Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Future of Journalism: News Consumers Must be Savvier Than Ever — or Risk Being Duped

Here is an excerpt taken from Madison's free weekly newspaper The Isthmus about the changing face of journalism. Read the whole article to learn about the emerging and important role of blogs.

Traditional journalism is in trouble, and everyone agrees it needs to reinvent itself to survive. The worst-case scenario is that within 15 years only a handful of the largest U.S. newspapers will survive.

"As recently as three or four years ago, I was fairly convinced that most newspapers would make it," says Lew Friedland, professor at the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. "Now I'm not sure. I actually don't think that most daily newspapers in the metro [non-national] range will make it."

Communities like Madison may be left with a couple of free weekly tabloids, published to collect what remains of more lucrative "display" advertising (and, in Isthmus' case, of course, to uphold the mantle of quality journalism). The number of stories will fall dramatically because the staffs are too small. And the Associated Press, which operates as a co-op, will be robbed of content as members drop like flies.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Underground Food Collective opening restaurant in Cafe Montmarte space

By Kyle Nablicy

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Governor Jim Doyle announced a pretty sweet gesture in support of the Wisconsin local food movement. Thanks to the state's "Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin" grant program, nine entities across the state are receiving over $220,000 to foster community-oriented agriculture. Among those nine, four are based in Madison, including the Dane County Institutional Food Market Coalition, the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, and the Underground Food Collective.

The press release states that Underground Catering, LLC, will receive "$25,000 to develop artisan meats that will help fill Wisconsin’s need for more pork products." Yes, that's what it actually stated, and I'm not going to argue. My first thought was, ‘ooh, I wonder what kind of bacon-y wonderment will result from that little windfall.’

"We are going to start a meat processing business," explains Jonny Hunter, one of four full-time members of the collective, along with his brother Ben, Kris Noren, and Jon Atwell. Jonny says that the group will continue operating out of its existing near-east side kitchen. But that is only the half of it.

Continue reading...

Friday, January 29, 2010

McItaly Burger: McDonald's Teams Up With Italian Government For New Item

From the land that brought you such staples of modern cuisine as pizza, pasta, risotto and tiramisu, comes a new classic - the McItaly- and Silvio Berlusconi's government are welcoming it with open arms.
Is McDonalds taking a cue from the buy local, eat fresh? Or is this just a new marketing scheme?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wisconsin to get $810 million for high-speed rail

This post may be welcome news to those of you hailing from Chicago or Milwaukee (or potentially the Twin Cities area). There are all sorts of great benefits to this - not the least being the potential to come home and sleep in my own bed in Madison after an "adult beverage" or four at the Brewer's game. In any case, Madison, welcome to the 21st century (or 20th century Europe)!

by Jason Stein

After decades without rail service between Madison and Milwaukee, an infusion of more than $800 million in federal stimulus money could establish passenger train service between the state’s two largest cities by 2013.
The passenger rail service between Milwaukee and Madison would include stops in Brookfield, Oconomowoc and Watertown and eventual top speeds of 110 mph.
“The state is well positioned to get it done quickly, and that’s very, very exciting,” said Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association.

Continue reading...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Michelle Obama vows to ‘move the ball’ on kids’ diets

Michelle Obama is moving forward with initiatives to combat childhood obesity, most notably by promoting organic farming and eating.--CR

By Tom Philpott

Her husband got dealt a difficult set of cards in taking over the post-Bush II presidency—and has arguably played them quite badly. He now finds himself in a tight political corner: caught between an emboldened Right, an angry Left, and a shrivelled middle.

But Michelle Obama abides, as fabulous and beloved by the electorate as ever. She has built up a tidy store of political capital. She plans to spend it “by spearheading an initiative to reduce childhood obesity that, she hopes, will create a legacy by which she can be remembered,” reports Sheryl Gay Stolberg in The New York Times.