Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's today's college student like?

Well, she ain't like your grandma's college student.

She sends maybe more than a thousand text messages a month.

She doesn't like to read books, but reads thousands of Web pages every year.

Quite a challenge if you're a college professor (from the olden days) and you're trying to reach digital babies.

Click on the hotlink video above and enjoy. I discovered this video, courtesy of Professor Keith Benson at Winthrop University.

Turn your sound up.

Shift happens

Did you know that "Shift happens"?

Yes, that's what I meant to say: "Shift happens."

Man, does it ever.

Our big old blue planet, and everyone on it, is really changing.

Example: 100 percent of the college graduates in India can speak English.

Another example: By the time a member of the current generation of college students in America reaches her 38th birthday, she will have held 10-14 different jobs.

Click on the hotlink headline above to watch this intriguing, powerful video.

(And turn your sound up.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hats off to the Golden Corral

Ate a delicious FREE dinner last night at the Golden Corral restaurant in Rock Hill. The good folks there (at 1031 Anderson Road) must have fed more than a thousand hungry veterans--at no charge.

Great that the Golden Corral recognizes that but for veterans there would be no Rock Hill, no restaurants, no USA.

Thanks, Golden Corral.

Loved the steak, chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, salad, iced tea and dessert (carrot cake). More than I should have eaten but couldn't resist.

Sign me,

Larry Timbs
Vietnam era USAF veteran

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beautiful and mind-bending

Just found this video from Guy Reel, a colleague of mine in the mass comm. dept. at Winthrop.

Who's the fairest of them all?

Click on the hotlink headline above to watch the video.

Enjoy but pay attention. It's a fast track.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Remember Paul Lindemann and that DUI charge?

Here's a story I got published in the Nov. edition of Publishers' Auxiliary--a trade publication serving members of the National Newspaper Association. I wrote the story several weeks ago.

By Larry Timbs

Special to Publishers’ Auxiliary

If you’re a public official in York County, S.C., and police subject you to a sobriety test, you risk having your hometown newspaper post the embarrassing police video of the test on the paper’s Web site. Plus, readers will read extensively in the newspaper about the police video and where they can find the link.

That’s a lesson learned by York County Councilman Paul Lindemann—subjected several weeks ago in Columbia, S.C., to a sobriety test immediately preceding his arrest and handcuffing by a patrol officer.

The officer’s dashboard camera video was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the 35,000-circulation Herald in Rock Hill, S.C. 
And The Herald, a McClatchy-owned daily newspaper serving York, Lancaster and Chester counties in South Carolina, has served notice of where to access the video on the Web in front page stories written by reporter Matt Garfield.

Garfield has reported—and the police video corroborates this—that Lindemann didn’t make a favorable impression when he took the sobriety test. The public official is shown at night in mid-July on camera, with the police officer who directed him to pull his car off the road.

Lindemann slurs his words, struggles to say the alphabet, and has a tough time counting backwards from 32.

Up for re-election in November, Lindemann is fighting the DUI charge and requesting a jury trial—which may not occur till after the election.

Meanwhile, the incriminating video, as of this writing (in late September), could be found on The Herald’s Web site at or at

Is the video news? Or does it, as the SPJ Code of Ethics advises newspapers NOT do, pander to the “public’s lurid curiosity”?

It’s definitely news, according to Herald editor Paul Osmundson, and that made it an easy call for the newspaper to post the video on its Web site.

“I see this as kind of a norm these days as to what newspapers are doing,” Osmundson said. “He’s a public official county councilman who’s asking for voters to re-elect him…I see it (putting the video online) as a no brainer.”

But Herald readers need not think that their hometown newspaper would necessarily post a police sobriety test video of them online. 
Whether to post or not post, Osmundson said, would be determined by the newsworthiness of the video.

“If there’s an incident, an arrest, an event that we think is newsworthy and there’s video of the event available to us, we’d certainly consider putting it online,” he said. “Would we automatically do it with each one? No. We’re not automatically going to go out and get the video and put it online. . . All DUI arrests are not newsworthy. This one was because of the person involved.”

A contrite Lindemann (whose name registered 677,000 hits on Google in late September) seems determined to stay the course in his bid for re-election.

Interviewed by Herald reporter Garfield for a Sept. 20 story, the 29-year-old Lindemann, a real estate investor, predicted he’d come out okay on the DUI charge and that he would be re-elected to office in November. “You’re the only person that ever asks me about it (the charge),” Lindemann is quoted as saying in Garfield’s story.

In a letter, published in The Herald on Sept. 23, Lindemann pledges to the public that he has “learned from my mistakes and will strive to represent you and continue to make this district even stronger.” He also writes in that letter that his bond with his wife and family have been strengthened; that he deeply appreciates all the calls, letters, emails and prayers of support; and that he’s sorry for letting anyone down.

Lindemann wrote in a Sept. 24 email, responding to a request for a comment for this story: “The press is relentless and I am boggled by the press coverage…I am really working to make a difference in York County but that never gets reported!”

What has gotten reported, on The Herald’s “Local Talk” forum Web site, are sentiments of readers, who, almost to a person, vent their anger against Lindemann.

“Paul Lindemann is in denial and needs to get help,” one reader posted. “It is not something that is easy to face, nor “(ex)cept, nor admit. . . (T)he next time he is out on the road driving drunk again…God forbid he hits one of us, or even worse one of our children…”

Wrote another person: “(M)y daughter was killed in York county by two underage drunk drivers & the three ADULTS that provided the alcohol. . . Well Paul Lindemann, I’m going to help expose your obvious alcohol problem. (T)his is no longer going to be only known to people in SC. I have about 18,000 readers nationwide that are about to get to know all about you & how you put everyone at risk as you drink & drive.”

