“Journalism”

May2,2011

10 Years After 9/11, Bin Laden’s Death is Anti Climactic But His Words Still Haunt

With the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed in attack ordered by President Obama, thousands assembled in front of the White House to celebrate the death of the man who orchestrated the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. And here we are 10  years after President Bush simplified global dissatisfaction with America as hate for freedom and told Americans to let the troops worry about the war while they go out and shop and live their lives normally. All with the promise that some day America would find and capture Bin Laden.

Since then, our nation has observed attacks in other countries such as the suicide bombings in London and Mumbai, watched as our troops have come home physically and mentally destroyed from the strains of two wars, and most recently we’ve seen firsthand that America’s noble attempts to protect citizens in countries like Libya can result in tens of thousands of innocent civilian deaths. By now, hopefully, it is clear that real American foreign policy is far less inconsequential than Bush’s innocent tales of taunting the rest of the world with free speech.

In addition, it should also be clear that unlike many other movements and rogue States throughout history, Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network is among the most organized, decentralized, and well-funded. It is virtually unstoppable. For that reason, Bin Laden’s demise feels like an elephant caught one of a thousand mice. It also feels as though the U.S. is full steam ahead toward Bin Laden’s wish for America to struggle mightily with its own politics.

It was always Bin Laden’s hope that the United States would bear the consequences of its rip shod foreign policy. That America would pay for supporting Israel while Palestinians languished without statehood or arming some rebels and authoritarian regimes while disarming others. Bin Laden sought a full scale collapse of the American economy–he pledged to bankrupt the country.  As America’s politicians play embarrassing games with the debt ceiling and allow more and more American citizens to fall into the kind of abject poverty typically seen in less industrialized nations, you have to wonder how much closer America will come to fulfilling Bin Laden’s wildest fantasies.

With all the turmoil happening around the world and even within the United States, the death of one man, however diabolical, provides little solace or change but much to consider going forward. I hope that this week the media thoughtfully considers the role Bin Laden has played in the direction of American foreign and domestic policy rather than simply framing his death as a signaling change or not.

 

 

 

 

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February1,2011

Fuck Being A Journalist…And Other Revelations About Journalism

From 9th grade on I planned to major in Journalism in college–broadcast journalism to be exact. Where I’m from, being on a local TV channel and reading the news is big shit! I thought I’d be perfect for a job like that, I could write and speak well, I have a great voice, and the camera loves me like a sister.

I show up freshman year of college, declare my major as Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising with my concentration being broadcast journalism. By the 3rd class I realized a few things.

1. I don’t give a damn about going out to get a story.

2. I really just wanted to be on TV.

3. I prefer giving my opinion to just presenting facts (even if I order them in a leading manner).

4. “Sacrificing” and “paying dues in a small market” really wasn’t “my thing.”

5. I didn’t like or fit in with the other JPRA majors.

I had decided early on that political science would be my minor. But I noticed that in those classes I felt more at home. Debating back and forth with arrogant white male preps who wore suits and carried briefcases and laptops to class was more my speed than discussing ad implications with a bunch of over serious introverts. I’m generalizing here, but this was the culture at my alma mater.

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November17,2010

If You’ve Ever Been Angry About a Media Flub, Now There’s a Site To Help

I think we’ve all had those moments where we read an article, and we know RIGHT OFF that something isn’t right. Maybe we know because we were there or know someone who was there–or maybe we just have a feeling that something is wrong. Typically, the most we can do about such an issue is report it to the writer or paper and maybe write a letter to the editor.

But now, there’s a site that will look into media inaccuracies and point them out to publications for correction.

From the Media Bugs web site:

A media bug is a correctable error or problem in a news story or media report.

If you can’t see how the media outlet responsible for the bug would go about correcting it, it probably isn’t a bug. It might be a difference of opinion or a matter of debate. We love those arguments, too! But the Web doesn’t need one more place for them.

A media bug can be in a newspaper or magazine, on TV or radio, on a website or a blog.

We welcome bug reports for all media outlets based in the US. (For the first few months of our beta, we only accepted bug reports that related to coverage of the San Francisco Bay Area region or that appear in media outlets based here.)

When you know about a media bug, you can make a report about it with as much information as you’re able to provide.

Once you make a report, we’ll alert the responsible news outlet.

You can track the discussion about any bug by adding it to your My Bugs dashboard page. You can also receive updates about the bug via email or RSS.

I think this is so cool…you can also create an account on Media Bugs to keep up to date. I’ve only been following MB on twitter for a couple weeks and I’ve been intrigued by the amount, type, and variety of bugs they’ve reported. Some of the bugs were obvious mistakes by large publications.

Kind of makes you question every story your read. But of course, we should probably already be doing that.

If you report a bug, let me know how it goes.

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