Michael Haskins

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and Main Street - or How We're Losing a Free Press

This comes from a daily service from a journalism professor at the Utah State University. Anyone interested in journalism today should get on this mailing list. The information of how to follows. 

NOTE: Newspaper ownership rewards its failed corporate overlords with huge bonuses (like Gannett Chairman Craig Dubow, whose golden parachute totaled $37M+), while stripping newsrooms and leaving the communities dark and silent. How about occupying newsrooms, starting with Gannett Inc.?

“Never a standout in journalism performance, the company strip-mined its newspapers in search of earnings, leaving many communities with far less original, serious reporting. . . .

“Forget about occupying Wall Street; maybe it’s time to start occupying Main Street, a place Gannett has bled dry by offering less and less news while dumping and furloughing journalists in seemingly every quarter. . . .

“No one, least of all me, is suggesting that running a newspaper company is a piece of cake. But the people in the industry who are content to slide people out of the back of the truck until it runs out of gas not only don’t deserve tens of millions in bonuses, they don’t deserve jobs.

“The optics of the bonuses are far worse than the practical impact. Newspapers are asking their employees for shared sacrifice and their digital readers to begin paying. So, lucrative packages won’t cut it. As newspapers all over the country struggle to divine the meaning of the Occupy protests, some of the companies that own them might want to listen closely to see if there is a message there meant for them.”

—David Carr, media writer, “Why Not Occupy Newsrooms?
The New York Times, Oct. 23, 2010
Image: I GOT MINE . . .
The chief executive of Gannett Inc., Craig Dubow, second from left,
received a $37.1 million severance package despite presiding over
 the loss of some 30,000 jobs.
Richard Drew/Associated Press

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free "service" sent weekdays during the school year to 1,800 or so misguided volunteer subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don't want it anymore, send "unsubscribe" to ted.pease@usu.edu. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. WORD archives, commentary and reader discussion at http://tedsword.blogspot.com (Disclaimer: I just quote 'em, I don't necessarily endorse 'em. All, in theory, contain at least a kernel of truth.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Sid Chance Thriller - The Good the Bad and the Murderous

My friend Chester Campbell’s second Sid Chance thriller, The Good, The Bad and The Murderous, finds his protagonist Sid Lanier Chance, taking on one of his toughest cases. A young black man just out of prison after serving thirteen years for a murder he committed at age twelve is charged with a new homicide. Detectives say they have evidence that proves his guilt. His grandmother hires Sid to prove they’re wrong.

Jaz LeMieux, board chair of a large truck stop chain whose curious background includes champion woman boxer, Air Force Security Policewoman, and Metro Nashville cop, assists Sid in the investigation. They turn up evidence of Medicare fraud, drug dealing, and police corruption. In the process, Jaz faces police retaliation and a hired gun appears to have Sid in his sights.

A little backstory for those not familiar with Campbell’s work: After serving with Army Special Forces in Vietnam, Sidney Chance  put in nineteen years as a National Park Service ranger. That career tragically ended when marijuana growers using a remote section of a national park nearly killed him. He worked as police chief in a small town not far from Nashville for ten years until an unsavory sheriff falsely charged him with bribing a drug dealer. Disillusioned, he holed up in a cabin in the woods until a former cop turned wealthy businesswoman coaxed him home to Nashville and into the PI business.

The Surest Poison, the first Sid Chance mystery, won the Silver Falchion Award at the 2009 Killer Nashville conference.

Campbell is the author of five Greg McKenzie mysteries.

For more information, go to http://www.chesterdcampbell.com.
The book is available in trade paperback and for the Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984604448. It's also at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/79094 for various formats.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

“Rogue Island,” by Bruce DeSilva

My friend Bruce DeSilva just released his book and here is a little about it, if you consider being the winner of these awards as little.
“Rogue Island,” by Bruce DeSilva is one of the most honored crime novels of the year – winner of the prestigious Edgar and Macavity Awards for best debut novel and a finalist for the Anthony, Barry and Shamus awards.
The main character, Liam Mulligan is as old school as a newspaper man gets. His beat is Providence, Rhode Island, and he knows every street and alley. He knows the priests and the prostitutes, the cops and the street thugs. He knows the mobsters and the politicians – who are pretty much one and the same. Now, someone is systematically burning down the working class neighborhood he grew up in, and people he knows and loves are perishing in the flames. With the cops looking for answers in all the wrong places, it’s up to Mulligan to find the hand that strikes the match.
Rogue Island has received rave reviews, with The Dallas Morning News declaring that it “raises the bar for all books of its kind.” And it has drawn praise from a who’s who of best-selling crime novelists including Dennis Lehane, Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly.  For example, Joseph Finder says: “With “Rogue Island,” Bruce DeSilva accomplishes something remarkable: he takes everything we love about the classic hardboiled detective novel and turns it into a story that’s fresh, contemporary, yet timeless.”

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