Sunday, June 24, 2007

Without truth ... Freedom dies! It drowns!

The past few days have seen the legal system serve up yet another vivid illustration of the depressing state of free speech in Australia. On Friday the former public servant Allan Kessing copped a nine-month suspended jail sentence for his crime of leaking reports to a newspaper about the chaotic state of security at Sydney Airport. Yesterday two journalists joined him in the ranks of the criminal class when Chief Judge Michael Rozenes, in Victoria's County Court, ordered convictions be recorded against Melbourne Herald Sun staffers Michael Harvey and Gerard McManus, and fined them $7000 each. They were convicted of contempt of court, but their crime was doing their jobs by telling the public what was really going on, rather than feeding them the spin-doctored version of events the Government had cooked up. Their story, published in the newspaper in 2004, embarrassed the Government, humiliated the then minister for veterans' affairs, Dana Vale, and provided another reason why the Australian media have formed a Right to Know coalition to lobby for changes to the law. If shield laws won't protect journalists such as Harvey and McManus from reporting public service leaks, you have to wonder what value they really have Truth comes at a high price Source:

Media Dragons V Spinners When the Press Fails…
Interview Week at Assignment Zero: Anna Haynes is Questioning SusanG of Daily Kos

PressThink's readers know more than one contributor does. So what follow-up questions do you have for SusanG? Here she speaks of "the fellowship that comes with collaboration in a country where many feel isolated and cut off from the truth. Impossible for any editor of a commercial newspaper to understand the difference between a profit system in collapse, driving the State and everybody in it to bankruptcy, and a system of production for use in process of growth, providing security and plenty for all. I used to say to our audiences: It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it!

The Trolley Of Truth; [When thousands of us get together to investigate how the campaigns are operating in all of our communities, we can piece together a moving picture of American politics that’s more complete than anything the mainstream news has ever been able to consider. Sounds like the intellectual diversity of a typical newsroom already, doesn’t it? ; The Thinking Professor – Jay Rosen ]
• · Among the greatest challenges facing the American democracy is the struggle to recover the soul of the American press. Legions of critics and off-duty journalists are searching for answers to why it is so difficult to be independent and get stories straight. Why is it so hard to resist the ever-present spin of those in power? One reason I’m in hot water is because my colleagues and I at NOW didn’t play by the conventional rules of Beltway journalism. Those rules divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news. Spinning the News; Vise D A The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media and Technology of Our Time Macmillan 2006 ISBN: 9780330440059 Price: $24.95 The Google search engine, with its ability to produce hundreds of speedy responses to searches on virtually everything and anything, has woven itself into the fabric of our everyday lives. The Google Story: Inside Media Dragon;
• · · I've found myself more and more wary of doing things that I'd like to do with Google applications simply out of some primal, lizard brain fear of giving too much control of my data to one source. It's not that I don't trust Google, it's not that I don't like the applications, it's that I'm worried they might fall to some ill use, out of the control of the current brand as I've come to understand it today. Big Brother Google: Battelle Fights The Power; R.R. Bowker Acquires Medialab Solutions, Developer of AquaBrowser Library creators of a library search and discovery platform called the AquaBrowser Library, which they say is used by more than 60 million public library patrons. Library Search Platform
• · · · Speaking of libraries, the LAT highlights the University of California Riverside's 110,000-volume Eaton collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror books --"the world's largest and a necessary trek for scholars. In a university not far away, sci-fi heaven; ADD-Asshole driven development … The madness of “methodologies” in IT …
• · · · · The popularity of radio has captured the attention of the online community. John Laws has confirmed his retirement from radio after more than 50 years in front of the microphone on air later this morning. Laws, known as the "Golden Tonsils" of Australian radio, has worked on air since the 1950s, and at one point was the most-listened to broadcaster in Australia. Golden Tonsils ; The First YouTube Election - Los Angeles Times It's easier than ever to spread political propaganda online, but it's also easier than ever to get caught.
• · · · · · Once upon a time, there was no such thing as YouTube--people didn't obsessively watch the net Colour plays an important part in product recognition by bloggers ; Much of next year's US election will be fought on the web. It's the YouTube election