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NRA enters the Colorado recall fray

The National Rifle Association is on it when it comes to the two Colorado state Senate recall elections.

The national gun rights group formed an issue committee, the National Rifle Association Committee to Restore Coloradans’ Rights, to support the recall efforts on Monday Aug. 5. But the group won’t have to report any contributions or spending with the Secretary of State until Aug. 27.

At the same time, several other groups have popped up to oppose the Sept. 10 recall votes on Democrats Senate President John Morse of District 3 in Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of District 11 in Pueblo.

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Zuckerberg immigration group spends $175K on pro-Coffman ads

The Mark Zuckerberg-backed pro-immigration-reform group Americans for a Conservative Direction is spending more than $175,000 on ads supporting Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the Denver market.

The ad:

The group displays this pro-Coffman ad on its site that says in part: ”Coffman’s immigration reform plan is compassionate, practical and strengthens our economy.” 

It concludes: ”Call Mike Coffman and tell him to keep fighting for common-sense immigration reform.”

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Rob Delaney: After Cory Monteith was found dead in his hotel room I tweeted: "Love...

robdelaney:

After Cory Monteith was found dead in his hotel room I tweeted: “Love to Cory Monteith. If drugs/alcohol are killing you, there is help available. I got sober 11 yrs ago at 25. It can be done.”

I got three types of responses. The first were variations of “Thanks for saying that.” The second…

A rare occasion of manual labor.

This perhaps marks the 30th anniversary of my using a lawnmower. Then, I took my sailboat to Lakeview, Iowa, to a lot owned by the Comitos. After parking the boat, Bilbo the patriarch said, “here, now mow this lot.”  I had no idea how to even turn the mower on. (I had no idea how to boil eggs or cook spaghetti when i became a cook at a fancy restaurant, either.) He showed me. I mowed the lot.

This is probably the second time I’ve used a lawnmower since. But it needed to be done! It’s probably not to company specifications, but it’s done!

A rare occasion of manual labor.

This perhaps marks the 30th anniversary of my using a lawnmower. Then, I took my sailboat to Lakeview, Iowa, to a lot owned by the Comitos. After parking the boat, Bilbo the patriarch said, “here, now mow this lot.” I had no idea how to even turn the mower on. (I had no idea how to boil eggs or cook spaghetti when i became a cook at a fancy restaurant, either.) He showed me. I mowed the lot.

This is probably the second time I’ve used a lawnmower since. But it needed to be done! It’s probably not to company specifications, but it’s done!

Content and presentation are companions.

There’s this whole kerfuffle today about the New York Times’ Snowfall, the dramatic story of a deadly avalanche that’s not only a good (Pulitzer Prize winning) read, but an elegant presentation of audio, video, graphics, photos. Snowfall has it all.

Scroll Kit founder Cody Brown claimed:

"It took The New York Times hundreds of hours to hand code “Snow Fall.” …we made a replica in an hour."

Wait, what? Wow, you reported, wrote, edited, photographed, filmed, created graphics, and coded it all up in an hour?! 

Thinking not. 

Cody Brown misses the point - digital storytelling isn’t just about the bells and whistles, the presentation. It’s about the content too.

And at its best - with Snowfall, for instance - content and presentation go  hand-in-hand from the beginning.

By chance today, i encountered a link to this piece on A List Apart by Karen McGrane. Here’s what she says:

"Arguing for ‘separation of content from presentation’ implies a neat division between the two. The reality, of course, is that content and form, structure and style, can never be fully separated."

Meanwhile, Michelle Minkoff wisely tweets:

"If you want to do ‘wow journalism’, a magic tool isn’t going to fix it. Strong ideas and elements will build to it. Or, put another way, we have limitless story options these days. I say there is no magic form. Just good matching of content to form."

Cody Brown says Scroll Kit is “looking for publishers with big stories to tell.”

But presenting big stories elegantly, appropriately and creatively means being there from the beginning, when an idea is being conceived and pursued.

It doesn’t mean coming in at the end with a shiny new tool to tart something up with a Snowfall cookie cutter.

*54

wnyc:

WNYC filed an open records request to get New Jersey Transit’s new hurricane emergency preparedness plan. This is what they got back. Read more about how NJ struggled to prepare for Sandy, and the future of transportation infrastructure, from Transportation Nation. And listen to reporters Andrea Bernstein and Kate Hinds discussing their investigation on the Brian Lehrer Show.

-Jody, BL Show-

love this…

annfriedman:

In my ongoing quest for the perfect framework for understanding haters, I created The Disapproval Matrix**. (With a deep bow to its inspiration.) This is one way to separate haterade from productive feedback. Here’s how the quadrants break down:

Critics: These are smart people who know something about your field. They are taking a hard look at your work and are not loving it. You’ll probably want to listen to what they have to say, and make some adjustments to your work based on their thoughtful comments.
Lovers: These people are invested in you and are also giving you negative but rational feedback because they want you to improve. Listen to them, too. 
Frenemies: Ooooh, this quadrant is tricky. These people really know how to hurt you, because they know you personally or know your work pretty well. But at the end of the day, their criticism is not actually about your work—it’s about you personally. And they aren’t actually interested in a productive conversation that will result in you becoming better at what you do. They just wanna undermine you. Dishonorable mention goes to The Hater Within, aka the irrational voice inside you that says you suck, which usually falls into this quadrant. Tell all of these fools to sit down and shut up.
Haters: This is your garden-variety, often anonymous troll who wants to tear down everything about you for no rational reason. Folks in this quadrant are easy to write off because they’re counterproductive and you don’t even know them. Ignore! Engaging won’t make you any better at what you do. And then rest easy, because having haters is proof your work is finding a wide audience and is sparking conversation. Own it.

