the journalista

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Author: Monique Judge (page 26 of 40)

NPR’s diversity problem didn’t get any help from this reporter’s tweet

“It’s not easy to break into an unfamiliar community and find great sources on demand,” SPJ says. “If reporters develop some background first, they will be ready to hit the streets when they’re on deadline.”Kamenetz tried to explain the original tweet, saying, “Sometimes, it seems, majority voices are more eager to put themselves forward and respond to a media query.” But ultimately she recognized her own shortcomings.

via NPR’s diversity problem didn’t get any help from this reporter’s tweet.

Oops? If you are going to cover stories with diverse sources, perhaps you should begin the work of outreach before the deadline occurs?

Why isn’t LAPD ticketing drivers in the crosswalk? via Los Angeles Walks

On Wednesday June 18, I was crossing Flower Street heading east at 6th Street during my lunch hour. I was walking in the crosswalk, with the signal, when a vehicle heading east on 6th Street in the outside lane failed to yield at the light when making a right-hand turn. The car came to a quick stop in the crosswalk, startling me and I stopped walking to look at the driver, expecting to see an acknowledgement or nod of apology for nearly hitting me. Instead the driver laid on the horn, long and loud.Confused, I looked at the crosswalk signal which was still a clear walk signal, not even counting down, with other people around me continuing to cross the street. I pointed to the signal and held my hands up in a “I don’t understand” signal to the driver. He then proceeded to roll down his window and lean his head out, yelling expletives which—in summary—demanded I get out of the street. I had my cellphone in hand so I held it up to snap a photo of him and his license plate. Upon seeing this he hit the gas, swerved, pealing out as he continued down Flower Street. He missed hitting me and other pedestrians in the crosswalk by only a few inches.

via Why isn’t LAPD ticketing drivers in the crosswalk? | Los Angeles Walks.

As a daily Metro user and pedestrian, these types of situations bother me to no end. I will often yell at my dad when I’m riding in the car with him, because he has often pulled all the way into the crosswalk at intersections. If you can write jaywalking tickets, you can ticket drivers who do not allow pedestrians the right of way.

Blondie’s Deborah Harry turns 69 today. Happy Birthday, Debbie!

If you are a child of the 80s, then Blondie is part of your era of music. Deborah Harry’s easily recognizable blonde locks and signature vocal stylings were hard to miss in the early part of that decade. From “Call Me” to “The Tide Is High” to “One Way Or Another,” she rocked us through our preteen years and into adolescence all while never changing her style up.

In celebration of Debbie’s birthday, here are some Blondie favorites for your listening and YouTube viewing pleasure.


Michael Jackson, Billie Jean, and why you can’t mess with his legacy

I can remember being twelve years old, sitting in the living room watching the Motown 25 anniversary special on television with my mother, father, and younger brother and sister. We watched all the performances, and our parents got a kick out of seeing all the acts they could remember from their youth, but we kids were staying up late for one person: Michael Jackson.

I found this video on a friend’s Facebook feed. It is a young boy performing the Motown 25 performance of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” I have watched it over and over again multiple times.

I love Michael Jackson, and I love anyone who can do justice by him in a musical or dance performance. He has inspired everyone who came after him from Usher to Ne-Yo to Pharrell even. His impact on the world is legendary, and his music is something I consider to be sacred. My basic stance is, don’t f*ck up a Michael Jackson song.

“Remember The Time” is one of those Michael songs that I consider a classic. I have my own thoughts as to the meaning of the lyrics and who the song was directed toward, and it makes it that much more sentimental to me. The video and accompanying dance routine give us more classic Mike in his element, dancing his favorite choreographed moves and looking good while doing it. I love this song. I’d list it in my top 5 Michael songs of all time.

When I heard Mack Wilds had remade “Remember the Time,” my first question was why? There are just some things you don’t touch, and Michael Jackson songs are in that group. If I’m honest, I will say that Mack did a decent enough job, and my misgivings about people remaking Mike’s work are what lead me to cast any negative light on this cover. I loved Mack on The Wire and 90210, and he has shown himself to be a respectable music artist, but why, Mack, why?

