Where USF faculty, students and graduates are invited to talk about journalism and its problems and opportunities. This blog is not affiliated with the University of San Francisco, nor is the university responsible for any of the opinions expressed herein -- though it is certainly responsible for the people who entertain those opinions, having educated them. They make us proud.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
He talks a bit about the Tribune Co. and the L.A. Times, and also about new media, i.e. Internet and blogging. He says a lot of things that I agree with, that there is no accountability in new media. While new media, blogs in particular, allows everyone to exercise their freedom of speech, they should uphold the standards that print reporters do. He also brings up the point that things will change when corporations, government, and libel lawyers get involve (which, I believe, is already happening).
Here's the link to where you can buy the video.
Happy new year!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I need hits! Please check it out and let me know what you think.
If you need brief travel clips for your portfolio, contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org. They even pay a little.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
would be lucky to even see one. check out my recent news story on a little
guy with red legs who's up against a big bad water company with timber money
on its mind.
here's the link
Part of that challenge is the dead weight of old-school journalism professors, secure in tenure, railing against newfangled technologies and those crazy kids who are destroying their utopian, long-extinct view of what journalism should really look like.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Computer Shopper magazine. I will be getting experience working on the
Web. I'm also continuing my freelance career, working with pubs such
as Best Life and Men's Journal. Pick up the November issue of Best
Life and I have a short piece in there.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
After a stint as a local news reporter in Salinas, CA, I relocated to Santa Fe, NM, to pursue freelance reporting and producing. I was an on-air contributor on Fashion Television's "Shop the World", and I just snagged a gig as host of "Buzzed into the 505", a weekly segment airing on the the WB's nationally syndicated morning show, "The Daily Buzz."
On the producing front, I recently wrapped a short documentary on the collaboration of C.S. Tarpley, a glassblower, and potter Nathan Youngblood. It is slated to be featured at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in January, and is currently being shown at Kiva Gallery in Santa Fe.
Friday, August 25, 2006
She's been fighting cancer since her since her first year at USF, and right now the prognosis is pretty tough. If any of you want to send an encouraging word or share a memory, I'll be glad to forward any messages.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Great news! Along with my reporting duties w/ Pacific Fusion, a nationally and internationally syndicated show (also on ImaginAsian TV), that focuses on the flair of Asian-American lifestyles; food, fashion, people stories, I recently joined a show, Medium Rare, as a host, reporter and on-line critic, that acknowledges women and people of color in film and TV. It's broadcast on local cable in New York, San Francisco and Berkeley--see RareMedia.org for showtimes and such). We're trying to get it syndicated so that we can continue our steadfast mission: To set up a platform for such artists to showcase their work.
Some of the greatest rewards from my profession as a magazine show host/reporter/journalist is that I get to meet such fascinating people with real stories to tell and real talent. Many times, they are not stories that we see in mainstream media, which tend to fill our heads and lives with skewed images of a reality that many of us are not privy to and frankly doesn't accurately represent who we are as Americans.
With that said, it is with great pride that I send this mass e-mail (about) two dynamic, talented women, "Red Doors" Director, Georgia Lee, and Actor/Co-Producer, Mia Riverton, whom I befriended at the San Francisco Asian Film Festival this year. Red Doors is scheduled to be released theatrically across the US on SEPTEMBER 8TH (in New York and on September 22 in San Francisco.) This story is sure to touch you, regardless of your age, gender, sexual preference, race etc. It's a story with universal meaning. I've watched it 3 times, so please make sure to catch it and e-mail all your friends.
Good luck Mia, Georgia and the rest of the Red Doors gang! Please contact me about getting the word out on Medium Rare!
See you at the silver screen!
Friday, August 18, 2006
The Daily Star has a circulation of more than a hundred thousand, about three times that of the Monterey Herald. George says he's following my advice: "Go as high as you can as fast as you can, burnout, and then go live in the woods."
That was actually a joke.
But this is no joke: Congratulations, George!
Friday, August 11, 2006
my name is david silver. beginning in fall, i will be an assistant professor of media studies at the university of san francisco. before USF, i was an assistant professor of communication at the university of washington and before that i taught for a year at georgetown university. my interests and obsessions usually revolve around new media, especially when it's used in creative ways.
i blog at silver in sf. back in the day, i blogged at silver in seattle.
for me, it's quite exciting to tap into the journalism / media studies community here at USF and i'm thrilled that we can use this blog to talk, swap ideas, gossip, play, and network.
oh, and if you're on campus these days, please visit the fifth floor of the university center and say hello.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Copywriter, Webshots, CNET Networks
And don't forget that other thing.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I just went through day one of a six week multimedia course here at the paper. I'm in a group of eight reporters, a photog and a page designer that have been pulled off our beats for six weeks to learn how to produce multimedia stories. Spent four or five hours today with my partner on a golf course videotaping a piece on golf course marshals.
