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An e-mail entitled "Hi Jessica."

“I just wanted to thank you for your article on the Art Show that is raising money for Autism. As the father of a child with Autism, ANY exposure is greatly appreciated. Thanks again :-)”

I live for stuff like this. It shows that I’m making a tiny bit of difference for someone out there, and that they appreciate it.

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More journalism talk.

A continuation from my last post about people talking on the Facebook wall about journalism’s future.

Post 4:
Just read robert’s post. Thanks for saying we’re all young and lovely….appreciate it mate, but i’m in my 40s and worked all over the damn shop for the past 25 years. But i’ll take the young and lovely.

As for “journalism is dead, long live journalism”…. crickey, let’s all do the socrates and pass me the freaking hemlock. i’m with the majority on this one–journalism like anything worth doing right must and will evolve. Not to offend any baptists in the crowd, but it’s called evolution, baby. The key is making sure that we, as journos, kick the thing in the right direction–a little mix of information and entertainment with a good helping of skepticism and grunt.

Post 5:
Change or die. It really is that simple. We are changing, not dying. Honestly, if you think that this biz is at death’s door, then move on because you’re not doing it any good; you’re dragging it down with you. I will not allow myself to believe, not even for one second, that I’m the pallbearer of an industry.

Post 6:
People will always want to know what is happening in the world or locally. How they receive that will change as technology evolves. But as a member of the British press I am proud to say that we are very much alive and well.

If anything the changes currently underway in the media will create further opportunities for us all. It’s going to be hard, but if you enjoy the job then it’s worth sticking around.

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Finally, a focus.

So I have been putting off writing this story for weeks now. Literally, weeks, because the press release that first spurned it was sent on July 3.

I’ve essentially ignored the story, working on other ones and other things since there was never a deadline on it anyway.

And now, I’ve figured it out. It’s a basic pets story, and I was trying to do something that had too narrow of a view that I just couldn’t (or more like wouldn’t) work on.

It’s not going to be this hard-hitting piece that will win me the Pulitzer.

But it’s something I’ll like working on. I feel less like a lazy bum now.

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Done.

In case you cared.

I thought the book was amazing, and I’m satisfied. Also, because I finished it 18 hours after it was released, I’ve got no one to talk to about it.

So when you’re done, you should tell me, so I can discuss with you.

Also. Wish I wasn’t such an idiot and wish I had a certain phone number.

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I have it.

I got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows within 15 minutes of midnight, because my family waited in line to get wrist bands while I was at work.

I will not be logging onto anything until I’m done, and the only reason my phone will be on is because I have to interview someone tomorrow morning.

Also, I met the most amazing guy in line, and talked to him for two and a half hours. Sadly, I don’t think I’m ever going to see him again.

Alrighty. I’ll probably be on by Sunday at the latest.

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Discussions on Facebook walls.

Post 1:
Wow, I just got through the “A’s” on the list and you’re all young and attractive… Wait, this is for young people and young journalists. Two-thirds of you will flame out in the next two years. The ones that succeed will leave the biz within 5 to 10 years because journalism is dying. If you stay in media, you will be generating content to amuse the masses, not inform them. As our society collapses, people will tire of bummer news. They will be in full denial and will only buy or view what tickles them. And with that, I wish you all the best!

Post 2:
Hey Robert, I don’t think journalism is dying – but it is evolving. Yes, large dailies are having major issues and they need to make changes – they need to offer people more than just yesterday’s news. Newspaper journalists need to start looking for tomorrow’s story, to keep things fresh. More in depth, researched pieces about where society is headed (I’m not talking about advancers for the upcoming ice cream festival either).
Small town papers are not in the same spot, because people will always buy them because little Johnny’s home run is on the sports page. But they too have to evolve.
We have 24-hour news stations – it will be interesting to see where that goes in the next few years.
I don’t think people only want things to amuse themselves (although that never hurts) – in fact, I’d say people are interested in the hard news and want to be informed.
Journalism is changing but I don’t think it’s dying. The medium of newspapers might be in trouble though.

