Is it news, or “news?”

“News” is such an abused term these days.  There is “news” about products and services, “news” about celebrities and industries, and in-house “news” about government entities. If it’s information, it must be news, right? Well, not so much. A striking example came to me the other day as I listened to an interview with City […]

Whoring the News

“Whoring the News.” That’s what my first news director used to call it when a newscast was hijacked for commercial purposes. He was relentless and made life a living hell for advertisers, GMs and ownership. Probably to a fault.  But over the years, we all slowly come to realize that the news is nothing more […]

What a black eye for TV news

I was watching Conan last night, and was confronted with a “comedy” clip that, while sitting alone, made me uncomfortable to even watch. It’s a string of local news anchors (not “ours” thank goodness) reading the same lead in to the same story across about 20 different markets. What happened here is that one of […]

“Engagement” at what price?

Local media organizations work hard, and spend a lot of money to build their brands, and associate their brands with solid content and thoughtful information. But the “comment” sections on their news sites undo all that hard work in seconds.  It is time to end comments. Just a couple of very small, relatively mild examples […]

TV Tornado Chasing Run Amok

I was sorry to learn three storm chasers were killed in Oklahoma. But let’s face it, we knew this was coming. What’s sad is that those who were killed were among the most scientifically legitimate of the pack of thrill seekers out doing this “job.” Not that we want anybody killed – but the three […]

May Day mayhem

The Seattle TV stations did a great job covering the May Day “protest.” Seattle has always been blessed with great TV stations. I don’t think the people here know or understand that because their view of the relative strength of TV news operations between markets is limited – of course. Only weirdos who watch three […]

WARNING: This is a very long, secret record

See, you’re interested. There’s something about a secret document, or a secret proceeding that piques the curiosity. As well it should, especially when we’re talking about the workings of the government we all pay for.  As long as there are government officials dumb enough to try to cover up their bad acts, and crooks willing […]

Scanner duty and breaking news then and now

Back in my first TV job, I used to pull “scanner duty” once a week, and then about every fourth or fifth weekend.  Scanner duty meant bringing home a station car loaded with gear, and keeping a police and fire scanner at your side overnight.scanner Scanner duty also brought a lot of pressure. Miss a […]

Tracy Vedder slams into the limits of journalism

I have a great deal of respect for Tracy Vedder. Without her work, we wouldn’t know about the problems with the 520 floating bridge replacement project. She is a proven, award-winning reporter who has done a lot of good – in no small part thanks to the high level of of KOMO’s commitment for living […]

Seattle Times’ “Research”

During my several years of graduate school, I was “fortunate” enough to take a bunch of classes that all focused on statistical analysis and research design. This of course was the prep work required to complete a thesis, and go onto a PhD and become a diligent researcher in the social sciences – namely media […]

So it will never happen again

“So it will never happen again.” If I hear that again, there’s a good chance I’ll be taking hostages.  News Directors all have their pet annoyances when it comes to writing. Not that I should I ever be daft enough to sink to the level of news director, but if I were, one of my […]

Sorry HBO, there is very little news in a newsroom

I finally got a chance to see HBO’s The Newsroom. As is the case I’m sure with doctors and police officers who watch programs about their lines of work, I found much of the program laughable.  But we’re grown ups here, so there has to be some recognition that the goal of this program isn’t […]

Kudos News Tribune

Why will newspapers never fade away? Because of great reporting. The most recent Sunday blowout was a great piece of open government watch-dogging that proved, again, that government agencies are about covering up first – and then if they are so inclined, possibly following the law second when it comes to transparency and records disclosure.  […]

Horrified by Horrific

I am not a grammar cop. In fact, I am not particularly impressed by people who purvey their proofreading skills as their primary source of value. I don’t dislike these people necessarily, I just see them as technically focused service providers for whom original thought or creativity come well behind the obvious pleasure they derive […]

Enjoy Sunshine Week? Seriously.

Forget about the drenching we received this week – it’s been nothing but sunshine.  Saturday marks the official end of “Sunshine Week” – but it’s something all of us should think about. What is it? A time when all the major press and watchdog organizations push for open government, open records and transparency. But the […]

An old taboo: The Sleep Country “newscast”

Let me first alert the PR firm that holds Sleep Country’s account and monitors the web for mentions that this isn’t a slam on Sleep Country. The Kent based company merely provides a current example of something that these days, kind of gives me a chuckle when I think about how things “used to be.”  […]