Lenise Ligon – Daily Dot Com

New media trumps MSM

June 25th, 2009 at 6:32 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com

When it came to announcing the death of pop icon Michael Jackson, TMZ.com was not only first, it was right.  As we waited for the Associated Press to carry word of Jackson’s fate, TMZ.com was the first to announce he had been rushed to the hospital, was in cardiac arrest and finally, that he had died.

During an interview with Shep Smith on Fox News Channel, a producer from TMZ.com talked about breaking the story.  It came down to old-fashioned journalism.  She explained the TMZ staff knew the city (Los Angeles) and heard the radio transmission about paramedics being called out.  That’s all it took to get the staff in motion.

We had been monitoring all the traditional news sources, as well as hitting the refresh key over and over again on TMZ.com.

We started posting news alerts here on fox10tv.com, but as it came close to newstime at 5 p.m., we still didn’t have confirmation that Jackson had died.  I chose to say there were conflicting reports about his health–that some sources were saying he was in cardiac arrest but that TMZ said he was dead.   We kept updating the story throughout the newscast as additional information came in–first from the Los Angeles Times website and then finally at 5:27 from the AP:



LOS ANGELES (AP) – A person with knowledge of the situation says Michael Jackson has died.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-06-25-09 1827EDT

By then, though, it was old news, thanks to TMZ.com.

Best review of iPhone 3G S yet

June 23rd, 2009 at 1:58 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com

It comes from David Pogue of  The New York Times…

To me, the dramatic speed increase is the best selling point of the new iPhone.  I’ve seen side-by-side comparisons with the vanilla 3G and it’s impressive.  When you combine a faster iPhone with better battery life, that’s a winner.  Add video recording and editing..well..it raises the bar for all the other wanna-be iPhones out there.

The only negative?  I have to wait until next April to upgrade.  ;(

Your own, personal WiFi hotspot

May 21st, 2009 at 7:32 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com

If you ever tried to use a wireless card to connect to the internet, you know what a pain in the laptop it can be.

The card I’ve been using has a small, plastic antenna that tends to fall off at the slightest touch.

photo3Now, Verizon Wireless has come up with a device that makes the wireless card obsolete; the MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot.  It’s a 2 ounce piece of plastic the size of a thick credit card that connects to Verizon’s 3G network and creates your own personal, secure wireless mini-network.

As many as 5 different wireless devices can connect to the internet within about 30 feet of the MiFi.  Your network is password protected, so you control access to it.

The rechargeable battery in the MiFi provides up to 4 hours of active use, and 40 hours of standby time on a single charge.

It’s reasonably priced.  With a 2 year contract, the MiFi is 99 bucks after rebate.  Access is extra; about 40 dollars a month for 250MB of data or 60 dollars for up to 5 gigabytes.  If you don’t want to sign up for a monthly plan, you can pay $15 for 24 hours but you’ll have to pay $150 for the unit.

Because the MiFi interacts with your WiFi-enabled device, there is no software to set up, and it’s Mac-friendly.

To use the MiFi, you just press the power button, wait a few seconds for it to connect to Verizon’s data network, and enter the password listed on the back of the MiFi.  That’s it.

How fast is the connection?  That’s the other reason to use this.

I used the iPhone app called Speed Test to compare the speed of the AT&T 3G network to the MiFi network connected to Verizon’s 3G network.

Let’s say it wasn’t a fair fight. Look at the screen shots. On the left is the AT&T network; on the right, Verizon.  A series of tests confirmed consistently higher speeds for Verizon.


If you need to connect to the internet with your laptop, and you are on the road, the MiFi should be something to consider.

“Stay in touch”

May 12th, 2009 at 1:50 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com

spring_hill_09_20090509222748_400_300Saturday was a beautiful day on the campus of Spring Hill College.  I had the chance to put on a cap and gown once again and walk with the rest of the faculty for the commencement exercises on the Avenue of the Oaks.

The most memorable moment for me came when retiring President Rev. Gregory Lucey choked up a little bit as he asked the new graduates to “stay in touch”.  It had to be a bittersweet moment for him, as he prepares to turn over the presidency of the college to someone new.

To illustrate the importance of community, he told the story of a rabbi who learned a longtime member of the congregation was no longer attending services.  He went to the woman’s house, and sat with her in front of her coal-powered fireplace.

Neither said anything for a half hour.

Finally, the rabbi reached into the fire with a set of tongs, pulled out a single piece of coal and set it apart from the others.  Within minutes, the coal ashed over and died.

A few minutes passed, then the woman finally spoke.  “I see your message,” she said.  “I will return to services”.

Yes, it is important to “stay in touch”, no matter what you do.

One step forward…

May 6th, 2009 at 2:17 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com

Newspapers are some of the biggest backers of Amazon’s latest creation, the Kindle DX which was officially unveiled today.

kindleOffering a much larger screen than the Kindle, it’s designed to mimic the appearance of a traditional newspaper and is touted as a way to save the industry by introducing a paperless way to deliver news by subscription.

That sounds good, until you look at the price of the device.

While I’ll admit being an early adopter who loves courting the bleeding edge of technology, the $489 cost  made me gasp.

This may not be the salvation the newspaper industry needs…if there is one.


UPDATE:  Consider this post from paidcontent.org and the Washington Post:  “Apart from unveiling the new, larger screen Kindle DX, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos announced that subscriptions for the Washington Post, NYT and its troubled NYTCo sibling The Boston Globe will offer reduced monthly Kindle subscriptions. But as Amazon’s press release points out: only in areas where home delivery doesn’t already exist. After the big build-up at the press conference, this detail is very anti-climactic.”

Stacking the deck….

May 4th, 2009 at 3:21 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com

This hasn’t been a good couple of weeks for Mobile’s effort to land at least a part of the multi-billion dollar Air Force tanker deal.

Mounting Murtha problems

The man Mobile courted, Pennsylvania Representative John Murtha, gave up the fight to get a split contract between Northrop Grumman/EADS and Boeing this year. While other presidents have courted Murtha, President Obama has not. Obama’s choice to remain Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, dismissed the idea of dividing the contract, saying it would make the project more expensive. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have been working behind the scenes to reduce the influence of Murtha, who has been wounded politically by investigations of contractors or lobbyists close to him.

Speaking of politics

Another factor working against Mobile is the outcome of the 2008 election. Alabama and its 9 electoral votes went to John McCain. The two counties that would benefit most from the tanker project, Mobile and Baldwin, voted overwhelmingly Republican. Does anyone remember what happened to Brookley Air Force Base after Alabama voted for Republican Barry Goldwater over Democrat Lyndon Johnson in 1964? Just days after LBJ’s election, President Johnson announced the closing of Brookley, which once employed 13,000 workers.

Some don’t believe there was a link between the two, but the timing was curious, nonetheless.

Combine that with the real (or perceived) influence of Boeing in Congress, and it’s clear that Mobile has some work to do to keep the tanker deal from going into a tail spin.

The importance of service

May 1st, 2009 at 11:15 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com

I have always been proud of my daughters (and now, their husbands as well) for their commitment to helping others,  whether it is serving in AmeriCorpssuccess as our younger daughter is doing or helping homeless women, their children and homeless youth, as our older daughter does.

A father’s pride really rose in me as I heard our Erin’s voice as she was being interviewed on public radio talking about VinCare, which helps homeless moms become self-sufficient.

Take a listen for yourself (click on the play button).

Fox 10 News University

April 13th, 2009 at 1:54 pm by under FOX10 News, Lenise Ligon - Daily Dot Com

Class is back in session at Fox 10!

In addition to teaching my Broadcast Journalism class at Spring Hill College, I resumed teaching a class today to anyone in the station who wished to attend.  I call it “Fox 10 News University”.   This first class was, “Why the Web?”, and looked at the reasons why the internet is an increasingly important venue for what we do as a news organization. For example:

  • It wasn’t that long ago that stations resisted breaking news on their websites, out of fear that they would tip their hand.  As I pointed out in class, people want news when they want it.  If they don’t find it on your website, they will just keep searching. 
  • Non-traditional media are spreading news, sometimes much faster than MSM sites.  For example, news about the plane crash in the Hudson River was first distributed by eyewitnesses using Twitter.  The first video from the Somalia hijacking came from YouTube.
  • “Prime time” for web users is when they are, ahem, working.  That’s why it’s important to keep our website fresh, all the time, especially during “work” hours.
  • More and more news consumers are using mobile devices to get their news.  That’s why we launched our iPhone app, which is one of the most popular free news apps in Apple’s iTunes Store. 

Continuing education will be key as conditions continue to change at warp speed.   Keeping it “in house” is one way to save money during this tough economy.