CNN fail?

Just to clarify, I have nothing against CNN, but why do the anchors and producers make some of their segments so mock-worthy?

[. . .]
Yes, that’s “Hard In Da Paint” by R.A.P.E.D. You go, Grandma!

Edited Sept. 14: New information has come out about the video I posted.

1. The person who uploaded the video to YouTube had their video taken down due to copyright infringement. If you still want to see the video, you can see it at

2. It’s probably doctored. A comment by user 000000m says:

This is a fake. This originally happened months ago and they played the unedited version of Coolio’s “Fantasic Voyage.” Someone just changed the song by recording over the original and re-uploaded.

A little Internet digging shows at least three comments about that from different users. Using “Fantastic Voyage” is just as odd and wouldn’t have changed the humor too much. However, I don’t want to spread misinformation, so there you go.


CNN has nowhere to go

I’ve been on the computer while listening on-and-off to CNN’s Hurricane Irene coverage.

(My cousin and her husband— who went through an earthquake earlier this week in the DC area — reported a tree falling on their apartment roof and ending up between her apartment and a neighbor’s, so I’m checking updates.)

Then, I hear from the TV, “Poppy (Harlow), thanks. We know you’ll be with us all night because you have nowhere to go.” Then, he adds, almost to ensure the viewer she isn’t being abused, a mumbled statement that she — the town? — is in an evacuated area.

Really?! I know ratings are important, but that’s when the Hurricane Irene coverage jumped the shark for me. And the hurricane isn’t even finished with its damage yet.

Last “last call” for FPC contest

Hi everyone,
Over the weekend and this morning, some entrants reported uploading problems on our online contest platform: . Since then, I have been assured by omniCONTESTS that the issues have been addressed.

Thank you so much for your perseverance and patience.

If anyone gave up for the time being or decided to not enter at all because of it, I ask that you try again. Megan, Trisha and I are all willing to do whatever we can to make the contest run well. It’s our first year using an online contest platform, so we are learning as we go along.

We’ll work with you; just let us know what we can do to help.

Please finish paying for your submissions today. We accept checks (email us first, so we can submit the entries for you), PayPal through the omniCONTESTS system or credit card payments at . (You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card.)

To pay for multiple entrants online, take the amount omniCONTESTS tells you and add $20 for each person you want to enter. (Remember that you’re automatically charged one membership fee through omniCONTESTS.) Pay the total at You should see a Manual Payments option. Put that amount in the box and click return (enter) on your keyboard. Then email me (Sherry) to have your entries submitted and finalized.

This is also the time to VIEW ENTRIES, click on incomplete and submit your entries. If you paid by check or through the Florida Press Club website,, you will need to email us and have us manually submit your entries. We’ve already manually entered several entrants. If you have questions, email me at fpcpresident[at]gmail[dot]com.

I have to work today from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., but I promise that everyone who wants to enter — will be allowed to enter. I wanted to point that out in case you do not receive an answer to an emailed question right away.

See to contact us. If you would, CC me on any exchanges, so we all know what’s going on and whether it’s been resolved.

Writing headlines with Stephen Colbert

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Hooker-Drawer Market
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Art of trolling — grammar

There Troll - Grammar Check
see more The Art of Trolling

(H/T Bonnie)

Florida Press Club Contest Q&A

I sent some of this out to the wonderful, talented bunch who make up The Florida Press Club:

1. How do we enter the contest?
The website address is Register in the upper left corner. Please read the RULES and the HELP pages before clicking the ADD ENTRY button. Please fill out and click save for all the tabs. If you are entering a jump as a second document, please label the first and second documents, PDFs, etc., as 1 and 2 at the end of the title. You may upload multiple documents by clicking the + option.

2. What about special sections?
Please email me for details. (See CONTACT page.) You will still fill out all of the information, but you will mail your entry to Sherry instead.

