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V.20 No.35 | 9/1/2011

opinion

May the Media Remind Us Lest We Forget.

During Sunday’s somber coverage of the 9/11 memorial service at ground zero, Anderson Cooper noted that the “images still shock, the heartbreak still hurts.” This could not be a more blatant understatement in the service of dramatic effect. Of course they still hurt, and of course they still shock, Anderson. It's not as if we've forgotten. And, in fact, the suggestion that we may have only serves as a sort of insult to our national and personal integrity.

As an American who was an eye-witness to the attack, to the 22.2 million inhabitants of the NYC metro area, and to the rest of the nation who watched with horror and fear on the internet and television as the unspeakable and far-off threat became a blatant nightmare reality, this phrase cannot help but take on a hollow ring. It has only been 10 years since the singular terrorist attack of that magnitude on American soil in our country's long history. Honestly, who does the media think is forgetting?

This blogger for one will never forget how it felt to be awoken by call from a friend in Brooklyn who saw both planes hit, dashing dazed from her apartment on the Jersey side of Lincoln Harbor to see both towers spitting flames. She'll never forget rushing down to the ferry dock and standing numb with a small gaggle of onlookers in collective disbelief; or when she heard on the portable radio one of them carried as a beacon of information that we all clung to in that time and space, so suspended and surreal, that The Pentagon had been targeted as well. And, you can be damn sure, Anderson Cooper, that nothing will ever erase the image in my brain of that first tower as it fell in impossible and interminable slow motion, as the window glass fluttered, lazily glittering in agonizing descent long after the building rubble collapsed into the cloud of dust that consumed it from below as from the depths of hell; not to mention the weeks focused on an attempted return to normalcy replete with the ever-present foreboding fear that the events of that morning were the harbinger of a full-scale assault that would rear its head in myriad other unsuspected forms. It turned the world upside-down, made terror real, literally haunted my dreams, and all but gave birth to the notion that we as Americans are not immune to acts of war on our own soil.

In this media-blitz-perpetual-information/communication-age, while it is by no means an implausible assertion that our global collective attention span, and by extension, memory is at an all time low, I can't help wondering if I'm alone in feeling that this “Never forget.” campaign was insultingly overblown, cartoonish, mishandled and TOO SOON. And, as if the news and social media outlets' saturation campaigns weren't sufficient in creating this feeling, being visually assaulted by blatant marketing tie-ins while watching football yesterday drove the nails in deep. Every ad spot from Budweiser to Ford reminding me not to forget about 9/11 as I watched Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez try to outdumb each other, I couldn't escape the feeling that I was creating a new memory in my 9/11 experience: I'll never forget that the 10th anniversary of the most stirring and frightening event in recent US history provided a universally-capitalized-upon marketing opportunity for beer and trucks.

On that note, I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to DirectTV for making fast forwarding through advertisements possible. God bless this military/industrial/entertainment complex.

V.20 No.30 | 7/28/2011
Newsland owner Roger Walsh
Elise Kaplan

News Profile

Turning the Page

University-area stalwart closes up shop

“What do I owe you?” an older man asks, placing the New York Times on the counter. “$25,000,” Newsland owner Roger Walsh replies, only half joking, “or I'm closing the shop.” Most of the browsers scanning the shelves have already heard of the closure, but it hits home when Walsh says the Newsland's last day is Sunday, July 24.
New Mexico’s Media Literacy Project to speak up for consumers
New Mexico’s Media Literacy Project to speak up for consumers

news

FCC taps local media justice group for committee

FCC boss Julius Genachowski has invited New Mexico’s Media Literacy Project to join a committee that weighs in on consumer issues.

The Federal Communications Commission regulates radio, TV, Internet and telephone service, among other things. The FCC is powerful, and its mission is to make communication channels available to everyone in the United States without discrimination, according to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Such services should be provided for reasonable fees, too, the act states.

Over the course of reporting on issues such as net neutrality, campaign advertising and low-power FM radio stations, the Alibi’s interviewed staffers at the Media Literacy Project over the years.

Andrea Quijada, executive director for the group, says in a news release that she is encouraged that New Mexico was “invited to participate in this important national dialogue, and we are extremely honored that we were identified as the best advocate for the diverse consumer needs in our community.” With the Media Literacy Project’s participation, the FCC will get more perspective on Hispanic, Native American and rural communities, she adds.

The committee will evaluate topics such as consumer protection, education, access and the impact of emerging tech. The Media Literacy Project will serve for two years, and its first meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 17, in Washington, D.C.

V.20 No.13 |

news

The Daily Word: 3-Year-Old Found Safe, Pornwikileaks, Perfect Prehistoric Pickled Brain

The Daily Word

Did scientists at Fermi Lab find the Higgs boson?

Police find missing 3-year-old Ismyella Rodriguez safe.

A government shutdown is looming.

Daytona Beach newspaper publisher is offering bonuses to reporters who sell advertisements and subscriptions.

