* Small programs can replace repetitive, boring manual tasks that you do on a daily basis.
* We need more programmers. Software development is a high demand field, especially for web programmers.
* It’s easier than ever to learn to program. There are a ton of free/cheap online resources.
Learning to program changes the way you think and approach solving problems.
So what are you waiting for? Go sign up at codeyear or codeacademy or tryruby or Khan Academy. I even teach ruby lessons as well if you want one on one help and instruction.” —
Humanistic Journalism exists! This is the best thing I’ve seen online in a long time, and kind of a dream come true for the online future I’m so sure we can build: An incredible new story-telling tool, Cowbird calls itself a public library of human experience, and it really is. It combines the best social media tools out there into clean, beautiful design to create a new, human, crowd-sourced community. What can you do?
- Keep and audio-visual diary of your life using text,photography, sound, subtitles, maps, tags, timelines, characters, roles, and dedications
- Document “sagas,” that is, big events going on the world, through collaborative journalism.
- Contribute to a public library of simple human stories.
It was developed by a fantastic team including Jonathan Harris. He writes: “We are focused on a slower kind of storytelling than the frantic world of tweets and social networks. We use these tools (they are part of our consciousness now) but we also feel a craving for a longer-lasting kind of self-expression, so we have designed a space for self-reflection and deeper connection — a place for personal stories. Stories allow us to untangle experience, make sense of our lives, and find meaning. They are containers for wisdom and lifeboats for memory — helping us not to forget, and then later, not to be forgotten.”
And why is it called Cowbird? Best explanation ever: “We chose the name Cowbird to express the combined qualities of a cow and a bird. Cows are slow, steady, and grounded, while birds are fast, free, and full of joy. Most of the Internet — including websites like Facebook and Twitter — are all bird and no cow, while more traditional formats like novels and operas are all cow and no bird. Cowbird combines these two extremes to form a new kind of storytelling medium — mixing the slow, deeply rooted, contemplative idea of a cow with the fast, efficient, playful idea of a bird.”
You need an invite to sign up, which you can get by submitting a mini-application.
The first story I read, and loved: The 1%.
Writing Scared - short - why writing what you’re scared of is important
Letting Go - very long - when medicine won’t save you.
Publish or Perish - long - iPads and Kindles, oh my!
Quiet Riot - short - Riot Grrrl gets archived.
The Dragon’s Egg - medium - The Lord of the Rings, Twilight, and Eragon
July Fourth - very short - my favorite writer, Miranda July and her new movie!
Flick Chicks - short - funnyfunnyfunny satire
- Shortformblog: “I think aid is all worthless. It doesn’t do any good to most of the people. You end up taking money from poor people in this country and it goes to rich people in other countries, gets used for weapons of war… the biggest threat to our country is our financial situation, and this is aggravating it.” — Ron Paul, answering a question initially posed to Herman Cain: whether he felt we could afford to continue foreign aid to Africa for things like AIDS, malaria, and the like. Worth noting: foreign aid presently makes up about 1% of the U.S. federal budget.
- COES: Ron Paul was talking about the US financial situation with respect to both (paraphrase) endless military spending and endless foreign aid... you are misquoting and misrepresenting what he said, so that it appears as if he was talking solely about foreign aid.
- Shortformblog: Point well taken on the military spending, Paul did indeed reference rampant war spending in the same passage, and we should have noted that as it’s quite relevant to his final point on financial stability. That said, we assure you we’re not aiming to misrepresent Ron Paul’s views. Since the question he was responding to (initially asked to Herman Cain) was explicitly about the U.S. foreign aid budget, and he voiced what we’d consider a fairly extreme view on that subject, we focused on that and cropped the non-aid related section. It can be hard to keep up with posting as the debates unfold in real time, and consequently we can have oversights sometime. Thanks for reading, and for being alert!
- Thank you.
