Are we recording all this, Nick? I hope we are. Right here we go... In 2005, the BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell was preparing a "two-way" regarding that year's VJ Day 60th anniversary commemorations. He and the interviewer Richard Evans just couldn't see eye to eye as to how the story should be covered. Luckily for us, their tetchy conversation and the fall out with the producers was recorded (transcript/mp3). Despite the vintage, it's a rather revealing behind the scenes record demonstrating the process that's often gone through to decide how news is best communicated to we listeners.
...GE had long done business with the bin Ladens. In a misguided attempt at corporate synergy, I called GE headquarters...
"You Don't Understand Our Audience" --what John Hockenberry (formerly of NBC, now at MIT Media Lab) learned about network news--good guys and bad guys, the "emotional center", synergy, facts, and why fewer and fewer watch nowadays.
Fairytale of New York... censored! No, not now... Shane will make 50 this Christmas... Sadly not Kirsty.
Hammer films are back! ... The classic British horror film company has returned from the dead with the first new film in 20 years to be first broadcast in instalments via MySpace. This has allowed some news programs to camp it up just a little... See the trailer here. Behind the scenes. [more inside]
"'It's been a magical evening,' Joel says as the Great Khali hits the Undertaker with a dustbin lid." Jon Ronson (and son) journey into the world of WWE to investigate the death of Chris Benoit.
Mark Wallinger has won the Turner Prize for 'State Britain' his recreation of Brian Haw's Parliament Square peace protest. [more inside]
Norman Mailer has posthumously won this year's Literary Review Bad Sex Award for his novel on the early life of Hitler, The Castle in the Forest. He was up against some stiff competition but Norman managed to rise to the occasion (sorry). Safe for work, but you might feel a bit dirty in the morning.
The media begins to awaken. Recently, Tom Curley, the President and CEO of Associated Press lashed out at the absurd conditions surrounding the detention of Bilal Hussein. After being detained for over 18 months, the US Military has finally decided to charge him, but nobody can say for what, or when, or why, or what evidence might be brought forth. Strangely, Mr. Curley writes this without a hint of the irony present in being caught in the net of lies, deception and constructed memory hole that the media has participated in the creation of. Playing patsy comes back to bite. AP hosts a timeline of articles.
You might have thought a six month hangover was bad enough but now in 'binge-drink Britain' there's a reported rise in 'exploding bladders'... safe for work but you might want to read it with your legs crossed. Or a least spend a penny first.
Everybody has heard a story of someone being struck by lightning. People who survive such a strike can even join a support group. But if you do survive a strike, beware, as you will undoubtedly suffer adverse side effects!
Live footage (in Georgian) as special police forces shut down dissident Georgian TV station IMEDI amid Tbilisi protests; the anchor staunchly trods on (transl. English by RussiaToday). IMEDI TV is co-owned by News Corp.
Scary and amusing in equal measure, If you like it so much why don't you go live there? is a compendium of bigoted opinions, idiocisms and zenophobic remarks posted on the BBC's Have Your Say site. [more inside]
Pictures of California Wildfires. Some fire resources: Fire maps, Official Information and an up to the moment news blog. In related news, Twitter proves to be useful, while anger rages as evidence of arson mounts. More Photos here and here.
Microsoft buys stake in Facebook. Microsoft has paid $240m (£117m) for a 1.6% stake in Facebook that values the hugely popular social networking site at $15bn (£7.3bn). Facebook spurned an offer from Microsoft's rival Google, which was also keen to invest the site. Microsoft will also sell internet ads for Facebook outside the United States as part of the deal that took several weeks of negotiating. Mark Zuckerberg started the online social networking site in his Harvard University dorm room less than four years ago. [more inside]
Amusing Ourselves to Depth: Is The Onion our most intelligent newspaper?: "While other newspapers desperately add gardening sections, ask readers to share their favorite bratwurst recipes, or throw their staffers to ravenous packs of bloggers for online question-and-answer sessions, The Onion has focused on reporting the news. The fake news, sure, but still the news. It doesn’t ask readers to post their comments at the end of stories, allow them to rate stories on a scale of one to five, or encourage citizen-satire. It makes no effort to convince readers that it really does understand their needs and exists only to serve them. The Onion’s journalists concentrate on writing stories and then getting them out there in a variety of formats, and this relatively old-fashioned approach to newspapering has been tremendously successful." The article is based on the premises of the late media critic Neil Postman, especially from his book "Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse In The Age Of Show Business."
