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Friday, January 5, 2007

NPR StoryCorps link

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2007 at 2:26 PM

I've gotten several comments on my family's StoryCorps segment, which aired last week on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. I've also heard from several people who missed the segment and wanted to hear it, so I thought I'd provide a link to the clip on the NPR website.

The StoryCorps folks asked us for a family photo for their website, which we got together and took one night before Christmas, after Jules and Rachel and the kids lit Hannukah candles. If you've spent much time around small children, you can appreciate how hard it was to get everyone to sit still long enough to take this photo. This was the best of, like, 15.

Another argument for newspaper journalism

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2007 at 12:44 PM

From Malcolm Gladwell (Blink, The Tipping Point), an addendum to his recent New Yorker article about Enron:

We’ve spent a lot of time, post-Enron, criticizing the flaws in theinvestment community’s gatekeeping activities. But I think we shouldalso recognize what the Enron case tells us about the value ofnewspaper journalism. Maybe, in other words, we have underestimated thevalue of impartial, professionally-motivated, under-paid and overworkedgeneralists in tackling the kind of information-rich,analysis-dependent “mysteries” that the modern world throws at us.


Of course, I just cancelled my Free Press subscription. We're finally buying a new car and I just can't afford the luxury of getting the BFP anymore (besides, I can read it at work). Still getting the Sunday NYT, though.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Local News Making a Comeback?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2007 at 1:49 PM

So says Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times. He writes that 2007 will be the year for small, local newspapers.

Westneat bases his observations on his own experience covering Auburn, WA for a small daily, the Valley Daily News, which is now going out of business.

That kind of small-town newspapering is considered boring today.Unhip. Supposedly we're all too globalized or tuned into Web videoclips to want such provincial news.

My own view is the opposite. I think intensely local, professionallygathered news is due for a comeback. It's the one thing you can't getanywhere else. The story of the death of the Valley Daily News is thatit blew it when it combined with its partner, the BellevueJournal-American, into one amorphous, suburban blob.

I hope that this is true, but I'm not holding my breath. I don't see anyone trying to start a Winooski newspaper, to replace the one that I folded a year and a half ago (when I was the volunteer editor/publisher of the Winooski Eagle).

I do, however, see more and more people signing up for the Front Porch Forum service. I just recommended it to someone today. It's not a newspaper, but it's a great way to share  local information. For example, yesterday my forum included an item from the Winooski City Engineer, explaining the water leak that's developed on my street. I don't know how else the city would have communicated that to me, other than sending out an email. The Free Press wouldn't have covered it in the same way.

Of course, FPF in no way replaces good investigative journalism, but at least it helps neighbors communicate. I don't know why the city hasn't come up with a service like this on its own. It seems like a no-brainer.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Linkdump addendum

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2007 at 9:58 AM

I try to keep up with the Free Press blogs when I can, but I hadn't been to their Behind the Lens blog until now. Peter Huoppi's got an excellent post up about cleaning out the Free Press darkroom. It's an interesting peek at the changing institution on College Street.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Tuesday No Deadline Linkdump

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2007 at 1:45 PM

The next issue of Seven Days doesn't come out until next Wednesday, so this is not a deadline day for me. Still have to work, though, just not as frantically.

Here's my weekly round-up of what's what on Vermont blogs:

Community Technologist, on the job: Jessamyn troubleshoots an aging PC in Brookfield.

Pure Vermont lard. For all you localvores.

A scene right out of Little House on the Prairie... from Walter at Sugar Mountain Farm.

Peering voyeuristically at other people's New Year's resolutions: via The Le Duo, Maple Mama and Solidstate.

Sky Barsch at the Free Press is surprised to find out what her former high school classmate is up to.

What I read on vacation

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2007 at 10:54 AM

I can't resist plugging a couple things that I read while enjoying my brief respite from work:

A few days ago, I finished Cross-X, a fantastic book about a white Kansas City reporter who embeds himself on an all-black urban high school debate team for a season (and ends up sticking around for more). A must-read for anyone interested in race issues, education, debate — or smart, compelling narratives.

Are we driving elephants crazy? I had this New York Times Sunday Magazine story kicking around my house for months, and finally read it yesterday. I had no idea that elephants were so like humans. Did you know that they sit vigil over their dead, and revisit their remains even years later? And that we're giving them post-traumatic stress disorder?

New Year's Videos Part II

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2007 at 10:29 AM

Ok, so we didn't actually get any videos from New Years from y'all. Instead, I've gone out prospecting. Here are some strange video highlights from the end of '06, beginning of '07, from your fellow Vermonters Eva, Richard and Don.

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