December 31, 2007

Bureaus and freelancers: Imporant to news coverage

December 31, 2007
Most Networks Scrambled to Get People to Pakistan After Killing


ABC and CNN were the only American television networks that had full-time employees in Pakistan when Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister, was assassinated Thursday.

The significant time lag between her death and the arrival of Western correspondents forced the networks to hustle and improvise. NBC, MSNBC and Fox News Channel relied on phone reports from freelance journalists in Pakistan.

These freelancers, commonly called stringers, are local journalists who live in far-flung cities and are kept on retainer by news organizations.

CNN was the only network based in the United States that had a full-time producer at the site of Ms. Bhutto’s rally on Thursday. The producer, Mohsin Naqvi, spoke with the opposition leader hours before the attack and provided reports on CNN by phone throughout the day. CNN sent its anchor, Anderson Cooper, to Pakistan so he could do his nightly show from there on Friday.

Twelve hours after the attack, the NBC and CBS evening newscasts led with reports from correspondents in Washington and London. ABC led with a report from its full-time producer in Islamabad, Pakistan. By Friday morning, each network had at least one correspondent in the country.

Despite the continuing war in Afghanistan and the unrest in Pakistan, no United States television network other than CNN maintains a permanent bureau in either country. This is partly because it is so difficult and dangerous to keep employees in volatile parts of the world, but it is also a reflection of budget cutbacks, which led the networks to close many foreign bureaus in the 1990s.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks reversed some of those cutbacks, but since 2003, most networks have had to devote their international budgets to covering the Iraq war, said Andrew Tyndall, publisher of a newsletter that tracks evening newscasts. His data indicates that after Iraq, the biggest overseas stories on network news in 2007 emanated from Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.

Among the broadcast networks, “they don’t have permanent bureaus in any of them,” he said. BRIAN STELTER

December 30, 2007

Gammar Girl Scores Again

Thought you might enjoy this parody of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

December 17, 2007

Pew survey on identity management

The Pew Internet & Ameircan Life Project have a new study (as of 12/16) on our Internet footprint. Just how many of us really understand how much information about us is circulating around the Internet.

Digital Footprints: Online identity management and search in the age of transparency

December 12, 2007

Five reasons a Christmas tree is better than a man/woman

This is from a friend in Hong Kong.
He is clear these have been making the rounds for a number of years. Still, they are funny.
So read these over and have a happy holiday.

Five Reasons why a Christmas Tree is Better Than a Woman
5. You only have to dress a Christmas tree once a year.
4. You don’t have to talk to the tree about your relationship with it.
3. A Christmas tree is happy with cheap plastic accessories.
2. When it gets a bit old and tatty, you just leave it outside on the curb and someone takes it away.
And the number one reason why a Christmas tree is better than a woman:
If you want a Christmas tree you go out and grab one, tie it up, and throw it in the back of your car.

Five Reasons why a Christmas Tree is Better Than a Man
5. A Christmas tree smells better
4. A Christmas tree only drinks water
3. A Christmas tree never tries to get into your bed and suggests "trying something new".
2. You can make a Christmas tree cute by covering it with tinsel
And the number one reason a Christmas tree is better than a man:
A Christmas tree doesn't get mad if you stand on one of its balls.

December 11, 2007

What does "free press" really mean?

World 'divided' on press freedom
By Torin Douglas Media correspondent, BBC News

In some countries people do not trust the mediaWorld opinion is divided on the importance of having a free press, according to a poll conducted for the BBC World Service.
Of those interviewed, 56% thought that freedom of the press was very important to ensure a free society.
But 40% said it was more important to maintain social harmony and peace, even if it meant curbing the press's freedom to report news truthfully.
Pollsters interviewed 11,344 people in 14 countries for the survey.

In most of the 14 countries surveyed, press freedom (including broadcasting) was considered more important than social stability.

REst of story: