TFW you see yourself quoted anonymously in a news article 1

TFW you see yourself quoted anonymously in a news article
This morning, while reviewing news from the cryptocurrency world, one article especially caught my eye, so I read it all the way through. And found myself reading my own words. No, it wasn’t plagiarism, but the writer used a comment I had left days ago at a Steemit.com post verbatim, without using my name or Steemit handle. My feelings were a mixture of pride, surprise — and annoyance. Back in my days as a newspaper reporter, we were expected to contact people whom we would quote in a news article. Since the writer made no attempt to contact me, seeing my words in her article ruffled my feathers a bit. Otherwise, I was quoted accurately and appropriately, so my feathers are now back to normal. The subject of the article at Bitcoin.com was American investment in ICOs (initial coin offerings), which have recently become a very common method for cryptocurrency projects to raise money quickly. If you’re familiar with IPOs (initial public offerings) in corporate finance, the idea is the same: to get a boatload of money to help expand a business. As many ICOs are based abroad, Americans are sometimes blocked from investing in them, because of US taxation ...

BBC reporters attacked by ‘thugs’ in Xinhua county, near Loudi, Hunan

BBC reporters attacked by 'thugs' in Xinhua county, near Loudi, Hunan
[CORRECTION ALERT: Xinhua is a county, not a township. I’ve corrected that error.] JISHOU, HUNAN — A BBC correspondent reported today that he and his team were attacked while attempting to interview a local woman about her petitions to the national government. The altercation occurred in a village of Xinhua county in the jurisdiction of Loudi, a city about three and half hours from Jishou. John Sudworth says a group of people prevented him from meeting Yang Linghua, a resident who planned to journey to Beijing to present her grievances to the national congress there. Then, Sudworth says he and his team were physically accosted and their equipment smashed. Then they were chased out of town. Eventually, uniformed police and local officials came out, and required Sudworth and the other journalists to sign a forced confession that they had conducted an “illegal interview.” Ms Yang was also detained, he says in his account. After we left the village, we were chased down and had our car surrounded by a group of about 20 thugs. They were then joined by some uniformed police officers and two officials from the local foreign affairs office, and under the threat of further violence, we ...

The Atlantic Monthly fails Science 101, #FlatEarth ers rejoice

<em>The Atlantic Monthly</em> fails Science 101, #FlatEarth ers rejoice
GEORGE TOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA — There is just so much wrong about a science writer equating “fringe science” with real science in a major magazine that I feel compelled to write a response. I know, I should be writing about my wonderful vacation trip instead of grousing about an essay praising science cranks for their creativity and inquisitive spirit, but Lizzie Wade’s essay in The Atlantic Monthly, “In Defense of Flat Earthers,” just irritates the crap out of me. It bothers me because Wade, whose background as a science writer seems pretty solid, gets all touchy-feely, New-Agey and says fringe scientists are just so adorable, trying to make sense of the world in their cockeyed ways. Why, they’re just like real scientists! No, they are not. I will explain why momentarily. Even more annoying is Wade’s response to criticism that she’s fundamentally missed the boat on what science is and does. She tweeted this rejoinder to one such complaint: It’s not my job to promote science or encourage people to become scientists. https://t.co/lepZqYmMH2 — Lizzie Wade (@lizzie_wade) January 28, 2016 What in blue blazes do you think your job is, Lizzie Wade? A science writer shuld be writing about science, ...

China ranks near the bottom in 2015 World Press Freedom Index

Not that it should surprise anyone, China, at #176 of 180, is among those nations ranking lowest in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index, released by Reporters Without Borders this week. The organization cites continuing government pressure on journalists and authors, including trumped-up criminal charges and incarcerations, as reasons for China’s rank near the bottom with Vietnam, Syria, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea. The Kong Kong SAR ranks in the middle at #70. The RSF cited self-censorhip by domestic and foreign media outlets in the wake of the long Occupy Central protests, as well as pressure from the Beijing government on the ostensibly autonomous region. The Macau SAR is not included on the list. RSF ranked the USA at #49 in the “yellow zone,” saying this: In the United States, 2014 was marked by judicial harassment of New York Times investigative reporter James Risen in connection with the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer charged under the Espionage Act with giving him classified information. US journalists are still not protected by a federal shield law that would guarantee their right not to name their sources or reveal other confidential information about their work. Meanwhile, at least 15 journalists ...

