Five things I think I think about today's St. Pete Times and other media

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I hate to call out good-guy Michael Van Sickler, but it took him ten days before he wrote about what WTSP’s Noah Pransky reported on Sept. 2: that Bill Protz had dropped his campaign challenge to incumbent Steve Kornell.

This is just the kind of news that should have been posted on the semi-dormant Bay Buzz blog.

We expect better of you, Mr. Van Sickler.

There is a great throw-away line in La Gaceta about US Senator Marco Rubio.  Or is Marco Rub? Patrick Manteiga writes that he has “removed the end vowels from Marco Rubio’s name for conduct unbecoming a Hispanic.”

Another day, another 2.5 star review from the Times‘ Laura Reiley.

In another case of bad things happening to good people, my friend Abel Harding, a former blogger for the Jacksonville Times-Union, got tagged with a DUI.  That’s one of the things that suck about having worked in the media industry: if you screw up, it always makes the news so that the newspaper doesn’t get accused of a double-standard when it reports about some misdemeanor committed bya foolish politician.

At least there’s this news about a good thing happening to a great person: Times reporter Janet Zink will be new spokesperson for the Tampa International Airport, making $110,000 a year.  I have to imagine that is close to double what the always-sharp Zink made at the Times, so good for her and her family.

Shirish Date, who used to work in Tallahassee as the bureau chief for the Palm Beach Post, and as a reporter for the Associated Press and the Orlando Sentinel, and has written biographies of Jeb Bush and Bob Graham, has just begun a stint editing the congressional coverage produced by National Public Radio. The new gig for Date comes after time spent sailing around various parts of the world – he just came back across the Atlantic and sailed into the Chesapeake Bay in late June, and started at NPR late last month, according to the News Service of Florida.

Facebook announced a new feature today that competes directly with Twitter and will make it easier for journalists to use their personal profiles to share updates and links with the public, writes Jeff Sonderman. Facebook users can now visit another user’s profile and subscribe to receive the person’s public updates in their news feed, without being “friends.” The feature lets Facebook users broadcast public messages to subscribers, like Twitter does, while also keeping their private network of friends separate. Subscribers also have options about how many and what types of updates they want to see from each person. Users have to opt-in to enable others to subscribe to them.

Sportswriter Frank Deford really likes Taylor Branch’s story about “student-athletes.” In Wednesday’s commentary on NPR, Deford declared:

Sports fans love to designate certain games as “the greatest ever,” the “match of the century” and so forth. Well, I would like to state that a piece in the October issue of The Atlantic Monthly, which wasreleased online Tuesday, may well be the most important article ever written about college sports. …

He points out, for instance, that the term student-athlete, which is thrown around so wantonly by the NCAA and its journalistic enablers, was essentially created for no educational reasons — but only as a smokescreen to keep players from being able to sue for worker’s compensation if they are injured playing for dear old alma mater. …

I commend to you this exceptional article entitled simply, “The Shame of College Sports” — which begins with the disgrace of the NCAA.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.