The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.


To: Margaret Sullivan - public@nytimes.com

Cc: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@turbousa.com

From: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@pdmsb.com

Date: 14 May 2014 00:00 am CST

Subject: 2014010 - Flunked, Margaret, Flunked...

You, my dear lady, have flunked my little test -- and so have your associates. You don't have the slightest idea how to solve your present problems for one very simple little reason. You don't seem to understand the importance of understanding precisely who you work for -- who is your customer??

BTW, I am writing this on Sunday, the 11th of May for delivery Wed, 14 May 2014 -- that gives you a couple of days to prove me  wrong.

This Innovation Report, and the staff memo place a lot of emphasis on a digital first newsroom. How you store your paper work has absolutely nothing to do with the problems at hand -- unless, you decide to incorporate some of the benefits of digital communication to better serve your customers -- and nobody has demonstrated such an interest -- yet.

Your success for the future depends entirely on the development of an on-line communication with your customers. Which, obviously, means answering your e-mail -- every cotton picking one. It also means publishing individual e-mail addresses and assigning a crew of people to handle the load. Everything else is BS (just talk) without such a change.

The worst part of this whole mess is that your lack of response is an outright insult. Do you honestly believe that I would waste my valuable time to SPAM you?? That is sick, sick, sick -- and stupid to boot. Writing is hard, especially for an old engineer/programmer, -- solving problems is the primary task in my line of work -- and, I just want to help -- and, I have some software -- and, I don't pretend to be much of a writer.

Monday, May 12, 2014 12:00 

A number of things are coming to a head, causing me to re-evaluate my decision to publish this document on Wednesday -- we'll see.

Glenn Greenwald has written a book to be published tomorrow -- no indication of any kind of plan.

Paul Krugman is having second thoughts:

And again: what we see here is a determination to declare that we as a profession have nothing useful to offer in the teeth of overwhelming evidence that we actually do know something.

I'm not sure what this is about. Maybe in part it's academic distaste for the very notion of emerging from the ivory tower to engage with real concerns. But let me remind my colleagues that nobody has to take economists seriously. If we as a profession are going to squirt out clouds of ink and scuttle for safety whenever anyone suggests a real-world use for our work, what good are we?

And Margaret, dear Margaret expresses her concern:

After three decades in journalism, I find it hard to believe that -- while things have changed radically in some ways -- there's still such a gender imbalance. At the International Journalism Festival in Italy earlier this month, I was part of a panel called "Where Are the Women?" Sitting there, discussing the paucity of women in journalism leadership globally I had a surreal feeling: Are we really still talking about this?

Well, it is now 02:40 am Wednesday morning -- and I have extreme doubts about the value of any additional waste of time. A big part of me says to file this memo and forget it, while another part says go ahead, what have you got to lose. 

I watched that Frontline, "United States of Secrets" and was amazed by the extent of involvement of NYT -- not good, not good.

But, I am more concerned about the next big scandal, Bill Gates and Microsoft. Remember that George W. stopped the legal action against Microsoft that led to the present Internet fiasco.

I have been working on creating a server with my software and can vouch for the fact that it is extremely easy. I have no proof of wrong doing; however, when a task is that easy, it's a fair assumption that somebody is doing it. I believe that it could be a valuable addition for users to connect to their home database from their mobile computer -- if introduced properly.

We are over 30 years into the age of the Personal Computer without any of the benefits of one, thanks to Bill Gates and company -- isn't that worth some investigating??

To be continued (I hope) 

Doug Skoglund skoglund@pdmsb.com

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention)

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