about this sitesee Meranda's resumesee clips and work sampleskeep in touch
home

Archive for the 'Fun' Category

A pun-filled story that was a bit too “well done”

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

I meant to post on this weeks ago when this story first aired on the local TV station, but I got busy and forgot. I was reminded of it again today and since I’m off work today (I’m working Saturday and avoiding the newsroom so if there are any lay offs today there I’m not witness) I thought I’d share my ROTFLMAO moment now. It’s still funny.

The reason I want to share this is its over-the-top, pun-filled groan-inducing writing. I have never seen so many puns in one story before, waaay too many not to be intentional. And the reporter says them (you can watch the video) without even cracking a grin and acknowledging the absurdity.

The story is about how bakeries are coping with the economic downturn. A hint at what’s to come: The title is Bakeries rise in the recession. Subhead: Pastry chefs whipping up dollars.

At the risk of copyright infringement, I’m not going to copy and paste but instead link to the entire story. (For any professors/readers who come across this post after the story has been killed out of the system, I did save a copy if you’re interested it.)

But I am going to bold and bullet each of the bakery-related puns/cliches I could spot.

  • … one type of business is rising to the top
  • whip up dollars
  • … just scraping by
  • … earning money during the recession is frosting on the cake
  • … Quality takes the cake
  • … Creativity is O’Rear’s special spice
  • … is mixing it up
  • … share their secret success ingredient
  • … with a sour economy, there’s a demand for something sweet
  • … each cook up a variety

With the title and subhead, that amounts to a dozen (not a bakers dozen, but close) in one 340 word story. Check out the story and see if I missed any. And comment to tell me what you think. Am I overly critical? I realize it’s not a story about murder or anything, but just seems a bit silly to see a professional organization producing stuff like this.

Overheard in the Newsroom provides a needed laugh

Monday, January 19th, 2009

OK, let’s break from bemoaning the state of journalism to enjoy one of its less serious and unreported aspects: The stupid things WE say in the newsroom.

I can’t believe this didn’t already exist, but I’m thankful someone has now blessed the Internet with Overheard in the Newsroom. A spot where those “only in a newsroom” ROFLMAO comments can be commemorated and shared with all.

Actually, this stuff does exist, in notebooks and files and quote boards (OK, so maybe that was just the Daily Kent Stater?). In fact, I think most newsrooms have someone who unofficially keeps these things on file, because sometimes you just need a laugh. My own Twitter account documents some of the funniest moments I overhear in my office. But the only people who see that are the 400 or so who follow me, and they have to put up with a lot of other tweets to get the good stuff.

Anyway, here are a few of the funnies from this new site:

Reporter 1: Chess release … I mean press release. There should be chess releases.
Reporter 2: Totally. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Knight to f4

Reporter starting her shift: “No one died on that plane. So why is it still on TV?”

And finally, I’m pretty sure I’ve said the same or very similar things working late cops shifts:

“If anyone’s gonna die tonight, I hope they do it before 10:30 p.m.”

In college, I used to keep the Overheard at KSU blog, which was similar to this one but about my campus. But then I graduated. And since I was no longer at Kent State to overhear anything or promote the site, it kind of died. But at least there are some funny comments preserved in time.

Here are a few overheard in the newsroom moments I quickly found skimming my own Twitter feed:

1.) Perils of listening to scanner: Reprtr1, “Did you hear explosion?” Ed, “I heard missing child.” Me, joking, “I thought they said landslide.”

2.) Scanner traffic among school bus drivers: “Watch out for the Yahoos, Deb.” Reply: “Don’t you want to just run over them sometimes?” lol

3.) Oh, PHI helicopter down in Romney. Engine failure. No injuries, just transport their patient to hospital. … I called police to get location, the first thing dispatcher says when I say my name: “It sounds worse than it is”

4.) Here’s something funny: Just got a call from sheriff’s dept asking if I still have/can send them a press release they sent yesterday. Lol.

5.) My editor just asked me if I “have a green card” because I’ve never seen A Charlie Brown Christmas. He said that’s un-American.

The truth about newspaper industry woes: It’s all relative

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Bryan Murley has posted the best post about online journalism I’ve seen in awhile. At least it made me smile. It’s, in his words, full of snark. But it’s worth pondering. Check it out: Newspaper industry woes deconstructed.

Here’s a sampling:

The Internet is the (best/worst) thing to ever happen to newspapers. It is (killing/rejuvenating) the newspaper industry in ways we (always/never) imagined. Top editors and newspaper execs (are/are not) getting involved in (innovating/suffocating) our practices on this (new/old) way of doing things.

You get the idea.

The point is, there are arguments to be made — and that are being made — for and against every item you’ll read in the journalism blogosphere, including here on my blog. He just steps back to remind us we’re arguing in circles on some of these things. One organization’s Godsend may be another’s tragedy, and there are probably valid reasons for choosing whichever side of the slash you do.

