Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Regarding the New York Times Readers Center

To: Clifford Levy
CC: A. G. Sulzberger

Cliff,

I have been a loyal New York Times reader for more than 45 years. I had two newspaper routes in Cleveland as a boy, one for a morning paper and one evening, and the first and most important thing I bought with that money was the Times on Sunday and Tuesday.

I am troubled by the description of the Readers Center position here:

http://www.nytco.com/introducing-the-reader-center/

In particular the following line.

“Collaborating with our marketing department to showcase the value of Times journalism.”

The job of the Public Editor as I am I think most readers have understood it, was to be an advocate for the Readers and to publicly take the Times editors and management to task when they screwed up, to put it plainly.

The job of the Readers editor would seem to be the opposite of that, going by the posted description.

Having the new Readers Center working with marketing is crossing a red line in journalism which should never be crossed.

I should not have to remind you, but the present circumstances indicate the necessity of so doing:

Journalists should:

– Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.

– Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Prominently label sponsored content.

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

The Public Editor position went a long way to restoring trust and the Times brand inflicted by inaccurate reporting and lack of editorial responsibility and oversight inflicted by, particularly, the false reporting in the run-up to the Iraq War, and it wasn’t just Judy Miller, though you sacrificed her, not undeservedly perhaps, and Jayson Blair.

Firing the Public Editor and then hiring a new “Readers Center” with the same brief, except for responsibility to represent the views of advertisers rather than those of readers, is a terrible idea in every way, moral, ethical, journalistic, and inflicts incalculable damage already on the Time’s already damaged reputation. The excuse that firing the Public Editor and eliminating that position was a cost-cutting measure seems untenable given that a new role, with a similar brief, was immediately established. With the critical and all-important distinction noted above. Going from being responsible for the insuring the journalistic integrity of the Times to overtly and self-admittedly being a shill and a mouthpiece for upper management and advertisers.

These are self-inflicted wounds, folks, what are you doing? Are you shorting the stock and hoping to make the Times fail? Or is this simply another unforced error committed for no conceivable good reason?

sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
former Senior Systems Administrator
Tufts University*

* institutional affiliation for identification purposes only

blog: https://scanlyze.org

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, need more information, or wish to discuss the issue further.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

scanlyze1

4 July, 2017 Posted by | ethics, journalism, New York Times, news, newspapers, Readers Center, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Response to “Occupy Wall Street: How Should it be Covered Now”

Response to “Occupy Wall Street: How Should it be Covered Now“.

To: Arthur S. Brisbane
Public Editor of the New York Times

I find it amazing that these pundits, looking at a crowd of people carrying signs, come away scratching their heads asking, “what specifically do OWS demonstrators want?”

The conspiratorial questions about “who is the leader, who is really behind it” also show how far out of touch, and indeed, clueless, these members of the chattering classes truly are.

Let me tackle the first part of Tim Kelly’s list:

Who are the protesters?

A few groups are here.

1. Old New Leftists, now part of the establishment, going once more unto the breach.
2. First-time protesters, most idealistic young people.
3. Ideological extremists (a small, but visible minority).
4. War veterans, now home and un- or under-employed.

Who are the leaders?

The internet is the leader. There is no person who can be described as leading the movement. Intellectually, the movement is led by Noam Chomsky, probably more than any one other living figure.

Who’s really behind all this?

Adbusters started it. I think it amazed them and has long since left their control.

Who’s going to pay for the cleanup?

Presumably this will fall primarily to municipalities.

What do they hope to accomplish?

Reducing wealth and income inequality.
Enhancing civil rights.
Holding the richest and most powerful to account.

What can citizens do to take part in the protests, or avoid them?

Really? A former newspaper editor has no idea how to Google about “occupy wall street” plus (name of town) and either go there or not go there?

What is happening inside the camps?

I have been to the Boston settlement twice and I have found it peaceful, clean and orderly, with many thought-provoking discussions, books, tracts, and signs.

This degree of confusion and inability to observe the plainly obvious makes me think that, as in the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, that these wealthy pundits and apologists for the plutocratic class quoted above, see only that which they wish to see and nothing more.

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

See also: To: His Lordship, the Right Honorable Richard John Carew Chartres, Bishop of London Re: Occupy London

David Brooks of the New York Times and the Occupy Wall Street movement

Regarding the Wall Street protests

7 November, 2011 Posted by | capitalism, civil rights, coverage, demonstration, economics, freedom, journalism, media, news, Occupy Wall Street, politics, press, protest, reporter, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Response to ‘Netbooks: our modern-day Tower of Babel’

Response to ‘Netbooks: our modern-day Tower of Babel’

Dear Ashley Dresser,

I am writing to comment on your column, Netbooks: our modern-day Tower of Babel, published 9/13/2009 at http://www.mndaily.com/2009/09/13/netbooks-our-modern-day-tower-babel

I am the former senior systems administrator for One Laptop per Child (OLPC). I am speaking only for myself.

When I worked for OLPC, it had about 23 employees. How do you realistically propose that we would have provided individual training, “One Trainer per Child” as you put it, to over 700,000 users? That is the job of the country or nonprofit managing the deployment, not OLPC.

OLPC has not been a failure, not withstanding the vitriolic opinion on one blogger on a private .com website covering the UN (not a “UN-based blog”).

Each country and region has its own culture and pedagogical standards and methods. OLPC cannot dictate to Mongolia, Peru, Uruguay, Nepal, etc. how they should use the laptops or how they should teach.

You say, “American customers often experience delays in receiving their laptops and among delivery to those in need, several thousand orders have been reported lost or stolen.”

There are no American customers aside from some local deployments. The Give One, Get One promotion ended nine months ago. Did you not know this?

You say that several thousand orders have been reported lost or stolen. Where and when? If this happened, how is it the fault or responsibility of OLPC?

