Posts from March 19, 2004

Iraqi blogs a year later: Bugged

Iraqi blogs a year later: Bugged
: Zeyad isn’t writing about the anniversary of the war. He’s writing about the heat in Basrah:

Which brings us to the topic of mosquitos/fleas/bugs. Those adorable flying creatures. I remember once asking my parents when I was a bit young and innocent, something like “Why did God create bugs?”. Unfortunately nobody then had pointed me to the infamous book authored by Khairallah Talfah (Saddam’s uncle) titled ‘Three things God should not have created: Jews, Kurds, and mosquitos’.

Anyway, the last four nights have been terrible thanks to those restless godawful vampires.

: Zeyad also points us to an article by a member of the Baghdad municipal council telling us that we — U.S. media and authorities — are giving too much weight to the words of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani.

: Ays is writing about the anniversary of the war:

For all those who say that the war on Iraq was wrong and G.W.Bush or T.Blair depended on wrong information and their intelligence agencies were misled cause it depended on faulty sources regarding WMD …

Just tell me what

Calendar

Calendar
: I would have liked to have gone to the Politics Online Conference but didn’t know about it. Is anyone keeping a good calendar of such events? Anybody want to start a wiki for one?

Semitic chic

Semitic chic
: Headline of the week from the the Best Week Ever blog:

Haven’t the Jews Suffered Enough?

Guy Richie and Madonna are scouting locations in Israel for a “God-inspired” film based on the teachings of Kabbalah.

Oy, but the suffering never ends. From Jewsweek’s Yadayadablog:

In a radio interview with WABC’s Sean Hannity, director Mel Gibson said he wants to make a movie about the story of Chanukah. “The story that’s always fired my imagination … is the Book of Maccabees,” Gibson said. “The Maccabees family stood up, and they made war, they stuck by their guns, and they came out winning. It’s like a Western.” When Abe Foxman, the head of the Anti Defamation League and a virulent opponent of Gisbon, heard the news, he quipped: “My answer would be ‘Thanks but no thanks.’ The last thing we need in Jewish history is to convert our history into a Western. In his hands we may wind up losing,” he joked.

Packaged

Packaged
: Bob Stepno quotes a response to the big state-of-media report that just came out, this from Earl Wilkerson, exec director of the International Newspaper Marketing Association. Says Bob:

He summarizes some of the report’s conclusions this way: “We need more journalists, we need more editors to counter-balance all of that unfiltered blogging on the Internet, and media owners need to sacrifice earnings to do that.”

Not so, he says, at least not for newspapers. He thinks they have a bigger need for niche products, things like quick-read tabloids for the youth market. He goes on …:

“I would respectfully argue that publishing companies don[base ‘]t need more journalists. We need more editors, re-packagers, researchers, and consumer marketers. It’s easy to say we need ‘all of the above.’ Yet the abdication of news gathering by other traditional media, notably television, leaves newspapers in the unique competitive position of having by far the most ‘boots on the ground’ gathering news.”

I say that Wilkerson is right. This is a packaging medium. Most news sites are about packaging news from other sources. And weblogs are certainly about packaging news from everywhere. And that’s a wonderful thing: With all these great sources of news newly accessible, there’s a need for packaging. Packaging is value.

However, it’s still true that without money going to the core news sources to report, there’ll be no news to package. And that is an issue for the news industry and all of us.

Another convert

Another convert
: Thanks to other night’s NJ blogger MeetUp, NJ.com has a new blogger.