Now working for Fisher Broadcasting in Seattle, in particular, the Mariners Radio Network. Lots of odds and ends, but of note, hosting a segment called the Baseball Book Review, which will be launching a website soon, and hopefully spreading to stations across the country.
At the Yakima Herald-Republic, my editor in chief was in the midst of
revamping the rules for reporters side jobs, freelancing and other
Reporters were encouraged to volunteer in the community or be involved
in unpaid activities (coaching little league, tutoring kids, helping a
local church, etc) but paid activities were different.
When I arrived the only rules were you couldn't use the company's time
or resources for freelance jobs or outside jobs. Plus, you couldn't
work for competitors. Easy.
However, when the rules started to be rewritten the interim rule was
all side jobs and freelance had to be cleared through the editor in
chief to ensure that the work didn't conflict with your job as a
reporter. Our policy wasn't unique. Many newspapers the Ft. Worth
Star-Telegram and other large dailies subscribed to the policy.
This wasn't a big deal for me but some reporters took offense that
their time off the clock had to be cleared with the editor in chief.
So, given that reporters are underpaid and often want to live in
expensive urban playgrounds like San Francisco, Seattle and New York,
should reporters be able to pad their wages with outside projects if
all work is done outside of their day job?
I'd be interested to hear about the policies of other
writers/reporters in the forum to get a sense of how much flexibility
there is in these types of policies.
Reporters occasionally have to keep their political/personal views
separate from their work, right? Remember the SF Chronicle reporter
that was allegedly fired for calling in sick to participate in the war
protest in downtown San Francisco?
But what about newspapers' actions calling into question your
credibility as a reporter and potentially marring your resume?
It's not uncommon for a scathing editorial to come back and haunt
reporters. As a city reporter my sources either got friendlier or more
tight-lipped during political races depending on which candidates were
endorsed by my newspaper's editorial board.
So consider what it's like to work at an alternative weekly that
decides to host an amateur porn film festival? The Stranger, a little
like the San Francisco Bay Guardian, is a beloved alternative weekly
in Seattle. Content wise is usually a big feature on some social
welfare problem or injustice a heaping serving of reviews of unknown
bands and indie films mixed with a few columns on city government,
restaurants and art.
However, it also hosts an amateur porn film festival in Seattle called
HUMP. I think this event started last year since the newspaper is
accepting applications for HUMP2 right now.
[Reader alert the following link might anger university administrators
and offend those with good taste] http://www.thestranger.com/hump
Now. Aside from the obvious question of "Should media, undeniable
defender of free speech, sponsor such an event?"
There are a few career questions that come to mind.
This event started last year. So if you were working at the newspaper
and heard it was going to sponsor an amateur porn film festival, would
to keep your job? (Keep in mind that reporting jobs are few and far
between in Seattle so this likely means you're leaving town to find
Okay, forget quitting. You need a paycheck. But would you dare to
speak out against the event, assuming you didn't agree with it, to
editors and general members of the public? Porn is often a question of
free speech, right? Isn't that what Larry Flynt taught us? And aren't
journalists supposed to defend free speech?
Assuming you stay, and quietly keep your thoughts to yourself, what do
you tell sources and future employers when they ask about your time at
the newspaper that sponsors an amateur porn film festival?
Monday, August 07, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
the blogosphere is a occupational land mine. Sources are googling me, hurried blog posts complete with typos are coming back to haunt me and I'm not sure how to handle the editorial criticism on personal posts.
1) Do others of you feel that way, too?
2) Okay, then create a pseudonym and post away.
Oh. A third thing: If I weren't tenured, I would keep my own mouth shut.
I was an intern at Wired, my first job after graduating. To get an internship at one of the most cutting-edge and progressive publications in the world was more than I could ever dream of, but to have worked with some of the smartest and nicest people in the industry was absolute icing on the cake. Bill was the deputy editor, which means he basically did everything. Bill top-edited the entire magazine, making sure that all the copy was consistent and had a singular voice. Bill was the voice of Wired. Chances are Bill would rewrite your work, but he didn't do it because he was mean or your work sucked (well, sometimes it probably did suck). He made your work sound 100X better and smarter than what you turned in. And I'm proud to say that my clips from Wired has a bit of Bill in them. I was also scared of Bill. If he ever had to come to your desk to ask you a question, especially if it was a research/fact-checking related one, you better have the right answer for him or get it to him asap. No matter how thoroughly researched or fact checked an article was when it reaches his desk, he'd find new things. But what seemed like a nuisance at the time has helped shaped me into the researcher that I am today (I hope). People at Wired, Bill being one of them (along with Bob, Sonia, Jeremiah, Stuart, Jason, Evan, Rebecca, Eric, Jennifer, Jessie, and probably 20 more people I'm drawing a blank on), was the reason why I decide to venture out to NYC and continue working with magazines. To this day I have not met anyone with the skill, wit, knowledge, humor, and caliber that Bill had. All I've met are douchebags who wishes they could be what Bill was.
