Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 19, 2012

S.O.S.! Newspaper hits iceberg! What's going on at the Tribune Co.'s sinking South Florida Sun-Sentinel? Their continued poor judgment, even as the newspaper -and its shrinking base of advertisers- are becoming increasingly irrelevant to news consumers in Broward County who want their news free of bias, taint AND mustiness, not facts and context, has real consequences

S.O.S.! Newspaper hits iceberg! What's going on at the Tribune Co.'s sinking South Florida Sun-Sentinel? 
Their continued poor judgment, even as the newspaper -and its shrinking base of advertisers- are becoming increasingly irrelevant to news consumers in Broward County who want their news free of bias, taint AND mustiness, not facts and context, has real consequences.
Its pay wall is like a parasite that's killing off the host, and making its formerly-popular Broward Politics blog now nothing more than an afterthought because it counts now as an article in monthly totals, not as a blog post. A newspaper website that needs SERIOUS rethinking and redesign.

You call that news coverage? 

1.) As of today, November 19th, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's education blog, South Florida Schools, has posted exactly one item in the past 6 weeks. Way to keep your nose to the grindstone! http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/educationblog/

Yes, even while all sorts of things, good and bad, have been going on in that subject area the past six weeks, that newspaper blog has been silent.
It's one thing for a personal blog to go quiet for awhile for reasons that we can all well imagine, but really, a newspaper blog that posts one thing in six weeks, wrapped around an election?

Good luck finding that sort of situation existing at a normal, well-run newspaper unless the person/team behind it are either gravely ill, been transferred to other beats or the blog itself is being phased out.
Which is it for South Florida Schools?

I don't know the particulars of it, but I do know that it sure doesn't look good.
Especially for customers who want to read more serious and in-depth coverage of the subject, just as they would expect to find more in-depth coverage in a sports team-related blog, not just read PR releases.

Does a Broward School Board employee trying to choke an autistic child on a Broward School bus count as news these days?
Is that a subject that would greatly benefit from the infinite amount of space a blog gives a reporter to provide a lot more context than a print newspaper article affords, and even allow some degree of reader interaction?
We'd all agree that the answer to both is yes, so why is there NOTHING like that at the one place that you should be able to count on finding it on the Sun-Sentinel's website?
Now there's a question!

Not only are there no video interviews on that blog with any of the newly-elected Broward School Board members who won 13 days ago, candidates who were all elected to some degree based upon on what they said they hoped to do to change the still-extant culture of corruption there, and make the system more accountable to taxpayers, parents and students, but there's not even a single written blog post about that subject.

And since there's NOT even that, the bare minimum one should reasonably expect if it were being run professionally and with any common sense, of course there's NOT anything there about why those particular new members may or may not succeed in their desirable goal, based on their own backgrounds and professional experiences.
Nice job!

2.) On Friday Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's resident lapdog at the newspaper, Anthony Man, posted his most recent entirely-predictable, not-really-news re DWS that he wrote in all of about five seconds at the Sun-Sentinel's Broward Politics blog.
No, actually it was just the intro to a video of her.

Yes, another in a long line of DWS-related posts by Man that the Sun-Sentinel runs that fall squarely into the dog-bites-man category.
Yet another piece on her NOT showing party independence or actually going out on a limb or even showing some perspective or original insight that you never considered before.

Hey, guess what?
DWS supports Israel -STILL.

And speaking of not surprising, Man doesn't even publicly mention in his intro that the video he chooses to run is actually from her office. Typical.

Wasserman Schultz condemns Hamas rocket attacks on Israel

Notice anything else about that blog post now?
Correct, the Broword Politics blog has recently been moved to behind the Sun-Sentinel's (unsuccessful) pay wall.

Which means that for many people throughout South Florida, including civic activists, concerned citizens and bloggers I know and trust, as well as other members of the South Florida press corps, that blog has largely become even more irrelevant than before, and is now an actual afterthought.

As if the Broward Politics blog's lack of freshness, topicality and outside-the-box thinking on any subject involving county or municipal government, or the pols who inhabit it, weren't already hindrance enough the past few years.

If the Sun-Sentinel's management were really going to make a mistake like that and move a popular feature like that blog behind a pay wall, one of the few features that people I know actually read fairly consistently, couldn't the Sun-Sentinel's management team at least have had the good sense to bring in some new people -with fresh eyes- at the beginning of this year?

In my opinion, having entirely new reporters there, people who'd actually ADD something new to the rather static and staid view of this county that that blog has promoted for so many years, where, typically, almost as soon as someone's name comes up in a piece, you already know what's going to come -and you're almost always right- would end.

How great would it be for readers to actually have the sense that the newspaper was amping-up their reporting and resources towards the election, perhaps starting this year off with some blistering expose or analysis of something that doesn't appear in the print edition?
An actual online exclusive, just like what other media companies do to drive eyeballs?

Something that showed readers some much-needed energy and freshness there, and an implicit warning that that the predictable habits that we've all observed there for far too long, will soon be disappearing -quick!