Espanola man delivers decomposing body to the ER, says his friend was sick.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Koch brothers.

Looks like Blockbuster found its sucker.

Security company HBGary's latest terrible idea is a paranoia meter.

One dead after attempted Apple Store burglary.

Read all about the war of words between Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin and Lost creator Damon Lindelof.

Prehistoric human brain found pickled in bog.

Bristol Palin earned $262,000 as teen pregnancy ambassador for Candie's Foundation, more than seven times the amount the foundation actually spent preventing teen pregnancy.

Mental disorders represented as minimalist posters.

Watch these fresh frog legs twitch when salt is added.

Scientists genetically modify cows to produce more human milk.

That's hardcore! Website pornwikileaks reveals porn stars real names and home addresses.

Listen to the world's most nonchalant crash landing.

Netflix announced it obtained exclusive rights to stream all seasons of Mad Men.

New study says biology grad students are the most unhappy.

Keanu Reeves confirms that Bill and Ted 3 is on the way.

Six of the most bizarre medical hoaxes people actually believed.

25 baked Lady Gagas.

Watch the intro to the Russian version of How I Met Your Mother.

Burger King introduces the Meat Monster Whopper.

Mall-pizza chain Sbarro is planning on filing for bankruptcy.

Happy birthday Billy Dee Williams!!!

V.20 No.7 | 2/17/2011

politics

Public broadcasting is on the chopping block

Republicans in Congress have moved six bills that would ax all money for public media, including NPR, PBS and others. Conservatives have argued that those news outlets lean toward the left.

A letter to the editor from Polly Anderson, general manager of KNME, says the station has been valuable resource for 52 years and that it reaches 650,000 households. “Public Television is the largest provider of preschool education in New Mexico,” she wrote. (Dude. Sesame Street.)

An online campaign, 170millionamericans.org was launched to highlight the importance of public media. Americans each pay about $1.35 per year for public media, according to the site. And every month, 170 million make use of public television stations and radio stations. The site includes suggestions for how you can help. Fill out a message that can be sent to your congresspeople, or call Congress at (202) 224-3121.

V.20 No.5 |

News

The Daily Word 02.03.11: Freaking cold, Cairo, Mona Lisa

The Daily Word

It's cold.

The animals at the zoo are cold.

Lots of broken furnaces.

And plenty of people are without gas.

They're sealing ex-Gov. Richardson's office records because of tradition. Local media says it's illegal.

Violence in Cairo.

Was Mona Lisa da Vinci's boyfriend?

A former first lady or a pop singer will probably be Haiti's next president.

Weird newspaper names.

How meditation alters your brain.

Obama talks about his faith.

Keeping little girls extra clean makes them sick.

V.19 No.47 | 11/25/2010
Commissioner Michael Copps spoke to a crowd of more than 400 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Sam Adams

Newscity

Not Just Net Neutral

FCC commissioner rallies New Mexicans around Internet freedom but remains silent on plans

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.19 No.22 |

commute

Track Marks

Papers on a Train

In every major metropolitan center I've ever ridden public transportation, newspapers have always been available. Not so much on the Rail Runner though. At the Santa Fe Depot there's nary a newspaper stand to be found. At South Capitol you can buy the dailies but not get a copy of any free papers (cough, such as this one). Same for Downtown Albuquerque and, I think, Bernalillo.

While this makes life on Rail Runner workers easier--no newspapers to clean up after riders depart--it kinda takes away from the ambiance of the whole train thing. Also, as we all know, newspapers aren't doing so hot right now with the whole internet, news from around the world for free thing. Wouldn't it be nice to maybe support those things and make them easier to get ahold of?

Enter the Santa Fe New Mexican's Xpress, a quarterly publication that is chock full of absolutely no information whatsoever! Um, whee?

I first learned about this magazine on Tuesday night, while waiting outside of a liquor store (god, that makes me sound skeeeetchy, quick justification, I was waiting for someone to buy beer but was smoking a cigarette so I couldn't go in), reading the headlines through the box. (Second aside/justification: I am not a hypocrite. I read the paper, on paper, all the time.) Yesterday, when it was supposed to come out, I checked every copy of the New Mex I could find to see what it was. No dice. Not a single issue to be found.

That is, until today. I boarded the train, took my spot and there she was, on every seat. So, what do we have?

First thing that stood out was a table of contents. Except it wasn't, it was an ad for the upcoming SITE Santa Fe Biennial. Oops. Next page, toc. Schedules...um, I'm already on the train, and the schedules are also on the train, and easier to deal with because they're smaller, on better paper and can easily be folded and put in the pocket.

The articles are pretty cheerleader-y, including one about the expansion of mass transit along the i-25 corridor. Interesting, since just last week the New Mexican reported ridership on the Rail Runner dropping.

Not that I expected news out of this thing, but maybe not pretend news that contradicted reporting by the same publication.

