Sunday, December 26, 2010

Trashy Tabloid Analysis: Star Sources

Star Magazine is the "trashy tabloid" that was first analyzed. Life & Style and in Touch Weekly were purchased at the same time (by a very brave man named Dennis Rose) in order to assist in the Trashy Tabloid Analysis that was previously explained.

It is very hard to get through a single tabloid from cover to cover due to the amount of analysis that needs to be done. There are many things than can be focused on, but from pages 1-39 (out of the 84 pages) the biggest thing noticed within this specific tabloid (this may be true of the others, but the analysis is going to be of each single tabloid and then at the end there can be comparisons)is that there are no sources to the stories.

The pages that have been analyzed thoroughly and read are pages 1-39, so this analysis is only for Star Magazine December 27, 2010 issue pages 1-39 with a focus on credibility of sources.

The magazine claims to have so many "Exclusive Interviews," but the only interview that falls under that category is the interview with Kristen StephensonPino. She tells the magazine all about how Johnny Depp is into her and all sorts of things. Of course, the only other sources credited within that article (titled "Johnny Hits On Teen Model") are anonymous sources. Unfortunately, the magazine mentions that she is a "full natural C-cup" before informing readers that Kristen is 19-years-old. So, the fact that she is a full natural C-cup is clearly more important than how old this "teen model" is. Maybe pages 39-84 will be more impressive.

The other articles all had quotes from "insiders" or "pals." How about going out and finding someone who will go on record so that the article can be credible. That's not journalism - that's laziness. Why should anyone trust what is being said by someone who won't even reveal the name publicly. For all we know the "inside source" is some random person on the street that the "reporter" found.

Then there's the cover story about Ashton Kutcher being involved in a "MURDER SCANDAL."
All right - his ex-girlfriend from many years ago had been murdered, and he will apparently be making statements in court regarding what he knew about her and the alleged killer. Also, the magazine calls the alleged killer a "cold-blooded serial killer" without ever saying "allegedly" or anything that could save face.

The entire article has not even a single interview with Ashton Kutcher. So, it's an article about Ashton Kutcher "being involved in a murder scandal," but the only interviews are a Detective and a "friend."

At least attempt to get an interview from someone credible and then put "*CREDIBLE PERSON* was unable to be reached for comment" or "*CREDIBLE PERSON* refused to comment." Something that shows that the reporter isn't just a lazy person who sits around listening to gossip and interviewing random people on the street. Seriously, I feel bad that Dennis had to pay money for this publication. I am glad that the analysis will be thorough, but honestly. This isn't journalism.

The quote from the friend is: "Ashton's worried sick about taking the witness stand."
That is according to "a friend."
Really? Why don't you go ask Ashton himself.
Why doesn't the friend have a name?

This drove me crazy throughout the entire analysis process - which is why I stopped on page 39. I haven't even gotten to the big Tom Cruise - Katie Holmes cover story yet. Fingers are crossed that there is an actual interview done with Tom or Katie and included within the article. Seriously.

If the only "sources" that your publication has are "friends," "pals," "insiders" and "guests" then either your reporters are lazy or no one wants to go on record - if no one wants to go on record and have their name associated with a quote then GO FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL. Go find someone who is willing to have their name printed in the magazine in attribution to the quote. It's understandable to have maybe one anonymous source every so often, but if the ONLY source in your article is an ANONYMOUS source - then you don't have an article. The blogs on the internet have more research and credible sources than that publication which has a paid staff and has a nice readership.

It would be nice to see demographics and statistics of the readership of Star. There is also an article within the first 39 pages regarding one of the stars of MTV's Teen Mom - something to do with her being pregnant again and not knowing who the father is - that didn't have any sources either...

Nikky Raney reading Star Magazine
That's all for pages 1-39.
This magazine was the most expensive of the three. This one was $3.99 and the other two were $2.99, but don't worry there's no sales tax in New Hampshire.

Is this publication trying to be a respected news source or is it content with being filled with gossip and unreliable information? It's sad that magazines like Newsweek are faced with tough times in publication - but magazines like Star are selling no problem. There's something wrong with this picture -- and the Future of Journalism needs to fix it.

Originally Posted at The Future of Journalism

Oakland's Tiki Tom's Restaurant - The Last Video - Part One

On October 7th, 2010, Oakland's Tiki Tom's Restaurant burned down in a blaze of fire that rang up an estimated $750,000 worth of building damage. There was, and still as of this writing, no known cause of the fire. According to several sources, the building was chain locked, and while the power had been turned off, PG&E reported it wasn't their doing.

The fire was officially labeled "suspicious."

Everything was burned, including the boat, a Tampa 66 Chris Craft according to Tom Davies AKA "Tiki Tom", docked on the Oakland Estuary, and in back of the eatery.

The restaurant that was located at 329 29th Avenue with the frog on top was at the center of what it's owner, "Tiki Tom" called "The Oakland Riviera" during a video tour.

