LA Times Gets Flashy with Grizzly Story

I was happy enough to read part one of Thomas Curwen’s excellent report on Johan Otter, who was attacked by a grizzly bear in Glacier National Park while hiking with his daughter and lived to tell about it.

The HUGE bonus, is this awesome audio/photo slideshow. Nice, one, LAT. More, please!

Read “Attacked by a Grizzly” Part One | Part Two.

Yahoo to Buy Ad Company for $680M

Yahoo announced the acquisition of RightMedia — it had already been a “strategic 20 percent investment” — a wise, counterplay to Google’s recent $3.1B acquisition of DoubleClick. Doesn’t seem to be a hasty reactionary move as Right Media’s Exchange system could be a boon to Yahoo’s publisher network and it’s new Adwords-like search advertising platform code-named Panama. Yahoo CEO Terry Semel’s optimistic blog post is here. New York Times gets a jump on the story here. A conference call will take place Monday morning and surely the industry-watchers will have more deets and analysis.

Will Okun Wins NYT/Kristof Africa Trip

will okun in union pier, miBig-time congrats to Will for penning a winning essay for the chance to join New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (and one other winner) on an all-expenses-paid trip to Africa. Will is one of my Chi-town homies and also happens to be the best photographer you may have never heard of, unless you’ve seen his killer Players’ Ball spread for Vibe, which undoubtedly won over Kristof for good.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Will’s photography show up, well, anywhere — but to catch his name while scrolling through my Google Reader (scanning the Times’ newsfeed) came as a total surprise.

Will’s professional qualification for winning is his status as a teacher at Chicago’s Westside Alternative High. Congrats, Willy! (Will Okun’s photos are here, his winning essay is here).

Kristof’s Win a Trip contest spawned out of a 2005 editorial in which he called out to Bill O’Reilly to accompany him on a trip to Darfur, and later asked readers to contribute and sponsor it. To nobody’s surprise, O’Reilly declined. The NYT later launched a Win a Trip With Nick Kristof contest which was won by Mizzou Journalism Master’s student Casey Parks (See her NYT blog).

Another thing I just realized is that TimesSelect is being offered free to .edu e-mails — one more thing I can take advantage of before my graduation in a couple weeks. I can finally re-subscribe to the Op-Ed podcasts! Any other tip-offs on good ol’ student discount action so I can get ’em while I can?

AOL Launches Clone of Yahoo Home Page

Years ago, the backronym “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” (YAHOO) was born out of Jerry [Yang] and David’s [Filo] Guide to the World Wide Web and became the first successful Web portal. Later,’s model was the one everybody tried to copy. And now, it’s back to Yahoo. Yahoo updated it’s home page last year, and now, AOL is launching an eerily similar version in which not much more than the name changes. Is this infringing or just down right poseurish?

More on the imitation job at PCWorld, DownloadSquad, TechCrunch.

Blogging EconSM

I’m blogging today at the inaugural EconSM conference, produced by Rafat Ali’s ContentNext Media Network (parent of PaidContent).

This conference sold out to 500 + weeksk ago and features a day of panels featuring industry heavies (see list). Currently a panel including Jimmy Guterman and John Battelle are discussing branding, marketing and Web content, involking that marketing is meant to be a conversation which is why it’s a natural for social media.

My reports will be posted at LAist. I’ll be interviewing Mike Davidson, CEO of Newsvine (which re-launched this week) momentarily. Live flickr photostream from the event below.

UPDATE: several videos at LAist via Revver.

Moyers’ ‘Buying the War’

Bill Moyers is back on PBS tonight with ‘Buying the War’. In 2005, then-Corporation for Public Broadcasting president Ken Tomlinson bent over backwards for the Bush Administration and hired media researchers that would determine an “imbalance” in PBS’ programming. He repeatedly accused Moyers of “liberal bias” on his popular show “Now with Bill Moyers” and soon enough, the esteemed Moyers said buh-bye. Around the same time, Congress cut funding to the CPB, the primary funder of PBS and NPR, by 45%. (Annenberg’s own Ernie Wilson currently serves on the CPB board).

‘Buying the War’ airs tonight at 9 PDT and may be available online afterwards — as usual, the PBS site is already chock-full-of extra interviews, a blog, etc.

WaPo’s TV critic Tom Shales wrote:

Tonight’s edition of ‘Bill Moyers Journal’ on PBS is one of the most gripping and important pieces of broadcast journalism so far this year, but it’s as disheartening as it is compelling…. In this 90-minute report, called ‘Buying the War,’ Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes use alarming evidence and an array of respected journalists to make the case that, in the rage that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the media abandoned their role as watchdog and became a lapdog instead.

More to come after it airs (9 PDT out west) Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse at bloggers’ reactions around the Web:

UPDATE: Moyers is great, as is Rather, who is featured throughout (and to whom I gave much love last month). I’ve been hearing these same references — Landay/Strobel, etc — it makes me cringe. Surely, the refrain will ring out long after this war is behind us. Larisa, who feared Russert was about to go all fetal-position, posted a succinct, 8-point review of the program here.

U.S. Broadband Ranking Drops 25%

photo by Scott Beale/Laughing SquidStressing how little has happened to bridge the broadband divide in the past year, FreePress admonished the gov’t regarding the OECD’s recently released (tho dated December 2006) data on global broadband penetration. According to the latest data, the U.S. — which was 12th in June ’06 — has been leapfrogged by the likes of Japan, France, and Luxembourg and is now 15 (out of the 30 OECD nations):

“We are failing to bring the benefits of broadband to all our citizens, and the consequences will resonate for generations,” said Ben Scott, policy of director of Free Press. “There is no justification for America’s declining status as a global Internet leader. Instead of more excuses, it’s time for true national broadband policy that will put America’s digital future back on track.”

Scott will lay down the disappointing facts before the Senate Commerce Committee today, according to Katie @ GigaOm.

At SavetheInternet it’s time for action.

According to the OECD, less than 20 percent of the U.S. population has broadband access. It didn’t take this long for TV to gain such widespread usage and, in my opinion, broadband Internet access is paramount in importance in today’s world.

Nearly 400 cities and counties have developed or are planning muni wi-fi broadband. But in many cases — especially in larger cities such as Philly and SF — the task is insurmountable thanks to a lack of government initiative (or complacency w/ telecom duopoly and policy gridlock).

Congress MUST pass a bill in the vein of the McCain / Lautenberg 2005 Community Broadband Act and create and pass a new telecom bill as soon as possible.

Additionally, settle The Center for Public Integrity’s lawsuit (filed months ago) demanding data on broadband deployment from the FCC. What’s to hide?

UPDATE: Ben Scott’s testimony (.pdf).

photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid