For instance, this weekend, we were doing the big snow storms as just another news story, giving equal weight to all the other things going on in the world. When in fact, the biggest storms of the year affect far more people than most anything else we might cover. We corrected that quickly ...
[Maybe some Social Security recipients got caught in the snowstorm-ed. There you go!] ... When it becomes obvious that CNN is ignoring "all the other things going on in the world," will the goo-goos who applauded Klein for killing Crossfire wake up and realize there are less edifying things than a political argument? ... P.S.: There is a logic to Klein's alleged plan--the logic of Topic A-ism. According to this theory, people want to read about whatever is the hottest story right now, and they want to read a lot of it--they want to wallow in it, get everybody's "take" on it, stay with it and live it until the story's next twist. Topic-Aism has long been a depressing reality of the Web. Traffic flows to whatever site has something up on the JFK Jr. crash, or the last debate, or the election returns, or whatever's hot. If all you cared about was traffic you'd always write about Topic A. And there is always, by definition, a topic A, just as there is always a #1 on Blogdex. ... Klein apparently wants to transport this Web logic to television. If CNN is good on crisis days and falters on normal days, then make every day a crisis day! Focus on the One Big Story and milk it for all it's worth! Simple. CNN could change its mascot to a hedgehog. ... The obvious problems: Sometimes there isn't only one Big Story ... Sometimes the One Big Story lasts only a few hours, time enough for the Web to react but not necessarily for cable TV to react... Sometimes the One Big Story isn't very big. .. Sometimes the One Big Story doesn't have a "compelling central character." ....P.S.: I hate Topic-Aism, in part because it means people expect me to post something on the big story of the day even when I have nothing interesting to say about the big story of the day. ... Plus the "other things going on in the world" are the Topic As of tomorrow. ... Plus the pickin's are easier on Topics B-Z. ... Plus I get really sick of Topic A. ... 8:20 P.M.
Monday January 24, 2005
Marty Lederman surfaces to respond to Heather Mac Donald in their torture debate, which may be asymptotically approaching the truth. ... 12:03 A.M.
Sunday January 23, 2005
The Inner Scream: Sullivan is right about the high journalistic achievement of this cover. But shouldn't they all have laptops? ... P.S.: The people I've felt most sorry for are the journalists who have to pretend they are excited by the inauguration and Bush's second term. NPR personalities in particular. You can hear the inauthenticity and desperation in their voices. ... As far as I know, none of them have yet tried to cover any Bush festivities from the sanctuary of the FDR memorial--where an All Things Considered correspondent wound up fleeing, on air, during last year's Reagan ceremonies. But the term is young. ... 9:47 P.M.
Saturday January 22, 2005
Eduwonk on how San Diego is a test case for whether teachers' unions and their allies will be able to block the reformist potential of No Child Left Behind.
Superintendent Alan Bersin is poised to reorganize several of the city's chronically underperforming schools. At two of the three schools a majority of teachers have voted to make the schools charter schools to help facilitate this and at all three 60-80 percent of parents voted to do the same. Remember, these are not schools that didn't do well "on a single test" but schools that have not done right by students for years.
Yet the school board member who represents these schools has apparently decided to oppose this and in the process force a vote on buying out the remainder of Bersin's contract because he won't play ball.
Why? Eduwonk has theories. ... No doubt the Democrats are on the right side of this one. ... Right? ... Hello? ... 4:16 P.M.
Friday January 21, 2005