Category: New Media

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The Interview Heard Around the World

Today, Tucker Carlson released perhaps the most important interview of our time—and one not sought by traditional, Western news media outlets, if I correctly understand things. Recorded on Feb. 6, 2024, the journalist sat with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

My wife and I watched the first 55 minutes of the more than 2 hour interview; we will finish it tomorrow. My interest: Context and record-setting straight by Putin and the questions Carlson poses. The liberal American news media cannot be trusted to get the facts—for reason nobody openly discusses, because maybe for fear of being called homophobic. Sharpen your nasty labels, baby, and let’s get to it.

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Ten Years Ago: Pitch for ‘Responsible Reporting’ eBook

Looking through Google Photos, I came upon the Featured Image (Chromebook Pixel), which was posted on the defunct Google+ seeking response from other folks on the social network. At the time, sometime in late 2013 or early 2014, I conceived an ebook concept tentatively titled Be a Better Blogger that would eventually become Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers (published March 2014).

I initially sought to raise $10,000 crowdfunding, generating really nothing. I was satisfied with the eventual ebook, which concepts and writing guidance hit the bullseye. My concerns about news reporting exploded in importance during, and following, the 2016 election cycle. My advice about branding, reporting, and sourcing all proved to be spot-on accurate.

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Relic of the Fourth Estate

Since June 6, 2023, I have made several concerted efforts to write this post. Each time, I ran aground. This instance is no exception, because I cannot conceptualize what needs to be stated. So, simply: Journalism is dead. News reporting as I once knew it is no more. Reporters don’t properly source. They editorialize and subjectify the news. Advocacy replaces objectivity.

That’s what makes the Reporter / Journalist / Correspondent Android Collectible iconic. He marches along carrying his smartphone, microphone, and Leica rangefinder (see the red dot on the camera). He is intrepid and valiant. He seeks the truth, and knows that it demands trudging out into the field and documenting events and speaking to real people. He doesn’t mine Google, Instagram, Reddit, or any other online resources.

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My Cat Wants to Know: What’s Your Problem with DPReview, Amazon?

Amazon’s decision to shutter (absolutely no pun intended) photography site DPReview demonstrates why I recommend that creators own their content whenever possible. Speaking from personal experience, I bleed for the hardworking editors, reviewers, and writers (among other staffers) whose body of work may soon be whisked away.

Seven years ago, I discovered that during a publishing system upgrade, CNET expunged my byline from my thousands of stories written for the site. In a separate incident, the analyst firm I had worked for merged with another and all my online musings vanished. What I consider to be the most valuable, posted to the Apple Watch and Microsoft Watch blogs between 2006-09, disappeared from the web in 2010. You wouldn’t know I had written anything professionally online for the 10 years 1999-2009. All was deleted when publishers decided to scrub the sites (or in the case of CNET modernize).

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Don’t You Believe It

I will never be a fan of that narcistic cesspool called social media. The last light of hopefully meaningful online interaction extinguished with the shuttering of Google+ over April Fools 2019. That said, Elon Musk’s buying and revamping Twitter—and releasing through journalists the so-called “Twitter Files”—brings some hope that a bastion of free speech and reasonably intelligent commonsense dialogue can survive and thrive on the Internet; oh, and have room enough for narcissists and the rest of us.

As such, I now spend some time each day on Twitter. I joined during the early days, in late December 2006. Long time, I know. But until a week or so ago, I also had been mostly inactive. This morning, I had a good object lesson in the kind of misinformation that spreads across any social media platform—and in the most innocuous, likely unintentional, but worrisome way.

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Better Than Two Barrels of Monkeys

I wouldn’t call 2022 a barrel of fun, would you? But barrel(s) of laughs is appropriate enough, if chuckling at the ironic or insanely non-sensical means anything. There was plenty of that.

For example, Elon Musk made a bid to buy Twitter, then walked away only to return and take ownership. He then started releasing, through journalists, starting with Matt Taibbi, the so-called “Twitter Files”, which shockingly showed a level of collusion between the social media platform and government agencies to influence, if nothing else, U.S. elections. Oh that influence includes the Biden campaign in 2020.

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And That’s the Ugly Truth

Mr. and Mrs. Uglydoll permit a moment of privacy invasion, for this Featured Image captured on July 2, 2017 using Leica Q. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 160, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 2:58 p.m. PDT. Consider the stuffed couple as a placeholder, while I am off absorbing explosive news. Short explanation about what:

One of my favorite journalists is Matt Taibbi. I subscribed to Rolling Stone because of his news reporting and stopped when he left. I now proudly support his Substack—all while wishing that I could still write as voluminously as he does or with even 10-percent his cynicism, pragmatism, sarcasm, and witticism. Tonight, he dropped the equivalent of an informational atomic bomb on Twitter about Twitter.

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The Consequences of Deceit

My University Heights neighbors started putting out Halloween decorations weeks ago. From few, now many are everywhere. Along Texas Street, today, my wife and I passed by these seasonal tombstones that stand apart from the more traditional type for Dracula or infamous persons.

The theme of lying seems so appropriate for a time when truth is the one commodity truly lost in the supply chain. Pundits can’t babble enough about impending food shortages, and I share some of their concerns. But someone should state the more pressing problem: An overabundance of deceit/misinformation and lack of honesty.

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The Shredded Republic

For this Memorial Day we present a solemn sentiment reflecting the tattered state of the Republic, which is shorn to pieces by cultural and political strife. At no time since my first eligible-to-vote Presidential election have I seen such fractious and contentious state of the electorate or the representatives in Washington, D.C.

Worst of all is my profession. The Fourth Estate has abandoned its duty to protect the public interest. Subjective reporting and editorialization define modern journalism. The Fifth Estate, which includes new media and online informational utilities (e.g., Facebook, Google, Twitter, and the like), is worse because of rampant censorship. Patronizing tactics choose for you, because presumably you’re not smart enough to sift fact from fiction. I would mind less if professional news gatherers reported responsibly more.

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For Free Speech and Democracy

Fifteen years ago—April 14, 2007—the Wilcox family rode the DC Metro into downtown for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. The Featured Image is one of many street shots from Canon 20D and EF 135mm f/2 USM lens. This one, composed as captured, is previously unpublished. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/500 sec, 135mm; 9:32 a.m. EDT.

I choose the photo for the strangest of reasons: The riders and their American flags as symbols of democracy and freedom. Why today? Elon Musk bought Twitter, which he plans to take private and supposedly will reestablish as a platform for free speech.

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The N-Word for White Women

Six months have passed since I walked by the painted window, somewhere in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, that is this post’s Featured Image. My thoughts needed some percolation before I was ready to express them. Here we go. Women of a certain age (often middle age, or older), economic status (Middle Class or wealthier, which means entitled), and race (white) are all over the InterWebs for behaving badly. Somebody smartphone-videos their tirades, which may or may not include racial slurs but more often is angry or exasperated. The typical stereotype is the woman who calls cops or store manager to settle a perceived grievance.

Call it the new KKK—Karen-Ken Klan, which lynches people in the social media public square, where they don’t lose their lives but absolutely lose their livelihoods: Jobs and reputations, for starters. Death would almost be merciful compared the merciless torture for which they endure.