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The Howard Greenberg Gallery in NYC held an opening last night for Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker curated by Elisabeth Biondi, the former visuals editor of the magazine.

Ms. Biondi was on hand (top photo), along with David Remnick, Editor of The New Yorker (left in lower photo with photographer Bruce Davidson).

The exhibition, which includes a who’s-who in contemporary photography, runs through October 22, HGG 41 E. 57th St.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

In a society where motherhood, and even life itself are deconstructed — without regret — the phrase “every mother’s worst nightmare” has lost its power, and become kitsch in the minds of some.

At a recent orientation talk for incoming students at the Columbia Journalism School, Dean Grueskin admonished the journalists never to use “every mother’s worst nightmare” in their writing. He said that he had approval to expel any student who did.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

On this the Second Anniversary of the birth of Lotus Editions we are thankful to so many people who have welcomed us and allowed us to cover their events and activities. There is still a lot of good in the U.S. — that hopefully will prevail over what is bad and unhealthy in the country.

One of the hardest things that we see these days is journalists who are playing an active role in deceiving and manipulating the American people, while kowtowing to Washington and Wall Street. If darkness caused the nation’s problems, how can it be counted on to fix them?

We are beginning what we hope will be an annual award — the Hogwash Award — for an American journalist who is ‘mucking-it-up’. This year Steve Liesman of CNBC fits the bill because he has been an inflation denier.  Back in November 2009 LE asked Mr. Liesman about rising inflation and he denied it, even though the money supply had gone up. Since then he has gone along with the government’s line on inflation (deflation) — in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary.

Hogwash soap comes from SallyeAnder Soaps, a family business in upstate New York. It has been called: The Best Soap In America — A perfect scrub for mechanics, gardeners & kids (and now journalists).

Newsweek August 14, 1967

In 1967, the U.S. deficit ballooned to $29 billion from $9 billion — mostly because of the Viet Nam war.

Newsweek — a more balanced magazine in those days — quoted President Johnson as saying “a deficit that big poses a clear and present danger to America’s security and economic health.”

Today, with U.S. deficits in the trillions, President Obama is “confident” and Newsweek, under new ownership, is cheerleading for the disorder driving America’s elites.

Murdoch’s Media Empire

While, what Mr. Murdoch’s organization stands accused of doing is repugnant, one wonders who can judge him — given the ubiquity of improper surveillance being done today by governments and businesses worldwide.

All keystrokes on all our computers and devices are being monitored by countless parties all the time.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Jill Abramson replaced Bill Keller as the Executive Editor of the New York Times today.

In the NYT announcement of the change, Ms. Abramson commented: “In my house growing up, the Times substituted for religion.” She added, “If the Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”

Ms. Abramson said that Arthur Sulzburger, CEO of The New York Times Company, is “concerned about creating a culture of effectiveness and follow-through” at the paper.

The last ten years have been difficult for the NYT and the United States. It’s fair to ask if the U.S. would be better off today, had the NYT been less in the “dark?” In addition to declining circulation and advertising revenue, the paper seems to have been co-opted by various interest groups — acting more as a propaganda arm for Wall Street and the White House than a watchdog for society. Hopefully Ms. Abramson can rescue the NYT from darkness.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

One has to wonder if the journalists covering today’s wars are serving humanity or adding to the disorder?

On April 12, 2011, Richard Engel — of NBC News, told Charlie Rose that if the U.S. were to leave Afghanistan the “Karzai government would not be able to survive.” And yet last July, Hekmat Karzai (cousin of Hamid Karzai) told LE that President Karzai would be fine if the U.S. left.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

The folks at HuffPost lost their ability to shine the light (as Arianna would say), when they gave in to putting gratuitous sex on their site — including explicit (in your face) American Apparel underwear ads, in the “Religion” section.

Without ascetical struggle, the ‘animal spirits’ are in charge. The result is, computers get to do more of the thinking, while human society is sinking.

On this birthday of Joseph Pulitzer (April 10, 1847 — October 29, 1911) his wisdom offers a good examination-of-conscience for everyone, but especially journalists:

” Our republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and the courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself. The power to mold the future of the republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations.” JP/North American Review, 1904

Photograph: Stephen Wise

The Hearst Foundation sponsored a lecture on “New Media” at the Columbia J-School, April 7. Krishna Bharat, Founder and Head of Google News was the featured speaker. Before his talk, Mr. Bharat presented an Award for Innovation to Kelly Golnoush Niknejad, Editor-in-Chief of Tehran Bureau.

