Al Jazeera and real journalism

A little addendum to my earlier post on Bill Keller, The New York Times, and real journalism: for a prime example of real media courage, Keller would do well to look to Al Jazeera, which not only was the first major network to cover the Tunisian protests and lend the movement instant worldwide credibility, but has also continued to broadcast in Egypt, despite all attempts to shut it down, block it, and revoke its press credentials.

Hard to believe, but the NYT hates being upstaged by Julian Assange

Bill Keller is the executive editor of The New York Times. On Wednesday, January 26, his article for the Magazine, “Dealing with Assange and the WikiLeaks Secrets,” was published, detailing the behind-the-scenes process of his newspaper’s collaboration and eventual falling-out with the enigmatic vigilante journalist.

Keller’s implicit message, however, was impossible to miss: Julian Assange is a reckless, harmful individual whose self-delusion and visions of grandeur belied his inability to produce real journalism — a task which, of course, is ostensibly exactly what The New York Times does on a regular basis.

Except for when it doesn’t. As I read Keller’s piece, I was often astonished at his utter lack of introspection — from both a personal and professional perspective — as well as his defense of some very questionable decisions made by him and his staff. Here, below, are a few of my thoughts, in no particular order: Continue reading

Home sweet security state

The Republican Party, in an effort to reduce the size of government and return civil liberties to the American people, has proposed recording users’ online browsing history and IP addresses.

Wait, what? Not only does that stand in stark contrast to their stated values, it also happens to directly contradict their opposition to data aggregation by online behavioral targeting firms, who essentially do the same thing but with more restrictions against using personally identifiable information. Apparently, only the U.S. government is above the law (something I suppose we should’ve learned already from the Bush years).