Journalism Sources

September 29, 2006 by  
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You may remember hearing about BALCO in the news a few months ago. Then, you may have heard about the news, in the news, about BALCO, in the last week.


BALCO was involved in a drugs-in-sport scandal where a large number of professional athletes were alleged to be involved in the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The two journalists who investigated and broke the story eventually published a book about it.

The baseball player/s (and other sportspeople) who continue to hit harder, throw faster and recover quicker? Playing for millions, no sanctions, role models for all the kids out there who see what it takes to make it to the top.

The journalists who broke the story? 18 months jail time for not revealing their sources.

For more information about the BALCO decision in the US:

Lost RemoteEditorial: Demand the shield law NOW

Lost RemoteBush administration opposes federal journalist shield law

Romenesko – Points to this article and says, Watchdog journalism won’t die if BALCO newsmen jailed.

BALCO – at Wikipedia


September 29, 2006 by  
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Apart from the US senator who is afraid of the internet, the following references to online activity don’t make sense to me. And yes, I’ve seen and/or heard them.

  1. internets – how many was that?
  2. interweb – I guess it makes as much sense as intraweb, but I don’t like it. Having said that, it reminds me of:
  3. WWW page – it’s just a webpage now, brother.

Equally, when someone is giving a web address, things can get weird:

them: Alright, you ready? It’s H-T-T-P-colon-forward slash… are you okay?

me: What? Oh, yes, I’m just weeping for humanity. Please, continue.

All of that gibberish, and the idea for this post, came while writing my assignment for Mass Media in MS-Word. Microsoft says the correct spelling is capital “I”, Internet, as does the World Book Dictionary. To me, that’s on a par with the above-mentioned instances of unfamiliarity. What say you, dear reader?

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Cloven Liver

September 28, 2006 by  
Filed under News

The State Coroner says Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley was responsible for the death of Palm Island man Mulrunji Doomadgee in November, 2004 after he had “punched him so hard he almost cleaved his liver in two”.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson believes “there are no grounds at this stage to suspend any officer”.

The Police Union president also supports Hurley, saying the coroner had gone on a “witch hunt designed to pander to the residents of Palm Island rather than establishing the facts”.


Riots in Palm Island followed the release of the first coroner’s report that said the injuries Doomadgee suffered were “consistent with a fall” (Judy Spence in link below).



September 27, 2006 by  
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Two people helped me out today.

Recharge n Copy gave me a free ink cartridge refill for my Lexmark X1170 – just because the last cartridge they refilled (for a price I was already happy with) was scratched and had been printing poorly. The new cartridge is the bee’s knees. Great customer service, thanks. By the way, there’s nothing on their home page, but they’re at Everton Park in Brisbane, if you’re looking for a good deal.

Express Powermac got my 1Gb memory delivered to my front door, two days after ordering it online. Fast and easy, and also helpful on the phone when trying to decide between delivery or pickup. Sweet, 1.25 Gb RAM – DDR SDRAM, that is (like I know the difference).

Thanks guys, for making my day easier. This has been a sales pitch by Dave.

Googled by Belgium

September 27, 2006 by  
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Five days ago I posted about Google’s legal dispute with a newspaper in Belgium.

Yesterday, Google responded on the Official Google Blog.

Feed burning

September 27, 2006 by  
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Perhaps my low visitor numbers were due to my RSS feed looking a little funny in Feedburner.

Thanks to Mike for kicking me into gear. I knew the email subscriptions hadn’t been coming through, but hadn’t even noticed the absence in my RSS reader.

Have I lost you all yet? Okay, things are back in order. You two on email subscriptions will hopefully get the 10 post backlog flooding your inbox soon. Enjoy!


September 25, 2006 by  
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I mentioned a month ago how questions should be asked when a blog that basically doesn’t exist anymore gets almost the same number of visits in a week as a blog (that’s this one, if you were wondering) where some effort is put in.

Last week “almost the same number of” became “more”.

Fondness of Absence

September 25, 2006 by  
Filed under Media

Whether in the military or registered as a citizen abroad, Americans get their ARMED SERVICES OR OVERSEAS BALLOT sent to them in the mail.

Often when I get these ballots there is no way to return them by the election date, since international postage delivery times don’t seem to be taken into account when they send them in the first place. And they tell me, in the material included, that whether or not you vote, it’s illegal not to return the ballot.

So I pay the $1.85 international postage and dutifully put in my votes for sheriff, county auditor, and town school board, to name the few I vaguely remember. I have no way of knowing the people I’m expected to choose between, they’re just text on a ballot slip as far as I’m concerned. They could just as well put Mickey Mouse down as a candidate for all I care. But I know Mickey Mouse – so I’d probably vote for him.

So there’s absentee ballots by mail-in, but what’s next? Electronic touch screen was used in the last presidential election, and I can imagine online voting being used in the future. Apart from security issues to do with the possibility of hacking an election – and that’s probably the biggest issue I have – I’m also worried about perceived affiliations. Just because I voted for someone once doesn’t guarantee my vote for life.

I first registered to vote for the presidential election between John Kerry and George W. Bush – 2004. It just so happened that I registered through a Democrat-affiliated organisation that was trying to mobilise the international American community. I didn’t count on the town school board being thrown into this voting bargain.

