Category Archives: Media

Twentysomethings to take over the world!

News brief: Amelia Lester, 26, was named the new managing editor of The New Yorker. As the news broke, reporters could hear the collective sound of thirtysomethings around the world choking on their coffee and cigarettes. Meanwhile, Forbes noted a spike in the number of resumes submitted by 21-year-olds for managerial positions at Goldman Sachs, Google and the White House.

Congratulations to Lester, a Harvard grad and former fact-checker for The New Yorker. You inspire the rest of us to get our shit together.


These magic moments

Week in review, from Monday, Aug. 3 – Monday, Aug. 10:

Thumbs-up go to:

1. The Yankees’ four-game sweep of the Red Sox and David Ortiz holding a press conference on his alleged steroid use. Do I smell the beginning of a Yankee renaissance? Maybe if I can forget that they lost their first 8 games against the Sox this season…

…and that A-Roid had his own steroid scandal already and just generally sucks as a human being…

…and that the Yanks built and opened a new $1.5 billion stadium during a recession with nearly half the ticket prices hovering between $100-$2,500. PER TICKET. The Associated Press breaks it down nicely in this article from a while back.

But I do have a bad memory, so who knows how much I’ll be able to forget.

2. Former President Bill Clinton helps spring American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee laura-lingfrom captivity in Korea, where they had been held for 4 1/2 months. Best news I’ve heard in a while. The story also shines an interesting spotlight on the journalists’ employer, “interactive news source” Current TV.

This brainchild of Al Gore and Joel Hyatt has been around in some form since 2005; it focuses on enterprise (i.e. investigative and/or feature) reporting by young journalists, but also incorporates movie reviews, a “Talk Soup”-style show and user-generated content. Never heard of it? Me neither. Today’s top stories included an “in-depth podcast analysis” on whether or not The Hurt Locker is the greatest war movie ever made. (Is it? I haven’t seen this, or every war movie, yet.) Current TV was, however, where I found out about the new White House Reality Check, a website launched today by the Obama administration to debunk myths circulating about the latest health care bill. Very useful — I tend to prefer information to misinformation. Though admittedly, the White House videos weren’t as colorful as all that weekend coverage of protesters at “town hall meetings” carrying signs of Obama sporting a Hitler ‘stach. Oh, those protesters and their Photoshop. Nothing like a good old-fashioned American debate! (to send you running to Canada…)

Thumbs-down goes to:

1. “Skinny Jeans Workouts” in NYC, as reported here by CNN medical reporter Val Willingham. People take these classes to strengthen their core and fit into their jeans. Know what that’s usually called? EXERCISE. Go for a run and do some crunches, and you have a skinny jean workout! Or take this bit of advice: if skin-tight denim pants don’t fit, DON’T WEAR THEM.

They are made for teenagers, people with 5% body fat and no muscle, and Audrey Hepburn. 2006_10_audrey

Mediaite: “Corruption brings out best in New Jersey journalism”

Money-laundering rabbis. Corrupt New Jersey mayors taken away in handcuffs. Kidneys for sale at $160,000. If that doesn’t spark your interest in this story from the Jersey Shore, I don’t know what will.

And the people who told the story best, according to media blog Mediaite, were from two of my newspaper alma maters: The Star-Ledger and the Asbury Park Press. Click on those links to see their coverage.

There’s a nice Recession Renaissance morale to this story: Even though the Star-Ledger and APP have lost legions of staff members in the past year, the people who remain are still doing quality work. It’s stories like this that speak for why we still need local news bureaus (be it for print or online, or both) and the funds to support them. Mediaite sums it up nicely in its post “Corruption brings out the best in New Jersey journalism”:

“We are in an age where Twitter, blogs and social networks are the gateway by which breaking news gets distributed, but in this case, traditional news outlets won the day – not just for accurate reporting in real time of a complicated and quickly-moving story, but having the resources and institutional knowledge to put it all in context and connect those all-important dots. Yesterday, the New Jersey press lived up to the highest standard of journalism: they were reliable, and they were credible. In this age of insta-media, let’s not forget how much that matters.”

“Journalism Bust, J-school Boom”

This article has prompted a pretty lengthy discussion on one of my alumni email lists. Then that discussion migrated to the Huffington Post. Apparently, as print journalism suffers and reporters lose jobs by the truckload, journalism school applications have gone through the roof. Some argue that we should trim the number of spots in a journalism school to keep new graduates from flooding an already strapped market. I contend that stymieing opportunity will lead to less innovation. If there was every a time for someone with a computer science background to teach at J-school, this is it. We need people to create the new forum for news dissemination. Will that happen at J-schools, or at established publications? Or at Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft? Any thoughts?