentioned earlier) and online chat. the article discusses newspapers trying to become smaller or lighter to offset printing costs, and the chat reflects on the possibility of electronic newspapers that would elminate print editions completely.

they're kind of interesting, except for the obligatory retarded reference to how bloggers are idiots who get everything wrong and true, brave newspaper journalists are the ones who must right the wrongs.

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September 30, 2005
September 30, 2005
i dunno, really media  - northwestern

matt y. asks, what is the deal with new media, anyways?

and i say, i dunno. i mean, actually i can say what i think it means, or what i'm starting to think it means, or what i'm interested in, anyways, but that's still all just forming in my head and is probably best saved for a later post when i'm not just blathering all over the place.

but anyway, for now, these are the main points i think are important:

new media is RSS.

new media is citizen journalism (and this does, to me, include blogging). also google ohmynews for reference.

new media is new distribution devices for media (ie electronic devices, cells, pdas, ipods, MAYBE electronic paper but i dunno, and stuff that is yet to be invented).

new media is transparency (as cliche a buzzword as that has become, it's still true).

new media is niche marketing.

new media is not being SO EFFING AFRAID of change and innovation. i've only been in journalism school for two weeks, and i'm not going to lie to you: there are a million brilliant people here, but there are just as many people who can't see why print journalism might one day die out. why the newspaper in its current form is a pain in the ass, physically speaking, to read. why subscriptions are falling. why staff reporters are being cut. why doing the NYtimes select is a bad, very bad, worst idea, ever. why blogs are FUN and awesome and good and filled with great personalities. why this bullshit standard about newspaper "accuracy" compared to bloggers is such CRAP! hello, um, didn't the new york times make at least two major errors in the past week? the crap with geraldo and saying some memo was written by john roberts when it, uh, wasn't? how many people read the corrections pages newspapers? NO ONE WHO IS NOT 95 AND CANTANKEROUS. so you might never know an error was made unless the error itself makes the news. blogs make errors, it's true, but they're almost always immediately called out and corrected in such a way that the original error and the correction stand so that everyone can see the process.

new media is yahoo and google becoming content creators. seriously, yos. they are going to rival major newspapers within 10 years for content and news that they provide. think i lie? yahoo has already hired kevin sites to report for them on war zones, and hired a number of financial columnists to write for them. don't doubt that google maps is thinking about the day they can integrate their local search with some sort of entertainment database - you'll search an area for "bars", the options will come up, and you'll be able to click on the bar names to read google reviews about them. maybe they will integrate user content. probably. who knows. but yahoo and google are not just going to be leaping off points for the internet ; they will become major content creators, and major destinations.

new media is not:

trying to define what a blog, or blogging, is. IF ONE MORE PANEL IS HELD I WILL THROW 72-POUND MELONS AT EVERYONE'S HEAD. see jeff jarvis for more.

new media is not merely putting the content from print papers online and hoping that the act of putting it online with, like, a photo will make it hip and awesome and readable.

new media is not about overthrowing traditional media entities and having BLOGGERS RULE THE EARTH. seriously. trad media people are TERRIFIED, is what i have learned, about blogging. it is almost funny. hello, it is a complement to what yall are doing, and a way to enhance your product and draw more readers in.

new media is not about shitty blog reporting. good reporting will ALWAYS have a place in media, in my opinion. that's why the nytimes is fucked when it locks its pundits up in a pay-for-play castle - sorry, but anyone can say what they can say, since they are basically just bloviating out of their butts. i can hear that stuff from people for free, people who love and know so much about what they're writing that they do it for the joy of it. what i CANNOT get from bloggers is accounts from across the world or tips from major highup sources in the know. maybe one day, but not now. i need good, intelligent reporters for that.

...

wow. i went on a bit of a rant there. blame it on the drinks i had tonight at the medill happy hour. but anyway, it's what i think, for better or worse. and you?

