Monthly Archives: September 2011

AOL is Patching up its wallet

 America Online used to be the coolest thing. Well, at least for me. You got to make a super cool email address, and got to chat to your friends in this little square thing. Granted, this was about 10 years ago, but it held my interest. Today is different. Today you can use internet explorer for free and do the exact same thing, without having to create a new username each time.

As AOL s struggling, it’s looking to its family of hyper-local newspapers to make them some extra cash. An article in Business Insider says that AOL is asking their patch editors to increase Ad sales in addition to their duties as an editor.
Personally, I feel that the news industry is too much of a business. But, since it needs to make money to stay afloat, a thicker, darker, larger, longer, bolder, line in the sand needs to be drawn between the journalism side and the business side. Editors have no business (excuse the pun) drumming up ad sales. If they’re too busy doing that and their back is turned, the quality of work could worsen. I think you’d lose more money (readers, and respect) by  putting out crappy work, then by running less ads.

The article is here: http://www.businessinsider.com/aol-requires-patch-editors-to-drum-up-ad-sales-leads-2011-9

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GQ Magazine- The New Men’s clothing store near you

In the era of the failing print news industry, some magazines have found a creative way to make some extra cash, they will personally sell some of the clothes they advertise.

According to a New York Times article, GQ (left), Vogue and Esquire are telling people to buy clothes, such as sweaters that cost more than $200, and the magazine can then make money off that sale.

Vogue was even quoted as saying “Vogue may receive a commission on some sales made through this service,” on their website. GQ’s creative director promotes a Clavin Klein sweater on a men’s clothing website.

Now I know there’s a business side to running a paper or magazine that I can’t even begin to understand, but there has to be a line drawn in the sand somewhere. For some reason, I will always remember an old episode of The View, in which Meredith Viera was telling a story about how she was once offered a year’s supply of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream but she couldn’t accept it, because at the time she was an anchor woman. Shouldn’t the same sort of rules apply? Even if it’s not hard news, magazines are still journalism. I think that objectivity shouldn’t be sacrificed just to make a buck.

For more on the magazines go here:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/26/business/media/magazines-begin-to-sell-the-fashion-they-review.html?_r=1


Script Kiddies Strike Again!

      Are you interested in being confused about whether the news you get is real or not? Want to get all worked up about something happening only to realize it was just joke? It that’s your cup of tea, then Twitter may be just what you need.

I have a twitter account, most people probably do. I’ll be the first to say that I like the fact that I can news headlines in 140 characters or less and then decide if I really want to read it or not. I also get all sorts of news outlets, like the New York Times and Eyewitness news giving me their top stories in one place. What I don’t like is having to decide whether the information is true or not.

The Script Kiddies are a group that have previously hacked NBC’s twitter account and sent out a bogus tweet about an attack on ground zero. Then, yesterday, they hacked USA today’s twitter and sent out a few taunting tweets. These tweets said things like, “vote for who you want hacked next.” I’m all for social media, but not if it means more work for news organizations to get their work out there. They’re already so strapped for resources, should they really be paying more for a better firewall?

Want to read more about the hackers? Go here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20111422-83/usa-todays-twitter-account-falls-victim-to-hackers/#ixzz1Z3MeuOsQ


All 360 degrees of Anderson Cooper

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/12/business/media/anderson-cooper-seeks-to-show-his-daytime-side.html?_r=1&ref=media

Okay, so Anderson Cooper having his own talk show may be older news by now, but I just couldn’t let this one go without defending him. We all know Mr. Cooper as the diligent journalist on CNN. His new daytime talk show is the complete opposite of that. The talk show is not journalism and I don’t think he claimed for it to be.  Even in his promos for the show, he has said that he wanted to do something different- the lighter side of things. Certainly, getting a spray tan with Snooki is on the lighter side. There is also something to be said for “celebrity journalists.” Certainly, he is one. I think maybe this show might be to widen his “brand.” I’m all for his new talk show. I don’t see it interfering with his CNN show. He’s even taping shows in bulk so that he can travel if he needs to. I should also say that I’m a huge fan of his and I don’t think he can do any wrong. Hey, if you really can’t stand what’s happening on his talk show, mute it and just stare at him.


Youtube Investigates

Next time you need something investigated, who are you going to call? Youtube, apparently. Iwantmedia.com had a story from Australia Broadcasting Company (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-09/youtube-investigative-reporting/2878414) that said the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, California is in talks with Youtube to create Youtube Investigates. Robert Rosenthal, the director for the CIR said that social media is being used more and more in the world of investigative reporting.

The article didn’t really delve into what I’m most interested in though. Just how do they plan on using Youtube? Do they plan on posting videos saying they need tips for whatever they’re investigating? Or will they be privy to background information about all Youtube posters and users? Or perhaps they will produce their investigative pieces directly onto Youtube? Whatever it is they want to do, went over my head.

The article does get into how this will be a cost-effective way to do investigative journalism. Newsrooms are small now. To save money they go to alternative means of news gathering, which in this case may now include Youtube. But, hey if Rebecca Black could use Youtube to turn into a singing sensation, maybe Youtube is just what  the journalism industry needs to bounce back.


9/11 Broadcasts

Mediabistro.com had this story in their newsfeed from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/arts/television/some-channels-forgoing-prime-time-911-programming.html?_r=2&ref=media

While major broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and PBS are forgoing regular programming to put on special 9/11 tributes, Fox, NBC, and HBO will have regular broadcasting on. Fox said in the article that they are contractually obligated to show football that evening. NBC will be showing all the football that they planned on showing. Of course, the question here is whether legalities should get in the way with the public watching the news, or special news programming. I think not, but luckily for those networks, they have sister channels such as Fox News Channel and MSNBC which will be showing special primetime programming.

What really caught my attention though, was what HBO had to say. They explained that they had production schedules to follow. They also went on to say this to the New York Times: “It’s to continue with our schedule for those people who are looking to continue with their life and to have an alternative to more topical viewing.” I’ve often wondered about that side of the coin. Of course, most of the nation who was touched by this tragedy probably wants to watch tributes about what happened that day. But, what about the families that don’t want to be reminded? Even though it is literally a decade after, the pain could still be raw for some people. Those people will probably not appreciate all the newspaper covers, local broadcast news coverage and special programming on the major networks. For those people, Fox, NBC and HBO are offering an escape, even if just for a little while. I think the news has an obligation to accommodate every viewer or reader they have. So even if it was just a coincidence, at least some sort of alternative will be available.