1. The livechat from tonight’s GOP presidential debate, which you can still read through.
2. Their compilation of the best reading on the Great Supercommittee Fail of 2011.
3. Where do each of the candidates stand on the issues?
Follow them on tumblr too :)
(Oh, and also see The Guardian’s live debate posts by Richard Adams)
Nicholas Kristof’s piece in the Times is incredibly moving. Read it! He writes, “Phung yearns to attend university and become an accountant. It’s an almost impossible dream for a village girl, but across East Asia the poor often compensate for lack of money with a dazzling work ethic and gritty faith that education can change destinies. The obsession with schooling is a legacy of Confucianism — a 2,500-year-old tradition of respect for teachers, scholarship and meritocratic exams. That’s one reason Confucian countries like China, South Korea and Vietnam are among the world’s star performers in the war on poverty.”
Makes me think…perhaps American students lack that reverence for schooling because we’re simply disenchanted by the state of affairs. No matter your schooling, it seems a steady career afterwards isn’t possible anyway. So what’s the point?
This lends itself to a strong argument for rethinking the point of school in the first place. Every since I was young: high school leads to college because college leads to job. But maybe that’s not the point and this is finally our chance to reclaim what school means to us. Recreate it.
I haven’t known what to make of #OWS. It’s incredibly exciting to see solidarity emerge across social boundaries. It’s inspiring to see activists come together to dialogue across issues and agendas. Do I agree with the movement? What do I choose to occupy? Is this really going to effect change? Are they all lefties? What’s their message?
Then in dawned on me that I can’t judge the occupation by outdated standards. Success? Effectiveness? Partisan lines? Who are we kidding. This is a FANTASTIC moment because it is finally stirring so much more empowered dialogue than our world has seen in a long time. On that note, media coverage has been confusing. So here’s what I’m reading (just a bit of it). I hope it helps point to some sources ya’ll could frequent and enrich the dialogue! (This is by no means comprehensive, just some of my bookmarks!)
- Media Matters compiled this Guide to the Smear Campaign Against Occupy Wall Street. It’s an interesting project and will probably make you angry. I don’t usually like to harp on Fox, or anyone specifically for that matter, but today on the train to work I saw a Fox News ad in which they tout themselves as the most “powerful name in news,” and I’m angry. Journalism is not supposed to be a means to power. Ever.
- Erika Fry at Columbia Journalism Review explores the NYPD press credential process. Who’s a real journalist (real enough to not get arrested) in this everyone-is-a-journalist age?
- If you can’t make it to Wall Street, or even if you can, you should be reading The Occupied Wall Street Journal, their official paper. It’s a clean design, varied articles and the voices of the occupiers themselves. Here’s the story behind the OWSJ from the one and only David Carr. Also check out the movement’s “official” site. And, the 99% tumblr.
- Lisa Derrick on Occupy LA joining the News Corp protest. I like her thinking…and the advice she gave the NPR kid. Also see an article from The Nation on the same.
- And another from David Carr…on Occupying the Newsrooms:
The optics of the bonuses are far worse than the practical impact. Newspapers are asking their employees for shared sacrifice and their digital readers to begin paying. So, lucrative packages won’t cut it. As newspapers all over the country struggle to divine the meaning of the Occupy protests, some of the companies that own them might want to listen closely to see if there is a message there meant for them.
- Here is a nice follow-up to Carr’s piece. From Free Press’s Savethenews.org: The Media Circus of Occupy Wall Street Coverage.
On the Occupiers
- Want to see some faces? Check out this photo slideshow by Martin Schoeller from The New Yorker.
OWS vs. The Tea Party
- A chart, by The Project for Excellence in Journalism, comparing coverage of Occupy Wall Street v. The Tea Party. (But did it really have to take police clashes and Tea Party comparisons to up coverage of the protests?) Also on the subject: Nate Silver’s (of the NY Times) discussion of coverage.
- A TIME poll earlier this month shows that Occupy Wall Street “a fledgling movement with no single leader or obvious sponsor, garners twice as much support among average Americans as the right-wing Tea Party.” Quoted in last week’s article from TIME that’s comprehensive, offers context and is actually balanced.
Read These Articles.
- Appreciation for the truly democratic process that’s shaped the movement from Tikkun blogger.
- The Hope and Message of Occupy Wall Street. Another very enjoyable read. Shifts the conversation away from having to define the demands of the protesters and toward understanding the deeper motivations.
- An analysis of the 53% by Claire Snyder-Hall. I particularly enjoyed reading this, especially her rebuttal to the anti-ode against liberal arts degrees:
I don’t know how many of the OWS protestors have liberal arts degrees, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them do, since it is precisely the liberal arts education that allows a person to be able to thematize the whole, to think systematically, and to understand large processes like globalization, instead of remaining mired in the minutia of his own personal experiences.
- Another notable article with interesting commentary from Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi.
- Ooooh I want to talk to her: What OWD Doesn’t Get About Dissent & Civil Disobedience. Let’s REALLY talk about dissent: one of our newest books at The New Press (yes we did go down to Wall Street and give them out for free).
- Eve Ensler’s new column, Upsparkles From the Heart of the Park. If you read anything on this list, pick this one. Amazing.
- Keen on the movement. A very sweet take from Elizabeth Cunningham:
To all the people out in all weathers, making public woes that those in power would rather we keep private, I am keen on you. I am grateful to you. Thank you for being willing to risk discomfort, derision, tear gas, beatings, arrest, and injustice for the sake of justice. Keen on! And may the voice you lift for us all become a shout of joy.
- A perfect example of the dialogue that is proliferating because of the movement. Occupy the Classroom from NY Times’ Nicholas D. Kristof.
- I think I only included this one to introduce you to Big Think.com. And because he quotes Sachs…it’s an interesting read:
As the economist Jeffrey Sach’s argues in his recent book “The Price of Civilization,” Obama might be more accurately seen as a transitional president rather than a transformational one.
- Originally from TomDispatch but I’m linking to Utne Reader, where I read it because everyone should read Utne. And a quote:
If, on a planet in crisis, their government has repeatedly failed them, the Wall Street demonstrators deserve a small, hopeful cheer for their efforts. They may not be the perfect size and shape for the movement of everyone’s dreams, but they’re here and, right now, that says the world.
On the Movement & Technology
- NY Times reports on Pastebin, originally a tool for programmers to paste snippets of code, but now a way for protesters to (anonymously) put information into the public stream.
- The New Yorker reports on Global Revlution, live-streaming protests and the interesting Mr. Teichberg behind it.
- A new app: I’m getting arrested, from TIME.
- Occupy Design! This is genius and fantastic because infographics are so incredibly useful to communicate effectively.
- A really interesting perspective on trending and what makes news from Megan Garber at Nieman Journalism Lab. Basically, #OccupyWallStreet hasn’t trended on Twitter because Twitter’s algorithm only picks up on quick rises. #OWS has bene gradual and consistently present. Her two-cents:
But what’s most interesting, to me, are the assumptions baked into the Trending Topics algorithm in the first place. On the one hand, it’s perfectly fair — in fact, it’s perfectly necessary — to define “trends” as brief ruptures of the ordinary. Spikes, you know, speak. But the algorithm’s assumption is also one that’s baked into the cultural algorithm of journalistic practice: We tend, as reporters and attention-conveners, to value newness over pretty much everything else. Again, on the one hand, that’s absolutely appropriate — “the news,” after all — but on the other, the institutional obsession with newness often impedes journalists’ ability to address the biggest issues of the day — the economy, the environment, the effects of the digital transition on global culture — within conventional narrative frameworks. Just as #OccupyWallStreet, in Twitter’s algorithm, competes against #KimKWedding, we pit the long-term and the temporary against each other, forcing them to compete for people’s (and journalists’) attention. We accept that the slow-burn stories have to fight for space against the shocking, the spiking, the evanescent. Which is unfortunate, since the most important topics for journalists to address are often the ones that are the opposite of “trending.”
