Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Say What??


I just couldn't believe this when I saw the King of Jordan describing the Israeli Palestinian conflict as "the core issue of the Middle East". I can't really believe that this is THE only thing thats going on. I don't know, revolutions left and right? Then again, there is so much reporting about Israel its not hard to see why he might think that!

The Dead


This caught my eye since Bin Ladin burial has been discussed quite a bit in the news and its something positive to see amidst the fighting. I wonder what the media wants to say about LIbya with this...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bloggers Shut Down in Egypt


Blogger's getting arrested for their articles? Not cool, I think we were hoping for more from the new regime in Egypt. This is incredibly disappointing, Does Egypt still have a chance to create a real democracy for themselves?

Monday, March 28, 2011

I got kicked off facebook


As with any advent in technology, the ethics that are inherent in the innovation, lag behind and slowly come to light, the more exposure we have to the new technology. It seems the question that Social Media sites are now facing, are what to do with controversial content. As we well know, social media sites have taken on an astounding role in the events in the Middle East, the problem is that some content has viewers worried. There has been significant protest over the Facebook group "The Third Jihad", letters have been written, counter groups have been formed. But does this group violate the terms and agreements of a Facebook account? Is "inciting violence" one of the things you can get shut down for?
In the early years of Facebook, I had no network to join since my high school did not want to acknowledge the existence of such a thing as Facebook, I joined anyway, stating that I was 23 years old and went to Saint Alamo High School. Obviously the age thing was stupid, but I got kicked off after a year or two and they realized I actually went to the local Bais Yaakov. Its ok though, happy ending was that by then you could join a city network. My story isn't that monumental, but for others, like Michael Anti who a journalist who was kicked out of facebook, it matters. Anti lost many of his contact information, and his ability to communicate in a country marred by censorship - China. Anti had an account under a fake name, another violation of Facebooks rules and therefore lost his account.
So the question is - how do social media sites answer these new sensitive questions? It is very difficult to stick to standard policy when you are faced with dangerous groups like the "Third Intifada" and people like Michael Anti who are are trying to affect change. What to do...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When do Journalists Take it Too Far


This Times article titles "4 Times Journalists Held Captive in Libya Faced Days of Brutality" was a joint account of the 4 who were arrested by government forces and spent days being shuttle around, threatened, bound, dodging gunfire and imagining their deaths. What struck me as interesting was that similar situations had occurred to three out of the four journalists - one had been arrested in Afghanistan, another shot in the back by a man he thought was an Israeli soldier. They seemed somewhat accustomed to the tribulations that a journalist covering a war zone might face.
They were seized at a checkpoint, and their driver went missing, and they comment "If he died, we will have to bear the burden for the rest of our lives that an innocent man died because of us, because of wrong choices that we made, for an article that was never worth dying for. No article is, but we were too blind to admit that."
To me, this was a truly profound admonition, mostly because it indicated that journalists sometimes think that a story is worth more than a life. In their valiant efforts to bring us the news and unleash the truth on the public, they might be compromising some other values. Are they really doing us and others a favor when they traipse around war zones? Or are they just looking for the most dramatic shot and story that will sell? It certainly sounds glamorous, but I'm not impressed by the possibility of journalists concluding that the story trumps all.

Monday, March 7, 2011

CNN's Cat Wearing a Mask

On a recent episode of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart takes a stab at CNN being the "most trusted name in news". With programs like "Reporter Roulette" and "Random Moment of the Day" Stewart says that CNN has become nothing more than "news v-jays" - playing the most popular youtube videos and letting listeners decide what news stories they want to hear in detail.

These stories are nothing more than cheap filler shots that keep viewers paying attention without costing the network anything. It is a sorry state of affairs when news becomes less news and more fun. Are viewers so distracted and finicky that they can't sit through some real information???

See the whole clip here:

Its really worth it!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How Long Can Palin Keep it Up

I am just wondering how long Palin can keep up her "un-pressiness". In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Palin was once again noted for her distinct lack of presence with the media. In a recent appearance the press was permitted to observe, but was not granted any questions. The WSJ commented on Palin's preference of Facebook and appearances on FoxNews over traditional interviews with journalists. I do not understand this perpetuation of media paranoia. I am really turned off by a candidate who is not able to have a positive appearance in the media.