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November 29, 2005

B1-3: Blogging Portfolio

This entry shows my blogging activity in EL250 from 11/5 to 11/30.

COLLECTION

Coverage:
Samuels, "Kindertransport"
Bolt, "A Man For All Seasons"
Wilson, "Fences"
Schnitzler, "Professor Bernhardi"
Schnitzler, "Professor Bernhardi" Acts 4-5
Kindertransport (SHU Production)


Depth:
Samuels, "Kindertransport" & Kindertransport (SHU Production)


Timeliness:
Kindertransport (SHU Production)


Discussions:
Bolt, "A Man For All Seasons"
Wilson, "Fences"

Wildcard
Dark Days for US Newspapers

Posted by DavidDenninger at 9:02 AM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2005

We The Media (Ch 11 & 12, Epilogue )

"The former audience has the most important role in this new era: they must be active users of news, and not mere consumers... Public officials will ultimately pay proper attention to the interests of their constituents, and not just to the industries that pad their campaign war chests."

More than a summation of the book, this statement is a prediction-- But will officials really pay attention their "everyman" constituency?

I headed to Boston over break, where I spent Thanksgiving with my girlfriend and her family. Her mother is the international editor of a major newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, and I ended up asking her about the effects of blogging, and the advent of "New Media Journalism." Her response was simply, "It will be interesting to see where blogging is five years from now." At first I thought her response to be skeptical- thinking that maybe her obvious bias for print journalism was clouding her better judgement- but realized that the lack of judgement was in fact mine.

Blogging is still in it's primordial state, and as we have seen from our (very reliable) News Writing class poll, a majority of us are still more likely to trust a print news source. In five years individual blogs may gain more sponsorship, credibility, and reader base than some newspapers. What will be "interesting" to see is whether these new "everyman" bloggers end up effecting politics and policy in the ways print media does today. Granted, this has already happened to some extent- aka the Drudge/Clinton scandal, but the best may be yet to come.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 9:25 AM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2005

We The Media (Ch 10)

We the Media: Here Come the Judges (and Lawyers)

This chapter's purpose was to inform the reader how, while new media journalism is on the cutting edge technologically, legally the same laws apply. Even a blogger can potentially be sued for libel, though it is not likely. The chapter discusses media-related landmark court decisions, as well as new legislation that both supports and detracts from the "freedom" of new media journalism.

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Risky Business

Anyone in the business of publishing, whether through online or print media, must do so responsibly and with the knowledge that they can be held accountable for their publication.

"While the Net is a medium that grants great freedom, it doens't exist in a vacuum. Law applies online and off, and people who intend to practice grassroots journalism need to keep that in mind... It's important to consider some of the legal issues that have arisen in the online sphere. Libel is only one... questions include copyright, linking, jurisdiction, and liability for what others say on your site." (p.191-192)

"Online journalists are no less required to follow the law than anyone else. A blogger who commits libel may have to face the consequences."
(p.192)

Gillmor uses Matt Drudge as an example, but notes how quickly Drudge set the record straight. A major advantage of Online Journalism is the "updateability," or instant editing possibility that print journalists never had. The reader no longer has to wait for the next issue to see a correction made, and can, in the case of blogs, even point out the mistake himself. In this way, blogs "advance journalistic freedom."

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Safeguards

Since online journalists can be held just as legally accountable as print journalists, what tools do they have to defend themselves?

Gillmor includes David L. Marburger's (First Amendment Law) two major principles as well as some commentary.

1) "Anyone who writes regularly on the Net about other people or institutions should try to be insured against libel."

2) "Writers 'should keep in mind who most often sues: people whose livelihoods depend on the goodwill of the public, who depend on reputation...ie: lawyers, doctors, government officials...companies.'" (p.193)

Marburger points out that most bloggers work under editors, or have specific critics. Without this "peer review" of sorts, bloggers are less likely to catch errors, or have the incentive to publish accurate reports. In class we have acknowledged that a large portion of the students are more likely to trust a print news source. This is the reason, especially when many blogs, "tend to be more about opinion than reporting." (p.194)

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Back to Legality

Opinions or "punditry" are hard to file as libel. So earlier, when Gillmor suggested that writing online is just as vulnerable to libel laws, he meant only if that source is claiming to publish unbiased news. Does this mean that a blogger can say virtually whatever he wants as long as he does so under the flag of opinion?

