Monday, September 28, 2009

Recent stuff on the future of journalism

There is no end to the ruminations on the future of journalism, newspapers and media in general. I'm heavily reliant on the Twitter-sphere to keep me abreast of the latest and greatest. My curation is modest at best, but here are a few I've enjoyed of late.

Over at the Samara blog I've listed a few events I've attended lately, including:
  • Mathew Ingram's talk at the TEDxTO conference
  • The CJF's recent panel , featuring Ira Basen and Rem Reider, exploring the changing media environment
  • A Samara-hosted lunch with the former editor of the's editor, Jim Brady, who talked about covering politics and public affairs in a changing media environment
I thoroughly enjoyed the different take on things presented by Maclean's editor Ken Whyte in his 2009 Dalton Camp Lecture, delivered at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. If you care about journalism, newspapers, public debate and democracy, you should take a listen. The research he did into his book on William Randolph Hearst no doubt contributed greatly to the long view he takes.

I'm also looking forward to reading Alex Jones' book Losing the News. Alex is the director of the Kennedy School's Shorenstein Centre on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and the author of a great book on the family behind the New York Times. I loved their brown bags while I was a student there, and it's great to see them posted online now. Mark Bowden's piece in the Atlantic is also on the top of the pile these days.

Coming up: Those in Toronto may want to sign up for Ryerson's October 2 panel titled "What's Next for News," featuring media futurist Clay Shirky (read his latest ideas here) and Cult of the Amateur author Andrew Keen.

More recommendations welcome!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday evening giggle

My friend Sarah just sent me this. It's silly, but I found myself laughing aloud more than once (although I won't mention which lines provoked such a response). It's aimed at those 25-35, apparently, but I wouldn't limit oneself if they fall outside the range.


> -I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than
> take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
> -I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
> -More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can
> think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell
> my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves
> me.
> -Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you
> realize you're wrong.
> -I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to
> have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and
> sticks when they've invented the lighter?
> -Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're
> going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to
> be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the
> direction from which you came, you have to first do something like
> check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to
> yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're
> crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
> -That's enough, Nickelback.
> -I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
> -Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know"
> feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose
> not to be friends with?
> -Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't
> work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically
> fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all
> know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards
> or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.
> -There is a great need for sarcasm font.
> -Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and
> suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first
> saw it.
> -I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually
> becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting
> 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's
> laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little
> bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the
> only one who really, really gets it.
> -How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
> - I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear
> your computer history if you die.
> -The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to
> finish a text.
> - A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the
> spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.
> - LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
> - I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
> - Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron
> test is absolutely petrifying.
> - Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart",
> all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".
> - How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod
> and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
> - I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up
> to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
> - Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in'
> examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete
> idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and
> said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"
> -What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?
> - While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and
> instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.
> - MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I
> know how to get out of my neighborhood.
> - Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the
> person died.
> - I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the
> shower first and THEN turn on the water.
> -Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty,
> and you can wear them forever.
> - I would like to officially coin the phrase 'catching the swine flu'
> to be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an
> overweight woman. Example: "Dave caught the swine flu last night."
> -I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
> - Bad decisions make good stories
> -Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their
> profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got
> the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if
> I do!
> - Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
> -If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring
> would probably just be completely invisible.
> -Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go
> around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly
> nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be
> a problem....
> -You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work
> when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything
> productive for the rest of the day.
> -Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't
> want to have to restart my collection.
> -There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are
> going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
> -I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me
> if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I
> swear I did not make any changes to.
> - "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
> -I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people
> watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will
> they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't
> watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and
> leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'
> -I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?
> Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and
> goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone
> and run away?
> - I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not
> seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
> -When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she
> hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light
> internet stalking.
> -I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle,
> then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
> -Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising
> speed for pedophiles...
> - As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers,
> but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
> -Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still
> not know what time it is.
> -It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
> -I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to
> answer when they call.
> -Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
> -Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car
> keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the
> Donkey - but I’d bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze
> button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time
> every time...
> -My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would
> happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?
> -It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on and
> the link takes me to a video instead of text.
> -I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they
> drive behind obeys the speed limit.
> -I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
> -I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or
> Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
> -The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw
> they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words,
> someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think
> about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people
> eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by
> myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard
> before dinner.