Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sing a song of press-titution?

With layoffs, buyouts and closings, these days it seems fewer newspapermen each month are "meeting interesting people..." But a friend pointed me to this 2006 video after I posted my blog item (and a flutter of tweets) about Pete Seeger's birthday concert. I haven't heard that this song fit into the program. It would need a pretty serious update, since it dates back to the days of flagpole sitters. I was writing for my school newspaper the first time I heard the song, and found a copy in the old People's Songbook, related to the still-publishing Sing Out!, the folksong magazine. I should renew my subscription and see if anyone has set Phil Meyer's The Vanishing Newspaper to music yet...

Pete doesn't mention it on the video, but the later verses of Vern Partlow's song make it clear it has roots in the early -- and better -- days of the Newspaper Guild union. Now that Pete has taught you the tune, everybody sing...:
Oh, publishers are such interesting people!
Their policy's an acrobatic thing.
They shout they represent the common people.
It's funny Wall Street never has complained.
But publishers have worries, for publishers must go
To working folks for readers, and big shots for their dough.
Oh, publishers are such interesting people!
It could be press-titution, I don't know.

Ting-a-ling-a-ling, advertising.
Ting-a-ling-a-ling, circulation.
Get that payoff, keep those readers;
What a headache, what a mess.
Yes, publishers are such interesting people!
Let's give three cheers for freedom of the press.

Oh, newspapermen are such interesting people!
They used to work like hell just for romance,
But finally, the movies notwithstanding,
They all got tired of patches on their pants.
They organized a union, and got a living wage.
They joined progressive actors upon a living stage.
Now newspapermen meet such interesting people,
Who know they've got a people's fight to wage.

[big rousing chorus now...]

Ting-a-ling-a-ling, Newspaper Guild,
We got a free new world to build;
Meet the people, that's a thrill,
All together fits the bill.
Oh a newspaperman meets such interesting people!
It's wonderful to represent the Guild.
Lyrics from the Digital Tradition database at

Just a coincidence... Here's the latest on the Guild negotiations at The Boston Globe.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Webby Awards for radio, news, newspapers, magazines...

Webby Awards -- NPR wins seven Webbies and People's Voice awards for best radio, best music and best podcasts... makes me happy to be wearing my "I gave money to NPR" cap today. However, I was surprised to NOT see NPR winning news awards... maybe there was a coin-flip between BBC and NPR for "best radio" versus "best news"? I dunno...

The News Webby and the People's Voice award went to the BBC's News website

The student site awards went to of the UC Berkeley journalism school and a new one to me, -- Yes, it's a High School Journalism project! Maybe there's hope there...

The newspaper award went to with a People's Voice to, which also won for "Best copy/writing" and in a "Best Practices" category, whatever that means. (OK, so I'm too busy to look it up.)

Both magazine awards went the

Another one of my favorites won for "best use of video or moving image":

(Couldn't help noticing the video award went to TED, which is not a "television" network or channel, but a Web-only site from an educational/inspirational conference.)

Here are the rest of the Webby Awards (there are almost 70 categories) from the award home page... and here's NPR's self-congratulation, which I guess might define "media outlets" as "media older than the Internet"... But I don't remember seeing any other kind of site that matched NPR in number of awards...

"National Public Radio led all media outlets by winning seven Webby awards, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday. The awards competition, now in its 13th year, honors excellence on the Web.
"NPR won Webbys for best radio site, best music site, best news site in the mobile division for its iPhone site, and best music entry in the online film and video division for Project Song, an online video documentary series."
Meanwhile, I rarely have time for "entertainment" Web stuff, which the Webbies are full of... But after exams I'll go back and check out some of that... including Web therapy, especially if there's an episode about Web addiction and Twitter. (Which, by the way, won "breakout of the year.")