I found all of the words below in my driveway this morning when I went out to get the paper. The wind appears to have blown them over from Radio Heartland's Trial Balloon blog. I'm pretty sure I haven't been able to reassemble them in the correct order, however.
Wait, upon further review, it's been determined we need a rouser or we'll never make it to Monday.
Let's go over that, again: A Florida radio station made the announcement. Radio. Old media. The BBC reports, "It is not the first time Swayze has had to deny reports about his health - in December US tabloids reported the star had just weeks to live." Tabloids. Old media.
New media, however gets credit for the best headline of the last 24 hours, "Patrick Swayze claims he is not dead."
Now the weather. There'll be a goat-killing wind in Taiwan.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
I'm driving up to Pelican Lake today to have lunch with Betty Ryan. Betty writes for the Lake Country Echo. She's 81 and has been writing about her neck of the woods for a fair number of years. So the newspaper industry isn't entirely dead and I'm guessing she's an interesting person. News Cut loves interesting people. So I may not post much today.
Midday -- In the first hour, former Sen. David Durenberger, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, will be in the MPR studios to discuss the controversy over intelligence gathering, interrogation and torture. In the second hour, we'll replay this morning's speech by Barack Obama on national security.
Talk of the Nation - In the first hour, a discussion about the GAO report on how special needs kids are restrained in schools. I wrote about it on Tuesday (The Silent Scandal). Second hour: Is it possible to change your mind about abortion? Good question. Is it? Give me your answer below.
All Things Considered -- The unemployment report for the state is out today. It's bad, of course. How much more is there to say about it? MPR's Tom Robertson reports that weatherization programs get so much stimulus money local staff can't handle the expected activity. Can prayer heal? NPR will look at evidence of the biology of prayer and healing.
Posted at 12:06 PM on May 21, 2009
by Ken Paulman
I'm a little late to the party on this one.
I just received a news release from the Water Quality and Health Council announcing that one in five (unspecified) people admit to peeing in the pool.
From the news release:
One in five say they've done it (17%) - and eight in ten (78%) are convinced their fellow swimmers are guilty. As far as showering goes - forget it. Roughly one third (35%) pass the shower without stopping and three quarters (73%) say their fellow swimmers fail to shower before swimming.
If you're like me, you may be wondering who exactly was surveyed, and whether the results are statistically valid. The rather lengthy release doesn't say.
The WQHC, which I hadn't heard of either, is an advisory group that is funded by the chlorine industry. So it should come as no surprise that the group suggests we should all protect ourselves by ensuring that our neighborhood pool is purchasing adequate amounts of chlorine. Also, you shouldn't drink pool water.
Only a couple of these articles mention the study's connection to the chlorine industry. The last one, from WBBM in Chicago, puts it right up front in the lede:
A lobbying group for the Chlorine industry is warning consumers not to swim in dirty pools.
Kudos to WBBM for doing their homework.
Business interests pay millions, if not billions, of dollars to PR firms in attempts to get their brands placed in news coverage, rather than buying traditional advertisements. I wonder sometimes if people who don't work in media know about this dynamic.
One local company, Hopkins-based ARA Content, produces articles on behalf of paying clients and distributes them for free to newspapers. The articles, while accurate, are designed to promote specific companies and products, and are a tempting source of content for cash-strapped editors. Take a look at the site the news editors see:
ARAcontent provides free, high quality feature or special section content to editors, ad directors and publishers (print and online). ... All articles are written or edited by professional journalists and include high-resolution photos.
...and compare it to what the advertisers see:
Our combination package allows you to develop one full length feature article that will appeal to editors at the nation's largest dailies and weeklies. ... Your messages, whether detailed or concise, will be seen by millions of consumers through placements in an even broader range of national newspapers. Your clippings will increase as you reach even more consumer targets!
Here's my point: Newsgathering is expensive. Without some means for the public to pay for real reporting, the void will be increasingly filled by the entities who have the financial means to produce the copy that they want consumers to see.
So, who's paying for the news that you're reading?(7 Comments)
The closer one gets to the Minnesota Capitol and the exhausting politics therein, I find, the harder it is to remember that Minnesota is still a heck of a place to live.
Above is but one example I found today on a road trip to the Pequot Lakes area.
"We only have this shade of green for a few weeks," Betty Ryan told me. She's the longtime reporter-now-correspondent for the Pequot Lakes Echo. I went to see her today because she's 81, still reporting, and provides a good barometer for what constitutes news in her neck of the woods. I'll write about her later.
She and editor Nancy Vogt pointed me, however, to this story. The paper helped Publisher's Clearing House track down Anna Newton of Pine River, who won $1,000.
The woman plans to use the money to go to Dollywood. If there's money left, she might visit her sister in California, whom she hasn't seen in 50 years.(2 Comments)