Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Interview questions

adding more...

Pat Butler is a brave man, to submit to a face to face interview.

I am not a brave man. On the other hand, I do readily answer questions from my readers.*

  • Others have said:
    The goal of objectivity is not fairness or balance: it is reliability and credibility. Objective information actually upsets rote "fairness" when one side of an argument is based on an obvious distortion.
    Neutrality requires that you give equal billing to people who say the earth is flat and those who say it is round. Objectivity allows you to point out the evidence that the flat-earth folks are wrong.
    Do you aim for objectivity, or for neutrality and 'fairness', in The Union's reporting?
  • The Union started a weblog last spring that contained some interesting posts and comments, which I had linked to from mine. In your switch to the new, less reader-friendly format, the old (WordPress) blog's posts and comments were taken offline, thus blocking community access to a unique source of local information. Were the posts and comments archived? if so, will they be put back online?
  • The long-broken pre-2002 Archive Search, that used to be on The Union's website, has been taken offline. Are there plans to restore it?
  • Why is the current Archive Search still broken? It hasn't been fully functional for over a year. Why is there no warning on the page, to inform the users? (there used to be one, then it disappeared, and, despite repeated requests, hasn't returned)

More questions are in the old list here.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

progressive blogging at The Union

Thurs update: I'm trying to get an answer from an editor (of web or paper) at The Union as to whether the posts and comments from their previous blog a) were archived and b) will be put back online. One days-old email query not answered, now switching to asking in blog comments (which, according to Kady, are working now - "Our servers in Reno had some problems...a few things were lost before I got a chance to save them to our own system."(*)).

If 'conservative' can mean 'ok with treating the planet as disposable since Armageddon will be right with us' then a 'progressive newspaper' can be one that engages in gratuitous linkrot, deleting all old posts and comments from their WordPress blog and replacing it with redirecting visitors to a through-the-looking-straw pseudoblog.

So if and until it gets resurrected, my past links to their blog's posts and comments are kaput.

from the dead blog, "We also hope to revamp the look of our blog soon and make it easier to read and skip from entry to entry.*"

My response (in comment to that post):
"Easier to read and skip from entry to entry"? Pat, could you explain what you mean by this?

Please to excuse my unwarranted suspicions, but I fear you mean that you'll be regressing to Swift's [sub]standard blog format, as manifested by the Greeley Tribune's Editor's blog; note that comments (and commenters) are effectively throttled. It's the antithesis of progressive newspaper blogging.

Please Pat, tell me I'm wrong. Tell me you want to encourage participation, not smother it.

if such is true.

(and will old blog posts and comments be migrated - thereby breaking the permalinks, a web offense - or will you keep them in their current format and at their current URLs?)

Their reply? None, AFAIK*, except to do pretty much as I foresaw - although it was a surprise to find that the old posts and comments had been blown away altogether.

Advice for progressive newspapers: Cover news, not tracks.

Friday, September 23, 2005

blog hiatus, belated explanation

Edited 2010-06-16 (toned down wording)
Still alive, still conscious, busy elsewhere in life for now, plus the usual tone of this blog is wholly inappropriate in a time of natural and other disasters.

One thing I have to say though -

I've worked in the broadcast industry - writing software to configure and control equipment that's used in television stations and post-production houses - for over 15 years. It's been great to be paid (well) to work out puzzles all day, but, up until recently, I've had doubts about the social utility of my work.

The television coverage of New Orleans post-Katrina changed that.

It's a wonderful thing to feel proud of what we do.

Added Thursday, found in TPM Cafe:
Our nation's hope lies at the bottom, with our National Guardsmen, our volunteers, and disaster relief teams tasked with cleaning up the consequences of the elite's greed and negligence. It lies with the people who, God willing, still don't have access to TVs, and have not yet realized the humanity they experienced is not shared by all. (*)