Media

Citizen Journalism: The Rewards and Risks

A little research and some simple guidelines will let you write worry-free articles for your favourite community news web site.

By Mark Richardson
Published February 14, 2011

"Nature abhors a vacuum." I learned this maxim in my trade, which entails providing a vacuum for industrial processes.

One way to create a vacuum is to condense a vapour in a closed container. This is exactly what has happened to Canadian news.

Consolidation of the news industry giants has shrunk the amount of hard news, investigative reporting and analytical journalism available for interested citizens to consume, creating an information vacuum.

Citizens who desire information that is lacking due to contracting news coverage seek out sites such as Raise the Hammer or Citizens at City Hall (CATCH) to fill the information void.

As we start to learn about the alternative news and viewpoints these free sites present to us, some decide to get more involved, maybe taking the plunge and writing their first comment.

Feeling emboldened from those first comment forays, some decide to take the leap from being a consumer of free content to being a contributor of free content.

The Rise of the Citizen Journalist

On web sites all around the world, the information void is being filled with the work of citizen journalists. This new entity has even been given the irritatingly cute short form of 'cit-j'.

Cit-j's are people just like you who blog, write, rant, research, collate, disseminate, opinionate and everything in between to provide the kind of content that their community (web or real) want and need to read.

There are many rewards that keep people happily providing unpaid content sites like RTH, but cit-j's also need to be aware of the perils and pitfalls that exist as well.

Citizen Journalism and the Law

Recent Supreme Court rulings have proven to be very advantageous to cit-j's. The responsible journalism defence for making justifiable mistakes or inaccuracies in an article has been extended to cit-j's and bloggers.

It is important to note that Canada has stricter laws than the United States when copyrighted materials are used or referenced in an article.

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have Canada's expert on internet law agree to provide some answers on these subjects.

Michael Geist Q&A

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law. I was amazed and very thankful that Dr. Geist agreed to answer some questions for this article via e-mail.

Mark Richardson, Raise the Hammer: Have there been any issues, court rulings or lawsuits you are aware of in Canada relating to Citizen Journalism. Were these copyright issues? Libel issues? Protection of sources?

Michael Geist: Perhaps most important was the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled on the applicability of journalist rights and extended to bloggers and other new media. This was a libel case and that created the responsible journalism defence. See article

RTH: What advice can you give Cit-J's about Canada's fair use laws for copyrighted material and how to protect themselves while using outside sources and pictures?

MG: Fair dealing in Canada currently includes news reporting as a category. It is important to meet all the criteria, including attribution if relying upon the provision.

RTH: How can Cit-J's state potentially controversial opinions on public figures and their actions without exposing themselves to possible legal action?

MG: We have free speech in Canada. Provided that the comment is fair and not libellous, I'm not sure I see the risks.

RTH: What do you foresee in the future for Cit-J's, especially considering the contraction of traditional newspapers? Should CJ's have some training or follow some a set of basic guidelines?

MG: I think there are already large numbers of people contributing to public knowledge and reporting via a variety of platforms - whether blogs, photos, videos, or tweets. While not always labelled citizen journalists, that is often what this is.

RTH: What is the role of the site administrator who publishes material from Cit-J's? Should they carry libel insurance and if they did, would the contributing Cit-J be covered under that? Would the editor, site owner, Cit-J or all three be open to legal action for a posted article?

MG: There are legal issues associated with third party comments on a website, since the protections in Canada differ from those in the U.S. It is important to be aware of the laws and adopt appropriate policies.

RTH: What about the comments section after an article. If 'Awesome Dude' makes libellous statements about 'Hot Roddr' (all made up) is he in legal hot water? Do the rules change if real names are used instead of pseudonyms? What about commenting false or made up information, is the commenter held accountable for their writing or the web master? Do the same rules apply if you published the statement instead of writing it in a comments thread?

MG: Defamation rules apply equally online and offline as well as for anonymous speech.

RTH: Protection of sources? Do CitJ's have any rights to withhold information on sources without 'proper' accreditation? What exactly is valid accreditation?.

MG: They can seek to rely on the same protections. See article

RTH: Once you send in content to a site, who owns that content? Does it automatically become someone else's property? What about any profits generated from re-selling that content?

MG: There are often policies on the site that specify the rights associated with the postings.

[Editor's note: on RTH, the owner always retains full copyright on any article or blog entry we publish.]

RTH: There are tax issues for cit-j's in the US for 'gifting' a story to a commercial news outlet, could that happen here?

