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The [Wednesday] Papers

1. "Chicago Code Is On The Ropes."

*

"The show has also inspired at least one tavern viewing locally. At the Beachwood Inn in Wicker Park, at 8 p.m. Mondays the TV is tuned to Fox, and patrons reportedly play a drinking game that involves, for instance, taking a swig each time 'Irish mob' is mentioned."

Yeah, but we're thinking about dedicating Monday nights to Charlie Sheen from here on out.

2. Beachwood vs. Sun-Times.

3. "Rahm Emanuel has grabbed a slice of Chicago history," Chuck Goudie reports. "A small slice.

"The number of votes he received is a modern city election record . . . for its petite size.

"The last time a Chicago mayor won with fewer votes was 1919, when city news was dominated by a baseball scandal known as 'The Black Sox.'"

4. "This is to say: Really, Dan?" Jim DeRogatis writes about Dan Sinker's @MayorEmanuel. "This one-note joke was your way to demonstrate the power of journalism's new tools and comment on an issue as vitally important as the race for the next mayor of Chicago?

"Go ahead, stick with the story that it all was just a little joke that grew and grew. In the end, you might as well have endorsed the guy: "I would have voted for [Emanuel] just because of that fake Twitter account," one of Sinker's journalism students told the Tribune.

"This is what all those years of serious and sometimes groundbreaking investigative stories, interviews, commentaries, and chats with Noam Chomsky in Punk Planet have come to: conspiring with a celebrity politician to make him look 'even cooler' than his already immaculately crafted image, and to hell with that sticky, troublesome business of digging, probing, exposing, and reporting?"

*

DeRogatis is right and many of his critical commenters are wrong and telling you why is one of the many things I hope to accomplish before the week is out.

*

P.S. I hope Sinker directs his students to this. Does it have anything to do with new digital tools? You bet it does, if journalism and not delivery systems is the point. I use Amazon's "Search Inside The Book" feature to assist in the research, as well as Google's similar book search function.

It's not the glitzy tech stuff that delivers the goods, it's the tools that help journalists add to their reporting in ways not possible in the analog world. One day I hope a helluva lot more people - including funders like our local foundations, national players like Knight, venture capitalists and techies themselves - realize that and shift their focus to moving journalism itself forward.

*

Another example: Why review a concert the old-fashioned way when you can show readers actual video to accompany your assessment?

*

Similarly, no matter how hard music writers try, it's impossible to learn from their prose jsut how a record or song sounds. But now you can include audio clips. And that changes the narrative structure of how you write a review. Now you can say, "Here's the magic moment in the song where the unexpected guitar wail comes in - but it's not a guitar, it's a synthesizer," for example, and place the clip there. Or write, "Listen here to how his voice breaks," and place the clip there.

Even regular ol' links themselves change the structure of how stories are - or ought to be - written. Going further, ProPublica is one of the best at using links, documents and visual data for its stories.

This is what it's about - not fake Twitter accounts and delivering fiction to cellphones and writing stories the old-fashioned way like, say, the Chicago News Cooperative, and thinking that because those stories are placed online that somehow you are being digital.

But what do I know. Everyone else is getting the money, not me. I must not know what I'm talking about.

*

Disclaimer: I was once under consideration for the job Sinker now holds; the pieces didn't really fit together right for me or Columbia. I bear no ill will; in fact, I was a great fan of Punk Planet.

5. Our media: Those willing to go along with powerful people manipulating the news get promoted.

People like me not so much.

*

By the way, NBC Chicago did it again. The station posted Edward McClelland's endorsement of Gery Chico (preserved here) and then took it down. McClelland woudn't tell me why. Maybe he's hoping for a promotion.

6. A resident of the 3200 block of Cuyler Avenue reported that he received a check in the mail for $20,000 from a Chicago resident looking to buy a house he is selling," Berwyn Life reports. "The owner was closing on the house Tuesday, but he planned to sell the home to a different person.

"Along with the check, the owner received a letter stating, 'The property in your possession is in need for the kingdom. The Lord, thy God, is sending his children to claim this property.'

"According to police records, the letter he received Thursday was the second such check he had been sent from the same person. Police records also indicate that the check was from a legitimate Chase Bank account.

"The matter has been referred to the Berwyn detective's department for investigation."

*

Apology to Berwyn Life: I don't like to lift entire stories, but this was all there was to it. Please follow the link anyway and give them some traffic to help me atone for my sin.

7. The day Bill Ayers bombed the U.S. Capitol.

8. Cubs and Sox missing from Top 10 Pitchers list.

9. Sonic's new Chicago hot dog just $1.99.

10. Teach your students a real lesson and ask Rahm if he's willing to do a forensic audit to discover who hired Angelo Torres.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: A different kind of twitterverse.



Permalink

Posted on March 2, 2011


MUSIC - The BeachFest 2017 Playlist.
TV - FCC To Screw Rural America.
POLITICS - GOP Apostate: Why I'm Not A Democrat.
SPORTS - World Cup Concussion Fail.

BOOKS - Textbooks In The Digital World.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - South Side Teens At Film Festival.


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