Keyword: blogging. “Need to link to a New York Times article from your weblog? Enter your link here, and we’ll give you the weblog-safe link”
Keyword: Online Journalism. The Education Guardian reports on the SpinWatch website, what looks like an excellent resource for journalists. Written by researchers, journalists, and, now, anyone who wants to post, it aims to expose “hitherto unknown – or undeclared – links between organisations.” There is some editorial control: the founder, David Miller, professor of sociology at the University of Strathclyde, says “All articles must have their sources checked and verified by the vetting committee before they are allowed to appear on the site.”
Another quote from Miller make a compelling case for journalists using the site:
“You [The Guardian] ran a story about a report from the International Policy Network claiming that climate change was nowhere near as bad as had been previously thought,” he says. “What you didn’t say is that the IPN is a small company … that has received a $50,000 (£27,000) donation from Exxon, the US oil giant. If your readers had been made aware of this, they might have read the article somewhat differently.”
On a related subject, check out this book about how science, the media and public opinion is manipulated by industry. The page is on the PRWatch website, an organisation dedicated to monitoring the PR industry, and a site well worth exploring.
Keyword: Online Journalism. Cautionary – but quite amusing – tale of how two rappers from Scunthorpe duped the Sun and femail.co.uk into running a piece saying they’d been signed to Eminem’s record label. All they had to do was create a fake website.
Keyword: Design. The New York Times reports on how a wave of design-oriented blogs are influencing the design world – and gives a good selection of examples.
Keyword: Blogs. Academics increasingly using blogs for teaching, says the BBC. Tell us something we don’t know.
Keyword: Online Journalism. The BBC reports accusations from Iran that the US government ordered an American internet service provider to stop hosting the website of an official Iranian news agency, The Iranian Student News Agency (the site’s in non-roman characters, presumably Arabic, so will take some time to display on Western browsers).
On a related subject, the company has also confirmed that it is introducing a TV search facility that allows user to search the text of the show. There are plans to eventually include internet-based video in the search too.
Is that all? No. Here CNET report on Google hiring the lead programmer of Firefox, fueling speculation that the company intend to launch a web browser.
Expect to hear future rumours such as ‘CNET hire cleaner – gcleaner.com address already registered’…
Two great articles from Chris Sherman – the first is a good overview of reference websites, the second his New Year’s search resolutions, including stopping using the Google toolbar (and instead using Firefox’s excellent search plugins) and seeking multiple ‘opinions’ (search results). With the latter point he points out two great sites: Thumbshots’s ranking tool allows you to compare sites’ ranking across search engines (more about this here), and Jux2 runs a search simultaneously on three engines, showing common results.
PS: For a good overview of more specialised search engines, see this page.
“The charges … include a belief that standards of veracity and even simple comprehension are lacking; that factual reporting has given way to tendentiousness within reportage itself; that the demands of complex issues are deliberately ignored, far beyond the demands of constricted space or time; that stories of crisis, failure, scandal and personal hatred are the norm; that official or corporate narratives better packaged and more insistently pressed than ever now slip unexamined into news reporting. Because of these practices, trust can no longer be placed in reporting; and as a result of that, both the institutions of democracy and the observation of human rights can suffer.”
Given the amount of design theft that goes on in web design, it’s good to see this site providing a number of open source design templates for people to use for their webpages – and there’s general web design info here too.