MG: I don't know.

RTH: Your opinion on the recent Supreme Court decision where Cit-J's 'can now use the defence of "responsible communication on matters of public interest" as a defence against libel.' I notice that there is a check list of criteria for the publisher to follow; does that mean the onus of proof is on the webmaster and not the author?

MG: No - on the author.

Fair Dealing vs. Fair Use

Fair Dealing is the term used for the use of copyrighted material in Canada, Fair Useis the American term. There are differences between the two countries laws, with America generally being more liberal in its allowances.

The following is from the Copyright Act of Canada and pertains to criticism, review and news reporting. Follow these legal guidelines when using material from other sources for an article and you will be safe:

Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review does not infringe copyright if the following are mentioned (a) the source; and (b) if given in the source, the name of the author, in the case of a work, performer, in the case of a performer's performance, maker, in the case of a sound recording, or broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal.

Fair dealing for the purpose of news reporting does not infringe copyright if the following are mentioned (a) the source; and (b) if given in the source, the name of the author, in the case of a work, performer, in the case of a performer's performance, maker, in the case of a sound recording, or broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal.

The Responsible Journalism Defence

Let's say I wrote an article that angered a powerful person, but the piece is in the public's interest and I can prove that I made a reasonable effort to make sure the facts I'm referencing are correct... maybe something like this.

If that powerful person challenges the accuracy of my facts (and maybe I did have a justifiable inaccuracy) and threatens to take legal action, I now have the Responsible Journalism Defence to protect myself.

This new and powerful legal tool applies to bloggers and cit-j's as well as professional journalists as Michael Geist explained. The key to protecting yourself is in being able to prove that you took every reasonable effort to ensure your facts were as correct as you could possibly ascertain. Do this and you will be able to report worry free.

So Why Do it?

You may ask yourself, why write something as a citizen journalist? Why take the risk? I can only give you a list of answers that I came to for myself.

Now you do it!

Yes, you. I've read your comments so I know you're smart and witty. You have made me snort milk out of my nose. You have made me scream at my computer. I have re-used your own quotes as fodder for heated rebuttals. I have felt touched and deeply moved by your words.

You have 'it', and you know you do. So please be brave and use 'it'.

Write an Article

I researched and wrote this entire piece so you would learn to have nothing to fear. Follow these recommendations and there will be no comebacks to you.

You may get a few nasty comments, but if you are a regular RTH'er you know that's really nothing to worry about.

We had a gap of meaty, heavy comment worthy content on RTH from Feb. 2/11 to Feb. 10/11. That's what I call an information vacuum.

Together, let's fill that void.

Citizen Journalism Links

Mark Richardson has lived in Hamilton since 1993. He is a Stationary Engineer and is one of Hamilton's many Industrial Nomads. He currently is employed at US Steel.

52 Comments

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 08:59:32

Terrific interview with Michael Geist, a man I admire and read regularly, who does great work.

I am a tax lawyer and the question about "gifting" a story to a commercial news outlet is a very interesting one. We don't have a gift tax equivalent to that of the U.S. That being said, that doesn't mean there aren't tax implications.

I like the question; I will review the Canadian issues and write an article for my website, then link it here in the next day or two.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted February 18, 2011 at 21:56:39 in reply to Comment 59728

OK, having looked at the issue in some depth, the issues are far less troubling for citizen journalists in Canada than they are in the US. When I finish the piece I will link it here, but rest assured folks, this is a uniquely American issue.

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By Train Wreck at West Harbour (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 12:50:36

Saw this posted:

The Saga of White Star

This is an opinion piece from The Hamilton Spectator on Friday, February 11 regarding the process in West Harbour development over the last 20 years plus. An interesting article worthy of further distribution, documentation and discussion.

A bureaucratic train wreck derails development and leaves a property in limbo for 22 years

As written by Gary Santucci (printed and published originally by the Spec)
http://www.ratsass.ca/2011/02/12/the-saga-of-white-star/

Perhaps someone might want to contact Gary and have this article reposted here on RTH.... maybe he'll GIFT you that! This is serious news and requires discussion, yes.

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 15:24:57 in reply to Comment 59746

WOW! I just had the most horrible sinking feeling in my gut reading that article. Anyone else feel like the west harbour was doomed to fail all along? What the hell is going on in this city!!! Sickening!!!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 14, 2011 at 13:49:11 in reply to Comment 59746

This is an incredible article.

