Thursday, October 28, 2004

Australia could only manage 41st position in RSF's third annual index of press freedom, lagging behind some former Eastern bloc nations, including Slovakia (7), Czech Republic (19), Hungary (28), and Poland (32) Australia ranks poorly in global media freedom listing

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Authorities harass a blogger
Reporters Without Borders has condemned a bid to intimidate a blogger after the minister of internal security threatened to imprison Jeff Ooi, who runs the weblog Screenshots at the beginning of October 2004.
Ooi is accused of allowing an Internet-user to post a message insulting Islam Hadhari, a religious practice promoted by the government.
The international press freedom organisation called on Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi to see that no legal action was taken against Ooi. "A blogger cannot be responsible for a message posted by an anonymous contributor," it said. "The statement by the internal security minister is serious because it will force those running weblogs to use excessive censorship."
Jeff Ooi on 30 September 2004 posted an article on Screenshots discussing the contradiction between the values of Islam Hadhari and the corruption of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). A contentious comment was posted a few hours later by someone calling himself Anwar. It said, "Islam Hadhari and corruption are like shit and urine". Ooi reacted quickly to this statement and replied online

What you said affects and hurts me because you have twisted and hijacked my blog topic [ Reporters Without Borders ]
• · Liberation Online A look at Iraq's bloggers All my editors want is blood, blood, blood. No context. No politics. No Blogs
• · · Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Media freedom rankings
• · · · Don't be confused by the tide of contradictory voter surveys. The clear message is that Bush is in trouble Blogs Polling Truth ; [Blogger Used To Spam Google ]
• · · · · The Selfish Gene Web is obsessed with anything that spreads, whether it's a ebook, a blog or a rumor. And so the Spider loves memes; [The AP article discusses their research finding that people are searching for e-commerce more and sex less]
• · · · · · 101 years in 101 words Word birthdays - Beatnik (1958) ; [We live in a media-driven, commercial culture, where it's hard to escape the ever-increasing waves of advertising and infotainment. Meanwhile, our public spaces are eroding, and what were once safe havens – schools, museums, libraries, parks – are now awash in commercials Jessica Cutler gleefully published the graphic details of her sexual encounters with high-ranking DC insiders ]

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sexty (60) Minutes is a broadcasting institution. Amerikan 60 Minutes is the longest continuously running prime time TV program ever, watched by 16 million viewers every week. Not only has it been in the Nielsen top 10 for the last 23 seasons, it’s the only show ever to have the highest ratings in three different decades. 60 Minutes is the most honored TV series of all time, with 75 Emmy Awards. It’s also the most profitable, having earned CBS an estimated $2 billion. What’s the secret?
Before 60 Minutes debuted, in 1968, television news was terribly earnest—and terribly dull. It was also terribly unprofitable and was usually subsidized by a network’s hit comedies and dramas. Into this void stepped creator and executive producer Don Hewitt, a protegé of CBS legends Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite. Hewitt, whose notions of journalism had been shaped by the classic newspaper comedy The Front Page, saw no reason why televised journalism couldn’t be entertaining. He conceived of 60 Minutes as a broadcast version of Life magazine or the Saturday Evening Post. Instead of dealing with issues, says Hewitt, we tell Cold River type of stories.
The show has produced some of television’s most powerful investigative pieces

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Life Beyond the Political Margins: A Blogger's Endorsement
PR blogger Steve Rubel has endorsed John Kerry for U.S. president. He made the pronouncement recently, in what I suspect is now a trend among bloggers to who make their views known and to influence others.
Do you care who a blogger on (predominantly) non-political topics endorses publicly? While I doubt Rubel will influence many of his readers -- if
any -- I can certainly envision other bloggers who do cover politics and current affairs and who have loyal audiences influencing their readers. Why shouldn't bloggers endorse, just as most newspapers do?
Well, I can see reasons for bloggers like Rubel to abstain from public endorsements. Because he covers a non-political field, his endorsement could turn off readers who swing the other way, and even lose him some of his audience. With most current-affairs bloggers, though, the audience knows which way they lean and doesn't need an endorsement to be
published to figure it out.

• Steve Outing (no link available received by email) [ Without saying a word, Jess Ventura gets behind Kerry ]
• · Personal and Confidential? Not on Google Search analyst Chris Sherman, currently finishing up his latest book, Google Power told me something remarkable. If you go to Google and search for
personal and confidential you'll get about 35,000 search results Well, it shows that too many people don't treat online security seriously [Amazon usually gets outsized attention for their quarterly earnings report, but today they are both overshadowed by Google's first-ever quarterly report and slighted by analysts who once again fear the company's growth is declining mirroring (sic) the sales of Cold River - Palm Digital seems to be a way to go for unknown writers in 2004]
• · · The ideals that my Slavic forebearers lived by, and the institutions that sprang from them, remain as strong, and as fragile, as ever. The virgin issue of The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy is out Great editorial on the what, the why, the how, and the for whom of inclusive democracy
• · · · On the idea of fairness and balance in journalism
• · · · · Markets are conversations. Markets are now becoming smarter, faster than the companies that service said markets. A good example is what happend with the dear old Kryptonite lock earlier this month (As a bicycle rider, you must have heard about this scandal? Ask any clued-up blogger and (s)he'll tell you). What is true for markets is also becoming true for Governments, as well: Russian by temperament and British by political fortune, Boris Johnson is blogging
• · · · · · Take this quiz to find out which file extension most closely matches your personality

