The death of Ted Baxter
: Lost Remote sends us to a column by Terry Heaton arguing that the days of the TV news anchor are numbered.
He says that in our connected world, time is precious and anchors (and news shows) take too long to get through a story. Right. In fact, they drag out stories to fill time because fewer stories means lower cost.
Second, he says he’d rather hear from the reporter who is on the scene than the anchor in the studio.
Third — and this is key — he says “the only ‘personalities’ I care about are those who share my beliefs and provide the arguments that I need to communicate those beliefs with other members of my ‘tribe.’ I don’t care what these people look like or sound like. What they say is paramount.” There, ladies and gentlemen, is the key to the success of FoxNews. Bill O’Reilly is not as pretty as Peter Jennings but at least you know where he stands.
Finally, Heaton says, that the age of the media elite is over: “I have little time or respect for people on pedestals.”
I’m not so sure that anchors will go the way of dodo birds quite yet. But I certainly do believe we’ll see an evolution in TV away from dull, overpaid, pretty news readers and toward grizzled, opinionated news thinkers.
: Heaton also sees a different future for TV reporters:
The video news people of tomorrow will be very different than those of today. You’ll write, shoot and edit your own material. The ability to write will be paramount, for
New Iranian blogs
: Pedram, the Eyeranian, links to lots of new English-language blogs from inside Iran. I particularly like this woman’s viewpoint:
Isn’t it funny? the governmental laws and rules in Iran (with a semi-modern society) are defined from the pattern which had been followed by savage Arabian tribes in about 1400 years ago! they used to neglect all women’s rights, just like most other countries in that old time, but the silly point is that we are still obeying them,…!
In the law book of Islamic Republic of Iran you can find such clear discriminations against women that makes the reader doubt if the edition date of the book is really 2003!!!
– a wife must not leave the house without permission of her husband! and if she leaves house for 1 hour, and her husband doesn’t agree, he can go to a court and say it to the judge…!! …
– in a court, witnessing of a man equals to 2 women!!!
– there are some jobs that are forbidden for women : being president of the country, religious leader (marja’e taghlid) or being a judge..!! …
– It is forbidden for a female (!) to ride a bike or motorcycle! if the police see her, they can arrest her!
there are thousands of these silly discriminations in the rules of iran which are applying right now in the courts, families, and totally entire ISLAMIC society..!! they are like dark shadows, following you during your life, always reminding you that in this religion, you are considered as slaves and men are masters!!
: Konstantin Klein, a German correspondent, is leaving Washington after seven years and Papa Scott translates his valedictory post:
The USA to which I came in July 1996 was a completely different country than the USA that I am now leaving: well-off, self-satisfied, open, optimistic. It was the land of Bill Clinton and the Internet, sudden wealth, free of worries. Today on the other hand, my adopted countrymen find themselves being driven from one fear to the next (and many of them let themselves be driven), threatened, despised, isolated. Who is responsible for this change – everyone has his own their theory, I’m sure. I’ve been so close to the action that right now I don’t have an overview, I’m missing the big picture. But I already noticed in 1996/1997 how helpful it sometimes is to leave a country and to observe it from the outside.
Well, I wouldn’t quite agree with that portrait but, fine, it’s his.
What I ask is that he paint a corresponding picture of the Germany to which he is returning. Seven years ago, it was also optimistic and bubbly but today it is depressed and angry and isolating itself from its friend, America, and trying to figure out how the hell to restructure itself out of the economic mess in which it finds itself. So you could look at this another way: The world economy and the world situation — thanks to terrorism — are worse off than they were seven years ago and I’d wager that Germany is worse off by comparison today than America. But that is in the eye of the beholder.
Weblogs in China
: I predict that China will be the next frontier for weblog explosion. Here’s an interesting new group weblog — in English — called Living In China and a list of the more than two dozen bloggers involved (many of them Americans and other expats living over there). Then there’s a weblog on media in China, which points to this report on the state of the art of weblogs there:
…while foreign blogs are dominated by a combination of male nerds and professionals
Persian or Farsi
: Blogalization, the multilingual blog, answers the question I’ve been meaning to ask: Is it Persian or Farsi?