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  • Reply to: Mo' Better News?   12 years 3 months ago
    I'd also love to see a news site that consciously <i>avoided</i> a "neutral point of view." <br><br> In reading blogs for the past couple of years, I've found that, contrary to the moral of the "blind men and the elephant," a collection of opinions can provide better understanding about an issue or event than any "objective" news report. (I've also developed a gag-reflex to the studied blandness of newswriting and the absurd, forced balance of he-said, she said reporting). I think a blog reader (at least those who bother to read more than Rush Limbaugh-type dittohead sites) would be demonstrably better informed about, say, Iraq than someone who relied exclusively on <i>The New York Times</i> and the CBS Evening News, and not just because of shoddy reporting and overreliance on disinformation from government sources. <br><br> Imagine a site that ran a report about the battle of Fallujah featuring short, unmediated essays by: <br><br> - A military expert<br> - A Middle East expert<br> - A soldier<br> - A resident of Fallujah<br> - An anti-war activist<br> - A Bush supporter<br> <br> I know it's possible, because I've come across all of those voices online. The report could also lay out basic factual information and pull together links to historical info, timelines, etc. It'd make the nightly news look like "Barney & Friends" in comparison.
  • Reply to: Mo' Better News?   12 years 3 months ago
    It seems to me that Wikinews could be an I.F. Stone writ large. This passage from Victor Navasky's <a href="http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml%3Fi=20030721&s=navasky">homage to Stone</a> in the Nation could with a little modification could be Wikinews' mission statement: <blockquote>[A]lthough he never attended presidential press conferences, cultivated no highly placed inside sources and declined to attend off-the-record briefings, time and again he scooped the most powerful press corps in the world. His method: To scour and devour public documents, bury himself in The Congressional Record, study obscure Congressional committee hearings, debates and reports, all the time prospecting for news nuggets (which would appear as boxed paragraphs in his paper), contradictions in the official line, examples of bureaucratic and political mendacity, documentation of incursions on civil rights and liberties. He lived in the public domain. It was his habitat of necessity, because use of government sources to document his findings was also a stratagem. Who would have believed this cantankerous-if-whimsical Marxist without all the documentation?</blockquote> That last statement is especially intriguing - he was radical, opinionated, maybe even a little loony, but in the end he was right. And a hell of a lot of fun to read. <br><br> This part also seemed apt: <blockquote>He once told David Halberstam that the Washington Post was an exciting paper to read "because you never know on what page you would find a page-one story." One of his favorite scoops...had to do with our capacity to monitor underground nuclear tests. It happened in the fall of 1957, when he spotted a "shirt tail" in the New York Times. A shirt tail, Izzy explained to the foreign journalists, is usually some wire-service information run as a little paragraph hanging down ("like a shirt tail") at the end of the main story.</blockquote> Seems to me that's a lot like what the bloggers are doing every day. <br><br> Finally, I think the I.F. Stone model would be successful because of the satisfaction contributors would derive, motivating them to do more. As Izzy once said, "I have so much fun I ought to be arrested."
  • Reply to: Mo' Better News?   12 years 3 months ago
    Thanks...fixed it.
  • Reply to: Mo' Better News?   12 years 3 months ago
    That's Seymour <i>Hersh</i> ;)
  • Reply to: Blog Trolling Iraq?   12 years 3 months ago
    Check out the Yahoo message boards. They are trolling all over the place!

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