Previous month:
March 2006
Next month:
May 2006

Internet conversations: Sunday Prayer

I don't know how this reader found his way to my blog, but I'm thankful for getting a chance to check out his blog, and particularly loved this gem:

"Hey God... gotta sec? ...Can I just tell you how confusing it is down here many religions, so many mixed messages? You really need to talk to someone about brand management. I mean, seriously, you've got more people using your name and likeness than Ed McMahon and I'm pretty sure you're not getting a dime from most of them. A word of advice...try to get those Disney attorneys to handle your trademark/copyright stuff...they'll have 95% of those crosses, medallions, and stained glass windows down within 24 hours, guaranteed, and will make sure you get a license fee for the ones allowed to stay up. We're talking big money...way more than the tithes that some of your franchisees encourage their members to pay. What's that? You do very well thank you? Okay, it's none of my business...I'm just saying.

What? Oh right, time, tight schedule, pressing business, no time to chit-chat? Got it. No I don't want to go talk to one of your franchise managers...right, sorry...I mean priest, pastor, rabbi, whatever...can I just talk to you about the brand management thing for one second?" Read the rest here

New cocktail blog: The Liquid Muse

Here's a new blog I know you're just going to love: “The Liquid Muse: A guide to cocktails, Happy Hour, lounges, wines of the world, the occasional beerhouse… and the people that quench our thirst.”

Should be a good place to start if you need some inspiration for tonight's party. Natalie also appreciates hints and tips on new drinks, so feel free to submit your favourite (include drink name, recipe and photo) to theliquidmuse at yahoo dot com.


The Gates of Dawn


Hey, it's spring..... finally! This masterpiece is "The Gates of Dawn" (1900) by Herbert James Draper (1864 - 1920). I was on the verge of issuing a desperate plea to help me find this picture, which first bewitched me at Tate's exhibition "The Victorian Nude" in 2002 (I stupidly forgot to write down the artist and title), but at long last I found it. Enjoy...

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Reuters hook up with bloggers
I was intrigued to read that Reuters, who was accused of bending over backwards to be objective when its global head of news instructed Reuters staff not to use the word terrorist to describe those responsible of 9/11, is the latest media network to sign on bloggers.

After 9/11, Steve Jukes, Reuters' global head of news, famously wrote in a leaked internal memo: "We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist ...To be frank, it adds little to call the attack on the World Trade Center a terrorist attack."

Despite the initial controversy over Jukes' memo, the policy had little effect on Reuters actual coverage if we are to believe this survey, which shows that Reuters' "use of the word dropped off drastically after the first two days, but remained at above-average frequency even after that".

Now Reuters has hooked up with Global Voices Online, an international network of bloggers co-ordinated through Harvard University, which "seeks to amplify, curate and aggregate the global conversation online - with a focus on countries and communities outside the U.S. and Western Europe."

It's fair to predict that this will fuel new theories of the biases of this proclaimed scion of objectivity, which, according to Wikipedia: "more than similar organizations like the AP and UPI, has been accused by American right-wing and conservative people of showing left-wing or liberal bias. It has also been alleged that the agency's sympathies lie with the Arab and Muslim world. Similarly, Reuters has been accused by the left of exhibiting a pro-west and pro-corporate bias, being itself a western multinational corporation."

NYT Freelancers to sign disclosure forms
Remember how Jayson Blair's fabricated stories rocked the boat at The New York Times? Well, the newspaper is now making freelancers fill out a questionnaire “about their affiliations, work history, financial and personal connections and any past instances when questions were raised about the accuracy or originality of their work.”
Link via Jeff Jarvis

Converging media platforms
Main Stream Media is suffering a bit of an identity crisis these days as they're struggling to get to grips with declining revenues and a new technological landscape. Most understand that they have to climb on board the web-tech bandwagon, and some understand it better than others, just listen to the Miami Herald's new editorial policy: "Every job in the newsroom — EVERY JOB — is going to be redefined to include a web responsibility and, if appropriate, radio. For news gatherers, this means posting everything we can as soon as we can. It means using the web site to its fullest potential for text, audio and video. We’ll come to appreciate that is not an appendage of the newsroom; it’s a fundamental product of the newsroom."
Story via Jackie

Blog coverage of NUJ conference
Another sign o' the (changing) times that I enjoyed tremendously, was The Guardian's reporter blogging from this year's National Union of Journalists (NUJ) conference in Liverpool. It offered a marvellous insight into both the workings of the NUJ, bless them, and the state of the media. It was so good that I, as a former or "sleeping" member of NUJ, almost felt I was there when I read it...

And the future is...

Anne-Marie Ugland. Mark that name. Last week she signed a contract, likely to lead to her first series of popular novels, with one of Norway's biggest publishers. Ever since we went to senior high school together she's nurtured and worked towards this ambition: Doggardly. Disciplinedly. Passionately – always upholding the virtue of the good story. At this point I could reminiscence about the good old times and the elaborate plans we made for the future, but the future is upon us: well-deserved Anne-Marie. Congratulations!

The blog revolution and media revenues

The big question on a lot of media folks' minds these days is how blogging will change peoples media habits, and ultimately effect the way media need to do business in order to stay profitable. UK Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow recently told The Guardian's Changing Media Summit he thinks 'blogs will professionalise journalism'. At the same conference Ben Hammersley, indicated that the blog revolution might reduce editors willingness to write big pay checks for columnists who 'offer material little better than what bloggers offer for nothing'.

However, this interesting article from The Editors Weblog, published by The World Editors Forum, argues that individual journalists and commentators in the future will become more important than newspaper brands, in other words that the media will see a shift from brand generated revenues to revenues based on personalised content. This would mean top journalists, commentator and 'aggregators' can still expect to earn good money...

Antisocial Networking the new networking hype according to Wired. Initially intended as a pun on online social networks, the founder of anti-social networking site Snubster found that "shared hates can be an equally effective bonding tool". I can't say I'm too surprised, seeing how a number of today's popular movements seem deprived of any positive values and united in hate only...

Other antisocial networking sites include Isolatr and Introverster. The latter one sounds pretty cool to me, but next time one of my introvert moods comes over me, and I feel like retreating to the nearest isolated mountaintop, I think I'll settle for switching off my internet connection...

Wall Street gossip

I was intrigued to learn via Mediabistro that serial blog entrepreneur Elisabeth Spiers, founding editor of Manhatten media news and gossip blog Gawker, latest venture is an online business tabloid and Wall Street gossip blog. Since I'm a bit of a media junkie I've quite enjoyed some of Gawker's media stories, but find the celebrity floss and GawkerStalker (see my previous entry Blogging News) quite apalling. Anyway, as I follow both media and finance closely, it will be interesting to see how Dealbreaker turns out.

Canadian newspaper sued for publishing cartoons

The Western Standard is being sued by the Alberta Human Rights Commisson for publishing the infamous Mohammed cartoons. This email recently went out to all Western Standard readers (thanks to Jackie's blog for making me check that old email account the Western Standard keeps posting to):

Dear Western Standard reader,

Our magazine has been sued for publishing the Danish cartoons, and I need your help to fight back! As you know, the Western Standard was the only mainstream media organ in Canada to publish the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

We did so for a simple reason: the cartoons were the central fact in one of the largest news stories of the year, and we’re a news magazine. We publish the facts and we let our readers make up their minds. Advertisers stood with us. Readers loved the fact that we treated them like grown-ups. And we earned the respect of many other journalists in Canada who envied our independence. In fact, according to a COMPAS poll last month, fully 70% of Canada’s working journalists supported our decision to publish the cartoons... Read the full letter here.