UPDATE: the worst part about this post is that most of the people reading this site ALREADY KNOW all of this stuff. so i'm just rambling redundantly. and i know you all know it. but the fact is, i have been utterly amazed in the past two weeks about how little other people know about any of the stuff mentioned above. hardly anyone in my class, as far as i can tell, reads blogs or knows what RSS is. no one understands why it might be easier to read a paper in tabloid form or on a pda than in a normal modern newspaper. many, many people are worried about blogs and think they're ruining journalism. basically, i feel like up until medill i've been in this little perfect bubble where everyone gets all this new media stuff - even people who have no interest in studying it or creating it, but just use it as part of their day-to-day existence - and now i'm facing, oh, the other 97% of the world, and i need to explain everything. so humor me.

comments [8] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
September 28, 2005
September 28, 2005
express an opinion D.C.  - bitching  - media

What's up, Express? I know and like people who work for you, so I'll try to spare you the worst of my righteous internet fury. But you've gotta step your game up.

First: why are there no copies of you at the Mt Vernon Square Metro? All that's in the designated box are a few old copies of El Tiempo Latino. That's not going to do it — I'm already bad enough at the crossword. I emailed you about this, and for a couple of days the problem was fixed. But no longer. I demand free entertainment, dammit!

Second: what's up with the bloglog? This daily ticket to the narcissism lottery (top prize: egomania) is one of the most compelling features you've got. I just think a little more care in selecting the featured excerpts might be good. At the moment we're on a brisk trot toward complete incoherence — I'd estimate about two weeks until an "OMFG!!!" sneaks in. Why not feature some of the big names? They got that way for a reason. It's not like most of your readers will know who, say, Kevin Drum is. Spotlighting the little guy is a nice idea, but not when the little guy is a complete dope.

On the other hand, if this is a subtle tactic by print journalists to defuse the threat they perceive from new media by revealing bloggers to be superficial illiterates... well, good job, then. Carry on.

Finally: the comics. I know the comics in your big brother paper are also terrible. But I truly believe that it doesn't have to be this way. There must be good comics out there. Or maybe you could continue courting your net-savvy twentysomething demo (hi!) and run some webcomics. It's hard to see what the downside would be — today's edition featured a comic that, in addition to having a hilariously unoriginal "he went to a hypnotist and now he thinks he's an animal!" gag, was really badly pixellated. Probably just a print error, I know. Resolving the Quark problems won't make it any funnier, though. It's not your fault, but you can do something about it. Unlike the Post, you can ditch the Garfield and Blondie equivalents in your pages without crotchety geriatrics leaving angry voicemails for Mr. Bradlee. You have the power. Self-actualize! Or something!

comments [7] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
September 05, 2005
September 05, 2005
time for an ethics panel! media

hmm. any coincidence that the guy who ignored dcist for credit is one half of a team that was blatantly lied to by bush's administration - an easily refutable lie - but didn't bother to, you know, fact check it or do any reporting and printed it in a highly visibile and important article anyway?

I DON'T THINK SO.

just kidding. mostly. but seriously...this is why i don't get people who worry about bloggers getting facts wrong. "real" reporters do it ALL THE TIME. it's everywhere you look; thank god for the blogosphere being a good watchdog.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
September 02, 2005
September 02, 2005
katrina in d.c. D.C.  - media

check out the post's newest blog, Katrina's Impact on Washington. they state that up to 400 victims of the hurricane will be bussed to the D.C. armory. as they say:

As the Post reported this morning, the city's "mass care" effort would provide victims with food and water, medical attention, counseling and other services. The announcement also means that events scheduled to be held in the armory over the next several weeks -- at least six concerts, a job fair and a Marine Corps Marathon expo -- will likely be canceled in order to accommodate victims.