“Can I please see a show of hands,” asked another reader who posted to The Herald’s Web site, “on how many of us just fell off the turnip truck? Cause it sure is the only way I’d be able to buy into this load of manure that’s currently being flung on us from Lindemann and his attorney…One must lead their life by example, and in this particular case if the example continues to be bad then one needs to have the courage to admit it, and seek the help that is needed. If this can not be done then it will be left up to the voting public to rectify the situation.”

News Professionals Support Herald’s Posting Of Video

Editors, reporters and others working on community newspapers back The Herald’s stance on the Lindemann story and video.

Dudley Brown, reporter for the 55,000-circulation Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, S.C., reasons that Lindemann’s public official status makes him fair game for the Herald’s posting of the police video. “(H)is arrest is newsworthy and items that help tell the story, such as the video, should be used,” Brown wrote in a blog post. “We, however, shouldn’t post such videos every time someone in our community is pulled over. But, a public official should be aware that any arrests will be reported and broadcast nowadays via television or the Internet.”

Max Heath, longtime (and now retired) vice president of Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., based in Shelbyville, Ky., is the adult child of an alcoholic small town newspaperman.

About the Lindemann video, Heath wrote in an email: “I know the pain that can be caused by public sharing of something like this. However, as a former community group newspaper executive editor, I understand the argument for providing this type of information about a public official. It troubles me personally, though I see both sides.

“It’s too bad that YouTube was ever developed, in my view,” added Heath, now working as a postal consultant. “It lowers the public discourse.”

Likewise, Benjy Hamm, editorial director of Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., notes that companies such as YouTube are not known for protecting privacy. That said, Hamm doesn’t have a problem with how The Herald treated the police video “because the incident involves a key public official. 

“Is the arrest newsworthy in that community? Of course,” Hamm said. “Does the video embarrass the public official? Probably. “But I’m not one to suggest the Internet or the newspaper is to blame for his embarrassment. Viewers can make their own judgments about what they see, and the court can do what’s necessary to ensure a fair trial.”

Lastly, a blogger with the handle “tiny cornbread”—self identified as a newspaper editor--wrote: “…I have no objection to posting this video. It’s uncomfortable and I wouldn’t want to be that councilman. Yet, this is a public official who is suspected of criminal activity, and activity that is potentially harmful to others. If the officer had let him go and he had driven off and run over someone, people would have howled outrage at the police, and justifiably so.

“This doesn’t equate to a guilty verdict by any means. It doesn’t help his (Lindemann’s) case but I think most educated people understand the criminal justice system well enough to recognize that there are nuances in play and that that person on tape could be them or a loved one. The privacy argument was erased when this possibly-intoxicated guy headed out on a public street where his car could have encountered yours or mine.”

Lindemann says he will keep keeping on...

York County, S.C., Councilman Paul Lindemann may not have been perceived as performing well on an alcohol sobriety test--captured on a police video and now being shown to a worldwide audience, thanks to his hometown newspaper.

But that doesn’t mean the 29-year-old Republican, elected to public office two years ago, plans to resign from office.

He has been charged, not convicted, he says, and he will continue his campaign for re-election in November. The York County native faces Democrat Marion Davenport and Green Party member Bryan Smith; both want to unseat him on the council.

“We’ve been focusing on the good things (being done by the York County Council,” said Lindemann in a phone interview on Oct. 1. “I’m showing up. I’m out campaigning her. I’m out-raising her…

“Things have been going exceedingly well,” Lindemann added. “I’m kind of like a duck. Things just roll off my back…”

He says The (Rock Hill, S.C.) Herald, for whatever reason, chooses not to report the good work done by him and his fellow council members. Those positives include economic development for York County, meaning industry and jobs continue to flow at a good rate into one of South Carolina’s fastest growing counties, Lindemann said.

“The things that I do are overlooked,” Lindemann said. “It’s funny how they (the media, including The Herald), will murder me over a charge, but they won’t talk about any of the things we (the council) did for district one.

“The small things that we’ve done continuously have been overlooked.”

Lindemann says he wants it made clear, however, that he isn’t trying to justify his personal actions. “Right or wrong, my personal life is a lot different from how I conduct myself on the county council,” he said.

So how’s he dealing with The Herald’s coverage (including the paper’s posting of the police video link on its Web site)?

“It’s been interesting,” Lindemann said. “I’ve got a lot of people around the state emailing me asking me who at The Herald has it out for me. And they’ll say: ‘Gee, when do you think they’ll leave you alone?’”

Larry Timbs teaches journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., where he’s also faculty adviser to the weekly student newspaper, The Johnsonian.

Huge celebration for Obama

When CNN announced last night that Barack Obama had been elected 44th president of the United States, students at Thomson Cafeteria at Winthrop University (where I work), went wild.

Haven't seen that much joy in eons.

Click on the hotlink headline above to watch the YouTube video of the Winthrop happiness.

All the bull is now over

Just to commemorate the end of this very long (seemingly interminable) political season, note the 2,000 pounds of bull that accompanies this blog post.

I caught this guy resting near my father-in-law's barn in east Tennessee.

Question: Where does a bull do his thing?

Answer: Anywhere he wants to!

Seriously this bull gave me the evil eye. Didn't want to get too close.

He's a prize animal.



At ease with himself and the living things around him but nonetheless keeping all his senses open, just in case...

Just like a lot of those candidates in the 2008 election year.

What a year it was!

This bull represents a lot about what I feel.