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Legislation Effecting New Media

The first major legislation discussed is the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Below are the applicable sections:

SEC. 230. PROTECTION FOR PRIVATE BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF
OFFENSIVE MATERIAL.

'(a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:

(1) The rapidly developing array of Internet and other
interactive computer services available to individual Americans
represent an extraordinary advance in the availability of
educational and informational resources to our citizens.
(3) The Internet and other interactive computer services
offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse,
unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad
avenues for intellectual activity.

'(b) POLICY- It is the policy of the United States--

(2) to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that
presently exists for the Internet and other interactive
computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation;
(3) to encourage the development of technologies which
maximize user control over what information is received by
individuals, families, and schools who use the Internet and
other interactive computer services;

'(c) PROTECTION FOR `GOOD SAMARITAN' BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF
OFFENSIVE MATERIAL-
(1) TREATMENT OF PUBLISHER OR SPEAKER- No provider or user
of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the
publisher or speaker of any information provided by another
information content provider.

Part C essentially means that if someone posts something libelious on another's blog as a comment, the owner of the blog cannot be prosecuted. I think that this section answers one of the questions from a previous class about the accountablity of Hosting Organizations. We were discussing how Hosting Organizations have the right to eliminate any one of their clients sites without warning, but I think that this means they can't be held accountable either. Of course, this act only applies to Hosting Org's based in the U.S.

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Matters of Jurisdiction

Because the 1996 Telecommunications Act only applies to United States, it's important to examine the policy choices foreign countries are making in regard to similar issues.

In Australia for instance, the courts have determined that their citizens, corporations, and government can sue someone who's based in the U.S. or anywhere else. They likened internet publication to actual distributed publication. "The ruling was a blow to the open nature of the internet."(p.197)

Posted by DavidDenninger at 4:03 PM | Comments (4)

Kindertransport (SHU Production)

Watching the SHU production of Kindertransport was much better than just reading the script. Katie Lambert brought up the point in class that some plays are more easily understood when watched. The scenes where Lil transitioned between time periods and conversations perfectly illustrated this point.

I can imagine the first time the producer director read through the script. I didn't mind letting them piece together the stage directions for me.

I thought that the actors all did a good job of portraying their respective characters, though the accents were sometimes questionable.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 3:00 PM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2005

We The Media (Ch. 3-5)

"First, Outsiders of all kinds can probe more deeply into newsmakers' businesses and affairs. They can disseminate what they learn more widely and more quickly. And it's never been easier to organize like-minded people to support, or denounce, a person or cause. The communications-enabled grassroots is a formidable truth squad.

Second, insiders are part of the conversation. Information no longer leaks. It gushes, through firewalls and other barriers, via instant messages, emails, and phone calls.

Third, what gushes forth can take on a life of its own, even if it's not true."

These, "three new rules of public life," are important to note. But are these advancements positive or negative. I think both, but the good outweighs the bad. The fact that information is free to all, and that every cause and person is now being held before the public eye, results in a more honest society. If everyone knows that they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes of any kind. However, as nice as this would be-- "Fear of punishment never made man truly honest." Also, the "big brother" similarity is frightening. The third point bring up how even unfounded information-- even straight out lies-- can have an effect on people. People should be held responsible for Libel on line, but the online community is so large, and the path of anonymity so accessible, it would be hard to enforce.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 11:15 PM | Comments (0)

Schnitzler, "Professor Bernhardi" Acts 4-5

Councillor: Certainly these gentlemen have every cause for gratitude towards your Excellency.
Flint: You are wide off the mark, Councillor. Gratitude is no factor in political life, it's more a matter of balancing accounts.

