Thursday, February 03, 2011

All the news that fit to tweet

The Daily Shows Slogan used to be When news break we fix it! This raises the question: When does breaking news actually break?
  1. (My memory of this may be hazy but something like it transpired.) In 1995 Bob Dole went on The David Letterman Show and said
    I will announce that I am running for president next week.
    David Letterman pointed out
    You just DID. NEWS ITEM: Bob Dole announces his candidacy on the David Letterman Show.
    I agree with Letterman- announcing that you are going to announce something is announcing it. I think Bob Dole got confused--- The David Letterman Show probably got more viewers than his press conference.
  2. In this Jan 25, 2011 post Richard Lipton thanked me for my review of his book (and said some very nice things about me. THANKS!) Why Jan 25, 2011? Because this was shortly after the review appeared IN PRINT. However, in my Sept 9, 2010 post I had posted my review. Does appearing in print still have a certain Je ne sais quoi?
  3. One of the many comments on Aaron Sterling's post on chemoinformatics was by Aaron Sterling himself. He wrote:
    It will be a while before this goes to press, so I can correct inaccuracies or address concerns before this becomes unchangeable.
    This is rather quaint. First off, goes to press? I think Aaron's guest blog will have more readers than my column. Aaron, your review is already out there. What does goes to press even mean anymore? Second off, what Aaron writes is not quite true. I keep all of the reviews online. If the review appears and 10 years later Aaron spots a typo and wants me to fix it on the online version, I would do it. For a big change I would make it a footnote and put a date on it. Page numbers are not a problem since the page numbers on my website copy are not the same as those in SIGACT NEWS anyway. And someone looking for the review would more likely find my website rather than there paper copy or the official ACM site (behind a paywall?) I will also keep the copy the Blog post points to up to date, so that is another free and easy-to-find place to find it.
  4. A colleague was mentioned in The Online New York Times. The colleagues aunt wanted to know
    When will you be in the REAL New York Times.
    Is the aunt right? Does the REAL New York Times have a certain I-know-not-what that the online version lacks? The colleagues teenage son commented:
    Aside from far less people reading it, and getting ink on your hands when you do, what advantages does the so-called real NY times have?
    That may be an exaggeration (ink on your hands?) but he does have a point. See this for a counterpoint.


  1. Is there a witty pun that I don't understand, or is the French expression "Je ne sais quoi" spelled horribly wrong so as to simplify the pronunciation for English-speaking readers (or to disguise it as a Latin locution)?

  2. Ironically, citing the "real" New York Times in a paper would still be considered more "legit" than citing the (wider-read) Online NYT with an URL. Academic traditions struggle trying to keep up with changing technology, and fall behind...

  3. I spell it the way Wikipedia spells it.

    Annie and Molly- if you are reading this be forewarned to NOT use wikipedia for your french HW.

  4. I subscribe to the print Sunday New York Times but sometimes I have the impression it's just not quite as "New York" as I remember it from my days back East. And the clue is in the fine print on page 3: "Higher rates, available on request, ... for the New York edition outside the Northeast". I never thought to request the real New York Times.

  5. To Zanapher and Bill: I am French and I can confirm that "je ne sais quoi" is spelled correctly, so don't put the blame on Wikipedia so hard ;).

  6. What about if someone blogs about an approach a year before someone else writes a journal article about it claiming that they were the first to come up with this idea? (This is actually from a slightly different field). Who was first?

  7. Now it's spelled correctly, but it was initially spelled "Je ne sais qua".

  8. It was written "Je ne sais qua" when I posted my comment. Has it been edited since or did I just dream this ?
    (I'm also French and I know how to spell it)

  9. 1) I noticed it and fixed it before seeing your comment.

    2) You said that what I had before was
    ``horribly wrong'' I had qua instead of quoi. Wrong yes, and I appreciate the correction, but horribly wrong?

    3) OKAY- polite request to get back to topic--- when does breaking news break, is appearing in print still important,
    how will we wrap fish if newspapers go away, etc.

  10. in politics "announcements" are all about showmanship

    for breaking news, the current model is bad in many ways with "breaking news" being broken before the facts are in which can lead to panics and to overreaction and to the news outlets shaping truth and truth figuring that it should just follow along

  11. Reading a newspaper end to end is very different than following the hot stories that get picked for news aggregation or which get sent around the blogging circuit.

  12. Column inches and print had some benefits in terms of quality. Having a populace who cared about quality reporting is what kept The New York Times popular among certain circles while others migrated towards the New York Post.

    If something isn't worth making it to the print edition, does that say it is of lesser value today? If we have to figure out the value or accuracy or trustworthiness of an article in a giant sea of online "news" with no standard-bearers we end up with something like the where some papers there are good and others are pure garbage and it is difficult for many to tell the difference.

    The breaking news of a recent story was that a person was shot dead. That person's condition was later upgraded to "alive" once real journalism had a chance to occur.

  13. When a cable station gets a movie for the first time they will often hype it as a premiere. They have done this for movies that have already aired on "free" TV even. Context matters. People have perceptions of what a "real" publication are (just ask your department chair) which are often relative to a specific context or personal history.

  14. 1) A candidate for office often annouces he is running about three times
    ``I am thinking of running''
    ``I am setting up an exploratory committee''
    ``I formally annouce it''
    ``I sign the paperwork.''

    2) ``This is the prime time network debut of ... movie'' Really lame.
    This means its been on cable and its been on network but not between
    8:00PM and 10:00PM (11:00PM?).

    3) USA cable network shows episodes of
    NCIS that are ``NEW TO USA CHANNEL!!!!!''

    4) These examples and some of the other comments indicate that the notion of not having a definite
    time something happens is not due to blogs and tweets and lions and tigers and colberts. However, the newer technologies may make things even MORE fuzzy then they were.

  15. FYI: Not to Blog

    In today's Washington Post Parade Magazine (page 12 lower right column), there is an account about Frank Gifford and Howrad Cosell breaking the news of John Lennon's death on Monday Night football.

  16. Sometimes news breaks in real time unfiltered:

    1. Oswald is shot in a parking garage on live TV.

    2. The space shuttle explodes on take off.

    3. A second plane hits the second tower on 9/11 while news cameras are covering the first tower.

    Newspapers are useful for tracking the ripple effect.

    You already know what happened. What does it mean?

  17. In theory, your point is correct. The Web has no virtually no disadvantage against printed press. However, there are a couple of things to consider:

    1) The online option is not available for many people. They either cannot use or cannot access (mostly in the 3rd world countries) the online media. Digital illiteracy might become a vast problem in the years to come.

    2) The classic media have a lot of power and money that they have accumulated over the years. Media moguls are among this planet's wealthiest people. Although the majority have invested in online media as well, they won't let the accummulated capital of the classic media to go to waste, as long as they turn in profits. This is enforced if their investment is one of the leaders in news, since its online counterpart might not have the same success (in short, they are not willing to take the risk).