This week’s new links & changes:
Russia Today Utne Reader Southern Poverty Law Centre The Atlantic Wire Business Spectator, Egypt, social media and the rise of ‘clashmobbing’ PR disasters White House, Better buildings initiative Engineering News-Record story Architectural Record ArchNewsNow
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6 February 2011:
You know what’s going on in Egypt because you see TV, you see newspaper stories… And along comes Russia Today, the Russian Government-sponsored multi-media business (web, and an expanding global TV audience). As Intelligence Report writer Sonia Scherr’s article was headlined in an excerpt on the Utne Reader website, it’s The conspiracy channel, with a larger staff than Fox News, a worldwide Russian TV network spreads a unique brand of anti-American propaganda. Is it biased – or more biased than mainstream Western media?
The first story I looked at today, This is how democracy happens – the West on Egypt, reads in the style of the London Telegraph – clipped, straight to the point but, yes, the slant is different. The next one, Patriot Act prolongation prompts privacy debate, highlights the very obvious contradiction of this act from the day it was born post-September 2001 attack on New York – slashing freedom to protect freedom.
None of these news outlets is about property or even business in particular. What they do emphasise is how hard it has become to find balance – you can now get all your news from a source of your political persuasion – and, equally, how hard it is to evaluate whether you’re getting balance or bias.
The one comment on the story on the Utne Reader website about “the conspiracy channel” read like it came from Russia Today’s editor, and there was no more comment over the next 4 days (reminding me how lonely contributors to my own forum are): “I am as far from a ‘patriot movement’ than anyone, yet when I want to know what’s really going on in my own country, I watch RT. I have found our corporate mainstream media in the US to be full of spin, or garbage about Paris Hilton. RT tells it like it is, and anyone that really keeps up with reality will see that right away. Our media is fine for those hypnotised or brain-dead, but I just can’t stomach it. I see through the spin and sometimes outward lies instantly. Sometimes it’s hard to face the truth of what our foreign policy does around the world, but I’d rather deal with reality than pretend like we are always the good guy….”
The Utne Reader except was from Intelligence Report, a quarterly published by the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which is “a non-profit civil rights organisation dedicated to fighting hate & bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society”.
Links: Russia Today
For another view of the world, The Atlantic Wire’s newsletter offers a spread of 5 columnists/day (not the same 5 every day). It’s US-centric, but the website’s editors describe it as “your one-stop portal for opinion news”.
Link: The Atlantic Wire
And how did I get on this wandering track? Clearing the inbox of the many bits & pieces I sift through daily, before putting out the first pages of the U column for the weekend – some light international relief helps…. First up, on Business Spectator’s weekend edition, this article caught my eye: Egypt, social media and the rise of “clashmobbing”. At first I thought it was a take on “flashmobbing” – rent-a-crowd turning up at a shop or some other place. But no, it went right back to the football hooligans of the UK in the 1970s – an intriguing piece throwing light on where & how change can occur, and explaining better than my assumptions on why the Egyptian Government closed down the internet.
On Business Spectator there was a link to PR Disasters, the website of the author of this “clashmobbing” article, Gerry McCusker. Now that’s one I must return to.
Another of today’s pieces which got me going was an item on President Obama’s state of the union message about his Better buildings initiative because it was based on subsidy, which always masks the real cost and often leads to bubble-type spending. Apart from that point, it’s handy to know what ideas are emanating from the US on advancing building efficiency & reducing costs. The story came via Engineering News-Record & Architectural Record, and then ArchNewsNow
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