Officials are urging people interested in making monetary donations to call the Red Cross at 1-800-HELP-NOW. To find out how to contribute items locally, call the mayor's call center at (202) 727-1000 or Serve D.C. at (202) 727-7925.

this is EXACTLY the kind of thing a blog can excel at. the katrina blog also talks about gas station closure rumors, gas prices in popular labor day destinations around the area, and what local charities and organizations are doing. good job, post.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
August 31, 2005
August 31, 2005
woohoo! media

the onion is redesigned - and they've now got RSS feeds! hurrah!

comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
more outrage media

WHAT. THE. FUCK. AGAIN.

comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
August 29, 2005
August 29, 2005
dur D.C.  - media  - science

Yeesh. Via Atrios, check out this Post column, which is in the sports section, and about intelligent design. Cause, you know — athletes are impressive. Which means they're complex. Which means they're irreducibly impressively complex! I realize the argument is a little complicated, so I'll just cut to the end: Sally Jenkins is a fucking idiot. Q.E.D.

And she doesn't even live in the area! That's right, for the past several years she's been phoning it in from NYC. C'mon, Post editors. This column puts her well past "irrelevant" and deep into "embarassing" territory.

comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
August 25, 2005
August 25, 2005
post goes mobile media

not that anyone else cares, but it could be kind of interesting:

Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (publisher of Washingtonpost.com) has signed up Proteus to launch its mobile content offering…nothing too dramatic at the moment: a system that lets readers send “optimized search results for the Entertainment Guide’s shopping, dining and event listings to their mobile phones via a new “send to a phone” option” and a mobile photo contest, where readers will “have the opportunity to send or upload their favorite mobile phone snapshots of community events, and online readers will be able to vote on their favorite submissions”.

the send to phone option, pretty standard, but the mobile photo thing could be neat. at least, the concept is neat. the execution could be retardedly awful. the voting thing, for example. eh.

(via paidcontent.org)

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
August 21, 2005
August 21, 2005
faux currant media

It's a lazy Sunday morning, and we're watching Al Gore's Current TV venture. And it's not as bad as everyone's been saying. Since flipping it on we've seen an unnarrated collection of film shot in Gaza over the past week or so; an extremely affecting piece on Darfur from Doctors Without Borders; and a really interesting 1981 CBS News segment on the rise of the personal computer that featured some awesome CGA graphics and a very young Steve Jobs. All three were excellent pieces of content. And all three were immediately followed by some idiot in a Puka shell necklace robotically reading from a teleprompter. I suppose it's to his credit that he didn't even try to pull off the inevitable transition from pondering tragedy to namechecking internet youth culture. What can you do besides push through?

I get that the network needs some kind of framing device, but it isn't these folks -- they make the whole enterprise ring false. These VJs, or MCs, or Pod-people, or whatever they're called, are all culled from the same pool of rich-but-accomplished, attractive-but-not-vain, smart-but-not-interesting, and 100% earnest young people whose defining characteristic is that they're no fun to talk to at parties.

So Al, buddy: allow me to join the chorus of people offering suggestions while doomsaying. Put on some ugly but impeccably qualified people. Don't let the lightweights near issues that involve people getting killed. Cut to a tasteful commercial after every non-superficial segment. Better music wouldn't hurt, either. Remember the NPR rule: political earnestness is inversely related to a person's ability to select music that isn't godawful.

Really, it's not a bad start. But when a news operation's most credible presenter is a guy who shares half his genome with Deepak Chopra, it wouldn't hurt to keep tweaking.

UPDATE: Made two minor embarassment-reducing but content-neutral edits.

comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
August 16, 2005
August 16, 2005
make it stop media

NPR, I'm begging you. I can't take anymore. Please, try to refrain from airing the following:

  • Interviews with authors who have written books about their complex relationship their mothers/fathers/disabled children/childhood sexual abusers.

  • Shows about ethnic profiling or oppressive third-world regimes in which you take calls from the public. The people who feel strongly enough to call are always the crazy/bigoted/genocidal ones.

  • Finally, and most importantly — for god's sake, no more coverage of politically and/or socially conscious hip-hop acts. Words cannot describe how awful these segments are.

Your prompt cooperation is appreciated.

comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
August 04, 2005
August 04, 2005
HOLY EFFING CHRIST media

so, DCist (specifically, me, ubergoddess that i am) broke a story (i think, anyways; we were at least the first media outlet to report it) about congressman bonilla wanting to rename 16th st nw "ronald reagan boulevard." 12:58 p.m.

come 7:09 p.m., the washington post has the story. on their front page. the part where they cite us?:

Rep. Henry Bonilla, co-chairman of the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions, quietly introduced a 103-word resolution before Congress adjourned for summer recess July 28. As word spread in the nation's capital, neighborhood Web logs in the overwhelmingly Democratic city crackled with disbelief...

ummm.

okay.

I AM GOING TO FUCK YOUR SHIT UP, SPENCER S. HSU!

UPDATE: the story has moved from being solely on the site to being a metro section front page article tomorrow morning. nicely played, jackasses.

sorry if my rage seems excessive, but the Post has steadfastly ignored DCist (except for maybe two offhand mentions in non-major stories; this, even as they are constantly featuring other blogs). i KNOW they can't actually think of us as a competitor, so why the hateration? the fact that D.C. has the second-biggest site in the -ist network is a story in its own right. so many angles...

UPDATE II: not to mention they completely ignored our Borf coverage. i don't claim that DCist was the only place to ever recognize the value of the Borf story, but we OWNED Borf coverage long before the big post style section front page article on him. even then, we only merited a mention as "local blogs," etc. frankly, it's kind of infuriating. and frankly, i'm a little drunk.

comments [14] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
August 03, 2005
August 03, 2005
discovery, the space dog media

gotta love the post's front page

spacedoggy copy.jpg
comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
July 27, 2005
July 27, 2005
just curious media

who here who reads zunta knows what RSS means/does and uses some form of an RSS reader? hands up, folks!

UPDATE: i meant to ask if you do use an RSS reader, what is it? i use bloglines. i used to use thunderbird before it imploded on me.

comments [12] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
July 22, 2005
July 22, 2005
they like us, they really like us D.C.  - media

the post gives DCist a shout out (and a web link) in the metro section today. hoo fucking rah. now if only they'd mentioned us by name in their borf article, i would be placated.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
July 17, 2005
July 17, 2005
fiction/nonfiction media

wow. after reading these two essays in the modern love section of the nytimes, and then reading these two responses by the people the essays were written about, i don't think i can ever read another modern love essay without a) puking up everywhere and b) wanting to punch the nytimes authors in the face. it's not that exploiting and distorting personal relationships for fame and success is such a novelty; it's just that in these cases it's done with the consent of the fact checkers and editors at one of the world's most popular newspapers. if they treat these people's personal stories with such casual disrespect, what does that say of the rest of their reporting? parts of these stories are borderline slander.

of course, most of this falls on me, for ever thinking that the fashion and style section of the nytimes should be taken seriously. bad catherine, bad.

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July 11, 2005
July 11, 2005
haverford college media

not too many people outside of the midatlantic seaboard have probably heard of haverford college. it's a small liberal arts school in pennsylvania. my father got his BA there, so i've had the privilege of visiting several times. when i was 15, my dearest wish was to attend haverford, though that changed by the time i thought seriously about schools. i ended up choosing between uva and dartmouth, not even having applied to haverford.

but, being interested in journalism, maybe i should have reconsidered that whole haveford thing, especially after my father pointed out the journalistic powerhouse people that have come out of the school. check it out:

  • loren ghiglione, dean of the medill school of journalism (though i swear that had nothing to do with this or this. at least, i don't think it did, unless my dad is way more mobster than i thought).
  • john carroll, editor of the LA times.
  • norman effin' pearlstine. editor-in-chief of a little org known as time, inc. also slightly involved in this plame dust up.
    AND
  • dave barry!

    liberal arts (and quaker) conspiracy, or sheer coincidence? i'll let you decide.

  • comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    July 08, 2005
    July 08, 2005
    citizen journalism media

    you know what the large, front-page picture on the washington post today was?

    a camera phone shot, taken by a london subway rider, of people trudging through a dark, smokey tunnel. the post has an article here on the immediacy offered by such shots, and includes the photo they used on their front page in the sidebar. no, it's not great quality, but it shows terror and context and raw information better than any professional photojournalist could have.

    despite the horrific nature of the attacks, i think that is rather amazing.

    comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    June 02, 2005
    June 02, 2005
    inveigle...i mean interview media

    some hard-hitting journalism over at poynter.org, where they interview washington post writer hank stuever:

    How do you manage to be witty and wise on deadline?

    The only thing I can compare it to is something like a guitar-riff contest at the state fair. When it's your turn, you just get all Van Halen on it, and give it your very best moves, using everything in your arsenal -- reporting, talking to colleagues, talking to sources, talking to the funniest person you know. Googling and surfing like a beast. A quick contemplative walk downstairs for a Diet Pepsi. Some typing. Some pruning.

    then they asked, "why exactly is it that your sexual prowress is so renowned?" followed by "how is it that one man can be so good-looking?"

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    May 24, 2005
    May 24, 2005
    total waste of time media

    i'm not sure what it says about my dad's frame of mind regarding my future when he keeps sending me articles like this one, but nevertheless - i'll say what i really think. you are an idiot if you are going to journalism grad school with the intention of being a reporter. from my experience, anyone who's intelligent and can write and wants to be a reporter can just GO BE A REPORTER. you are going to get hired at the same daily rag that you would get hired at if you didn't have that $30,000+ degree, and you are going to have to pay the same dues that everyone else who one day wants to work at the ny times will.

    that said, i sleep at night because i tell myself i'm going to study new media, and don't want to be a reporter, and it will be totally different, and i will definitely get a job. and then i go down half a bottle of nyquil.

    UPDATE: see? this is what i mean: "The New York Times Company plans to reduce its staff by nearly 2 percent, including nearly 200 employees at the Times and the New England Media Group. The target date is August. Roughly two-thirds of the total will come from the Times, with "fewer than two dozen" coming from the newsroom through a "voluntary reduction program." More corporate speak: "Staff reductions will be carefully managed so that they do not adversely affect journalistic quality, the smooth functioning of the Company's daily operations and the ability to achieve its long-term strategic goals."
    The company will take a charge but won't announce the amount until June. "

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    May 16, 2005
    May 16, 2005
    stupid idea #432 media

    the nytimes is making its op-ed page subscription-only, to the tune of around $50 a year. i think the washington post op-ed page and authors just got an early christmas present.

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    April 21, 2005
    April 21, 2005
    they control the horizontal and the vertical media

    I always get a giddy sense of glee when I find out a new means or degree of subtle manipulation to which I'm subject. Maybe you do, too. If so, go check out Paul Graham's discussion of how PR works.

    comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
    March 30, 2005
    March 30, 2005
    hack hack media

    really, how do we know when howard kurtz's column has become a cesspool of utter worthlessness? when he informs the public, who could really not give less of a shit, that two random bloggers are getting married:

    Finally, I don't know the backstory here, but two bloggers are apparently getting married. Frank J of IMAO writes:

    "Having found a girl crazy enough to put up with me, I decided I couldn't wait any longer. Thus I proposed on Saturday evening (and she said yes!). Probably didn't notice, but I had butterflies in my stomach all last week leading up to this...

    "I feel like I should thank everyone in the blogosphere who helped me along. I started this blog to get my say out there, and never really thought I'd find a wife."

    Frank's fiance, Sarah of Mountaineer Musings, recounts the proposal. You were expecting maybe that such things would remain private?

    wow, people meeting over the internet and falling in love. how novel. argh. shut up, howie. shutupshutshutup. or for god sake's turn your column into a wedding announcement listing. it's already just a rundown of whatever bloggers/self-absorbed journalists are whining about that particular day. and the inescapable vortex of navel-gazing continues...

    comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 28, 2005
    March 28, 2005
    they get us, they really get us media

    remember a little while back i wrote about the three new luxury magazines coming to d.c. this spring? well, according to an article in today's post, it looks like at least one of them understands what the young urban people in this city really need:

    Of the three, Spain-Smith's D.C. Style is staking out the most prosaic niche, one occupied by the 40-year-old Washingtonian magazine, which has more than 150,000 subscribers. Their average household income is $185,800. A four-color ad can cost up to $20,000.

