Featured Post

Guantánamo Diary: torture and detention without charge | Guardian Docs

You owe it to history to buy and read the Guantanamo Diary .

Thursday, July 29, 2010

FCC fails

Just because a company owns the INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE does NOT give it the right to regulate which information we will be 'allowed' to communicate! Any company that passes information from one state to another falls under Federal Jurisdiction. Thus, ALL INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS should fall under FCC jurisdiction. COMCAST is an interstate information infrastructure corporation, and must not be allowed to regulate free speech.

Here’s the deal: under the Bush FCC, the agency decided to classify and treat broadband Internet service providers the same as any Internet applications company like Facebook or Lexis-Nexis, placing broadband providers outside of the legal framework that traditionally applied to the companies that offer two-way communications services.

That’s the loophole that let Comcast wiggle out from under the agency’s thumb.
Change it back

There’s an easy fix here: The FCC can change broadband back to a “communications service,” which is where it should have been in the first place. By reclassifying broadband, all of these questions about authority will fall away and the FCC can pick up where it left off – protecting the Internet for the public and bridging the digital divide.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Legend Daniel Schorr, Dead at 93'

Legends of News Reporting:
Edward R. Morrow (April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965)
Walter Cronkite (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009)
Bill Moyers
Ted Koppel
...
Daniel Schorr ( August 31, 1916 - July 23, 2010)

Following several years as a stringer, in 1953 he joined CBS News as one of the recruits of Edward R. Murrow (becoming part of the later generation of Murrow's Boys). In 1955, with the post-Stalin thaw in the Soviet Union, he received accreditation to open a CBS bureau in Moscow. In June 1957, he obtained an exclusive interview with Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Communist party chief.

Schorr attracted the anger of the Nixon White House. In 1971, after a dispute with White House aides, Schorr's friends, neighbors, and co-workers were questioned by the FBI about his habits. They were told that Schorr was under consideration for a high-level position in the environmental area. Schorr knew nothing about it. Later, during the Watergate hearings, it was revealed that Nixon aides had drawn up what became known as Nixon's Enemies List, and Daniel Schorr was on that list. Famously, Schorr read the list aloud on live TV, surprised to be reading his own name in that context.

Schorr provoked intense controversy in 1976 when he received and made public the contents of the secret Pike Committee report on illegal CIA and FBI activities.[2] Called to testify before Congress, he refused to identify his source on First Amendment grounds, risking imprisonment.

Schorr won three Emmy Awards for his television journalism. Schorr is survived by his wife, Lisbeth; a son, Jonathan Schorr; a daughter, Lisa Kaplan; a son-in-law, Alex Kaplan; and a granddaughter, Nora Rose.

I listened to Daniel Schorr's commentaries and reports on NPR for the last eighteen years. He was an old-school professional ass-kicker, balls-out truth-teller, and rock wit. I'll miss him.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Golden Age of Journalism, Huffington Post

The Huffington Post provides a platform for those who want to express themselves, a public square. But the editors and journalists who are required to write on deadline are paid. The difference between journalism and advocacy is clear, bloggers can advocate, journalists can not that's why they get paid.

"All you really have is you time and attention. I use my compassion for stories where I can make a difference. Stop wasting your time on stories of personal tragedy and focus upon stories of national significance.

Find one individual affected by the significant issue, and tell their story from a personal point of view. Show the effects of the issue in a way that reaches your audience emotionally, and thus moves them to action.

The job of journalists is to ferret out the truth. Go beyond the Left/Right narrative. Move past the assumption that every issue has a Liberal and Conservative side, and concentrate on the facts.

Don't work in some fantasy world of journalistic objectivity, but in pursuit of the truth of the issue.

People don't want to just consume news, they want to engage and tell the stories of their time. The new media is for a consumer in motion.

Self expression for millions of people is the new form of entertainment. The old media don't understand why people will spend 8 hrs a day writing blogs for free? But they are content with people who want to spend 8 hrs a day watching bad TV.

Now that everyone can participate in the media, engage in the news, people want to know who to believe. Now is the time for 'editors'. The job is to tell the truth, and tell stories that capture the imagination and the hearts (emotions), we must earn the people's trust. Trust is the new value.

Many people compare Fox News and MSNBC as if they were equals, but although they both tell their 'opinion stories' with obvious passion, Fox works in pure fantasy while MSNBC acts passionately on objective facts. Fiction is not the equal of Non-Fiction.

We journalists should not be above the conflict, we are not gentile narrators, we must become effective communicators, and that requires shouting when their is an emergency. But to cry wolf, again and again, as a pho-news reporter, or to distract people with meaningless and irrelevant gossip while the house burns down, is nothing less than criminal, this is the tragedy of such propaganda." - A. Huffington

Move your money campaign.

Online Book "The New Journalism"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Media Consolidation = keeping the people ignorant of their government


The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing its media ownership rules for the fourth time since 2000, and the National Association of Broadcasters is again asking the commission to ease up on the regulation.
Specifically, the NAB wants the FCC to eliminate rules restricting cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations, relax radio station ownership rules as well as rules restricting ownership of television stations in certain markets. Media watchdog group, Free Press, immediately petitioned the FCC, criticizing the NAB’s request, and noting that the commission has gone too far already in allowing more media company consolidation. Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright:
“The FCC’s media ownership rules are critical to ensuring that the public’s primary news and information sources do not become consolidated in the hands of a few companies. Moreover, the so-called efficiencies of consolidation have not materialized. Instead, the cost of consolidating has placed a number of companies that might otherwise be profitable in dire straits, resulting in disinvestment in newsgathering and job losses for journalists.
“We urge the Commission to resist industry pressures to further weaken ownership limits. Companies that have made poor business decisions should not be rewarded with permission to engage in even more media consolidation that would further injure competition and diversity among local media outlets. It is not the Commission’s job to protect industry profit margins. Rather, its role is to promulgate and enforce regulations designed to promote competition, diversity and localism so that the public interest is served.”

A new age of journalism.

From Sylvia Moore, of L.A. Media Reform - How to be a Mainstream Media Journalist. Made using a novel “text to movie” website called xtranormal, this is just the beginning of a revolution. Soon we will not need reporters or journalists at all, we can replace them with computers programed to seem just like real people.


http://www.xtranormal.com/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Using Intertubes to beat CENSORSHIP.


(Can there be legitimate students at a place called Georgia Tech?) Read More Here.
Trying to get out in front of what they call a censorship arms race, a team of researchers has come up with technology that lets users exchange messages through heavily censored networks in countries such as China and North Korea in hidden channels via user-generated content sites such as Twitter or Flickr.
Researchers with the Georgia Tech School of Computer Science will demo the technology known as  Collage for the first time at next month's Usenix security conference and ideally have a working package the public can download by the end of August. The researchers will have a test version of the Collage tool here.
Collage has two components: a message vector layer for embedding content in cover traffic; and a rendezvous mechanism to allow parties to publish and retrieve messages in the cover traffic, according to one of the Collage authors Sam Burnett, a researcher with Georgia Tech.
Technically speaking Collage is written in Python and uses an image steganography tool calledOutguess for hiding content in images and a text steganography tool called Snow for embedding content in text. "We recognize that steganography techniques offer no formal security guarantees; in fact, these schemes can and have been subject to various attacks," the researchers noted.