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It’s less “writing about football” than “business reporting that smells like filthy jockstrap,” and it carries the same vernacular of confidence games, tautological assumptions of confidence, and backroom rumor leakage. And like business reporting, it rarely sees fit to correct itself even in the face of mounting evidence that someone, despite holding a title and a position of importance, might be utterly and evidentially incompetent. There is not an NFL studio crew commentary that doesn’t start a discussion of a coach without mentioning what a good man he is; there is not a GM who doesn’t “get it.”

Spencer Hall, with a question that needed to be asked, Why does the NFL make for such bad media?
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We will find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I have no doubt about that. I initially supported this war for hard-nosed geopolitical reasons, and I stick with that judgement…The removal of that evil was a good in itself, worth some damage to our alliances, worth even some destabilization in an already unstable region.

Andrew “The Future of Journalism” Sullivan, circa 2003 (via NSFW)
Sport

Brian Ross Kicked Out of Practice

The Daily News reported that ABC investigative journalist Brian Ross was asked to leave a USC football practice this week. He showed up with a camera crew but no paperwork to attend the practice.

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A 2012 study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most. Forty-four percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media. Pictures have become one of our default modes of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we’re exposed to every day.

Headlines

WHOOPS! It’s a shame Dick Clark isn’t still with us, he and Ed McMahon could do an hour-long Bloopers special about CNN today.

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Headlines

erikmal: Our exclusive report tonight: Researchers have uncovered astounding new evidence that some of the world’s least influential people actually help sell the most expensive crap! More at 11. Well played, Drew Magary.

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For the short term future, it’s likely that most of the “smart money” in the news/advertising business will continue to back ventures that offer 21st century tweaks on 20th century business models. But as the paywall movement fades into a footnote, ad-dependent start-ups like TBD fold into obscurity and cheap cons such as Demand Media collapse like pyramid schemes, an opportunity emerges. Who will imagine the ways to convert reported information into valuable data products? Who will fund the development of the tools that make such products possible and profitable?

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In spring 2010, accounting firm Deloitte sampled 60,000 of Aviva USA’s recent applicants for life insurance. It built a predictive model that, instead of relying on an applicant’s check-up with a doctor, used medical histories, industry-shared data from past applications, and consumer data – such as income and favourite TV shows – from profiling firm Equifax. Deloitte tested half of the sample with traditional underwriting methods, half with the predictive model. According to John Currier, chief actuary for Aviva, “the use of third-party data was persuasive across the board.”