journalism


6
Sep 18

How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

I woke up before the sun this morning, before my alarm went off, even. And sometime after that I got my act together and walked out the door with my bicycle and had a little quiet ride. Some of the roads were mine alone, as the day stirred into action.


I could go for more rides like this. It is only the up and at ’em part where I struggle.

Class today was a continuation of sportswriting. We had a guest, a local writer of considerable talent and ability. The only problem is that in addition to his talent and experience, he also has some sort of stomach bug. So I was on my own.


Fortunately I had just enough time to dash off some slides and we discussed lead writing for an hour.

Then I caught up on email and went into the studio for the evening. There was television to produce.


They shot two different shows tonight. One, a highlight show, will be out tomorrow. The other is a talk show, and they are really getting those segments down to something tight and special. That show will be out sometime over the weekend. This was week two for the sports crew, and they’re off to a great start. Next week the news folks start their shows for the semester.

I made it home just in time for dinner.


4
Sep 18

Almost every goal of the day was met

I got out for a morning bike ride. This was a special treat, which mostly involved me waking up early enough to do it.


Being on empty roads was easily the highlight of my morning. Later, I went to work and put together a quiz and wrote an AP Style primer and then lectured a tiny bit on news writing. I was supposed to go into the studio this evening and watch some historic television being made, but that got delayed until next week. History waits for no one! Except when it does.

I did get to do this, however:


A few times a week I walk by the building named in honor of the scrawny old Indiana journalist. We’re just rich with the Ernie Pyle stuff around here. His desk is one floor beneath my office. Two floors down they’ve recently created an installation showing off his medals, some of his books, his war correspondent field jacket and a whole bunch more. Just outside our building is a sculpture of him sitting at a table and banging away at a story, somewhere in Europe or the Pacific. One day his ghost will show up and point out my typos. (He’ll be a busy spirit.)

Also, I got to ride my bike this morning:

I climbed two little hills on my short ride. It was all a freewheeling, downhill adventure from there.

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3
May 18

Now here’s something of a different time

I had lunch with this guy today. It was, as you might imagine, very cool.

Dean Martin died when I was a freshman in college. And I wasn’t yet hip to who or what could bring about a lasting cool. I suppose he was always the guy that played drunk, or did the occasional telethon. He was one of the old guys that ran around with Sinatra and was old. I’m sure I knew he had done movies, but I didn’t know much about the Rat Pack and I certainly didn’t know much of his music. It was too far removed for me to be anything but too far removed myself, I suppose. (“Little Ole Wine Drinker Me” was a Charlie Walker song that Martin covered. It stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks. It peaked at fifth on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and was also a hit in Australia that year.)

I really discovered him after college. His music. His cool. His sound. Dean Martin had the best sound of the Rat Pack.

And, man, he was funny. Just look who is on the stage with him here:

There’s a great Christmas-themed Pillsbury Flour spot and a too-artsy for 1975 America Revlon promo in the middle of the video, too.

And even when he was playing a song for laughs he could sing and sing:

I love that song.

One of our hallways at work has a lot of historic photos from the program. This lady is a part of one of the pictures:

She’s a copy editor in the 1940s at the IDS. But she’s given up her seat in the slot for Ernie Pyle, who has returned to Indiana to visit family and friends. And when he was home he was never far from campus, so here he’s back and reading the paper. The front page story that he’s reading is about the Romanian armistice, so she is looking over his shoulder as he reads a late-August, early-September paper from 1944.

I wonder what she was thinking about, sitting there, posing with the great Ernie Pyle in her seat. He’s a legend now, and he was well-venerated then. I wonder where those lamps got off too.

I looked her up. She might have become a school teacher. The woman I found online passed away just a few years ago. But I’m not 100 percent convinced I have the right person.

Tonight I’m hanging out with Allie, The Black Cat:

No better way to wind down an evening.


26
Apr 18

There’s so much to hear and see

I did an important podcast today. You should listen to this one, please:

If you haven’t listened to it yet, I talked with a reporter who has been covering the Rohingya refugee crisis and the genocide that precipitated it. This is a good conversation. You should listen.

Also, the religion in media conference wrapped up today, but not until we enjoyed two more sessions. This quote was somewhat thematic of part of the day:

If you weren’t there you missed out, but we streamed them, so you can still catch up. If you’re interested in visual storytelling the first panel is for you. The second is about gaming and while that’s not my thing I must say the presenters were quite compelling. You can watch both panels right here:

Then, another night in the studio with these guys:

I think I hit my 40 hours for the week before noon today, but the shows must go on. And these were the last sports shows of the semester. The sports folks are graduating their sports director. He’ll be working in the production unit for some professional franchise before long. He did a nice job here, and we’re expecting more big things from him, and from the rest of these guys too.

And tomorrow, an entirely new conference begins here. That kind of week.


4
Apr 18

I practiced media things today

Today is the fourth of April. We had more snow flurries today. For much of the day, in fact. If felt like 32 degrees this morning. Because, in April, you should still be using wind chill.

This is silly talk in the face of all of that, I know, but maybe there is hope.

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. That makes today the 50th anniversary of an important newspaper column. We talked about it on the podcast today:

Also today I talked to Raju Narisetti. He’s the CEO of the Gizmodo Media Group, and an IU grad. He’s in town for a campus-wide program and we had him in the studio for an interview today. I’m not sure when that one will get published — it takes some time — but I’ll get to share it eventually.