Tag Archives: blogging rhetoric

Dunkin Donut pull off ad due to critcism by the blogosphere

Dunkin’ Donuts pulled off an add featuring celebrity chef Rachael Ray wearing a black-and-white fringed scarf on its website after criticisms by bloggers. The black-and-white scarf was said by blogger of Little Green Footballs to be typically worn by Muslim extremists. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin fanned the flames by calling the scarf “jihadi chic”. The “fire” spread and soon, hundred of people posted comments condemning Dunkin’ Donuts.

This incident highlights the nature of the blogosphere. Firstly, it shows that companies are gradually responding to the bloggers and the big influence of the blogosphere on business models. Secondly, it shows the immediacy of the Internet makes response to public outcry faster. Definitely a good medium for social change, well, if used appropriately.

“Mr. Hirshberg said that the immediacy of the Internet made it seem like
an immediate response was necessary, no matter how far-fetched the
accusations. “The alternative is to assume that people will simply see
through it, draw their own conclusions, and chuckle it off,” he said.”


Netizens help put racist blogger behind bars

Singapore: While many people around the world often view Singapore as having limited freedom of speech, even on the internet, this article on a blogger being arrested for making racist remarks, proves that this is not exactly the case. Yes, yes, a blogger got arrested for his racist remarks, but how did he get found out? The government certainly did not police the Internet. It was fellow netizens who brought this to the attention of the police.

“The case came to the attention of police on May 19 when they received
two reports complaining of the alleged posts by the suspect.”

Is Man vs Wild ethical in its production methods?

Recently, I have been really hooked on the reality series on “Man vs Wild” on Discovery Channel, that features the host, Bear Grylls, going round the world’s most dangerous places and teaching the audience survival skills. It is pretty fascinating to me, at least i get to “visit” these places in the comfort of my couch. However, there was a series of accusations that the show is a fraud, and that Bear stayed in hotels and had experts with him to help him along or build rafts. Numerous clips on You-tube showed that the show is actually staged, and even wildlife were brought into the scene so that they can film and simulate the actual environment. Here is one that is pretty informative:

Man vs Hotel:

Well, it seems pretty unethical to me. But on the other hand, the goal of the programme is to educate the audience on survival skills should they encounter such a situation. Hence, it would be necessary for the crew to bring in animals from ranch etc, to show the audience how to survive. Plus, it is definitely necessary to have an expert around to give advice for the safety of Bear. But all these practical and necessary factors seem to reduce the awesomeness and reality of the show.

And guess what, we wouldn’t have known about this if not for the P2P websites like you-tube. It is a good example of the internet community being the fifth estate in the broadcast sphere.

Seattlepi scores in decision to not publish photos of two men who looked Middle Eastern

The blogosphere was criticized for the recent FBI blooper:

The FBI called off a global manhunt for two men who looked Middle Eastern and were on board the Washington State Ferry last summer. These men were found to be innocent tourists on a business trip snapping photos, and not displaying “an inordinate interest in the operation of the shipboard systems”.

But before this came to light, the newspapers faced a dilemma of publishing the photos of these men as this violated civil rights and infringed on one’s privacy. Yet in the blogosphere, freedom of speech reigned.

Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based civil rights and advocacy group, criticized the blogosphere’s response to the situation:

“Anti-Muslim Internet hate sites; the bloggers; the ones that routinely say ’round up the usual Muslim suspects’; the extremist commentators that would be willing give up the rights of others to create a false sense of security for themselves.”

But here’s a blogger who is against the Seattlepi’s decision not to publish it.

The blogger, Michelle Malkin, criticized the P-I’s decision by saying:

“Ignoring the very real threat of ferry-based terrorism, the Seattle P-I refused to run the FBI photos in a politically correct pique and instead made light of the matter by holding an idiotic haiku contest about the alert”

This debate about whether or not to publish the pictures really boils down to journalism ethics and the potter box guidelines. If the P-I’s loyalty is to the public safety, the editor will share the same sentiments as Malkin. But if their loyalty is to the individual’s rights, then the editor would not publish the photos to protect the suspects’ privacy and give them the benefit of the doubt that they are innocent till proven guilty.

In the new age where the world is shrouded in fear against terrorism, journalists would have to rethink their loyalties and make ethical decisions that are complex. It makes it harder when we often come under scrutiny by the public, whose fear for their safety is not unfounded. It is a decision we all have to juggle with in future.

Obama’s latest advertisement takes a hit at Clinton “Same old Washington politics”

Obama’s new campaign advertisement, released just hours after Clinton’s advertisement, hits back at her “same old Washington politics that won’t fix our problem”. Instead, Obama is said to be “the president we can trust”.

All you need is a Mac and MediaStorm to be the most professional citizen journalist

P.S.: MediaStorm is not owned by Apple, was what was suggested in my previous entry. Thanks Kathy!

MediaStorm will soon be the way to go for an online news package story. The multimedia company that creates software for Mac has made video, audio, visual editing so efficient and user-friendly and even now offers an online publication wing. And since Mac is increasingly popular among computer users, almost anyone who buys MediaStorm can become a professional citizen journalist and a mojo (mobile journalist).

“The old saying is, ‘The power of the press belongs to those who own one,’” says Storm. “Well, now we can all own a press, and publish on the Internet. MediaStorm is a perfect example of that. We’re an independent publishing company that can publish exactly what we want to.”                               –Brian Storm, MediaStorm’s founder and president

UC Berkeley conference panelists talks about the potential of crowdsourcing in journalism

UC Berkeley’s “Crisis in Journalism” conference brings together panelists from established news organizations like NY Times, Washington Post and PBS Frontline/World to discuss their plans to integrate print with the online medium and whether it will make money.

“Things are going well online. There are lots of opportunities and places I’d like to see us go. We need to go beyond getting tips from people online. We can do it in a more focused way, get networks of people who know something about a subject. it mimics the way a beat reporter gets sources.”–Jonathan Landman, NY Times

Thanks Jonathan!