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.
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.