links for 2009-06-11

  • “It seems like the ones who orchestrated the whole mess should be losing their jobs or getting pushed into smaller quarters,” Richtmyer wrote on May 28. “But they aren’t.”

    McClatchy, like countless other newspaper publishers, happens to be a member of the AP’s newsgathering cooperative. Had the comment been uttered in real life, it likely would have dissipated into the rank air of a Philly journo bar. But Richtmyer had some 51 AP colleagues as Facebook friends. The reporter was given a firm talking-to by AP management, who put a reprimand letter in his employment file.

    Paul Colford, AP spokesman, said that “guidance offered to AP staff is that participation on Twitter and Facebook must conform with AP’s News Values and Principles.” That ethics policy says writers “must be mindful that opinions they express may damage the AP’s reputation as an unbiased source of news. They must refrain from declaring their views on contentious public issues in any public forum.”

  • Watch this video, and while you’re doing it, substitute Best Buy’s products for news and it’s brand/stores with a news organization. Everything Best Buy CMO Barry Judge talks about Best Buy doing this or that, think about how a news organization can do or think similarly.
  • If you're gonna use Facebook for community building, these are great basic tips for making the most of your fan page and building community. Intended for businesses, but could work for nonprofits and media orgs too.
  • Bunch, 50, is a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News and — perhaps more prominently — the Attytood blogger who stirred a nationwide controversy when he criticized his bosses and colleagues for hiring former Bush Administration lawyer John Yoo to write regular columns for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He did more than criticize the Inquirer; he urged readers to demand Yoo's removal from the paper's op-ed pages.

    "People should write the Inquirer … or call the newspaper and tell them that torture advocates are not the kind of human beings who belong regularly on a newspaper editorial page, officially sanctioned," Bunch wrote in early May. Attention from media and liberal blogs from around the nation ensued; Bunch ended up debating this issue with his top boss, publisher Brian Tierney, on WHYY.

    Conflicts with the boss make most people nervous, but Bunch saw the dustup as a matter of principle.

  • "A cell phone that never needs recharging might sound too good to be true, but Nokia says it's developing technology that could draw enough power from ambient radio waves to keep a cell-phone handset topped up. Ambient electromagnetic radiation–emitted from Wi-Fi transmitters, cell-phone antennas, TV masts, and other sources–could be converted into enough electrical current to keep a battery topped up, says Markku Rouvala, a researcher from the Nokia Research Centre, in Cambridge, U.K."
  • "A sharp-eyed reader e-mailed us and asked us to consider adding a promise about signing statements to our Obameter database.

    "After taking office, President Obama issued a memo outlining the principles he would consider when issuing signing statements. Among other things, he said he would alert Congress to constitutional issues early enough so that legislation could be crafted to avoid a signing statement and that he would strive to find laws constitutional unless he has a "well-founded" reason for believing otherwise.

    Two days later, Obama issued a signing statement for the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, a spending bill left over from the previous year. Obama objected to five aspects of the bill, including several that had to do with the execution of foreign policy. But one of his exceptions drew the ire of Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa…"

  • "There are no paradoxes.

    "This is the overarching rule, to which all other rules are subservient. It’s not a statement about physics; it’s simply a statement about logic. In the actual world, true paradoxes — events requiring decidable propositions to be simultaneously true and false — do not occur. Anything that looks like it would be a paradox if it happened indicates either that it won’t happen, or our understanding of the laws of nature is incomplete. Whatever laws of nature the builder of fictional worlds decides to abide by, they must not allow for true paradoxes."

    (tags: scifi analysis)

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