What do you think? Did Mack do Mike justice? Should he have left it alone? Let me know in the comments. 

John Oliver’s Net Neutrality Call Bogs Down FCC Site -Good job, people of the Internet


Net neutrality is the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated fairly by broadband providers. In May, the FCC approved a plan that would ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down websites, but allow them to make deals with content companies for preferential treatment, such as faster speed. Critics fear that legislation could create a two-tiered system, where companies that can pay more get faster sites, essentially limiting those with lower budgets or new startups. The FCC is currently taking comment on the proposal until June 27.

At the end of the 13-minute segment, Mr. Oliver flashed the FCC website for public comment and passionately encouraged viewers to go to the site, calling on anyone who had ever snarkily commented on a YouTube video to hone their skills for good.

via John Oliver’s Net Neutrality Call Bogs Down FCC Site – Washington Wire – WSJ.

Instagram’s new editing features could make it your only photo app

Instagram 6.0, launching today on iPhone and Android, lets you adjust brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, highlights, shadows, vignettes, and sharpness in any photo. You can access the tools by tapping a new wrench icon in Instagram’s editing screen, which splays them out in a horizontal list. Tapping one of the tools lets you adjust its strength on a 100-point scale, so even if you have no idea what vignetting means, you can develop your own understanding by playing with the tool for a couple minutes and noticing how the edges of your photo get darker as you increase the strength of the tool. Once you’ve made some edits, you can tap on your photo to see how the photo looks before and after your edits.

via Instagram’s new editing features could make it your only photo app | The Verge.

Steve Ballmer to buy Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion

Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, has won a bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion after embattled owner Donald Sterling was forced to sell, the LA Times reported Thursday.

Ballmer, who was chief executive of Microsoft for 14 years, was chosen over competitors that included Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh and a group that included David Geffen and executives from the Guggenheim Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to three individuals familiar with the negotiations.

The team was estimated to be worth an estimated $557 million dollars earlier this year.

According to the Times, the Geffen group bid $1.6 billion, and Ressler bid $1.2 billion.

The deal still has to be approved by 29 NBA owners, but is expected to go through as long as Ballmer agrees to not move the franchise from Los Angeles.

Ballmer states that he has no intention of moving the Clippers from Los Angeles, which has the second biggest media market in the country.

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Their efforts were buttressed by the federal government. In 1934, Congress created the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA insured private mortgages, causing a drop in interest rates and a decline in the size of the down payment required to buy a house. But an insured mortgage was not a possibility for Clyde Ross. The FHA had adopted a system of maps that rated neighborhoods according to their perceived stability. On the maps, green areas, rated “A,” indicated “in demand” neighborhoods that, as one appraiser put it, lacked “a single foreigner or Negro.” These neighborhoods were considered excellent prospects for insurance. Neighborhoods where black people lived were rated “D” and were usually considered ineligible for FHA backing. They were colored in red. Neither the percentage of black people living there nor their social class mattered. Black people were viewed as a contagion. Redlining went beyond FHA-backed loans and spread to the entire mortgage industry, which was already rife with racism, excluding black people from most legitimate means of obtaining a mortgage.

fromThe Case for Reparations”, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Why you should care about what is happening to net neutrality

How many times a day do you check your Facebook page? Are you active on Twitter? Do you have a favorite blog you like to read?

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself unable to do these things without paying significant additional fees, fees on top of what you already pay for Internet access, to do so?

Essentially, this is what the end of net neutrality could mean. There are many people who don’t understand the concept or the issues involved, so here is a primer.

Net Neutrality [ image]

Net Neutrality [ image]

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is a buzz phrase that refers to the open Internet. Currently, all Internet sites are able to be accessed equally. You can get to as quickly as you can get to Facebook or Amazon. There is no deterrent to surfing the web outside of any firewalls that may be put up by your employer or school. Net neutrality means things would stay this way. You will always be able to access any website you want at any time you want so long as your Internet access point allows it.

Why should you care? 