Here's the thing, I have beef with this new magazine for a couple of reasons. 1) It purports to write "about how the Rail Runner is changing lives up and down the Interstate 25 commuter corridor," but really doesn't focus on anything except how awesome the train is. 2) Albuquerque barely exists as far as Xpress is concerned. So, it's not really about commuters as it's focused on tourists.

So, New Mexican. You get an editorial fail, but an advertising A+. This 42 page glossy covered, newsprint publication is packed with ads. If you guys figure out that there are businesses in Albuquerque who might want to advertise, you'll go glossy in no time.

V.19 No.14 | 4/8/2010

Thin Line

Burning Love: Covering Fire and the People Who Start It

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.19 No.11 |

News

We've Been in Iraq Seven Years

Each anniversary passes with less flourish, and less media weight is given to our lengthy occupation of Iraq. In Baghdad, the day passed.

Iraqis gathered to watch a bootleg copy of The Hurt Locker. The Oscar-winner, for them, is not abstract and far away as it was for audiences in other parts of the world.

Civilians can't possibly know what it's like. But we can hear the stories of those who've been there.

The writer behind the column Miss Diagnosis, Whitny Doyle, interviewed a local nurse who spent time in Abu Ghraib attending to prisoners. And Alex Limkin, who served in Iraq from 2004-2005, vigorously satirized the notion of a draft and shined a light on the economic status of our volunteer forces.

And across the country, protesters are gathering. Today at 11 a.m., demonstrators will rally at Civic Plaza to urge the United States to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. If you know of related events, feel free to add them as comments to this blog.

V.19 No.4 | 1/28/2010

Scooped: Daily Lobo Has a New Editor-in-Chief

Eva Dameron is the new head honcho at UNM’s daily newspaper, the Daily Lobo. The staff agreed to Dameron’s appointment at a forum a few days ago, and she was approved by vote at a publication meeting today. Her first day on the job will be Sunday.

The paper’s previous editor, Rachel Hill, resigned about a week ago for health reasons, according to Dameron. Dameron adds that Lobo associate director of business operations Jim Fisher has said it’s only the second time in the history of the paper that an editor has left through resignation.

Dameron started at the Lobo six years ago. “I moved here from Florida, and I was sort of lonely,” she remembers. She called up an old professor back east for advice, which turned out to be: Get a job at your school paper. “So I went into the Daily Lobo and I slammed my fist onto the desk, and I was like, ‘I want to work for your paper!’ And they gave me a story,” she laughs, with some disbelief. “So I tried the assertive approach.”

It’s worked out well for her.

In addition to wearing quite a few hats at the Lobo over the years—writer, designer, copy chief, opinions editor—Dameron briefly worked as an arts intern here at the Alibi under Steven Robert Allen and as a writer/photographer at a paper in Chicago. Dameron is active in the local music community, appearing as multi-instrumentalist Eva Ave. (frequently paired up with Carlosaur). She’s been producing a series of “beautiful” newspaper/zines called “The Nightly Noodle Monthly,” available for a quarter apiece at The Zone, Winning Coffee, Silver Skate Shop and her music performances. She’s also an artist who frequently turns up on the walls of underground gallery shows. (Disclosure: I own one of her pieces. If you come by the office, I’ll gladly show it to you.)

Though she just signed up for a seven-day-a-week gig, Dameron doesn’t seem concerned that her side projects will fade away. And she’s thinking about what direction she can take the Lobo.

“The thing I do hear a lot is that the Daily Lobo is, basically, boring. And I’ve always agreed that it could be more interesting and sort of thought that that was just the way it is. I like it when a paper takes a stand on a certain issue—but I don’t know if that would work at the Lobo.

“I just want juicier writing. I want them to relay something factual and relevant while still being able to turn a phrase. That would be sweet,” Dameron says. It’s a task she admits is difficult at a daily newspaper, where heavy workloads can grind a sharp staff into nubble. “But,” she adds, “they’re good kids and they work really hard.”

From one editor to another—congratulations, Eva.

V.18 No.32 | 8/6/2009

Local Blogosphere Roundup: Media Lies, Napping Stucker, Clampett Restaurant

Nick Brown sits with the cool kids edition.

V. B. Price at New Mexico Independent wonders what media can be trusted to report the truth. Hopefully, he had the Alibi in mind, though he does not specifcally say so.

Jim Baca writes an imaginary letter to the Republican Party.

The Alopecian Muse wants to create a Snoezelan room for Simmi.

Steve Stucker took a nap and dreamed about a deer. Or was it a dream!?

Stinky Lulu writes a freaking dissertation about Glenn Close, which, in a sea of hard political blogs, is more than absolutely cool with me.

Gil checks out The Hollar in Madrid, makes mention of the Clampetts and shares photos of delicious-looking eggy-biscuity things.

At Whirled View, guest blogger Hans N. Tuch writes about the dangers of appointing unqualified ambassadors.

Ren at Plastic Pumpkin spins a yarn of high coincidence, desert heat, car parts and romance.


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