Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Daily Views 20 June 09

I'll let you in on a little secret: two of them, actually. (1) I've been busy filming much of the day. A friend is working on a mystery for Mexican television and I'm portraying one of the "bad guys." I'll let you know how (if) it all turns out. (2) The book I've been working on is about newspapers, radio, tv, MEDIA! The project is about a third of the way through and nowhere near complete!

Reporters were forbidden from the streets of Tehran, and the government quickly shut down cell-phone service and blocked Facebook, which is wildly popular in Iran, and hacked and interfered with communications any way it could. But Twitter, YouTube, e-mail, and photograph sites like Flickr quickly emerged as the main portals of information from and for the protesters. In the absence of any MSM interest in reporting, it was the blogs that performed journalism, filtering the spotty information coming in on the Internet, posting tweets, pictures and video, and showing the world, beyond a doubt, that Ahmadinejad and his Mullah enablers were wearing no clothes, and that, as Obama observed on Monday, “there’s something going on in Iran.” - Paul Rapp, Metroland

In this week's Metroland June 8-24 09 ( PAUL RAPP has written a story that appears on page 4 entitled "The Revolution Will Be Tweeted." Mr. Rapp is right on my wavelength with this one. Prior to reading the piece, I was thinking that the reason newspapers are failing is quite simple: the rate at which information (news) can be transmitted exceeds the ability of any newspaper to present it. I'll explain.

In the 1860s-80s if you lived in Nevada, for example, you might get your news by way of a local newspaper in a nearby town or by a traveler: someone coming in by train from San Francisco, and perhaps a traveler from Chicago. Two people coming from two different directions. Each brings you a newspaper. I guarantee you would have both papers on your desk for at least a week as you read one interesting news article after another. As late as the 1980s, newspapers from other cities could still deliver unique stories that you may not have heard about by reading your hometown paper or watching TV.

Today, June 2009, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Blogs and MySpace are carrying news like never before... Mr. Rapp:
THE EPITAPH FOR NEWSPAPERS WAS DELIVERED LAST WEEK by, of all people, Jason Jones on The Daily Show withJon Stewart. The New York Times, incredibly, allowed Jones to interview several Times bigwigs, apparently not realizing that these things never come out well for the interviewees... Sitting across a desk from Assistant Managing editor Rick Berke, Jones pointed to a current copy of the Times and said, "Show me one thing in there that happened today." Berke was left speechless.
I think I have the "fix" for newspapers. Before I reveal it, let me just say that there a few papers that can still survive: Metroland, because it is a unique weekly paper that has become a Capital region staple. The New York Daily News and The New York Post (for obvious reasons) and a few religious papers like The Jewish World and The Evangelist.

Remember a few years ago there was a buzz about special ink and paper... words could be changed as needed... for example, to update a news story... okay, think HARRY POTTER - you know the newspapers where the photographs are mini-moving pictures? That's the way your newspaper can survive. Imaging it there on the kitchen table, the headline changes before your very eyes as a super-news story breaks? Of course, that particular copy would cease updating at the end of the business day. Advertisers could avail themselves of that "updating power" as well. And the idea is not as far-fetched as you might think!

Back to Metroland:
"...last weekend, you’d never have known about what was happening (in Iran) if you were watching TV or reading the newspaper. Or even looking at Google News. As for television, CNN was oblivious, MSNBC was running those hideous inside-prison shows it seems to think people like to watch on weekends, and the networks were talking about the Palin-Letterman feud and whatever nonsense Newt Gingrich just said. The newspapers and wire services were merely parroting what governmental spokespeople were saying on both sides..."
There is one existing medium of information dissemination that has been around for a LONG time and still has the power to transmit information NOW: RADIO!

via Global Voices comes word the alleged owner and blogger of the blog Ze Utamu ( has been arrested in Tanzania. The alleged arrest has been in discussed at Jamii Forum, a popular Tanzanian Online Forum, since yesterday. And today, Swahili Time has posted the news along with a picture of the arrested blogger, Malecela Peter (more).
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1 comment:

  1. Congratulations re being a bad guy and 33% of a book! I look forward to reading more...


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