The critical use of the word ‘Just’

We discussed critiquing news stories in class today. How to do it, what to critique, what not to get overly zealous about. How to treat this as a constructive exercise and not as a personal reproach, and so on. The idea is that the more you watch things critically — because I make you critique them — the more you’ll see things that work and things that don’t work.

A critical eye is very important in the craft.

So we talked about television packages. I showed this story’s video package, which was still timely early in the week. It was a nice example of localizing the story when it came to the Midland standoff.

The reporter found a local police officer who has gone through the FBI negotiation training and interviewed him about what might have been taking place. It was a helpful story to a degree. There are some vagaries, which is both based on the nature of this officer not knowing every detail about what is happening hours outside of his jurisdiction and a need to speak generally for tactical reasons too. But it is nice localized story. It has some production issues and some very strange B-roll shots. It gave us something to look at.

And then I showed them this:

That is never going to get old, even as fewer and fewer students are familiar with the YouTube sensation.

And then we got started in our efforts to set up WordPress blogs. They are a sharp group of students, and I’m sure they’ll be running the Internet by the end of the semester.

I have done thy bidding, Internet, and given you many more people to add content!

Lovely, busy day otherwise. It was national signing day, and the Crimson’s sports editor was posting stuff continually to their Twitter account. That earned him follows from two of the television stations in town. Nice little reward for his work.

My open letter to new signees got repackaged.

On the way home I stopped at Buy Buy Baby to get something off a friend’s registry. This place is full of things you didn’t know you needed if you’re raising children. Glancing at the products it is amazing any of us made it out of toddler years without these things in our homes.

The store is bright and smells of baby powder. Just add water, I suppose.

That’s an improvement, though, really. The last time I was in this store it was still a Circuit City. As I noted on Twitter, it was dank and dim and smelled of desperation then. I remember trying to test a camera of some device and the guy there was not able to put a battery into the thing.

I looked around at the deep sockets of the eyes of the few people actually in the store, realized that everyone there was touching, but no one was buying. I knew it was over.

Within a year they were all gone.

If only that one floor guy had bothered to look for a battery, things might have gone differently.

But probably not.

Anyway, in a much more pleasant environment with a thoroughly enjoyable young lady helping, I managed to find the appropriate burp cloths. They were very, very decorative. I’m sure yours were just a flat white, once upon a time.

Three recent items on the other blog:

Localizing the big stories

Have you tried SoundCloud?

USPS to drop Saturday deliveries

I have a lot of things stored away to write over there. Get used to the links, I guess.

Saw this sign, the oracle of our time:


I know the owner. His son and daughter are friends. The sign has become a big fun quasi-event lately. It isn’t true until Krystal’s says it is, and all that.

When I took that picture it was halftime in the Alabama-Auburn basketball game. Alabama was leading Auburn 23-13. Halftime. In a basketball game, full of varsity, scholarship players. Presumably for both teams. (So you see why the word “Just” is important on that sign.)

In the second half Auburn went on a 36-14 run — that was all of the scoring. The final was 49-37, Auburn. Weird game. But Auburn held Alabama to its lowest point total in the 146 game series history, so there’s that.

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