3. Do we have to pay through PayPal?
Although PayPal is our preferred method of payment, we realize some news organizations can only pay by check. Please email Sherry Mims and Megan Stokes to let us know as soon as possible. Otherwise, omniCONTESTS will not let you finalize entries. We have to manually submit your entries for you, so our eyes will be the last ones to look at your entries. No changes will be allowed after entries are submitted.

You can also pay by debit card or credit card through PayPal without actually having PayPal. After clicking on PAY NOW, omniCONTESTS will take you to check out. Select the “Don’t Have a PayPal Account” option to pay this way. Paying online is preferred because you will be able to finalize entries. Remember to go back to VIEW ENTRIES afterward. If you see the incomplete after payment, click on incomplete, and your entry will be submitted (accepted).

4. Are the Serious and Light Feature Writing categories different?
Yes, despite the descriptions on the initial Call for Entries, Serious Feature Writing is the category for serious news features or in-depth profiles. The Light Feature Writing category is for lighter articles (holiday, travel).

5. If I am submitting entries for multiple people, what do I do?
If you are entering for two or more people, you can use your name as usual. On the second tab, it will ask you for Entry Information. Put names the way you would want them to appear on the certificate. (This option is required for everyone, not just for multiple entrants.) When you review the totals, you will notice you are only charged one $20 membership fee. This is incorrect if you are submitting entries for two or more people. There is a fee discount set up to allow lone entrants to pay $20 once. By all means, pay the total through PayPal (or see No. 3, above, about checks), but then send us an email telling us the names and email addresses of the people whose entries you are submitting. Again, please email this information to both Sherry and Megan, but you will only send payment to Megan. We will be going through entries, and we will disqualify any contest entries from people who did not pay the $20 membership fee. If there are multiple names on a byline, all people must be members in good standing. The $20 per person fee is good until the 2012 Excellence in Journalism Contest.

Because omniCONTESTS’ software is new to us, we recommend finalizing all entries BEFORE the AUGUST 15 deadline. We cannot fix entries if it is past the contest deadline, and we will not refund entrants for disqualified entries. This is to be fair to everyone who submitted on time.

Please let us know if you need any help. We’ve had great feedback so far, so feel free to email any of us.

2011 Excellence in Journalism Competition

Florida Press Club’s competition runs from July 15-August 15. Yes, you have a whole month to submit, so take your time and make everything is done correctly. That’s best for you — and for me (because I’m running it).

2011 Excellence in Journalism Competition

If you have a question — say about paying by check — CC Megan, our treasurer on the email to me. I also need to know when the entry is ready for submission. (Otherwise, you won’t be able to submit because the system will say you haven’t paid.)  That’s why we would prefer credit card payments online, but we’ll work with our members. My contact details can be found here.

Please be patient with us as we learn this new software. A big “thank you,” too, to the members who have already submitted entries. Your support ensures we can have workshops, networking and fun banquets!

New page and an update

  • I added a page — — to streamline my social media accounts. I have the Twitter and Localyte widgets on the far right, but they should be easier to find. Now they are!
  • I am negotiating prices for an online platform for the 2011 Excellence in Journalism Contest. It’s coming soon, so organize your clips, multimedia and photos.
  • Trisha, our vice president, and I toured the hotel where the Florida Press Club banquet will be held Nov. 5.
  • One book review is due Friday, and another one next week.

Stay tuned for more details. Someone (guess who) won a joint employee of the month prize for work done in May.

Work is keeping me busy — and cryogenically preserving me

You think I’m joking, but I’m not. My co-worker Ruth’s smartphone said it was 63 degrees by the copy desk. Our boss got tired of hearing us complain, so he brought us beach towels to add yet another layer. (We were already wearing 2 sweaters each by this point.)

Then we found…Blanket!

No, seriously, Ruth did bring in a blanket. Haha!

Yellow light

Florida Press Club business, work and other things have kept me quite busy during the month of May. However, absolute unique visitors and page views have gone up. Hooray!

Within the next day or two, I will give you a long post to satiate all you readers out there. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve been busy the entire month!

So bookmark and then enjoy some pictures of cats under newspapers.