NewsBusters had a plethora of posts on various things in the news. I'll just touch on a few. There was a post about a recent press conference with President Bush. It mainly focused on the war and the ways in which our troops are interrogating terrorist suspects. President Bush is pushing a new bill to Congress that will promote higher standards in the ways that these interrogations are performed. Reporter David Gregory was debating with the President on how these new regulations could lead to torture techniques to get information. President Bush argued (firmly) that these new laws must be clearly defined to ensure the most fair and effective results. The President said that we need clear and higher standards, not ambiguous ones. Gregory kept pushing the President, but Mr. Bush eventually cut him off. Mr. Bush thinks that in order to move forward in the fight against terrorism, these laws must be implemented. Otherwise, we will be moving in the wrong direction. I must say that I agree. We cannot sit around and let another attack on America happen. This is exactly what Mr. Bush fears. Many Americans do not agree. They think that what we are doing is wrong or for ulterior motives. I believe that this is war; and we must fight it. War is not a pretty thing. It can be very ugly, as we saw on September 11, 2001. I don't think that we need to rule the world; and I don't think that is what our President is trying to do. He is looking out for our best interests in both national and financial security. Now I could go on and on; and this could become an endless debate (well, it already is); but the bottom line is in a time of war our leader needs to be firm. President Bush is becoming this, more so everyday.
Another point I want to bring up from NewsBusters is actually from a few different posts. They basically have to do with celebrities putting in their two cents about the state of the war and the world. Sean Penn basically said that President Bush and "Don" Rumsfeld (as Penn so casually called him) have destroyed our democracy. He said any Democratic Presidential Candidate that didn't have a plan to get our troops out of the Middle East, is not worth the vote. He also said (without actually saying it) that any Republican Candidate was out of the question. Rosie O'Donell compared Christian radicals to that of Islamic terrorists. She said that pro-lifers were as bad as suicide bombers. I don't know where she came up with such an idea. Sure, there are radicals in this country that speak with violent actions. But I don't think that the numbers can be even remotely compared to that of terrorists. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough along with Jenneifer Pozner and Steve Adubato were debating this very subject. A point was made; and it was true. Over the recent years and the past few thousand, their is no comparison. Now I'm not trying to point any fingers or blame other people because of their political values; but some people need to think about what they say before they say it. They should do some homework and not just blab whatever they think is right. With celebrity-ism comes a power of voice. But it also has the power of ignorance. Some of these people that go on and on about what should be done, don't even have a high school education. It's sad that because of their position they can influence so many. I'm not the smartest person in the world; and I surely don't know everything about what is going on with the war and the government and so on and so forth; but I do know that their are two or more sides to every story. John Stuart Mill taught me to see all sides. Others should heed his advice and do the same.
Now, on to PRESSthink. There is talk on this blog about an upcoming open-source journalism forum. It is called NewAssignment.Net. This forum is not yet active, but its first test is set for this fall. The forum was created by Jay Rosen, who also has the PRESSthink blog. The first donation to this test was made by Craig Newmark, creator of the infamous CraigsList. He threw down $10,000 from his personal charity to promote this project. Now, SunLight has matched Newmark's donation. Open-source journalism, or networked journalism is basically a forum for both professional and amateur journalists. It is real assignments and you can get paid. It is not, however, for any old Joe Schmo that wants to exploit something. It is an organization designed for journalists all over the country to put their minds together and collaborate ideas to get the best possible story with as much good information as possible. It is scheduled to start up in April of 2007, but this test run may give some implications on how well it could work. Check out this Podcast of Jay Rosen and Craig Newmark discussing this new way of telling the news. Now this is convergence!
Finally, there is the Online Journalism Blog. Paul Bradshaw has a couple of interesting things to say. First, he had a short post about whistle blowing on YouTube. Apparently, someone was trying to get noticed in regards to issues at his company, so he videotaped some stuff from work and posted it on YouTube. That's pretty heavy! Another thing that I found interesting was the post about Chris Anderson's new book on Long Tailing. Chris Anderson is the former bassist for the band REM. He is now the editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. Bradshaw only posted a couple of quotes from the book, but there was a link to the interview with Anderson about his book. He talks about the strategy of effective distribution. Long tailing is the shaping of the demand distribution. Anderson says that he likes to let the public decide what is best. He does this by seeing which articles were liked and disliked the most from the magazine. The results sometimes do not come out as they expected them to.
So, that's my novel on what I found this week. Whew! Until next time...