Never mind the PanAm Games Stadium Site Selection Process Débâcle...this should be front-and-centre in Hamilton right now.

It should published right here, on RTH. It's a natural fit.

Quoting a modern character in a modern film, "This is disturbing on so many levels..."

And it makes me wonder whether what I've yammered-on about on my site on numerous occasions is more valid than even I'd believed: that we really, truly do have a 'culture of obstructionism' at City Hall, result in a 'We're NOT Open for Business' reality.

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By shocked (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 14:22:05 in reply to Comment 59753

WOW. This is incredible! I hope RTH post this article! This is obviously just the tip of the ice burg I'm sure.

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By Supporter of Citizen Journalism (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 13:05:01

Agreed. Gary Santucci is a local citizen literally risking a lot by having written such a clear documented investigative piece. Let's support him and others risking so much!

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By Jeff Reid (registered) - website | Posted February 14, 2011 at 14:38:20

Great work, Mark... Really enjoyed it.

On "Fair Dealing" ...So what happens when you throw "off-shore" servers and "rewriters" in the reality? I wonder, as someone threatened by those corporations that mistake a dev. process for final product.

News-ON is a custom script, that fetches everything released by RSS-- Really Simple Syndication was never intended for Corporations, BTW, who have really complicated syndication all to themselves.

If one wanted to just "steal the cake", you can host anywhere on the globe, and run an author's work through a Rewriter-- this creates a new piece of writing with just a single, algorithmic action. The results usually lack finesse, but I've seen it actually improve on shoddy reporting, the way the radio news re-writers do.

For my work, its important that ALL the material is attributed and archived: news reports, City Hall feeds, all local blogs and civics. Washington-DC, for example, grows by over 200 pages a day.

To me, the archival is required, because the media and governments will remove the statements and stories they release. Even Wikipedia notes on one entry...

Stories in local newspapers such as The Hamilton Spectator and The Guelph Mercury... do not remain online for long. The following links have been chosen for their stability on the web.

Comment edited by Jeff Reid on 2011-02-14 14:59:07

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By Whatever (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 15:38:43

Hey nerds, this is what citJ gets you.... http://hamilton.openfile.ca/....... a cobweb site already.

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By citJ (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 15:55:24 in reply to Comment 59762

OpenFile is not citJ, it that wants people to do the hard work of finding the story and then to make money off it. The Huffington Post made money off citizen's work, maybe OpenFile will be able to get 30-mil from the same model.

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By Whatever (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 16:12:48 in reply to Comment 59764

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 17:25:41 in reply to Comment 59767

How highschool do you have to be to refer to people you disagree with as "nerds"?

Stupid jocks.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2011-02-14 17:25:52

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By Whatever (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 20:18:18 in reply to Comment 59770

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted February 14, 2011 at 15:54:19

There's really two dimensions to journalism. There's "breaking news" where the goal is to be there first, and then there's more permanent postings and their value for research and history. As Jeff points out, much of the older stuff doesn't remain online unless you have special access.

Blogging and citizen journalism is starting to make real inroads on the "breaking news" front, but we're only really beginning to see the larger implications for longer-term research. And as that progresses, it's going to harder and harder for everyone to rely only on conventional sources.

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By Whatever (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 16:11:53 in reply to Comment 59763

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 18:28:02 in reply to Comment 59766

I disagree, RTH has broken stories before thespec.com on several occasions. Don't even get me started about the print version of the Spec. I think someone described it best by saying it provided "yesterday's news tomorrow".

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By Whatever (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 20:17:18 in reply to Comment 59773

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By Clyde_Cope (registered) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 17:16:45

With the push for more transparency in all levels of government, it is vitally important that we have citizen journalists - well prepared ,researched and current. There is tremendous power in the written word - let's continue using it for the better good.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 15, 2011 at 07:40:03 in reply to Comment 59769

Absolutely.

But wihout citizen readers...in other words, an engaged citizenry, because we're not talking covering sports and entertainment here, are we?...it's all moot.

And yes, I'm aware that this brings up 'the chicken or the egg' discussion. I'm merely saying that 'citizen journalism' being an element of 'social media' is not the solution to any problem in and of itself. The real solution...the real problem, in fact...is revealed by stepping back a few steps to examine the bigger picture.

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By Julie Twyford (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2011 at 21:06:49

There is risk involved in anything of value - starting your own business, starting a family, stating an opinion publicly. That doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. In many ways, I think the internet has moved us backwards a little. We don't post under our real names, God forbid, because !!! ummmmm, why exactly? Is it to avoid spammers? To get away with saying outrageous things?