The general rule of thumb? When you receive negative feedback that falls into one of the top two quadrants—from experts or people who care about you who are engaging with and rationally critiquing your work—you should probably take their comments to heart. When you receive negative feedback that falls into the bottom two quadrants, you should just let it roll off your back and just keep doin’ you. If you need to amp yourself up about it, may I suggest this #BYEHATER playlist on Spotify? You’re welcome.
** I presented The Disapproval Matrix to the fine folks at MoxieCon in Chicago yesterday, and they seemed to find it useful, so I figured I’d share with the class. It was originally inspired by a question my friend Channing Kennedy submitted to my #Realtalk column at the Columbia Journalism Review.

love this…

annfriedman:

In my ongoing quest for the perfect framework for understanding haters, I created The Disapproval Matrix**. (With a deep bow to its inspiration.) This is one way to separate haterade from productive feedback. Here’s how the quadrants break down:

Critics: These are smart people who know something about your field. They are taking a hard look at your work and are not loving it. You’ll probably want to listen to what they have to say, and make some adjustments to your work based on their thoughtful comments.

Lovers: These people are invested in you and are also giving you negative but rational feedback because they want you to improve. Listen to them, too. 

Frenemies: Ooooh, this quadrant is tricky. These people really know how to hurt you, because they know you personally or know your work pretty well. But at the end of the day, their criticism is not actually about your work—it’s about you personally. And they aren’t actually interested in a productive conversation that will result in you becoming better at what you do. They just wanna undermine you. Dishonorable mention goes to The Hater Within, aka the irrational voice inside you that says you suck, which usually falls into this quadrant. Tell all of these fools to sit down and shut up.

Haters: This is your garden-variety, often anonymous troll who wants to tear down everything about you for no rational reason. Folks in this quadrant are easy to write off because they’re counterproductive and you don’t even know them. Ignore! Engaging won’t make you any better at what you do. And then rest easy, because having haters is proof your work is finding a wide audience and is sparking conversation. Own it.

The general rule of thumb? When you receive negative feedback that falls into one of the top two quadrants—from experts or people who care about you who are engaging with and rationally critiquing your work—you should probably take their comments to heart. When you receive negative feedback that falls into the bottom two quadrants, you should just let it roll off your back and just keep doin’ you. If you need to amp yourself up about it, may I suggest this #BYEHATER playlist on Spotify? You’re welcome.

** I presented The Disapproval Matrix to the fine folks at MoxieCon in Chicago yesterday, and they seemed to find it useful, so I figured I’d share with the class. It was originally inspired by a question my friend Channing Kennedy submitted to my #Realtalk column at the Columbia Journalism Review.

*21

About that fake girlfriend…

A student asks:

 What are your thoughts on how the media covered the Te’o story? What should they have done differently?

The catchup: Yesterday, Deadspin published a piece revealing that a Notre Dame football player’s girlfriend, whose death from cancer motivated him during the season, well, she never really existed. 

My student notes an ESPN reporter’s response that there wasn’t much he could do when he couldn’t locate documentation about the girlfriend. (Apparently he’s forgotten that old adage “When your mother says she loves you, check it out.”)

One of the Deadspin writers attributed the problem to a lack of investigative reporting emphasis in an interview with Poynter.

But in my experience, many sports desks - especially local news outlets - don’t want to delve deeply into their local sports heroes’ potential peccadilloes. While at the Florida Times-Union in 1988, i was one of two primary reporters on a seven-day series on the NCAA’s enforcement policies. Analytical skills and a knowledge of sports landed this then-biz reporter on the story. The other reporter was from the metro desk. A sports reporter wrote one story, an interview with a key coach that neither of us could get. But editors appeared to differentiate between news and sports reporters on this project.

In other instances, i’ve argued with sports reporters over whether heavy drinking in public by a college athletic director should be a story - and i’d contend it should have been. And let me acknowledge it would have been a story at some of the newspapers where i’ve worked, probably including the T-U.

In the end, i personally don’t give much of a damn about the fake girlfriend. It turns out that it literally isn’t a life-or-death matter. It calls into question either honesty or intellect of a football player. Really, who cares?

But the media hullabaloo around it is disappointing, when i consider another story about a young girl, now dead, and Notre Dame football.

My friend Melinda Henneberger is one of the few journalists who’ve written extensively about the suicide of Lizzy Seeberg, whose allegations of rape against a Notre Dame player went virtually ignored.  

Lizzy Seeberg’s rape and her subsequent death are real - yet they received not a fraction of the attention from the media or from the Notre Dame athletic department that the girlfriend hoax has.

And that is truly sad.

P.S. Let me note that when my students offer up the “my (insert grandmother, grandfather, family friend here) died” excuse to get out of a test, i do insist on seeing an obituary or some other proof of death. And guess what? Several of those students decide they don’t really need to be there for the “funeral.”