Listen, Georgia media kiddies. No one really cares what Charles Bullock (of UGA) thinks about Georgia politics. Name one person who does. Thus, can we stop with the tired, sad media (print, TV, blogs, etc.) formula of:
a.) Go call-up same ‘ole same ‘ole SOT from Bullock or Merle Black (of Emory).
b.) Bang a keyboard for an hour or so.
c.) Call it journalism and a day.
Those two haven’t said much fresh or insightful since 1988. Jeez.
Reason I like Lori Geary of WSB-TV on Georgia politics is she always goes for something slightly different for her Georgia politics perspectives and insights, rather than merely cooking-up the go-to box of mac ‘n cheese news formula in her kitchen. Not that she wouldn’t go for a Merle or Charles SOT here and there, but only if she felt it was absolutely necessary.
Hell, I used to get shuffled out the door and on over to Emory about 2X a day (during political season) to go sweep-up Merle Black SOTs when I was in my 20’s. And that was a while ago.
So, you’ve got less than a year until the 2014 primaries. Can you, our clearly fearful Georgia media leaders and deciders, take a day or three to think-up just one teensy tiny innovative way to cover politics in Georgia?
I think what I’m wishing for is a “summit” focused on nothing but brainstorming new ideas for media-izing Georgia politics. And before 2014 shows up on our doorstep.
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand gardening. But the first thing that came to mind when I put on Google Glass was my mother’s organic garden.
You won’t catch me outside in broiling 98-degree southern humidity struggling to hack through a dense, painfully stinging row of okra, or pulling nasty, squirming wormy things off dozens of tomato bushes. No siree! But you will catch my mother doing that crazy stuff. For hours on end, day after day, week after week, throughout the south’s high summer months.
That said, if you can get past the oppressive heat and humidity there really is no more verdant and glorious vision of bounty, robust health and natural beauty than a southern organic garden at its summer harvesting peak.
Thus the thought of me strolling, beatifically wired, through rows of an organic garden in full, wearing a pair of Glass with my mother narrating the purvey and provenance of every lush plant and vegetable, set my pan-media-tuned mind into high and sunny gear.
Who wouldn’t want to document and share that kind of rich media in our connected world? To be fresh content-enabled, breezily so, by merely putting on glasses, something I’ve done every day since I was 7-years old anyway.
One of the great things about living near the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech, of course) is participating in some of the innovations and events churned from there. Whether beta testing products in development, networking, attending concerts or lectures, there’s a wealth of experience and knowledge available to the university’s surrounding community, so last night (July 11) I hopped over to nearby startup nurturer, Flashpoint on West Peachtree Street.
There, Randy J. Mitchell, the founder and CEO of Plisten, along with Google and Hypepotamus, hosted a meetup for Google Glass developers and designers. My friend/mentor and sometime colleague, veteran political reporter Tom Baxter, who’s always up for some new media-creation adventures, tagged along too.
There is a good bit of chatter (on Facebook) about Nikema Williams’ excellent decision to open-up the process of electing a new Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) chair to more than white male-only candidates.
A little background… seems there was something in the DPG’s by-laws about if a white male (or black woman presumably, or whatever was the most matchy-match) was serving as chair of the party and left that post early, then the person to fill the chair/leadership void would have to share not just a similar but also an identical demographic. Such as also being a white male, as was Mike Berlon, of course, who recently and unceremoniously left the chairpersonship of the DPG.
So Ms. Williams has changed the chairpersonship rules up a bit, in her interim, between-chairs-role and duty. And that’s ok, ‘far as I’m concerned.
But what concerns me as a writer/editorialist, and also as a pan-media and prolific content provider (of more than mere text, in other words), much more than the fate of DPG leadership, is the dearth, lack, and scarcity of women or minority writers at the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on issues and matters pertaining to Georgia-based politics. And other media outlets too, but let’s start with the most influencial.
DPG rules can change all they care to, and that’s fine. But there are some other unwritten “rules” around this town that need to change too, if you ask me. Which of course no one did.
Oh, but they should. Ask me.
I figure the Cox Media Farm’s AJC will eventually be folded, gradually or maybe not, into WSB. Here’s a great example of the process at work today.
Right now we’re seeing a stage of patronizing redundancy, with two Cox Media Farm products producing like-minded content… on the same page/URL. That too will pass. As the AJC passes into WSB broadcasting, Internet-minded properties.
Why? Cox needs a Bo Emerson (byline on the copy/text stuff) the way I need another Clinique giveaway lipstick. I’ve got six New Shade of Grape in the basket as it is.
Why have a Bo Emerson only banging-out redundant, old-school style text… in a high-speed Internet media kinda world?
