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Posts uit februari 3, 2008 weergeven

Watch Out Wikipedia

'The problem with Wikipedia and bias

By Tim Anderson

The popular online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has come to play an important
role in informing and also shaping public debates. Yet as a Florida-based,
US creation, it brings its own baggage to those debates.

US corporate media sources (Time, CNN, Fox, and so on) are privileged as
reliable and "neutral" sources in Wiki entries, despite the fact that many
of these bodies are intimately involved in many of the most contentious
public debates, such as privatisation, intervention and war.

The online tool Wikipedia Scanner also demonstrates that Wiki is heavily
edited by powerful organisations, such as the CIA, the Vatican, US
government funded agencies, news corporations, banks and embassies.

Yet perhaps even more important is the role played by Wiki's 1,000
administrators, who have "special powers" to edit and summarily remove
content, determine what constitutes Wiki's stated policy of a "neutral point
of view", …

De Commerciele Massamedia 112

Het niveau van de mediakritiek is erbarmelijk laag in Nederland. Hieronder een voorbeeld van de website 'de nieuwe reporter.' Waarom zouden Nederlandse journalisten niet serieus over hun vak kunnen nadenken en Britten en Amerikanen, Duitsers. Fransen en Italianen wel? Zou het toch door het veel geroemde poldermodel komen? Ik beodel, hoe is het in godsnaam mogelijk dat een absolute lichtgewicht als Larous hoofdredacteur van het NOS-Journaal werd?'Hans Laroes en Gerard Dielessen over Hyves, Twitter en de oorlog met spindoctorsKirsten Verdel
Hans Laroes (hoofdredacteur NOS Journaal) en Gerard Dielessen (directeur NOS) waren begin februari in New York om met verschillende omroepen, zoals bijvoorbeeld CNN, te praten over ontwikkelingen op multimediaal gebied. Beide heren bezochten tijdens hun tour door the Big Apple de PvdA-afdeling New York. Elke paar maanden organiseert de ongeveer 80 leden tellende afdeling een dinner & debate avond, waarbij gediscussieerd wordt met Neder…

De Commerciele Massamedia 111

'MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

February 7, 2008


Exchange With The Independent’s Hamish McRae

In Part One of this alert, we noted an observation made by Hamish McRae, economics columnist at the Independent:

“Bankers, like the rest of us, make mistakes, but the scale of the mistakes, particularly in US banks, has been enormous.” (McRae, ‘The markets are bad, but don’t panic just yet’, The Independent, January 23, 2008)

We asked him why he talked merely of “mistakes”, adding:

“Why are the terms of your analysis so narrow; so skewed towards the perspective of financial power?” (Email, January 23, 2008)

As an alternative, we suggested a few observations made in Part One; in particular, that the current economic system is both innately unstable and destructive. We asked McRae why he appears to reject such a rational analysis. On the same day, he wrote back confusingly:


De Commerciele Massamedia 110

Sonja maakte me attent op het volgende:

'Our media have become mass producers of distortion
An industry whose task should be to filter out falsehood has become a conduit for propaganda and second hand news

Nick Davies
Monday February 4, 2008
The Guardian

Here's a little example of what I call Flat Earth News. In June 2005, Fleet Street told its readers about a gang of feral child bullies who had attempted to murder a five-year-old boy by hanging him from a tree; the boy had managed to free himself. This story was not true. Indeed, it was obviously not true from the moment it started running. There was the commonsense problem that even a fully grown man with 10 years of SAS training who found himself hanging by the neck would have the greatest difficulty in reaching up and lifting his entire body weight with one hand while using the other to remove the noose. How would a five-year-old boy do it?
More than that, there was the evidence in the story itself. From the first day, the poli…

De Israelische Terreur 315

Deze informatie die de Nederlandse media verzwijgen, stuurde mijn vriend Jeff Handmaker me vanochtend:

'Commissioner-General's statement on UNRWA and Palestine refugees in today's context
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
The Hague,
The Netherlands

Thank you, Director Rade, for your kind words of introduction, andgood afternoon to you all.I very much appreciate this opportunity to speak to you and exchangeviews on one of the most testing international issues of our day. Themajority of the 4.4 million registered Palestine refugees, for whom myagency is responsible, are located in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the WestBank and Gaza. Yet for many complex reasons, the Palestine refugeeissue transcends the geographic borders of the Near East, preoccupyingthe Foreign Ministries of the European Union and beyond, and consuminga considerable amount of diplomatic time and resources.The Palestinian question is quintessentially international in nature.It impinges on the principles, law and practice…

De Israelische Terreur 314

In het voorbijgaan zag ik vanochtend, ik geloof in de Volkskrant, een voorpagina-artikel over Hamas die weer met terreur zou zijn begonnen. Dat is nieuws. Het gekke is dat de terreur van Israel nooit gestopt is, maar kennelijk geen nieuws is. Misschien omdat de Volkskrant-correspondent in Israel, Alex Burghoorn, voor het CIDI optreedt, een volgens Haaretz "pro-Zionistische lobbygroep", waarvan een bestuurslid meewerkt aan de bouw van de, volgens het Internationaal Gerechtshof, illegale muur op bezet gebied. Hoeveel Burghoorn daar al dan niet mee verdient weet ik niet, maar uit zijn berichtgeving blijkt in elk geval wel hoe weinig onafhankelijk hij is. Daarom maar weer eens echte informatie over de Israelische terreur uit een serieus tijdschrift, The Nation. Informatie die de Nederlands commerciele massamedia doorgaans verzwijgen:

' "Gaza is on the threshold of becoming the first territory to be
intentionally reduced to a state of abject destitution, with the

The Empire 352

De hoofdaap heeft gesproken, de parlementaire pers en de correspondenten hebben als lakeien gefungeerd en nu het echte verhaal.

'The State of Whose Union?
by Nomi Prins

Earlier this week, speaking for Washingtonia and unburdened by high expectations, President Bush said “all of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people’s business.”
The question remains - exactly which people? And what business, Mr. Bush?
Because if it’s the majority of the population, and it’s life not war, we’re not even close to having it carried out.
He acknowledged, “at kitchen tables across our country, there is a concern about our economic future.”
The question remains - our? Who do you mean by ‘our‘, Mr. Bush?
Because for three-quarters of the population’s kitchen table concerns are over gas costs, health insurance, debt payments, tuition, and home values. For nearly 24% of the population, depending on what race you are, the issue of paying for one’s next meal and balancing child-care with multiple jobs is…

Irak 238

'Baghdad ''drowning in sewage''
Article from: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Baghdad

BAGHDAD is drowning in sewage, thirsty for water and largely
powerless, an Iraqi official said today in a grim assessment of
services in the capital five years after the US-led invasion. One of three sewage treatment plants is out of commission, one is
working at stuttering capacity while a pipe blockage in the third
means sewage is forming a foul lake so large it can be seen "as a big
black spot on Google Earth," said Tahseen Sheikhly, civilian
spokesman for the Baghdad security plan.

Mr Sheikhly said water pipes, where they exist, are so old it is not
possible to pump water at a sufficient rate to meet demands - leaving
many neighbourhoods parched.

A sharp deficit of 3000 megawatts of electricity adds to the woes of
residents, who have to rely on neighbourhood generators to light up
their lives and heat their homes.

"Sewerage, water and electricity are our three main …

Nederland en Afghanistan 159

'Insurgencies Spread in Afghanistan and Pakistan
by Jonathan S. Landay

WASHINGTON — Islamic insurgents are expanding their numbers and reach in Afghanistan and Pakistan, spreading violence and disarray over a vast cross-border zone where al Qaida has rebuilt the sanctuary it lost when the United States invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.
There is little in the short term that the Bush administration or its allies can do to halt the bloodshed, which is spreading toward Pakistan’s heartland and threatening to destabilize the U.S.-backed governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO forces are facing “a classic growing insurgency,” Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday.
But the U.S. military, stretched thin by the war in Iraq, is hard-pressed to send more than the 3,200 additional Marines the Bush administration is dispatching to Afghanistan. The growing insurgency there is fueling rifts within the NATO alliance as Ge…

The Empire 351

'Tomgram: William Astore, In the Military We Trust
Hardly a week passes in which we don't hear about what the fallout from two disastrous wars is doing to the overextended, overstrained U.S. military, not to speak of the problems the armed forces are facing in retaining and recruiting members. Recently, there have been reports on a startling rise in war-related suicides, figures that "could push the Army's overall suicide rate to its highest level since [it] began keeping such records in 1980"; on a possible link between the concussions one in six American combat troops suffer from roadside bombs in Iraq and a heightened risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder or a variety of other ailments; on another lowering of recruitment standards ("th! e percentage of new recruits entering the Army with a high school diploma dropped to a new low in 2007…"); on increasingly over-deployed, ill-equipped, ill-prepared Reserve and National Guard units that may…

Nederland en Afghanistan 158

NATO Allies Divided on How To Tackle Growing Afghan Crisis
By Raymond Whitaker
The Independent UK

A spate of reports in the past week has warned that Afghanistan risks becoming a "failed state" and that there will be a "humanitarian disaster" unless aid and military efforts are better co-ordinated.
Not only are there public disagreements in Nato over military strategy, but Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai is ever more reluctant to co-operate with certain Western nations.
Britain is smarting after Mr Karzai vetoed Lord Ashdown's appointment and criticised the performance of UK troops in Helmand.
Remarks by the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, who said other Nato members were less skilled in counter-insurgency, caused fury in Britain and Canada, which is threatening to pull out its troops if reinforcements are not provided.
A demand by Mr Gates that Germany should move troops to the combat zone in southern Afghanistan was leaked last week, causing another fur…

The Empire 350

'Bush Legacy: Setting a Standard in Fear-Mongering
By Richard A. Clarke
The Philadelphia Inquirer

When I left the Bush administration in 2003, it was clear to me that its strategy for defeating terrorism was leaving our nation more vulnerable and our people in a perilous place. Not only did its policies misappropriate resources, weaken the moral standing of America, and threaten long-standing legal and constitutional provisions, but the president also employed misleading and reckless rhetoric to perpetuate his agenda.
This week's State of the Union proved nothing has changed.
Besides overstating successes in Afghanistan, painting a rosy future for Iraq, and touting unfinished domestic objectives, he again used his favorite tactic - fear - as a tool to scare Congress and the American people. On one issue in particular - FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) - the president misconstrued the truth and manipulated the facts.
Let me be clear: Our ability to…

Israel en Nederland

'Dit rapport geeft de feiten en achtergronden van de wapenhandel tussen Nederland en Israël.
Israël dat al tientallen jaren Palestijns gebied bezet houdt. Israël dat de Palestijnse burgerbevolking onderwerpt aan een militair regiem dat gepaard gaat met grove schendingen van de mensenrechten en dat het leven van de gewone Palestijnse burgers al decennia lang volledig ontwricht.
Israël dat zich het recht toekent zijn tegenstanders zonder enige vorm van proces te liquideren en dat er niet voor terugdeinst zijn vernietigende militaire kracht los te laten op de bevolking van zijn buurlanden, zoals in Libanon in 2006.
Het conflict tussen Israël en Palestina betreft niet een strijd tussen gelijkwaardige partijen. Israël is in militair en economisch opzicht oneindig veel sterker dan het opgedeelde en vertrapte Palestina.
Israël heeft zich de laatste jaren ontwikkeld tot één van de belangrijkste leveranciers van wapentuig in de wereld, tot één grote bedrijfstak in diensten en producten op het…