Thin-skinned Gateway Pundit demands ‘major apologies’ from LGF, others 4

Yesterday, I posted an angry blog about some bad reporting that sunk a worthwhile project in Texas. Today, the writer of the original article, kristinn Taylor, wrote a long blog, demanding that Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, Media Matters and others print apologies and retractions. Herewith is my own response, as posted at Little Green Footballs: An open letter to Jim Hoft (aka The Gateway Pundit) and his loyal sidekick Kristinn Taylor, Dear Messrs Hoft and Taylor, I have read Mr Taylor’s demand for apologies and retractions from those writers who found fault with your reporting abilities regarding the now canceled Weslaco project. I am referring to this blog published today at the thegatewaypundit.com As one of those writers finding fault with your coverage (see which, Wheat-dogg’s World), I am writing this open letter to respond to your demand. Are you seriously demanding an apology for someone calling you out for your sloppy reporting? Professional journalists check and doublecheck their facts. You didn’t. You apparently cribbed from one source, KRGV-TV, and you admit as much in today’s blog. What Johnson fails to report is that I link in my article to a report by KRGV-TV posted July 14 that ...

What fools these mortals be 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — Just to be clear, I am not Satoshi Nakamoto. Nor do I write for Newsweek. Under the circumstances, these are both good things. Dorian Sakamoto also says he is not Satoshi Nakamoto. He’s the 64-year-old Californian who Newsweek says is the man responsible for the Bitcoin technology. Dorian, who was born Satoshi in Japan, told The AP he doesn’t even know what Bitcoin is. (He called it Bitcom.) Here’s the short version of this Shakespearean comedy. Bitcoin was invented in 2008-9 by an anonymous programmer going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. He identified himself as 38 years old and living in Japan. His true identity was unknown even to his closest collaborators on the Bitcoin protocol. Newsweek, which has just been brought back from the dead, made its re-premiere cover story an exposé of the “man behind Bitcoin,” asserting he is Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, a naturalized American citizen living in a nondescript neighborhood of Temple City, California. The reporter who tracked him down, Leah McGrath Goodman, pored through public records, contacted Bitcoin developers, former associates and family of Dorian Nakamoto, and even obtained his email address from a business in the UK. Dorian likes model trains, ...

x ways to write a headline that are sure to drive me crazy 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — Where x = 1. Can we just stick a fork in this sloppy habit of writing “numbered list” headlines on ‘Net sites? It’s as bad as the “one weird trick” ad line. From alternet.org: 11 Things Americans Get Wrong About Australia; 11 Jobs Where an Honest Day’s Work Earns You Poverty From thoughtcatalog.com: 59 Quick Slang Phrases From The 1920s We Should Start Using Again; 15 Things College Friends Teach Us And then there’s cracked.com, which I blame for foisting this craptastic habit on the Internet: 5 Ways Growing Up Inside Scientology Was a Nightmare; 30 Most Baffling Design Flaws of Popular Products. Here’s the thing, people. Writing an article about the top x things means nothing when x can be any flippin’ number from 2 to infinity. If it was a definite number, “the top 10,” “the top 5,” then it would mean something. It would suggest that the writer gave the topic some, you know, thought, weeded out the less important stuff, and only picked what the writer thinks we need to know most. That’s kinda the job of a good writer, ya think? Making up a list of items until you run out of ...

An open letter to Joel Stein and TIME magazine

Dear Joel Stein and editors of TIME magazine, Get off my lawn!! Every 20 years or so TIME publishes an issue bewailing the current generation and predicting the end of civilization as we know it once the young folks get old enough to run things. Seriously? This trope has been around since Plato (see quote below) and for sure predates him. And guess what, it’s not news! It’s opinion. Tired out, useless opinion. Try to be a news magazine once in a while, instead of a source of jokes like this one: For your edification, here’s what Plato (I knew Plato. Mr Stein, and you, sir, are no Plato!) said about the young people of his day. Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers. — Plato (d. 347 BC) Nice to see TIME is keeping current with ancient Greek philosophers. Real Pulitzer material, that. Sincerely yours, A guy in his 50s who remembers what people said about the ...

But this news is not funny at all …

JISHOU, HUNAN — I read tonight that Editor & Publisher, which has been the unofficial watchdog of the U.S. newspaper industry for 108 years, is going bye-bye. E&P was indispensable reading for us (former and present) newspaper types, even if we were only reading the classified for jobs or getting our jollies from the headline bloopers on the last page of the magazine. The trade journal is a casualty of corporate media conglomerates, who value profit over service. E&P’s owner, The Neilson Group, is selling off some of its publications to new owners, but axing E&P completely. Journalists are protesting the move, but who knows if protests will succeed in saving Editor & Publisher. Like the Columbia Journalism Review, E&P critiqued the newspaper trade, and especially noted the media’s servile role during the Bush administration, where it seemed most newspapers were just doing PR for the White House instead of questioning it. Some allege that E&P’s tendency to criticize the Bush administration and point out corporate media’s dearth of fact-checking may have led to its demise. This is as depressing as Rupert Murdoch buying The Wall Street Journal.
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