Mark on December 22nd, 2010

Sometime next month, a day will slip by that marks the 40th anniversary of my more-or-less continual immersion in journalism. When I started, the now-dead Terrace Herald was only two years past the end of hot lead typography (and I had enough earlier exposure to that to love the mixed smell of melting lead and […]

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Mark on February 27th, 2010

Barring two upsets — Norway in curling and the U.S. in hockey — it appears as though Canada will finish the 2010 Winter Olympics not only with the most gold medals, but with the most gold medals ever won by a country at a winter Olympics. Good for us. That’s a helluva an accomplishment and […]

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Mark on February 19th, 2010

This one’s for my students. You get better by doing, which means always practicing. It’s not about the assignments and the grades; it’s about going out and pushing. Challenge yourself. Take your camera out today and shoot as though cropping had never been invented. Make every pixel in every image count. Take a walk through […]

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Mark on February 17th, 2010

We journalists love our aphorisms. One of them popped into my Tweet stream this morning: “News is something everyone wants to repress. The rest is advertising.” (The most-loved it would seem, based on how often we hear it, is: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”) All such sayings are cute and […]

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Mark on January 10th, 2010

I’m on the verge of recommending that our journalism program get out of the newspaper business. (This is not an anti-print rant, nor does it mean I’m one of those who sees no future for print. What drives this isn’t a matter of platform, it’s thinking about how best to teach skills.) Our print issue […]

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Mark on December 22nd, 2009

One of the latest boondoggles related to the Vancouver Winter Olympic was Vanoc’s treatment of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Basically, the VSO refused to play for the 2010 opening ceremonies after it was asked to record its performance, have only some of its members actually on stage (augmented by other musicians) and with a different […]

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Mark on December 18th, 2009

1. Journalism is not dying. Changing, yes. 2. Newspapers, as an industry, are not going away. Changing, yes. 3. Ink on paper will eventually die. Hand-illuminated manuscripts on parchment did, too. 4. It has never been about bloggers vs. journalists. 5. Not all of the smart people are in newsrooms. 6. Both the critics and […]

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Mark on December 5th, 2009

As one semester dwindles and another looms, I need to tap into the broader intelligence. Specifically, I’m looking for feedback from journalists, teachers of multimedia and anyone else on content for a first-year news production course I teach each spring semester. The course started out years ago as 15 weeks of learning newspaper design, Quark, […]

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Mark on November 19th, 2009

My reaction to a spate of recent conferences on the future of media may have been a little uncharitable, a brusque thought aimed at media and newspapers in particular: Get over it and get on with it. As I said, uncharitable. Because these are tough times to be in the newsroom, with those vacant desks […]

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Mark on November 9th, 2009

For the past three and a half years, I’ve been (very slowly) learning how to play violin. This morning, I started thinking about how music-making is like journalism. For one thing, we are all born with an innate music-making ability, but not everyone puts in the effort needed to become a musician. We’re all born […]

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