Monday, October 04, 2004

Some bloggers may take a different personality on their web logs. Others may simply show their true colors ; via Brilliant Boynton

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Spread the Word Far and Wide, According to Soros Wishes
On Tuesday I delivered a speech at the National Press Club in Washington explaining why I am involved in this election. In the coming weeks, I will be traveling the country to speak with more Americans about why I believe President Bush is endangering our safety, hurting our vital interests and undermining American values. I have started this website and this blog to hear from you. I am eager to engage in a critical discussion about this election because the stakes are so high, and I welcome your opinions here and on your own blogs. I am looking forward to responding to the many comments that I have already received in the days ahead. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.
• Words fail me as I never thought George Soros would ever have the time to blog. On the other hand, I never thought the Iron Curtain would come down in my LIFETIME! George Soros joins the blogosphere ; [Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush]
• · Tim Porter: What do we need to do to move forward? How do we attract new readers? Editorial Pages: Pizza vs. Finger Bowls
• · · Tim Porter Puts stop to blogger bash thing: Carry My Notebook, Please
• · · · Lawrence Henry: Oh, the blogosphere is crowing, carrying Dan Rather's head around on a pike, as Keith Olbermann complained bitterly a couple of weeks ago What Blogs Can’t Do
• · · · · Today 2 Million People are blogging in Amerika: Before Applying, Check Out the Blogs
• · · · · · Naomi Klein: You Can't Bomb Beliefs

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Cousins go by,
That merry-making laughter in their eye,
And the laughter's fine,

But I wonder what became of mine.
Life's sweet as honey,
And yet it's funny,
I get a feeling that I can't analyze.
It's like, well, maybe
Like when a baby
Sees a bubble burst before its eyes.
Johnny Mercer, I Wonder What Became of Me

Imrich and Impoor trees share roots and branches in 1415BC. Everyone alive today is descended from one person who lived about 3500 years ago, probably in the High Tatra Mountains, a study has found that Latham and Howard are cousins: Sometimes, The World Just Gets Too Close

Eye on Politics A Week From Today: Light-hearted look at Six degrees of elections
In The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco's Franciscan investigator-monk, William of Baskerville, whom most will remember as Sean Connery in an old blanket, thought the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, because the only real truth lies in freeing ourselves from insane passions; the sort of passions which drove the Catholic church towards the Inquisition, and which now drives Islamist terrorism into grotesque displays of savagery.
• Did you hear the one about Double Dragon? If not, why? He Died with a Dictator in His Hand [Hip pocket pain and the pot of gold spiral into oblivion: Both Mark Latham and John Howard seem to have extraordinarily good aim: both are ladling bucketfuls of cash at the electorate without ever hitting me. Does anybody else have this feeling of standing in a tsunami of cash, and yet remaining strangely dry? Too young for Labor's Medicare Gold; too old for the Liberals' child payment. Attractive bribe, vote, on offer ]
• · About Last Night Aims to please and grab attention of every dragon Of politicians and prostitutes
• · · See Also Meet The New Counterspinning Prime Minister, Same As The Old One
• · · · A blackout on political advertising comes into force at midnight on Wednesday, October 6
• · · · · Mr McManus has twice won the Gold Logie for most popular TV personality, while Mr Howard has won the federal election three times Row, Row, Row the boat Down the Fifth Stream
• · · · · · Daily Terror Hackwatch Cracking Up

Saturday, October 02, 2004

It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth.
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Paola Totaro and Robert Wainwright give us this Saturday a compelling backstory read about the background required to survive and thrive in the NSW public servants ... knowing where the bodies are hidden and how the system work Butler Gleeson: Servant of the people; General Gleeson sets record straight with parting shots; Carrwering in ranks, says Hard Labour warrior

Eye on Golden Glitter As Substance Takes A Back Seat: Vote Me Out
Ach only in Amerika It's Michael Chabon Calling. Please Vote Me In...
Amid the frenzy of brainstorming, gladhanding, doorknocking and polling, Paul Sheehan asks whether a disconnected electorate is hearing anything but a blast of static.
Billions of dollars promised. Dozens of policies unveiled. Thousands of words. Hundreds of commentaries. And none of it would have had as much impact on this federal election as a decision by John Howard or Mark Latham to wear a bow tie during their televised debate. A bow tie would be bigger than any policy. It would be a disaster.

Such is the nature of politics
• · The shape we're in
• · · Hugh Mackay does not know enough about Mark Latham or what he stands for It takes policy and personality
• · · · Consider an independent point of view; Paola Totaro 2003: With the big three's popularity at record lows, the minor parties have exploited
electoral changes to snap at their heels
• · · · · Police lift lid on web of abuse:
The owner of three child-care centres in Melbourne's eastern suburbs is among hundreds of people across Australia facing charges for possession of child pornography and other crimes involving young children following a nationwide police operation. Others implicated in the unprecedented swoop on child sex crime include teachers, police officers, doctors, an assistant to a state MP, child welfare officers and defence personnel.Child sex net traps hundreds ; [Just tip of iceberg: US agent The married teacher and church youth pastor faced court charged with eight counts of possessing child pornography, seven counts of installing a device to facilitate filming for indecent purposes, and seven counts of filming for indecent purposes ]
• · · · · · Operation Auxin: Insects emerge blinking from all their dark places ; Fourth suicide as child porn probe widens

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