Flint is so absorbed in politics, and the "political" takeover of the institution that he thinks gratitude is simply a gesture of account balancing.

This issue of concern for the cause or concern for the company keeps appearing in this text. The corporate political side is discussed by those who are concerned for the company, and those who are more concerned with treating the patients and, as Dr. Jerz pointed out, following the hippocratic oath, are left behind in the pit of minority.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 9:31 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2005

We The Media (Intro, Ch. 1-2)

"The news is what we make of it, in more ways than one."

I like this idea. When the author is talking about how he checked various sources and pieced together his own version of the 2000 election controversy, I took it to heart. With bloggers like Matt Drudge constantly choosing a variety of news sources, and even mediums, both local and international angles can be covered.

The book is aptly titled, because we (the people) really are the media now. With the advent of weblogs and easily accessible and changable HTML, we can choose what makes news. We, without corporate agenda, are able to create our own news, expose scandals, and be activists-- all from home.

I like where this book is going-- and the mental doors it opens.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 9:17 PM | Comments (0)

Schnitzler, "Professor Bernhardi"

Priest: I, Professor, am commanded by my religion also to love those who hate me
Bernhardi: And I am commanded by mine—or by that which has settled into my heart in its stead—also to understand where I am not understood.

"Professor Bernhardi" was an unusual play. It took me awhile to understand where the play was going, and the frequent use of more complex language made it all the more hard to understand.

The line above shows that both men have compassion for the unknowingly dying girl, but neither will concede to the other's proposed action. While the girl doesn't know she's dying, the priest wants to administer her "final rights," but the professor doesn't wants her final hours to be happy ones, not reminding the girl of her fate.

I wonder also about the implications of her slowly dying from a failed abortion, and how that fact may empassion the priest's desire to perform the ceremony.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 7:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2005

"Dark Days for US Newspapers"

Here is an interesting story that I found today on www.drudgereport.com about the decline of print new sources and the new age of blogging and online news.

A future of empty doorsteps? Dark days for US newspapers


----------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's an update (11/15/05)

Web Site to Blend Journalism With Blogs

Posted by DavidDenninger at 6:40 PM | Comments (0)

Wilson, "Fences"

Wilson, Fences -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

"Some people build fences to keep people out and other people build fences to keep people in. Rose wants to hold on to you all. She loves you."

The whole play is about this. Metaphorically, society fenced out Troy from playing Major League baseball. In this way, Prejudices construct fences to keep people out. Prejudice begets fear, and those who are fearful construct fences to protect their own. When Troy disallows Cory from playing sports in college, he is trying to save him from the pain he experienced when his similar dreams were broken. Fences are founded in fear.


Posted by DavidDenninger at 5:02 PM | Comments (4)

November 8, 2005

Reverse Filmology

Check out this sick movie I made with some friends...

David Jump!

Wondering how we did it? Click below...

To get the spiderman / the force effect, we simply reversed the clip. This was obvious when I ate the banana, but also with all of the other clips. Everything was done backwards (including the roof jumping :)

Posted by DavidDenninger at 4:54 PM | Comments (5)

Bolt, "A Man For All Seasons"

Steward: "My master Thomas More would give anything to anyone. Some say that's good and some say that's bad, but I say he can't help it-- and that's bad... because some day someone's going to ask him for something that he wants to keep; and he'll be out of practice."

What an great foreshadowing line. At some point More's idealogy will get in the way of his generous nature.

Wolsey: "You're a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat on, without that horrible moral squint; with just a little common sense, you could have been a statesmen."

The method Wolsey uses to try to get More to take his side is complex, and this line is a set up. I enjoy how More's ideological side comes through when he debates,

"Well...I believe, when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties... they lead their country by a short route to chaos."

Wolsey may be more practical, but I like More's prespective. Wolsey after all, is the enemy.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 3:34 PM | Comments (2)

It Ain't Necessarily So (Conclusion)

The conclusion summarized the book-- of course.
The major points I got out of it were these:

"In the policy arena data are judged less by whether they are true or false than by whether they are useful or not."

Politicians and journalists alike want to make statistics and stories serve their own purpose.

"It follows that all parties in a political dispute like to proclaim the existence of scientific backing for their proposals. The production of numbers seems to justify politicians' claims, while obscuring any weakness in their arguments."

Journalists want a story that grabs the readers attention, and must fight the temptation to dramatize information.

We, as a news-reading society, must realize that some statistics and information can be falsified. Through miscommunication, corporate and political agenda, and false interpretation, information attianed through the news can be corrupt-- and is not necessarily credible.


Posted by DavidDenninger at 1:21 PM | Comments (1)

November 6, 2005

Samuels, "Kindertransport"

HELGA: "We all die one day, but jewels never fade or perish. Through our children we live. That's how we cheat death. Otherwise we're really finished."

Evelyn essentially kills her mother then. When she refuses to board the ship with her to America, and then virtually loses contact with her, she takes away the one thing Helga has left.

When Helga tells Evelyn what is happening, Evelyn cannot understand. In some ways I think that Evelyn is selfish, and in some ways Helga has lost perspective. Evelyn should realize the trauma her mother has gone through, and that she is the only thing left of their family. Helga should realize that Evelyn's life has been forever changed, and she has been raised by other people.

I didn't really like the play, because niether side tries to understand the other. They all just state their emotions instead of rationalizing with others' perspectives.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

AP Guide to News Writing (Ch. 9-10)

"The writer, having trained his eye to spot particulars with the intensity of a devout bird watcher, must come to the typewriter with a notebook crammed with them. And then have the discipline to use only those details that tell something about the subject. Details painstakingly collected are not easy to discard."

When we (as a News Writing Class) had to report on our first article, I chose the honors convocation. I remember watching closely and taking copious notes, and when it came to write my article, it seemed as if I barely had enough.

This is not because of some misconception of mine involving the word "copious," but rather a editing process. I cut out more than half the details I took notes on because they were not pertinent to the angle of my article.

I remember wanting very badly to include entertaining tidbits of information, but realizing that while entertaining, the information was useless in telling the story.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 8:48 PM | Comments (2)

November 3, 2005

Williams, "The Glass Menagerie" (Finish)

The arrangement of Laura's hair is changed; it is softer and more becoming. A fragile, unearthly prettiness has come out in Laura: she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting.

I think that in our version (that is meant to be read) this explanation not only foreshadows what is to come, but summarizes the play.

Laura becomes fragile and beautiful like one of her many prized glass figurines, but only for a moment. Jim kisses her, but then explains his engagement. Like the pieces in her "glass menagerie," when the light hits her, Laura is beatiful-- but the moment is fleeting.

Once glass is shattered, it can never be restored to its prior state-- and light refracts through it differently.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 3:41 PM | Comments (0)

Interview: Modern Racism

"I don't think racism is a problem anymore," says Bob Wishart. Bob thinks that what people call racism today is actually part of a bigger issue that is, "more the nature of difference, whether it be religious, cultural, or racial.

There has been much progress in the war against racism. The racism of old, where minorities were disallowed access to restrooms and restaurants, is far behind us. Bob doesn't think racism is completely gone, but he flinches when the subject is brought up, saying, "Racism is an issue, not a problem, that people use to gain the lime light." Besides the agenda of Civil Rights Activists though, is there merit to the idea that racism still exists?

Bob thinks that minorities are not treated fairly in the workplace and that, "stereotypes of IQ differences have been passed down for generations." Bob isn't condoning or justifying the effects of racism, just explaining their origin.

Colleges have argued the importance of racially balanced admissions, but are racial quotas a solution? Should the government be allowed to make such sanctions? Bob thinks that, "Anything the government mandates is taking away civil liberties." Bob is a Vietnam War veteran and so his perspective of government may be biased, though certainly still valid.

Bob's perspective is important because he has seen the fall of racism. Approaching 60, he remembers when the term "racism" was coined, and when the civil rights movement began. By him asserting that great strides have been made, to the extent that he thinks racism is obsolete, is comforting. He thinks that inequality exists between people because of differences and misunderstandings, which underscores out class discussion about classism vs. racism. I think that classism is a more daunting modern foe, and is based on the ignorance of people, which in turn spawns racism.

Bob sends a clear message that the largest steps towards equality have already been made, and other issues are more pressing.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

Problems with Restitution

Randall Robinson suggests in his article, "Thoughts about Restitution," that, "If… African Americans will not be compensated for the massive wrongs and social injuries inflicted upon them by their government, during and after slavery, then there is no chance that America can solve its racial problems-- if solving these problems means, as I believe it must, closing the yawning economic gap between blacks and whites in this country." Compensation is, however, an unattainable goal. It is important to balance the racial economic gap, but demanding the relinquishment of people's money and property because of century old events is preposterous.

Robinson says that in order for restitution, "The initiative must come from blacks, broadly, widely, implacably," which is true. Blacks must stop falling for the idea that because they were victimized in the past, it is not their duty to combat its effects. It is ridiculous to inspire a revolution based on gaining economic independence, and then suggest its first step to be getting money from other people. Further than ridiculous, it is unfeasible. The (white) American government would never subject themselves and their constituency to a major monetary loss in order to right something that no one living is personally responsible for.

While Robinson tells an extensive heart-gripping tale of the horrors of the white mans slavery, but he fails to mention that white men bought slaves from black slave owners in Africa. Are they to pay as well? Also he chooses not to propose a method for restitution payment, but rather asks, "Where is the money?" Large sums of money don't come from thin air, and if the government is paying for it, are whites to be taxed specifically until payment is complete?
Robinson's argument is interesting, but is more of a rant than a worthy statement. He suggests no solution in depth, and simply screams about injustice for pages, all without discussing the many sides of the issue.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)

Drama Portfolio 2 (5%)

This entry shows my blogging activity in EL250 from 10/1 to 11/4.

COLLECTION

Coverage:
Anonymous, ''Everyman''
Lindsay-Abaire, "Fuddy Meers"
Anonymous, York Corpus Christi Plays
Marlowe, "The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus" (up to act II)
Marlowe, "The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus" (act III - finish)
Shakespeare, "Hamlet" (Acts 1 & 2)
Shakespeare, "Hamlet" (Acts 3-5)
Ives, "Sure Thing"
Bohannon, Shakespeare in the Bush
Williams, "The Glass Menagerie" (Scenes 1-5)
Williams, "The Glass Menagerie (Finish)


Depth:
Bohannon, Shakespeare in the Bush

Interaction and Xenoblogging:
Entry on Katie's Blog
Entry on Dena's Blog
Entry on Sean's Blog

Timeliness:
Williams, "The Glass Menagerie" (Scenes 1-5)

Discussions:
Shakespeare, "Hamlet" (Acts 1 & 2)
Lindsay-Abaire, "Fuddy Meers"

Wildcard
Problems with Restitution
Interview: Modern Racism

Posted by DavidDenninger at 9:46 AM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Ch. 8 & 9)

"The problem is that we won't properly understand the trendline unless we realize that our measuring instrument has been altered..."

While the authors have beaten this idea into our heads, I am certainly more skeptical of statistics. I still realize their purpose, but especially those statistics that, if I may paraphrase, "draw short conlcusions about extensive research."

In chapter nine, Epstein's experiment caught my attention. I wonder if the results he found about people accepting good more easily is the inverse of what television news sources look for. It seems that while people like good news, bad news makes the headlines. I thought it amusing that the National Association of Social Workers brought charges against him for not getting the consent of the peer-reviwers he was studying. I think that he should conduct the experiment again and let them know he's studying them- see how the results change even more.

Posted by DavidDenninger at 3:52 PM | Comments (0)