The World Conker Championships sponsored by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health! Health and Safety gone mad, again? No, they are fighting back against being blamed for taking the fun out of playing conkers. Mine's a fifty-sixer!
Censored: The scariest news may be the stuff you haven’t seen yet. David Phinney thought he’d struck journalistic gold. The veteran reporter, who has done freelance work for PBS, ABC, The New York Times, and other news companies, learned from a disgusted American contractor that the Kuwaiti company hired to build the U.S. embassy in Iraq was using forced laborers trafficked in from Asia. [more inside]
The ability of Postsecret to reach out and touch everyday lives has not waned with its increased popularity and reknown. "I feel the same way. I often wonder why I even have a phone because I rarely receive calls." Then he offered a metaphorical ear. "If there was a way we could contact each other, that would be cool. My phone number is 605-212-7787." [more inside]
Recently an opinion writer for The Age, Catherine Deveny unleashed a firestorm of sorts when she wrote an article entitled 'Why Do Some Wives Still Change Their Names?'. The reaction to her article (from both men and women) was strong; so much so that in a recent follow up article entitled 'I Don't Give A Stuff What You Do. I'm Paid To Write What I Think' , she jokingly wrote that it had had the effect of reducing her readership to three. But when an article penned by a professional comedian employs such pointed rhetoric along the lines of "Insecure or conservative or stupid women are bowing to the wishes of their husbands", can she truly claim surprise at the level of vitriol her article generated or is this simply a case of an opinion writer trying to get opinions?
The website of the ridiculously awesome Newseum has been revamped and relaunched in anticipation of its October reopening. Check out the redesigned Today's Front Pages and Analysis sections - and go here for frequent, fascinating evaluations of current front page graphic design (archive). Browse the downloadable front pages of notable dates in recent history (e.g. Katrina, 2004 tsunami, 9/11). Watch discussions of some of the most recognizable Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, and check out the interactive archives of past exhibits. You can also pay your respects at the online version of the Newseum's Journalists Memorial. (previously)
NewsFilterFilter: What Kind Of News Do People Really Want? A recent study by the Pew Research Center For The People & The Press analyzes 165 separate surveys of Americans' news preferences (conducted over a period of 20 years). One of the findings would have been obvious to most Mefites: "Polarizing social issues involving family, sexuality, patriotism and God engender the highest levels of attention." Crime, health and politics have consistently received mid-level attention. Tabloid and entertainment news (Paris and Britney, this means you), science and technology, and "foreign" news? Meh, not so much.
Top Two News Words (By Hour). "Top news sources are parsed by a computer every hour and the two most frequently used words are determined and printed out on a continuous sheet of paper." An art project by Rick Valentin, better known to late-80's & mid-90's indie-rock fans as the lead singer of the Poster Children. An updated-hourly RSS feed is also available.
Start Your Own News Web Site The Knight News Challenge is awarding up to $5 million for innovative news web site ideas that "transform community news." The contest is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, the folks originally behind Knight Ridder news.
The proper way to deal with a KKK march (Do not click link while drinking liquids) With all the doom and gloom in the news these days, I was beginning to think there was nothing to be done to make things better. I was proven wrong. By clowns.
Morgan Webb (G4tv, Maxim hottie) now offers a 5-minute, tech-oriented news video blog called WebbAlert every weekday.
onoes! teenz on teh pr0n webs! It's been a year since I posted about Stickam, and in that time, one would be naïve to think that a community of unmoderated videos broadcast live from the private and semi-anonymous bedrooms of the world would not result in epic lulz (nsfw). To no one's surprise, disgruntled Stickam ex-VP Alex Becker says Stickam shares office space, staff, and equipment with live pornographic video providers -- this via NYT tech writer Brad Stone. Cue the "think of the CHILDRUNZ!" moral panic. But popular websites being related to or backed up by prurient interest are nothing new: Wikipeda predecessor Bomis was once accused of having "softore porn" in its "Babes" section, and of course everyone knows porn drives technology. What do you think the internet is for? But if you use Stickam and this bothers you, the burgeoning field of live embeddable Flash-based webcam video streaming is rife with alternatives: uStream.tv, Justin.tv, BlogTV, Mogulus, and Operator11, just to name some -- but there'll be naked girls on those too. I guarantee it.
Operation Banner [Wikipedia], the British Armed Forces' campaign in Northern Ireland that began in 1969, ended midnight on July 31, 2007. The period included Bloody Sunday in which 13 civilians were killed by the British Army. The Guardian have published a summary of significant events (and one going further back). In pictures: Guardian, BBC.