Anything he’s alerted us to, in this piece, is readily available on Facebook. Which has 800 million users now. And growing. If you desperately need to ask a question about who got there first (to the park protest tonight, for example) you’d just Tweet ‘em.
Even way up in the air in his Gulfstream James Cox Kennedy (JCK) can see those kinda numbers. He’d better make hay with mommy’s money for his family while he can, as soon even WSB properties will be redundant and superfluous. We simply will not need them. Already, plenty of us do not.
But back to the present tense. Can you take a Bo Emerson and make him, say, a video journalist? Hand him a SLR and a tripod? Probably. Especially if he was straight outta J-school. He is not. Bo Emerson is a well-seasoned journalist.
One who’d better start banging out some other kinda media product, e-books maybe in his case, if he hasn’t already. (Trust me, as a seasoned multimedia-ist, it ain’t brain surgery, but I diverge.)
So thus Emerson’s wages are, presumably, already way too high, even though I seriously doubt JCK is overpaying anyone on staff with his mommy’s money.
And with J-schools cranking-out even more eager beaver kids with journalism degrees than ever before, cheap content-churning monkeys are merely… a job board away.
Anyway, James Cox Kennedy (JCK) isn’t the least bit interested in journalism and piddly, cumbersome product such as the AJC. He says as much in this 2002 interview.
Nope, JCK’s a cable/broadcast kinda guy. Although I bet he’s trying to be the best Internet content kinda guy he can be by now. To go with all those Internet supply chains he already owns. But Facebook’s pre-emptied so much of the grand plan of any good old-school media tycoon.
And that makes a Bo Emerson, and even Gal With The Pink Faux Chanel Jacket, well, superfluous. Cox Media Farm too, come to think about it.
As should we need to tune-in fresh media from the Occupy Atlanta movement tonight at 6pm we need only click, once, to its Facebook page… or those of its 4K-plus followers.
And we’ll do so with our Apple product and some (free if we can find it) wi-fi, not some big fat TV that comes complete with a whopping cable bill.
I hope no one’s stupid enough to give away their media to a corporate hater. At least charge ‘em for it. Jeez.
Note the insertion of the iReport ads soliciting free media stuck in here.
Practice safe media, kiddies!
1.) Bring a large bag of quarters with you when heading out to the hurricane. Upon arrival, immediately use it to empty out the hotel hallway vending machine before all the other journos get there.
2.) Never leave the hotel. If you must leave, then never leave the crew van. Satellite trucks are preferred vehicles. They don’t blow over too easily.
3.) Satellite truck operators always stash extra rain gear in truck. Steal it when they’re not looking.
4.) If you can’t bring yourself to steal stuff, barter for extra rain gear with booty from vending machines. You’ll need it. Snickers bars are most valuable.
5.) Bring extra AA batteries and extra dry tube socks (men’s). Use for currency to get first feed priviledges from sat. truck operator if only one truck is operational for entire country’s network news providers.
6.) Don’t look in other journos’ hotel rooms. You want to be able to say you know nothing when all of you are returned to civilian life.
7.) Make friends with the fattest first-responder in charge first. They won’t want to have to walk anywhere either, and they may offer you a ride in their super-duper motorized whatever.
8.) Bring drugs, beer and ice. Share only with those who’s hotel rooms have all four walls left.
9.) Law-enforcement will lie their butts off to journalists. For sport. Never trust them for start/end presser times. Or for directions.
10.) Everyone around you will wig-out from stress and sleep-dep long before you do because they all think they’re too important to the disaster recovery effort for sleep. Get your 8-hours and they’ll make you president by Week 2.
11.) Stay on-scene post-hurricane as long as you possibly can. Milk the post-disaster scene for all the dopey, cliched features you can. Your paycheck, once you load all your OT onto your time sheet, will do the happy dance when you do get back.
12.) Never drink until you’ve fed everything to NY. And the sat. truck has powered down. If NY desk calls you to feed something after you’ve started drinking tell them the sat. truck has to save gas for the morning shows.
13.) Buy the hotel bar a round by first or second night on scene. During a hurricane it’ll just be full of other media. They’ll get you back when you’re all still there 10 days later.
14.) Don’t forget to get your mean, grouchy, sleep-deprived cameraperson to get the final shot when all is said and done.
- EXAMPLE: When Dr. Bob Sheets finally left the broadcast desk at the National Hurricane Center after two solid weeks of around-the-clock coverage before, during and after Hurricane Andrew (in which his own home had been destroyed) one veteran network news producer had the great cinematic sense to order his cameraman to get the shot of Sheets laying down the lav mic and walking away.
15.) Try not to swagger in front of the desk jockeys when you get back to the newsroom.