HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Article coming up in WSJ (9 msgs / 182 lines)
1) From: Mark Prince
The Wall Street Journal seems to be on a tear as of late with regards to 
coffee issues. A few really good articles on the subject of world coffee 
supplies, prices etc have popped up recently.
Well, here's a heads up. There's supposed to be an article in next Friday's 
WSJ (4th of October?) about home roasting. They interviewed Maria, I got a 
call, and I think a few others on the home roasting circuit spoke to the 
reporter. I also provided him with names and info for some suppliers as 
well as some of (ahem) Tom's competitors.
The reporter was uniformed on some issues, so hopefully I helped out there 
(ie, current roasters on market, etc), and wanted a lot of stats from me 
(well, it is the WSJ), which I could not in good faith provide. I spoke 
with him for about 45 minutes, on tape I assume, and I fear the only quote 
he'll use is something to the effect of "there are very few roasteries out 
there that can compare to home roasted coffee, if freshness and variety of 
choice is your goal". :) He seemed excited when I said that.
I built up Tom to the wazzooo. :) I think I said something to the effect of 
"Tom's one of the top cuppers in North America". Then I had to briefly 
explain what cupping is. ("It's like wine tasting").
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2) From: M.G.Rich
 "Mark Prince" wrote:
I'm looking forward to what the WSJ says on this topic, which is dear to my
heart. A gentle warning, dear readers: Be prepared to be disappointed by
what you read. Here's why...
1) You're the expert. People who are highly knowledgeable on a topic
sometimes are shocked when they read a story about a topic they know
intimately. The problem is that you know more than *any* reporter and almost
anyone else who isn't on this list. What you read will seem elementary and,
on some points, off-base. Remember that the reporter is a generalist -- his
or her next story may be on forestry, politics, beer, horses, taxes.
Interviewees often are discouraged when the reporter doesn't seem to know
very much at the beginning of an interview. Remember, if the reporter
already knew it all he or she wouldn't need to talk to you! In this case, it
sounds as if the reporter is going after some excellent sources.
2) Experts disagree. This is what makes this list so lively. You put a bunch
of experts in a room, real or virtual,  and the sparks (beans? chaff?) begin
to fly. Tamp heavy, light. Use a wok, buy a Hottop. Blend, go straight.
Espresso, French Press, and don't even get me started on Americanos and Cafe
Cremas! Still don't believe me? I've got one word for you: exothermic.
3) Readers don't want to be experts. Even with a highly educated and
literate audience such as the WSJ's, the readers don't want or need to
master the material in a story like this. Feature stories introduce topics,
showcase some experts, give a picture of the range of facts and opinions out
there. Most will read it and forget it. A few will pick up on it, follow up
on it, perhaps join this list. The story will be a beginning, not the end,
so it doesn't have to be an encyclopedia article. I may read a story on
skydiving, be entertained by it and perhaps learn from it -- but I sure as
heck ain't jumping out of a plane.
4) Experts are biased. I've written stories that were praised by one expert
and derided by another expert, usually over my treatment of one person's pet
theory or view of the facts. Your view of the world (hobbies, profession,
family) is biased because it comes from your perspective. It is,
nonetheless, a valid view. From your point of view, my perspective may seem
flat-out wrong. Every story can't include every possible point of view. If
this story doesn't focus on or agree with your particular point of view, you
may decide it's flat-out wrong.
I'm not an expert on anything, but I have been in journalism for more than
20 years, either studying, teaching or practicing that wicked art. If
nothing else, working in newsrooms taught me how to drink exceedingly bad
coffee. That's why I homeroast!
M.G. Rich, who often is flat-out wrong
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3) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Mark,
Nice post. Here's an additional thought:
Everyone hates reporters, except those living in the hellholes where there 
aren't any.
On 27 Sep 2002 at 16:14, M.G.Rich wrote:
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4) From: Dan Bollinger
I don't, Jim.  Now you can't say 'everyone' anymore!  ;)  I volunteer as the
media coordinator for an international children's right's organization.  My
experience with reporters is very good.  Once you learn where they are
coming from and a few little tricks, being interviewed is a snap.  Even it
if is about something as controversial as home-roasting.  (my vain attempt
to make sure this was about coffee).  Dan
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5) From: James Gundlach
On Friday, September 27, 2002, at 05:16 PM, Dan Bollinger wrote:
I've been able to have reporters write accurately about what they 
interviewed me about but out side of CNN, TV has always been a 
disaster.  Coffee prevents suicides, listing to country music seems to 
increase suicides.
Jim Gundlach
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6) From: Dan Bollinger
I believe it!  Guess what doesn't prevent suicides?  All the psychotropic
drug like Prozac.  A new study of 17,000 people studying 57 different drugs
came to the conclusion that this category of drugs do nothing to reduce the
risk of suicide based on the placebo control group.  Depressed?  Have a
great espresso pulled from beans roasted at home.  Better yet, share that
espresso with someone else.  :) Dan
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7) From: EskWIRED
IME, I drink huge amounts of coffee, and have never committed suicide.
OTOH, I get depressed if I find myself in a situation in which country music
is being played.
Maybe they're onto something?
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8) From: EskWIRED
  Guess what doesn't prevent suicides?  All the
Was this in combination with therapy, or did they rely on psychopharmacology
exclusively?  I'd like to see that study.  I believe there's more to it than
the reporter understood, with more subtle lessons than you report to us.
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9) From: Dan Bollinger
I'm willing to make just this one, off-topic reply. OK?  I don't recall if
it included therapy or not or if they controlled for therapy.  The advantage
of giagantic n's, in this case 17,000, is that you don't have to control for
factors as much because they tend to control themselves. I would hazard a
guess that all of these people were receiving some sort of therapy since we
are talking about subscription drugs here and not many family physicians
prescribe anti-depressants.
Also, I've heard (but not read) that the efficacy of therapy vs. therapy w/
drugs vs. drug therapy is inconculsive.  It all depends on whose study you
choose to read and how you hold your tongue while you read.  I've also read
that the usual 'talk therapy' is more effective with women than men.
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