Portuguese writer and 1998's Nobel Prize for Literature recipient José Saramago has died, age 87. [News link in Portuguese] He died in Lanzarote, Spain, where he had lived since a bust-up in the early 1990s with Portugal's government over his controversial book, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. Saramago wrote nearly 30 books, and was cited for the Nobel as a writer "who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality." No holiday for death, after all.
Restoring Journalism Maureen Tkacik talks about her life as a journalist, the nothing-based economy, and the future of journalism. She suggests abandoning authority and productively channeling narcissism. (via 2p & dd) [more inside]
“I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.”
Compassion Fatigue. In addition to not being equipped to multitask or deal with information overload, we sometimes feel too much; sometimes by just watching the news. How to develop your empathic discernment.
Busk is a search engine dedicated to items which are in the news. It gathers the results from thousands of sites and many of them contain full content including pictures, videos, and podcasts. [more inside]
How to Save the News. "Everyone knows that Google is killing the news business. Few people know how hard Google is trying to bring it back to life, or why the company now considers journalism’s survival crucial to its own prospects."
No Secrets: Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency. A New Yorker profile of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his "media insurgency."
listening grooving to ABC News in Australia, or 7 News, or Ten. And now, over to the UK for the BBC or Sky News. Don't listen to the others! They are false prophets!
Are the Rules That Determine Who Can Donate Blood Discriminatory? Canadian AIDS researchers Dr. Mark Wainberg and Dr. Norbert Gilmore say that while the ban on blood donation from men who have sex with other men may have been ethically and scientifically justified in the 1980's, it no longer makes sense. (CMAJ.) Even though the US FDA reaffirmed their long-standing ban in 2007, they plan to revisit the policy in June. [more inside]
A man in East Austin, Tx was removed from his home after it was discovered that he had been digging bunkers under his home, some which were 35ft at the deepest, and included two sub-levels tall enough for adults to stand in comfortably. Though his motives are unknown, many handguns and rifles were also removed from the home, and he as been very cooperative with city investigators.
Major market indices fell almost 10% this afternoon before recovering half of that value. Some blame the failing Greek economy and the related loss of confidence in the Eurozone. But a lot of attention is being paid to the role of automated trading systems. Accenture's stock, for example, dropped from $41 to one penny in two minutes and then recovered just as quickly. Will this trigger a loss of confidence in automated trading?
Do you remember who your high school graduation commencement speaker was? Yeah, me neither. Fortunately, the class of 2010 at Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, MI won't have that problem: KCHS was just selected as the winner of the White House Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, and will host President Obama at this year's commencement ceremony.
Slate has introduced a tool to analyze the news sites you read online. The tool is based on a paper that studied ideological isolation in news consumption online and off. It analyzes your history to determine which sites you read and looks at readership data to determine how much of an echo chamber, if any, your choice of news sources creates. [more inside]
Homeless man Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was stabbed several times in the chest while saving a woman from a knife-wielding attacker in New York City. He then bled to death while dozens of people walked by -- one stopping to snap a picture of the dying man with his cameraphone before leaving the scene. [more inside]
With newly released video, Rachel Maddow shows that the Fox News/Breitbart/James O'Keefe takedown of ACORN in California was fraudulent. For example, coverage depicted ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera as eager to participate in a pedophile prostitution ring suggested by O'Keefe's character. In fact Vera had reported O'Keefe to police. Nevertheless, Vera was fired, and months later ACORN was dissolved. (Previously: 1, 2, 3)
Reports coming through that a South Korean Navy Ship with 104 crew is currently sinking off Baengnyeong island in the Yellow Sea near the North Korean Border. No reports of casualties and causation yet to be determined. No word from the North Korean Korean Central News Agency.
The NHS Behind the Headlines site gives the scientific facts behind the medical stories making the news.
Digital disappearance. "In a recent survey of 110 news organizations, the Toronto Star found that increasingly, publishers are fielding regular requests from anxious and embarrassed readers to “unpublish” information, sometimes months or years after it first appeared online." [more inside]
The Google/China hacking case, or "How many news outlets do the original reporting on a big story?"
A French association for non-smokers' rights has launched a new ad campaign [all links potentially NSFW] that visually equates smoking with oral sex, using the tagline: "To smoke is to be a slave to tobacco." The pictures show adolescents, young men and women, and the act looks submissive, even forced. Uproar ensues. The Minister for Families vows to ban the images. Commentators join in. French slang helps explain: "Faire un pipe" and "Fumer le cigare" are both common-enough terms for the act that most people who see the images would get the double-entendre. [more inside]
Auto-Tune the News #10. The Auto-Tune folks come out with their next tune, and, like most of their ouevre so far, darn if they don't make Congress sound catchy. Sing about that turtle fence, Hoekstra baby!
"He needs to step up to congress and say 'if this legislation goes through, I've got a hatchet with your dick's name on it.'" (SLYT)
Florida's Republican US Senate hopeful and self-identified "Conservative Outsider" Mark Rubio delivered a populist speech in defense of American exceptionalism and full of hope and change at today's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) event, while also taking the occasion to share a good chuckle over the subject of waterboarding terrorists with fellow conference attendees. Political rival, current Florida Governor Charlie Crist, offers a response in the form of a slightly different speech Rubio might have given. [more inside]
News Dots: The Day's Events as a Social Network. Six degrees of news separation.
