Tag Archives: News

A bit about News and Creative Communal Information

I’ve mentioned this before, but I figure it’s worth mentioning again. This week I had over five people email me links to news articles they thought I should read. I haven’t had a chance to get to them until now. I really like the idea of sharing news with others and I think it’s important that we value each others opinions enough to read them.
I subscribe to the blogs of every person that I know of personally, and I do my best to read what they write because I think it’s important to value and be interested in the opinions and thoughts of one another.

What Next: A Memoir Toward World PeaceBack in 2003 I read a book called, What Next? by Walter Mosley. It’s a great little book with some practical examples on ways to work towards a peaceful world. One thing Mosley mentions is the importance of staying informed. His suggestions for doing this is to start a reading group (this is before blogs became popular). Basically you find about 3-4 other people who are interested in collaborating. You might have a similar value system, but I don’t know that that is necessary nor necessarily ideal.
Basically within your reading group you’d each chose two or three magazines, news sources, blogs, etc. that your in charge of reading, and then bringing to the group the 2 or 3 most important pieces of news from those sources. This allows you to collectively stay informed on multiple issues and areas without spending your whole day reading up. It’s a good idea, and I think it’s actually being accomplished to some degree with blogs.

In addition to reading the blogs of friends, I find here and there, blogs of others of whom I value their way of thinking, their opinion on world issues and their awareness of the world. It’s those sources that I usually learn about world events and situations, even more so then traditional news media.
I read something once that said all Christians need a Bible and a Newspaper. The Bible is to know how to pray, the Newspaper is to know what to pray for.

How are you keeping up with what’s going on in the world?

Who does this guy think he is?

I’m still a little confused how folks like this get to have any position of authority at all. From the Associated Press:

A state legislator said black people “should get over” slavery and questioned whether Jews should apologize “for killing Christ,” drawing denunciations Tuesday from stunned colleagues.

Delegate Frank D. Hargrove, who is white and Christian, made his remarks in opposition to a measure that would apologize on the state’s behalf to the descendants of slaves.

In an interview published Tuesday in The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Hargrove, 79, said slavery ended nearly 140 years ago with the Civil War and added that “our black citizens should get over it.”

-St. Louis Today article

Choose your news wisely, you might have missed something

When it comes to the news, it’s important that we recognize that our choice of sources is extremely important. There is a reason it’s good not to rely on just one news source (even if it is Jon Stewart). The Internet has become a great tool for us to expand our awareness on news we might never have heard about through the major media outlets. Thanks to Project Censored, I bring you their recent list of the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2006:

#1 Bush Administration
Moves to Eliminate Open Government

#2 Media
Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Death

#3 Another Year of
Distorted Election Coverage

#4 Surveillance Society
Quietly Moves In

#5 U.S. Uses Tsunami
to Military Advantage in Southeast Asia

#6 The Real Oil for
Food Scam

#7 Journalists Face
Unprecedented Dangers to Life and Livelihood

#8 Iraqi Farmers Threatened
By Bremer’s Mandates

#9 Iran’s New
Oil Trade System Challenges U.S. Currency

#10 Mountaintop Removal
Threatens Ecosystem and Economy

#11 Universal Mental
Screening Program Usurps Parental Rights

#12 Military in Iraq
Contracts Human Rights Violators

#13 Rich Countries
Fail to Live up to Global Pledges

#14 Corporations Win
Big on Tort Reform, Justice Suffers

#15 Conservative Plan
to Override Academic Freedom in the Classroom

#16 U.S. Plans for
Hemispheric Integration Include Canada

#17 U.S. Uses South
American Military Bases to Expand Control of the Region

#18 Little Known Stock
Fraud Could Weaken U.S. Economy

#19 Child Wards of
the State Used in AIDS Experiments

#20 American Indians
Sue for Resources; Compensation Provided to Others

#21 New Immigration
Plan Favors Business Over People

#22 Nanotechnology
Offers Exciting Possibilities But Health Effects Need Scrutiny

#23 Plight of Palestinian
Child Detainees Highlights Global Problem

#24 Ethiopian Indigenous
Victims of Corporate and Government Resource Aspirations

#25 Homeland Security
Was Designed to Fail

And to see what the future holds… here’s the stories of 2007.

