Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday night blog roundup

I haven't done this for a while, so I thought I'd post a few highlights of what you've all been writing about. Many of you have posted your midterm feature stories. I'm really struck by how much better they look online than in Word. Just to be different, I'll post in reverse alphabetical order by first name.

The Los Angeles Times really stepped in it this week by linking rap artist Sean "Puffy" Combs to the 1994 shooting of fellow rapper Tupac Shakur on the basis of documents that turned out to be phony. Stephen Asay takes a look at how the Smoking Gun got to the bottom of it.

My jaw dropped in amazement and horror as I watched a clip from a local newscast in which the anchor and the reporter went at it live over each other's journalistic chops. As Stacey Perlman notes, no happy-talk banter here. Yet that probably would have been preferable.

There's nothing humorous about child molestation. But, as Mitchell Esteller learns, there's something at least a little bit humorous about a child molester claiming in his defense that he himself had been molested by the legendary Bigfoot in New Hampshire when he was a child.

Maureen McLaughlin has been poking around 9Neighbors, a local news aggregation/social-networking site. She's particularly taken with the photo section, which gives residents a chance to share their pictures with the community.

If you think "Yugoslavia" begins with "U," then you won't get the video Lisa Newman has posted in which Americans are asked about their knowledge of foreign countries. But when the State Department can't even find Angorra, well, what do u — uh, you — expect?

Abraham Lincoln his getting a new look on the $5 bill. Kelly Sullivan likes the purple "5," and suggests pink for the $100 bill — with a tiara for Ben Franklin.

Google Maps are changing the face of online journalism. Jessica Torrez-Riley finds that the Tufts Daily has put together its own Google map of crime in the surrounding neighborhood, complete with synopses and links to more in-depth stories.

I believe it was Ben Alper who said that Dr. Jack Kevorkian is the only candidate for Congress who begins his rallies by saying, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today." Jessica MacNeil considers the candidacy of "Dr. Death," and wonders if it's possible that he might actually win.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is already one of the most Web-savvy mainstream journalists around. Now he's started a Facebook page, Erin Semagin Damio tells us. Kristof is singing our song, saying, "I’m a firm believer that the best business model for newspapers in the future has less to do with dead trees than with social networks."

Ron Paul's insurgent campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has faded, but Erin Cahill writes that what he has to say is important, though unconventional. Abolishing the IRS and pulling the United States out of the U.N. certainly amounts to change, she says.

Eleni Himaras clues us in on, which is dedicated to "[p]rolonging the slow death of newspapers" by calling our attention to great examples of narrative journalism. She also tells us a secret: she's not a huge fan of multimedia journalism.

Barack Obama has essentially won the Democratic nomination, says Derek Hawkins — he'll almost certainly finish the primary season with more votes and more delegates than Hillary Clinton. Which is why, he predicts, Obama's youthful supporters will be enraged if the superdelegates move toward Clinton.

Danny Kowalski takes a look at 9Neighbors, a site that aggregates local news and blog posts and allows users to vote on what items are the most interesting and/or important. Is it journalism? Yes and no, he says.

Chelsea Clinton recently snapped at a student who'd asked her whether her father's infidelity had harmed her mother's "credibility." Chelsey Pieretti thinks Chelsea was within her rights, noting that she was just 18 when the Monica Lewinsky scandal of 1998 became public.

Just because the Red Sox were playing baseball before the sun had come up doesn't mean that Casey Ramsdell missed any of the action. Quite the contrary. She set her alarm for 5:45 a.m. and caught the action live from Japan. And she's not, she tell us, a morning person.

Candice Springer also takes note of the Chelsea Clinton story, but leans toward a different view — namely, that if she's going to take to the campaign trail on behalf of her mother, then she should be expected to answer questions just like anyone else.

There's a connection between maple-syrup production and global warming, Brian Benson writes, as sugar-maple trees are migrating north. How pronounced is this? In the 1950s, 80 percent of the world's maple syrup came from the United States and 20 percent from Canada. Today, those percentages are reversed.

The Web offers all the flexibility and freedom that cable television lacks. Brendan Gupta argues that the solution is to bring the two together by replacing the cable box with a high-speed Internet connection.

We are remarkably unaffected by the war in Iraq, notes Bianca Strzelczyk. We shouldn't be, she writes, observing that we have now lost 4,000 American lives (and many more Iraqi lives) since the war began five years ago.

For those of you who are sick of the water-skiing squirrel, Bailey Clear offers something much more entertaining — a dancing sea lion. She's also been helping with its editing, and getting results.

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