Print stories can be lost, but digital stories last forever, captured for eternity in some nebulous internet ether or on a hard drive in a desk drawer. At least, that’s the vague theory assumed by many producers and consumers of digital news. Once something is posted or backed up, it never really disappears—and if that’s true, archiving digital work seems less urgent. That line of thinking is exactly why so many news organizations risk losing years’ worth of stories.
As we move deeper into the digital era, we’ve recognized the need to preserve and digitize print content, but we’re still in the early stages of understanding how we safely archive our digital news. A survey released last week by The Missouri School of Journalism’s Donald W. Reynolds Institute shows how much outlets are losing when they don’t effectively archive their work, which many do not.
Among the 476 digital and hybrid news organizations that participated in the survey, 27 percent of hybrid news organizations and 17 percent of online-only enterprises said they’ve experienced a significant loss of news content due to technical failure. To Edward McCain, the digital curator of journalism at the institute, these numbers confirm a very basic but largely overlooked fact of digital media enterprises: Digital content is fragile and easily lost.
By now, anyone who spends much time on social media has gotten pretty used to the deluge of information that occurs whenever there is a breaking-news event like the destruction of Malaysian flight MH17. Photos, videos and news reports about the details all go flying past in our streams, many of them from reliable sources — and yet a staggering proportion of them are wrong, either accidentally or in some cases deliberately. Photos are doctored, quotes manufactured and numbers invented.
One of the most crucial journalistic skills is sorting out what’s true and what’s not in such situations, and while many professional journalists may not like it, thanks to the internet anyone can do this job if they have the inclination, the tools and the time. No one illustrates that better than British blogger Brown Moses, also known as Eliot Higgins, who has gone from being an unemployed office worker to a crucial source of real-time, fact-checked information about the war in Syria.
Higgins didn’t get to where he is now because he is some kind of superhuman genius, he just applied himself to learning as much as possible about the conflict he was trying to understand, and then used a variety of tools and skills to relentlessly check and re-check the information that was coming in via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and blogs. So what if you want to join in this process and help verify some of the information that is flying by — what can you do? Here are some tools, services and news communities that can help:
Many links to fact checking tools & communities at GigaOm article:
Earlier this year in Arkansas, nine-year-old Hank asked if he could go rabbit hunting, alone, with his .22-caliber rifle. His uncle said OK, because the boy had been hunting with his family all through his childhood
Hank never came back. He slipped somehow, the rifle went off, and he was shot in the forehead.
Both Kelli and Brad, from whom she is separated, believe that the gun was faulty - it shouldn’t have gone off unless the trigger was pulled, they claim. Since Hank’s death, she’s been posting warnings on her Facebook page about the gun her son used: “I wish someone else had posted warnings about it before what happened,” she says.
Had Kelli not bought the gun and had Brad not trained his son to use it, Hank would have celebrated his 10th birthday on 6 June, which his mother commemorated by posting Hank’s picture on her Facebook page with the message: “Happy Birthday Hank! Mommy loves you!”
Little Hank thus became one in a tally of what the makers of a Channel 4 documentary called Kids and Guns claim to be 3,000 American children who die each year from gun-related accidents. A recent Yale University study found that more than 7,000 US children and adolescents are hospitalised or killed by guns each year and estimates that about 20 children a day are treated in US emergency rooms following incidents involving guns.
Another nine-year-old in Texas named Gia hunts zombies — cardboard cutouts her father places in trees, and has other targets for her shooting practice.
Instead of playing with Barbie dolls, Gia shoots them as target practice near her home. She owns six pistols, a shotgun and a Winchester rifle. Her dad has even more, and says: “There’s an expression in Texas: ‘If you know how many guns you’ve got, you haven’t got enough.’”
Again, Spyder, a single father, considers himself to be a good parent. He teaches his daughter the four rules of gun safety, rule four of which is: Know your target and what is behind it. “I taught her to have her finger off the trigger and point the gun away. That was already ingrained in her by [age] five. If you live in Texas or Oklahoma where there are guns, you’ve got to teach them that part,” says Spyder.
What about those who say that teaching children to use guns is wrong? “Tough shit. That’s what we do.”
Both families, and several others are featured in a Channel 4 documentary, Kids and Guns, which airs in the UK on July 31. According to The Guardian, it’s a non-judgmental look at how Americans gun-users raise their children, and how Americans avoid examination of the sometimes painful consequences of easy gun ownership.
The title of the post is the Fox headline, copied verbatim from their front page, it was the main article. The short paragraph that appeared below the headline was:
THE FAA lifts a travel restriction prohibiting US carriers from flying into and out of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport approximately 35 hours after it went into effect following criticism from Israel and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
Does it sound to you like Fox are trying to make it sound like Ted Cruz had something to do with the lifting of the restriction?
Well, here’s the detail buried in the article itself that tells the real story (emphasis mine):
In a statement, the FAA said that the Notice to Airmen restricting flights into Ben Gurion Airport officially expired at 11:45 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday. The agency had instituted the prohibition shortly after noon Eastern Time Tuesday in response to a report that a rocket fired by Hamas had landed less than a mile from the airport. The restriction was renewed earlier Wednesday.