    Spain-Smith said D.C. Style is targeted at a slightly younger, more urban audience than Washingtonian. One with slightly less disposable income.

    "We'll still show you the $8,000 bag, but we're going to show you an $800 one too," she said.

    comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 22, 2005
    March 22, 2005
    reservations media

    Another school shooting, another scapegoat. It looks like today's tragedy in Minnesota is likely to be blamed on the shooter's participation in neonazi online communities. Well, I won't be shedding any tears over any heat that the "Libertarian National Socialist Green Party" takes for this, but it seems likely be just as non-constructive as blaming videogames was at Columbine.

    MORE...
    comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
    brookings panel media

    well, i've just returned from the brookings panel: The Impact of New Media. overall it was an interesting event, though hardly cutting-edge or anything. i figure that once the brookings institution holds a panel on blogging, the whole medium has more or less peaked (i see that tommy has already made fun of people who keep saying that, but i still think it's true, though not witty). but it was good. the brookings people tried superhard to be interconnecty and accessible to the internet and bloggers. there was a live webcast; several bloggers liveblogged the event while watching the webcast; the bloggers' thoughts as they liveblogged were shown on a big ass movie screen to the people attending the conference; and ruy teixeira blogged from the event while huddled on the ground in a corner of the room. SO META! i got the feeling, while watching the panelists watch the liveblogging screen, written by the livebloggers watching the panelists, that i was in an inescapable vortex of meta blogging hell.

    wonkette, andrew sullivan, jack shafer, jodie allen of pew and ellen shatner of talkradionews.com were the panelists, and EJ dionne was the moderator. a lot of talk had been made about the fact that no "real" liberal bloggers were invited, but dionne pointed out that yglesias, josh marshall and kos had all been invited, but for one reason or another (including the fact that at least one of them never responded to the invite) didn't make it.

    first off, i have to say that dionne is just as cute as a button, and i thought he did as good a job as possible of moderating. he was engaging, funny, and directed the discussion without being terribly forceful or annoying about it.

    shafer, shatner, and wonkette, i thought, didn't really have too much to add to the discussion. shafer was entertaining at times, but then at one particular point when off on this strange rant about how slander is all in the mind of the person being slandered; i believe his quote went something like "one person's slander is another person's truth; it doesn't matter if i slander you and the courts find i didn't slander you and then you are still mad at me because i slandered you but it's not really slander and blogs can slander all they want!" yeah, his particular remarks about slander made just as much sense as my recap of them. other panelists tried to point out that slander does, in fact, exist in many cases; slander is not in the mind of the beholder - there is objective, factual slander - but shafer wasn't having any of it for some reason.

    surprisingly, my favorite panelist was andrew sullivan, who arrived late to the panel. he has a very shiny, very red head, weird glasses, and talks in a strange hybrid english-american accent, but he probably reflected my own personal opinions about new media the best; ie, he was somewhere in between "blogs are the savior of the universe" and "blogs are the drug-addled rants of the uninformed proletariat." he thinks that blogging is a new literary genre, that it's more about commentary than real reporting, and that bloggers have to be true pariahs and outsiders in order to effectively comment on topics, otherwise they run into too many conflicts of interest or problems with hurting people's feelings. he did get whacked out though, talking about the women in the blogosphere argument that's been running around for a while. his opinion: blogs will always be dominated by men and that women aren't in any way being discriminated against. basically, i felt the gist of it was: women aren't saying anything worth linking to, so if they're not well-represented, it's their fault. at that point i went and stepped on his namby-pamby glasses and powdered his head, which was blinding me.

