Monday, November 26, 2007

Shoeless Joe Jackson

What's the truth about Shoeless Joe Jackson, possibly the greatest baseball player ever to come out of South Carolina?

A friend of mine, Thomas K. Perry of Newberry, S.C., has written an engaging book about Shoeless Joe. I recommend it strongly.

Meanwhile, click on the above link for breaking news/discovery about Shoeless Joe and others involved in the 1919 Black Sox World Series scandal.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Media tycoon makes Web sites free

If you're a researcher or journalist, Rupert Murdoch's recent decision to make the Wall Street Journal's Web site free and accessible to anyone (including the site's archives) comes as good news. The NYT has already done this.

Increasingly, newspapers are coming to grips with the idea that readers of online content don't want to pay for it.

The trend will be for advertisers to carry the freight.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Newspapers--important OR interesting?

Too many newspapers are too important and not very interesting.

Too much tactical news and not enough info. that really rocks readers.

Will Atkinson, my former student and a May 2007 graduate of Winthrop University, sent me this piece about most e-mailed stories by readers.

They're not, apparently, e-mailing many pieces about the Iraq war or the budget or city council meetings or police reports.

What they're sharing with each others, is, well, stories about nuns, parrots, people eating out of dumpsters, sex...

When will newspapers start to "get it"?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hillary: Did she or didn't she?

Hillary Rodham Clinton, front running Democratic candidate for president of the U.S., recently ate at the Maid-Rite Diner in Iowa.

First reports were that she did not tip the waitress for a $157 bill.

Then that changed that "her retinue of advisers" left a $100 tip on that bill.

Decide for yourself.

Read about it in the NYT.

Regardless, news about her personal life spreads like wildfire in the media. What she wears, what she doesn't wear, how much she tips or doesn't tip...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Job skills aren't the whole picture

If you're looking to hire someone today, they better have good skills for your company.

But maybe even more important that knowing how to do a job is this: you have to get along with people, have the right personality to work in a team and have the right work ethic.

Skill in and of itself doesn't get it.

A few companies in America are beginning to "get it."

Some of them are even conducting day-long (as in 10-12 hours) interviews with applicants.

Really screening them.

Read about it in the hyperlink above.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Campus newspaper ran what I wrote

Well, anything to get published...

When you hurt, write about what's hurting you.

See my guest column in The Johnsonian, the student newspaper at Winthrop.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Newspapers on a downward spiral

I train people to work in print journalism, and sometimes I have misgivings about that--given the direction (down) that newspaper circulation is going.

Print isn't dead (yet), but the signs are ominous: online is where it's at when people look for sources of news.

But maybe I'm an old-fashioned reader who likes to hold newsprint in his hands and get ink stains all over me.

What can we do to save newspapers?


Man reclines in bathtub with 87 rattlesnakes

I didn't believe this when I read it, but Jackie Bibby, the "Texas Snake Man," set a world record for consorting with rattlesnakes--87 of them to be exact.

Weirdly strange and scary.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Are TV ambush interviews ethical?

Should the journalist who did the TV ambush interview recently in Texas be fired?

Watch this clip and decide for yourself:

Arlecia Simmons, a Ph.D. candidate at the GREAT University of Iowa, sent this clip to me.

Arlecia is a graduate of WU (mass comm./journalism major).

She may be coming back to Winthrop to take my place when the old guy checks out.