Posts Tagged ‘Media’


#FOEDA in Alexandria

February 12, 2010

Forty journalists from around the world will be meeting in Alexandria, Egypt on February 15-17 to discuss and blog about the state of media, freedom of expression, religion issues and ways to cover sensitive information. All this  in the framework of a three day conference : Reporting Across Cultures: Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age organized by International Center for Journalism and United Nations Civilization Foundation.  This is the next step of the ICFJ Course this blog was initially started for.  More information can be found here and on twitter by searching  #FOEDA.


Comments on News Media Sites

January 14, 2010

My professor in Critical Writing used to say that good books have their  true impact when you discuss them. I believe it applies to any writing, idea and point of view. History and our live experiences have undeniably shown that monologues have never gotten any of us anywhere happy. Think about any dictatorship or an argument where you didn’t feel safe to express your opinion.

The development of technology has made it possible to turn written pieces alive,  make an idea into a dialogue. Possibility to leave comments, share content has provided for a two-way communication, which in turn, puts  democracy into action.

Giving the readers an opportunity  to have their say regarding a news piece makes a perfect sense. At the end of the day, news is for public and we as reporters should be interested in feedback. Commenting feature also boosts traffic, so it is eventually good for the business, too.


Comments from concerned, curious and active  readers can really improve the story, provide for a follow-up investigation, open a new angle. On the other hand, some may use comments in provocative measures.

Obscenities and ethical and racial slurs can hardly ever be avoided. Just like in a real life, yet much worse online. It has been proven that lying and insulting is a lot easier online than in real life, when you actually look someones in the eyes.


News organizations have come up with various antidotes to undesired and insulting comments by the use of customizable filters for specific words and user names. Moderation of comments by a group of editors is yet another way to make sure the dialogue is civilized. Wall Street Journal, and many other news providers require registration with valid e-mail addressees and only after verification do they allow users to leave comments.

Ethical Impediments

Freedom is also a responsibility and should not be confused with an uncontrollable flow of generally accepted insults. Disagreements and criticism should be encouraged however the importance of  civilized and equal dialogue  should not be undermined.

Another professor on mine, Gyurginian,  used to say that there is a little voice of wisdom inside of each of us  which gets especially activated when we send an order to our brain to write! For as long as we write, encourage others to write and  engage into a civilized dialogue comments can only be constructive.


CBN: Verdict: Hyper-Thematic, Promotional

December 8, 2009

Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) –Established in 1959 in Virginia. It was the first Christian television station in the nation with a mission “to reach the world with a message of hope from the Bible.”

Today CBN is a multifaceted nonprofit organization that provides programming by cable, broadcast and satellite to approximately 200 countries, with a 24-hour telephone prayer line. Chief among CBN’s broadcasting components is The 700 Club, a daily television program.

Web look – Judging from its web site look the organization invests considerable amount of its funds in programming and technology. Attractive red color graphics, non-static images, and links to their affiliates as well as a possibility to share the story on other online platforms all indicate that the organization is making the most of their web presence.

Content – The content reflects the organization’s mission statement:  Christian themes and corresponding content pop out from a number of advertising blocs. It is hard to differentiate between news “product” and advertising.

The web site has information sections – health, finance, entertainment, global – which do report news however with a heavy Christian emphasis.  Due to the absence of any dates on articles / reports it is hard to estimate the freshness of the content.

The majority of content whether in finance or entertainment is advisory in nature, lacks quotes and is limited in attributions to any sources.   Their writers might be considered their ultimate source as they write for a specific readership and may enjoy a high level of credibility.

Although the information might be credible is it not newsworthy in nature and is geared towards a particular niche of readers with special interests and beliefs.