M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Archive for the ‘Great Moments in Journalism’ Category

Why I Love Local News: N.C. towns greet new year with giant pickle, flea

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Update 2:45 p.m. ET: BREAKING NEWS BULLETIN: The Mount Olive Pickle Drop will be live streamed! (http://malexj.tk/k9; 3:45 p.m. ET)


I, um, I remember the Brasstown Possum.

In North Carolina, nothing says “Happy New Year” like a giant pickle. Except maybe a giant flea.

Towns and cities across the state are planning to welcome 2011 with their own distinct variations on the world-famous Times Square ball drop.

Raleigh will drop its famous acorn, while the Cumberland County town of Eastover will drop a 3-foot-tall, 30-pound flea made of fabric and wood.

A celebration in Kure Beach will include the dropping of a giant lighted beach ball. And in the Clay County community of Brasstown, people will gather for the annual lowering of the possum. …

Full story (AP via WNCN-TV/Raleigh, N.C.)

Written by Alex

December 31, 2010 at 11:40 am

Cat scratch fever

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Jim Davis wants you to know that he really, really — really — regrets yesterday’s “Garfield” strip, which some people thought might be offensive to veterans.

That’s “Garfield” — representative of all that’s safe and bland in the comics world — and “offensive to veterans” in the same sentence.

If that seems unlikely, there’s a reason. It turns out the strip offended nearly no one, veterans included. All it did was create a manufactured mini-controversy based on journalists’ assumptions that it would — substantiating my hypothesis that we’re frequently skipping basic reporting steps in our eagerness to stay up to Web speed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alex

November 12, 2010 at 10:08 am

Why I Love Local News: Writers Who Are Too Young Dept.

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Ways and Means Committee Chairman Steve Conway, who had been working on the budget since the winter coat days, wore a sears sucker suit, as he carried out the finished budget in a big cardboard box.

From this story

Written by Alex

June 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

You, too, can live through a plane crash!

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The Washington Post has amazing video of the vintage plane that tipped over on landing at Washington Dulles International Airport — thanks to its passenger, a Washington Post reporter who was in the plane and wearing a headcam.

No one was injured.

Video of plane tipping over

Written by Alex

June 8, 2010 at 10:25 am

I should hope so

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Written by Alex

April 9, 2010 at 10:17 am

Don’t Blame the Crew, Dude

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The best part of this clip is the anchor’s deer-in-the-headlights look when it comes back to him.

Frustrated Field Reporter (via probablybadnews.com)

Written by Alex

March 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

Headline Writers Should Know Slang

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Written by Alex

March 5, 2010 at 11:24 am

Posted in Great Moments in Journalism

Tagged with

Great Moments in Journalism

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Slideshow captions can be tricky, but still …

Incredible shrinking secretary of state

Written by Alex

March 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

Worst or Best Obit Ever?

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I’ve confirmed through archives (see photo) that this really did run in the Vallejo Times-Herald, although the original is no longer online.

Best or Worst Obit Ever?
“Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.”
Read the full obit here

Written by Alex

February 21, 2010 at 10:41 am

Why I Love Local News

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Cold Case Suspect?

Written by Alex

February 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm