June 24, 2005 by  
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I should have followed up ‘The Plan’ yesterday with an update. I’m officially on holidays (vacation to you Americans) after handing in my last assignment yesterday! Jubilation and glee.

Last night Kate and I went out for dinner at Punjabi Palace at West End. Or is it South Brisbane? Anyway, their curry is some sweet you-know-what. Their new location is pretty good, beginning a new tradition of curry-embedded paint, furniture and cockroaches, AND there was no sign of the old Kama Sutra artwork! There went half the evening’s fun.

You may have also noticed another journalism quote below, this one by Gandhi. Not so daily a quote ‘update’, but there you go.

Sunday night Kate and I are off to the coast for four days, so there’ll be no blogging, but I may have pics when I get back. Well, I will have pics, whether I show any to your sorry butts is another matter altogether!

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June 24, 2005 by  
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Pacifist my ass.

“I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”

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Everything they could want

June 24, 2005 by  
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In response to criticism of Guantanamo Bay and the treatment of prisoners there, Vice President Dick Cheney says,

“They’re living in the tropics. They’re well fed. They’ve got everything they could possibly want.”

Except perhaps their homes, families and freedom… Admittedly the majority of them may well be hardened criminals/terrorists, but that’s no reason to torture them. And call me hard to please, but ‘living in the tropics’ and being ‘well fed’ would not be enough to keep me happy when torture’s thrown in.

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The Plan

June 23, 2005 by  
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If I was a regular student – if – this would be the post where I express unbridled joy at completion of my final exam and tell you all about my upcoming weeks of FREEEEDOOOOMMMMMM!!! As William Wallace would cry.

But no, I am not a regular student. I have just arrived home from lifting about 1,000kg. That’s right, my job is essentially weightlifting. Problem is, while my final exam was out yesterday afternoon, I have an assignment yet to finish. There is also a very special woman, whom I have let down, needing some lovin’. And so this is the plan.

  • have a quick shower
  • write a 2500-word assignment between 1 am and 6.30 am.
  • go for a run at the university gym
  • send text message to beautiful girlfriend asking where and what time she needed help shopping
  • hand in assignment
  • meet girlfriend
  • hijinks and hilarity ensue (and some kissin’ if I’m lucky!)

Sounds like a winner fellow travellers. I must away. There’s work to be done, and no sleep to be had!

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Minor blip

June 21, 2005 by  
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As I write this the next visitor to this blog will be the 4000th. Give yourself a pat on the back. I’ll be back soonish with the usual hi-jinks and fun.

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June 17, 2005 by  
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So I got through Globalisation and International Political Economy (yesterday’s exam) and now have French at 8am tomorrow.

– Parlez vous francais?

– uhhhhhhh. Non. Rien. D’accord, je parle en peu, mais tres mal.

Yes, I am screwed, but I’m posting about it, which means I’m thinking about it, which can never be a bad thing I say (in English). After the holidays, when I quit my 8pm-1am three-night-a-week job, things will change I tell you! Really. They will…

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Serial blogger

June 15, 2005 by  
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I was just thinking, with 12 hours and 12 minutes until my exam that’s scaring the crap out of me, “Am I becoming a serial blogger?”

I visit these blogs regularly. Other than my regular haunts, there are a few others that I also check quite often. I comment on most, and in some cases have exchanged personal emails.

Email – the ‘next step‘ in the strange development of friendships in blogland.

Recently, by pure coincidence I had a real-life encounter with Allister from last stop, and posted about it.

Chuck, with whom I’ve exchanged several emails over the last 12 months, sent me a t-shirt while he was still with caliblog, and when he recently shut down his blog and redirected to his friend Pete with no explanation, I sent him an email to see how he was doing.

It’s all a little weird, sometimes. So I typed in serialblogger.blogspot.com just to see if it existed, and what sort of things they blogged about. One post in 2003? Not so serial after all.

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Going to Israel

June 15, 2005 by  
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Now before you get your hopes up thinking I’m going to do something really exciting, I’m not the one going to Israel. According to a friend a lot of people read my blog, and so he asked me to ‘publicise’ the plight of this Canadian, celestial blue, who is trying to raise money for a trip to Israel. She is selling bracelets at US$12 each. Now that I’ve posted, I may have to give in and order one. Okay, so I’m a sucker. Perhaps you really love Israel, or are a sucker like me, and can help her out by buying a bracelet or in some other way. That’s what this post is about.

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Censoring Chinese Blogs

June 15, 2005 by  
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Microsoft censors Chinese blogs. Some words and phrases banned:

  • freedom
  • democracy
  • demonstration
  • human rights
  • Taiwan independence

Along with Microsoft, Yahoo and Google restrict what people can search for and read online. But this is the problem of doing business in China.

“If you want to deal with the Chinese, you have to deal with their rules,” said William Makower, CEO of Panlogic a marketing consultancy with operations in China.

“It is all very well to have high-minded ideals about how you want the Chinese to behave, but opposing China is going to be counter-productive.”

Counter-productive to what? Free thought? The free expression of ideas? The freedom of religion? Human rights? No, counter-productive to none of those things. By counter-productive, what he really means is counter-profit.

Next I’ll be talking about the damn capitalists and sounding like a communist. But then I wouldn’t be able to blog this in China now, would I?

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Scorpions – Srebrenica video

June 13, 2005 by  
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If you haven’t heard about the video, I will explain very briefly. A video taken by members of a Serb paramilitary unit, the Scorpions, was shown recently to the ICTY in The Hague as evidence against former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic. The video showed the execution of 17 Muslim civilians in Srebrenica. Despite up to 8000 civilians being massacred in Srebrenica, a recent survey in Serbia showed half of Serbs don’t believe the event even took place.

