That Were The Week That Were: February 27, 2011

Welcome once again to my weekly review of some of the random odds and ends I’ve found interesting or entertaining while trawling around online during the past seven days.

This week’s highlights include an example of why you should always think twice before you start blogging about work (and never imagine a blog to be a private conversation), a tale of people power through pizza, and a use of the phrase “darting dildo drama”. Tell me you’re not curious to find out more about that.

So, without wasting another moment, here…we…go…

Links of the week:

First up this week we have a story from the Press Gazette about new website Churnalism.com which seeks to name and shame those news outlets who simply recycle press releases as news stories. Let’s be clear, journalists need the information contained in press releases to fill their papers. We’d all love to be able to say our titles are full of nothing but original reportage, but the truth is it isn’t going to happen when resources are scarce and page flow targets have to be met. But cut and pasting 97 per cent of a press release and calling it a story? You almost wonder why they bothered changing that final three per cent.

Next up, from Time, is the story of Natalie Muroe, a teacher from Pennsylvania who found herself in a spot of bother when the rather frank comments about her students were discovered on her blog. She was suspended from her job and sparked a debate about the state of the public school system. I would imagine she would have a good chance of arguing that any punishment for her actions would be an infringement of her first amendment rights, but how daft do you have to be to imagine a blog can be meant for just family and friends? Send an email next time.

Proving we live in a world interconnected like never before, this tale of a Wisconsin pizza joint and political protest shows how solidarity in the face of unpopular cuts and legislation can take some unusual forms.

Tweet of the week:

Steve Mortiboys is a British ex-pat living in California. I know little about him other than that he likes hockey and is an occasional stand-up comic. Oh, and his tweets are amusing, so follow him:

http://twitter.com/#!/SteveMortiboys/status/40478918670684160

And finally:

This story made me laugh so hard there were genuine looks of concern on the faces of my colleagues as they asked what was so funny. Maybe I’m just still harbouring the sense of humour of a 12-year-old. But hey, whatever, any report containing the words “dinged by the artificial dong” gets my vote any day of the week. Enjoy, and see you next week for more of the same.

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