I still think it’s worth discussing and plan to argue or at least present the facts of my side of the slash — and that would be “the newspaper industry (looks bleak/looks to have a bright future).”

Webby five-word speeches; NYTimes: No longer a newspaper site

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Take a look at some of the funny and interesting five-word speeches by this year’s Webby Award winners.

Let’s start with these ones related to media:

Guides/Ratings/Reviews ConsumerReports.org – :
“It pays not to advertise.”

News BBC News – :
“Every click is really appreciated.”

News NYTimes.com – Webby:
“No longer a newspaper site.”

Newspaper NYTimes.com – :
“Elliot Spitzer, we thank you.”

Best Home/Welcome Page National Geographic – :
“The people get the picture.”

Services MOO – :
“Who said print was dead?”

Education FactCheckED.org – :
“Where truthiness goes to die.”

Branded Content Year Zero – :
“Tell stories on the web.”

Broadband ABC.com Full Episode Player – :
“TV? Online? Never happen, kid.”

Integrated Campaigns A Fuller Spectrum of News | msnbc.com – Webby:
“Uh, fuller isn’t actually a word.”

Best Writing Onion News Network – Webby/People’s Voice:
“together, we’ll make reading obsolete.”

Documentary: Individual Episode Coney Island: An uncertain Future – Webby/People’s Voice:
“the revolution will be webcast.”

Documentary: Series NFB Filmaker in Residence – Webby:
“the internet is a documentary.”

News & Politics: Series Hometown Baghdad – Webby:
“real news helps overcome ignorance.”

News Mobile NYTimes – Webby:
“Please help us monetize this.”

News CNN Mobile – :
“We1? Cnna3 “anywhere, anyplace, anytime”.”

Other interesting/fun ones (disclaimer, I’ve never even heard of many of these winners):

Celebrity/Fan Best Week Ever – :
“Who let the blogs out?”

Social/Networking Flock The Social Web Browser – Webby:
“No shit! We beat Facebook?”

Weird I Can Has Cheezburger? – :
“Mah inglish skillz, lolcats b0rkedem.”

Best Use of Photography PENTAX Photo Gallery – :
“Blog your photos — save trees.”

Best Use of Typography Veer – Type City – Webby:
“Thanks, in 72-point Helvetica.”

Youth Nick.com – :
“Sponge Bob is our sugar daddy.”

Retail Ikea Mattress – :
“We enjoy sleeping with you.”

Associations SkillsOne – Webby:
“Guys like girls with skills.”

Cultural Institutions Design for the Other 90% – Webby:
“Design is changing the world.”

Politics FactCheck.org – :
“No, Obama is not a Muslim.”

Banner Singles Lightbulb – :
“We’re hiring. Send us resumes.”

Webby Person of the Year Michel Gondry – Special Achievement:
“Keyboards are full of germs”

Comedy: Long Form or Series You Suck at Photoshop – People’s Voice:
“we’re auctioning word 5.”

Mobile Marketplace & Services Chase SMS Banking – Webby:
“**** corporate design, hire me.”

Hey, remember that post from yesterday? NYTimes says it’s not a newspaper site. ;) I think that’s my favorite. I also appreciated their tongue-in-cheek thanks to the former governor who no doubt drove a lot of traffic their way, as well as their not so subtle “Please help us monetize this.”

Summing something up in five words makes Twitter’s 140-character limit seem mighty generous. Think of it like a Web headline (our breaking news headlines are supposed to be five to six words, and actually Twitter has much improved my writing of these).

Semi-related: my previous post on summing up journalism in six words.

(Found via USAToday’s Technology Live blog)

J&C speller, FTW!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Spelling bees were not a big thing where I came from. I suppose they’re probably like that in most places. The closest I ever came to caring was when my older sister won our elementary school spelling bee, but she never made it past the local competition.

When I came to Lafayette, however, I began to care about the spelling bee. First, the Journal & Courier sponsors the local bee. Also, I cover education, so it’s a big story for my schools. But the real reason is our spellers usually do well beyond the local competitions. But never before this well:

spelling bee winner leads Indy Star

That’s a screen grab from the front of today’s Indy Star, where Sameer was the lead story. — I’d have grabbed the J&C’s front where he dominated, but someone forgot to post it last night so I can’t. It’s probably cooler he got such prominent play in the state’s largest paper anyway.

Cool side note, he also got a photo mention on the front of the Washington Post! He garnered quite a few other front page photo mentions; in a quick birds-eye scan of Today’s Front Pages:

(Note: After today, those pages will be different.)

Now, I’ve written before about good news stories, and the public’s hunger for them. This is one of those stories.

I did a Q&A earlier this week with Sameer Mishra, the four-time winner of the J&C sponsored spelling bee whose older sister had won it in the years preceding him. This was his fourth and final time heading to the national bee, and he said he just wanted to beat his personal best — 14th place two years ago.

