Editor

Chicago, IL, USA
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January 2010

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Liberal Bloggers, Political Activist And Polling

Aaron Blake, writing at The Hill, January 19, 2010: “Liberal bloggers and activists are commissioning polls as a way to shape the political debate, but their results aren’t always what fellow activists would like.”

If you want to read more, see “Liberal groups stir the pot with independent polling.”

Yahoo News Looking for Five Skilled Bloggers

Andrew Golis, who “was recently hired by Yahoo News to build a network of news blogs.” is “looking to build a team of  voracious news consumers with an eye for a good story angle and the ability to write in tight, engaging prose.” See Golis’ January 19, 2010, post headlined “Bloggers Needed!

The former deputy publisher at Josh Marshall’s influential, Talking Points Memo said he is “looking for five full-time bloggers to start things off.”

“Each blogger should have both reporting and online news experience, broad interests, and the ability to write for a general, non-expert audience,”he writes. Read Golis’ post for additional requirements.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Cleveland Plain Dealer Wants to Aggregate Northeast Ohio Bloggers

John Kroll, Director of Training and Digital Development for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, issued a call on January 15, 2010 for bloggers and Twitter users in Northeast Ohio, USA, to register with Cleveland.com, The Plain Dealers website.  According to Kroll, “Northeast, Ohio, has a thriving online community, filled with creative and thoughtful bloggers as well as lively Twitter users.”

Some of the best political blogs I’ve ever read are produced by Ohio bloggers. I think The Plain Dealer is smart to try to aggregate bloggers in its circulation area, so readers will get to them by going through Cleveland.com. I wanted to know what The Plain Dealer expected to gain, so I emailed Kroll on January 17, 2009. He responded within an hour, with the following:

One of the the traditional roles of newspapers is to create a common ground for the whole community. We image want to bring that online. Cleveland.com   is the region's biggest and most popular site, so it just makes sense to host community-wide projects like this.

The more we can make Cleveland.com a community resource, the greater the likelihood we can continue to sustain the reporting that digs out  the truth and shares the good news. To do that, we have to acknowledge that we're not the only source of news and commentary. (This is one of  several moves we're making. Another is to increase our use of outside links to supplement our stories; the directory will help us find alternative voices.)

And, finally, we want to know what we're missing. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of interesting, well-written, informed blogs in the area. But most of them exist in bubbles, invisible beyond their small audiences. We would like to expand our knowledge of the talent in Northeast Ohio, and we think our readers would, too.

If you want to read Kroll’s entire Plain Dealer post, see “Northeast Ohio bloggers and tweeters: Register with us to reach a new audience.”

Egypt Releases 30 Bloggers, Activists

Egypt’s Al-Masry Al-Youm  daily reported January 16, 2010 that, “Around 30 bloggers and activists were released” that day  “after being briefly detained”  in Qena, Egypt, by the “Security Directorate.” See “Naga Hammadi bloggers' released after one-day detention.”

According to the publication, “The young men and women were apprehended in Naga Hammadi's train station, southern Qena, after traveling from Cairo to offer condolences to the families of victims of sectarian violence and pay their respect to Bishop Kirollos of the Naga Hammadi Diocese, who was allegedly himself a target in the attacks against Christians there.”

Bloggers Now Subject To Jordan’s Press And Publication Law

Jordanian blogger Ebtihal Mahadeen has a January 17, 2010, post at Global Voices on what some Jordanian bloggers are saying about the Jordanian Cessation Court’s recent decision to subject electronic websites” to Jordan’s draconian Press and Publication Law.

If you want to read what some bloggers are saying  and review the list of restrictions, see “Jordan: Bloggers Take On Controversial Court Ruling.” Also see The Jordanian Times’ January 15, 201, post headlined “Court ruling threatens press freedom – activists.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Second News Entrepreneur Boot Camp Set For May 2010

Robert Niles, writing in the Online Journalism Review, made the following announcement in a January 15, 2010 post regarding the second edition of the News Entrepreneur Boot Camp, which is sponsored by the Knight Digital Media Center, in cooperation with OJR, the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC's Marshall School of Business as well as the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism":

If you are thinking about starting your own online news website or blog - or if you've already made that move, but wondering where the money will come from - please consider applying for the second edition of image our News Entrepreneur Boot Camp.

That's right, we're doing the camp again. The Knight Digital Media Center, in cooperation with OJR and the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC's Marshall School of Business as well as the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, will select a dozen or so journalists to travel to Los Angeles in mid-May for the camp. There, you will work together and in one-on-one consultation with camp faculty to hone plans for your project - and its financial success.

Niles said, "Lots of other journalism organizations have jumped on the entrepreneurship bandwagon recently. But long-time OJR readers know that I've been writing about entrepreneurial journalism for years, and that OJR put on what may have been the first industry conference solely devoted to the topic, back in 2006.”

Note: This item is also published at The Blogging Journalist, one of my other blogs.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yoani Sanchez Describes How To Silence A Blogger in Cuba

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez describes in a January 12, 2010, post how Cuban authorities learned to silence journalists and are now turning their attention to bloggers. See “Silencing a Blogger.”