(h.t. Ka-Bar)

The News makes choices on what’s important

The Crocodile Hunter dies. Okay, so I realize why this gets media attention. An international celebrity, an environmentalist, quite a character. As a friend said, “This is seriously like finding out there’s no Santa. He was invincible.” If you want to find out about another crazy radical killed by dangerous animals he hung out with, check out this movie.

I understand all that, and I understand why the news story on The Today Show yesterday spent time commentating on the death of the Crocodile Hunter and how sad that is.

What I don’t understand is why we don’t spend an equal amount of time commentating, discussing, and pondering the tragedy of six children dying in a fire because a candle tipped over in thier apartment where there were no working smoke alarms and the candle was their current source of light since their electricity had been off since May. I’m not advocating for universal electricity service or anything. I’m just saying, that’s a tragedy, and it’s an important one for us to discuss.
Where was the interview of the local pastor, asking how we can preach a gospel that calls us to help those in need, and yet we let this women and her children live without electricity for months? Where is the commentary on the reality of slum landlords that don’t keep their buildings up to code?
Why is the death of six children not worth as much media time and energy as the death of a man who many expected would die in an accident similar to the what happened?

Fire kills 6 children in Chicago – The Boston Globe

Commonwealth Edison spokesman John Dewey said the apartment hadn’t had electricity since May, but he wouldn’t say why it was turned off, citing confidentiality policies.

Orozco said smoke detectors were found in common areas of the building but not the gutted apartment.

“We have working smoke detectors in all of our apartment units at the time the tenants sign their leases,” said Jay Johnson, the owner of the building. All the smoke detectors in the building are hard-wired to the electrical system, he said.

Race and the Media: It’s not just a Katrina thing.

Some of you might have been paying attention during the Hurricane Katrina coverage and hopefully at least considered the idea that our media is sometimes biased in the way that it covers news stories.

Mixed Media Watch, one of my new favorite blogs, has posted on some recent coverage of two murders written about in the Washington Post:

I just read an interesting column by the ombudsman of The Washington Post, attempting to shed some light on how the paper handled two equally horrific murder cases. A reader had written in to note that the murder of the white man, Alan Senitt (pictured), landed on the front page of the paper, while the murder of the black man, Chris Crowder, only made the front of the Metro section. The reader asked:

“Can you think of a reason why the white man would get front-page treatment while the black man wouldn’t? Why does the white man merit a photo with the story but the black man doesn’t? Did geography and skin color have any impact on where these two stories were placed in the newspaper? I don’t see anything about the Senitt story that would merit front-page treatment over that of Crowder.”

Read the response and the rest of the story…

What’s your take on this one? Is it normal and your tired of raising concern about it? Is this the first time you’ve considered something like this? Are you busy validating the justification in your mind and writing this one off?

A “weekly” update podcast of Trying to Follow

Unfortunately, I haven’t done this in a while. I try to summarize the last two weeks post in this podcast, and you can see the long list below. Take a listen and if you like anything then find and read the link to the article below.

or download here.

