Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Over and out

Welcome to the final wrapup of class blogs for "Beat Reporting: The Journalism of the Web." Many of you have done a terrific job this semester. Although I won't post here again, I do hope you'll keep blogging. It's a great way to hone your writing, to stay connected to the news and to show prospective employers what you've been doing.

I've enjoyed reading your work, and will continue to check in on what you're writing about.

"Fauxtography" smackdown. Celia Soudry shares some examples of anti-Israel bias in the media as presented by HonestReporting.com. She also shares her frustration with Blogger.com: "Unfortunately, blogger.com is not allowing me to upload any photos at this time, which is very frustrating — and takes so much away from this entry." Yes, indeed. That's why Media Nation is considering a possible move to WordPress.

The year in pictures. It may only be mid-December, but Boston.com has already uploaded its 2006 compilation of "The Year in Photos." Set aside some time — there are 91 pictures here. "So long, 2006," writes Chelsea Petersen. Wait a minute — I'm not ready.

Fluffer off his nutter. Chris Estrada concedes he might be losing it in blogging about the confluence of citizen journalism and fluff. In one of his more lucid moments, he writes, "There's always gonna be some sort of 'soft news,' but as citizen journalism and hyper-local coverage become bigger, the newspapers are going to have to put a serious check on things to keep their legitimate reputations intact."

Keeping an eye on Albany. Jessica Harding checks in on a blog devoted to what's going on in Albany, N.Y. Albany Eye, Jessica writes, is sometimes funny, sometimes mean — and could definitely be improved by opening itself up to comments from its readers.

Educational blogging. Michael Naughton discovers that the Scituate Public Schools have joined the Boston school system in starting a blog to keep students and parents informed. He also notices that Facebook has started a blog, which he sees as "yet another step toward world domination."

Politics as conversation. Rachel Slajda erupts in profane delight at former Washington Post reporter John Harris' interview with Jay Rosen about his new Web-based venture. Harris: "we’ll try to loosen the style and in the process tell readers more about what we know, what we think, and why we think it." Rachel: "@#!*$# fantastic!"

Mandatory advertising. This is insane. Ricky Thompson reports on a lawsuit filed by a newspaper publisher in Florida against a community college that pulled its advertising because of what college officials described as unfair coverage. Can advertiser boycotts really be outlawed?

Future sports podcaster. Thomas Chen reflects on his experience as a blogger this semester, and outlines plans for a sports-related blog/podcast that he hopes to unveil in the near future. "I think I have a co-host lined up and now it's just a matter of acquiring some audio tools and software and learning the ins and outs of podcasting," Tom says. "That's going to be my project during Christmas vacation and hopefully, I'll be able to launch in early January."

Fake site gets real. Adam Marschilok says that a Conan O'Brien joke about a non-existent Web site devoted to the love lives of lonely manatees is now actually up and running. He also observes that "60 Minutes" recently saved some graphic footage of Mixed Martial Arts fighting for the Web, and worries (as do I) that the Red Sox aren't going to sign Dice-K.

A streaming podcast. Not a contradiction in terms, writes Amy Costa, who says that Mercora is an innovative breakthrough. Amy also offers some advice on where to find underground music online, and is pleased that the Internet is wreaking havoc with the commercial media's marketing plans.