He’s obviously very smart, but beyond that, he’s hard-working. He spent 4-5 hours a night studying words to prepare. Not that other kids didn’t spend as much time, but you have to be dedicated to do that. The world could use more dedicated people.

Everyone was rooting for him around here. Each time he went up to spell, our newsroom gathered around the local desk TV to watch and cross our fingers. It wasn’t that we were the sponsors, it was that this was a local kid on the national stage and he was totally kicking butt. It was exciting. How can you not root for the local?

I monitored and wrote quick updates throughout the day for our Web site, but we had a Gannett reporter in D.C. writing the story itself, so I was hands-off there. When I left last night, I went out to dinner and out to the movies, so I only got to track him through the 10th round. When I got a call while at dinner from the night editor telling me he had won and they needed me to give them his parents cell phone number so the reporter today can call for a follow, I was elated. I mean, I had a huge smile on my face for at least 10 minutes. I was just so happy for him that all his hard-work had paid off. I honestly am not sure I’ve ever been that genuinely and unselfishly happy for someone else before in my life. It felt good.

Sameer wasn’t just a local favorite, he had audiences everywhere cracking up. Earlier in the semifinals, he would crack jokes, like the fact that the word he received was a dessert that “sounds good now” or when he was told one of his words had five languages of origin and he quipped “That’s wonderful.” But the funniest moment was when he — and most people as you can tell by the audience’s laughter — misheard the announcer saying “numbnut” instead of “numnah.” For your belly-laughing pleasure, that moment’s preserved on YouTube:

Journalism in six words

Monday, April 28th, 2008

How would you sum up journalism in six words? Poynter asked this question a few weeks back (maybe not even). I meant to comment on this earlier, but now’s as good a time as ever. You can go vote on which if the finalists you think is the best six-word summary of/motto for journalism.

Here are the top 10 finalists to choose from:

  • Doing more with less since 1690
  • We’ll always have Paris … or Britney
  • It’s how I change the world.
  • Get it right, write it tight
  • They’ll miss us when we’re gone
  • Feed the watchdog, euthanize the lapdog
  • Who, what, when, where, why, Web*
  • Facts, schmacts … how is my hair?
  • Dirty commie latte-sipping liberal scum
  • Please stop griping, now start typing

I bolded my personal favorites. The asterisk is the one for which I actually cast my vote.

Also, on the Poynter story there are several honorable mentions. Here are my favorites among those:

  • We’re sorry about all the trees

  • No news is not good news
  • How many inches is the truth?
  • Seek the truth, not the money
  • We don’t make this shit up
  • Dead wood floats. So can we
  • A journalist’s work is never done
  • History’s first version, updated every minute
  • It beats working for a living
  • Speak truth to power, or else
  • But this IS my day job!
  • Mainstream media: We’re your grandfather’s blog
  • Filling the space between the ads

So, what’s your favorite? (Vote at the Poynter story. Right now it looks like “Doing more with less since 1690″ is leading, followed by “They’ll miss us when we’re gone.”)

I didn’t submit any to the contest, but here are a few humble attempts I just came up with:

  • Been there. Done that. Rinse. Repeat.

  • Every day something new to learn.
  • Speak up or hold your peace.
  • Who’s watching your government?
  • Nothing is worth more than today.
  • Tomorrow this will be forgotten.
  • I couldn’t make this stuff up.
  • As read about on Romenesko.
  • Blogs: Repurposing real journalism since 1997.

Have any contributions or ideas for your own six-word motto for journalism? It’s harder than it seems.

LOL @ nothired.com

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

If you’re a Twitter follower, you likely already know I discovered a new site about an hour ago.

It made me actually “LOL” several times, so I thought I’d pass along the joy of NotHired.com. Here are a couple of the journalism/writing related postings you may find as amusing as I did:

nothiredcopyeditor.gif

Here are a few typos from one applicant’s cover letter:

“I also teach an SAT prep course—the students their love me!”

. . .and. . .

“I can speak without thinking and right even better.”

Saving the best for last.

I’ll take “What not to call your potential employers?” for $1,000. Note the last graf:
notehiredbbc_skank_ho.gif

It reminds me partly of Joe Grimm’s News Recruiter blog (the less formal journalism asides to his Ask the Recruiter column). In particular his Friday postings amuse me.

My two personal favorite lines from cover letters I proofread in college:

• Opening line of a cover letter from a photographer at my college paper in Kent, Ohio, to the Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer: “Greetings from Ohio!”

• In a cover letter from a designer to the Gannett recruiter conducting on-campus interviews: “I want to get with Gannett.”

I’m sure there are others. But those both stick out in my mind as the funniest. Your Turn: What’s the funniest mistake you’ve made or seen?