Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A blow for democracy

The Supreme Court dealt a blow for democracy when it refused to hear the case of two reporters who are likely on their way to jail for protecting sources. Judith Miller of the New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine are in hot water for not revealing sources to a grand jury investigating news leaks that identified Valerie Plame as a CIA agent. Never mind the fact that neither of these reporters broke the story -- Robert Novak did that and it's a mystery as to whether he gave up his sources or is somehow immune from investigation. Cooper only reported Plame's identity after Novak did; Miller didn't even publish the story.

As the New York Times put it, "The jailing of reporters for pursuing the truth rings particularly medieval in this information age."

New media updates

A few new media developments to report from the past week...

KUTV's web site has been re-tooled. The CBS owned-and-operated station in Salt Lake City is apparently the first Viacom station out of the gate with new video streams. "2News @ Your Desk" is a very cool addition. Check it out.

And, by the way, Congratulations to Tanya Vea on her promotion to KUTV News Director. Just nine years ago, when I was an executive producer at KUTV, Tanya was an intern at the station.

By way of Lost Remote we learn that Raleigh's WRAL-TV has a new webcast on its site. It's pretty casual and it promotes the station's website.

Lost Remote also reporting that WKRN in Nashville is the latest station to adopt video journalist positions. This trend could prove to be of consequence for our current broadcast journalism students. Earlier, Lost Remote interviewed Michael Rosenblum, who it credits with introducing the VJ concept (actually, I thought CNN did in 1980). It's a worthwhile read.

Finally, Apple's latest version of iPod, out today, adds podcasting capabilities.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Newsbreakers: making local news even more banal

As if television news isn't banal enough on its own, we now have a group called "Newsbreakers" to help the matter along.

They say they're against media convergence and the commercializaton of news. I get that...I'm just not sure how they're supposed to cogently make that point by disrupting live shots.

But it is amusing.

The big surprise? That the New York Times even bothered to do a story on it. Must have been a slow day.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Free Katie!

Brian Williams said it best in his blog when he said it was "a story that seemed to be the subject of conversation wherever two or more Americans gathered over the weekend: What's the deal with Tom Cruise?"

I'm going to show the Today show interview with Tom Cruise to my broadcast producing class with the excuse the students could learn from Matt Lauer's calm interviewing skills.

Holy Smokes, Batman: Tom Cruise is NUTS!

If you haven't already seen the interview, go to the MSNBC website.

Even before the interview, Cruise's behavior has seemed weird of late -- weird enough that there is now a website to free Katie Holmes!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Saga of the lost boy scout

Another summer, another Utah boy scout lost. This one has a happy ending.

Brennan Hawkins was found after four days wandering in the high Uintah Mountains, after walking away from a boy scout camp at the east fork of the Bear River.

He was found thanks to a massive volunteer search party, and despite the fact that Brennan was hiding from them because he thought they were strangers.

Here's the rub: Brennan is just 11 years old and he was attending a camp for Varsity Scouts (14 year olds). That is against policy for boy scout troops sponsored by the LDS Church.

Before wandering away, Brennan was last seen at the camp's climbing wall. I've been to this camp -- I wouldn't let my 11 year old climb it!

Deseret Morning News columnist Lee Benson said it best: The parents need to be put in time out.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Deep Throat ...and All the President's Crooks

What a great day! We now know who Deep Throat is: W. Mark Felt, who was the number two guy at the FBI during the Watergate scandal. (Guess I was out of line for asking Senator Robert Bennett when he was in my office in 1994 if he was Throat.)

Now, here's the sad part: There are actually people trying to re-write history. Deep Throat was no hero, they say... he was criminal. What's next? Joseph McCarthy was a saint? Of course, the people who've been vocal in their criticism include G. Gordon Liddy -- who went to jail for his part in the Watergate break-in -- and Robert Novak, who published a leak last year to identify a CIA agent! Jon Stewart does a nice job with this hypocritical bunch -- you can see it on Crooks and Liars.
The opinions stated here are my own and in no way reflect those of Brigham Young University, its students, faculty, or sponsoring institution.