Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Little of This, A Little of That

This guy deserves the right to feel ambivalent about his father. I wonder why it took him so long to write it? (From Publisher’s Marketplace)

“Infamous dictator Benito Mussolini's last surviving son, seventy-seven-year old Romano Mussolini's MY FATHER, IL DUCE, about his love for his father; the dictator's struggles with his place in life; and the family's heartaches, attempted suicides, and legacies, to Kenneth Kales at Kales Press, for publication in spring 2006, by Vittoria Casarotti at Rizzoli RCS Italy (US).”

Not everybody was impressed with the Huffington Report. Nikki Finke from the LA Weekly, who is known for her lashing tongue, reports:

“Judging from today's horrific debut of the humongously pre-hyped celebrity blog the Huffington Post, the Madonna of the mediapolitic world has gone one reinvention too many. She has now made an online ass of herself.” (via Fishbowl LA)

In contrast, the web site run by Jim Romenesko gets high praise from Jack Shafer at Slate. Romensko has been writing about media matters for six years this month. His site is now part of the Poynter Institute and it is a must-read for all the machers in the business, as well as all those slogging in the trenches. It’s the first website I read each day (Publisher’s Marketplace is second) and keeps the spotlight on journalistic highlights and transgressions.

“If not for Jim Romenesko's Web site, the recent journalistic lapses of Mitch Albom and Barbara Stewart probably wouldn't have gotten much coverage outside of the local media in Detroit and Boston. Then, a couple of months after the fact, the writers might have earned a brief chiding mention in the Columbia Journalism Review before being forgotten.

But thanks to Romenesko's influential readership, every journalistic sin—venial or cardinal—that's published and gets billboarded on his Web page becomes a national story. Everybody from news aides to media moguls reads the site, which is hosted by the Poynter Institute, a gold-plated nonprofit that specializes in remedial education for journalists. A big splash on Romenesko obliges the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz to write about it in his column and examine it on his television show, the New York Times to digest it, and columnists everywhere to riff on it. "

Actor-Playwright Wallace Shawn won a career achievement award from PEN, the writer’s organization. Other winners include Sam Harris for his non-fiction book, “The End of Faith.”

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