Short Takes: News From All Over: December 9, 2004

A Mania Called Horse
By Radley Balko, Reason
What’s cheap, fun, and feels like heroin? Everything, according to that relentless breed of public watchdog that isn’t shy about comparing masturbation, gambling, and even cheese to America’s most notorious opiate. Learn how the media has painted us as a nation of addicts. But be careful: reading articles on the Internet might be the new heroin. — Brendan Themes

By Staff, Wikimedia Foundation
Tired of having your news filtered by the corporate media? Join the dot-communist revolution at Wikinews, a collaborative information source where up-to date data is submitted and moderated by the Internet community. Original reporting is encouraged, and the usual talking heads will find no quarter with the site’s policy of strict neutrality. — Brendan Themes

Cartoon Skeletal Systems
By Michael Paulus,
You may know the story behind your favorite cartoons, but do you know the story under them? The beauty of cartooning isn’t skin deep at Michael Paulus’ Skeletal Systems gallery, where the bones of Charlie Brown, Buttercup, and Betty Boop change the wholesome and familiar into the exotic and strange. — Brendan Themes

By Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect
Wal-Mart is allowing its Chinese workers to unionize, a right it staunchly denies their American counterparts. This puzzling decision is more Machiavellian than altruistic: Chinese unions bear little resemblance to American unions, serving more as tools of labor control than of worker empowerment. — Brendan Themes

Ammannet and the Future of Radio
By Ethan Zuckerman,
In 1999, Jordan was a country where it was easier to find accurate news about domestic issues from newspapers in neighboring nations, so Palestinian journalist, activist, and media blogger Daoud Kattab founded Ammannet, the Arab world’s first online radio station. Inspired by the American non-profit media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), Ammannet provides its readers with links to newspapers all over the Arab world, giving them access to information and criticism from which they’d otherwise be barred. And it’s all done under the banner of pan-Arab unity. — Elizabeth Dwoskin

Chinese Blog Wins ‘Best Weblog’ Award
By Staff, Deutsche Welle
‘If we can’t talk about people, we’ll talk about dogs,’ says Aggressive Little Snake, the creator of Dog Newspaper, a Chinese blog that was the jury prize winner at the Deutsche Welle International Weblog Awards 2004. Guido Baumhauer, who created this, the first international blog competition, says there were a larger number of entries from Latin America and Spain than from the US, and that ‘the global perspective of the competition can set it apart from other contests.’ Which is no doubt why some 60,000 voters applauded Dog Newspaper, which not only details the treatment of dogs in China and other countries in the developing world, but serves as a powerful metaphor for how those same countries often treat other human beings. — Elizabeth Dwoskin,1564,1418080,00.html

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