Jim's InterCom Blog

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Location: Osterville, Massachusetts, United States

I am a professor at Cape Cod Community College and and a member of a Buddhist order. After a 30-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor I became a full-time professor in 2001. I am the author of the textbooks "The Elements of News Writing" and "The Elements of Academic Writing." I enjoy running, hiking and camping. I have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My latest blog

Dear friends, I have decided to move on to another blog, called Jim's Mindfulness Blog. It will be very similar, but with a greater emphasis on my Buddhist spiritual practice. At least that is my intention. Please feel free to stop by:http://jimsmindfulnessblog.blogspot.com/

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday Globe

Today's Boston Globe front page had a great article about PDA users going back to paper and pencil:

The following appeared on Boston.com:Headline: PDA buffs go back to basicsDate: June 25, 2006"Web designer Mike Rohde was a certifiable Palm fanatic. He had theoriginal PalmPilot 1000 , then a Sony Clié , then a Tungsten E, andseveral more all the way up to the Zire 72 . His monthly newslettervetting the newest models went out to 10,000 subscribers. But when hisPDA turned up missing two months ago, Rohde's ..."____________________________________________________________To see this recommendation, click on the link below or cut and paste itinto a Web browser:http://www.boston.com/business/personaltech/articles/2006/06/25/pda_buffs_go_back_to_basics?p1=email_to_a_friend____________________________________________________________

Saturday, June 24, 2006

You gotta see this!

I just hit "next blog" and randomly stumbled upon the blog of an art teacher in French Guyana:
The artwork by her students if fantastic!
I am amazed by how good it is.

Rainy Saturday

Today I was scheduled to do a "book-signing" talk at the Inkwell Bookstore in Falmouth. Unfortunately, the books didn't come in on time. So I just gave a talk about news writing. The nice folks at the bookstore told everybody that if they ordered the books, they would get a 10% discount. Several folks asked about my weeklong class at the Cape Cod Writers Conference in August.

Last week Jamie teased me about "stalking" her at the Starbucks, where she works. I'm really not stalking her, but I love the soy chai lattes they make there. So I was passing the store this afternoon and got one again. But, as usual, Jamie was not there. I wonder if she really works there, or if it is just a cover story for some secret life she is leading. http://jbgblogspot.blogspot.com/
(I need to post a comment to one of her blog entries.)

Oh, about Internet Communication, my wife told me she was chatting on ICQ (I think) with our son Brandon who was also watching a downloaded movie on his computer and got a message form our other son and his wife. All these forms of Internet communication are keeping our nuclear family together, even though we are 1,000 miles apart.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday thoughts

I have been running every morning, and that feels very good. We only do about three miles, but it certainly gets my heart beating.

Yesterday a student asked me about the special course I am offering at the Cape Cod Writers Conference in August. In case anyone else ins interested, I'll post the information here.

(Incidentally I am also doing a book-signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Inkwell Bookstore in Falmouth.)

The Cape Cod Writers Conference hired me to teach a five-day interactive course. The cost appears to be $100 for the course, plus $70 for conference registration, but check out all the information at the Cape Cod Writers Center Registration site: http://www.capecodwriterscenter.com/

There are five 90-minute classes Aug. 21 to 25, plus an orientation Sunday evening the 20th. Here is the information from their catalog:

Journalism: News Writing in the 21st Century
James W. Kershner
Full Week Course
This five-day interactive workshop will focus on practical, useful
techniques to improve news writing skills for today's news media. James Kershner, a journalism professor with more than 30 years experience in the field, will use lectures, writing exercises, writing games and discussion in the course.Topics will include: "Kershner's Five Rules of Journalism," "Keeping it Simple," "Playing with Leads," "Media Ethics: Two Plural Words," "The Internet and the Future of Journalism." Other subject areas will be tailored to the needs of the participants. Kershner recommends that participants read his book, The Elements of News Writing, published by Allyn & Bacon, before the workshop. Kershner teaches journalism, mass media and writing at Cape Cod Community College. In a 30-year newspaper career, he was staff reporter for the Providence Journal, city editor of the Carlisle (PA) Sentinel, Sunday editor of the Cape Cod Times, and (most recently) executive editor of the four weeklies on Cape Cod of the Community Newspaper Co. He holds a bachelor's degree from Marietta College and a master's degree in journalism from Penn State University. He is an adjunct instructor in the Suffolk University 2+2 program on Cape Cod that leads to a bachelor's degree in communication and journalism. His work has appeared in various newspapers, including The Christian Science Monitor. Jim will be available all week for personal conferences and manuscript evaluations.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Another CSM story