  • What a church should look like… (0)
  • Writing can be hard to do (0)
  • 24: Season 2: This show is darn addicting. (0)
  • In the news today… (1)
  • I bought a bike… (1)
  • An explanation of that magazine’s name (1)
  • Anyone own access 2003? (0)
  • Laptop’s for the developing world (2)
  • Why most guys should read Ms. Magazine and B**** (1)
  • Longest Night (0)
  • Gentrification: a Case Study of Cabrini-Green (1)
  • Quick thoughts on gentrification: It’s not good. (2)
  • Podcasting might be returning… (0)
  • I like free stuff. Music downloads are a treat. (0)
  • Statcounter doesn’t seem to be working… (1)
  • Landmines: More serious then you might think (0)
  • The New Iraq (1)
  • a Biblical and Christian Approach to Immigration (0)
  • Save Darfur (0)
  • The “What if?” of Cinderella Man (0)
  • GTD: The first step is getting to Ready (2)
  • Google Notebook: you clip the web (0)
  • If your cool you’ll check out slickrun.exe (1)
  • Why go to college when you can blog instead? (2)
  • Download your Facebook friends with Profilicious (1)
  • What’s happened to “Women’s Rights”? (0)
  • I’d go bananas if life was without bananas (0)
  • File folders and Paper vs. My granola soul (2)
  • Free Phone Calls from your Computer to a landline (1)
  • Question: What is with “Grills”? (0)
  • The Constant Gardener: there’s truth in it. (1)
  • USANA is worth considering (1)
  • Question: Why do most people at the DMV appear to be low income? (0)
  • Logo design contest (0)
  • No Gas Day 2006, May 22nd (0)
  • Socially Conscience Children’s Books (4)
  • Testing a new look (1)
  • Questions series… Coming soon (0)
  • It’s cheap, but is it legal? (1)
  • Have I encouraged you? (0)
  • In the news today…

    At work today, I happened to catch the news and there where a few things I thought worth commenting on.

    Bush and Blair on the war in Iraq. I want to believe, and I do to some degree, that the statements Bush shared in a press conference yesterday were sincere. Bush acknowledge regret for saying things like “Wanted, Dead or Alive,” and “Bring it on.” He also acknowledge the setback and wrongdoing that occurred at Abu Gharib. I saw a couple of clips of Bush speaking and he definitely seemed candid and sincere.
    This seems to be a different Bush then the steadfast and unwavering Bush of the last six years. Yet, I can’t help but think what has caused this change in Bush’s attitude. You might know that the polls show Bush losing support, and any politician knows they need to do something about that. So, Bush needed to do something about that, and maybe that meant putting on a regretful face for the camera.
    What do you think? Was Bush’s regret sincere or just a political ploy to garner some more supporters?

    Enron Verdict. I wrote about watching the documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, not too long ago. Yesterday the verdict was reached convicting Kenneth Lay and Jeff Skilling of multiple accounts of Fraud and more. They could each face life in prison for what they’ve done. I heard someone make a statement about how this shows that we treat Corporate Fraud by CEO’s as severely and seriously as street criminals. Ironically, both Lay and Skilling are still roaming free today on $5 million bond. Thousands of Enron employees lost their pensions, or should I say had their pension’s stolen by Lay and Skilling. Does anyone else find it wrong that these guys can be roaming around on $5 million of money they are guilty of stealing?

    Teacher and student. The Today Show interviewed the now married teacher and student whose affair started when the student was just 13 years old and the teacher 34. The interview was not negative, it was sincere, and came across kind and positive. I can’t help but think this sort of thing would never have happened if the teacher had been a male. And before you misunderstand me, I believe that in both situations the wrong doing should be taken more seriously. I fear this is one of those situations where the stereotype of males being the more powerful and dominating, as well as sex hungry, diminishes the wrong doing that was committed in this situation.

    Coverage of death in the Middle East

    I have BBC news as my homepage on Firefox. It helps keep me aware of what’s happening in the world. Today the frontpage news is the Hajj Stampede. I don’t have much commentary on it specifically. I do know that there have been stampedes like this in the past, and it was never frontpage news, at least it wasn’t before 9/11.
    This could be my own bias perception, but I did a quick search on CNN and here’s what I found: Between April 97 and December 99 (3 years) there where 19 stories about the Hajj Pilgrimage in general (searching for ‘Hajj Plgrimage’). In the past year (from Jan 05) there have been 27 new stories and most of them have to do with deaths, crime or weapons of some kind.
    I know our interest in the Middle East has increased, but I fear our news coverage of it has leaned more towards the negative and violent coverage. I’m not trying to throw out any government conspiracies, but I worry about how convienent and desensitizing it is to us to hear that those our country seems to dub our “enemies” are killing each other anyways. I worry our negative coverage of Arabs in general is going to make our continued war on “terrorist” easy and cloudy; All Arabs are not terrorist.