I owned and edited a newspaper many, many years ago, pre-internet basically, and got used to seeing my name, but I was a little rattled seeing it in public here the other day. I felt exposed. I hadn't done anything wrong, yet I felt self-conscious. But at one point, people stated opinions publicly. They stepped out from anonymity to comment on the world in letters to editors.

I think it's time for us to remind ourselves that being an adult is risky business. And I'm beginning to think that posting any comments under a pseudonym is cowardly. Just beginning, mind you. But it's an idea that's taking hold.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2011 at 23:50:31 in reply to Comment 59777

(I did have that screen name before this discussion. :)
I know it's an idea that's taking hold. I've seen a lot of letters & posts demanding that people "sign everything". (possibly from people who have been getting a bit of flak lately & those same people may have a battery of lawyers at the ready, & those lawyers are being paid by a bigger entity, not that individual.

Being an adult is risky business, as is being a politician, a public figure, or a journalist.

There is some merit to asking posters or letter writers to sign their names, but there is also the responsibility & moral obligation of those in office & those given a public trust by the nature of their job or position to also behave as adults. (And that's without a battery of pre-paid lawyers to back them up when they choose not to.)

If telling the truth is part of one's job description, never mind the lawyers. Just do the job!

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted February 17, 2011 at 09:38:09 in reply to Comment 59777

If anyone wants or needs to know my name, they can just ask me. People standing up in a public meeting and offering a comment or asking a question - they speak anonymously too, because in a large city who among us knows each other? And yet that is the opposite of "cowardice"... that is responsible civic engagement.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 15, 2011 at 07:45:34 in reply to Comment 59777

I think it's time for us to remind ourselves that being an adult is risky business. And I'm beginning to think that posting any comments under a pseudonym is cowardly. Just beginning, mind you. But it's an idea that's taking hold.

I've commented on this at the Mahesh Butani article 'The Gyges Ring and the Local Media', so I'll limit myself to pointing out the we're dealing with an entirely different landscape here. Much as I'd love to believe grace and civility should be everywhere, it's not, and we can't expect all traditions to immediately pull through when we shift to another construct. This is going to take time and patience. (And don't forget, we're talking about an electronic society whose basic credo revolves around entitlement.)

And at this point, I'm going to defer to Undustrial's cogency: http://raisethehammer.org/comment/59782

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-02-15 07:46:45

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted February 15, 2011 at 18:55:24

mystoneycreep, after all the vicious, vitriolic, mean spirited crap you’ve written about me under various pseudonyms, you’ve got a lot of nerve pretending to believe in civility.

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By hammy (registered) | Posted February 15, 2011 at 20:30:59

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted February 16, 2011 at 11:50:39

I think you have your cause and effect all screwed up. Cit-J's are not filling a vacuum. Cit-J's caused the decline of the conventional media. How does anybody hope to make a buck printing a newspaper? Less and less people are buying them since they no longer have a use for them. No sales leads to no ads the whole thing cannot survive. The worst part (for the papers) is that the internet is still in its infancy. What will it look like in 10 or 20 years?

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted February 16, 2011 at 14:09:58 in reply to Comment 59852

The newspapers created their own vacuum. Layoffs of journalists started before the Internet.

Newspapers are failing to change to the new reality. People are searching for high-quality relevant information. There is a business model for that, just not a business model with easy 30% profit margins.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 16, 2011 at 13:59:40

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted February 16, 2011 at 14:03:19 in reply to Comment 59867

Now that was funny!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 09:00:14

This "article" would never have made it past the editors in times past. This is "citizen journalism," and like "citizen brain surgery," it leaves a great deal to be desired.

This quote is from the Comments section of the Salon.com article 'How 'The King's Speech' got stuttering wrong, which can be found here: http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movie...

There are more than a few comments that address 'falling standards' of journalism, the 'dumbing down of a culture' attributed in part to the basic premise of non-journalist journalism: http://letters.salon.com/ent/movies/film...

caveat emptor

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 09:34:57

Blaming the decline of journalistic standards on citizen journalism is like blaming the high divorce rate on same-sex marriage.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 11:41:35 in reply to Comment 60131

And extrapolating erroneously isn't anything to be proud of.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 12:17:03 in reply to Comment 60146

I wasn't replying directly to you, stoneycreek, but rather to the oft-repeated notion that the comments you link to articulate, that it is somehow the publishing of articles written by people without journalism degrees that has lead to the decline of journalistic standards, rather than the preceding decades of consolidation and cost cutting in the industry.