Two news helicopters met in a deadly midair collision today while covering a police chase on live television (video, tragic but not graphic).
"Thanks to tremendous progress achieved by the General Packet Radio System (GPRS), the wireless communication protocol, it is now possible for Africans to send articles and images (still and moving) about events taking place in their countries without using a computer and without having internet connection. Under those circumstances, the bigger the number of people expressing their opinions through that technology, the stronger becomes democracy, and the more valuable is the contribution to good governance efforts in Africa" - Voices of Africa, Mobile stories and videos from Africa. Quote above from article Mobile Reporters in Africa.
They distort, we reply. Fed up with Fox News? Time to fight back.
Universe is the newest project from Jonathan Harris, who was also behind the amazing WeFeelFine, and the Yahoo Time Capsule. Here's a talk he gave about his projects at TED 2007.
How to Read 600 RSS Feeds a Day for Pleasure and Profit. Video of Robert Scoble showing how he culls 600 RSS feeds a day for his weblog, Scobleizer, using Google Reader.
The IDIOM Media Watch on Climate Change aggregates web content from 150 sources, accessible in the form of semantic maps, on which the topology of the Earth is redrawn as mountains and valleys according to the density of available information, or a three-dimensional 'knowledge planet' viewable in NASA World Wind. [Via Information Aesthetics.]
Newsfilter: Murdoch Buys The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones After some protests from editors about what sort of control News Corp. would have over the paper, a deal has been reached with the Bancroft family that runs the paper to sell for $5 billion. Murdoch gave up some demands for editorial control but still has the ability to hire and fire editors at will, making this the same sort of fig leaf agreement he made with the Times of London.
Tornadoes have touched down in New Zealand, and journalistic standards have vanished into thin air, not surprising with the current standard of NZ news output.
Life sadly imitates art in Austin, Texas. Followup. [Sorry, initial link may require free registration.]
Paul Jay of the self-styled "Real News" plays Twenty Questions with himself... "We have a full time staff now of fourteen. We have raised about five million dollars over the last three years, and we still have most of it..." That's how television producer and filmmaker Paul Jay starts off, and like an energizer bunny, he just keeps on going. He makes a compelling argument.. or does he? Guess that's entirely up to you. mentioned previously on MeFi about two years ago. [more inside]
Akamai's Internet Visualizations. Akamai is a major mirroring and caching service which serves up a large chunk of all internet traffic. They are now sharing some pretty visualizations based on their data which used to be customer only. News. Music. Retail. Real-time Web Monitor . Network Performance Comparison. Visualizing Akami.
Kidnapped BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston said that his captors have been treating him well in a video released today. There was no way to tell when the video was recorded. Mr Johnston was kidnapped on March 12 by Palestinian gunmen in Gaza City, and before today, had not been seen or heard from since. [Previously]
Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media. On this year's list : Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran, Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger, High-Tech Genocide in Congo, and many more.
Soldiers may no longer use MySpace to communicate with family. The Defense Department will begin "worldwide" blocking access, as of today, to YouTube, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, FileCabi, MySpace, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Pandora, MTV, 1.fm, live365, and Photobucket on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander. Note that most soldiers deployed in war zones don't have access to any network outside of the military network.
If Art Bell is to be believed, up to 11 million Australians could be calling USA home due to years of severe drought in the country's food bowl. The story picked up, and given appropriate treatment by the venerable News Corporation online mouthpiece news.com.au. Is it hard being a climate change sceptic when your boss is a convert? Is climate change a left wing plot?
Sizzlingly Inappropriate Republican Debate Hottie Rundown! --in what's becoming a recurring series (see her UK Hostages and Dem candidates here), Werthmann rates (in a supergroovy Tiger Beat/fan mag way) the 10 GOP hopefuls appearing tonight in the Debate. On Rudy: ... The way he burns through spouses, we think he's fair game. Hey, Rudy, we need some "consulting"! ... : >
Brass Eye is a hilarious & much missed British parody of "issue" news programs such as 60 Minutes in the U.S. It ran for one year, in 1997 (minus the 2001 special), and only six episodes were produced. Thanks to the miracle of the internets, all six (Animals, Drugs, Science, Sex, Crime & Moral Decline) are available in their entirety via Google Video. If you're unfamiliar with the series, trust me, it's not to be missed. Previous mentions on Metafilter. Discovered Via the good mr hodgman's blog.