Remember how it was announced recently that Netflix would be increasing its service cost for new subscribers to its streaming service? Just prior to that announcement, Netflix had been involved in a battle with ISPs including Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon in which it was alleged that the ISPs were slowing down service when users (that’s you and me) were viewing content via their Netflix streaming video accounts. The ISPs felt Netflix should pay to deliver instant video content via the ISPs direct connection. Netflix felt this was the responsibility of the ISPs, but they agreed to a deal anyway and ponied up the money. Netflix then passed that cost along to their customers via higher prices for new subscribers. See how that works?

Netflix [via]

Netflix [via]

 So what if Netflix paid. What does that mean to me?

Netflix is a big company. They turn a huge profit each year, and they have the funds and the resources to continue to throw money at these types of problems as they pop up, but what about your favorite Etsy seller? What about small nonprofits that offer social services to the needy? What about my friend Stephen and his family-run photography business? Smaller companies do not have the money and the resources to pay off communications giants in order to have their sites seen at the same speed as others, and if net neutrality ends, so could those sites. Think of it the way you think of Walmart building their huge mega-stores in your neighborhood and shutting down all the little mom and pop businesses. The end of net neutrality means that very same thing, except on the Internet. Instead of being able to read, you will be forced to only get news and information from big sites that can afford to pay off Internet Service Providers for top speed access.

That isn’t fair to anyone.

How the other side feels

On the other side of the fence, there are those who make the argument that net neutrality is dumb. Gene Marks wrote this in a article recently: 

Wouldn’t it be great if a two bedroom, 2,000 square foot apartment on Park Avenue cost the same as one in Queens? Or if a front row ticket to a Broadway show cost the same as one in the mezzanine? Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy a new BMW for the same amount as a new Hyundai? Or if the price of a Harvard education were equal to one from your local community college? These things are priced differently. They are not neutral. Nothing is neutral in a free market economy.

I take issue with Gene comparing net neutrality to the cost of housing in different areas or the cost of education at different educational institutions. That is oversimplifying the issue and comparing apples to oranges. As my friend Pete put it, a better analogy would have been to compare it to redlining. Essentially, if net neutrality dies, so does the free marketplace of ideas. It will instead be replaced by an Internet where big corporations get to control what you can and cannot see when you log on to the Internet whether it be on your mobile device or your computer.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the freedom of choice.

Do you want to be able to choose which websites you see when, or do you want your Internet Service Provider to be able to make that choice for you?

Restore Net Neutrality By Directing the FCC to Classify Internet Providers as “Common Carriers”

This was the wording on the petition presented to the White House to urge President Obama to direct the FCC to classify ISPs as “common carriers” so that net neutrality could be maintained.

On January 14, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s open internet rules, commonly known as “Net Neutrality” because ISPs are not classified as “common carriers”. This ruling allows ISPs to charge companies for access to its users and charge users for access to certain services. Fewer companies will be able to afford access for innovative ideas and products.

We urge the President to direct the FCC to classify ISPs as “common carriers” so that the words of the FCC chairman may be fulfilled: “I am committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

The White House responded as follows (emphasis mine):

Thank you to everyone who has signed on to this petition in support of a free and open Internet. Since his days as a United States Senator, President Obama has embraced the principle of net neutrality. As the President recently noted, his campaign for the White House was empowered by an open Internet; it allowed millions of supporters to interact with the President and each other in unprecedented fashion. That experience helped give rise to the creation of this very platform — the We The People website — where Americans can express their opinions on any topic and receive a response from the White House. Rights of free speech, and the free flow of information, are central to our society and economy — and the principle of net neutrality gives every American an equal and meaningful opportunity to participate in both. Indeed, an open Internet is an engine for freedom around the world.

Preserving an open Internet is vital not just to the free flow of information, but also to promoting innovation and economic productivity. Because of its openness, the Internet has allowed entrepreneurs — with just a small amount of seed money or a modest grant — to take their innovative ideas from the garage or the dorm room to every corner of the Earth, building companies, creating jobs, improving vital services, and fostering even more innovation along the way.

Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries. The resulting decline in the development of advanced online apps and services would dampen demand for broadband and ultimately discourage investment in broadband infrastructure. An open Internet removes barriers to investment worldwide.

A wide spectrum of stakeholders and policymakers recognize the importance of these principles. In the wake of last month’s court decision, it was encouraging to hear major broadband providers assert their commitment to an open Internet.

It was also encouraging to see Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, whom the President appointed to that post last year, reaffirm his commitment to a free and open Internet and pledge to use the authority granted by Congress to maintain a free and open Internet. The White House strongly supports the FCC and Chairman Wheeler in this effort.

The petition asked that the President direct the FCC to reclassify Internet service providers as “common carriers” which, if upheld, would give the FCC a distinct set of regulatory tools to promote net neutrality. The FCC is an independent agency. Chairman Wheeler has publicly pledged to use the full authority granted by Congress to maintain a robust, free and open Internet — a principle that this White House vigorously supports.

Gene Sperling is Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Todd Park is the United States Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President.

via Restore Net Neutrality By Directing the FCC to Classify Internet Providers as “Common Carriers”. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government.

Notice the vague language and double-talk? Also notice how the FCC is identified as an independent agency as if the President has no power to direct what it does, yet the president appoints the head of said “independent” agency? So which is it? Does the President have a say in it or doesn’t he?

We need to be raising a stink.

Trillville’s “Some Cut” is here to give your day some kick

I am a sucker for a song that begins with the sounds of the bed springs creaking, presumably from some hot bedroom action.

The hook on the song is all that as well, and so Trillville’s “Some Cut” seeded a radio station I started on Google Play Music All Access because I needed to bounce in my seat while getting some work done.

The bonus to this video is the appearance of our favorite Real Housewife from Atlanta, Porsha Williams.

What it is shorty? What’s up?

Malcolm X and the Rubik’s Cube share a birthday, Ray J is still petty, and the best working breakfast spots in LA

Malcolm X image via tumblr

Malcolm X

Today would have been the 89th birthday of one El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazzl, better known as Malcolm X. In honor of his birthday, Davey D linked to his previous post “The Great Debate on the Civil Rights Movement w/Malcolm X, James Farmer, and Wyatt T. Walker. Video footage of the debate is presented in six parts via YouTube links.

This historic debate touched upon an array of topics ranging from integration to segregation to the general direction of the Civil Rights Movements.. They also debate Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy. Malcolm goes in and points out what he feels are major flaws with the Civil Rights Movement and the quest for integration, he gets push back from the other panelists..


Today is also the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, and if you want to lose precious productivity points from your day, you can head over to Google and try your hand at solving one. I have never been able to solve a Rubik’s Cube, but perhaps I will learn now that I can do a search for how to solve it on the Internet, most likely via Google!

Rubik's Cube image via Wikipedia

Rubik’s Cube

Bonus link: perhaps your inner nerd wants to know just how Google created that 3D interactive Rubik’s Cube. Wired has your answer.

Oh my gosh. Today is also the 50th anniversary of Nutella, and if you have never had it before, I feel sorry for your mother. Huffington Post gives us 53 ways to get even more Nutella in your mouth.


In his quest to prove that his pettiness knows no bounds, Ray J has offered to give Kim Kardashian his profits from their mutual sex tape as a wedding gift.

Ray J: Let it go dude. It’s over now. I know it’s hard, but at some point you are going to have to move on with your life.


And in even more male pettiness, a Reddit user laments his demand for his girlfriend to allow them to have an open relationship when she gets all the dates and he doesn’t. I’m not making this up.

There are men crawling all over her, her profile, her pictures she’s put up. I know for a fact that she’s been on a heck of a lot of dates, both with people from the website and off it, and I also know she’s been intimate with many of them too (I keep seeing comments on her pictures saying vulgar things like ‘God I miss my mouth around those beautiful breasts’ etc from other men who I know she has been on dates with..)

via Jezebel


Finally, for people like me who take their office on the road each day, LA Weekly offers up its opinion on The Best Places in L.A. for a Working Breakfast, leaving me curious about Pot Cafe, which I pass several times a week.

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