It's pretty clear that the media damaged their own credibility long before the rise of the citizen journalist. This has created fear and uncertainty in the media landscape, and for many, the citizen journalist is a convenient scapegoat.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 13:14:29 in reply to Comment 60149

It's pretty clear that the media damaged their own credibility long before the rise of the citizen journalist.

Fair enough.

But beware of conflation.

'Media'...aka MSM...is a broad term. Newspapers...corporations...broadcast companies...cable entities...the Murdochs...

...as well as journalists. Reporters. Commentators. Writers.

The ones on the front lines were absolutely, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt, complicit to varying degrees in the ever-downward-spiraling loss of credibility of 'the media'.

But let's try not to throw the baby out with the bath water, yes?

After all, it's vital...as it is in all elements of the world we've created...to remember the other, often-ignored portion of this equation: The Public.

Everything in a consumer society is a consumable. And unless you're willing to see us all as mindless dolts, easily-manipulated sheeple, then we're all a little bit complicit ourselves.

"That may not be news, but it is reality."

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-02-22 13:15:09

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 13:45:29 in reply to Comment 60152

After all, it's vital...as it is in all elements of the world we've created...to remember the other, often-ignored portion of this equation: The Public.

Never claimed otherwise. I was just rejecting the old 'bloggers are to blame' meme, and couldn't help drawing a parallel between the impetus to blame the decline of journalism on bloggers, and the rush to blame the devaluing of the institution of marriage on those johnny-come-lately gays and lesbians.

BTW, I also reject the idea that there has been a decline in 'journalism'. There is still lots of great writing and reporting going on out there, but journalism and journalists have been conflated with the very real decline in the overall quality of the output of the MSM.

Comment edited by highwater on 2011-02-22 13:50:39

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 26, 2011 at 00:02:25 in reply to Comment 60157

Exactly Highwater!
How many people who are asked what their chief source of news & information is these days, say that their local t.v./radio news & the local paper is the place to check the facts & the stories?

Not many.

Sadly when people find repeated & blatant errors in what the media feeds them, they will turn away & look for a better source. That is their right as consumers.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 12:50:49 in reply to Comment 60149

Any lingering veneration I had for the vaunted profession of journalism sailed out the window during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war. I still remember the frustration I felt reading front-page New York Times articles uncritically stenographing President Bush's transparently disingenuous propaganda and rehashing bogus claims sole-sourced from tortured prisoners.

Meanwhile, it was on independent websites written and published by amateurs that so many of us were able to piece together what the UN humanitarian coordinators, UNSCOM and UNMOVIC weapons inspectors and IAEA nuclear facilities inspectors - People like Hans von Sponeck, Dennis Halliday, Scott Ritter, Richard Halliday, Mohamed ElBaradei, Hans Blix, and so on - were actually saying about Iraq.

In many cases, the original reports even showed up on mainstream papers, but the papers unable or unwilling to apply their own reporting to determine that the government was lying to them and, hence, to us.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 28, 2011 at 13:48:48 in reply to Comment 60151

More credible, vetted fun from the Gray Lady.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 13:27:09 in reply to Comment 60151

Any lingering veneration I had for the vaunted profession of journalism sailed out the window during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war. I still remember the frustration I felt reading front-page New York Times articles uncritically stenographing President Bush's transparently disingenuous propaganda and rehashing bogus claims sole-sourced from tortured prisoners.

That period was a real eye-opener for me as well, and what got me hooked on this whole internet-thingy, as I pored over volunteer-run political blogs looking for the real story that wasn't being provided in any 'trusted' outlet.

Very few journalists have even acknowledged, let alone apologized for their part in fomenting that war, and the media as a whole seem congenitally incapable of recognizing their failure, yet they continue to base their claims of greater credibility and legitimacy on the very mechanisms that failed them, and us, so spectacularly.

Comment edited by highwater on 2011-02-22 13:52:54

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 11:21:00

A must read for the new and established members of the thriving Anonymous and Pseudonymous Community of Hamilton who want to differentiate themselves from Trolls:

In 2006, the NY Times technology columnist David Pogue, came up with a defining guide for Trolls: Rules for Trolls and Pills.

