There's a little piece I'm looking forward to sharing with you. It's not ready yet, because it's got to be fact-checked. No matter how small the certifiable fact, this is a discipline
I've always considered essential. It's innate to my journalism roots.
Ever seen "Bright Lights, Big
with Michael J. Fox as fact-checker? I've been a fact-checker. Buy me a big drink, and I'll tell you about it. It's not as grim as one might think, and it's a small
art we should never lose.
So, while I waited for a phone call from a source to certify a few facts before I filed anything with my name on it -- a diligence I acknowledge is my own
professional quirk -- my mind started wandering. So I decided to write something else -- something about the media habits we harbor.
This also follows my 2009 year-end accounting, through
which I got honest and retooled my personal media operations -- my communications, news and media dashboard, as it were.
We are awash in streams of small choices. Because we are media
professionals and consumers, these choices have to do with how we produce, consume, and converge our media. Sometimes we make decisions quickly and get on top of our game. Other times we delay
out of habit.
Does my media world look like yours? Yours is probably a bit more consolidated, as I still haven't taken the time to cull my habits. My media hoopla looks like this:
I have a righteous print habit: New York Times
to the doorstep, plus five magazine subscriptions. I am not alone. Other kindred digerati share this penchant in spades. (I know who you
are.) But as I read what's on my lap throughout the day, I'm also taking in a fairly loaded RSS reader, an array of industry trades every day, and Internet radio streaming. The TV is often on,
I watch tons of TV and record more than I get to in a given week. Like most of you, I watch more online and on the road -- thanks to the advance of video distribution and also little
things like Sling. Lots of news, miniseries, premium programming and all kinds of strange pleasures, from "Gossip Girl" to "Drunk History" on Funny or Die.
bugs me, badly. I felt tricked into getting it. My long fingers and I miss the clear clickity-click of my BlackBerry. But I wouldn't trade the slick application situation of the iPhone for
anything. However, the iPhone's multitasking mantra is total mythology, at least in New York, where it barely makes phone calls or sends email in Midtown. At least one day a week, it outright
hinders my ability to do business. I crack up when I receive an email that says, "Your AT&T Mobility Bill is Ready." Mobility? In a word: Nope. But, you can update your Facebook status
or unleash Tweetdeck any old time you wish.
In addition to the 2009 "communications & media" accounting waking me up, a beloved house guest bought me a supreme television. In
the process of setting up this surprise, he saw all my wiring -- across DVR, wireless routers, speakers, Slingbox, modems, DVD and all my computer stuff. Let's just say I called a timeout. Now,
I'm in the process of catching my convergence up. Columbia Journalism Review
, The New Yorker
stay. But, New York Times
goes to Saturday and
Sunday only; I've got the Reader at my fingertips. My 212 landline: toast as of tomorrow. But, new HD cables and Blu-ray stuff is showing up. And, other boxes go away. Meanwhile, I continue my
love-hate relationship with the iPhone.
If not dropped entirely, some media habits can migrate and modernize to better versions of themselves. Some habits will never die. While waiting for
my source phone call, and writing this light piece, I couldn't not
check the spelling and capitalization of "Blu-ray." And, I determined that it was better to link to Wikipedia
than IMDB on the "Bright Lights, Big City" reference, as only the former accurately indicated that Michael J. Fox didn't just work at a magazine -- he was a fact-checker.