“The DOJ’s actions — gathering two months of records for more than 20 telephone lines, both from major AP bureaus and the home and cell phones of individual AP journalists — is a startling and potentially dangerous overreach of its powers, powers that are strictly limited under the DOJ’s own guidelines for issuing subpoenas to the news media for testimony and evidence.”
ONA President Jim Brady, Editor-in-Chief, Digital First Media
ONA has joined with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 50 other media organizations in issuing a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding its subpoenaing of telephone records belonging to The Associated Press.
Frank Lloyd Wright, the organic architect
In 1991, the American Institute of Architects recognized Frank Lloyd Wright as “the greatest American architect of all time.” Talented, radical and passionate about his vocation, Wright was a visionary master. He defied architectural doctrines of his time, challenged the tyranny of the skyscraper and was recognized as a true iconoclast believing that form and function in building should be “joined in a spiritual union.”
For Wright, American cities of the 20th century were a bad dream come true: stagy grandeur, disruptive of surrounding environment, flashy, and dwarfing the human spirit — they represented everything he despised. Wright once referred to New York as “a great monument to the power of money and greed… a race for rent.” He didn’t care much for Pittsburgh either. In 1935, he was quoted saying, “If I were remaking this city, the first thing I’d do would be get rid of that damned smoke.”
His philosophy of architecture was reflected in the Prairie School movement. The movement focused on the importance of harmony and aesthetic congruence between humanity and the surrounding environment. The philosophy embraced structures that grew organically, shaped by their natural surroundings and the needs of their human inhabitants, buildings that ‘hugged the Earth’ and merged with the landscape rather than dominated it.
“Simplicity and repose are qualities that measure the true value of any work of art,” Wright said. Simplicity was his mantra and the ability to simplify, he believed, was the hardest skill for an architect to perfect. ” ‘Think simple’ as my old master used to say — meaning reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles,” he said. It was for the simplicity and elegance of Wright’s creations that he received international praise from Germany to Japan.
Wright designed more than 500 structures, 300 of which survive.
Robie House, which he built in 1910 in Chicago, was recently included in the list of “Ten buildings that changed America.”
But the people’s favorite is, of course, the famous Fallingwater. It was built from 1934 to 1937 for the Kaufmanns at Mill Run, Fayette County. Constructed over a 30-foot waterfall, Fallingwater is unique; its design defines ‘organic architecture.’
Frank Lloyd Wright also had projects that were never meant to be. When his plans for a building in Yosemite were rejected, he was unhappy with the government; when Venice tabled his proposal for a glass and marble palace on the Grand Canal, he was mad at the tourists.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal life was tempestuous, filled with adventures, struggle and turmoil. Wright was married three times and fathered seven children. He died in 1959 at age 91.
He mentored a lot of successful architects and left behind many bits of wisdom in books and lectures. One piece of advice he tried to sear into the minds of his apprentices was, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
Today in Things We Love.
“It’s about making our coverage more complete, more representative of the broad experiences of people in America.”
Digital tools help produce quality content online, but it can be tough figuring out where to start. Here are 10 online tools that can help improve journalists’ reporting and storytelling, and engage readers in multimedia.
Graphics and images can help readers understand concepts and stories better than text alone. Journalists can use TileMill to create interactive maps that show how data are spread over a particular area. It’s an especially useful tool for stories that have a strong geographic component.
Read about the rest of the tools at Poynter.
Image: A TileMill graph from Quartz’ report on New Orleans commerce during the Super Bowl
Reporting Traumatic Events
Steven Gorelick, professor of media studies, Hunter College:
Be very careful about the experts you select as sources. These kinds of high-profile stories are magnets for everyone from legitimate scholars and practitioners to self-proclaimed “profilers.”
Serious experts are almost always quick to admit that there is no easy explanation for why and how something happened, especially before even the most basic information is released. Beware of the expert source who is just dying to be helpful. And perk up your ears when someone tells you: “I really need to get more information before I have anything useful to say.”
Scott Wallace, freelance journalist:Despite the fact that we are all on deadline, you must take the time to breathe, empathize and feel the pain of survivors and loved ones whom you interview and come in contact with…
…Above all, forget trying to “scoop” your colleagues on this story. A spirit of cooperation should reign among the reporters, photographers and producers on a story like this. It may be useful to work in tandem with a colleague or two from some other media outlet, sharing the material and the experience of the interview rather than putting the same subject through it multiple times.
Lena Jakobsson, television producer:
Chasing victims’ family members down the street seems like a far more reasonable idea if CNN and MSNBC and FOX and all the nets are doing it, too, and you’re about to get yelled at if you don’t get that video. But you always have at least a few seconds to stop and listen to what your gut is telling you. Ratings come and go. The impact on your integrity, and on the people you’re covering — that stays.
Al Tompkins, Poynter
Clearly tell the public what you know and what you do not know. With a story like this — one that changes by the hour — do not assume the public is up to date…
…Acknowledge the emotional impact of the tragedy. Online conversations about the bombings, especially Twitter, have been loaded with people who are in distress, wondering what has become of humankind. Don’t underestimate that feeling. Spend some time and space honoring the good people who performed selfless acts in a time of crisis and beyond. Work with your local crisis lines, counselors and clergy, and stay in touch with the pulse of what they are hearing.
Dave Weigel, Slate:
In a situation like this, political reporters should probably make a quiet, temporary exit from the scene. There will be political angles in the reaction to this story, because this sort of nightmare knocks everything else out of the news cycle. Gosnell? Manchin-Toomey? Immigration? They’re in the middle of the paper if they’re anywhere. They’re paused, as is any speculation about the motivation for the attack. Who has ever speculated about that and not gone on to total, moronic infamy?
Jeremy Stahl, Slate
[D]on’t use a tragedy to make a political point before the facts are even known. Shortly after the attacks, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted this inanity: “explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director. Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking apptment.” Probably realizing how his snarkiness sounded under the circumstances, Kristof quickly deleted the tweet and called it a “low blow.” On the right, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin sent out this doozy, comparing the national media’s coverage of Boston to its alleged non-coverage of the Kermit Gosnell abortion case.
Image: A man after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, via Boston.com/AP.