And for the evolving CIT/J's in Hamilton who do not want their emerging careers getting sideswiped by a few overtly enthusiastic members of Hamilton's Anonymous and Pseudonymous Community, or the trolling fan club - here are eight commenter personality types to avoid the most on their new career path. :)

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-02-22 11:21:26

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 11:30:16

Did anyone notice that after you opt out of the "comment scores", you immediately get an automated message nudging you back to the old path:

"You have opted not to display comment scores. You can change that setting on your profile page."

The seductive power of suggestion... pulling you back... Now, should I? or shouldn't I? - Come on Ryan!! :)

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 11:52:44 in reply to Comment 60143

Mahesh, it seems that everything with you has to have a nefarious subtext. Instead of your constant insinuations, you could try just asking me why something on the site works the way it does. I added that message after implementing the ability to hide comment scores because users who had comment scores disabled were asking me how to re-enable them. It may be good or bad user interface design, but was not intended to be "the seductive power of suggestion".

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By hammy (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 13:32:28 in reply to Comment 60148

Ryan, Mayhesh is right with his point. We all know that things work they way they do on this site because that is the way you like it.. When it comes right down to it there is little difference between the RTH and the Bush propaganda machines..

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 13:38:08 in reply to Comment 60154

When it comes right down to it there is little difference between the RTH and the Bush propaganda machines

Yes, because Ryan is advocating an illegal war to control the resources of the Gulf region, using his powerful contacts in the mainstream media. I can see how a local community web site can be compared to the most sophisticated propaganda war in history. You are a GENIUS Hammy, I thank God after reading every one of your posts.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-02-22 13:38:53

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 12:17:39 in reply to Comment 60148

Whoa!! Did you miss my smiley there - expressly inserted to remove any allusions to nefarious subtext?

Could it be that you read way too much into my text here? :)

What's up with the broad brushing here? and since when did the seductive power of suggestion become such a big evil requiring such sweeping response?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 13:41:41 in reply to Comment 60150

Whoa!! Did you miss my smiley there - expressly inserted to remove any allusions to nefarious subtext?

Edit: Whoa!! Did you miss my smiley there - expressly inserted to hide my allusions to nefarious subtext?

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 14:08:36 in reply to Comment 60156

Thank you "Mr. Janitor" for your edit! :) Presumably, you have the editors blanket permission to make "Edits" to others very onymous comments -- while the "Editor" himself exercises his right to Article 7. of David Pogue's: RULES FOR TROLLS AND PILLS viz. my original comment.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-02-22 14:09:20

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 14:33:00 in reply to Comment 60159

Mahesh, all the smileys in the world can't cover up the passive-aggressive tone of your comments. I don't reply for 2 hours, and so I therefore have "disappear[ed] without responding" so as to "slip away without consequence or civility"? Really?

Perhaps I've simply got snark fatigue from all the recent attacks on my character and intentions, but this has really gotten tiresome.

Remember: I maintain this site on my spare time. If you don't like the way the site does something, send me a polite note or comment proposing something better. I promise to give it serious consideration. However, my tolerance for sarcasm is at an ebb just now.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2011 at 15:11:52 in reply to Comment 60161

Ryan, I must tell you that I have a very low tolerance for being patronized by you or anyone else here who appear to equate "your volunteer work being done here on your spare time" - with some sort of hyper-achievement.

Subsequently any form of questioning by many here is dealt with inane commentary from you supposedly pushing the envelope of logic and evidence based thinking - or a very public swarming of down votes by anonymous cohorts with a large dose of cynical jabs to go - mostly from misread intent.

I did attempt to humour you in spite of your gross misread and making the most absurd public comment yet here - where you indulge in some very fanciful broad brushing!!

If this is your level of making a point - I seriously think you may want to consider having Guest Editors manage conversations here - until you energize yourself.

Let me assure you, any fatigue you may be experiencing, is entirely of your own making - from being relentlessly unaccommodating and inflexible with 'other viewpoints' on how this very public forum should look and feel.

Learning to let go of your creation is a sign of wanting to see it succeed. Smothering it in the manner you have just displayed here once again is plain unfortunate.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-02-22 15:12:26

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[ - ]

By hammy (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 16:21:24

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By hammy (registered) | Posted February 22, 2011 at 19:06:19

Ironic, its free speech wk and my last post is getting faded away. Like I said, great job Ryan..

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-02-22 19:06:47

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[ - ]

By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 26, 2011 at 00:09:21

Ryan, this site does seem to have more trolls than before. Be of Good Cheer! You must really be pi$$ing somebody off, & they probably deserve it.

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