September 27, 2006

Just post everything, continued

Mark Liberman at Language Log shows why posting recordings of journalists’ interviews would help alleviate some of the noise in the system (also re: my earlier post).

Also of interest from Liberman:

“But as regular readers of this and other weblogs know, the effective standards for accuracy in quoting sources in print these days are so low that they’re nearly non-existent — see this post for a list of some of the examples we’ve documented over the years.”

September 26, 2006

More answer than he wanted

I’m late getting to this, but…

Chris Wallace asked former President Bill Clinton this question (minus the build-up and qualifying): “Why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?”

I’ll leave my commentary of Clinton’s response to this: probably calculated to a certain extent (not fully scripted), i.e. he was prepared to do what he did if necessary. No one in Clinton’s position submits to an interview unprepared to react in rhetorically advantageous ways.

The question is fair to the extent that bin Laden was a known bad guy with nefarious intentions and that Clinton had tried to some extent to kill him.

I’m wondering about Clinton’s kairos–timing and proportion.

If I had been advising him about such a question–hindsight being 20/20, of course–I’d have suggested this: “Such as?” (then wait…and wait…and wait). Make Wallace come up with something. Then attack.

Clinton is a big guy who can speak in long strings of complete sentences. This make him a formidable opponent for a TV journalist. But I think some of that power was diluted by “going off” before putting Wallace on the spot intellectually. 

September 25, 2006

Rhetorica Update

I’ve begun the final push to finish the manuscript for Politics and Language, the book I’m editing with Max Skidmore. It’s slated for publication by Cambridge Scholars Press in 2007.

Mostly, I’m working on securing copyright permissions. And I have to write the chapter introductions. All of that needs to be finished by 31 January 2007. Shouldn’t be a problem.

I’ll probably have a few slow blogging periods between now and then–especially during January. After that, I’ll have a new academic project to announce involving citizen journalism.

September 21, 2006

Just post everything

An interesting idea from the Center for Citizen Media: Just post everything, and make it open for public use. For example:

Here’s a simple way public TV and radio stations could help seed the public sphere: Every time they go to a press conference or cover an event where a public figure — politicians, celebrities, high-profile business people, etc. — is speaking, the media organization should post on the Web the entire event, not just the snippets it chooses to run as part of a news report. Moreover, the material should be posted under a Creative Commons license allowing further and wider use.

Then, public media should ask the public for the audio and video the rest of us capture of public figures, and post it all. Then work with search engines to ensure that the material gets indexed properly so we can find it. (One simple approach would be to post it on the Internet Archive.)

One of the things I like about this is that it would facilitate citizen reporting of these events. The pros will do it their way (certainly important). But citizens might find alternative moments of civic interest in these events. So what you would get is a series of reports from multiple points of view.

Do people have time to be looking at multiple reports about the same topic (not to mention the time to cover the topic for their fellow citizens)? Well, no. But an audience would form for such reporting.

Plus, we can dream of a day when this kind of thing would be more interesting and fun than some forms of mindless entertainment.

September 21, 2006

Interview on Open Source

I participated in the PRI radio program Open Source with Christopher Lydon yesterday. The topic was apologies. My part was to offer thoughts about the rhetoric of apology, especially as it concerns Presidents of the United States. The other two guests were far more distinguished than I. But, then, I was a last-minute substitute.

September 19, 2006

Rhetorica Podcast

Another meeting of the Springfield Bloggers. The podcast is a conversation I had with The Libertarian Guy. The rest of them showed up a bit late–a small crowd, but it included new attendees Darin and Michelle.

Rhetorica Podcast

September 19, 2006

I don’t know; what do you think?

When I was in graduate school, a tough professor found a way to knock me down a few notches and build me back up at the same time. In other words, he taught me a valuable lesson. We regularly wrote response papers in his class. A response paper is simply a reaction to something read or discussed in class. The point of a response paper is to open multiple points for discussion in a seminar. That’s exactly how I use The Golden Mean weblog in my media ethics class.

I’m taking the long way around the barn here, so let me get to the point, or at least an illustration of it. Across one of my response papers the professor wrote: “Try this sometime in class: ‘I don’t know. What do you think.'”

Basically, he was telling me that I was being an arrogant prick and to back off.

But, then, I was recently a journalist and came into graduate school with a measure of journalistic arrogance–an arrogance born from journalism’s positivistic epistemology. I quickly had my attitude adjusted. Education is a beautiful thing.

And the point of all that: To get you to click here and read what Butch Ward has to say about arrogance–and humility–in journalism.

September 19, 2006

Will the environment now take center stage?

The first entry on this weblog, back in April 2002, asked if the environment would ever take center stage in politics. Today we learn that President Bush may be changing his mind about global warming. I suspect that may get some attention. (via PoliticalWire)

September 19, 2006

Springfield Bloggers meet tonight

Like the headline says–see you at 7:00 p.m. at the Patton Alley Pub.

September 13, 2006

Rhetorica Update

I’m busy writing the essay for the 2006 Media Ethics Colloquium. It’s due Monday. So you know what that means: I won’t be writing much for Rhetorica until Tuesday.

A bit of good news: I received word this morning that my essay “Political Culture and Moral Literacy: Creating Better Workers With Words” will be published this November in the Community Literacy Journal. Hoo-ray!

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