I don’t really have any concrete political affiliations. I wouldn’t vote Republican simply for the fact that they are not Democrat, or vice versa. The same goes for my Australian voting habits in relation to Labor, Liberal, Democrat, Family First, Greens or an independent.

I would argue I vote with my conscience, having taken into consideration the facts (as tenuous as that term in politics might be) as they present themselves. That’s the way democracy should work if you believe the public should actually understand the issues their vote affects. If not, then continuously voting for one particular party without care or consideration for ambiguous personal beliefs, like ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, is the way to go!

But that’s just me, and everyone brings their own ideas to the conversation. I’ll come back to online voting, and my secondary issue with it – affiliation. My point is somewhat lost, since my main example that follows isn’t online or electronic voting as such, but I’ll finish anyway.

I received an email from President Jimmy Carter three days ago. He asked me to go visit a website and request my own absentee ballot online, so I could submit it on time and guarantee my vote is counted.

To quote the beginning and end:

Dear Fellow Democrat,

On November 7, Americans throughout our land will vote in mid-term elections for the House and Senate.


Thank you for doing your part to ensure a brighter future for America in the world.

President Jimmy Carter

Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to make sure my vote counts, but perhaps ‘Dear Fellow Concerned Citizen’ would have been more appropriate.

I’m not Democrat or Republican, Labor or Liberal; I’m a concerned citizen with the unique privilege of having the opportunity to exercise my democratic right in two different countries at the same time. So don’t count on my association with, or support for, any one party. I reserve the right to cross the floor, in any direction I choose, to cast a conscience vote as and when necessary.

When the pen becomes a sword

September 24, 2006 by  
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Is plagiarism horribly unethical, synonymous with journalism, or simply a case of sloppy attribution?

For the most part, sloppy attribution is to plagiarism as manslaughter is to murder. It’s a serious offense but not as grave.

Actually, since the plagiarist knows where the material is coming from and accurate attribution is easily achieved, sloppy attribution is merely an attempt to obfuscate. As journalists – equally as bloggers – laziness should be no excuse. Sloppy attribution is plagiarism and, to continue with the analogy used in the quote, first degree murder on the grounds of premeditation.



September 23, 2006 by  
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Cconvergence matters. Whether you’re an ISP, television network, cable news company, movie studio, record label, mobile (cell) phone company, newspaper, local radio station or local television station, take notice.

Steve Safran at Lost Remote can tell you who’s screwed, and who’s got a fighting chance; but be sure that nobody is immune from the changes to come.


September 22, 2006 by  
Filed under Pictures

Crap. Our goldfish, Ariel, has been in a bad way for a couple of weeks. Today she’s not moving at all, and I thought she was totally gone. Currently madly searching for cures for fishy illness.

Ariel, in happier times.

Have it your way

September 22, 2006 by  
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Belgian newspaper complains about being included in Google News search results, and gets a court ruling that their results be removed. So Google removes them – from every possible search result.

Only searching Google? Sorry, but Belgian newspaper Le Soir doesn’t exist anymore for you.

Inside Google

UPDATE: I should have been more specific, if it wasn’t so obvious. They haven’t just been taken off the Google News search results, as requested; their results have been eliminated from any type of Google search, news or otherwise.


September 21, 2006 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Hop to it. That’s the feeling at the moment with my four assignments and 10,000 words to write in the next week. It’s possible one can wait, with only a 1% loss of marks per day….
Anyway, my assignments are:

  1. Are you inclined to trust what Augustine tells us about himself in his Confessions?
  2. Were the Merovingians really ‘do nothing kings’ (les rois fainéants)?
  3. Are transitional administrations a form of new imperialism?
  4. Mass media lies at the heart of industrialised culture. Discuss.

Now, up until this point I’ve spent over a week on Augustine – hard going. The last two are the easiest, and the second is the one that can be late, so things aren’t so disastrous.

Visited Countries

September 20, 2006 by  
Filed under Pictures

I thought I’d travelled more. Apparently I’ve visited only 9% of the world’s countries. The map gives the false impression that I’ve been to Alaska and the far reaches of the northern Canadian wilds. I have not.

It’s also obvious that Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East are in serious need of my presence.

Create your own visited countries map

Canine Earthlings

September 14, 2006 by  
Filed under News

My sources pass on to me this bit of information from an Animal Agriculture Alliance press release.

HSUS’ Pacelle Commits to Redoubling Anti-Agriculture Efforts

Against agriculture, but for canines! Pacelle also advocates Canine Americans be the new term for that animal commonly referred to as “dog”.

Do they so arrogantly assume all dogs have no pride and simply want to be American? They advocate for dogs, yet crush the canine rights of the German Shepherd, Afghan Hound, Belgian Malinois, English Spaniels of all varieties and the Finnish Spitz just to name a few.

And I’ll be damned if I would stand for any Australian Terrier, Cattle, Shepherd, or Kelpie Sheep dog being referred to as a Canine American!

This meeting continued to reflect the major changes in the animal rights movement shown in the last few years. The majority of the audience had a professional demeanor and was dressed in business casual attire.

I can only guess that their point is to make the distinction with the unwashed masses of dreadlocked, unstable hippies they’re used to attracting.

Not that there’s anything wrong with unwashed, dreadlocked and unstable hippies – they’re cool, but who are they aiming at by stating that in the press release?

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