My "Journo-less" Summer...So Far (Part 4 of 8)

Thursday, August 28, 2014
This is the fourth installment for my personal journalism-related observations of the current summer season...as promised, whether you remember it or not, this decade's influence on American culture is still evident today.

4. CNN's The Sixties:


Although my own recollection of this 1960-to-1970 period is primarily of its end years and from a very youthful perspective, I have been mostly entertained by this look back on this 10-year transformational period that produced so much news and nostalgia. This series actually started last November when they aired a two-hour special on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy but they premiered it in an announced 10-part episodic order on May 29th (with that earlier shown offering cut down to an hour). The final episode was supposed to air on August 7th but the scheduled end-date was postponed by one week due to the sheer volume of news due to the eruption of the current Gaza Conflict and the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in contested airspace over eastern Ukraine on July 17th. It was almost pushed back another seven days when the episode airing on August 7th was interrupted about halfway through by President Obama's announcement of US military intervention inside Iraq due to a quickly developing humanitarian crisis involving the Sunni jihadist group ISIS/ISIL. It apparently was rebroadcast in its entirety for West Coast audiences later that same night and in weekend reruns but, unfortunately, I didn't reprogram my DVR to catch that last half hour.


Buddy, Can You Spare 500 Words?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Local writers wanted...a nice headline to see in your morning newspaper!

With all of the many items that have been recently occupying my time and mental capacity, there was one thing that instantly caught my attention but took me far too long to post about it here. I was reading the Dayton Daily News on my tablet a couple weeks ago and scrolled onto the "Ideas & Voices" page, the very same one that I recently commented about on this site. In the upper right-hand corner of the displayed page were three words that immediately attracted my eye--local writers wanted! Knowing how financially strapped the newspaper industry is for content these days, I saw this as a potential opportunity to perhaps make my mark--or at least cut my teeth--as an "opinionator".  I continued reading Connie Post's submission.

Are you interested in contributing to our Ideas & Voices page?


My "Journo-less" Summer...So Far (Part 3 of 8)

Monday, August 18, 2014
[NOTE: I apologize for the long break between segments but I have been doing some employment-related activities with at least two potential opportunities in the journalism field. Most of the hard work--a resume and online portfolio--has been accomplished and they are now out for review by a few trusted mentors so now I can get back to writing about what I once thought was going to be a "journo-less" summer.]

This is the third installment for my personal journalism-related observations of the current summer season...as promised, hard-hitting reporter, truth seeker, Curves membership. Nothing yet? How about justice hunter, philanthropist, has a Gmail account? You'll be shocked!

3. News Glance with Genevieve Vavance:


One of Roger's latest personas is news anchor Genevieve Vavance, a made-up character very much borrowed from a true-life television personality. (graphic courtesy of Fox)

- News Glance with Genevieve Vavance: after what I described in the last posting in this series, one of my few vices I will freely admit to doing is watching animated shows during the Fox television network's prime time and their re-airing on the Cartoon Network's after-hours Adult Swim channel. My favorite of the current selection has to be American Dad!, the story of the day-to-day antics of a fictional CIA agent and his immediate family (as well as a gay gray alien and a talking fish who live with them--his son-in-law, slacker/stoner Jeff Fischer, appears to have been written off near the end of this past season). For this post, I will go through the episode in-depth and then provide my own specific and generic critiques. (SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen the show, don't go any further because I do provide details in my review.)


A/V: Fairborn Siren Upgrade Program Nearly Complete

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Workers erect a new outdoor warning siren next to the existing one on Fairborn, Ohio's Black Lane last Friday afternoon.

Late Friday afternoon, Fairborn emergency preparedness officials came one step closer to finalizing a multi-year effort to improve that Ohio community's notification network with the installation of two new state-of-the-art outdoor warning sirens within the city. Erected in close proximity to existing Cold-War era omnidirectional alerting devices originally installed in the mid-1970s, the replacements' rotating high decibel outputs will provide a louder signal with a greater audible range than their predecessors. This increased signal distance will provide overlapping capabilities, where notifications from two or more physically separated units can be heard at the same time, in current fringe coverage areas around the city''s approximately 20 square mile area of responsibility. Technological advances in the newer models include battery backups and wireless communications to ensure greater reliability during adverse weather conditions.



Soap Box: Turn Out the Lights, This Race is Over

Thursday, August 7, 2014
An open letter to Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald:


Ed FitzGerald (center) meets with supporters at a Dayton campaign rally this past January.

Dear Mr. FitzGerald Ed,

Let me try to put this as delicately as I can--what in the wide, wide world of sports were you thinking? How could a former FBI agent believe that in the current age of bulk data storage and instantaneous access to public records that those potentially embarrassing issues from your past would not become known? And you thought that this would simply be ignored in a political climate where style—and its associated “political games”—trumps substance? In the hands of a wily opposition research operation, rather innocuous events could be spun so far out of proportion so quickly that even the most firmly established, textbook-perfect political campaigns would be vulnerable to such shenanigans (and as we have seen since you announced your desire to be Ohio's next governor, yours does not fall into that category).


My "Journo-less" Summer...So Far (Part 2 of 8)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
This is the second installment for my personal journalism-related observations of the current summer season...as promised, here's a new television program that involves a familiar face from a "fake news" show:


2. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:


Jon Stewart, Comedy Central's potentate of puerile political punditry, unleashed upon the American television viewing public yet another fake news presenter (Stephen Colbert being the first and Larry Wilmore waiting in the wings for his January 2015 debut when Colbert moves over to replace David Letterman on CBS) who appears to be more passionate and focused than the news anchor choices on television today.  Although this show started in April, I'm including it into this "summer-y" piece because, in its short run, it has quickly become my "must see" program.


My "Journo-less" Summer...So Far (Part 1 of 8)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Constantly consumed by numerous unsuccessful attempts at securing a new employer (and trying to end a 6-month long jobless stretch), I haven't had a chance to really enjoy the promise of relaxation that the summer season brings around this time every year. Since I finished my journalism program last December (and receiving my certificate the following month), this is the first one since 2011 that I do not have any schoolwork to work on so I have been occupying some of my limited "down" time with entertainment and activities related to that field. The items that I already posted here (the Clinton booksigning, the Dayton festival) might have been the only the things I considered "newsworthy" but there has been much more going on related to past, present and even fictional news.

Over the next few weeks, I will provide these observations in a chronologically ordered, multi-part series. The first installment deals below with one of a journalist's greatest fears--being jailed for simply doing your job (or, in this case, being convicted on trumped-up charges).

The "Abdicator" Returns

Sunday, July 20, 2014
Northeast Ohio native LeBron James announced on July 8th that he will bring his talents back to Cleveland for at least the next two years. (uncredited photo)

I've avoided opining about sports-related subjects here because, much like politics, saying the wrong words or professing incorrect allegiances can alienate a wide segment of your audience. However, recent news is so huge that it transcends that athletic world and touches upon economics, popular culture and quite possibly a upcoming political event.

A little background information is in order before I go on. I lost my "fanatic" standing many years ago when serving at overseas military locations in the early and mid-1980s. In the days before commercially feasible satellite television service, armed forces television audiences were at the mercy of videotaped offerings shipped in from stateside locations or tape-delayed at dispersed ground stations. At many Far East bases, the Monday Night Football program was telecast on Tuesday evenings and since the radio service had no such technical challenges with live events, you would already know the outcome. This was an improvement over not having any radio or television service and relying upon the delivery of the Stars and Stripes newspaper and its days-old results and standings to keep up on down-to-the-wire pennant chases. Due to military travel commitments, I missed two Super Bowls in the 1990s (XVII & XXIX) so even that unofficial American "holiday" no longer has a choke hold on me. In fact, I find fantasy football to be much more entertaining than some of the regular season NFL matchups seen in my local media market (Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns).


Dayton Daily News' Ideas & Voices: "Balance" is Not "Equal"

Saturday, July 12, 2014
After reviewing items over a recent 4-week period, the evidence shows that liberal bias does not exist on the paper's editorial pages and, in fact, it shows quite the opposite (perhaps due to a lack of oversight).

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, you will know that my local newspaper, The Dayton Daily News, and opinion writing/columnists have been the subjects of several of my entries during its run. So it would not come as a complete surprise to see a confluence of the two in order to answer a long-standing question I've had over the years: just how liberal is this paper? Although the graphic above foreshadows my conclusion, I would hope that you continue reading after the break for a short overview of the genesis of this marketing ploy and to see how I was able to make that determination (I also voice some strongly held opinions on my local opinion pages).


A/V: Dayton Holds Lights in Flight Independence Day Festival

Friday, July 4, 2014
Spectators on Dayton's Riverside Drive bridge take in the 2014 Lights in Flight Festival's fireworks display on Thursday evening.

Approximately 25,000 people took advantage of clear skies and cool temperatures to attend the 2014 Lights in Flight Festival at Dayton's Riverscape MetroPark on Thursday evening. Presented by the City of Dayton Department of Recreation and Youth Services, in cooperation with the Five Rivers MetroParks, the Dayton Human Relations Council, Marion’s Piazza, Miami Conservancy District and Wright State University, this one-day-early 4th of July celebration featured food, beverages and live musical entertainment prior to the fireworks show launched over the Great Miami River from nearby Deeds Point MetroPark that started promptly at 10PM.

More photos below the break: