lower case blues

1. It’s Thursday, April 7, 2016.

2. Hey, AP, I have an idea. Why don’t we lower case the a in America? It’s been around for awhile. I’m sure any kid who uses it in a text message lower cases it, so it’s pretty standard. It’s a generic concept, because there’s no specific country called America.

Yeah, I think it’s a stupid idea to lower case the i in Internet. But the AP – I’m sorry, is it the ap? – has deemed the capitalization unnecessary for both Internet and Web, as in World Wide Web – again, is it world wide web?

Giving in to people who can’t be bothered distinguishing proper names is dumb.

3. While we’re criticizing trends in journalism, here’s something that made me fume:

The Pulitzer Prices will mark their centennial this month, and there are some suggestions aimed at making them more contemporary.

I get the idea of allowing broadcast outlets to submit their Website stories. I get the idea of allowing non-U.S. publishers compete for awards. I get the idea of expanding the awards to include new forms of media.

I do not, in any way, get the idea of letting readers decide.

This concept of letting people who read web sites or newspapers decide what’s news and what’s not has gone way too far. Newsrooms are writing stories purely based on what they see trending in social media. Managers who support this idea say it’s simply good business at a time when the industry is hurting.

When I went to see my eye doctor last week, she told me she can’t stand to read or watch the news because nothing she sees in it seems important. And I told her to thank her neighbors. That’s what they’ve indicated they want to see in the paper or on TV. So that’s what they get.

As a result, we feel as though everyone is being slashed on the street, or that everyone is bound to be afflicted with some disease, or that every politician is a crook. By focusing on the news they think people want, instead of focusing on, say, what is actually news, this constant pandering feeds itself.

So I’ll sound like an old fogey. Journalists should just do what they’re trained to do. Report what’s important. If it’s uninteresting, make it interesting. If you can’t, report it anyway – because important trumps interesting for a journalist.

The idea that people who aren’t journalists understand what makes good journalism is abdicating your job and your experience. And it’s wrong.

Civillians already have a vote – it’s called their money. Let’s be the ones to tell them what professionals think is the best.

4. Congratulations to Connecticut for winning its fourth straight NCAA women’s basketball title and its 75th straight game.

I was rooting for Syracuse Tuesday night in the title game. My wife went there, so that’s why there’s the affinity.

But I knew a Syracuse victory would have been more miraculous than when the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviets at Lake Placid 36 years ago.

There are some who believe the Huskies’ dominance – they’ve been the force to be reckoned with for more than 20 years – is bad for women’s basketball. Why watch when you know who’s going to win?

But that’s garbage.

The UConn women’s dominance is comparable to that of the NBA players competing for the U.S. in the Olympics. It compares to when UCLA was riding high in the John Wooden era.

And all of these are good for the game. They speak to the integrity of it – these are the best, and to win at that level you have to beat the best. There is no doubt that the UConn women are a special team – they deserve the accolades they receive.

In sports, such overwhelming success is fleeting. The players either graduate or their eligibility runs out. New players come in, but are they at the same level?

Eventually, someone will knock off the UConn women. It will be great for them and the game. Until then, the bar for greatness is now pretty high – as it should be.


One thought on “lower case blues

  1. Michael Weinfeld says:

    I think they should go back to spelling Amerika with a K like we did in the 60s.
    Btw, this is the same AP that was putting quotes around band names (“The Beatles!”) until I talked them out of it in 1987.


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