EppsNet Archive: Newspapers

Hiding the Facts from Readers Is the Opposite of a Journalist’s Job

 

From the National Review: As you may have heard [I actually didn’t hear, for reasons that will soon become clear], on Friday night there was a mass shooting in Austin, Texas, in the Sixth Street entertainment district. Fourteen people were shot; as of this writing, one has died. This apparently wasn’t one of those loser-shoots-up-his-school mass shootings, but one of the more common shootings involving “some kind of disturbance between two parties,” as the police put it. So the shooter didn’t kill himself or wait around for the police and force them into shooting him. He fled, and the police, naturally, put out a description of him. The Austin American-Statesman, the local daily, refused to publish that description. Instead, it put this editor’s note at the end of its report: Editor’s note: Police have only released a vague description of the suspected shooter as of Saturday morning. The American-Statesman is… Read more →

Why Can’t Democrats Fix LA?

 

According to my local paper, the Santa Monica Daily Press, LA’s “unhoused” population is being plagued by an epidemic of mental illness. (The search for euphemisms continues unabated as well. People living on the street used to be “bums,” then “homeless” and now “unhoused.”) One of the puzzling things about Los Angeles is why our political leaders can’t figure out how to solve any of our local problems, for example, what we fondly refer to as “the homelessness crisis.” It’s puzzling because the mayor is a Democrat, every member of the city council is also a Democrat, there isn’t a Republican in sight, so there’s nothing to stop them from enacting any policy they want to. It’s like they really have no idea how to solve any of the problems. It’s possible that in a city in which every elected official is a Republican that they would turn out to… Read more →

Things Seem To Be Proceeding at a Dizzy Rate

 

  I wouldn’t have thought from reading Madame Bovary that Flaubert had much of a sense of humor, but here’s something he said in 1850 that’s not only quite funny but, except for the centuries count, will probably never go out of date: From time to time, I open a newspaper. Things seem to be proceeding at a dizzy rate. We are dancing not on the edge of a volcano, but on the wooden seat of a latrine, and it seems to me more than a touch rotten. Soon society will go plummeting down and drown in nineteen centuries of shit. There’ll be quite a lot of shouting. Read more →

Flaubert’s Prediction

 

From time to time, I open a newspaper. Things seem to be proceeding at a dizzy rate. We are dancing not on the edge of a volcano, but on the wooden seat of a latrine, and it seems to me more than a touch rotten. Soon society will go plummeting down and drown in nineteen centuries of shit. There’ll be quite a lot of shouting. — Gustave Flaubert (1850) Read more →

Newseum: Osama bin Laden Killed by U.S. Special Forces

 

800 front pages from 77 countries: Newseum: Osama bin Laden Killed by U.S. Special Forces Read more →

History Lesson

 

A little explanation is in order here: In the olden days, when computers were less powerful than they are now, people used to read newspaper websites in the form of massive printouts. On Sundays, the newspaper website printouts (which were sometimes called “newspapers” for short) would come wrapped in a “comics section,” which contained still-life color cartoons that told a “story” in a series of panels or “drawings.” — James Taranto Read more →

Twitter: 2010-09-11

 

RT @kausmickey: Once again troubled by possibility that LA Times might not collapse & vanish quickly enough to enable vibrant civic culture. # Overheard: "Therein lies the rub." # Read more →

There is No Such Thing as Information Overload

 

Looking over my notes from an Edward Tufte course . . . There is no such thing as information overload, just bad design. Example: Google News presents hundreds of links on a single page and no one complains about information overload. Example: The financial section of the newspaper presents thousands of numbers and no one complains about information overload. Read more →

Twitter: 2010-02-03

 

Does this city make my butt look big? – http://goo.gl/N72i # Sign of the times: I noticed this morning that the newspaper racks (LA Times, OC Register) in front of LA Fitness have been removed # Read more →

Dying Media

 

It is bizarre that liberals who celebrate the unruly demonstrations of our youth would malign or impugn the motivation of today’s protestors with opposing views. The mainstream media’s failure to honestly cover last month’s mass demonstration in Washington, D.C. was a disgrace. The focus on anti-Obama placards (which were no worse than the rabid anti-LBJ, anti-Reagan or anti-Bush placards of leftist protests), combined with the grotesque attempt to equate criticism of Obama with racism, simply illustrated why the old guard TV networks and major urban daily newspapers are slowly dying. Only a simpleton would believe what they say. — Camille Paglia Read more →

A Handful of Editors

 

It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news–and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened. Today, editors are losing this power. The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren’t satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog, and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven’t always responded well when the public calls them to account.   A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let’s be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are… Read more →

T.J. Simers Must Die

 

I thought sports columnists were appointed for life, like Supreme Court justices, no matter how irrelevant they become, and yet I see that the Los Angeles Times has just dumped J.A. Adande. Well, by golly, that’s a good start! I can’t think of a single print columnist, at the Times or elsewhere, who’s remotely relevant anymore. There are dozens of sports websites (not that one — start at Deadspin and follow the links) with at least an order of magnitude more energy, insight and wit than you’ll find in your local print rag, which is why newspapers are going the way of the 8-track tape, the buggy whip and whale oil. The next in line to go at the Times should be fatuous blowhard T.J. Simers. Simers positions himself as a pot-stirring wiseass, and the line on him seems to be that if people don’t like him, he must be… Read more →