Thursday, October 13, 2022

Through Her Eyes: The Role of Alternative Social Media Dragons 🐉 in the News and Information Environment

It was “harder to get into Fleet Street than to rob the bank of England,” wrote journalist Lorraine Summ. But she went on to publish one of the Pacific war’s great scoops


 I am very proud to be one of the dozens of Australian female foreign correspondents telling their story in the new book Through Her Eyes. A great book by co-editors

and and available now.
Janine Perrett Etc - Through Her Eyes


Like me, they think and write: “The gender of a correspondent shouldn’t matter.” They qualify: “But the reality is that until very recently, gender determined all in journalism, particularly opportunity.” This is also true.

Bravery, insight and simmering fury: Australian female correspondents on speaking truth to power


It may seem remarkable that anyone would view their short-term profits as more important than the survival of humankind, but this is the simple reason we’re losing the battle against global warming. The complex reason is slightly trickier. In the words of British philosopher Timothy Morton the warming of the planet is a “hyperobject” – so massive and diffuse that it defeats our understanding of space and time. We find it conceptually difficult to connect so many diverse events in different corners of the world – wildfires in Europe, floods in Pakistan – and see them as one thing

This beautiful, horrifying film shows how close we’ve come to the edge


What do you think the arms trade is, a charity? Actually yes, that’s what it is

All’s not fair at the warfare Expo, where taxpayer-funded arms merchants hobnob with military types by invitation only. “Aggressive” journalists not allowed. Persona non grata Callum Foote reports on Land Forces 2022, Australia’s biggest War Fair.


A sickening thought: medical fund secrecy is a corruption incubator

Secrecy around a huge $20bn fund for government grants, Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), makes it a corruption incubator: Rex Patrick



ALL OF A SUDDEN, BLOGGERS SEEM INFLUENTIAL AGAIN:  Russian rockets kill 17 in Zaporizhzhia as bloggers rip Putin after Crimea bridge blast. They seem to be the only ones openly and publicly criticizing Putin’s conduct of the war, which is a big switch from their earlier treatment.



The Role of Alternative Social Media in the News and Information Environment

“In recent years, several new options have emerged in the social media universe, many of which explicitly present themselves as alternatives to more established social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – especially by opposing free speech restrictions they say are rife at those sites. 

These newer sites have created a small but satisfied community of news consumers, many of whom say one of the major reasons they are there is to stay informed about current events, according to a new Pew Research Center study. The study included a survey of U.S. adults along with an audit of seven alternative social media sites – BitChute, Gab, Gettr, Parler, Rumble, Telegram and Truth Social – and a detailed analysis of prominent accounts and content across them. Although fewer than one-in-ten Americans say they use any of these sites for news, most who do say they have found a community of like-minded people there. 

And news consumers on the four sites with large enough numbers to be analyzed individually – Parler, Rumble, Telegram and Truth Social – largely say they are satisfied with their experience getting news on the sites, that they find the information there to be mostly accurate, and that the discussions are mostly friendly. At the same time, however, the study finds signs that these sites may be another symptom of the increasingly polarized public discourse – and Americans’ partisan divisions in the broader news media environment…”


Vox: “The anti-vaccine movement is gaining strength even after 1 million Americans have died of Covid-19. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, does not mince words when describing the scientific legacy of the Covid-19 vaccines

The mRNA shots, he said, are “the greatest scientific achievement in my lifetime.” Yet as the weather starts to turn cold and as officials push for more people to get their new booster shot before an expected winter coronavirus surge, public health leaders are battling skepticism and apathy toward the vaccines. Worse, experts fear the politicized backlash to the Covid-19 vaccines is already fostering skepticism about routine vaccinations generally, from childhood immunizations to flu shots. 

Across the country, Republican lawmakers have drafted a pile of anti-vaccine mandate bills this year, chipping away at a foundational health practice for the last half-century. More than 80 anti-vaccine bills have been introduced in state legislatures, according to academics tracking the phenomenon, dwarfing the number of countervailing pro-vaccine bills. Public health experts are preparing for an all-out war on school mandates and other vaccine measures in states like Texas…”


maketecheasier: “One of the quickest ways to check a website for new updates is to add the site to your favorite RSS reader and let the tool notify you of any new content. However, an RSS reader can only check for updates within the confines of RSS-formatted code. This limitation means RSS readers won’t work on any static webpages or dynamic websites without RSS components. Fortunately, you can use third-party tools to monitor website changes and receive notifications for any new changes. A website monitor can be an automated solution to regularly checking a product listing for price changes. 

If you are monitoring an Amazon product, you can use these extensions instead, but thanks to website monitors, you won’t have to wait for a developer to make an extension for a specific online marketplace just for price tracking. Website monitors may also eliminate the need for subscribing to email newsletters. For instance, if you want to figure out whether an updated version of a software or game is out, you can set the monitor to track changes in the version number of the change log…”

See also Via LLRX – What is RSS and How to Use it Effectively – This guide by Pete Weiss – expert listserv manager, communication device integrator, and newswire publisher/editor – and author of Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cybersecurity issues – provides researchers with an overview of why you should use RSS, along with step by step examples of how to implement this application which should be part of your knowledge gathering and current awareness toolkit.

5 of the Best Solutions for Monitoring Website Changes Vox



The Federalist Op-Ed:  What Football Can Teach Us About Losing A Loved One, by Mike Kerrigan (Hunton Andrews Kurth, Charlotte, NC):

Two close friends, Greg and Michael, lost their fathers earlier this summer. I never met either of their dads, but I know they were good men from the sons they raised. ... For the first time when they look up, their fullback is not out in front blocking. It’s unsettling at any age because clearing a path is what good fathers do. They quietly take the hits so their children can achieve things they never imagined for themselves. It’s what John Quincy Adams was articulating when he said, “I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.” ...

Greg and Michael are not children anymore. They have their own families for whom they’ve sacrificed for years. ... [M]y friends are no longer running backs. They are fullbacks now, permanent blockers. A gradual, lifetime transition is made official. ... Each knows embracing their new roles is the best way to honor the legacy of their fathers.

Most importantly, each is learning true happiness in this life lies in seeking the good of another with a heart of self-emptying love.

This is the essence of the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis: “O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Gentle Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of fullbacks; who knew?

Greg and Michael are learning this important lesson, although only in their fathers’ death can the fullness of it be appreciated. In that sense, their dads are still blocking for them after all.

Op-Eds by Mike Kerrigan: