I'm back from Paris (where I attempted to watch some local news despite the fact that I speak no French -- quelle surprise, I had no idea what they were talking about) and I'm filled with resolve to update more regularly again.
I've been working from home today, so I got to catch today's ITP on its first run. It was a pretty good edition. The highlight was Pat's discussion of a story about how John Wayne Bobbit doesn't hate his ex-wife Lorena, despite the fact that she "did some surgery" on him a few years ago, as Pat hilariously put it. He pointed out that the headline -- "No Hard Feelings" -- was probably the best in a NYC newspaper today. I think it was a Daily News story, though that does sound like a Post headline.
He lead the segment with a Daily News story that confirmed what I've always suspected -- the comparatively expensive Priority Mail option doesn't actually get your mail to its destination any faster than a garden variety. $0.42 first-class stamp. Pat pointed out that it's a remarkably simple story, but a good one.
In another paper - I didn't catch which one - he highlighted a story about an 8-year-old who drove Go-Karts that can achieve speeds of up to 60 mph. Pat wryly noted that there is zero chance you'll see his 7-year-old daughter doing that.
He also mentioned a WSJ story, cleverly titled "Big Bored," about how traders on the NYSE are now spending their work days sneaking off to watch movies and otherwise kill time now that trading volumes are down so dramatically.
Elsewhere in the WSJ, there was a story about how publishers are trying to launch their own versions of Kindle, to push their content and attempt to revive their dying newspapers. I have to say, I will be REALLY upset to see the day when this segment has to get re-named In the Blogs. I know this sounds patently idiotic, coming from a blogger, but I do not like reading many blogs, and I certainly don't like reading them for news. This blog is in NO way a news service, but you knew that.
Anyway, I think there are some amazing blogs out there, but the only good ones for news are written by professional journalists. The newsgathering processes for pro bloggers and pro journos should be exactly the same. And I still love my dead-tree newspapers, even though half the content is outdated by the time I get it. Do I sound like an old crank? Yes? Oh, to hell with you, then! (That was my old man/Walt Kowalski imitation.)
Other highlights from this morning: Poor Dean Meminger, who is covering the Swine Flu beat from Mexico City, filed a story mostly memorable for the shot of a man playing guitar to an empty church -- the guy's eyebrows made Frida Kahlo look like she had regular tweezes at Bliss or something. And the New Yorker of the Week segment focused on a woman who teaches math to poor New York City women who are trying to get work in construction jobs. The teacher does this for free and gets results, though her students are shockingly undereducated when they first enter her class. One woman reported that she could not read a tape measure before taking the class. And I thought I was bad at math!