- So this is not exactly about technology but about how to cover a protest and the potential of web journalism. I have mixed feelings about Owens’ argument but following the Twitter article above, the fact that the movement is enduring does lend itself to a foundation for so many different angles to report on.
- Aljazeera on Occupying the World…a comprehensive piece if you’ve been wondering what’s going on.
- And one more from Megan Gibson.
So! The beauty of news in our generation? We can take a little bit from each of these sources and come up with our own critical questions. Feel free to post links to what you’re reading! The list could go on forever (but I have to stop somewhere)…and the dialogue must as well.
Occupy Dialogue (with informed critical reading!)
The inspiration for this project was, in the first place, to wade through the slush of internet. Granted I’ve been posting a pretty general collection of things born from my frustration reading the news. One of the most interesting questions for me, is what would a really great news literacy class look like? Then there is this article, News Literacy, What Not To Do from Nieman Reports. I generally like them and I like the intro. The best part, however, is Dean Miller’s comment (and he’s already been on my radar as perhaps the most wonderful source on this topic). Check it out. Also see: The Center for News Literacy’s syllabus.
Dan Roberts, National News Editor, The Guardian. The Guardian is opening up its newslists so you can help us make news.
The Guardian is opening itself up this week. Via a blog it’s showing the public — and its competitors — exactly what they’re working on and what they plan to publish.
They’re doing so via their Inside the Guardian blog with the idea that if they’re transparent about the stories coming down the pike, readers will engage by feeding them tips and ideas they might not otherwise have known about.
According to Roberts, the experiment will last this week. If successful, they’ll continue. If not they’ll shut it down. We’re interested to see what happens.
I’m interested too! This has a lot of potential!
Emphasize journalism’s role in sparking innovation (instead of civic responsibility).” —
Google allows its employees to spend 1/5 of their work week researching whatever they want!
“Few young Americans are adrenalized by words like “civic responsibility,” or “classic democratic theory,” but when the benefits of a life of news consumption are expressed as fuel for creative motion, young people’s ears may perk up a bit more from beneath their headphones.” —Justin Martin in his CJR article from Behind the News.
Columbia Journalism Review asked its readers to recommend journalism themed movies. Here’s their list! Thank you CJR. Something to do during these endlessly rainy NYC summer days.
Absence of Malice Paul Newman and Sally Field, 1981. Reporter is protected by absence of malice doctrine in a slander/libel case.
Ace in the Hole (aka The Big Carnival) Directed by Billy Wilder, 1951. Discontented Albuquerque journalist distorts story for his own gain.
All the President’s Men Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, 1976. Follows reporters Woodward and Bernstein as they uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that destroyed Richard Nixon.
Almost Famous Written/Directed by Cameron Crowe, 2000. A high school boy scores a dream opportunity to write a piece for Rolling Stone Magazine about a rock band, with which he goes on tour.
Balibo Directed by Robert Connolly, 2009. A war correspondent travels to East Timor in 1975 to investigate the disappearances of five journalists and develops a friendship with the man who would become president.
Between the Lines John Heard and Lindsey Crouse, 1977. Chronicles the struggle of an underground newspaper in Boston about to be taken over by big business.
Bill Cunningham New York Directed by Richard Press, 2010. A documentary portrait of the stalwart New York fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.
Blood Diamond Directed by Edward Zwick, 2006. Chronicles the stories of those wrapped up in the conflict diamond industry in politically unstable Sierra Leone.
Bob Roberts Written/Directed by Tim Robbins, 1992. A conservative folk singer runs a sleazy election campaign while an independent muckraking reporter tries to bring it down.
Bordertown Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas, 2006. A Chicago reporter investigates the mysterious deaths of factory workers in Juarez, a Mexican border town.