Writing in her Generacion Y blog, Sanchez describes the rise of independent journalists in Cuba and  the risk they took image to introduce a journalism not controlled by the states.

“In the spring of 2003 everything that seemed dangerous and risky turned into punishment” for these journalists, according to Sanchez. “Many of them went in prison to serve sentences of ten, fifteen, twenty years. The majority are still behind bars.” Adds Sanchez, who was abducted on November 6, 2009, allegedly by men connected with Cuban authorities[see “A gangland style kidnapping”]:

We bloggers came later, among other reasons because the technology came to us slowly. I dare say that the authorities did not imagine that citizens would appeal to a global resource to express themselves. The government controls the television studio cameras, the radio station microphones, the pages of the magazines and periodicals located on Island territory, but up there, far from their reach, a satellite network—demonized but essential—offers to those who aim for it, the opportunity to “hang” their opinions in practically unlimited form.

Sanchez said it took Cuban authorities “time to understand it, but they are starting to. As you know, to silence a blogger you can’t use the same methods that work to silence so many journalists.” she contends, adding: “No one can fire these impertinents of the web from the editorial board of a daily paper, nor promise them a week in Varadero or a Lada car as compensation, much less entice them with a trip to Eastern Europe.”

“To stop a blogger,” according to Sanchez, “you must eliminate or intimidate them and this equation has begun to be understood by the State, the Party… the General.”

NBC San Diego: ‘Bloggers to Ride a Navy Sub’

NBC San Diego reported January 14, 2010, that, “For the first time ever, the U.S. Navy will take civilian bloggers out for a ride on a submarine.” See “Bloggers to Ride a Navy Sub.”

“The trip, planned for Friday [January 15, 2010] in San Diego, will take eight bloggers on an all-day embark aboard a fast attack submarine,” according to reporter R. Stickney.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Columbus Dispatch Profiles Food Blogger Erin Chase

The Columbus Dispatch food blogger Robin Davis has a January 13, 2010, post on Erin Chase, proprietor of  $5 Dinners.com, a popular food blog.

Writes Davis: “Two years ago, out of necessity, Erin Chase set out to save money on her grocery bill.”

“These days, she makes money sharing her ideas and recipes on a blog ( www.5dollardinners.com) and in a new book (The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook).”

I intend to follow this blog closely for ideas on saving money on food. When my wife was alive – she died January 4, 2010 – we spent around $125.00 a week. Now that it’s just me, the bill will be considerably less.

If you want to read more, see “ Blogger's bounty.” By the way, The Columbus Dispatch is in Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Why I Like Crime Scene KC

I like the way James Hart at Crime Scene KC covers crime news. I find his engaging, adjective-driven style vividly picturesque. CSKC is a KansasCity.Com blog, which is owned by the Kansas City Star of Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

An Opportunity For Atlanta Food Bloggers

John Kessler, the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s food blogger, wants Atlanta, Georgia, USA, food bloggers to contact him. 

“Do you write an Atlanta-based food blog?” he asked in a January 13, 2010, post. “If so, I’d love to put you in my seriously outdated blogroll.”

“Please send me an email at jkessler@ajc.com with the link to your blog, and I’ll take a look. I’m happy to send any readership (clickership?) your way if your blog satisfies some very simple criteria…”

The criteria can be found at “Looking for local food bloggers.”

Chinese Officials Uncertain Whether Google Will Leave China

Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency reported  January 13, 2010, that, “An official with China's State Council Information Office Wednesday [January 13, 2010] said Chinese Internet authorities were seeking more information on Google's statement that it could quit China. See “Chinese gov't seeking clarity, expert casts doubt on Google intentions.”

“The high-ranking official, who requested anonymity, made the remarks in a phone interview with Xinhua, a day after Google's corporate development and chief legal officer, David Drummond, posted a statement Tuesday [January 12, 2010]on the company's official blog, saying it was to "review the feasibility of our business operations in China," according to the report.

"’It is still hard to say whether Google will quit China or not. Nobody knows,’ the official said,” according to Xinhua.

Xinhua said, “Google's possible retreat from China has prompted the company's 700 China staff to fear for their jobs.”

What Are Chinese Bloggers Saying About Google Leaving China?

Jonathan Watts, guardian.co.uk, January 13, 2010:  “Chinese bulletin boards and microblogs have been buzzing all day with chatter about Google's announcement [that it may abandon the Chinese market over China’s alleged hacking of Google corporate infrastructure in an effort to get at Chinese human rights activists’ Gmail accounts]. The vast majority either supported Google's decision to challenge the censors or expressed regret at the possible loss of a cherished search engine, but there was also criticism of the US firm's business tactics.”

If you want to read more, see “Google pulls out of China: what the bloggers are saying.” Also see “Google stops short of fingering China for cyber attacks.” Google’s official statement, headlined A New Approach to China,  can be found at The Official Google Blog.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Wife’s Death

I intended to post at The Blogging Journalist on Monday night, January 4, 2010. However, I didn’t due to the death of my wife around 5:15 p.m. on January 4. Her funeral was January 7, 2010, in Chicago, USA. I will try to resume blogging on Monday, January 11, 2010.

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