Monday, July 19, 2004

Grammar futures
Nicole over at A Capital Idea has two good pointers ...
First, Ruth Walker's Verbal Energy Web log at the Christian Science Monitor on wondering what changes are in store for grammar.
Then there's the annual media survey from Bennett & Company with, among its discoveries, "Thirty-four percent of journalists do not care if information is presented in AP Style."
Yeah, they're called "reporters."
OK, that's harsh. But then so was this observation: "Seventy percent of journalists say they read every e-mail, except for obvious spam, yet 65 percent of those who received our media survey via e-mail did not even open it."

An interesting point out of all this:
Fifty-eight percent of media chose e-mail as their preferred method of communication (a climbing statistic since 1997).

That concerns me for two reasons:
-- We've done some crisis communication research in the event of a bioterrorism emergency and what becomes painfully clear is that few newsrooms have any clue how to manage e-mail. If the reporter isn't there, the message gets missed. And it isn't practical in many cases to blast out to multiple e-mails because in an emergency you need to get targeted info out fast.
-- There's that problem of whom you are "talking" to on the other end and the further isolation of journalists. Yes, the isolation complaint has also been heard numerous times about reporters tied to their phones -- but at least they generally know to whom they speak.


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