Feeling better?

I took ill the end of last week and forgot about the Federal Communications Commission hearing on media consolidation in Oakland, but my colleague, SF Chronicle reporter Joe Garofoli filed a great report that captured both a sense of the event and the background that led up to it. Here’s a snippet:

“The FCC is reviewing several rules governing how many television and radio stations an entity can own in one market; the commission’s limitations on owning a full-service broadcast station and a newspaper in the same market; and its regulations on radio and television station cross-ownership. The commission will also ask the public whether it should retain its ban on mergers between the top four broadcast networks.”

The FCC website offers a place to learn more and make comments.

Leave no molecule behind. As I laid in bed recovering from the flu (next year, take the shot!) I caught up on reading. As I was plowing through several continents worth of National Geographics, I found a familiar face inside the October 2006 issue — San Francisco Grotto writer David Ewing Duncan’ had his fatty tissue examined for chemical residue in a story titled “The Chemicals Within Us.”

In his blog, David writes about the piece:

I did a bit of a media blitz to talk about the story, including an appearance on Today. I found the attention for the story curious because most of what I write about science doesn’t get this kind of press; for many, genetics and the intricacies of chemical this and DNA that is eye-glazing stuff. This is why I did this journalist-as-guinea pig routine, because it humanizes science — it takes an abstract notion like how much phthalates (a plasticizer) is in the environment and in people and makes it real. I’m a normal (well, mostly normal) person, and I had some blood extracted and tested, and voila! this stuff is inside me, and it might hurt me, or might not, no one really knows.

What’s in a name. This is an appropriate place to mention some feedback to my recent blog posting on the differences between authors and newspaper reporters. Blogger Tish Grier, an editor at Corante Network, enjoyed the post enough to send along these additional thoughts:

“Writer can run the gamut from published novelist to someone scribbling on legal pads (here in W. Mass. we seem to have a proliferation of “poets.”) Whereas there seems to be the sense that a “reporter” is someone who definitely knows something about journalism. When I call myself a writer, people raise an eyebrow. If I say I’m a “journalist” people take me a bit more seriously … I think Good journalism, not just filling in the 5W’s, requires good writing. And sometimes good writing, can benefit from the preciseness required in journalism.”