Opening Knight

The University of Miami‘s Knight Center for International Media named its two chairs this morning:

Joe Treaster (left) formerly of The New York Times, and Rich Beckman formerly (right),of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Their appointment comes almost one year after the Knight Foundation announced a $10 million grant to the school.

Here is the UM press release, here is a letter from the NYT’s business editor and below is a video of the press conference:

We’re on our first deadline of the semester, so I’ll add more to this post after we finish. Stay tuned.

UPDATE, Jan. 17 @ 9:58 P.M.: Both of these guys look like great additions to the School of Comm. Their words at press conference were very encouraging.

Check out two of Beckman’s projects from when he was head of visual communications at UNC:

The Ancient Way (about elders in Galicia, Spain)

Chiloé Stories (about language of native people on Chiloe Island, Chile)

Back in action…sorta

The newsroom was abuzz for the first time in more than a month.

Editors abound. Couches pulled out. Ideas overfloweth.

It was great to see everyone again after break for The Miami Hurricane‘s first staff meeting of the semester. Old faces and new faces, all ready to get back into action (please excuse the cliche).

Here are some of the topics we discussed:

  • Copyediting all possible content before layout, which will begin with first issue
  • Outlook for multimedia this semester and what role the multimedia editor and assistant multimedia editor will play
  • Preview of Web site overhaul, which will be a collaborative, semester-long effort; Art Director/Visuals Editor Will Wooten, Webmaster Brian Schlansky and I will take the lead, working with other staffers and Chris Delboni’s CNJ 442 class
  • New Sunday meeting structure
  • Outline of SG spring election coverage timeline
  • What everyone’s favorite color is
  • Adjustments to process for editorials
  • Emphasizing the importance of blogs and being connected
  • Highlighting that we are not just a newspaper, but a news organization

Weigh in: What would you like to see from the paper this semester?

Putting newspaper stands on their heads

I think the men in white coats are going to lock me up for the idea that somehow came out of my head and onto Ryan Sholin‘s blog post: The one dollar newspaper.

Here’s the craziness I just conjured up in a comment about ideas for a new variety of newspaper box/newsstand:

“We could all use a little change.”

I like the general concept because I never carry change either and still enjoy holding a paper in my hands.

Going out on this limb even further (and assuming these boxes are powered), why not have a blank below-the-fold? That way, when you purchase the paper, it prints the latest news in brief while you still have your main day’s news/feature above-the-fold and all the inside content.

Or even a news kiosk that prints tab or 8.5×11 papers on-demand with ALL the latest news. This would be the drunken love-child of an old newsstand and El Pais’ 24 horas (

Stay with me for a minute. You’d have these strategically placed in high-traffic areas, such as metro and bus stations, government centers, shopping malls, business districts, etc.

It may not the most practical idea, but it’s a good marriage of portability and timeliness. I don’t mind reading news on my smartphone, but I think a lot of people would prefer this kind of product on-the-go. You could print it with at what ever size font you want and even customize what you want to read. Don’t read sports? Double your business section. Like pictures? Print photo stories.

How about the ultimate one-stop-shop: It dispenses coffee or tea for another buck. Heck, throw in a muffin.

I’ll stop these mutterings for now. Any thoughts or suggestions for this hair-brained scheme?

UPDATE, 5:53 P.M.: Just to clarify, this wouldn’t be a go-to source for breaking news, merely a way to get updated news in place of reading a newspaper that is X hours old.

Weigh in: What do you think about this idea? Would you give me the money to try it OR would you say I flew the cuckoo’s nest?

‘Filipino Monkey’ phenomenon

I learned of this story after it was picked up, but this is the first time I’ve heard about this “Filipino Monkey” character:

“Navy Times’: Strait of Hormuz ‘Showdown’ with Iran May Have Been the Work of Prankster

Here’s the original article, ‘Filipino Monkey’ may be behind radio threats, ship drivers say and a couple links it includes:

See the Pentagon’s version of the video

A link to the Iranian version (click the camera icon)

It’s potty time!

Ok, so I’m in the mood for posting links tonight.

This story is one that’s not to be missed. I mean, how often does the New York Times write about toilets? It’s a great narrative. And I love the Star Trek references.

While the subject of this article isn’t the Man’s Bathroom (see video clip below), designed by Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, it’s quite a spectacle in it’s own right:

Greetings, Earthlings. Your New Restroom Is Ready.

I know what you’re thinking. Are they low-flow? According to the Times’ City Room blog, absolutely not: A Toilet That Uses 14 Gallons? Oh Gosh!

Dave Barry would have personally killed each one if they were low-flow. Of course, he had the news at 8:19 A.M. this morning, with an update at 2:48 P.M.

Here’s another NYT blog post on the chrome throne: New Yorkers, You May Be Excused: A Pay Toilet Opens

Weigh in: Would you use NYC’s new public potty?

Just for fun: As promised…