What happened to journalism?

This past weekend I opened my local newspaper and on the front page, I saw not one but two glaring typos in the sub-headings. These were words that were irrelevant to the heading and were not caught by spell check. It sent out different messages to me. First I had to guess at what the correct word was they were looking for in order for it to make sense. Don’t reporters review their work anymore? How could an editor allow these kinds of mistakes?

I worked for a newspaper twenty years ago. My editor had words with me on a regular basis about how I didn’t adhere to Associated Press standards. When I wrote for magazines the editors said they didn’t have to change a word. Regardless, it’s obvious that this kind of standards has been thrown out the window in favor of anything to sell a paper. How can you have any respect for those that just do what they want?

AP says transparency is critical to their credibility. Today sources quotes are taken out of context and used to fit their agenda. How many times are anonymous sources used when AP is adamant that those sources only be used if:

  •  The material is information and not opinion or speculation, and is vital to the news report. That would hinder sales.
  • The information is not available except under the conditions of anonymity imposed by the source. lol
  • The source is reliable, and in a position to have accurate information. LOL again.

Millions of Americans now find other sources for information because the Mainstream Media cannot be trusted. The great Walter Cronkite would be appalled by the media today. Wake up media and report the news, the facts and not just those that fit your monologue.

Quill to parchment

The quill to parchment method of writing was used for centuries, no for two millennia with paper finally replacing parchment as the writing surface. Although it is reported that paper was invented in China about 105 AD made of bark, fibers of rags, and hemp. Before the quill, the writing instrument was the reed pen who’s origin was about 400 BC. Both were dipped into ink to write with, although the quill was much more durable made of a feather that could be cut down to sharpen it for extended use much like a pencil.

The pen and paper obviously are still used but is slowly being phased out with tablets and computers as the writer’s choice. It should be mentioned that the quill and reed pen utilized capillary action where ink was drawn up into the instrument and slowly released as you wrote on the surface. You think there’s a problem with modern fountain pens there was no comparison for an entire document could be destroyed by a pause with ink flowing and/or dripping across your work.

Progress has yielded convenience and efficiency to our fingertips. We have it so easy compared to our ancestors and still, some of us balk at sending a relative so much as an email.  Imagine how hard that letter would have been with a quill and parchment. The mind can only imagine what the future has in store for later generations as a means to communicate. Telepathy?

Hope for Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing

As a fan, I’ve laughed a lot over the years at the man who is notorious for comedy. You know who he is kids know him as Santa Claus in the comical Santa Claus movies. Even more of us recall him as “Tim the tool man Taylor” from the TV series “Home Improvements” and/or a host of other movies like “Wild hogs” and “Big trouble”.  ABC shocked America with news that their second most watched show Last Man Standing is canceled!

Tim’s latest //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>Tweet said, “Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home the past six years.” That being said, the Fox network is working to find a place for the blockbuster comedy show. The show isn’t simply a comedy it features family, moral values, and everything that has been an American heritage. ABC claims the show wasn’t canceled because of political reasons but it seems all too apparently not true. It’s considered the biggest, hit sitcom since “All in the Family.”

Allen’s character Mike Baxter was a staunch conservative along with one daughter stood against the Obama tirade of government overreach etc. Baxter aside from his one daughter had his wife and other two daughters along with a son-in-law that were liberals so the show had it all. The irony was Allen’s prior successful TV series he had three sons whereas here he was surrounded by women.  Several of those stars made appearances on this program.

Perhaps things are working out for the best as FOX would seem to be a better home for his conservative brand of comedy. Regarding living in Hollywood on Jimmy Kimmel Allen said, “You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes, it’s like ’30s Germany.”

As the voice buzz lightyear alway said, “To infinity and beyond.” As the captain in Galaxy Quest said, “Never give up never surrender.” Real words to live by.

 

How much can a blanket cover?

I love how the daily posts select words that have more than one meaning in fact blanket covers even more than the mind can comprehend. In the new TV series Genius” Einstein in referencing the cosmos made a blanket inference in relation to time, relativity, and space. But bringing it back down to earth a salesman loves to hear his customer issue a “blanket purchase order” that covers all their needs in relation to his product.

