Category Archives: newspaper

Rise of the Warrior Poets..i mean cops..i mean…

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article in August of last year that caught my attention. It focused on the militarization of the US police force. “Rise of the Warrior Cop“, which showcased the exponential increase in SWOT teams across the US.

Book image below with same title/name.

rise of warrior cop

From the article in WSJ …”the country’s first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.”

In today’s NYT, they show a very captivating photo on the home page of NYT.com of three armed SWOT type commandos rushing a protestor in Ferguson, MO. The article suggests this man was protesting a shooting. If so, why all the use of force? Curious to learn more.

military style domestic peace keeping

The question that starts to form could be…how many police officers do we need carrying sub machine guns, bayonets, or transporting in armored personnel carriers? This question can be viewed through the prism of (a) number of violent crimes committed over the last 30+ years and (b) number of crimes committed by assault rifles (and their ilk) vs smaller handguns and less powerful “force multipliers”.  Thus, maybe SWOT style responses are warranted in some cases, others possibly not (see Deterrence Theory as a possible organizing principle).

Anecdotal evidence suggests there is love affair with all things commando in the US, from navy seal books such as The Trident to modern day films such as Act of Valor or Hollywood blockbusters like Lone Survivor.

Presumably this love affair has a direct implication on how we staff our domestic policing forces and/or is a direct outcome of the much talked about “military industrial complex” in the US.

Book that may be of interest….

“The Cult of the Amateur” by Andrew Keen was just reviewed by the NYT.  Interesting look at web 2.0, wisdom of the crowds (or lack thereof) and deconstruction of business models (ie media) and the emergence of perspective and opinion without filters or fees as the article states.

As the review suggests…”By stealing away our eyeballs, the blogs and wikis are decimating the publishing, music and news-gathering industries that created the original content those Web sites ‘aggregate.’ Our culture is essentially cannibalizing its young, destroying the very sources of the content they crave.””

Interesting notion….if we remove the incentive (ie profits) for professional edited and created content, do we end up with “amateur garage bands, our movies and television from glorified YouTubes, and our news made up of hyperactive celebrity gossip, served up as mere dressing for advertising.”

Interesting? 

Digital Hollywood

I presented yesterday as part of the Digital Hollywood conference.  As part of a panel discussing publishing 2.0 and how newspapers and magazines are moving to a digital platform, I presented along with the following: 

Jim Brady, Executive Editor, WashingtonPost.com
Robertson Barrett, Vice President, Interactive and General Manager, latimes.com
Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Executive Editor, Business 2.0
Joel Sucherman, Executive Producer, USAToday
John Loughlin, EVP/GM, Hearst Magazines
Sue Cross, Vice President / Online, U.S. Newspaper and Magazine Markets, Associated Press, Moderator

I focused my content on (1) how is Dow Jones Online evolving with their online publications and (2) what are the challenges we face as an organization as it pertains to our content and usage.  I used WSJ.com and MarketWatch as two case studies to flush out the challenges (brand affinity, accessibility, distribution and commoditization) and used Sync (the new MKTW based community platform) to key in on the evolution of the sites via new product offerings (tagging, rating, stock predicting) and content distribution (via blogs, google and UGC).

Washington Post surprised me as Jim mentioned his site hosts over 80 hours a week of forums.    Phil De-Witt of Business 2.0 was quite amusing with his slides and imagery and elicited a laugh or two from the otherwise sedate crowd (maybe it was the topic matter…..or the panelists….no, that cant be..i am wildly entertaining).  

 

USA Today’s Joel Sucherman re-inforced why that publication keeps getting kudos for their community efforts.  They have great apps, fantastic integration and tightly woven placement (eg the “top 5 most interesting comments” on the masthead). USAToday isnt just making noise about UGC and the feedback loop…..the are not only giving the microphone to the users but then actually listening to what they say and publishing it in a meaningful place on their site.

WSJ quote of the day

I cant (and dont want to) comment on the recent news of DJ’s proposed acquisition by News Corp.  But, in today’s Op Ed section of the WSJ…i enjoyed the quote and thought I would share.

On January 2, 1951, William Grimes wrote a memorable editorial, “A Newspaper’s Philosophy,” that summed up our [WSJ] worldview this way:

“On our editorial page we make no pretense of walking down the middle of the road. Our comments and interpretations are made from a definite point of view. We believe in the individual, in his wisdom and his decency. We oppose all infringements on individual rights, whether they stem from attempts at private monopoly, labor union monopoly or from an overgrowing government. People will say we are conservative or even reactionary. We are not much interested in labels but if we were to choose one, we would say we are radical.”