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article imageTopFinds: Citizen media's impact, cryptozoology's mystery monster

By David Silverberg     Sep 25, 2009 in Internet
How citizen media is a key part of journalism's future. The dust storm ravaging Sydney. The battle between CNN and Fox gets personal. These are the top stories around the world.
Business models for new media journalism. The debate over article micropayments. The role of citizen media in this changing journalistic marketplace. Those were some of the hot topics debated at The Future of Media event in Toronto, hosted by Featuring representatives from CBC, CTV, Rogers, blogTO and, the panel discussion provided insight into some of the fast-growing fields in online journalism. The Q&A session also yielded fascinating info about CTV's plan to offer a subscription model for its website (you heard it here first!) and Tim Shore's shocking revelation that he earns zilch for his work at blogTO. The Future of Media is the debut event in's new speaker series, and judging by the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd cramming into the Drake Hotel to hear what the panelists had to say, people are hungry to learn about journalism's future.
In global news, Paul Wallis informs us about the dust storm sweeping across Sydney, Australia. He writes, "Coogee beach looks like a post nuclear surfing carnival. Outside, the wind’s roaring away through the gum trees as I write. It’s like opera." As poetic as his words are, the photos supplied by Digital Journalist Christina Lucas also give readers a complete picture of how red the city has become. Gemma Fox comments on the pics: "If I didn't know better then I'd just assume they were stills from a sci-fi movie." Kudos to both Christine and Paul collaborating on an excellent environmental article.
Sept 23 2009 Dawn
Red Dust Dawn in Sydney
Christina Lucas
Digital Journalist KJ Mullins offers art fans a glimpse into an exhibit hosted by the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. She nicely summarizes the intriguing points about Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, the Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937. To anyone who wants to know about the famed photographer Steichen, and why the AGO is excited to host a retrospective of his work, this article is a must-read.
Curious about the latest high-tech gadgets descending on store shelves? Andrew Moran reports on the new technology released by LG Canada, attending a press event showcasing Blu-ray players, HDTVs, network storage devices and more. He not only divulges the specs (and his take on the items) but also posts photos of the gadgets so you can see what he's talking about. Another great in-person overview, Andrew!
LG Blu-Ray Player
LG Blu-Ray Player BD390C, which is wirelss and contains YouTube.
Andrew Moran
Kim Hartman writes an excellent profile of martial artist Johnny Linebarger, based in Tucson, Az. Written in a thoroughly researched and compelling style, the profile probes Linebarger's classes on karate and self-defense and includes excellent quotes, such as "You talk about what it takes to be a world champion, and it certainly takes self-discipline, consistency and knowledge. But it also takes compassion. You really have to care about people.” A fine example of a comprehensive profile.
There's nothing like going behind the scenes of a game show in action. Jay David Murphy takes us a tour of "Let's Make a Deal," hosted by actor Wayne Brady. With his trademark enthusiasm, Murphy highlights every aspect of this game show and the kind of people it attracts. He even writes a bit about a goof that occurred during the show taping. The photos give you a good sense of what Murphy was experiencing in Vegas, whether the pics showed off the show marquee or the array of garb sported by the audience.
People costume at Let s Make A Deal
People costume at 'Let's Make A Deal' at the Tropicana on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Jay David Murphy
A selection of other notable stories include:
Obama may back 'newspaper revitalization act' media bailout: It's not a yes, but a maybe from the U.S. President. Obama said he'd "be happy to look at" a bill supporting a newspaper bailout. Michael Krebs adds that Obama is quoted as saying that quality journalism is "critical to the health of our democracy." American newspaper publishers shouldn't pour the champagne yet because so far it's all diplomatic talk.
CNN anchor angry at Fox News over ad placed in Washington Post: Speaking of journalism, Krebs also enlightens us to a major tiff between CNN and Fox News, starring anchor Rick Sanchez and his criticism over an ad Fox News published in the Washington Post, claming outlets such as CNN ignored the recent Tea Party protests. Check out the article and accompanying video to see a renewed battle taking place between the 24/7 news networks.
Wolf Blitzer
Wolf Blitzer
Art Voice
Wolf Blitzer dominated by Andy Richter on Jeopardy: Still on CNN, we can't resist shaming anchor Wolf Blitzer by pointing you to Andrew Moran's article on Blitzer failing miserably at Celebrity Jeopardy. He doesn't know the birthplace of Jesus? Or what penne pasta looks like? When Andy Richter slaughters a CNN anchor in a trivia game-show, you know we live in bizarro world.
Six Volcanoes Erupt Simultaneously in Russia: This eye-catching headline explains a curious geological phenomenon -- six volcanoes in eastern Russia were producing plumes or erupting at the same time, as Kevin Jess tell us. Scientists say climate change is to blame, because as the planet heats up the volcanoes can uncap. Ouch.
Cryptozoology group exploring cause of strange waves on lake: It's no Loch Ness monster, but a cryptozoology group is hoping to find out what odd animal may be inhabiting a lake near Vancouver Island. As Stephanie Dearing reports, the "organization has received reports coming from Cameron Lake since 2004. Witnesses have been describing what looks like a dark creature in the lake.”
Arkansas woman impregnated again while already pregnant: How's this for a head-scratcher? A woman gets hit with "superfetation", which allowed her to be pregnant with another fetus while already pregnant with another. Kay Matthews writes, "that the couple did not seek fertility treatments even though they had been trying to get pregnant for several years and were about ready to try adoption.”
Inmate at UK jail drunk on Swine Flu hand gel: Gemma Fox reports on a quirky story -- a British inmate got drunk by downing anti-bacterial hand gel. Now staff at prisons and hospitals are carefully monitoring the hand gel pumps. Well, at least his insides are spiffy clean. (too soon?).
University Scientist's Death Possibly Caused by Bubonic Plague: Another startling story comes from Chicago, where a university prof supposedly died by a case of bubonic plague. Yes, the plague of the medieval era. We learn that "bubonic plague kills about half of infected patients in 3 to 7 days without treatment." What's next, outbreaks of scurvy and ergotism?
A mannequin in Iran
A mannequin in Iran
By Paul Keller
Iran bans curvy store mannequins: The moral police in Iran are not just cracking down on attire indecency perpetrated by human citizens, but also on the non-humans. Mannequins showing too many feminine curves are the latest target, Kesavan Unnikrishnan reports, adding, "The new law doesn't mention any punishment for those who don't comply with the new dress code." Check out the comments section to read some frustrated statements about this new edict.

TopFinds Awards

The honourees of this week's TopFinds Awards attracted impressive attention and widest readership. Digital Journal thanks the following Digital Journalists with Awards for their passion for covering the top issues of the day: KJ Mullins, Gemma Fox, Jay David Murphy, Kay Matthews, Kevin Jess, Stephanie Dearing, Kesavan Unnikrishnan, Kim Hartman, Michael Krebs, Paul Wallis, Christina Lucas, Cornfarmer , and Andrew Moran.
The Top Blog Post of the Week is awarded to Cornfarmer for his passionate sports summary of a soccer match. His take on the Manchester City vs. Manchester United match displays his knowledge of the sport, if not his dedication to the craft of soccer. It's always great to see bloggers penning sports recaps, and we look forward to more stellar sports writing in the future.
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