Choosing to launch on April Fool’s Day, Yahoo! is live with its eccentric, odd news portal, Yahoo! Underground.
Despite whispers that this may in fact be a hoax, this project was mentioned in an October interview (as set for January ’07) with Y! News exec Scott Moore for the PBS Frontline series “News War.”
According to the transcript, Moore says, â€œWe have another project coming out in January thatâ€™s called Odd News Underground, and it involves a journalist who also writes songs. So itâ€™s a singing reporter, if you will, and he will be covering a number of very interesting sort of eccentric subject areas.â€
In the televised version — you can stream it here — at just over halfway through Chapter 20 of News War, we see a snippet of what would qualify for a great April Fool’s prank, were it not broadcast in February on PBS.
The clip matches up to the content in the Gay Rodeo post, which promises: “We’ll lasso you into a two-step in April.”
The idea is a good one — everybody loves Odd News and profiles of fringe culture, and Brad Miskell has the talent to attract a younger audience to dig the news but unfortunately, the UI is pretty outrageous as you can see below.
As far as making the news fun again, I’m more optimistic about the proposed Luke Burbank-hosted Morning Edition alternative planned for NPR or even (OK, now this is sort of a joke) ONN, the Onion‘s planned 24-hour “news” network.
LAFD blogger Brian Humphrey was lucky to have the day off today as a fire broke out in the Hollywood Hills. Instead he was at the OJR Conference at USC Annenberg, as was I. Soon after the fire broke out, though we couldn’t see it from SC, David Markland and myself (he was also at OJR) posted about it at Metroblogging LA and LAist respectively.
During the break I put KTLA’s live video stream of the fire on the overhead which inspired David to take the above freaky, evil-looking, and ironic photo. You can’t get that at Sears Family photo.
Thanks, David! Crazy-awesome fire photos — uploaded immediately to flickr — made it possible to track this fire even before the TV choppers were there. Below is a feed of flickr photos tagged “fire” and “hollywood” dated 3.30.07.
Just come on down, BarCamp is free (thanks to sponsors) and its fun. Day one is winding down but many are expected to hang long into the night (geeking out with DJ’s, werewolf and Wiis) and even sleep here at the spacious Little Radio Warehouse. There are four presentation spaces and two breakout areas where sessions thus far have included:
— Foodies: Classically Trained Cook Chef Joanna answers your culinary questions
— How to create disruptive content: Make your own online comic book.
— Fight Back: Know Your Rights in California Moving Violations — Fight Them & Win!
— Photography, Galleries, and Administration
We’re especially looking forward to PowerPoint karaoke, after dinner, in which 5 volunteers will each take their best shot at presenting a PPT presentation they’ve never seen before. Audience applause will determine the winner, who (we hope) will already be drunk and make a total fool of themselves. Photos as-it-happens posted here.
Stopping just short of demanding abstinence from its Opinion column contributors, the LA Times most likely paid a pretty price to scrounge together today’s “Current” section.
Case in point: The lead column is by the venerable Daniel Hernandez, the 26-year-old LA Weekly staff writer who left the Times last year. Why? Because, as he told us last August, the culture of the Times was exhausting and unfulfilling. He felt he was “challenging the institutional and cultural barriers of an ultimately very conservative place.” And this was before Herrs Hiller and O’Shea showed up. Hernandez seemed to kiss off the Times once and for all in a December Weekly column, which only reinforces how desperate Timespublisher David Hiller must be.
Ah, but we digress. Hiller deemed it necessary to scrap this week’s all-but printed “Current” because the section editor (Andrés Martinez) makes out with an LA girl involved in media (in this case a publicist for Brian Grazer, who guest-edited the unprinted section). But without even pausing to laugh at himself, Hiller ass-kissingly announced his “hope [that] there will be an avenue to bring these creative, thoughtful and insightful pieces to our readers in the near future.”
This is hardly Clark Kent and Lois Lane. We hope you paid your former staffers, like D. Hernandez (who could have written his column in his sleep) big bucks. He deserves it and so do we. Because LA needs to hear from its many voices, be it Grazer or Hernandez. Some respect, please, Mr. IMAGE man “(Showing off what L.A. does best“). Quit messing with what LA really does best.