Post 3:
I completely agree with Kate. Journalism is going through an evolution right now, just as it did when radio and television arrived. It goes too far to say it’s dying.
The online medium of journalism is just another way for the news to get out there in a different form. Rather than shunning that possibility, as I’ve seen many older journalists do, it needs to be embraced. The interactivity lets us use not just words, but images and sounds through photos, videos, podcasts. The story still needs to be told – it’s just going to be done in a slightly different way. It’s an exciting advent that I look forward to working with.
Also, I intern for a group of weekly community newspapers right now, and their circulation has actually gone up in recent years. So newspapers aren’t dying – they just need to learn how to adapt their content to fit their particular audience.
And with that, I am going back to writing my story and finishing my briefs – something I plan on doing for years to come.

I’m post 3, in case you were wondering or hadn’t figured it out. These are pulled from the Trust me. I’m a journalist Facebook group’s wall.

Thoughts?

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I think I just pissed off an artist.

So I’m writing this story on this nonprofit group working with this gallery to raise funds, and I thought it’d be a good idea to talk to the featured artists who’ll have work up at the event.

Apparently not.

I thought this artist had an idea of what event he was going to be working at, but he didn’t. And when I said my primary focus was the program and that I didn’t have anything else to ask him at the moment, he sounded all huffy when he said, “I thought you were going to ask how we became artists, why we did this for the living, why we love art.”

After telling him what the story was about, I didn’t want to waste his time or mine so i said that wasn’t the case, and I’m sorry if he misunderstood. Then he was like, okay, call if you have anything else, and then he hung up up before I could respond.

Ah well. You can’t make everyone happy.

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J.K. Rowling on the NY Times.

J.K. Rowling’s response to the early review that the New York Times published two days before the official release date:

“I am staggered that American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children, who wanted to reach Harry’s final destination by themselves, in their own time. I am incredibly grateful to all those newspapers, booksellers and others who have chosen not to attempt to spoil Harry’s last adventure for fans.”

Yes, I read the review, I couldn’t help myself. And if you don’t want to know the one main point (yes, only one) that I got out of it, don’t read it.

So here’s the question:

Did the Times cross the line when they decided to publish an early review on a book that was not to be released until July 21 at midnight, as agreed by publishers, booksellers and the author? Was this the wrong move by an overzealous editor?

Or was this the right way to approach the situation, with all the secrecy that has surrounded Rowling’s final tale in a series that’s held a lot of the world captivated for the past ten years?

I understand where Rowling is coming from, because it’s her story to tell and it wasn’t done the way she liked it. It revealed a couple of key things to the story, things that I’m not sure I really wanted to know.

And because it was from a legitimate source and not from a random Web site claiming to have spoilers, I’m sure she’s all the more livid at their apparent disregard for her fans.

Personally, yeah, I could have done without the review. But at the same time, I think they’re making a bigger deal out of it than it is. And this is coming from someone’s who’s loved this series for seven years, has gone to midnight premieres, visited the fan Web sites and eagerly watched the movies (yeah, I’m a Harry Potter geek, get over it).

So I know what the Deathly Hallows are. So what? All the other references in that review were inferences I made long before I read it anyway.

The way I look at is, it’s like a movie trailer. You get a few bits and pieces, and you know it’s coming, but you don’t know why it’s coming or how it happens.

There’s still the anticipation. And now that I have a glimpse of what’s to come, I want more.

I don’t know if that was the Times’s intention, but it works for me.

Update: As clarification, I’m not condoning what the Times did. I don’t agree with it, and I think they should have waited. But it doesn’t bother me as much as it seems to bother a lot of other people.

And the Times wrote an op-ed piece in response to the fans’ outcry.

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Cleaning out my closet.

Looking at stuff I haven’t seen in nearly a year.

I kinda just wanna throw it all away and be done with it.

But I’m sentimental, so I have to go through it all, piece by piece.

This is going to be at least a two-week project and trip down memory lane.

I wonder what I’ll find.

Update: Here’s what I’ve found already – the news story I wrote for a Journalism Education Association write off nearly three years ago.

I don’t want to read it because I’m sure it’s horrid, seeing as how I’d never done a news writing thing in my life beforehand. I thought news writing was boring and that it was all about the inverted pyramid. And I had a rather skewed view of what the inverted pyramid was. But then, I did win an award for it, so maybe it’s not that bad…

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