Category Archives: Seeds and Stems

Atlanta, We Have A Media Problem

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I am deeply concerned about the dire condition of metro Atlanta online news outlets owned by the Cox Plantation (CP). Specifically the AJC and WSB-TV. Their homepaged car wreck carnage-media obsession is off the rails. Kinda literally, eh? I won’t bother to steal their freak show media and post it, or link to it, here though.

Headlining, banners, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, alerts, whatever, on both sites (I don’t dare check on the broadcast product) are mostly scenes and shoutouts to ragingly gruesome car wrecks where people are mangled. To death. On our many metro Atlanta roadways. A never-ending supply of human roadkill. The more people killed in a single car, the more twisted and maimed the scene, so much the better for the Cox Plantation clickbait keyboard monkeys. And management too. More on that later.

But the CP will fall behind the times if they don’t soon turn their sicko and ghoulish headlining into that related to — suicide! The NYT (CDC) reports today that suicide rates in America have now surpassed death by car wreck. And this being Georgia, surely we’re way up on the top of that particular mortality listing, too.

Thus, the CP should have a good supply of suicide scene media for their homepages. Slide shows galore. The more hideous and bloody a suicide scene, the better for the CP. Suicide by gun can get top billing. Maybe even an award-winning (sure, tell the clueless intern that) shot of a family member discovering the scene of a relative hanging, dead of course, in a closet, if they’re lucky?

And if they’re really enterprising at the AJC or WSB-TV, their camera-burdened reporter bot/intern can sneak in some place and grab video of, hopefully for the management and data-watching team, some shotgun-blast-to-the-head video!

Hope it goes viral for them. Someone will get a pat on the head for their good-dog suicide scene multimedia efforting. Go for it, kiddies. And management too.

After all, it’s CP management that has allowed their deplorable, clickbaited editorial condition to deteriorate into mostly digital online news content that reeks of disgust and carnage.

Dear News Farms Who’s Product I Consume, Refer: Let’s Make A Deal!

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I figure by now I’ve given away thousands upon thousands of clicks/hits to the NYT and the AJC. Via ye olde hyperlink method. I blog, Facebook, Tweet, suggest, cajole, email, you get the point, linkage to their editorial product — all the time.

Heck, one Tweet alone once resulted in over 300 clicks to one AJC story, according to my bitly stats.

Thus I have a modest proposal to the two aforementioned news farms: I hyperlink to you (as I see fit, and as serves my own editorial, usually southern in nature, needs). You give me all digital access to your news products, all the time.

Deal?

Loose DeKalb Lips Make Waves (Of Oppression) For AJC

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Ahoy! Botched metaphor. I know.

Loose lips might sink ships, circa 1942, but they never torpedoed any ships of journalism. To the contrary. Lip flappers, whistleblowers, gossips and media whores power and embolden entire journalism empires, causing ships to rise off of copy tides. Just look at the numbers for the Guardian empire lately. Off the charts!

Over in less high profile seas, say here down South, in today’s 1-minute news cycle there really is no such thing as a genuine “scoop” brought about by wildly exclusive information. Except when there (rarely) is, of course.

But don’t tell that to the powers-that-be at the AJC, as they’re lashing any remaining, hardworking reporter-bees left on their deck to the mast and thrashing them mightily, as punishment for having failed to sight enough scoops in their cruddy little scopes.

Two independent sources have now told me how Atlanta Journal & Constitution reporters, good ones, are being “written up” (or threatened with some type of disciplinary action) for failing to bring home the bacon fast enough. Failing to reel in genuine news “scoops.”

(“Scoops” being 100% exclusive 411 about specific, non-public events – but before the event occurs, allowing for a news organization to be first out of the gate on disseminating word of that particular news situation; to “own the story” in other words, something that’s increasingly hard to do in our hyper-connected world unless Edward Snowden or Julian Assange just happens to waltz by your office and dump raw intel on your desk. And “written up” being a documented threat by one’s superior to take away one’s job, rank, authority, paycheck and/or general livelihood should you, the super’s underling, not perform in some sort of, subjectively, better manner.)

Mark Winne at WSB-TV, for example, often gets genuine scoops about soon-to-be-made arrests by various Georgia law enforcement, and is thus frequently the first and only reporter in place for that classic, high-value video, law enforcement-enhancing moment – ye olde perp walk.

Of course it’s one of those open secrets in Atlanta old media circles that Winne’s brother is an FBI or GBI agent (I forget which agency) who tips his family member, Mark, off to lots of special events soon to happen. If that’s the case, they’ve had a lock on a good-visuals franchise for years now, and will continue at that game for as long as the gig works, I suppose.

Read the rest of this entry

Calling Bullshit On Violence In Georgia

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It was refreshing and surprising, sadly, to hear Dick Williams call-out a questioneer during a U.S. Representative Paul Broun gathering at the end of today’s Georgia Gang show as an example of negativity in Georgia news and politics.

Williams was refering to a deeply misguided person who asked *Who’s going to shoot Obama?* to Rep. Paul Broun at a Tuesday, February 22, 2011 townhall meeting at the Oglethorpe County Commission chamber.

