Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Devil of a Time With Those Winning Rays

Now that the Devil Rays are winning, reporters are turning out some decent stories. Fair weather friends, I guess. When the D-Rays were losing, Bay area media types flailed them unmercifully. Understandably, that’s what SOME of them (notably sports columnists) get paid to do. But reporters, well, aren’t they supposed to “report”? If TBM had a dollar every time someone wrote or said, “The Devil Rays found yet another way to lose,” the editorial "we" could afford the good seats. If the Rays have a bad game, tell us what they did (or did not do) specifically, instead of non-specific, inane, play-with-your-food, ramblings. Some of us did NOT get to see the game, and would like to know what actually happened -- BEFORE the eighth or ninth paragraph. (Where's that famous "inverted pyramid" they used to teach reporters?)

PS-1: Let’s hope the Bucs do well this year, or we’ll be seeing a lot of hacked-up, re-cycled “Chucky” comments that weren’t funny the second, third and fourth time we heard them.

PS-2: The season has yet to begin, and it appears that all the good Cadillac clichés are taken.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Rush to Judgment: Waiting for Goudreau

Our own Rosemary Goudreau, editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune, popped up on the Rush Limbaugh Show this week -- so to speak. Limbaugh relayed that Goudreau has received the same e-mail message a dozen times over the last year, that says:

“Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq? Did you know that 3,100 schools have been renovated? Of course we didn’t know!” the anonymous e-mailer concludes, “Our media doesn’t tell us!”

Goudreau forwarded the e-mail to Mike Silverman, managing editor of the Associated Press, and asked if there was a way to check the assertions and put them in context.

The New York Times notes: "Ms. Goudreau’s query prompted a discussion last month in New York at a regular meeting of editors whose newspapers are members of The Associated Press. Some editors expressed concern that a kind of bunker mentality was preventing reporters in Iraq from getting out and explaining the bigger picture beyond the daily death tolls."

Goudreau observes: “The bottom-line question was, people wanted to know if we’re making progress in Iraq,” adding “ ... there’s a perception that we’re not telling the whole story.”

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Clear and Present Signal: To Infinity & Beyond

Infinity Broadcasting and Clear Channel are huge media entities. Between them, they own hundreds of radio stations across the US, including more than a dozen in the Bay area. From the “Smooth Jazz” sounds of WSJT to the “Cracker Jack” antics of Jack Harris at 970, WFLA, chances are you are an Infinity/Clear listener at some point during the week. But should that much power be vested in the hands of just two companies? Or are they doing such a great job it doesn’t matter? Or maybe, in a land of pod-casts, in-dash CD’s, and satellite radio, people feel too empowered to care ... Still, to have the influence and control of a powerful mass communication device like radio held hostage by a handful of corporate centers of gravity (however benign) cannot help but ultimately make subservient the wishes of the many to the whims of the few.