A role model of a good cop

officermalloyI grew up on Adam-12.  I’ve watched every episode at least three times.  As a police officer in the USAF, my partners and I would habitually immitate the patter of the show … “One Adam-12, see the woman … ”

Officer Pete Malloy was not a bad role model for a young gun with a badge.

He wouldn’t be a bad role model for young officers, today, either.  Level headed, fair, by-the-book, and abiding by the rule of law (rather than his personal prejudices or any sense of self-aggrandizing badassedness), Malloy usually found a way to do the right thing.

Unrealistic? Sure. It was only a TV show.  But life is just acting.  Fake it until you make it.  You become who you try to be.

Pete Malloy was of a time when role models still mattered.

RIP Martin Milner.

Salt Lake TV station beating local dailies on the web

You won’t find too many television web sites that beat their local print rivals online.

In Salt Lake, one station, KSL.com, is trouncing the two competing dailies. According to Lost Remote, it’s all about the classifieds.

Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. The TV site has twice the traffic of the two dailies combined.

The decentralized, unpackaged media world

Howard Weaver linked to this post from Zac Echola before I saw it, but it’s an important map of how the wired get and filter news.

The following quote should be required reading in every newsroom in the U.S. tomorrow morning.

Shortly after polls closed last night, my wife got a text message from Obama’s campaign. He was the projected winner of the South Carolina primary.

A few minutes later I logged into Gmail, where Obama had already sent me an email about the victory and where I could watch his speech.
About a half an hour later a friend in Washington sent me a text with the percentage breakdowns.

This morning I logged on to Facebook to see a notification from Obama, a simple copy/paste job from the email sent earlier.

Sometime today, I’ll watch his speech and Clinton’s concession speech on YouTube, since I was busy playing Super Mario Galaxy while he actually gave the speech.

Except for a CNN breaking update I got via Twitter last night (after Obama’s text message), I knew who won the primary without ever seeing a newspaper or TV site.

Only today, when I checked CNN’s excellent primary elections section did I go to an MSM site. News that I care about comes to me, despite the source.

I, like many other people, only go looking for news (on my days off) if something has first come to me to pique my interest. Then I find a site with valuable, contextual information laid out in a way that I can explore the data (in this case, exit polls). I can passively receive information I’d like to know.

If you’re not actively seeking out your audience, you’re doing something wrong.

Media organizations should be doing the same thing Obama does. It should be everywhere I am and it should provide valuable, easy-to-use added context and content if and when I decide to hit their sites.

There’s obviously one point to be made here — that news organizations need to make it a practice to push out their content to every available channel.

But the other lesson is: Your audience is also sharing what they know, either informally, or via special-interest sources.  The big question is, when your audience wants more and trusted information, are they going to find it on your web site as soon as they want it?

Web-first publishing needs to become a newsroom habit.  It’s the thing you do automatically, so that when any size story breaks, and your audience wants more and trusted information — and a place to discuss it — your site is ready for them.

Introducing MediaGeeks.org – custom search for media professionals

MediaGeeks.org LogoFor many months, I’ve wanted to play around with setting up a vertical search engine using Google Custom Search.

Today, I finally got around to it.

Here it is: MediaGeeks.org, a vertical search engine for media professionals.

The initial group of 140 URLs I’ve fed into the search engine are mostly from my blog roll along with obvious media sites (such as E&P and OJR).

If you know of a media site I should have included but didn’t, send me an e-mail to howard owens (one word) -at- gmail dot com.

Also, if you view the source of the home page, you can see how to add the MediaGeeks.org search widget to your blog or site.

The search engine is only useful to the media community uses it, so link to it. Tel your friends.