Why are you so hostile and ill-informed toward such a wonderful and brilliant program? You could do better, I suppose?

I am very proud of the time that I spent at OLPC, and I have never met a more brilliant, caring, hard-working, and committed group of people anywhere. They, and the world’s children, deserve better from you.

I will be posting this letter, and your response should you care to provide one, on my blog at https://scanlyze.wordpress.com .

Sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy

See:
Nasty UNdispatch blog attack on One Laptop per Child — a response
The dream of OLPC and the aid bubble

Copyright © 2009 Henry Edward Hardy

Submit to del.icio.usSubmit to BluedotSubmit to ConnoteaDigg it!Submit to FurlSubmit to newsvineSubmit to RedditSubmit to FurlSubmit to TechnoratiSocial Networking Icons Help

15 September, 2009 Posted by | Ashley Dresser, blog, development, international, journalism, Minnesota Daily, news, OLPC, One Laptop Per Child, scanlyze, UNDispatch, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BBC Report: ‘Sleaze alleged in CIA’

Interesting 9 minute video report from BBC regarding alleged financial and sexual corruption in the US intelligence agency:

Newsnight investigates alleged CIA sleaze

Launch report in stand-alone player

Duke Cunningham (wikipedia)
Cunningham, Randy Duke R-CA (namebase)
Kyle Foggo (wikipedia)
Foggo, Kyle (namebase)
Porter J. Goss (wikipedia)
Goss, Porter J., R-FL (namebase)
Brent Wilkes (wikipedia)
Wilkes, Brent R. (namebase)

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

Submit to del.icio.usSubmit to BluedotSubmit to ConnoteaDigg it!Submit to FurlSubmit to newsvineSubmit to RedditSubmit to FurlSubmit to TechnoratiSocial Networking Icons Help

22 February, 2007 Posted by | allegations, America, appropriations, BBC, Brent Wilkes, Bush, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, Congress, corruption, covert operations, DC, District of Columbia, House of Representatives, intelligence, investigation, investigations, journalism, Kyle Dusty Foggo, media, national security, news, peace, politics, Porter Goss, prostitution, Randy Cunningham, reporting, scanlyze, seduction, television, TV, USA, video, war, Washington, Watergate | 1 Comment

The Extraordinary Stupidity of the New York Times’ David Pogue

The New York Times isn’t what she once was in the 1960’s or 1970’s of course. Yet some of its writers still surprise and shock us with their ability to produce absolutely stupid and serious-sounding pronouncements about things of which they apparently are completely innocent of any knowledge.

Latest in the train of preposterous foolishness emanating from the Times is Breaking the Myth of Megapixels from David Pogue. Seems Pogue thinks he has discovered that the number of pixels in an image make no difference in image quality! Or as he pompously proclaims:

…the Megapixel Myth.

It goes like this: “The more megapixels a camera has, the better the pictures.”

It’s a big fat lie. The camera companies and camera stores all know it, but they continue to exploit our misunderstanding.

Well no David, actually the number of pixels in an image is important as it establishes an upper boundary for the image resolution. Of course an inferior quality image might be produced or saved at a high resolution, but that is essentially irrelevant. All other things being equal, a higher number of pixels is better.

Mr. Pogue seems equally at a loss to determine what other issues might affect image quality besides image resolution:

If you’re torn between two camera models, you now know that you shouldn’t use the megapixel rating as a handy one-digit comparison score.

So what replaces it? What other handy comparison grade is there?

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing.

Well of course Pogue is completely wrong again. Other factors to consider are the available lenses and their optical quality, aperture size, and characteristics of the digital device (CCD or CMOS), which records the image. We also should consider if the image is stored using a loss-less or lossy compression algorithm, and certain characteristics of the memory of the device including its speed and capacity.

Factors which should be regarded as far as the CCD or CMOS chip are:

  • Sensitivity. Usually reported analogously with ASA or ISO numbers on the old film cameras.
  • Dark Count CCD devices tend to “flip” or show a charge even when no light is present; this limits their use in low light.
  • Bit depth 32 bits per pixel holds 256 times as many color variations as 24 bits per pixel, for instance (2^32/2^24=2^8=256)
  • Cosmetic Defects These are “bad pixels” due to limits in the manufacturing process and quality control issues.

In addition, high-end processes, such as Kodak’s photo-CD format, keep other image characteristics, such as chroma and luminance, which aid in the restoration of images compressed using certain lossy formats such as YCC and some JPEG formats.

If Mr. Pogue had been a columnist for the Times back in the 1970’s, doubtless he would have “discovered” some equally stupid conclusions about conventional film photography. Perhaps he would have opined that using different film stock didn’t really matter and is a “myth” as most people can’t readily see the difference. Or that quality optics didn’t make a difference. Or using better quality chemicals or paper didn’t make a difference.

But then such rubbish wouldn’t have made it into the Times back when it really was *the* New York Times.

Hold the presses! ROFLMAO I guess I was right on in calling the New NYT the “New York Times for Dummies” (rollover the times entry in my blogroll). Evidently Mr. Pogue is in fact the author of several books for dummies including: Classical Music for Dummies, The Flat-Screen iMac for Dummies, Macs for Dummies and Magic for Dummies!

Welcome aboard the New York Times for Dummies Mr. Pogue, you should feel right at home!

David Pogue (wikipedia)

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

Submit to del.icio.usSubmit to BluedotSubmit to ConnoteaDigg it!Submit to FurlSubmit to newsvineSubmit to RedditSubmit to FurlSubmit to TechnoratiSocial Networking Icons Help

12 February, 2007 Posted by | David Pogue, dummies, journalism, media, mega-pixels, New York Times, newspapers, photography, pixels, scanlyze, stupidity, technology | 3 Comments