• New Media, No Money? I spoke to a Globe reporter about this issue yesterday – and said that, while the New Media (aggregators, Facebookians, Twitterers, blogistes) are clearly a threat to the Old Media, can they actually capitalize on it? Can they make a buck doing what they do? Personally – and I speak from personal experience – I don’t really think so. Google AdSense revenue won’t keep the New Media lights on, much less pay for someone to hire a reporter or two. Until someone figures out how to do it differently, the likes of Huffington and the Daily Kos will remain the exception, not the rule. • The Rogue Proroger: If nothing else, it is my fervent hope that the Reform-Conservatives’ prorogation-induced (and rapid) 15-point-drop in popularity will banish, forever, the punditocracy’s claim that Harper is a Master Strategist. He’s not. He never will be. Unrelated point: the two issues that have most inflamed voters in the past couple years – and which have been preceded by an online populist uprising – both relate to democracy: the coalition stuff, and now the prorogation stuff. As I told a fellow at our Haiti fundraiser on Saturday night, I don’t understand how (on the one hand) voter participation rates continue to slump, while (on the other hand) “pure democracy” issues like coalition and prorogation spur massive interest/anger/emotion. Anyone got a theory? • The Dangerous Streets:Fourteen people killed on Toronto streets in a month – and the tragic deaths have not been caused by guns or knives. Why is this happening? Listening to media “streeters” over the past few days, you’ll note that pedestrians are tending to blame drivers, and drivers are tending to blame pedestrians. Being both, I’d venture a guess that both are, to some extent, to blame. Both, therefore, need to (a) be more watchful and (b) obey the law. Sounds axiomatic, but – in Toronto this year, at least – maybe not. • Women and Pay Equity: Overlooked and important. Women continue to deserve much, much better in the workplace. Politicians, of all stripes, will have their rhetoric measured against their deeds, in this regard. And they should be – there’s no standing pat on this one.
“Richard Warman is pleased to announce that he will be discontinuing his libel actions against the National Post and their employees Jonathan Kay and Kelly McParland. Mr. Warman notes that the allegations in question were retracted by the National Post and that subsequent negotiations have led to a satisfactory settlement agreement.”
A satisfactory settlement agreement: whatever will that mean for Ezra and his friends?
A hundred lifetimes ago, I was a cops and courts reporter at the Ottawa Citizen. One day, I had to go in for a performance review. When I got there, I told my editors – Randy and Deb – that I was leaving to practice law.
Randy told me some nice things about what he thought my future would have been like in journalism. It made me feel good, and I even wondered whether I was making the right decision.
Anne Mroczkowski? Farah Nasser? They let go professionals with that much experience? I have been interviewed many times by both women – and by many others at CITY – and a more capable group of journalists you will seldom meet. It is extraordinary to me – it is crazy – that the deservedly-reviled bean counters are eager to kick that kind of experience to the curb. It makes no sense, economically or otherwise.
That’s why I am glad I decided to write books, and stay away from daily journalism. The media mavens have no regard, at all, for their one and only strength – their people. They treat their people like shit, in fact. Fear, paranoia and self-doubt pervade every newsroom, everywhere, because the likes of Anne and Farah are being treated so appallingly so frequently. Newsrooms are, as the cliché goes, the graveyard of broken dreams.
I used to teach journalism and law at Carleton. If I was still there, I’d tell my students to forget about the former and choose a career in the latter. Or basket-weaving. Or whatever.
Any career, in fact, is better than daily journalism.
It is also becoming way, way too commonplace. As a proud hockey Dad – who spends many hours in hockey rinks every weekend, and on many weeknights, too – I have seen far too much of this crap. It’s happening more often, it seems.
Enough is enough. It is imperative that the likes of Don Cherry and others condemn, unambiguously, this kind of hockey violence. Because, if it was happening off-ice, we’d be calling it something else.
I got Sony’s gadget for Christmas, and I haven’t put it down yet. Right now, I’m re-re-reading Vonnegut stuff, and plan to re-read The Great Gatsby.
The eReader lets you download books super-cheap – sometimes free, for the classics – and then upload them to the eReader through an iTunes-like interface.
It’s easy to read, and you can increase the font size if (like me) your eyes are getting a bit older. You can load music on it, and even photos (but they’ll be in a quaint black and white).
It’s gotten me reading fiction again, big time. I don’t know why. A gentleman spotted me using it this week, and we chatted about it, and I told him it makes reading funner. (I didn’t say funner, however, I said something else, which my sleep-deprived hockey Dad brain now forgets). It’s easy to carry around, among other things.
I don’t know anything about the Amazon Kindle, but I’ve heard it’s pretty cool, too. There’s lots of AppleBuzz about Steve Job’s tablet thingie, per usual.
The old-fashioned way of reading books is swell, of course, and has the added advantage of being bathtub-friendly. They also don’t require re-charging.
I just wanted to opine that these new devices are pretty neat. And anything that makes reading easier is a good thing, no?