Category Archives: Media

Walk for Water in the Pioneer Press

The Pioneer Press did a quick write-up on my Walk for Water stunt in today’s paper. Charity: water gets a nice mention and link, as does the Bald Birthday Benefit (now we can see what kind of bottom-line boost newspaper publicity offers). The article also mentions that we hit the $600-goal in only six days—so hats off to all you folks who helped us get there and those who have kept us going towards that crazy $5,000-goal.

Not a bad story, though I think I’ll win an award for dumbest quote of the year:

Lugging 40 pounds of water “will actually be fairly strenuous,” he said.

Actually? Fairly strenuous? Who is this idiot? Carrying 40 pounds of water two miles up the Mississippi River bluff is going to suck. It shouldn’t be impossible, but for a mostly sedentary guy like myself it won’t be a walk in the park. Guess I need to work on saying something quotable.

Moving on. As a bit of fact-checking nit-pickery, I’ll be carrying the 40 pounds of water two miles, not one mile as the article states. It’s two miles from the Mississippi River to my house. But I understand the confusion. I threw out a lot of information in the 15-minute call I had with the reporter. And I’m complicating things myself because I’m planning to drive down to the river and then walk back with the water. I realize it’s cheating a bit, but accuracy isn’t the goal here. Besides, I’d like to minimize the time and effort required of the folks going with me.

Anyway, it’s pretty cool to get some publicity like this. I hope it leads to more clean water for more people. Remember, it takes only $20 to provide one person with clean water for 20 years. Wish me a happy birthday and donate now. Thanks.

89.3 The Current Playing More Repeats

OK, enough politics.

Apparently my favorite radio station, 89.3 FM The Current—which extols listeners to “expand their playlist”—is shrinking their playlist according to City Pages. With falling ratings songs are getting played more often. In March 2007 one song was played 17 times in one week, while in late 2005 a single song was never played more than two or three times.

What City Pages doesn’t report is how often other stations repeat songs. Cities 97 has been repeating the same songs for as long as I’ve listened, which is close to 10 years. When I do happen to listen I’ll hear songs they over-played a decade ago, and they’re still doing it. (I will say that the Current totally overplayed “Knights” by Minus the Bear a few months back. The song was OK,  but now I hate it.)

It’s a little discouraging to see more repetition on the Current, but it’s not yet worth jumping ship. I hope the Current figures out what they’re doing. I love their eclectic mix of music. I’ve discovered more new bands that way (and went on to buy their CDs/downloads).

Church Marketing Sucks in the Door

Two potentially offensive organizations came together when the Wittenburg Door covered Church Marketing Sucks. It’s an interview with Brad Abare and I, and I think for the most part it went pretty well.

Being interviewed isn’t easy. Now I know why Bono always says the same thing all the time–he comes up with a good line and sticks with it. Me? I say something like this:

We’ve had the conversation about whether or not to use that word. Brad talked about it being taboo in his household growing up. I don’t feel it was necessarily taboo in my household, in my church, growing up. I’ve always appreciated the word. I guess I’ve never had a problem with it. It’s part of pop culture now. If you’re going to get offended about something, that seemed like the most minor and insignificant thing to ever be concerned about, a little word like that.

Always appreciated the word? What? I make it sound like one of my favorite words. And my mom will probably tell you the word was taboo, and my old church would probably say the same thing. I think I meant that the word just never had any bigtime negative connotations in my mind.

Well, one of these days I’ll figure out how to say witty and impressive things in interviews.

No Olympic Blogging

You can swim the 50 meters in record time, you can be crowned the fastest man on earth, you can tumble your way to gold — but if you blog about it you’re done. The olympic athletes, coaches, support staff and other officials were barred by the International Olympic Committee from writing firsthand accounts of the Olympic games. The IOC argues that athletes are not journalists and is trying to protect the broadcast rights of the accredited media.

The ban limits all blogging, personal photos, video — basically anything that doesn’t go through a professional media source. The ban has been harshly criticized, but it’s not clear if the IOC has taken action for any violations.

No More Capitalization for the Internet

Except in headlines. Wired News has made the bold stylistic move of no longer capitalizing the ‘i’ in Internet. The casual references Web and Net will also no longer be capitalized. These kind of changes in style really only matter to crotchety editors like myself who still care about consistency.

For those really into style, it’s also worth noting that in 2000 Wired News made the decision to hyphenate e-mail. So there. (As every editor knows, the style debate is simply a more educated form of the old playground debate of who has more friends.)

Reflections on Watergate

The Miami Herald’s research editor Elizabeth Donovan reflects on the tension in the newsroom the day President Richard Nixon announced his resignation, 30 years ago yesterday. She also reflects on whether or not today’s new organizations could break such a story, which was originally broken by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, two young reporters assigned to the local news desk. Donovan concludes that investigative reporting is still strong, though readers and bloggers have taken a more active role in news reporting and may just uncover the next Watergate. (link via Romenesko)