2006

December 31, 2006 by  
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Goodbye, 2006.

I entered the year with a 14-day-old marriage, and exit having experienced the joys and trials that come with those most important first 12 months of wedlock.

Some other things happened during the year, including university, the FIFA World Cup, and others, but they were all pretty much woven into those joys and trials already mentioned.

Speaking of trials, Saddam Hussein managed to steal the headlines to memorably finish off 2006 – his face plastered across New Year’s Eve newspapers the world over.

So farewell, 2006.

Christmas-time

December 22, 2006 by  
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Blogging has been a bit light on the past couple of weeks. It’s the silly season, where Christmas and its attempt to cheer seem to be able to take over the events that might otherwise fill my day.

We’ve purchased all our presents and decorated our new $20 tree. Isn’t it wonderful?

christmas tree

Bathe in its magnificence.

We’re down the coast for Christmas, so if I take the time to post anything between now and the New Year it will be some kind of miracle.

And so, to all and sundry, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Journalism in Iraq

December 21, 2006 by  
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From the Committee to Protect Journalists, 2006 was the deadliest year for the press in a single country:

In most cases, such as the killing of Atwar Bahjat, one of the best-known television reporters in the Arab world, insurgents specifically targeted journalists to be murdered

Slow going

December 20, 2006 by  
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This categorising of posts is a slower process than I had imagined it would be.

I haven’t dedicated to the task an appropriate amount of time, and so I’ve only just finished categorising the posts from April 2004, the first month of operations here at the Earley Edition.

A large part of the time was thinking up new categories. More will likely be added, but I’ll try to make them display in their proper tree structure in the sidebar.

The main benefit of that would be so that the different regions of the world are grouped under World Events, not just alphabetically with every other category.

Also to come are the old comments from when I was on Blogger. I have to import them by hand, which is also going to be a particularly long and drawn out process, but it will be done.

TIME’s Person of the Year

December 19, 2006 by  
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Dave
DAVE

Yes, that’s right, me!

And you, apparently. TIME says You, if you contributed to the phenomenon of the world wide web community, are one and all the collective Persons of the Year.

Steve Safran over at LostRemote thinks it’s a copout – The wussification of the TIME ‘Person of the Year’.

Dream Poncho

December 19, 2006 by  
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Apparently Pedro Ruiz and his Technicolour Dream Poncho got away this time, but authorities in Mexico have arrested Alfonso Barajas, a.k.a. Ugly Poncho.

Categorising

December 13, 2006 by  
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When transferring my content from Blogger to this site, none of my more than 500 posts at that time had any categories associated with them.

I will do my best to categorise the 491 remaining posts in the next week.

Until I have completed that, this post will serve as a placeholder at the top of that list.

Some journalism news

December 12, 2006 by  
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These are some articles I thought journalism types would be interested in.

From the American Journalism Review, there’s mainstream media falling in love with blogs.

Get a call centre in Mumbai when you ring for tech support? From the International Herald Tribune, outsourcing has been extended to journalism.

And finally, from Salon, what do you do if you’re a journalism student, but are afraid to ask the hard questions? You don’t have to. Get a job that doesn’t specifically involve the “hard, investigative research utilizing personal interviews with original sources”.

istockphoto

December 12, 2006 by  
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Quite a while ago I applied to become a photo contributor at istockphoto.com, and I completed that application last week.

Of the six or seven photos I’ve submitted so far, three have been accepted, which means I have started to build a portfolio of photos there.

These are royalty free stock photos, at very reasonable prices. Have a look at my portfolio of photos, such as it is right now, and hopefully there will be much more there in the future.

Casino Royale

December 8, 2006 by  
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Went to see Casino Royale last night on the IMAX screen.

It was sold out for the opening night, and on the way into the cinema we were handed surveys that a Sony representative asked us to fill out afterwards.

With a microphone from the front of the cinema, she informed us the same survey would be done internationally, and as some of the first people in the world to see the movie, these surveys would be on London’s desk by the morning.

Well, the excitement was palpable. Our very own special mission for London! We felt a part of the secret service before the movie even began. We didn’t, but we could have!

The movie was brilliant. Almost non-stop action, as you would expect from a Bond film, believable bad guys and mostly believable stunts.

I loved it. It was much more realistic than the Pierce Brosnan movies, which had far too many kitschy extravagant toys that I found a little far-fetched.

After the movie, it was back to the survey. There were some general questions about comparable quality of the movie, but also personal questions about Daniel Craig, such as whether or not he was a good Bond, or whether the survey participant saw him as ‘sexy’, ‘rugged’ or other such things.

As it asked to tick all that apply, I felt compelled to go with ‘Attractive, but not my type’.

We’re off to the beach for four days today. Enjoy your weekend!

Prison relief

December 5, 2006 by  
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In the pantheon of ‘marginally morally sound ideas; realistically not good ones’, comes this from Kenya:

allAfrica.com: Plan to Free Inmates Living With HIV/Aids

Said to be so that they can “have quality life with their families instead of being left to die in prison”, it may in fact be an ill-conceived plan for reducing inmate numbers in congested prisons.

Congestion which is, according to Kenya’s Vice-President, “encouraging immoral behaviour amongst inmates”.

Kenya’s Council of Imams thinks it’s a bad idea because prisoners will return to criminal activity with no fear of imprisonment.

And a brief editorial in The Nation makes a good point: will the prisoners being released to their families be checked to make sure they actually have families to go to?

Suck it

December 4, 2006 by  
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We bought a cheap vacuum that I have occasion to use on a semi-regular basis around the house. Despite having recently done a bit of vacuuming with it, on borrowing my parent’s long-serving Amway vacuum cleaner, the difference was marked.

One vacuum cleaner sucks, evidenced by the amount of dust collected in this before and after shot. I would guess at several litres of the stuff.

The other sucks not so much – or at least it didn’t suck those several litres picked up by the first.

Walkley Capers

December 1, 2006 by  
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I don’t know if Australian journalism is regarded by international consumers as any better or worse than their own. For most people, it would never even be a consideration but, like news everywhere, it’s what you see that counts.

A thousand stellar stories may be told through print, online, or broadcast, but not many people outside our shores are likely to see it, or care. Unless there’s EXCITEMENT, that is!

Last night at the Walkley Awards, Australia’s version of the Pulitzers, a journalist who writes for several News Limited publications attacked a well-known online journalist.

Stephen Mayne, founder of the independent online news site Crikey.com.au, was presenting an award when Glenn Milne, a prominent political journalist, mounted the stage. While drunkenly abusing Mayne, Milne managed to push him off the stage before being restrained, and was then ejected from the event.

Now there’s excitement for you. Unfortunately, this is the ‘newsworthy’ face of Australian journalism the world gets to see. Earlier this year it was one journalist pulling a gun on the other outside a pub. Oh, those drunken Australian rogues!

Crikey! News Limited journalist makes a night of it – The Age

Columnist shown exit after attack – Sydney Morning Herald (with a nice picture of Milne being escorted out by security, for the voyeurs amongst you).

The Age and SMH are Fairfax papers, The Australian is News Limited. At the moment I can’t see anything about this on The Australian site, but it is on news.com.au, again with some pictures, and even the embedded YouTube video action.

Interestingly, the Fairfax wording is that “the audience, which consisted of a representation of Australia’s top journalists, looked on horrified”.

In contrast, News describes the reaction as “an audience of the nation’s media elite erupted into laughter”. Because, after all, it was just a bit of fun, yes?

Fairfax also described how Mayne considers he may have injured himself, whereas News confidently refutes that with, “the uninjured Mr Mayne dusted himself off and paid tribute to his detractor”.

I look forward to seeing how Crikey reports the event when their story goes online later today.

As a partially related aside, it’s good to see that, while the Walkley’s don’t offer any ‘online’ award categories, it at least recognises their existence by allowing an ‘online’ representative to present an award.