Yup, the restriction were not simply a blanket, it had a limited life span. And even though the restriction has now, expired, it seems that there is some concern.
The CEO of Delta Air Lines, which diverted a jumbo jet away from Tel Aviv before Tuesday’s ban, said earlier Wednesday the airline would not necessarily resume flights to Israel even if U.S. authorities declare the area safe.
Maybe Fox and Ted Cruz would like to accuse Delta of attempting to persecute Israel.
The CEO of Middle East carrier Emirates said after the shoot-down in Ukraine of a Malaysia Airlines jet last week that global airlines need better risk-assessment from international aviation authorities.
I cannot help but agree with that. It’s not been very long since MH17 was shot down with all souls lost. I have to wonder what Ted Cruz and Fox would have had to say had there been a number of Americans on MH17. I imagine that quite possibly they’d have been castigating the FAA for not being more cautious. Of course, ultimately, it would have been Obama’s fault.
And you know exactly what tune the wingnut chorus would have been singing.
Lately, it seems like David Gregory spends as much time trying to shoot down rumors that he’s going to be yanked from his job hosting “Meet the Press” as he does actually hosting “Meet the Press.” On Wednesday, Gregory and NBC got another chance when Page Six reported that he could be taken off the Sunday show after the midterm elections. The gossip column pointed to Chuck Todd as the mostly likely person to replace Gregory.
NBC called the rumors “false,” adding to a long line of similar denials and pledges of support for Gregory from the network. But what is undeniable is that “MTP” has been in a deep hole for months. The show has been stuck in third place in the ratings for so long that it’s hardly newsworthy anymore. Gregory has had to personally deny reports that NBC hired a psychological consultant to analyze him.
Exhibit A in the mainstream media’s failure to execute this due diligence is its consistently ill-informed climate change coverage. Even though an overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and man-made, the media rarely, if ever, treats this mountain of evidence as a given. Instead, it treats this reality very much like a battle of opinions or, more accurately, of belief systems: Liberals believe in climate change, conservatives don’t. Climate change is not an ideological principle or a policy outcome about which reasonable people can disagree, though; it’s an observable phenomenon. So when the media enables anyone to deny the existence of climate change, it is tantamount to journalistic malpractice.
Nevertheless, this malpractice happens every single day. Whether pigeonholing global warming as a niche topic,soliciting denialist voices and granting them an outsized platform, or outright disappearing of the crisis, the press regularly plays into conservatives’ hands, helping them manufacture dissent and sow confusion amongst the public even though none exists in the scientific community. Among Tea Partiers, disbelief in anthropogenic climate change has become something of an article of faith, so much so that, contra the parable of Noah, no amount of catastrophic warnings can change their stubborn minds. And in much the same way that Pope Urban VIII’s Vatican concocted an “investigation” to disprove Galileo’s proof of a sun-centered solar system, right-wing denialists have cooked up numerous alternative climate change theories that neatly conform to their worldview, but which all fall apart under scientific scrutiny.
Sky News has apologized after a reporter began digging through the luggage of a passenger killed aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on air.
The reporter, Colin Brazier, began picking through a victim’s suitcase and holding up items one by one while reporting on the devastating crash, which killed 298 people. Brazier realized his own wrongdoing and stopped himself on live TV, stating, “we shouldn’t really be doing this, I suppose.”
“When you compare Stormfront users to people who go to the Yahoo News site, it turns out that the Stormfront crowd is twice as likely to visit nytimes.com.”
The article “The Data of Hate”
I’ve been bewildered by this for a long time: just why do GOP failures and losers become media celebrities and stay that way? I think part of it is because the media isn’t interested in real news or political discussion, instead it’s all about the ratings. So any grenade thrower from the right will do as long as they bring some controversy, false or not, and the more bizarre the better.
Apparently none of that matters when the press coalesces around a preferred narrative: Perry is hot and perfectly positioned for 2016. (He won the week!)
Perry’s soft press shouldn’t surprise close observers of the Beltway press corps. It’s part of a larger media double standard where Republican campaign trail losers now routinely get treated like winners. (Think: John McCain, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney). The trend also extends to Republican policy failures, like the discredited architects of the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq, who have been welcomed back onto the airwaves to pontificate about Iraq, despite the fact they got almost everything wrong about the invasion eleven years ago.
And no, the same courtesy is not extended to Democrats. John Kerry did not camp out on the Sunday talk shows after losing to President Bush in 2004 and become a sort of permanent, television White House critic, the way McCain did after getting trounced by Obama in 2008.
Too long to post here, and too good to just do excerpts, but I’ll post the lede.
Its puerilty has finally crossed over into indecency. Its triviality has finally crossed over into obscenity. The comical political starfcking that is its primary raison d’erp has finally crossed over into $10 meth-whoring on the Singapore docks. Once a mere surface irritation, Tiger Beat On The Potomac has finally crossed over into being a thickly pustulating chancre on the craft of journalism. It has demonstrated its essential worthlessness. It has demonstrated that it has the moral character of a sea-slug and the professional conscience of the Treponema pallidum spirochete.
I do think the sea slug may have been libeled here.
Read the whole thing at esquire.com