Archive for April 13th, 2004

Branching Out


In the run-up to the Sure-to-be-Fabulous BloggerCon
, our thoughts
and best wishes are with Dave Winer and his merry band of Berkman Bloggers.
The Dowbrigade wishes we could be present in body as well as in spirit,
and will do our best to test the proposition that we can follow the proceedings
via the web from “anywhere in the world”. Dave’s hardware store is
somewhere in Eastern Mass (we were
we found
it). Good luck, guys…

Orientation and Accountability Among Journalists


One interesting and promising innovation we have noticed in news coverage here in Ecuador is that when reporters appear on-screen during the local and national news broadcasts, underneath their image appears both their name and email address. While we have not availed ourselves of this invitation to interact as of yet, it seems like a great idea, both from the point of view of accountability, and so that viewers can send in corrections, acclarations, related news leads or just plain old quality commentary (“shoddy reporting” “were you even there?” “go back to the cartoon channel!”).

We would take this one step further, and suggest that all reporters make accessible three vital areas of information which would allow an impressionable public to get a handle on where they are coming from and to fit their reportage into some kind of balanced matrix or model of what is really going on:

1) A list of and links to their recent reporting, arranged either chronologically or thematically, according to viewer preference.

2) A simple declaration of who signs their paychecks, including an employment history going back at least a few years.

3) An email address or other contact information for corrections and comments

These people are responsible for the information and opinions we use to formulate and evaluate our interactions with the real world. They must be held acountable in some way, shape or form!

In the case of on-line reporting, web editions of major newspapers or media organizations,this would be easy – a hyperlink connecting their names to the aforementioned information.  In print publications or broadcasts it would be a bit more involved but still simple – a URL on-screen or in print leading to the same data.

Flirting With Legitimacy


At the risk of being mistaken for a legitimate news source, we must
report that our article on Digital Democracy in South Korea has been
up and
republished by the Korea
, the #1 English language news source in
Korea, as well as Koreainfogate.

A Paradise of Detritus and Ducks


MIAMI, April 11 – A homeless man, Jose Montaner, built a home for himself
four years ago on an empty island beyond the Coconut Grove Yacht Club
in Miami. A movement
is now under way to evict him.

"I thank the Lord every day for this place," Mr. Montaner, who speaks
only Spanish, said on Thursday, easing into a wobbly kitchen chair on his beach. "Are
they going to leave me here, or are they going to throw me to the wind?"

His allies – and there are many among the small-craft boaters who launch from
the marina – say Mr. Montaner is not only harmless but also an exemplary resident
of Coconut Grove, a lush, affluent section of Miami where some of its original
pioneers settled. Some of the neighboring uninhabited islands are blanketed
with garbage, they said, while Mr. Montaner keeps his spotless.

Stuart Sorg, a Coconut Grove resident and member of the Miami Waterfront Advisory
Board, sees the situation differently. He wants Mr. Montaner off the island
immediately, especially after reading in The Miami Herald last week that Mr.
Montaner had been arrested for minor crimes in the past. "We’ve got to
go through that island and disassemble everything," said Mr. Sorg, who
has complained about Mr. Montaner to city officials. "This city has become
too sophisticated, too cosmopolitan for that type of thing."

Boy, that sophisticated, cosmopolitan Mr. Sorg sounds like a real piece
of work, doesn’t he? We bet he has some nifty plans on what we could
do with ALL of the homeless people in America, if he had his way.  Like
sending them all to Cuba, to be divided equitably between Castro’s prision
system and the holding pens in Guantanamo Bay….

the New York Times