Yes, as I've watched the Sun-Sentinel increasingly become disconnected from reality and even unaware of many local news stories that they ought to be owning but aren't, it's become
increasingly apparent to me that the very people who are running that newspaper (into the ground) often appear, publicly at least, to have very little real idea of how other newspapers, even smaller ones, actually make their own blogs more interesting and compelling to readers, visually and content-wise.

I know they are aware of it, so why isn't that knowledge and understanding filtering down and actually showing up in print and online with better-written blogs and better and more original content at the Sun-Sentinel?

It's not exactly Breaking News that there are many well-written and compelling non-political blogs that I subscribe to or bookmark which are part of the New York Times and The Washingon Post, and that's largely because when I lived in the Washington area from 1988-2003, I used to religiously read both newspapers daily from cover-to-cover.

And once both newspapers had online presences, I read content there, too, so I remember the blogs they created that didn't quite work out as planned, as well as the ones that have remained steadfast and only grown in popularity over the years, like the very popular technology blog written by David Pogue, which has changed titles a few times, and now even comes with videos. http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/
I continue reading both newspapers and 5-10 of their blogs every day, and buy the Times in print about 3-4 times a week.

New York Times video: 60 Seconds With Pogue: Fitness Bands
But in the context of my blog post today, there's one blog in particular that I'd like to mention because it's an excellent example of the sort of focus and scope that I and many of my friends would greatly prefer the Sun-Sentinel to emulate -the State of NoVA blog, written by Tom Jackman. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-

This recent post is exactly the sort of thing you'd never see at the Broward Politics blog

In my opinion, a newspaper that refuses to properly maintain and improve the depth and quality of writing and frequency of its own blogs, and which has added no new original content in-print or online, is seriously mismanaged and deluded if they think that news consumers with an almost infinite amount of choices, will now suddenly pay for the same-old-thing.
That same tired old thing that they really weren't so crazy about in the first place.

That perhaps is the worst sin of all among the Tribune Company's executives who felt that they no longer had a choice about waiting to erect a paywall for the Sun-Sentinel so many months after they did that at their Los Angles Times property -it was all so damn predictable!

Why, knowing all that they did about how these paywall introductions usually go across the country -esp. in more serious newspaper towns- did they make no serious effort to improve the print version first, to endear themselves to existing readers?
Then, after existing readers could see that a serious effort was being made to improve the paper, make the online experience better by making both more compelling and original content?
The sort that would make people actually willing to pay?

To me, the only plus for the Tribune Company and the Sun-Sentinel's executives throughout this whole mess has been that the state of serious journalism in South Florida has fallen so badly that it never seems to have occurred to the news directors at Channels 4, 6, 7 & 10 to actually do a series of stories on how badly the Sun-Sentinel has bungled things, and now has a knife at its throat after going this route, and the very people holding the knife are -yes- themselves.
There's always that!

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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Sept. 1962. #MLK I was a young kid living in #Memphis with my family that April night in 1968 when we returned home from a trip to #McDonalds and like so many nights before, I raced to the TV set in the living room to beat my two younger sisters to be the one who turned on the TV. As my parents walked in and settled down on the family couch, to see what was on TV, literally, within one minute, came the Breaking News that Dr. King had been shot elsewhere in the city. And the news only got worse as the night went on as news soon confirmed that Dr. King had died as a result of the assassination attempt, and soon there was widespread looting and violence in Memphis, the very things he had adamantly opposed. Eventually came the news that the city was under curfew, and sometime before midnight, because my family lived in a new-ish apt. complex that was on the same road as the nearby Armory, my parents and I and many of our neighbors watched in silence from the sidewalk/curb as tanks driven by members of the mobilized National Guard drove towards downtown Memphis, because the city's powers-that-be had decided that this would show the people who was boss. As my mother tells the story, one of my neighbors remarked on the irony of U.S. Army tanks being used to try to stop violence by Americans who were upset about the murder of a great man who had won the #NobelPeacePrize. It was the first time I remember ever hearing this strange word: #irony.

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When you leave but bring the spare key because it is yours to keep.

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2 0 1 7. I made new mistakes and old ones again. I learned things I didn't know and I things I had already learned the hard way but needed to repeat either way. I fell in love again and again, with the same man, and realized that is the way to do it. I stopped thinking life happened to me and started enjoying taking control of what tomorrow would entail. I wrote even when it hurt and I apologized even when they didn't. I almost gave up but woke up and stood up and spoke up and didn't budge and moved on and forgave myself for not always knowing what to do. I decided the most important thing is to be proud of who I become and to make sure she is someone to be proud of. All I truly have is the opportunity to be whoever I want to be, and knowing that is everything.

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I'm not the only poet in this relationship ❥

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The boyfriend of Mikaela -Malin and Jennifer's sister- wrote above: "Honey, you are my everything, my dream, my imagination, my reality, my future. Sounds like something that I would write to someone special -and have!
FYI: There are 10 photos below, including a rare one of yours truly!