M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘new-york

The challenge of being a young journalist

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I envy the newly minted journalists entering our profession today. The tools at their disposal are so much more powerful that they were when I broke in 28 years ago at The Macon Telegraph in Georgia, which were: A notepad. And a pen.

But there’s one thing I wouldn’t trade from that era for all the avenues open to today’s younger journalists: the privilege of learning my craft in relative obscurity.

At The Telegraph, the circulation was a shade under 50,000. That was about the largest number of people I could reach. Today’s young journalist can immediately reach an audience that encompasses anyone in the world with an Internet connection.

That must be terrifying.

I’m reminded of this by the outrage that greeted the publication of a headline on ESPN.com over the weekend. It used an ethnic slur on a story about the New York Knicks’ out-of-nowhere star, Jeremy Lin, the first American-born player of Chinese descent to play in the NBA.

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Written by Alex

February 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Police Blotter of the Day: Man wearing ‘I’m A Drunk’ T-shirt hits cop car, arrested for DWI

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Kevin Daly via WNBC-TV


A man wearing a T-shirt reading “I’m A Drunk” crashed into a police car early Thursday on Long Island and is being charged with driving while intoxicated, police said.

Kevin Daly, of Coram, N.Y., was driving a 2000 Saturn on County Road 83 at about 1:45 a.m. when he hit the patrol car.

The entire message on his T-shirt reads “I’m Not An Alcoholic, I’m A Drunk. Alcoholics Go to Meetings.”

(The police officer wasn’t hurt.)

Full story (AP via WNBC-TV of New York)

Written by Alex

November 18, 2011 at 10:29 am

Police Blotter of the Day: Woman calls in bomb threat so relatives won’t fly before 9/11

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Mary Purcell (Chris Glorioso/NBC New York)Federal prosecutors have charged a Long Island woman for calling in a fake bomb threat to a Southwest Airlines flight because she didn’t want her mother and brother to fly close to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. …

Purcell was charged Tuesday in Central Islip with a federal offense of making a false bomb threat over the phone. She was released on $200,000 bond. Coincidentally, it was her mother and brother who signed the bond — the same family members she was allegedly trying to keep grounded in Arizona.

Full story (NBC New York)

Right: Mary Purcell (Chris Glorioso/NBC New York)

Written by Alex

September 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

Update: Two terror threat subjects could be Americans

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Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET: NBC’s Pete Williams reports that U.S. officials believe two of the three men mentioned by their intelligence source could be Americans who flew from Dubai.

Over at msnbc.com’s Open Channel investigative blog, I’ve rounded up what we’re hearing from intelligence sources on the terrorism threat against New York and Washington:

Senior officials told NBC’s Pentagon correspondent, Jim Miklaszewski, and terrorism analyst Roger Cressey that al-Zawahiri has had only limited involvement in al-Qaida operations, knowing he is the primary U.S. target after the killings of Osama bin Laden in May and top al-Qaida strategist Abu Abd al-Rahman Atiyyat Allah last month.

“Bin Laden was more involved in al-Qaida operations” than al-Zawahiri has been since he took over as al-Qaida’s No. 1, a senior official said. “He’s too busy trying to stay alive.”

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Written by Alex

September 9, 2011 at 10:08 am

Police Blotter of the Day: Cops graciously accommodate crook

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“A fugitive fool who taunted cops on his Facebook page, ‘Catch me if you can, I’m in Brooklyn’ — has been captured by U.S. marshals.

“And guess where.

“Victor Burgos was sitting at a computer with his Facebook page open when a task force of marshals and NYPD detectives tracked him down in an apartment on Jefferson St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant. …

“‘He told us via Facebook to come and get him and we did,’ Utica police Sgt. Steve Hauck told the Daily News yesterday.”

Full story (New York Daily News)

Written by Alex

July 29, 2011 at 6:22 am

Teacher layoffs raise class-size tensions

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Video: NBC's Rehema Ellis reports.

Video: Higher projected classroom sizes have sparked a debate on whether student performance will suffer. NBC's Rehema Ellis reports.

As governments struggle to reduce education deficits, they are considering closing thousands of schools and laying off huge numbers of teachers. What will that do to class sizes, and what will it mean for pupils?

In fact, research into whether smaller classes actually improve academic performance is extensive but contradictory.

“Probably few issues in education have been studied as often as class size, yet few studies have produced satisfactory or consistent results,” said researchers at Health and Education Research Operative Services, a nonprofit foundation that studies education programs nationwide.

Full story (Rehema Ellis, Victor Limjoco and Alex Johnson/NBC News)

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Written by Alex

March 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm