Monday, December 11, 2006

“Fauxtography” Smackdown

Instead of giving out journalism awards, some are dealing out “the worst of” this year.

For the full article with photos click here.
Note/apology to readers: Unfortunately, blogger.com is not allowing me to upload any photos at this time, which is very frustrating--and takes so much away from this entry. Apparently that's what I get for free blogging.

Here are some examples of the biggest winners or losers according to HonestReporting.com:

Worst Director: Salem Daher, a.k.a Abel Qudar, or “The Green Helmet”
Daher is Lebanese civil rescue worker. He was said to be instructing cameramen to pose with casualties as well as having a body re-loaded into an ambulance for effect so he could re-capture the moment.

Worst Newspaper Caption: New York Times
The caption which ran in along with a series of other photos suggested the man pictured was dead. Bloggers wondered how a man killed in the strike could look so very much alive in the slide show's other images. HR said “Ironically, the Times had Hicks' correct caption for the same photo in a separate report on July 27. The Times issued a correction and apologized to Hicks for the bungle. In October, Hicks explained to Photo District News his view of the affair.”

Worst Cartoon of the Year: Martin Rowson of the Guardian
“The day after publishing this nasty cartoon, The Guardian apologized, but only because the Jewish stars in the illustration ‘might have been interpreted as implicating Judaism rather than the Israeli government in the present conflict.’”

Sympathy for the Devil Award: CBC
HR reports, “When the CBC aired a sympathetic interview with the family of Samir Quntar about the possibility of the Lebanese terrorist's release in a prisoner swap (watch the interview here), they all but ignored the brutal attack that landed him in an Israeli prison, and didn't bother interviewing any relatives of his victims. After HonestReporting-Canada took action, the CBC followed up, interviewing Smadar Haran Kaiser, the woman whose family Samir Qantar murdered (watch the follow-up interview here).”

Dishonest Reporter of the Year: Adnan Hajj
Hajj was given this title because he was reportedly caught altering a photo of explosions in Beirut. Mike Thorson uncovered this on a Little Green Footballs blog. He said in reference to another photo altered by Hajj that more destruction was inflicted by the IDF than what really existed.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Freedom of expression can get you canned

As I was just about to delete an email I received from MonsterTrak.com, I saw the heading “Keep your E-Image Clean.” So, I kept reading, and found that my paranoia about employers checking me out online was justified. MonsterTrak gives examples of people who had supposedly been sabotaged by their secret online lives:

A chemical engineering student at a university in the Northeast was eliminated from consideration for a job opening after a company recruiter Googled the student's name, discovering, among other things, that he liked to blow things up.

A student at a school in the Southeastern US was being courted by a small business owner for a key position -- that was until the owner saw the student's Facebook profile, which featured explicit photos and stories about the student's drinking and pot smoking.

A recent graduate of a small upper Midwest university was only a few weeks into her first postgraduation job when the boss called her into his office. He had discovered the young woman's personal blog, where she had been writing in detail about how miserable she was in her new position. She soon became a former employee.
MonsterTrak’s Career Coach, Peter Vogt, suggests that if you think you have potentially damaging materials on let’s say MySpace or Facebook, to take them off. He also said you should check the written content in your blog, making sure it is appropriate for professional eyes.

What if an employer reads a potential employee's blog and finds that their opinions differ from their own? How can that person know why they weren’t hired? Should people now censor everything they put online, making sure it doesn’t “offend” anyone? The line seems a bit blurry here.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Are Muslims being unfairly singled out?

Recently there have been incidents in which Muslim individuals have been singled out and detained for what seems to be acting out in public. Two examples in the news recently include a Muslim student found in the UCLA library who refused to show a required identification card to UCLA security. As a consequence of his refusal, he was tasered five times and arrested.

Another recent incident was the “Minneapolis Six,” who made a scene on a U.S. Airways flight bound for Phoenix. The event occurred Tuesday, November 21, just before the Thanksgiving weekend. FrontPageMagazine.com reported six imams, three of whom bought one-way tickets and did not check luggage, as “praying loudly and spouting some kind of anti-U.S. rhetoric regarding the war in Iraq and Saddam Hussein,” according to airport spokesman Paul Hogan.

The imams proceeded to sit in separate sections of the airplane. They all asked for seatbelt extensions, functioning with as what appeared to be behavioral similarities to the 9/11 hijackers. After being removed from the aircraft, they were questioned by the FBI, but no formal charges were made against them.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for an investigation of the event, claiming it was discriminatory action. In addition, the imams are instigating a boycott of the airlines.

Why would they act with such shady behavior if they didn’t want to be singled out? What were the motivations behind their actions? Why would anyone act with this way in an airport post 9/11 if they didn’t want to get caught and leave a message?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

News Coverage and the Web

The Boston Globe reported twelve high school students were expelled from Edwardsville High School in Illinois. Unlike the Globe, The Edwardsville Journal reported the incident without mentioning a key element—that the fight was orchestrated through MySpace.com.

The Edwardsville Journal reported that “School officials heard about the potential conflict from other students at the school, while the Boston Globe maintained that school officials said the fight was arranged on MySpace.

Why did the Journal leave out this fact? Is the mainstream media overly concerned with occurrences happening on the Web, instead of the events themselves? Does this indicate that some news sources are trying to place blame on social networking sites when altercations like this arise?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Selling/Giving away Children on Craigslist

This morning, as I was searching the CNN.com Web site, I saw a video clip about a five year old boy who was posted on Craigslist by his estranged father. The post ran, “Free to good home, 5 year old boy.”

In a November 11 article by Ben Charny on eweek.com the writer said that an ad posted by a California woman who was attempting to sell her four year old daughter for five hundred dollars was still posted on Craigslist days later.

Charny reported, “Craigslist founder Craig Newmark said the Martinez Police never contacted the company during their investigation, which led to the woman's arrest Tuesday on child soliciting charges.”

When law enforcement was questioned about contacting the site, Charny said “It may not have been necessary in this case. Plus, in general, law enforcers still chafe at the plodding pace of Internet companies acting upon official, or unofficial, requests for help or information. Often, it just isn't worth the wait.”

What else is being sold on popular Internet Web sites, and how can webmasters help prevent transactions like this from happening in the future? What will prevent people from selling sex, drugs, or stolen organs? Should there be more checks and balances on sites like Craigslist that give users complete control and power over information and ads posted online?

To watch the video, click the "More Law Video" tab to watch the on the CNN.com Law section.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

JDate from Hell

I know that I am supposed to do a post right now that is web journalism related, but I read/heard something today that is just too good/hilarious/outrageous to pass up. Here is the low down. A guy, Darren Sherman went out with a girl to snazzy New York restaurant "China Grill." The poor girls name is Joanne (last name not shown). They met on popular Jewish online dating service, Jdate.com.

This truly is the date from hell. If you want to have a hearty laugh click here, read all of the dialogue, and make sure to listen to ALL the phone messages left on Joanne's machine by Darren.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Anchors and TV news executives looking to young blogger for news

How did Brian Stetler become so famous among big shot TV news people? Yesterday, there was a front page article on Stetler and his widely popular blog, tvnewser.com. The 21 year old Towson University student is now a news source for top anchors like Brian Williams from NBC news.

In the article, Stetler pretty much tells his readers to calm down. He said that he has a life outside of posting the most current new updates, and that he is trying his best. I found it pretty entertaining, and am curious how this young student initially got recognized.

To see The New York Times article click here.

What does it say about journalism that The New York Times is printing articles about journalism instead of real news on the front page? Are we (journalists) that obsessed with ourselves? Or, am I overacting?