Whether in public or within family gatherings and conversation, violence-laced claptrap and rhetoric should not be tolerated, especially here in a state where it’s been allowed to flourish, without pushback, for far too long. Let’s hope the Secret Service is making that jackass squirm now.

Rep. Paul Broun is so deeply out of it that the offensive question did not register as deeply wrong, immediately, within him. Or else he, Broun, would have called it out right then and there, live as it happened, at the town hall meeting. He did not do that. He said merely, *Next question.* To laughs. Pitiful.

It took Blake Aued going back and clarifying a question he could barely hear (and a follow-up one too), and writing about it on his blog. Aued’s name, for doing so, has gone nationwide over the weekend. See Twitter for a quick example of the power of Aued’s blog post on the matter.

And these are just the folk who could manage to spell his name right.

City of Atlanta Malaise

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Mayor Reed, at his speech to the Atlanta Press Club last week, Monday January 31, 2011, said there was a *pall* over Atlanta. And that we citizens needed to snap out of it. And think big. Look to pie-in-the-sky dreaming and shiny, glory-ridden kinds of projects to get us over our dark funk. Something along the lines of the Olympic games! Remember those? I hardly do.

The thing about living in COA (City of Atlanta, and I have for over 20 years now) is that it is a city mired in deep, determined, and wearisome bureaucracy. It’s hard to be cheerful, hopeful, have fun and think big when you’re beaten down from years and years of battling bureaucracy, over and over and over again, just for the most simple of services and responses.

My small Home Owners Association (HOA), for example, is beaten down financially with the weight of the extreme water bills we’ve had to pay for almost two years now. I tried, to no avail, to get help from my city council person, with literally reams of documentation sent to that office on this matter. To no avail. I was told we had no problem, and that all was fine. This was over a year ago. We now know there were some extreme problems at the Watershed Dept.

At the time, over a year ago, I went to the Dept. of Watershed management personally. To no avail. I’ve called and emailed, over and over again, assorted local news media personnel. To no avail, despite their numerous media attentions to the matter of city water bills.

And that’s just one department! Every department is a struggle in futility. Just getting a new Herbie Curbie from the city takes a monumental effort of citizen resolve and determination. Just finding an email or a phone number for an APD community contact is a struggle. How many times have we all been put on hold when calling 9-11? And we’ve all heard the horror stories of trying to get a building permit from COA.

After years of doing battle with the bureaucracy that is City of Atlanta, I feel worn down and wiped out. I feel that *pall* Mayor Reed talks about, in my spirit… at the thought of having to do anything that involves City of Atlanta. I think often about about moving out of City of Atlanta now, something I never used to do.

Mayor Reed’s administration seems to be energized to try to break through some of our crippling bureaucracy. I just hope our crippling *pall* doesn’t get to them too. We residents are about as low as we can already go.

We’re looking to Mayor Reed to talk us back up to a point where we can even CONSIDER calling downtown for a new Herbie Curbie, let alone start thinking, with any hope of renewed energies, of anything big and futuristic and hopeful for this city.

UPDATE: As I wrote this editorial, CBS-Atlanta was working-up a classic, un-sexy example of the daily bureaucrat struggles of just one intown Atlanta neighborhood… to add a traffic light or not. See their news package here. This neighborhood had to beat a very loud drum just to get the city to meet with residents and solicit their input over this critical matter. It is also critical that we have local media support by independent news outlets such as CBS-Atlanta to get City of Atlanta officials to just return a phone call or read an email from a resident. Fortunately, CBS-Atlanta is always responsive to residents’ concerns. Always.

New Blog – Look Under The Gold Dome

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NOTE: I’ve started a new blog for the 2011 Georgia General Assembly legislative session, so I’ll mostly be posting over there for the time being.  The blog is Look Under the Gold Dome. Please come visit!

The Rise of the Big Media Three – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

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I once made a ton of media at the beginnings of places like Kyte.tv and uStream and Vimeo and iReport. And strew that media around all over those places. Maybe others too I’ve forgotten all about by now. I was kinda surprised that some sites, such as Kyte.tv, are still going.

Honestly, now if it’s not Facebook, YouTube or Twitter (and my personal fave Twitter photo/vid upload app – TwitSnaps) I never even bother with tinkering around in the garages of other media sharing platforms.

With the rise of the Big Three I’ve gotten far less experimental, if at all, with the many other assorted media platforms out there. And that’s a pity, but it’s far more convenient to stay on three farms rather than dot the landscape with dozens of wee media sprinkles here and there that in a couple of years you forget all about.

I’m anxious now that I’ve always had, for reasons unknown, a superfluous two YouTube channels. And I stay awake thinking one day, soon, I simply must consolidate those into one. And then brand-out a separate corporate channel too. And be sure to put some Shout on that nice new skirt after that soy sauce spill. And the dog needs a flea med refill…

Oh woe is me. How the multimedia chores never end! What new media sharing platform are you liking that I should try to not ignore?