This video has, however, shocked a lot of people. It’s amazing what some visual stimuli can do. The tape showing the execution was aired on Serbian TV a day or two after being presented as evidence against Milosevic.

I get a few daily emails from the Media Center in Belgrade, one of which is “Press clipping on media coverage of other media,” a daily roundup of news about the media. This post was inspired by what I saw in the ‘Media on Media’ email a few days ago.

Broadcasting of War Crimes
Source: (Nin, page 15 / June 10, 2005)

Nin (newspaper) published an article about broadcast of the tape showing execution of Muslim civilians from Srebrenica. Nin wrote that TV B92 aired 8 minutes out of 26 minutes of the original tape, whereas RTS (Radio Television Serbia) aired 20 seconds of the footage. Aleksandar Tijanic, RTS General Manager argued that according to the international journalism Code of Conduct, broadcasting of the very act of murder was not acceptable. Miroljub Radojkovic, Professor of Belgrade Faculty of Political Science contended that there was no general rule regarding the broadcasting of murder scenes, except for the warning for the audience.

Exactly. The “act of murder” and the murder scene are two very different things. Many nightly news reports, perhaps not on commercial news but definitely on SBS, are preceded by warnings about graphic images where necessary. The act of murder isn’t shown, but dead bodies or injured people may be. Sometimes it needs to be to wake people up to the fact that these things are really – really – happening. In a country where people don’t believe something like this happened its shock value needs to be employed. When you have government and military officials who make it their priority to continue to misinform their populace about the truth behind abhorrent actions you need a free media willing to buck that trend. Unfortunately in Serbia many media outlets continue to contribute to the misinformation not out of ignorance of the truth but through the willful obfuscation of it. This from the video article first linked to above:

Few Serbian broadcasters made much of the report and the print media did not put the gruesome images on their front pages.

Svetlana Lukic, a journalist from B92 journalist [sic], told IWPR, “The media is predominantly nationalist and wants to play down and minimise this horrible event as much as possible.”

To show only 20 seconds of footage allows not only the news reader, but also the uncomfortable viewer, to move to a new topic on screen and in thought. Eight minutes of footage of an event like that forces the viewer to watch what is taking place in shock and horror. Another article tells how B92 withheld some of the additional footage that showed torture of the victim because it was “too disturbing”.

Is it ethical then to force viewers to watch for eight minutes? There is no compulsion involved. If a warning has been given every viewer has the opportunity, if they can shake themselves out of stupefaction, to simply change the channel. I would like to think, however, that any viewer with a conscience would realise what they were seeing was simply the smallest exposition of the lies they had been fed. Questions begin to be asked. Free thoughts begin to form. Dialogue begins. B92 should be proud.

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June 11, 2005 by  
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So lazy I’ve used ‘Procrastination’ as a blog title before, and can’t come up with anything better now to define my current assignment situation. I was about to say something along the lines of,

“If there was an award given for procrastination, I would surely win it!”

But that’s a cliché, so I won’t. Know where I’m going tonight? I’ll give you three guesses.

– No. Not the journalism student’s bar crawl.

– Nude interviews?! What? Funny, but I already told you I’m not going on the journo student’s bar crawl. Better make the last guess a good one.

– Nice guess, but Kate and I aren’t going out for dinner. Are you ready?

A BUSH DANCE!! I would at this point make reference to my lack of enthusiasm that would make you laugh while still thinking perhaps I wanted to go. But I can’t.

Okay, maybe I can come up with better words than ‘procrastination’ to define my current assignment situation. Hopeless. Doomed to fail. Corby-like. It’s probably not that bad but not working on it doesn’t contribute to its completion. Funny how that works.

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G.K. Chesterton

June 11, 2005 by  
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In my haste to not finish my assignment, I forgot to provide yesterday’s quote about the Not-So-Noble Profession. I know you’ll all be devastated, but I will not make it up by showing a second today. One quote for you.

“Journalism consists largely in saying ‘Lord Jones died’ to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.”
G. K. Chesterton

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The Meeting

June 9, 2005 by  
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Today I had the pleasure of my first live meeting with a fellow blogger. It was an entirely unplanned and coincidental affair and this, my friends, is how it happened.

En route to the Royal Brisbane Hospital I noticed my car was emitting some nasty odours. I thought I may need to put in some oil or coolant but thought, heat’s not so bad yet, I’ll wait till I pick my sister up. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case turned out to be, while waiting at the lights to turn into the hospital, I noticed the temperature gauge had in fact shot up, and was almost already in the red zone. EMERGENCY! I thought. Luckily right next to these lights is a BP service station, and I whipped it in.

I wandered inside to use the facilities while the car cooled down and noticed out of the corner of my eye some young fellows looking at me, but paid no heed. I wasn’t going to stare anyone down in a show of machismo. To the toilet with me. As I exited the restroom however, I was surprised to hear, “Dave!” from behind me as I walked away.

“Was that someone I knew?” I wondered to myself. I cautiously looked around the corner to see a familiar face.

He repeated, “Dave?”


And there you have it. My first live meeting with a fellow blogger. It was sweet, and can I say, glad to have met you in person Allister. Sorry you didn’t have your phone there to immortalise the moment. Plus, when I’m famous, you could have flogged it off.


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George Bernard Shaw

June 9, 2005 by  
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While making a long overdue visit to Testy Copy Editors, I followed a link to quotes about journalism presented by the Melbourne Press Club. As a lazy form of blogging I will choose one I enjoyed and present it daily. The practice will continue until either all have been presented or I tire of the exercise. Enjoy.

“A newspaper is a device unable to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of a civilization.”
George Bernard Shaw, writer (1856-1950)

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June 8, 2005 by  
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Human Rights Watch has released a report on the massacre in the Uzbek city of Andijan.

The BBC page also has many useful links if you want to find out more.

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