Posts from March 11, 2004

Security

Security
: Amy Langfield spent hours in the subway with a TV crew doing a story on the blackout (and the moblog pictures she took). At the end, some cops kicked the crew out of the subway. We have permission, they said. Not anymore the cops said:

Apparently this is a new rule, “because of what happened yesterday,” the cop says.

“What happened yesterday,” I ask.

“Madrid,” the cop answers.

Well, that’ll tell ’em!

Well, that’ll tell ’em!
: The UN issues a “strongly worded” resolution condemning the terrorism, blaming it already on ETA. How do they know?

: A commenter below reminds us that the French were searching their train tracks only a few days ago. What did they know?

Another 11th

Another 11th
: I went through the World Trade Center today. It’s never a routine trip, no matter how often I take it: always bringing back memories, always sobering, always sad, always angering as the PATH train bends around a corner and I look across the huge field of destruction and death down there. Today was a bad day, for I thought of the thousands of victims and their families in Spain, targets of more senseless, evil, inhuman — every adjective is inadequate — terrorism. I am sad for them. I am angry for them. I support them as they begin a period of grief and rage we know, too. Not much more to be said right now, but God bless you.

Bastards

Bastards
: They’re calling it Spain’s 9/11:

There was no advance warning of the attacks. At first, the Spanish authorities blamed E.T.A., the Basque group that has been seeking independence from Spain for more than three decades.

Later today, however, the Interior Ministry said the police had found a van with detonators and an Arabic-language tape of Koranic verses, according to news agencies, and that it was considering all lines of investigation.

An Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds al-Arabi, said it had received a claim of responsibility for the train bombings issued in the name of Al Qaeda.

The five-page e-mail claim, signed by the shadowy Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri, was received at the paper’s London offices. It said the brigade’s `death squad” had penetrated “one of the pillars of the crusade alliance, Spain.”

“This is part of settling old accounts with Spain, the crusader, and America’s ally in its war against Islam,” the claim said.

They want a crusade, let’s give ’em a crusade.

Blowing up media

Blowing up media
: Mary Hodder is writing some killer posts on a group blog for a media conference/thinktanky thing happening out on the West Coast that I would have attended except that I had scheduling conflicts and also suffer from chronic conferencephobia.

In my favorite post (so far), Mary’s notes describe for one of those break-up-into-workgroup sessions the concepts they’re grappling with:

-information networks or communities of people exchanging news, information and conversation emerge as the principal means of learning and discovery. Macro and micro Know/Trust Networks will likely eclipse traditional, informed intermediaries and gatekeepers as trusted sources of information

-all news and information will at some point be virtual, digital and mobile.

-individual’s exert unprecedented power. Individual contribute to and participate in the creation of portable, immediate and continuously updated news and information.

Most of that is known turf here: We the individuals exert extreme (and new) control. We demand immediacy and portability. We trust our friends here often more than we trust the people we’re supposed to trust (the big, old guys).

But this was the sentence that hit me as a wonderful way to express the bigger idea, of relationships taking over as the essential glue of media:

Information networks or communities of people exchanging news, information and conversation emerge as the principal means of learning and discovery.

Right. Our fellow members of what used to be known as the audience sometimes report and more often edit — and frequently fact-check — for us. They provide content, context, value, trust, marketing, distribution.

For years, newspapers wanted to be your friend. But in this world, your friends are your newspaper.

This is just a restating of screeds that have been issued before, and I’ve issued plenty of them: News is a conversation.

I look forward to reading more from out there.

: I tried to leave this as a comment on the conference blog but TypePad kept barfing it back at me. (Computers are editors, too.) If I had left it there, I would have said hi to many, many folks from my checkered past. So, hello.

Blog mo

Blog mo
: Matthew Gross has gotten his personal blogging mo back, post Deanspace. He decrees today:

The First Commandment of the Blogosphere

Thou shalt not use the word snarky anymore. I mean it. You have overused it. It has grown irritating. I gave you language. Use it.

Sincerely,

God

What are the other nine?

The Democracy Store

The Democracy Store
: Britt Blaser (noting my call for Howard Stern to get a weblog and more for his movement) proposes a clearinghouse for political-action software: The Open Republic. Good idea.

The Defensive Index

The Defensive Index

: I was listening to NPR news last night as I drove home and heard their report on Bush’ speech in Ohio. “Bush defended his…” they said. And I realized I hear that constantly. The lead wasn’t “Bush proposed….” or “Bush declared….” Support him or now, I want to hear what he has to say, what he’s going to do. But by putting him on the defensive, it’s a negative spin, of course.

So I went to GoogleNews and did a search:

> Bush defended – 5560 stories

> Kerry defended – 2800 stories

The same ratio applies at Newsbot. Of course, as a sitting President, Bush has to “defend” a whole government; Kerry has less to “defend.” But still, it’s a tiresome spin.