Autumn has gifts besides the traditional foliage displays and apples right off the tree. Behold, an attempt to capture one:
Setting Sun Lights Tops of Trees, as Dark Clouds Bulk in the North, by yours truly. Pretty weak, I’d say, although it was a nice moment.
So, a little inside baseball for some of you, but I have to get this off my chest. Is anyone else disgusted that, with all the problems journalism has at the moment, someone at the Poynter Institute thought the way Jim Romenesko crafts his blog entries was cause for a public shaming? It’s a little hard to follow (and probably impossible for non-journalists), to grasp exactly what the problem is, exactly. I’ve had three or four pieces linked/promoted by Romenesko, an inside-media blogger, over the years, and I’ve never, not once, felt that he misappropriated my work, or quoted even a single phrase of it improperly. I’ve been reading him since the beginning, pre-Poynter, and can’t recall anyone, ever, thinking he did aggregation any way other than the right way. He was one of the very first to do so, in fact, and blazed a trail, showing journalists how this crazy internet thing could work for us, rather than against us.
Romenesko, who had been ramping down his Poynter output for some time, leading to a semi-retirement/switch to part-time status in a few weeks, reacted the way anyone would: He quit, leaving his boss, Julie Moos, to reap the whirlwind of damnation from the trade, who have quite correctly called her (and whoever put her up to this, if there is one) a spectacular forest-misser due to tree examination. I’m trying not to jump to conclusions here, but I get the feeling I’ve known people like her throughout my career, officious little twerps who bustle around kissing ass up the chain and assigning demerits down. I could be wrong. Someone closer to the newspaper bidness these days tell me if I am.
Anyway, this piece from The Awl, about the blog’s evolution (and devolution) is worth your time.
So is the Kitten Covers, perhaps the first LOLcat brand extension I’ve seen in a while that I found genuinely amusing.
And since we’ve already gone to the bloggage, let’s go all the way!
The Harrisburg Patriot-News gives up a special report on the Penn State scandal that doesn’t really uncover a lot of new information, but lays it out in relatively succinct linear fashion, underlining how many chances there were to stop Jerry Sandusky, and how all of them were missed. They emphasize how the central shocking event of the grand jury report — the grad student’s eyewitness account of the anal rape of a 10-year-old — was passed up the chain of command and became less serious with every stop on the telephone tree:
According to the grand jury, then, here is how McQueary’s eyewitness account became watered down at each stage:
McQueary: anal rape.
Paterno: something of a sexual nature.
Schultz: inappropriately grabbing of the young boy’s genitals.
Curley: inappropriate conduct or horsing around.
Spanier: conduct that made someone uncomfortable.
Raykovitz: a ban on bringing kids to the locker room.
I’m sure, given two more stops, it would have been that Jerry Sandusky tousled a young boy’s hair, and some weenie thinks it’s a huge scandal or somethin’.
I think we’ve well-covered the outrage angle of this case, but a lot of people are linking to this piece by John Scalzi, so I will too, mainly because it reminds me I should read more sci-fi, perhaps my second-least-favorite niche of genre fiction (although fantasy, sci-fi and romance are all pretty close).
And with that, I have to run. Must clean the entire house and Cliff Notes (that’s a verb phrase, I just decided) tonight’s book-club assignment. Who can summarize “Rising from the Rails” in a few paragraphs? I’d be most obliged.
Oh, and happy eleven-eleven-eleven!