Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Dinner Table Media Critic Checks In.

Hello, Folks,

Day in and day out, the Daily News puts out some pretty damn good journalism. This has not always been the case, nor do we smack it out of the park every day. But for the most part, I'd say given what we've got to work with, we put out a hell of a paper.

And while I don't need to remind y'all of that, periodically, I do feel compelled to point some fingers at people who do particularly bang-up work. There's been a number of excellent things in the paper of late, so in my typically rambling fashion, let me attempt to highlight a few, in case you missed 'em.

First off, both Kevin Modesti and Steve Dilbeck showed in the last week, once again, why they're among the best in the biz with stand out columns on the Rose Bowl. That's an event that's covered to death and attracts the attention of the biggest pros to the most two-bit amateurs, making for a steady stream of largely forgettable work. Not so in the case of Steve's day-of column (http://dailynews.com/stevedilbeck/ci_3372764) or Kevin's recent take on the return of big-deal quarterbacks (http://dailynews.com/kevinmodesti/ci_3381528). Each one takes a different, fresh take on the stories and brings you in, setting the DN distinctly apart from the pack.

Secondly, there's been a rash of good metro stories of late-- Josh Kleinbaum (http://dailynews.com/search/ci_3380871) and Lisa Sodders (http://dailynews.com/search/ci_3380870) both contributed to an interesting package on the real crime scene investigators. It's not a topic I'd normally take note of, Josh's lead got me hooked and the writing on both kept me interested throughout. Similarly, Naush Boghossian's charter school piece broke out the tales of the players into interesting little vignettes, making me care to learn more about charter schools yesterday (http://dailynews.com/search/ci_3383790)

On the photo front, I'm deeply in debt to Mike Baker for sprucing up my auto show coverage on day three with some interesting shots of the new whiz-bang stuff on display. After three days and three stories, it's hard to make any headway, but he made the most of it and turned out a very cool photo gallery (I can't link from here, but it's under Auto Show Opens on dailynews.com's photo galleries).

And finally, outside our own pages but no less important is a stunningly good piece by our very own Jason Kandel in Ararat Magazine. You can only get some crummy scans on http://www.agbu.org/ararat/Main.htm, but if you happen to run across this Armenian publication, his piece "The Gangs of Glendale" is definitely worth a read. Jason's an exceedingly modest guy who will likely beg off any praise, but I literally almost fell out of my chair while reading this, it was so engrossing. It's cool to see someone adapt their expertise here into something different and equally substantial in a different forum. Nice work, dude.

Ok, so that's enough thumbs-upping for one evening, but I thought all these folks deserved some praise. As always, I make no claims to be the definitive arbitrator of what's good and bad, I'm just a guy who stays up late drinking coffee and mouthing off. So if y'all see other good work out there that I've missed, please tell me so I can throw it on the blog, as well.

Alright, enough of this! Off to bed I go and we'll save the rabble-rousing for another evening.

Thanks for listening,


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