D.C. Bike Theft Chart & Story a.k.a. My First Post This Year (Three Months After New Year’s) !

Data: MS Excel/Oracle OpenOffice (Spreadsheet)

Story: “Citywide (Reported) Bike Thefts in D.C. Decline Over Four Years, Yet Ward 6 Remains a Hotspot

Data Source: D.C. Data Catalog (“Crime Incidents”)
Hint: For those non-tech/computer engineering people (such as myself), Google Refine (h/t Poynter Institute) is your best friend in actually making the default .CVS/KML format of the data catalog open up in Excel/OpenOffice.

Non-Wonky Biking Transportation Study: “Bicycling renaissance…” (J. Pucher et. al – Transportation Research, 2011)

Where Did the “Mother Nature Overlooking the Anacostia” Come From?

Glistening mosaic brightened up the drab side of a highway overpass in front of Kenilworth Park.

While returning from my hour (and some change) ride on the Anacostia (via a “party” barge boat), I stumbled upon a portrait of “Mother Nature” overlooking the river surrounded by a blue heron and water lilies.

Unfortunately, there was no artist signature to tell me whose addition to the side of an overpass was worth stopping me in my tracks to gawk at.

I like mysteries: I know that film noirs are more truthful than most “docudramas.” But this kind of mystery saddens me.

More picture posted below:









Accompanying “towers” with sunflowers and fluttering ladybugs among other Anacostia plant and wildlife captured in these colorful mosaic sculptures.

A Great Blue Heron soars in an azure sky.

“You say hello, and I say….” Goodbye! ‘Til next time!

PEJ’s 2010 State of Media Report: Future of Embattled “Legacy Media” Better Than Most Expect

Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’ 2010 State of the Media contained few surprises but the unexpected is noteworthy.

As a reporter interested in covering foreign affairs, any growth in the coverage of international relations makes my day better for one simple reason: It means my dream job won’t be a pipe dream as long as foreign coverage continues its upswing after I graduate.

According the latest PEJ report, coverage of U.S. foreign relations increased by 5 percent – from 2008’s 6 percent to 11 percent in 2009.

Last year, numerous international events had direct links to U.S. foreign policy. One of the incidents that caught my attention the most was the capture of two Current TV journalists were captured in North Korea and later pardoned. The case definitely taught me a lesson to remember: Don’t wade in the water too close hermit kingdom’s border because the consequence could be dire.

Besides the rise in foreign news in the American media, articles and broadcasts about the environment was the sixteenth most reported stories of the year – out of 26 other news story topics. I was surprised to learn that “green” news received that much coverage.

Blogging is giving way to mobile-platforms. (Jorge Quinteros/FlickR/Creative Common)

But then I remembered that most covered green story was  “Climategate” and the fallout that called into question the global warming phenomenon. It could also be argued that this increased media scrutiny was a setback to the global green movement. This internationally-reported fiasco galvanized “climate skeptics” who capitalized on it to spread their views to the public.

On the flip-side of unexpected news coverage upswings, there were losers who were neglected due to the limited space of broadcasts, etc. Education and immigration were among the most notable issues neglected last year.

Next year’s PEJ report should show the reversal of both stories. Interest in the latter issue has been rekindled by Arizona’s S.B. 1070, the failed passage of the DREAM Act, and the idiocy of “anchor babies.”

Although the report didn’t take an alarming tone, it did contain information that would disappoint those (e.g. “….just me and my shadow”) interested in “shoe-leathering” (long-form) reporting:

  • Reportorial news is getting smaller. Punditry-led, commentary news dominates it now, and it plays a major role in agenda-setting – and its influence will continue to grow.
  • Fox News continues to dominate its cable news rivals. Blerg.
  • PBS News Coverage continues to outpace its rival in covering overseas happenings.

However, popular forms of new media are falling to the wayside such as blogging.  Mobile-format news and social networking sites like Twitter are becoming more common sources for news than personal blogs. And without the “legacy” (traditional) media, the new media wouldn’t have any sources of their information since 67 percent of the top news sites are tied to traditional print media (namely NYT & WaPo). So, the “journalism is dead” crowd has been proven wrong and they can call off the funeral dirge that will never get played. News junkies like me would never allow it and the “information age” increases the importance of journalists.

A Poetess Takes a Stroll on a Saturday Morn (PHOTO-SLIDE SHOW)

Shakeema Smalls poetess Howard University U St Washington D.C.

As a vegetarian, Shakeema Smalls (“The Poetess”) pays a weekly visit to “Yes! Organic Market” on the district’s U Street.  (Derrick Haynes)

I’m not any competition for Scurlockor Nykvist (yet) , but all novice photographers need time to grow and break away from their amateur status.

In the slide show below, my friend graciously allowed me to play the paparazzo while she embraced her inner Lady Gaga (she is a “little monster” after all). Before schoolwork monopolized our time and buried us alive, we spent a Saturday morning running around U Street.

Despite the stares of on-lookers and fellow grocery shoppers, I kept on shooting frames for my project while paying them no mind. Most of the shots “expanded” greatly on my initial story board.The total number of shots I took were more than I realized: 200 plus photos for an almost 20-minute photo shoot.

Shakeema Smalls Abbey Road The Beatles homage U St.

Smalls walks down “Abbey Road”…via U St. (Derrick Haynes)

Ms. Smalls starts off in her dorm room before jaunting pass U Street staples such as Uncle Ben’s Chili’s Bowl. She takes the time to stop inside of Busboys and Poets to buy a poetry book and pick up a spoken word flyer.Then she  finally heads to Yes! Organic to buy some groceries.

Up Jumped Spring” (Freddie Hubbard’s Backlash LP), a vocalese performed by the late-great Abbey Lincoln (also known as Aminata Moseka), helps the picture convey the “end of summer” feeling I was going for.

Qui sait (who knows) there might be a parte deux…