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I’m very busy this week, garage door to paint and other stuff to do. But, there are a few of you who visit everyday. These quick blogs are for you.

Yesterday I came upon this site: http://www.ted.com. I had watched a  video on newspaper design and noted it originated with TED.com. The video was excellent, recalling The London Free Press redesign efforts of year’s past.

I googled TED.com. I watched a few of the videos and I must note that these videos played almost totally free of the hesitations. This is quite unlike the on-line videos done by my local newspaper, The London Free Press, part of the Sun Media/Quebecor Media empire. Often I simply move on rather than endure the halting video and choppy sound.

A quick viewing of a few of the other videos on the TED.com site, left me thinking that I disagreed with some of what was said but still I was left thinking. That’s good. I’m going to learn more about old TED.

The video of Jacek Utko discussing his lively, engaging designs done for European papers is worth a view, if you have the time. It only lasts six minutes. Could good design save newspapers — at least for now? Jacek Utko thinks so.

Pay close attention when, at the two minute mark, he talks about his revelation, his moment of inspiration, brought about by a viewing of the Cirque du Soleil in London, UK. Utko realized that the Canadians took a creaking, rundown, boring form of entertainment and took it to the highest possible level of performance art. He decided to do the same thing with creaking, rundown, boring newspapers.

The time is now for newspapers to take their creaky, boring Internet designs and attack them with the creativity that Utko brought to his newspaper redesigns. As Utko says, “Give power to designers.”

Jacek Utko on newspaper design.

I'm going to have to learn the names of these flowers. I just call this 'pink'.

All lilies do not like to bloom at the same time.

Another new lily bloom has appeared. See all my lilies that have bloomed, as of today, here.

All lilies do not bloom at the same time. Some are early bloomers and others are late. This keeps a continuous stream of new blooms appearing for weeks.

The Internet is just so cool. I ordered five more different lilies from Horner Lilies in Thorndale over the Internet. I got the confirmation of my order by e-mail this morning. I didn’t have to burn even a litre of gas. The Internet is green.

(This is not an ad. I just like Horner Lilies.)

This is an interesting article in the Huffington Post taking a look at a picture of Obama supposedly taking a look at a young woman, while France’s Sarkozy looks on. (After a closer look, I studied the whole picture very carefully, I decided that the picture is ambiguous. It left me wishing I had a video of the moment.)

A slice of life, a moment captured, or simply a lie?

A slice of life, a moment captured, or simply a lie?

Michael Shaw, publisher of the visual politics blog, BAGnewsNotes, says that it was Reuters taking liberties and not Obama. Shaw saw a clarifying video.

After working for three decades as a photojournalist for a couple of daily newspapers I can assure you that stuff like this is not common but, unfortunately, it is not unknown either.

Was Obama caught ogling? View the YouTube ABC video and you may agree the answer is, “No.”

I am going to try and  blog on this later in the week.


Looking for the update to my blog on lilies? Click here: lilies.


Reflections of a Newsosaur is a blog by Alan D. Mutter.

Mutter began his career as a newspaper columnist and editor in Chicago, starting at the Chicago Daily News and later rising to City Editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. In 1984, he became the No. 2 editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He left the newspaper business in 1988 to join InterMedia Partners, a start-up company that became one of the largest cable-TV companies in the U.S. – Read his entire resume on his blog.

I have been following Mutter for quite some time. I was made aware of his writing by a reporter at The London Free Press where I worked until January of this year. I took a buyout and left after the December layoff notice.

I know some folk from various papers are following me at times. This blog is for you. Some recent blogs by Mutter are:

Jacko-mania tarnished media credibility

Following are some excerpts, but please read his whole piece, especially if you are an editor in charge of a newsroom.

Media executives – particularly the broadcasters who ginned up the wall-to-wall coverage – abandoned responsible news judgment and old-fashioned common sense in their decision to pander to an audience that evidently was not nearly as vast as they imagined.

The media went all out for the Jackson story in spite of a survey released last week that showed a resounding 64% of Americans believed – even before Tuesday’s media orgy– that coverage of the pop star’s passing was “excessive.” The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press.

. . . You can’t build confidence in the press by providing breathless coverage of an overblown event that most people don’t care about.

(I had wondered about the coverage. I found it excessive, as did my wife. Then, my nephew mentioned the People-magazine-takes-over-MSM (mainstream media) feel of the almost constant barrage of Michael Jackson stories.)

Can grassroots journalism do the job?

Mutter starts out, “My doubts are growing about whether we can rely on volunteers to produce credible journalism for a sustainable period of time.”

This is an interesting piece. Again, if you are a newspaper exec, please read. If you are not and exec, you can read it, nod your head in agreement, and think, “I told you so!”

Facing up to life after print for newspapers

Mutter lead for this piece is, “There are many unsettling parallels between newspapers and General Motors, the iconic American corporation struggling to regain its financial health and vigor as a consumer brand.”

I have said almost those very words. I’ll bet you have, too. Scroll down his blog and read the rest.

Lastly, Mutter is not just a chap with observations, often negative – he also offers answers.

Read the following in the order below. This is not the order in which they were written, but trust me.

What I recommended to publishers in Chicago

Now, read the following:

Can you still trust me?

