Procrastination Strikes (Yet Again)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I am trying to get back into a regular posting routine but it is somewhat difficult right now.  For example, I was working on a post last week to commemorate the 48th anniversary of the JFK assassination and how that event helped create the television media we have today but I let it sit too long.  Even when I could have linked in the recent death of Tom Wicker, the New York Times White House correspondent, and his on-scene coverage of that horrific day, I lollygagged on the item and allowed it to lose its 'immediacy' with my readers.  Not meeting even 'soft' deadlines is not a quality for a budding journalist to aspire for.

You're Welcome!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I had a pleasant surprise this morning when I opened up my copy of the Dayton Daily News and saw a 'teaser' article at the bottom of the front page.  Julia Wallace, publisher of the newspaper, announced to the paper's readers that the Sunday circulation for the official reporting period from March-September 2011 had increased, the first such gain in the past 10 years.  She thanked the readership and directed us to go to the above page (AA4), where Jana Collier, the paper's editor-in-chief, explains the recent changes.

Everything Old is New Again

Saturday, November 19, 2011
(NOTE: this piece was the midterm assignment for my current JOURN 201 class.  We were tasked to take one of the main historical subjects from our Stovall textbook and compare it to contemporary journalism/communications today.  We were instructed to write a magazine-style article that was limited to 1,000 words.  Mine came in at 994--if the Facebook entry was considered a 'graphic'.  The instructor's comments were "excellent analysis and written well".  So far, so good.  For my Twitter followers, the Williams interview was the one I kept 'tweeting' about back in September.)

Everything Old is New Again
Rapid communication continues to evolve from 19th century inventor’s dream

A patient waiter is no loser -- Samuel F.B. Morse, 6 January 1838

At first glance, these two messages appear to be totally unrelated.   The former is the first telegram transmitted in the United States over a short distance in New Jersey; the latter is the initial urgent posting to a Facebook page created by a 32-year old woman responding to a looming natural disaster in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The 1838 message was an historic moment in the evolution of human communications while the more recent one being a single status update by just one of over 800 million users and groupings residing on the world’s largest social networking website. 

Although separated by over 170 years in time and 120 miles in distance, these disparate dispatches are indeed linked through their respective sender’s aspiration for instantaneous communications in pursuit of their personal and altruistic goals. 

A/V: Their ‘Times Square’ Moment

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Family members anxiously await the return of their veteran relatives at the Dayton International Airport

Last Saturday evening, one area of Dayton was intentionally turned back to a bygone era to help say ‘thank you’ to several dozen men and women who did not get this kind of adulation at the conclusion of their military service decades earlier.  A crowd of about 200 gathered at the Dayton International Airport to provide a heartfelt salute to 34 World War II and Korean War veterans upon their return from a day-long ‘Honor Flight’ excursion to the nation’s capital.  Friends, family members and even complete strangers participated in this patriotic ‘Welcome Home’ ceremony in the airport’s main terminal, which came as a complete surprise to many the unsuspecting travelers.

In Memoriam: Andy Rooney

Monday, November 14, 2011
(NOTE: this entry was originally going to be called 'In Appreciation' but, unfortunately, Mr. Rooney died before I could compose the post.  I will use that 'slug' for others deserving thanks for their contributions to journalism and/or the media.)

There isn't much to say about Andrew Aitken "Andy" Rooney that hasn't already been said by his fans, his critics or the man himself.  A fixture at the end of CBS News' '60 Minutes' programs since 1978, he shared his thoughts on a myriad of subjects in those few allotted minutes that drew applause, criticism, or simply just a faint empathy of viewers to the ongoing observations of America’s favorite curmudgeon.

Rooney passed away on November 4th at the age of 92 due to post-operative complications after an undisclosed surgical procedure.  Although he achieved his professional reputation as an essayist, humorist and television writer/personality, he began his long and distinguished career as a military journalist and it is this part of his life that I want to reflect upon here.  Most of what I provide below are from two books about his time in uniform: My War, an account written by Rooney himself; and The Writing 69th, a record of World War II military journalism.

Happy Election Day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Depending upon a journalist's specific 'beat', type of reporting, or medium of communication, election days can be one of their busiest of the entire year.  Today, many hours of national and local coverage on television and radio outlets will be dedicated to analyzing exit polls prior to the end of the assigned voting periods, and all will try to be the first to announce these results once they are officially determined.  I work most evenings so I will have to rely upon another media venue, the internet, to keep apprised of the electoral goings-on.

On Film: "The Year of Living Dangerously"

(NOTE: after my very busy October and the submission of my JOURN 201 midterm article on Saturday, I finally had some time to watch one of the movies I've 'queued' through Netflix to augment my formal journalism education.  Hopefully, these viewings--along with posts to this blog--will be more frequent.)

"We'll make a great team, old man. You for the words, me for the pictures. I can be your eyes.'" -- Billy Kwan

I must admit that I had never heard of this movie prior to putting it on my Netflix DVD queue back in September.  Released in December 1982 this was during a period when such a film would not have been my first choice for an evening of Hollywood-created entertainment.  At the time, I was a 21-year old male Air Force member serving in the United Kingdom and action/comedies were my then-favorites.  In the near 30 years hence, I am sure that I had dozens of chances to watch it but never made the conscious decision to do so until this afternoon.  Nearly two hours later, I sat back in my recliner and asked myself why I avoided it for so long because it turned out to be a very good movie.  As I warned readers for my other movie review, I will be providing items that may spoil the experience if you have not seen the movie before.  If you fall into that category, I recommend you stop reading now.