The Lobbying-Media Complex. The Nation explores the pervasive influence of paid lobbyists on the media landscape. [more inside]
"..when a victorious chief minister openly admits that he himself approached the leading newspaper of his state with money for “positive stories” after learning that the newspaper had signed a “package deal” with his rivals to print negative stories, you had better sit up and take urgent notice"
The Interview is a programme from the BBC World Service. Each episode is a 30 minute in-depth question and answer session between the journalist – usually Carrie Gracie or Owen Bennett-Jones – and the subject. Over the past few years it has covered everything from literature – for example, Martin Amis and Seamus Heaney – to the nexus between neurology and music, with Oliver Sacks, and what it's like to be a sprinter with no feet. [more inside]
"The symbiotic relationship between the press and the power elite worked for nearly a century. It worked as long as our power elite, no matter how ruthless or insensitive, was competent. But once our power elite became incompetent and morally bankrupt, the press, along with the power elite, lost its final vestige of credibility." "The Creed of Objectivity Killed the News" by Chris Hedges.
Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat writes a devastatingly personal account of the Haiti earthquake and its victims. From The New Yorker.
Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States, according to a new poll [.pdf] of 1,151 Americans conducted by Public Policy Polling (a polling firm with a mostly Democratic and progressive list of clients), the most trusted news network among Americans is FOX News, which was trusted by 49% of respondents (beating out CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC (though PBS was not included in the survey)). The pollsters conclude: “A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”
In late October, New York Newsday put their website content behind a pay wall. How many subscribers signed up since then? 35. [more inside]
Is there something you wish would be reported comprehensively by mainstream news media, even though they won't likely touch the topic? Try open-source reporting. From the 2006 experiment NewAssignment, professional journalists, non-profits seeking crowdfunding, and the Internet public have collaborated to do in-depth investigation and reportage of whatever people were interested in. Jay Rosen, founder of ExplainThis, the newest site in crowdsourced journalism, wants a way to answer questions that are too complicated for a Google search. Will these things deliver well-researched thoughtful analysis, or will they be no match for the Green?
“I am not a hero...I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness.”
Miep Gies, protector of Anne Frank and her family, passes away at age 100.
Miep Gies, protector of Anne Frank and her family, passes away at age 100.
The Daily Show's Decade in Review. [Single-link Comedy Central video presentation.]
Poland has declared a state of emergency, after the infamous bronze sign reading "Arbeit Macht Frei" at former Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) Auschwitz was stolen yesterday. [more inside]
The Dallas News has a bold new strategy for "becoming the most comprehensive and trusted partner for local businesses in attracting and retaining customers and continuing to generate important, relevant content for our consumers": Making it's editors report directly to advertising sales managers
1) my nephew's ok, 2) there's a dead body at the main gate, 3) US denies responsibility for bombing in Afghanistan.
Wikileaks to release over half a million pager intercepts from 9/11. "Messages in the archive range from Pentagon and New York Police Department exchanges, to computers reporting faults to their operators as the World Trade Center collapsed." They're going to start posting them at 3am this morning.
This past week: in D.R. Congo, an MD-80 strikes a lava field at the end of a runway; earlier over Iran, a medical emergency diversion frightens a passenger; the day prior, an LA-Sydney flight diverts to Honolulu to drop off a new mother and her child born en route. Also medical emergencies, unruly passengers, and unruly medical emergencies. It's avherald.com, your daily source for pretty much every incident occurring on an airliner.
"Maggwire.com makes discovering magazine content a personalized experience. Utilizing social intelligence, our system recommends magazine articles you will enjoy reading from over 600 magazine titles." [more inside]
After a spate of recent deaths, efforts to rehabilitate homeless chronic inebriates in Anchorage now include involuntary confinement. Other city-wide efforts include a mayoral decree that established homeless camps should be scattered. [more inside]
Fox News's bent on the news is well known, but recently the White House has begun actively excluding the network, including skipping Fox's Chris Wallace on a recent round of Sunday morning news shows. “We simply decided to stop abiding by the fiction ... that Fox is a traditional news organization.” says White House Depty Communications Director Pfeiffer (as has Press Secretary Gibbs and others). The responses range from concern about an attempt to control the media to a feeling that it's about time. Is it just about Fox's anti-Obama pundits, or is it also about Fox's consistent errors and misinformed viewership? Or is the White House attempting containment so that Fox's ratings-gold style and ideas don't take over the rest of the press?
Take A Break magazine has such a huge readership that it was the publication chosen by Tony Blair to address the women of Britain through during the 2005 election. It covers social issues, health, problems and many other mainstays of the women's weekly market. But what makes it so popular? As Take A Weird Break demonstrates, it brings us the stories other magazines won't print.
DSLR News Shooter is a new photo site featuring the use of the latest HD-dSLRs like the Canon Eos5DmkII, 7D and Nikon D300s for news, documentary and factual shooting. By Guardian news photographer Dan Chung, it's a place for professionals, educators, students and industry figures to discuss the practice and the art of cinematic photography in documenting the real world. For example, the time-lapse and slow-motion film of the recent 60th anniversary parade of the PRC. Other places to look for information and discussion of DSLR video are the Planet5D blog, and filmmakers such as Vincent Laforet and Phillip Bloom. (previous 1, 2)
Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave a talk at the Newspaper Association of America convention on April 9, 2009 in San Diego. He speaks about how Google and newspapers might co-exist in the future. [more inside]
Google began inviting volunteers to a public preview test of their new Wave web-based collaborative email and document communications platform yesterday, which enables users to "communicate and work together in real time." Initial reviews this past May seemed positive. (Previously) [more inside]
In response to an incest case in which a man imprisoned, raped and fathered two children with his own daughter, Poland's Lower House of Parliament has approved an amendment to their penal code which makes chemical castration of pedophiles mandatory in certain cases. [more inside]
The Terrorist Within is an in-depth look at the story of Ahmed Ressam. There's an interesting look at the lives of Ressam and other would-be jihadis and the way the authorities dealt with the information obtained about Ressam's activities.