Salesmen, lawyers, and other professionals use the blanket term sometimes daily so it is a hardworking expression that covers more territory than Texas. Typically most of us do have finite limits for blankets in size. There are specific sizes for a king, queen, and full-size beds and of course, there are the ever popular smaller “throw” blankets for snuggling under while sitting in your easy chair or even keeping warm outside around a campfire.

My featured picture is one of a handmade unique size woven version made for me by my Mother. It boggles my mind on how much time and how tedious it must be to create something like this. That’s my take for I’ve never woven anything then again I’ve built hundreds or thousands of cabinets which also takes time and like the blanket, you have a finished product made with your own hands to show for it.

In almost every sector of most of the products we use every day, the handmade versions are being replaced by machines mass production in factories. Still, many of us can appreciate the quality of something that’s handmade, just thinking of the quality and care that went into making the end result. Salute to the craftsmen and craftswomen out there.

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Compliment or criticize that is the question

Why is it that it’s so much easier to criticize than to compliment someone? We’ve learned since we were kids that others, especially bullies received praise for their critique of others. In essence, this has been engrained in us all most of our life because giving compliments required much more thought, work and quite simply we didn’t see the value. Depending on the type of criticism many have been hurtful remarks and only spread negativism on the person and or object in question.

Looking at the results of criticism versus compliments the tearing down of someone is typically destructive while compliments are uplifting with positive results building the person up. Why does it still continue once we reach adulthood? When you think about it one obvious reason is the poor example the media sets with all the negative press. You rarely see or read an uplifting human interest story.

Pessimism abounds while optimism seems only to be found in those individuals that understand it. A positive mental attitude is not only good for the soul it’s also contagious and makes the world a better place. Is it that hard to pay others a compliment? You really don’t have to go out of your way there are opportunities every day.  Get on the positive train of thought you’ll be glad you did.

In the business world Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins and many others capitalized on this concept and built empires. In the spiritual world, the thing that sets believers apart is they have hope. Sometimes hope is all we have. Pay a compliment someone today. Chances are you’ll receive a smile and thank you for your effort and you’ve made the world a better place.

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The media has lost its way

Yellow Journalism is a term that was first coined during the famous newspaper wars between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer II. Pulitzer’s paper the New York World and Hearst’s New York Journal changed the content of newspapers adding more sensationalized stories and increasing the use of drawings and cartoons. Sound familiar now?

Pulitzer began to publish a cartoon of his own that he titled “The Yellow Kid” in 1896. The cartoon became one of many objects fought over between Hearst and Pulitzer during their rivalry. Hearst later took R.F. Outcault the creator of the cartoon from Pulitzer the news was over-dramatized and altered to fit story ideas that publishers and editors thought would sell the most papers and stir the most interest for the public so that “Newsies” could sell more papers on street corners.

During the Spanish-American War Hearst was the first newspaper to station a team of reporters in Cuba to monitor the events happening there. When a reporter sent a telegram telling Hearst that there was not much going on there, Hearst replied with his famous telegram,”You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” What our networks are doing today is no different.

Media needs to be objective, accountable, and responsible in their reporting. Actor Denzel Washington, an actual victim of the now labeled “fake news” lie, aimed his critical eye at the mainstream media last month and cited them as purveyors of today’s untruths. He said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed. In our society, now it’s just first who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true. Just say it, sell it. Anything you practice you’ll get good at; including BS.”

My personal belief is perhaps Walter Cronkite was one of the last great reporters. He was far more objective than journalists today. Here in Arizona, we have the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and mass communication. I can’t say how objective they are but I hope instructors have open minds. Musically speaking, there’s a song by En Vogue called Free your mind that does an excellent job of summing up the solution to our media and race relations this country faces. “Free your mind and the rest will follow, be color blind don’t be so shallow, free your mind and the rest will follow.” The best advice we could receive to date.

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