News organizations have been babbling about “diversity” since before the flood, but if you want to see two “diverse” journalists being taken seriously at the same time, you have tune in to rare venues like MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes.”
For two hours every Saturday and Sunday morning, Hayes and his experts-of-the-week drink coffee and dig deep into issues that demand extended attention, but rarely get it in today’s attention-deficit disordered media-verse.
Saturday’s show featured the Miami Herald’s Joy-Ann Reid and the Tampa Bay Times’ Tia Mitchell. These young, gifted and black women joined two academics with stellar credentials and unpronouceable names for a lengthy, thoughtful, and nuanced discussion of Florida governor Rick Scott’s stunning 180 on “Obamacare.” Read all »
As we’re about to host our program tomorrow night “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby?” we’re delighted to run this piece on one of Florida’s finest – and toughest – women.
Lucy Morgan didn’t aspire to a career in journalism. Like many women of her generation, she married as a teenager and planned to live happily ever after.
Not too long later, she was a single mother in Middle of Nowhere, Florida with a high school education and three small children. Her entertainment budget consisted entirely of a public library card.
That card would be her ticket to the storied career which Suncoast Tiger Bay Club will honor at a banquet on January 30.
It was 1966 and the Ocala Star-Banner was looking to hire a reporter. Asked by an editor if she had any suggestions, the librarian told him about a young woman “who reads more books than anyone I have ever seen.” Read all »
When the Grim Reaper finally came for Eugene Corbett Patterson, the 89 year old Pulitzer Prize winner surely did not blink. Fear was not in his character and anyway, he had seen death before.
Patterson had always been a man of great ambition, and as he prepared to meet his Maker at his St. Petersburg home, the dying editor started and brilliantly finished condensing the King James Bible. It was an old newsman’s last service to seekers of truth in an attention deficit disordered world.
In the decade from 1978-1988 when Patterson called the shots at the St. Petersburg Times, Florida journalism was widely recognized as the best in the world, and the St. Petersburg Times was recognized as Florida’s best newspaper by everybody who didn’t work for the Miami Herald.
Death had tried and failed to claim Patterson when he was a 20 year old tank commander at the Battle of the Bulge. In General Patton’s 10th Armored Division, Patterson learned verbal, sartorial and blood and guts elements of style that would inform how he led by example from the Ardennes Forest to the hour of his death. Read all »
There was some role reversal Tuesday night at The Village Square’s latest panel discussion. Media experts were put on the receiving end of some tough questions, with members of The Village Square conducting the interviews.
A panel — consisting of a newspaper editor, the man who runs who runs a Florida news aggregate website, two longtime reporters and a professor — tackled inquiries about the state of the news media, where the industry is going and how The St. Petersburg Times picked up a new name.
“Media Wars,” a dinner discussion hosted by The Village Square, concentrated on how the news industry can thrive in a more online-oriented era. CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood served as the keynote speaker for the event. Read the whole article online at Tallahassee.com HERE.
“Invest in hard journalism. It takes a lot of money, it takes a lot of time but do the investment. And always understand that nothing in this business is worth anything without verifiability, accountability and accuracy. Those are old school values that never go away. – Major Garrett, National Journal
With Media Wars: The Future of How (and what) We Know right around the corner on February 7th (check out our exception panel and buy your tickets before they’re gone), we can think of no better way to spend your early evening tonight than watching Page One: Inside the New York Times, on History Channel at 6 PM. You can read Jim Romenesko’s interview with the director of the film, but no matter what… watch it. This is important subject matter to our future, tune in. Got other things to do on New Year’s Eve (gasp)? You can stream the movie on Netflix.
In case you missed it, Florida Voices – the state opinion page – has now launched. It’s the brainchild of former Tampa Tribune editorial page editor (and now Florida Voices editor) Rosemary Goudreau. Joined by fellow Tribune alum Rosemary Curtiss as publisher and a crack team of former newspaper people, they’re doing the important work of building a sustainable business model for getting us good information, a goal that is critical to the future of our state and nation. And, of course, we like their “Village Square-ish” approach of “seeking out differing perspectives with a watchful eye for common ground.” And we love their blue and red merging to purple logo. They seem to have the right idea.
In her first Florida Voices column, Florence Snyder thinks back on watching her parents critical involvement in building Florida’s modern state university system – “an ambitious idea brought to life by ambitious people.” Florence (who also writes for us, check out some of her work HERE) writes:
“Colorful expressions of strongly held beliefs did not frighten them. They relished debate, and so do I. As Florida Voices strives to add yeast to our 21st century public policy conversation, I’ll strive not to waste your time. You can argue with me. And I hope you will.”
We’re delighted to see Florida Voices jump in with this important contribution to our state, we wish them well, and we look forward to more of the rich, vibrant debate that is the foundation of a healthy democracy.
Under the banner of better late than never (this was in my stack of catch-up reading after our last program, printed on September 6th in the Tallahassee Democrat):
The National Conference of Editorial Writers, apparently tiring of the “online free-for-alls that treat facts and lies as equals” is launching a “civility Project” to help journalists navigate the challenges of knowing where to draw the line between constructive – even if difficult – debate and the now too routine combustible spleen venting. The editorial about this project, first published in the Providence Journal explains:
“The mediators are hardly perfect in judgment, but they are becoming a last bulwark against a national screamfest, where the loudest, angriest and most outrageous opinions get the most attention; facts seem to matter less and less in the general din.”
More from Farhad Manjoo in True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society:
“Investigating the rise of carelessness toward “reality” is, of course, the headlong purpose of this book. But I’ve been driving at a theory more pervasive than the peculiar psychology of one president, the transgressions of a single dominant political machine, or the aims of certain powerful players. The truth about truthiness, I’ve argued, is cognitive: when we strung up the planet in fiber-optic cable, when we dissolved the mainstream media into prickly niches, and when each of us began to create and transmit our own pictures and sounds, we eased the path through which propaganda infects our culture.”