This blogger was taken there the day before my 48th birthday on August 4th, and by long-time friends Bob and Barbara Schock, who are new Oakland District Four Councilmember Libby Schaaf's parents.

As I taken with the atmostphere, food, and cocktails of the place, I asked for the owner's permission to make a full video of Tiki Tom's, and out came Tiki Tom himself. (Who looks a lot like my long-time friend Lars Frykman, but without the beard.) The result was one of the wackiest tours I've ever taken of anyplace in my life.

The video - the last one of the entire restaurant and perhaps the only one that includes the boat in its interior - reflects that.

On the day we visited, there was almost no one in the place.  Save for one guy at the bar and four of what turned out to be Tom's friends near the water-side and rear of the facility, and the wait staff, Tiki Tom's was empty.  They were happy to be able to serve us.

But once I turned on the Flip Video Camcorder (one the CNN iReport staff gave me for being an iReport beta contributor in 2007 and that Flip created especially for CNN) man his eyes lit up, and off we went, starting with a talk about the frog on the top of the building.  (I didn't say he was going to be on CNN, or anything like that, but hey having that specially-made camcorder works.)

I asked him about the frog, and he went into a hilarious wild-man rant, saying it's at the top of the place because "people can't find it without the frog. They go round-and-round like they're in Mexico, man!" Then Tom went on a rant about how he got it that was so fast and funny it was hard to understand.  What he was saying was that his buddy who owned it paid $10,000 for it, and he paid $500 worth of drinks for it, "now leave my frog alone!"

Too funny.

He recommended I order their signature dish, the coconut prawns.  I did, and they were excellent, along with the oysters and sanddabs.  Then the Tiki Tom tour started.

Tom said that Tiki Tom's has, or now had surfboards dating back as far as 1930 with the youngest one made in 2002, making his place the only West Coast, California, all exclusive surfboard collection, handcrafted and ridden by Tom himself at every beach along the California coast."   Tom even shared his scar from being bitten by an "albino alligator."

Then, with belly full of a lot of seafood, and Michael Jackson's Beat It blaring through the place, Tom took me on a quick tour that ended on his boat, the Tampa 66 Chris Craft.

We got on the boat via a ladder that's not directly connected to it, so you really have to watch your step.  But once you're on it, it's part time.  Or was.

Tom said he had a lot of parties on the boat; I got the impression that if the boat could talk, a best-selling book and movie would result.  At the very least.

Richard Branson's Surfboard?

On the way back to the table where I left Bob and Barbara, Tom pointed to a surfboard on the ceiling he said was once owned by Virgin Billionaire Richard Branson.   More on that, later.

Tiki Tom, The Oakland Character

Since the fire, Tom Davies has not been officially seen.  I don't know what happened to him.  But, given all that I've seen and heard, and nothing not online or in this video or blog, I think Tom may have been cash-strapped and figured that burning the place down was the only way to recover some money and help his staff.

Just a guess.

We asked the waitress where everyone was and she said they were a little lean on patrons, or words to that effect. It's no secret the weak economy has been hard on Oakland, as it's near 20 percent unemployment rate has shown.   But it's really, really sad that Tom lost his beloved business and boat.  It's also sad that Oakland's lost such a wonderful place.

From the video below, it looks like he had a lot of friends and had a lot of fun:

Stay tuned.

Niners Troy Smith Argument With Singletary Burns Up Twitter (Video)

The San Francisco 49ers find themselves in the wild position of being able to clinch the NFC West with a win while the NFC's 10 and 6 Green Bay Packers may miss the playoffs. This weird turn of events has Niners Head Coach Mike Singletary frantic, and pushing his quarterbacks, including the once-favored Troy Smith, who, when pulled, argued with the coach on the sidelines.

Here the video:

The exchange, where it seems Singletary would not back down and had to be "cooled" by Ted Ginn, Jr., burned up Twitter. As of this writing, "Niners" is a top Twitter Trend. Here's some tweets after the missed field goal:

Sunrise206 Lili
1 more quarter to go! Need to finish strong and get this win. This is it! #49ers #NINERS
4 minutes ago

creoledotcom Aisha Lavan
new field goal kicker new coach & new QB !! #niners but i stay a FAN till the END !!
2 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Patriarch Patriarch
Niners are breaking down doesn't look good.
2 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Take a look at the video and share it now, because no telling how long it's going to last on YouTube (it's not my video, by the way).

This is news, so in a perfect World, a DMCA complaint should not be answered by YouTube. The reason is, we as the public should not have news hidden from us in this way. It's not right and YouTuber thebsoreport should issue a challenge if a DMCA complaint is filed.

Please, stop using DMCA's to block the reporting of news.

But I digress.

As of this writing, the Niners are down 14 to 15 as the 3rd Quarter comes to a close.

Stay tuned and check out Kevin Lynch's game updates at