Hah! Color me hair pink!
Original post here.
I’m befuddled to learn that a March 28 lunchtime discussion at USC Annenberg with Perez Hilton (aka Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr.) was not canceled by the school, but by Hilton himself.
It’s not mandatory to hold one’s blogging standards up to the those embedded in the rigid ethics taught at a Journalism and Communication school, but inviting someone so painfully lacking in journalistic integrity to speak as a role model to an admiring student body?
I’m pretty sure Annenberg didn’t invite Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass after they were unceremoniously canned for their breaches of journalistic integrity.
The students who would have filled Room 207 at Annenberg for this event may not have been aware that Hilton is the defendant in an ongoing $7.6M copyright infringement lawsuit. While I’m a strong proponent of fair use, and believe copyright rules need to be revised for the digital age, Hilton’s fair use defense doesn’t stand a chance. He stole copyrighted, non-Commons-licensed photos from multiple journalists, bloggers, news agencies and photographers alike and re-used them on his hugely popular (and profitable) Web site. More recently, he was sued for posting topless photos of Jennifer Aniston.
Had he not been too chicken to show up (and I hope he reconsiders) I would give my colleagues the opportunity to ask as many questions as they want: how does it feel to party with Paris and Linds? OMG what are you gonna wear when you host MTV’s Australian Music Video Awards? After all, it was billed not as a discussion on journalistic ethics but as “An Insider’s Take on Celebrity Culture, Blogging, and Gays in Hollywood.”
But I sure hope I wouldn’t be the only one (I’d wait until the end of the hour) to out him as a decent model for snuffing out gossip and aspiring young celeb-bloggers, but an even better example of journalism-gone-wrong and how ethics and laws still apply as equally to the blogosphere as they do to print and radio/TV.
photo by Mai Le via flickr.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism’s ‘State of the Media 2007’ report is out, and folks, its laced with negativity. The media in general certainly hasn’t seemed to benefit from any kind of potential reawakening since last year’s report.
Most revelatory (albeit vague) in the executive summary (PDF) of the 160,000 word report, is this analysis:
With fundamentals shifting, we sense the news business entering a new phase heading into 2007â€”a phase of more limited ambition. Rather than try to manage decline, many news organizations have taken the next step of starting to redefine their appeal and their purpose based on diminished capacity. Increasingly outlets are looking for â€œbrandâ€ or â€œfranchiseâ€ areas of coverage to build audience around.
I’m confused by the parallel drawn between “limited ambition” and “diminished capacity.”
What is the root cause of this so-called era of “limited ambition?” Is it this renewed focus on local, or “hyperlocal” news as Howard Owens (to his utter dismay) read it? Or is it intimidation and competition with TV’s talking heads that’s led to print journalists losing their jobs as newspapers get thinner — as the LA Times’ James Rainey wrote?
If I’m looking at an Internet start-up after the 2000 bubble burst, say a Yahoo! (which lost a huge chunk of it’s market valuation at the time), I’d reconsider the business strategy and reshape it’s goals for success. After all, by 2000 a techie, Web-centric future was evident, in spite of the disabling adjustment Wall Street made to once ridiculously overvalued stocks.
Similarly, it’s apparent today that news content, the media-hungry audience and its sponsors are moving online. Is it impossible for the old media to adjust their expectations for the sake of journalism and maybe, I dunno, accept 15% profit one year, knowing that investment in online and interactive endeavors may eventually reap profits of 20% and more in the long run?
As Dan Rather offered in his keynote address at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference, perhaps journalism has “in some ways lost its guts” in recent years and is in need of “a spine transplant.”
I received similarly motivating and emphatic advice a couple weeks back, when Tom Brokaw visited USC Annenberg to commemorate the career of Ed Guthman, who will retire this year at age 88. I asked Brokaw, “what can young journalists do to rebuild the public’s trust in the media?” He answered simply, “stay true to the journalism you believe in and make the news fun again.” As short of an answer as it may seem, I took it as genuine. Perhaps there will come a tipping point when more people have fun with and enjoy journalism about “news” than those starving for the latest scoop on the Paris Hilton DUI?
Thomas Friedman is a moron. The guy is still traveling around touting his dated pipe-dream World is Flat book. Eerily reminiscent of the misinformed-but-sticking-with-it administration to which he’s been an advisor. I was hoping someone would step up to the mic when he visited USC on Monday, and ask: “Is there any free trade agreement you would not support?”
But he didn’t have time for the students, apparently, and kudos to the Daily Trojan‘s editors for calling him out.
Speaking of the DT, Zach Fox really gave it to the USC admin in this Op-Ed:
While the student editors and reporters who work for this newspaper are free to print whatever they wish, calling the Daily Trojan a student newspaper is like saying the Tribune Co.-owned Los Angeles Times is independent.
Now sleep on this….
A former Canadian defense minister is demanding governments worldwide disclose and use secret alien technologies obtained in alleged UFO crashes to stem climate change, a local paper said Wednesday.
photo via Naum.
Barack Obama ended his speech at a Feb. 20 LA rally with a shout-out to students who formed the Students for Barack Obama Facebook group. Along with Facebook and the social networking/fundraising hub http://my.barackobama.com, the Obama campaign is diving headfirst into a Web 2.0-driven campaign.
More campaign ’08 coverage and video here.