Archive for July 20, 2007

The Good Ship Journalism

July 20, 2007

I’m finding myself really, really interested in this blog Newspaper Death Watch. I’ve never really had the opportunity to actually listen to someone who is way ahead of the curve, as I think this blog is, when it comes to upcoming structural changes in something as important as the newspaper. And the blog’s fierce focus and insistence on beating the drum over and over and over is a big bonus.

One thing of interest: All the media blogs I read suggest that the education of future journalists is actually ahead of, or at least abreast of, the curve – schools are really turning to Internet and multimedia journalism (as opposed to print), but it’s the newspapers themselves, the businesses, that are going to be caught out in the cold.

I don’t think that bit about education holds true for my college’s newspaper (the school doesn’t have a proper Journalism program); the local college daily’s advisor thinks we should go back to the 1950s.

A few other media blogs I read:

Mark on Media

Romenesko

Bonus Link: Some tips for newspapers on how to survive in the future

Finally, I should add that I know nothing about photography, or photojournalism, or how they play into this. It’s not something I’ve ever really paid attention to, honestly. Off the top of my head, I would expect that the advent of digital would be far kinder to photography than print…but what do I know?

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Scary Food Thought of the Day

July 20, 2007

From my friend Cody, an excerpt from an article on Africa and food:

The key to ending hunger is sustaining Africa’s food biodiversity, not reducing it to industrial monoculture. Currently, food for African consumption comes from about 2,000 different plants, while the U.S. food base derives mainly from 12 plants. [emphasis mine] Any further narrowing of the food base makes us all vulnerable because it increases crop susceptibility to pathogens, reduces the variety of nutrients needed for human health, and minimizes the parent genetic material available for future breeding.

Jesus Fucking Christ. The world envisioned in my head is sooooooo far away from where we’re going, I don’t think two are in the same dimension.

A Link Between Thinking and Memory

July 20, 2007

It turns out that according to a study by one Adam Brown….

…people who are narrow-minded and dogmatic have a poorer working memory capacity, which is what makes it harder for them to process new information.

That’s incredible.

I, of course, immediately go to that ego-filled place wherein I have observed that “liberals”* tend to be more knowledgeable about the world than “conservatives.” I have also observed that liberals are more likely to make a value out of learning about the unknown, whereas conservatives tend to be happy within their existing belief system.

…It should also be said that this, of course, applies to everyone across the political spectrum. I don’t mean to imply that this is completely one-sided. Just, you know, mostly.

But what does my ego have to do with the study? I guess I would say two things:

1) I would think people who don’t value education – and who happen to be hostile to education and/or anything ‘intellectual’ – would be prime candidates for the above study. It’s not just dogmatism, it’s hostility towards what Adam Brown was testing for.

2) This really, really explains a lot of wingnuts and why some of them sound like broken records.

*Is this a totally unfair and inaccurate use of the terms liberal and conservative? Is this waaaaay overgeneralizing? Yeah, sort of – but some of this is backed up my personal experience, and I’m not going to claim that these are anything but generalizations or trends.

Thanks to BZ for the link.