Monday, October 08, 2018

Dynamo Duo


The duo Swampcandy -- Ruben Dobbs (guitar) and Joey Mitchell (bass) -- played at Retro Live on Saturday night, October 6th, as part of the Plattsburgh Blues & Jazz series.  Swampcandy really shook the place with a mix of Americana, roots, and delta blues.  More info on upcoming concerts at .

Monday, October 01, 2018

Welcome To The Press-Republican - Adirondack Daily Enterprise - Glens Falls Post Star - Watertown Daily Times Newspaper

(C) 2018 Luke T. Bush


Hear that giant sucking sound?  It's an out-of-state financial entity draining the lifeblood out of your local newspaper.

Yes, the internet has slammed your local newspaper head on,, E.g., people digitally placing ads (Craigslist) instead of staying with the traditional dead tree classified ads.
Your newspaper would be doing better without an outside entity treating it as a temporary source of money, the priority not journalism but keeping its investors happy.

And nothing keeps an investor happier than getting a good return on increased profits even though those profits are killing the paper, deep cuts resulting in a cheap next-to-useless product.  Case in point: Press Republican.

The initial cut was producing fewer pages.  Also there was the shift to decreasing the size of the paper, trimming off the long edge.  If the narrowing activity kept up the PR would have ended up toilet paper width.

Outsourcing layout saves money but cheapens the product even more.  Ever try to solve a crossword puzzle with the bottom row and a clue cut off?  How hard is it to properly print the crossword?  If you can't at least do that correctly then forget it.  And let's not forget a display ad covering up an article's last paragraph..   Blundering such simple layout tasks repeatedly shows ineptness, indifference. 

Newspaper reporters were never paid that well.  Some of them move on to better paying jobs like public relations hack or dog-catcher.  But even relatively low wages isn't enough: cut staff and make the survivors wear more than one hat, double/triple/etc. duty.

When the newspaper runs short on text -- a newshole too big to fill with articles -- then print the photos a lot bigger, close to covering half of the page.  Such jumbo photos evoke the glory days of LIFE magazine.

Another way to fill in the newshole with articles instead of oversized pics is to share articles with other regional newspapers.  Have you taken a good look at the Press Republican lately?  Two articles from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise dominated the Sunday edition (9/30/18) front page.

So your "Hometown Newspaper of Clinton, Essex, and Franklyn Counties" also runs articles from the Glens Falls Post Star and the Watertown Daily Times.  That gives the PR a real "hometown" feel.

Sometimes the PR publishes articles without bylines, no credit to the writer.  While this could be the result of layout bungling, omitting the reporter's name, more likely what you are reading is a press release.  Such an "article" only presents the POV of a company, educational institution, or governmental agency that created it.  The reader only gets one side of the story, the favorable one.  That ain't news.

CNHI (formerly Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.) owns the Press Republican. The Retirement Systems of Alabama, the administrator of the pension fund for Alabama state employees, has treated CHNI as an investment, nothing more.   While the fund is funded, the PR is fucked.

But don't worry: there's a new publisher at the PR.  And while his staff is making do with less, he's helping the newspaper by...

Huh.  What are a publisher's duties?  No editing, writing articles, taking photographs, making deadlines.  What does that person do all day?   Well, he does get a good salary for it.  And his position must be vital with all of the cuts only on the lower levels.  For example non-sales PR employees have to take a one-week furlough -- or DWOP (Days Without Pay) -- per quarter.

What does the future hold?  CHNI in the process of selling its newspapers, all or piecemeal.  Will the next owner care about quality journalism?  Or will new profiteers drain the PR into a bloodless husk, a newspaper operation not even worth buying for a dollar?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

New To Downtown


A warm summer night didn't stop workers from affixing a large sign for a new restaurant at 82 Margaret Street, the location of the closed Blue Collar Bistro. The owners hope to open Twisted Carrot by the end of this month.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Yes I Can


© 2018 Luke T. Bush

"You can't take my picture.  I didn't give you permission."

Another gathering of Pokemon players, this time near the public library.  I had photographed two other such groups with no problems until this woman challenged me.

I told her I had the right to photograph people in public view.  I wasn't that close to her so she couldn't contend I was harassing her.

A guy spoke up.  "You need permission."

No, I don't.

A second man sitting in a car repeated the same misinformation.

I told them that if they had a problem with me taking their photographs then please call the police and we can get all this hashed out.

The situation is explained by LegalZoom :

"This doesn't necessarily make it illegal for someone to snap your photo without your permission though. For instance, if you're just walking down the street and someone takes a picture, they're well within their rights no matter how violated you might feel."

And the same point is made in The Photographer's Right guide:

"The general rule in the United States is that anyone may take photographs of whatever they want when they are in a public place or places where they have permission to take photographs.  Absent a specific legal prohibition such as a statute or ordinance, you are legally entitled to take photographs. Examples of places that are traditionally considered public are streets, sidewalks, and public parks."

Maybe next time you're being photographed you could politely ask not to have your picture taken.  Works better than angrily declaring misinformation about the law, violating someone's right.

And if you're so concerned about your image being recorded then demand all street and store security cameras be shut down.