Broadcast News William Hurt and Holly Hunter, 1987. A love triangle between two rival male reporters, one flashy and one substantive, and a female producer represents the larger dilemma between these two styles of news.
Call Northside 777 Directed by Henry Hathaway, 1948. A Chicago reporter revisits an old murder trial because of a newspaper ad put out by the alleged murderer’s mother and is met with resistance when he discovers that the man might be innocent.
The China Syndrome Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon, 1979. A reporter witnesses an accident at a nuclear power plant, which she plans to write about despite the threat from a conspiracy to keep the incident quiet.
Citizen Kane Directed by Orson Welles, 1941. Reporters investigate the life of a deceased newspaper tycoon in order to discover the meaning of the last word he spoke.
The Day the Earth Caught Fire Edward Judd, Janet Munro, and Leo McKern, 1961.British reporters discover an impending disaster for Earth, which is on track to collide with the sun, despite an international cover-up attempt.
Deadline USA Humphrey Bogart and Kim Hunter, 1952. An editor tries to take a last stand as his newspaper is up for sale by exposing a gangster in the paper’s final three issues.
The Devil Came on Horseback Written/Directed by Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern, 2007. A documentary on the genocide in Darfur from the perspective of a US marine.
The Devil Wears Prada Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, 2006. An aspiring journalist settles for a job as assistant to one of the fashion world’s most powerful editors and faces difficult decisions after she gets wrapped up in the fashion world.
Fletch Chevy Chase and Joe Don Baker, 1985. A Los Angeles journalist goes undercover to investigate the drug trade on the beach, but discovers even more sinister goings-on.
The Foreigner Directed by Michael Oblowitz, 2003. A freelance agent becomes embroiled in political corruption and violent conflict when he agrees to transport an unknown package from France to Germany.
The Front Page Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, 1974. An editor convinces a top Chicago reporter ready to leave the profession for a quieter life to stay on and write about an insane murderer set to go to the gallows.
Good Night and Good Luck George Clooney wrote, directed and starred, 2005. The story of CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow’s crusade to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.
The Green Hornet Directed by Michel Gondry, 2011. A playboy who inherits the position of LA Times publisher from his recently deceased father starts a crime-fighting duo with his driver.
His Girl Friday Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, 1940. A newspaper editor tries to frame his ex-wife’s new fiancée in order to prevent her from remarrying and convince her to return to his paper’s staff.
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People Simon Pegg and Megan Fox, 2008. Based on Toby Young’s memoir about a British writer trying to fit in at a high-profile New York magazine.
The Hunting Party Richard Gere and Terrence Howard, 2007. A contingent of journalists endanger themselves when they search for Bosnia’s number one war criminal, but they are mistaken for CIA operatives.
I Love Trouble Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte, 1994. Two rival Chicago reporters team up to investigate the real story behind a train derailment and fall for each other despite the ongoing competition.
The Insider Russell Crowe and Al Pacino, 1999. A research chemist risks his career and his personal life when he appears on 60 Minutes to talk about Big Tobacco.
Journeys with George Directed by Alexandra Pelosi and Aaron Lubarsky, 2002.Documentary that follows reporters covering George W. Bush on the campaign trail.
The Killing Fields Sam Waterson and Haing S. Ngor, 1984. A New York Times journalist covers the Civil War in Cambodia with help from a local photographer who risks his life to stay and cover the war.
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Angela Winkler and Mario Adorf, 1975. German film about a young maid who is slandered by the press after being involved with a man whom she didn’t know was a terrorist.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance John Wayne and James Stewart, 1962. A senator who had supposedly killed an outlaw reveals the truth to a local newspaper in this Western.
The Mean Season Kurt Russell and Mariel Hemingway, 1985. A murderer tips off a Miami reporter who covered his trial that he is going to kill again, putting a wedge in the reporter’s plans to leave Miami.
