Howard Owens is a digital media pioneer. He started publishing local news online in 1995 when very few local news outlets had web sites. The header image on the site depicts the film camera he used early in his career and the press pass from his year on the staff of the Carlsbad Journal. For more on Howard's professional background, read his LinkedIn profile.
HowardOwens.com is the personal web site of Howard Owens and covers his range of interests -- political localism and libertarianism, music and personal interests, as well as his professional interests.
Howard is currently publisher of The Batavian and lives in Batavia, N.Y.
- Bob Netherton on Why I’m rooting for Vance Albitz
- seagazer101 on ‘Lede’ vs. ‘Lead’
- Pamela Lagahid on IFRA launches second vertical search engine for media
- kapiyo on My new Nikon F4
- bradleyplunk on Chris Tolles brings some stats to the anonymous vs. registration debate
TagsAdvertising Audience Growth blogging blogs Books Business comments Community disruption ethics film Gadgets GateHouse Media history Home Towns Innovation Journalism local news Media Movies MP3 of the Day Music news news business newspapers Paid Content participation Patch Personal Appearances photography point-and-shoot publish2 Reinventing Journalism reporting Site Design Society Sports Strategy Tech topix Video Web-First Publishing web2.0 web navigation Writing
Daily Archives: July 10, 2006
“Excuse me, but do you own the Mustang,” the young lady said, pointing to my yellow pony out the front window.
The gentleman then spoke with a German accent, “We’re looking for a car just like that for a short film we’re shooting, and you can’t rent them in that color. You can only get red.”
They offered me $300 to show up in Castaic at 5 a.m., and then spend the all of the next day in LA while they turned my car into a star.
My decision isn’t final, but I think I have to say no.
For an unemployed guy, I’m pretty damn busy and the notice is too short.
Here’s the Web site for the film.
Of course, maybe I should be concerned … I just read this:
A gun dealership in a hot, humid, dark city: A revolver spends another sleepless night waiting for a lover. It feels lonely, unwanted. Suddenly a crash…
A crash? With my car?
It’s probably a different crash, but still …
And in reading the above, I can see why they’re in Bako on a 104-degree day.
They told me they’re shooting in a pawn shop just around the corner.
Speaking of hanging out in Dagny’s — this is weird … I can’t search Google from here. If I do, I get this error (staff confirmed, this is a legitimate error.) Weirdness.
Today a small brown package slid through the hole in the wall with the the usual collection of junk and bills. It fell with a plop and I tossed my MacBook aside to investigate.
Ripping the corrugated container to pieces, I grasp the latest audio treat from Ken Layne.
It’s a preview copy. You can’t buy it yet! Ha! You should be jealous! Ha! Ha!
You should buy it as soon as it becomes available, be it in the material world or the cyber world (iTunes, if you’re listening, you need clear some room on your shelf).
I’ve listened to it no less than 25 times today.
This little gem will be quite comfortable next to my copy of Layne’s “Fought Down,” which is only one of my all-time favorite CDs.
And I’m not just saying all this cause Layne’s a friend of some decade and a half or so — the man is simply a great singer-songwriter.
Part of what makes “Transcontinental” so special is it possesses such an original, fresh voice. Even as great as “Fought Down” was, Layne’s influences were starkly exposed — Gram Parsons and Rolling Stones, for instance. “Transcontinental” sounds like music of a man who has found his own universe.
Who’s the best blogger in Bakersfield? Well, I’m partial to Black Dog.
When my son was still in the crock pot my wife and I began the process of choosing a name. We kicked around all kinds of names for this boy and over and over again the name Indiana kept creeping its way in. Our last name is Jones so why not Indiana, I mean its perfect. The baddest dude ever to grace the silver screen was Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark but that’s just my opinion. I have recently been informed that Raiders of the Lost Ark is a silly child’s movie and no serious man would ever consider that film as being one of the greatest films of all time, hey to each his own, I still think its great.
Finally I put my foot down on naming our son and I said with great authority, “His name shall be Indiana Jones too bad if the throngs of empty faces don’t like it.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I love this guy’s voice. Damn good writer, I say. And he’s just a guy. No special training. No apparent career aspirations to write. He just writes and usually knocks your socks off.
Read all of the post linked above to find out if there really is a 3-year-old Indiana Jones living in Bako.
Former News-Press editor Jerry Roberts on working for a privately held newspaper:
“There is definitely a downside,” Roberts, 57, told E&P late Sunday, just days after he quit the paper he had edited for four years. “When you have one owner who is very wealthy and used to getting their way, you have this conflict between the audience of the paper and the audience of one — the owner.”
The entire E&P piece (linked above) is worth reading, if you’ve been following this story.
If you’re wondering why social media is important, here’s a good place to start:
When I talk to people about citizen journalism and other kinds of participatory media, often people who are above the age of 40 or who are print or broadcast media veterans contend, “Well, most people don’t care about participatory media, so it doesn’t matter. You’re talking about a very small world.”
…To which I generally respond, “Well, ‘most people’ would rather watch Wheel of Fortune or Days of Our Lives than World News Tonight. But then, quality journalism is rarely intended for indiscriminate, lowest-common-denominator audiences. Participatory media matters because it’s where the most influential part of the mainstream media’s audience is increasingly turning, now and in the near future. And the news business does — and should — should care very much about the influence it wields, directly and indirectly.”
I just left this comment on Contentious (a couple of edits here):
Modern reporters need to become digital natives. It’s more than just the tools, it’s the the attitudes. They need to stop thinking of the Web as just another way to publish, but rather, another way to participate. Most of what works best on the Web isn’t finally crafted bits of prose and high production — it’s the quick takes, the dashed off observation, the instant communication. It’s a conversation.
That’s not to say there isn’t a place for Big-J journalism, but we need more reporters who think digital first, and think like people who think digital first.