Friday, March 27, 2015

Reporting . . .

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. . . Live from the Scene


Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.
 —Henry Anatole Grunwald (1922-2005), diplomat, journalist and former editor of Time, Inc., in Time Magazine's 60th anniversary issue, Fall 1983


Editorial Comment: Speak up, newshounds.



PeezPix by Ted Pease 


Over the Bar







Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oh, Dorothy

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Shoot Them Now



“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

—Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), writer and satirist, in book review of The Elements of Style, Esquire, 1959 Image: Jill DeGroff







Editorial Comment: Teach your children well.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 


Curl




Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Baby Shoes

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A Whole Life in 6 Words



“As the story goes, Hemingway was once challenged in a bar bet, where all good stories start: Could he write a whole novel in just six words? And he wrote . . . ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’”

—Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser, Smith magazine, on “Can You Tell Your Life Story in Exactly Six Words?” Talk of the Nation, NPR, 2010

Editorial Comment: What color?


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Sunrise







Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writing with a Screwdriver

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True Lies


“Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. 

“The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a  fossil. What a load of shit. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver.” 

—Amy Poehler, actress, comedian and author of Yes, Please (2014)


Editorial Comment: It must be nice to be a writer.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Waiting Area








TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Quick Study

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Papa Says


 “A good writer should know as near everything as possible. Naturally he will not. A great enough writer seems to be born with knowledge. But he really is not; he has only been born with the ability to learn in a quicker ratio to the passage of time than other men. . . .”

—Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), Nobel Prize-winning writer and bullfighter, from Death in the Afternoon (1954)
  
Editorial Comment: A really good writer knows enough to get a steadier job.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

North Woods





TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mission Statement

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Job 1


“Journalism, some huge percentage of it, should be devoted to putting pressure on power, on nonsense, on chicanery of all kinds and if that's going to invite a lawsuit, well, bring it on. The burden on us [is] to be accurate and fair.”

David Remnick, editor, The New Yorker, interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air, Feb. 18, 2015 (Thanks to alert WORDster Andrew Merton)

  
Editorial Comment: Especially chicanery.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

The Pier










TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Writer’s Life

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Humiliation


“I have learned to live fairly comfortably with my writer’s humiliation, and have worn it like a second skin over my original thinner one. After all, humiliations are suffered by most writers most of the time. And — to express a thought about life in the real world, for once — a writer’s humiliations are chicken feed as compared with those endured by people who work for a living, and are grateful simply to make it home at night. Writers are already home.” 

—Roger Rosenblatt, author and journalist, “Please Turn to the Chapter on Obscurity . . . ,” The New York Times, 2014 (Thanks to alert WORDster Chip Scanlan)

  
Editorial Comment: And already in their jammies.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Low Tide











TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Not So Sunny

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Happy Freedom of Information Day


The Most Transparent Administration In History™ sure picked a strange way to kick off Sunshine Week,” tweeted Parker Higgins of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

 “WASHINGTON — The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office. . . . 

“‘The irony of this being Sunshine Week is not lost on me,’ said Anne Weismann of the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. ‘It is completely out of step with the president’s supposed commitment to transparency. That is a critical office, especially if you want to know, for example, how the White House is dealing with e-mail.’”

—Gregory Korte, reporter, “White House office to delete its FOIA regulations,” USA Today, March 17, 2015 

Editorial Comment: What’s with Dems and their friggin’ email?


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Hazelnut is one of hundreds of homeless dogs passing through the Humboldt County Animal Shelter this year. Support your local animal shelter — and maybe take a Hazelnut home.










TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Free News

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Right to Know

“‘I don’t think you should pay for news,’ Eric, a 22-year-old Chicagoan, said. ‘That’s something everybody should be informed in. Like, you’re going to charge me for information that’s going on around the world?’ And then there’s 19-year-old Sam from San Francisco: ‘I really wouldn’t pay for any type of news because as a citizen it’s my right to know the news.’” 

 

—in Joseph Lichterman’s report on new media-use study, “Millennials say keeping up with the news is important to them — but good luck getting them to pay for it,” NiemanLab.org, March 16, 2015


Editorial Comment: Right. When news happens, it should call us — or better yet, text us — and then just fall gently into our ears. Comics are extra.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Swinger











TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Back-from-Spring-Break Edition

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Pressed

“The deadlines, good Lord. The deadlines are always pressing down. Always. They press and they press and when you get to feel like you’re gonna die if they squeeze you any tighter, they press some more. You got no choice but to pull through on some lousy last second article on who wore what to which race, ’cause that’s livin.’

“Hell, that’s probably why they CALL us the press! Haha.”

—The Coop Times, new video game of life in the newsroom, “Learn to Fear Deadlines in this Snarky Journalist Simulator,” KillScreenDaily.com, March 6, 2015

  Editorial Comment: That’ll get the kids lining up at J schools, all right.

Related: BREAKING: Some evil genius made a video game that simulates writing the news on deadline,” Washington Post


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Look! The hippies are here!








TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD
“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Commuter Complaints

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No Papers

“The only complaints I heard came from commuters who lived at such short distances from the city that it was impractical for them to smoke opium during the trip. Some of these people said that now that they had no newspapers they were compelled to look at the scenery, which revolted them.” 
 
—A.J. Liebling (1904-1963), journalist, writing about a New York newspaper strike, “No Papers,” in “The Wayward Press” column, The New Yorker, 1945

Editorial Comment: With no newspaper, you have to take the Long Island RR at least to Southampton to make opium worth the effort.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Shrooms







TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD
“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cast a Line

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Fish Rising


“When you fish and when you write, you enter into a staring contest with potential, a challenge devoid of guarantees. As you stand at the water’s edge gazing at a glassy pool or a river proceeding with the freedom and discipline only the natural world can finesse, you are scrubbed clean of life’s trivia. Watching the water, you are confronted with the unconscious as surely as you are when you stare into the humming blank screen each morning, praying that from the fathomless gray, prose will rise.” 

—Holly Morris, writer, editor, producer and fisherwoman, “Fumbling After Grace: Fishing & Writing,” The New York Times, 1997 

Editorial Comment: I know there’s a lunker down there somewhere.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Elk Head








TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD
“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy National Grammar Day

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Glamourous Grammar


“Today grammar connotes everything unglamourous: absentminded professors; fussy schoolteachers; British grammazons…; nagging perfectionists; pedantic correctionists; high school students asleep at their desks, stalactites of drool hanging from their lips. Long lost from grammar are associations with power, magic, enchantment and mystical energy.”
 
—Roy Peter Clark, wordman, writer, educator, journalist and author of The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English, 2010 

Editorial Comment: Today’s WORD dedicated to Conan the Grammarian. You know who you are.
 
Related: 
Kristen Hare, “What are your biggest grammar pet peeves?” Poynter.org
 
PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Sundown




TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD
“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.