Here is another Christian Science Monitor story about the Internet that I found very interesting. It is about keeping children safe and invading their privacy.


Wednesday already

Oh no. I skipped two days. What kind of an example am I setting for my students?

Here is a link to a great story in the Christian Science Monitor:

Here is the lead:
By Gail Russell Chaddock Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
WASHINGTON – Call it a battle for the future of the Internet.
As the Senate takes up the first overhaul of the nation's telecommunications laws in a decade, this week's debate will pitch one of the most unlikely lineups in recent political history against an entrenched industry lobby.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

New Media, Old Media, Blog, Blog, Bog

This all started because I read Maureen Dowd's New York Times column reprinted in today's Cape Cod Times this morning.

Do the "new media" just want to become the "old media"?

What follows are three opinion columns about a big convention in Las Vegas, apparently based on a popular blog called The Daily Koz:
Maureen Dowd

Here is the June 10 Maureen Dowd Column from The New York Times. The Times charges to read it online, but a blogger called the Peeking Duck stole it and published it free.

Here is a reaction by By Shawn Macomber of the ultra-conservative Washington Spectator:

And another from a middle-of-the road media critic Howard Kertz of the Washington Post:


The Daily Koz is apparently a place for Liberal Democrats to share rants:

Friday, June 16, 2006


If you go to this site:


You can see all the recent episodes of a local radio show called "The Point."
Scroll down and under the June 14 program, you can see this:

June 14: Computers & Technology Peter Karlson, founder of NeuEon Technology discusses the latest technology news (Listen to an audio version of this program).

Click on the Listen -- on the Web site, not on this message -- and you can listen to a very interesting interview with an Internet expert.

Exhausting Friday

All I had on my schedule today was a very pleasant lunch with two of my colleagues who are among the founders of a group we started called SNACCIM -- Student Newspaper Advisers at Community Colleges in Massachusetts.

The Internet Communication connection was that my colleague Rose Sergi, who teaches at Middlesex Community College, is also offering a summer course this summer through Northeastern University. It is a hybrid course, and she was commenting that the on-line portion is a great deal of extra work for the instructor. I was able to agree that that was my experience exactly. We also talked about blogs. Our colleague Amy Callahan form Northern Essex was particularly interested in blogging, since she will be teaching an Introduction to Mass Communication class in the fall. I promised to send her the link to this blog, where she will see her own name! I hope she doesn't mind.

We met at a great restaurant called Scupper Jack's in Acton. (http://www.scupperjacks.com/) If you click the link, you can see that there is an outdoor deck overlooking the lake, and that's where we ate. The only bad part is that I hit a terrible traffic jam on the way up. It should have taken two hours, but I allowed two and a half to be safe. Ii was still 20 minutes late. They were kind and waited for me. For the last few miles of the trip my brakes acted funny. When I left the restaurant after a wonderful lunch, the brakes sounded and felt terrible. I crawled at 20 mph to a nearby Midas Muffler Shop. One brake shoe had become detached and crumbled, damaging the drum. So I sat in the Midas Shop for more than an hour while they repaired it. Another customer sat across form me typing away on his laptop. I said I wish I had brought mine! We had a nice chat about that. Then the drive home was in rush hour, and Route 495 was even worse than in the morning. That trip took three and a half hours. So my little lunch ended up taking me from 9:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Whew! I'm glad I got the key lime pie for desert!