But Bill was a wonderful man outside of the office. I remember him having the energy to party, and he was a fun person to be around. One night, after celebrating an issue close, Bill continued the party at a park near the Castro Safeway on Market Street. It was just the men of Wired, rushing into Safeway to buy as many beers as possible before the 2 a.m. deadline kicked in. We drank beers at the park like high school boys, messing around, doing absurd stuff, and being loud until the sprinklers turned on. Bill was one of the few people who ever gave me a nickname, "Two-Fisted Shu." How forward-looking of him, as anyone who knows me today knows that that is a very appropriate nickname. It seemed like Bill knew more about me at the time than I knew myself.
Bill died of a heart failure while running in the marathon in San Francisco. He is the first fatality in the marathon's history. This is an absolute shock because Bill was so fit and healthy when I knew him. He would come into the office early just to go running before he started work (but not before downing three bottles of Odwalla), and he was a hard worker (perhaps too much). He had already left Wired before his death, but he was very much the soul of Wired.
I lost touch with Bill after moving to NYC. After a few e-mail exchanges during my first year after Wired we didn't talk much, but I had him as a reference and I always thought of him, especially when anybody talks about Wired. It's sad that I only think of him now when he's no longer with us.
I'm sure my comments are nothing compared to those from people he's worked closer with, but he did make a difference in my career and my life. I hope I become as good of a journalist as Bill was, and I hope I get to work with someone like him again.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
1. You're doing a story on those who take jobs for Halliburton-KBR to work in Iraq. The company hosts a job fair at their facilities where they're accepting a good majority of applicants on the spot. When you show up, do you have to identify yourself as a reporter? If not, on the application they give you, what do you put down? Is it ethical to approach other applicants there for interviews?
2. You're doing a story on a Muslim version of The Onion and young Muslim comedians. You hit it off in an interview with one of the comedians and, on the way out of the interview, he asks if you want to smoke up. Do you blaze? Do you include that in the story? (Knowing that, in all likelihood, the kid didn't realize that you, in the reporter and not "new friend" role, might consider including a detail like that.)
3. You're doing an investigative piece on a woman who ran a wolf sanctuary and all the wolves died due to incompetence. You know the evidence in the piece is going to hammer her pretty hard (after the story runs, you get an email from her that contains, among other things, the phrase "ruined my life"). During an interview at her home, you realize she is keeping two wolves as pets, which is against city codes. Later, before the story runs, she begs you not to include that detail as they are her "family" apparently and they'll be impounded. There's plenty of other damning material - do you run the wolves at home bit?
4. It's Super Bowl week. Your paper has sold the front page as an advertisement to Budweiser. Not just any advertisement, but an ad that's made to look like the real front page template of your paper - sort of teasing stories/hype about Budweiser inside. It will wrap around the real cover of the paper. Your best friend at the paper wants to quit because he thinks they've violated a sacred space. Is it that serious of a transgression? Is there a difference between selling the back cover and inside front cover and the front cover itself?
Hope all is well in Cali.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Why did I quit? Is it 'cause I work with twats?
No, I need a change. So I'm a free agent, looking for work, either full time or freelance. Will write/dance/go-the-distance for food.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The Express-News and its staff should be free of obligations to news sources and newsmakers, avoiding even the appearance of conflict of interest. They should:
· Not allow a source to pick up your meal tab - Exceptions include a lunch meeting in which you regularly pick up the other person's tab or a routine arrangement to share the bill.
· Avoid free food. If we attend events where meals are served, we should make every effort to pay for our own meals.
· Not use free tickets or passes for events open to the public for an admission fee for personal pleasure or that of family and friends. (The exception are ones that come from Human Resources or Marketing with prior approval from newsroom management.)
· Not drink alcohol at an event that you are covering unless you are a food/wine writer, and only in moderation.
· Not invest in companies or mutual funds that you cover or are likely to cover as a reporter, columnist or photographer. Editors should not let their stock or fund holdings influence news judgments.
· Not promote events in the paper you are a part of. As a general rule, if you are part of an event (emcee, organizer), you shouldn't write about it.
· Know membership in professional journalism groups is approved, as is serving on the boards with supervisor approval. Clear membership in groups that could create conflicts for the E-N, or leadership roles in any group, with your immediate supervisor. This provision does not apply to your spouse unless the activity could be construed as your activity as a couple, i.e. a yard sign.
· Not make contributions to or work for political parties or have direct involvement with political issues. Not participate as an activist in public rallies, marches or demonstrations.
· Not take freelance assignments or appear in other media without first consulting your immediate supervisor. Participation in chat rooms and as a blogger also must be cleared by your supervisor if you identify yourself in any way as an Express-News employee. Do not do freelance work on company time or with company assets.
I am somewhat startled by number four, though it makes sense. Anyway, here is my own personal bottom line on taking gifts, freebies and perks.
1) Follow the rules of whoever employs you. Otherwise, you might get scolded. You might get fired. But think of the flip side of this, i.e., a situation not where you want to take more than the rules allow but where you want to take less. So fine a feeling might put you in the position of behaving insubordinately if you thought your personal ethics required you to turn down something your employer wants you to take so that you can write a story about it.
1a) Whoa, you say. In what instance might your personal value system be more stringent than that of your employer? That sounds ... unlikely. Right? I can imagine it happening if, as I do, you conclude that certain gifts actually do cause warm and fuzzy thoughts to arise toward the person, place or thing that gives the gift. I am of the opinion that you always have to compensate for the natural feelings of good will that intrude when you accept a freebie other than the trivial and/or the abhorrent. That doesn't mean I haven't accepted small gifts of food and drink and and once a very nice ashtray from the manager of a porn star. I'm saying I don't think most of us are as bulletproof when it comes to blandishment as we think we are. And -- let's get subtle -- what if you think that accepting a small something might cause a source to think they had put you near, if not actually in, their pocket and thus accepting the gift was a way of putting them off their guard and making them more likely to open up and trust you? Now we are in a very different ethical frame, that of practicing some small deceits in an interview to draw out information.
The class is writing a paper on that very theme. So more later.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
In the future, I will be asking other friends of USF journalism to moderate this blog for a week.
Volunteering is allowed, of course; actually volunteering is encouraged.
Monday, February 06, 2006
• You are a theater critic for a big-city newspaper. You have built relationships with publicists, especially those at the smaller theaters where the companies are struggling to make ends meet but are really trying to give young directors, young playwrights, young actors a chance. One of these companies presents a play that is really terrible; it deserves to be ripped apart. But a city needs small independent theaters. Also, the publicist has made sure you were at the front of the line for various premiers and galas related to this, and other, theaters. She has put you in the best seat in the house for the past five shows by this particular company, and you have panned four of them. And here’s another stinker. What do you do?
• You are a lifestyle writer at a big-city newspaper who has been assigned to do a story on day spas in San Francisco. Your budget for the story is limited – and then seven out of the 10 days spas you are writing about offer you a free day of treatments. If you don’t take the treatments, you are going to have to write a story that’s based on the spa websites, on the spa press releases and on the spa PR people. What do you do?
• You are a lifestyle writer etc. etc. doing a story on chocolate shops. When you visit the chocolates shops, each one offers you samples. What do you do?
• You are etc. doing nightlife stories. You tour four or five hip new bars and attractive bartenders in tight-fitting garments offer you free cocktails. Seriously, three of the bars give you first-class treatment, generous with the Grey Goose martinis, while the other two offered you only a glass of ice. What do you do?
• You are a writer/editor at a music magazine that has a limited travel budget. The magazine is repeatedly offered free junkets to see a new violin shop open in Italy or to follow a famous performer on tour. As part of an invitation to review a summer jazz camp, you are offered a luxury cruise to Alaska. What do you do?
• You are a writer for a music magazine etc., and you are offered free tickets to many local musical performances, far more than you could possibly review. What do you do?
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary-general, said he believed “freedom of the press should always be exercised in a way that fully respects the religious beliefs and tenets of all religions”.
The dispute began on September 30, when Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s biggest newspaper, published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, a move considered blasphemous in Islam. One of the cartoons showed the Prophet with a bomb under his turban. The Danish newspaper later apologised but the row escalated this week after several European newspapers reprinted the cartoons to assert the right to free speech.
Here's a link to the cartoons.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Ethics students: You don't have to comment on this. But you might want to.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The questions at the time were: Should he go forward with the story? If so, how? If not, why not?
Monday, January 23, 2006
Medical doctors 65
High school teachers 64
Funeral directors 44
Real estate agents 20
Building contractors 20
Labor union leaders 16
Business executives 16
Advertising practitioners 11
Car salesmen 8