Meet John Doe Directed by Frank Capra, 1941. A disgruntled, fired reporter fabricates the story of a man threatening to commit suicide as a protest of social ills and unwittingly begins a political movement.
Never Been Kissed Drew Barrymore and David Arquette, 1999. A young journalist goes undercover at her old high school, but must make difficult decisions about her career and her cover when she falls for a teacher.
Network Directed by Sidney Lumet, 1976. A lagging network fires a news anchor and goes on to exploit his descent into madness for its own ratings and profit.
Nothing But the Truth Written/Directed by Rod Lurie, 2008. A Washington, D.C. columnist publishes a story about the president ignoring CIA findings, but she faces arrest when she refuses to reveal her source.
Nothing Sacred Directed by William A. Wellman, 1937. After discovering her deadly case of radium poisoning was misdiagnosed, a factory worker travels to New York where a reporter decides that he can use her story to turn his career around.
The Paper Michael Keaton and Glenn Close, 1994. A New York tabloid editor considers leaving his tabloid for a quieter paper, but a juicy story complicates the decision.
The Parallax View Warren Beatty and Paula Prentiss, 1977. A reporter discovers a multinational company’s far-reaching conspiracy as he investigates the assassination of a senator and resulting deaths of reporters present during the assassination.
Park Row Written/directed by Samuel Fuller, 1952. Set in 1880s New York, a journalist successfully sets up his own newspaper, drawing the ire of a larger paper’s owner.
The Pelican Brief Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, 1993. A law student finds out the truth about who killed two supreme court justices, which makes her a target for some who want to truth covered up, but an investigative journalist wants to publish her story.
A River Runs Through It Directed by Robert Redford, 1992. Brad Pitt plays a journalist as the movie follows the story of two brothers growing up in Montana with their minister father.
Salvador Directed by Oliver Stone, 1986. A journalist covering the military dictatorship in El Salvador allies with both countryside guerillas and the right-wing military.
Shattered Glass Hayden Christensen, 2003. Based on the true story of a prodigious young journalist whose career is ended when his articles are found to be false.
Spider-Man J.K Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, 2002. The comic book classic featuring nerd-turned-super hero, Peter Parker, against the evil Green Goblin involves a tenacious newspaper editor in Jameson.
State of Play Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams, 2009. Investigative reporters work with a detective to solve the mystery of how a congresswoman’s mistress was murdered.
Street Smart Christopher Reeve and Kathy Baker, 1987. A magazine reporter finds himself at the center of a scandal when the police think that the pimp he described in a fake story is a real pimp suspected of murder.
Striptease Demi Moore and Burt Reynolds, 1996. A single mother dancing at a nightclub for money tries to blackmail a congressman in order to regain custody of her daughter.
Superman Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman, 1978. Journalist by day and superhero by night, Clark Kent must defeat Lex Luthor and his evil schemes.
Sweet Smell of Success Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, 1957. A powerful newspaper columnist convinces a seedy press agent to break off his sister’s engagement to a jazz musician.
Teacher’s Pet Clark Gable and Doris Day, 1958. The city editor of a newspaper balks at first when he is instructed to help a college journalism professor with her class, but he masquerades as a student when he finds himself attracted to her.
Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press Directed by Rick Goldsmith, 1996. Documentary about the American investigative journalist and media critic who published In Fact.
Under Fire Nick Nolte and Gene Hackman, 1983. Three journalists entwined in a romantic triangle get drawn into the political intrigue of the Somoza regime, which soon falls to a popular revolt.
W. Directed by Oliver Stone, 2008. Josh Brolin plays the former president in this account of his life and presidency.
Welcome to Sarajevo Stephen Dillane, Woody Harrelson, and Marisa Tomei, 1997.While reporting on the Bosnian war in Sarajevo, two teams of journalists from the US and the UK get involved with an orphanage near the front line.
The Year of Living Dangerously Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver, 1982. An Australian journalist tries to navigate the political landscape of Indonesia as a foreign correspondent.