Mosa’ab Elshamy is only 23, but he has captured some of the most captivating images of the horrors of the last few weeks in Cairo. Click the video below to see his interview from last night's NBC Nightly News; click here for a profile on Time.
"Thank you," it opened, as he thanked his readers for what they gave him over the years.
I came to know Roger Ebert and his thumb-giving colleague Gene Siskel through the PBS show Sneak Previews, which was such an eye-opener to the teenage movie buff that I was in the late Seventies. I devoured magazine reviews of movies (anything I could find at home or at the library by Judith Crist or Richard Corliss and later Pauline Kael), but I loved watching Ebert and later reading his books and columns. He had popular tastes, but he had a wonderful way of shining a light on movies that needed the boost. No doubt many of the obituaries to be written in the next few hours will focus on the profound influence he had on independent and foreign titles, some being able to find distributors and audiences because of his words. That was one mighty thumb.
I've seen videos that have been done for journalists as they retire (I work, after all, in a plant filled with television equipment), but I don't recall seeing one that the journalist prepared on the way out.
Dan Murphy is a celebrated cartoonist with the Province newspaper in Vancouver. Here's his video to colleagues. It's wonderful.
The gist of the piece: Inman is a poser running a conglomerate, and on top of all that, he's a ... Republican. Apparently that must be as bad as anything you can imagine.
A key problem: the author, Jack Stuef, used a fake online profile of Inman for the basis of key facts in the piece. He not just got things wrong, he got them spectacularly wrong ... and then had his ass reputation handed back to him on a platter, minced.
Apart from putting in fakes quotes and notes about a non-existent family, incidentally, the article got the politics wrong. Inman voted for Obama.
What bothers me is the evident disregard for proper reporting, especially for a take-down. For instance, here's what Jack Stuef tweeted a few days ago, after (repeat, AFTER) publishing his article (but before Inman's response).
Still waiting for word from @oatmeal's people on whether that SodaHead profile is real, but I now believe it's fake
Yep, that's how to fact-check. After you publish something.
Stuef's article is what is generally called a hatchet job: it's mean, and petty, and not particularly well written, either. The funniest part in Inman's reply, which is ramped up with overkill but saves itself with humour, is his description of who the Oatmeal's "people" are.
GigaOm put things nicely in perspective in this piece today, noting that Buzzfeed has made a half-hearted apology, and that if the website, a purveyor of cute cat pictures, wants to be treated like a seriously journalism enterprise, it'll have to act like one.
That means the little things ... like getting your facts straight, especially if your goal is to shred someone's reputation.
Above is the image of today's cover of The Daily, which has announced it will publish its final edition on Dec. 15. I've had a subscription for a while; at a buck a week, it's a cheap read, even though it's (to be blunt) a dollar a week more than many other sources for online news. I'll be writing my column for the Telegram this week on the Daily's demise.
The photo above shows Tom Osborne and Kathy Dunderdale in ostensibly happier times, on election night in October 2011, when the PCs won their third straight mandate in Newfoundland and Labrador. They actually weren't that close at the time, as both have confirme in the last few days, following Osborne's defection on Thursday to sit as an Independent in the house of assembly.
One of the things we've learned over the last few days is a bit about the communcations strategy inside the provincial government, including the government's move to screen and decide when an MHA can speak publicly on what topic. Osborne cited it as one of the reasons why he's disillusioned with the party to which he had belonged through his adult life.
"Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils." - Margaret Atwood
Sarah Nicole Prickett's piece in Saturday's Globe and Mail was both hilarious and depressing; the former because of the obvious laughs, the latter because it showed how even a great writer like Sorkin can be, well, clueless.
Coming out of media interviews with Sorkin to tee up his new HBO series The Newsroom, Prickett was not seduced by Sorkin's Sorkin-ness, and challenged him on a number of things, not the least of which is how the world has changed, including the undeniable fact that many people get their news from the internet and not traditional choices, like newspapers and TV.
From the final grafs:
“Listen here, Internet girl,” he says, getting up. “It wouldn’t kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while.” I’m not sure how he’s forgotten that I am writing for a newspaper; looking over the publicist’s shoulder, I see that every reporter is from a print publication (do not see: Drew Magary). I remind him. I say also, factually, “I have a New York Times subscription and an HBO subscription. Any other advice?”
He looks surprised, then high-fives me. Being not a person who high-fives or generally makes physical contact with interview subjects, I look more surprised.
“I’m sick of girls who don’t know how to high-five,” he says. He makes me try to do it “properly,” six times. He also makes me laugh; I’m nervous, and it’s so absurd. He loves it. He says, “Let me manhandle you.”
And now look, a Tumblr site coming right out of Sorkin's words. Hey Internet Girl is not at all subtle, but the fact it exists (and was created so quickly) says something abou the times that Sorkin appeared to dismiss. (Personally, I don't see how the author of The Social Network can be clueless about digital culture, but I can see how the author of everything Sorkin has written can be a little, um, arrogant while dealing with others.)
The Guardian, which is redefining itself as a leader in digital media worldwide, unveiled this video yesterday as part of its campaign to promote its open-journalism policies. (The paper has raised eyebrows by posting its assignment sked online; there was a time when that sort of thing would be closely guarded information indeed.)
This a slick, polished commercial that is not only entertaining, but to the point about what the Guardian is trying to say. Pre-conceived notions? They're set aside. Significantly, what the paper puts to print is certainly not the final word on the subject; instead, the story evolves continually in the digital realm, with the voices of the public weaving into the narrative.
On the weekend, we met up with Natalie MacLean, the wine writer; I've interviewed her in the past, but not in person. It was great to meet, have a chat and talk about a subject she knows inside out and which I wish I knew a good bit better. On Saturday, we're publishing my interview (which tees up the Chile and Argentina-focused A Taste of Wine show at the Convention Centre) on cbc.ca/nl ... have a look for it. The article includes Natalie's picks for the top five bargain wines available at the NLC.
"Even what can appear to be the most common, small and simple of objects can reveal itself to be on its own terms as complex and as grand as a space shuttle or a great suspension bridge." - Henry Petroski, author of The Pencil, a book I heartily recommend
This is video posted today by The Associated Press, involving an incident that's all over the news, of police officers using pepper spray on Occupy demonstrators at University of California, Davis. Regardless of views on the Occupy movement and police response, it's compelling video.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.