Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Character of a candidate, researching size, Miami Herald legends, and politicized journalists

In all the blogging and commenting this morning about last night's speeches, one stands out for me. In The Moderate Voice, by Pete Abel:
Three images from last night’s TV coverage will stay with me for years.
1. McCain’s reptitious, ill-timed, and creepier-than-usual grin … like the Cheshire cat on sedatives.
2. Clinton’s defiant smirk, as her NYC supporters shouted “Denver, Denver, Denver.”
3. Obama mouthing to Michelle after his speech, “How’d I do?” — and her apparent response, “Good. Real Good.”
Says Abel:
...if Americans truly do vote more on gut than on reason, then these images suggest (already) who will win in November … in a landslide.

On the news research front, Al Tompkins had links to a couple new tools in his 'dozen things I'm diggin'' sidebar, things that can answer one of the most frustrating questions asked of news researchers: how big is it, and how many swimming pools/football fields/Empire State Buildings will it fill?
From Nikon, Universcale, a Flash presentation that shows landmarks, items, and macro and micro-spatial entities with size and description of each. I found it hard to move along the scale, but each item's description is very useful. is a tool that takes a size measurement and shows you what items match it in size. For example, 8 acres equals: 4.4 football pitches, 6.4 hockey fields, or 6.0 American football fields. Very handy. Wish I'd had this years ago.

In a couple Miami Herald flashbacks, some memories: Tom Kunkel, who once was an editor at the Herald, is leaving his position at American Journalism Review and in his valedictory to all those who've influenced him is this:
Thank you, Edna Buchanan. You taught me that crime victims are real people who leave behind other real people, and the best journalists never permit themselves to forget that.
Thank you, Gene Miller, The Evansville Flash. If you had written Genesis, God would have invented the world in three days, as I'm sure you remind Him now and again when you're knocking back a few.
These two taught me a lot about what a journalist can be, too.
And, at Random Pixils, Bill posts a profile he did last year for the defunct Category 3-5 blog, on Herald photographer Tim Chapman, who he calls Miami's version of Weegee.
Always good to see true legends recognized.

(UPdated:) Oh, yes, and almost forgot: Tompkins also linked to Huffington Post's Fundrace database, where one of the searches he linked to was a list of people who have contributed to the presidential race who identify themselves as 'Journalists'. Hmm. Of all things journalists should be, isn't one of them nonpolitical? Didn't some get in trouble last year when their names showed up on donation lists? There are 570 hits in the database. Total given: over $353,000. Even worse: only $34,000 of that was to Republicans, from only 38 donors. (These are large contributions, folks.)
What will that say to those who claim journalists are biased?

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home