Monday, April 24, 2006

New Web site

First of all, we appreciate your patience as we convert to our new site design. We are doing this while simultaneously moving to a new, better, faster server, so lots of complications arising, as would be expected.

Once we work the kinks out, I would love to get your feedback on the new site. While the changes to the print Star involved content and design improvements, this is mainly a redesign, because we've been adding multi-media features to over the past few months.

Anyway, we are compiling a list of tweaks we need to make on the site-- feel free to post here with things we need to add or, heaven forbid, things you LIKE about the new design!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Duke case

Here is blog post I was asked to make for the Poynter Insitute, a journalism thinktank in St. Petersburg.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rod Stewart night???

What's the matter, Englebert Humperdink wasn't available?

Why do you have to be a washed up rocker to get a theme night on American Idol.

Oh well, at least I don't have to watch Bucky sing "Do ya think I'm sexy" .......

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Brenda Sue

Well, Megan Ward's series on the Brenda Sue Brown murder has generated more interest and feedback than any non-breaking feature we've ever written. The message board thread on the subject has grown to more than 20 pages. The interactive feature we put together has been viewed more than 8,000 times.

Question: Are there any questions you have that we didn't answer? Or, any other comments on the series?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Oh deer

Like we don't have enough fun at our house ..

I get a call from my wife, who had carpool. Just after she turned toward Jefferson School off of the Cherryville Highway 6 or so deer cantered from her left (near Community Pharmacy) to her right (toward the YMCA) she slowed to a near stop, but one of them slammed into the front left of her van, denting it badly. The deer survived and scampered off into the woods.

Obviously a traumatic experience for my wife and the kids.

She called me and said my 8-year-old was freaking out a little bit. He did, however, provide a priceless moment.

As I tried to calm him down, I told him that this happens all the time and that deer are always running across the streets and stuff.

He said, melodramatically, "DAADDDD, they weren't DEER, they were REINdeer!!!!!"

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Just "women"

We do some knuckleheaded things in the paper -- mainly because we're a bunch of imperfect humans.

Today was one of those times.

We wrote a story about a wreck in which two women were injured. We identified the pair as "black women."

Sometimes race is relevant to stories, but most of the time it is not. This time, race wasn't relevant at all.

We discussed this in the newsroom and there was total agreement, even by the reporter on the story, who covers the police/emergency beat for us and is a fine reporter.

So, how did it happen?

The explanation is simple: Cops reporters are in a mode of trying to squeeze every detail out of stories -- usually they are right on deadline and every morsel can add to the story. Sometimes, though, when writing non-crime stories, they forget to shift gears. That is what happened in this case.

Still, it shouldn't have. Race had no place in this story and we apologize for interjecting it where it didn't belong.

K.. K.. K.. Katie

The big talk in the media world today is about Katie Couric jumping to CBS to take over the CBS Evening News.

1) Will you watch her?
2) Will you keeping watching Today?
3) Think all of this is overblown?

My answers are:
1) Probably at the start, out of curiosity, but not over the long haul
2) I prefer GMA anyway
3) YES!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Doesn't hold water ...

It's amazing to me how scientists go out of their way to try and demonstrate flaws in Christianity or other religions. Check out this ridiculous story.