    jodie allen also had some good points, i thought. she seemed to be less interested in the over-discussed point of "is blogging journalism?" jesus christ. who cares? it is, it isn't, it's different, it's the same, blah blah blah. she was more into "what the hell is going to happen with this medium, how are people going to intwine it with their news gathering, how will journalism pay for and sustain itself, and how can traditional journalism adapt to new media and use it to its advantage?" these are the serious questions that panels like these should actually address, and the kind of thing i want to work on at northwestern. she said she believes that in the Future! we'll all carry around little flat screen displays, on to which we can download newspaper articles, web surf, listen to audio and watch tv clips. this sounds kind of whacky, but i wouldn't be surprised if something like that eventually did replace or at least give competition to the basic print newspaper.

    what she also said that i really believe in is that people are, more than ever, becoming their own journalistic assemblers. we're not passive consumers of traditional news sources; we're picking and choosing what we listen to and read and compiling, in essence, our own bureaus or, like, staffs. like we're the crazy newspaper editor and we decide that kevin drum is going to our go-to guy on social security; abu aardvark will be who we read for middle east coverage; kriston will give up the hott arts coverage; and for an overview of stuff and if i need to look up a particular point, i'll still read a lot of the washingtonpost.com site every day. and it's all delivered immediately and directly to your desktop, especially if you have a good RSS reader or a bloglines account (which you should really look into; i think the adaptation and integration of RSS is going to dictate and control a lot of the future of online journalism).

    anyway. i'm getting a bit nerdy. overall: panel, fun, not incredibly revealing, but not a bad way to spend two hours getting out of work. and ana marie cox was wearing some nice shoes. but it's true - she really does make too many sex and drinking jokes, even in person. it actually got uber annoying. but her incorporation of the phrase "circle jerk" was probably the funniest and truest part about the entire panel.

    comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 16, 2005
    March 16, 2005
    blogsblogsblogs media

    i'm thinking about going to this panel, even though there have already been approximately 3200 panels exactly like it, with exactly the same participants saying exactly the same things. but, you know, i am going to study new media, so i figure i should attend at least one of these things before i head off to school. anybody interested? it's a chance to heckle the increasingly-hated wonkette and the man of a thousand opinions.

    i also find it funny that they have invited several prominent bloggers to liveblog the event. how much more annoyingly meta can you get?

    comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 15, 2005
    March 15, 2005
    suckette media

    has anybody else noticed the small-but-growing wonkette backlash edging in on the blogosphere?

    comments [8] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    spin the spin media

    disconcerting, to say the least, thought not at all unexpected from an administration who only looks favorably on the free press if it agrees to act as their propoganda tool (see: jeff gannon):

    The White House, intent on continuing to crank out "video news releases" that look like television news stories, has told government agency heads to ignore a Government Accountability Office memo criticizing the practice as illegal propaganda.

    In a memo on Friday, Joshua Bolten, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the lawyers the White House depends on disagree with the GAO's conclusions.

    Accompanying Bolten's memo was a letter from Steven Bradbury, principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, who said video news releases "are the television equivalent of the printed press release."

    ...Comptroller General David Walker of the GAO said Monday that his agency is "disappointed by the administration's actions" in telling agency heads to ignore the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress.

    "This is not just a legal issue, it's also an ethical matter," Walker said. "The taxpayers have a right to know when the government is trying to influence them with their own money."

    comments [9] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
    March 14, 2005
    March 14, 2005
    unnecessary media

    did you know that D.C. has not one, not two, but three upscale lifestyle magazines launching in the next several months? already on the scene for several years is washingtonian, which caters to upper-middle classes suburbanites.

    i'm all for recasting the perception of D.C. as a style-free town, but this is getting a little bit ridiculous. what's even stupider is that i believe at least one of the upcoming publications (can't remember which) doesn't even plan to be based in the district - they'll be editorializing on what's hip in the city from PENNSYLVANIA.

    comments [7] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
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