Let’s take a moment to bloviate on reporters

Rachel Maddow in Seattle.

Rachel Maddow in Seattle.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rachel Maddow, appearing on Wednesday on Howard Stern’s radio show:

“What I’m worried about with news is we’re moving to all these business models where nobody is paying the reporters. Everybody’s paying people to comment on what  reporters turn up. Nobody’s paying the reporters. There have to be reporters. There have to full-time editors. It’s got to be a professional gig.  Otherwise, the rest of us who bloviate for a living are not going to have any facts on which to base our bloviation.

“If something important happens in the country somewhere in Oklahoma, thare’s got to be good reporters in Oklahoma who go cover it, who tell the rest of the country what’s happening there. And if all the local reporters get cut, we’re screwed.’

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A few pictures and videos you won’t see this week

The Supreme Court of the United States. Washin...

The Supreme Court of the United States. Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Supreme Court begins hearing six hours of arguments on Monday about whether portions of the Obama health care law are legal, there are few things you won’t see: photos or video from the hearings.

Several media organizations had petitioned the court for an exception to its customary ban on photos and videos given extraordinary interest. But no, the court said it would release audio and written transcripts within two hours of the hearings.

The case would have been a good opportunity to be a bit more open. In an age of Facebook status updates, Twitpics, and YouTube, justice seems blind to the times or technology.

The ‘tragedy of comments’

Gawker Media mastermind Nick Denton said Sunday at South by Southwest Interactive that he plans to institute a new commenting system on his family of sites within the next six weeks; one that still allows anonymous comments, but which makes commenters into moderators. On certain stories, the new system will only allow certain users to comment at all.


While he didn’t delve too deeply into the details, Denton did say the first commenter will have responsibility for maintaining the quality of the conversation.

He rejected editors and writers engaging in comment conversations and moderating as requiring too much time. He rejected real names saying anonymity is “heart of the Internet.” He rejected gamification like up-voting and down-voting, saying the decisions were not meant to be democratic.And, he said, third-party management, such as using Facebook, is inadequate.

That leaves coming up with something else. It’s not like news organizations and others aren’t trying. Here’s the most recent of my comment links:

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Touch typing on a touch screen with your eyes closed

A touch screen app for the visually impaired. That’s ingenious Georgia Tech.

The info:

A team from Georgia Tech, led by Post Doctorate Fellow Mario Romero (School of Interactive Computing) has designed BrailleTouch for touchscreen mobile devices. The prototype app allows visually impaired people to easily type and opens the door for everyone to text or type without looking at the screen.