1/28/2010 3:41:04 PM
In this beautiful piece of media criticism, British journalist Charlie Brooker pulls together the most annoying and inane clichés in broadcast television reporting. From the annoying vox-pop commentary to the meaningless animated charts, Brooker shows how TV news is able to show a lot, without saying anything.
(Thanks, The Awl.)
1/27/2010 4:36:22 PM
The architecture magazine Dwell always strives for aesthetic heights with its often dour and stark photographs of beautiful, expensive homes. The blog Unhappy Hipsters pokes some good-natured fun at Dwell’s photos by writing pithy captions that turn each photograph into a story with just a few words. According to the blog’s tagline, “It’s lonely in the modern world.” It’s also pretty funny.
Source: Unhappy Hipsters
1/26/2010 9:16:50 AM
Ciné Institute is the only film school in Haiti. It was founded in 2008 on Haiti’s southern coast and serves Hatian youth. The school was flattened by the earthquake. The gear that survived has been put to good use. Here’s a compilation of (sometimes graphic) footage shot by the students of Ciné Institute:
(Thanks, Global Voices.)
1/22/2010 11:13:09 AM
Astute readers have been writing in to ask about the status of Frank Killick, the 24-year-old Haitian-American featured in our January-February issue who had never set foot in Haiti when he was deported to Port-au-Prince after being convicted of a minor crime in Florida.
We don't have an answer yet. However, Amy Bracken, who profiled Killick, has been reporting from Haiti for PRI’s The World. The experiences she’s been relaying from Port-au-Prince are unlike any others I’ve heard and worth a listen. Here’s an excerpt from a recent dispatch:
The only act of violence that I saw was at a cemetery when a man was furious that the man burying his daughter wasn’t paying enough attention to burying his daughter and he was all over the place burying other people as well and that got a little bit sketchy and I was actually at a nearby funeral and members of that funeral ran over to try to break up the fight. Which I think shows that tensions are high but there is also a strong effort on the part of a lot of people to keep things calm.
Source: The World
1/20/2010 4:36:35 PM
Both CBS and CNN sent about 50 staffers to Haiti in the wake of the recent earthquake. Fox sent 25. ABC, NPR, newspapers, websites, and other media outlets all sent their own reporters and photographers, too. Meanwhile, nurses and search-and-rescue teams were stranded in the United States—ready and waiting to help the Haitian relief effort—unable to get there because of transportation bottlenecks. Once in the country, reporters need to find places to stay, supplies for their reportage, and places to eat. Based on admittedly anecdotal evidence, Noam Scheiber writes in the New Republic that these media personalities inevitably raise the price of goods, occupy valuable places to stay, and take resources away from the Haitian relief effort.
And the journalism that has emerged from the army of media that has descended upon Haiti has been largely redundant. To curb the deluge of media personalities, Scheiber suggests the creation of a “disaster pool” of reporters, who would share their reportage with all the major networks. Just as with White House coverage, where a single interview is often used by many news outlets, smaller teams of reporters could be sent to disaster-stricken areas to cover the story for multiple networks. The news is still broadcast throughout the world, and more resources go where they’re really needed.
Source: The New Republic
Image by Nehrams2020, licensed under Creative Commons.
1/20/2010 4:11:52 PM
You've no doubt heard about the prisoners who escaped Port-au-Prince's main prison just after the earthquake. The Lens blog over at the New York Times site features a slideshow of photos by Damon Winter, who visited the vacant prison.
“Who were they?,” ask the Lens bloggers...
Were they among the machete-wielding pillagers who made their way along the Boulevard Jean-Jacques Dessalines on Saturday afternoon? (The account in The Times, “Looting Flares Where Authority Breaks Down,” said no one could answer with certainty.) Did their numbers include political prisoners? In “Disaster Imperialism in Haiti” on MRZine, a Socialist Web site, Shirley Pate wrote: “Who knows how many of the dead or escaped prisoners there were those who were incarcerated without cause over the course of the two years that followed Aristide’s departure?”
Damon Winter’s photographs answer none of these questions. They don’t mean to. But they do begin to paint a picture of life inside a Haitian prison; a picture that few people have ever seen before.
(Thanks, Prison Photography.)
1/20/2010 9:16:54 AM
A year ago, journalist Anastasia Baburova was murdered in Moscow, along with human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov. To honor the anniversary, Open Democracy has reprinted excerpts from her blog dating from June 2007 to her 25th birthday on November 11, 2008, just two months before her death. Baburova writes about everyday occurrences in Russia, including rollerblading around the city at night, and insights into her indefatigable personality.
The anniversary also highlights the ongoing crisis in Russia, where journalist murders are now routinely going unsolved. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 17 journalists have been killed because of their work since 2000. Of those 17 cases, the killers have been convicted in just one.
Committee to Protect Journalists
1/13/2010 10:44:56 AM
"Mattresses smolder on the trash-strewn roads in this sprawling seaside slum of Port-au-Prince. Gray smoke blows off islands of refuse and the charred remains of burned cars, and the twisted, immolated metal smeared with ash and grime wavers in pools of heat, assuming the abject shapes of a crucifixion." That's reporter J. Malcolm Garcia writing about Haiti. But he's not describing the devastation of the earthquake that hit the country this week. Those words were written in April 2005 and published in Virginia Quarterly Review. It sounds a place emerging from a natural disaster, doesn't it? Here's more:
We stop by a vendor and buy palm-sized plastic bags of water, tear them open with our teeth, tip our heads back, and drink. Squinting against the sky, sweat like hot oil on our skin. Ahead of us, machine-gun-toting policemen in ski masks emerge through the smoke from behind UN armored personnel carriers preceded by feral dogs. Hunched and snapping, the dogs fight among themselves in black piles of steamy garbage. No sound comes from the mouths of the withered men and women picking through the skeletal remains of vehicles. Just the slow turning of their heads as we drive past. Dogs and pigs wrestle over bloody bandages below some graffiti.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and we'll be hearing that a lot in the coming weeks as the country emerges from this tragedy. Here are some sources we'll be watching for Haiti reports and some of the work they've done already to help the world understand the magnitude of the crisis:
Repeating Islands blog
Scholars predicted Haitian Earthquake
Constant updates on the humanitarian situation
Livesay Haiti blog
The morning after
Dispatches from a Fragile Island blog
Haiti earthquake: Ban Ki-Moon press conference
Radio Tele Ginen
Photographs (some of these are graphic)
Haitian witness talks about earthquake
And, of course, Twitter.
Updated January 13, 2009 4:15 PM CST:
Help Navigating Complex Terrain of Disaster Relief
Twitter interview @fredodupoux
The Big Picture
Earthquake in Haiti
1/12/2010 3:26:21 PM
In the second of our two-part series on the Utne Independent Press Awards, editor in chief David Schimke and librarian Danielle Maestretti continue their conversation with assistant web editor Bennett Gordon about what put the latest crop of winners above the bar. Why did the Chronicle of Higher Education get the nod for political coverage? And what makes ColorLines—a leading source of coverage on race issues—generally excellent? Take a listen.
1/12/2010 3:06:18 PM
UtneCast 30: Media Reform Update: Hide Player
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In this episode, we follow up on Keith Goetzman’s feature on media reform in the July/August issue of Utne Reader.
Host Leif Utne checks in with leading media reformers Josh Silver and Jeff Chester for a report from the front lines of the struggle for media democracy and Internet freedom. They explain what’s happening with federal media ownership rules, why the growth of Google may not be such a good thing, and the campaign to free the iPhone.
And senior editor Keith Goetzman reviews “Come the Storm,” the latest release by Eileen Rose on Wildflower Records. To hear a free track from “Come the Storm” check out the Utne Media Player, on the left side of our home page.
Episode sponsor: Mother Earth Coffee & Tea
1/12/2010 12:41:57 PM
UtneCast 15: Utne Independent Press Awards: The Year's Best Magazines: Hide Player
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In episode 15, it’s a double-header with Utne’s editor-in-chief David Schimke. First, host Leif Utne interviews Dave about the 15 magazines that won this year’s Utne Independent Press Awards. Then, Dave reviews the new album by Cuban-born jazz pianist Omar Sosa. Post a comment on the UtneCast blog below.
Episode sponsor: Mother Earth Coffee
1/12/2010 12:22:39 PM
In this episode: Host Leif Utne sits down with editor David Schimke and publisher Bryan Welch, of Ogden Publications, which purchased Utne in June, to discuss the future of the magazine and the state of the alternative press. Also, Keith Goetzman returns with a review of the Numero Group release "Eccentric Soul: The Big Mack Label."
Leave a comment on our blog below or email us at email@example.com.
1/12/2010 12:19:12 PM
UtneCast 08: Bioneers Conference Preview / The New Satire: Hide Player
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In this episode: The Bioneers conference, held October 20-22 in San Rafael, CA, is a powerful antidote for despair. Bioneers cofounder Kenny Ausubel joins us to discuss some of the inspiring speakers on this year's roster -- including mycologist Paul Stamets, author Michael Pollan, radio host Amy Goodman, psychologist James Hillman, and Canadian forest activist Tzeporah Berman. And this year, the "Beaming Bioneers" program will bring these speakers via satellite into local mini-conferences at 18 sites from Anchorage to Atlanta. For more information, visit http://www.bioneers.org.