If you’ve read the above as instructed, I’m sure you have bookmarked Alan. Am I right?


Check out the rating number on the top right of the page. It’s 82. In just a little more than two months surfers have pushed this little site’s ratings higher by the day. Thank you.

I am taking a week off, sorta, and so, if you are looking for something to read, I advise you to check out my fourth blog in a series I did on the 2005 media-stoked crystal meth scare. The use of the Faces of Meth booking photos by papers as far removed from Oregon as Ottawa, Canada, is simply wrong. This is not a pro drug blog but a pro truth one. As you may be aware, truth was, and still is, one of the victims in the War on Drugs.

Or if you were offended by the coverage of the Bernie Madoff swindle and thought the media missed the real story, you’ll enjoy the opinion column by Frank Rich and also my take on the mess. This one link will get you two more links. It’s a good deal, yes?

Lastly, it is one of my earlier efforts but I would appreciate your reading it and letting me know your opinion. You don’t even have to leave a comment, only click a radio button for my poll: should CP board members have taken seven figure bonuses after losing a massive chunk of our CPP savings?

Don't you just love the frilly edge of this white and bright yellow beauty?

Don't you just love the frilly edge of this white and bright yellow beauty?

Or maybe something light, like my little puff piece in praise of lilies. If you are a gardener, especially a London, Ontario, gardener, you may like it and the pictures of my lilies. And these are just my first blooms, lots more are waiting to burst onto the scene. I can be a little compulsive at time; The rich mix of lilies that now enriches my flower beds bears quiet but colourful testament to this fact.

Must run,

Some of you come to this site looking for photography stuff and I am letting you down. Sorry. I’m a dedicated blogger but I’m not crazy. Well O.K., I’m crazy but that still doesn’t make a day any longer. My blogs take up too much of my time to adequately deal with the photo stuff.

Well, today let’s talk about photography. Just a little talk as I have a busy week but you are here and you should get something for your trouble.

My Canon SD10 will fit into the watch pocket of a pair of jean.

My Canon SD10 will fit into the watch pocket of a pair of jean.

First, this is the type of camera I’m using to shoot the art illustrating my blogs. It’s a five-year-old Canon SD10 with a fixed wide angle lens, no zoom here, and a shutter with a long time lag. And that’s the good stuff.

I never would’ve bought this. My wife did. She got it for me after I had open heart surgery. She figured, correctly, my pro gear would be too much to carry immediately after my surgery. Smart lady.

Soft window light, a slow shutter speed, and a braced camera made this picture possible.

Soft window light, a slow shutter speed, and a braced camera made this picture possible.

This little gem has an f/2.8 lens. This is important. This is is an f/stop equal to those on many of my pro lenses. An f/2.8 lens lets in a lot of light and makes it possible to shoot pictures in situations that are not all that brightly lit.

My wife’s a good cook, along with a good judge of cameras, and so I often grab quick shots of her dinners. I get good pictures with just soft, evening window light. I’m not forced to use an ISO setting higher than 50 but I do find something to steady my hand. I don’t let camera shake ruin my pictures.

A tripod makes this picture possible.

A tripod makes this picture possible.

A handy tree limb was used to steady the camera.

A handy tree limb was used to steady the camera.

The fast little lens also makes night images possible. Check out these two pictures. I steadied the camera on a tree limb to take the picture of the fountain. I used a tripod for the fireworks.

Don’t try to handhold the camera when taking time exposures. Camera shake will ruin your pictures. And use long exposure times to capture these images and not high ISO settings. The grainy, noisy images that result from using high ISO settings are not to be feared but they are not to be too readily embraced either.

Anticipate the action, prefocus (if possible), and shoot lots.

Anticipate the action, prefocus (if possible), and shoot lots.

Don't interfere with the game but get as close as possible.

Don't interfere with the game but get as close as possible.

Don’t be afraid to try. If you see it and like it, shoot it. In the days of film such an attitude was quite expensive. Not today. If it doesn’t work, no big deal. If it does work, you’ve got a picture. Take these action shots. Many will tell you the Canon SD10 can’t take action photos. Well, not if you don’t try, so try!

Port Burwell Wind Turbine

Port Burwell Wind Turbine

Lastly, if something you see attracts your eye. Shoot it. The subject, not your eye. The trick is to correctly define the subject. Sometimes the context is also the subject, such as this wind turbine. The clouds are important. Do not crop them out.

Get in tight and crop out everything but bee and flower.

Get in tight and crop out everything but bee and flower.

But do crop out distractions. The bee is the star of the photo on the left. Get in close. Don’t worry bees don’t bite. (They sting.)

If you want to see how much is possible when shooting with just a little point and shoot, go to my other blog, London Daily Photo. Almost 100 percent of the art on that blog was shot with my Canon SD10.

I welcome your comments and I promise to turn my attention to the photo end of my blog soon.

Now, get out there and shoot, don’t be afraid to try, pixels are cheap,


I just love this image. I held my Canon SD10 held near the windscreen; It is an English roadster. It worked! -both the picture and the car.

I just love this image. I held my Canon SD10 near the windscreen, it is an English roadster afterall. It worked! -both the picture and the car.