Also, Utne editor David Schimke on the new golden age of satire, and why comedians like Jon Stewart are doing a better job than the mainstream media of covering political news. Read Dave's cover story about comedy in the September/October issue of Utne magazine.
What do you think of this podcast? Leave a comment on our below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1/12/2010 12:14:58 PM
UtneCast 06: Arctic Explorer Will Steger on Global Warming: Hide Player
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In this episode: Leif Utne sits down with colleague Julie Hanus to discuss the ways the explosion of pornography is affecting our culture, for better and for worse. Julie co-edited a section on this subject in the September/October issue of Utne Magazine. And hear music reviewer Keith Goetzman on the new release "Twin Falls" from jazz piano/bass duo Deidre Rodman and Steve Swallow. Let us know what you think of this podcast. Email us at email@example.com, or post a comment below.
1/12/2010 12:06:13 PM
In this edition of the UtneCast, host Leif Utne talks to Keith Goetzman about the little-known problem of toxic chemicals in house paint, as well as some tips on healthy alternatives. Also, Utne librarian Chris Dodge gives us the scoop on publications about dismantling civilization and going feral. Send us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1/12/2010 12:02:14 PM
In this installment, you'll hear a conversation with Mel Duncan, co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, a remarkable organization that sends trained unarmed peacekeepers into conflict zones around the world. And my colleague Hannah Lobel stops by to talk about our weekly online publication From the Stacks, a regular tipsheet from the Utne staff on the latest gems to arrive in Utne's vast alternative press library.
1/12/2010 11:54:42 AM
UtneCast 02: The New Capitalists: Hide Player
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Welcome to the second edition of the UtneCast. In this episode, editor Nina Utne joins our host (her stepson) Leif for a conversation about how to change capitalism for the better. See our May/June 2006 cover story "The New Capitalists" for more information.
BONUS: You can hear a longer version of this conversation here.
Disk junkie Keith Goetzman spins a cut from the new CD by singer Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins. Hear a free track from Lewis' album "Rabbit Fur Coat" in the May/June taster on the Utne Media Player.
Street Librarian Chris Dodge reports from the Utne stacks on magazines to help you live off the grid, the subject of his latest column.
Megan Kaplan, author of the article "Soul Aerobics" reports on Nia, a new body-mind approach to an aerobic workout.
What do you think of the UtneCast? Send us your feedback, either in a comment on this blog, or via email, to email@example.com.
1/12/2010 11:33:26 AM
Welcome to the UtneCast!
In our first-ever podcast episode, host Leif Utne interviews maverick organic farmer John Peterson, star of the new documentary film The Real Dirt on Farmer John. Read our review in the November/December 2005 issue of Utne.
Music maven Keith Goetzman introduces Dominic Frasca, a virtuoso acoustic guitarist who plays "New Age music for people who grew up listening to Black Sabbath." Listen to a free track from Frasca's album Deviations, in the March/April taster on the Utne Media Player.
Assistant editor Julie Hanus reports on the regional dialects of whales, and on the Fish List, a resource that helps you eat more fish without harming the sea.
1/12/2010 11:29:51 AM
The UtneCast is a field guide to independent arts, culture, and ideas. Like our parent publication Utne Magazine, this podcast takes a regular look at people, ideas, and trends that are pointing the way toward a kinder and greener world. Give it a listen and let us know what you think. Post a comment or email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1/11/2010 12:16:08 PM
The image of video gamers as pasty, white loners isolated in basements lit by only the glow of a computer screen may be going away. Today’s gamers are just as likely to be iPhone-toting hipsters playing zombie games over Facebook or 50-year-old mothers playing versions of Scrabble online with their friends. New social games are breaking down the line between work, play, and life, and creating a world where everyone is a gamer.
“What videogames suggest is that almost anything can be made more compelling with the application of gaming principles,” Tom Chatfield writes for Prospect. Schools are integrating Guitar Hero into classrooms, and the military (problematically) is integrating video games into warfare. Companies that make simple, inexpensive games that integrate with Facebook and other social networks are quickly turning into multimillion-dollar businesses. No longer a solitary activity, Chatfield writes, “It’s becoming increasingly hard to tell where the serious business of play ends and the playful business of life begins.”
Image by Miss Karen, licensed under Creative Commons.
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