Arthur Sulzberger, Chairman New York Times Company, and Janet Robinson, CEO NYT Company, spoke this evening April 5 at the Columbia Journalism School. They addressed issues related to NYT circulation and the new “paywall.” Bill Grueskin, Acadamic Dean at the J-School, moderated.

Mr. Grueskin started by asking how many subcriptions had been sold for the digital version of the NYT? Mr. Sulzberger didn’t offer any numbers, saying instead that they were “making a long term bet on where the digital age is going.” Print subscribers (830,000 presently) are being offered complete digital access for no extra charge — $420 in added value ($35 for complete digital x12 months). Ms. Robinson denied they were trying to “bolster print” — where 85% of their revenue comes from. She said they were looking for a “new revenue stream to invest in journalism.”

Mr Sulzberger seemed delighted to report that the Times has 3 million Twitter followers, making it #1 among newspapers. He said that if Nicolas Kristof, one of their op-ed columnists, were a newspaper — he would be ranked #2 among newspapers, based on his Twitter following. Which is alarming because Mr. Kristof’s recent column (“Is It Better To Save No One?”), advocating for U.S. military intervention in Libya, was dishonest in trying to equate Libya with Bosnia and Rwanda.

When reporters are more concerned with being liked (and having followers) than getting the story right, journalism suffers and democracy suffers.

Since 9/11, the NYT has morphed into a propaganda arm of the U.S. government. I asked Mr. Sulzberger if he’s heard people say that the Times is too close to the White House? He said he hears it all the time. But when I mentioned that I also meant the Bush White House, he responded sharply — “George W. Bush wouldn’t agree!” Actually, it’s because of Bush’s appeal to Bill Keller, the executive editor of the Times, that the Times sat — for a year — on a story about illegal domestic surveillance in 2005.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) hosted an April 4 conference called Digital Video: Channeling Innovation.

According to IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg — “Digital video is a boundless opportunity for brands. Brands are becoming full fledged content creators on the same level as traditional television networks.”

One of the sessions on “branded content,” focused on original branded video content, made excluively for the web. Chris Young, CEO of  Digital Broadcast Group was interviewed by Kevin Pollak. They discussed the online series The Confession, starring Kiefer Sutherland, produced by DBG along with Hulu.

Their goal is to tell a short story (in 5 minutes) with high quality, on-line video that functions as “utilitainment” — entertainment that sells a product.

Quoting a blogger, Mr. Young said: “The best show on TV is not on TV.”

It’s been said that advertising made TV a wasteland in the 50’s. Will utilitainment do the same to the internet? Or will it make an important contribution to society? Stay tuned.

“America’s media managers create, process, refine, and preside over the circulation of images and information which determine our beliefs and attitudes and, ultimately, our behavior. When they deliberately produce messages that do not correspond to the realities of social existence, the media managers become mind managers. Messages that intentionally create a false sense of reality and produce a consciousness that cannot comprehend or wilfully rejects the actual conditions of life, personal or social, are manipulative messages.” Harold Schiller, The Mind Managers (1973)

The four New York Times journalists, recently held captive in Libya, discussed their adventure at the Columbia Journalism School on March 31. Ann Cooper (far left), a professor at the CJS, moderated and was joined by: Stephen Farrell, Lynsey Addario, Anthony Shadid and Tyler Hicks.

The group described how they had snuck into Libya without papers, hooked up with rebel forces, were captured March 16, roughed-up by Gadaffi loyalists, and then released March 21 by Libyan government officials. Judging by their remarks, they didn’t seem to understand how it all could have happened to them. Nor did they see that being journalists, also meant they were “combatants” real or perceived, especially given the fact that their government is trying to get rid of Gadaffi and their newspaper has come out in supported of the war. At one point Stephen Farrell told about the rebels giving them a list of what they wanted, including “a no-fly zone, but no boots on the ground.”

The U.S. government is trying to delegitimize the Gadaffi government, and yet one of the reporters said in effect, it is precisely because there was a functioning state that they were ultimately released. Farrell countered, “It’s not a legitimate state. It’s dark and crumbling.”

If journalists are doing their job and telling the truth, they will be opposed — even by their own people. That’s what it means to be a combatant, in the good sense, as opposed to being a propagandist, or combatant, in the negative sense.

Tyler Hicks commented, that all the reporters killed in Bagdhad have been killed by American troops.

The Committee to Protect Journalists held a forum yesterday at Columbia University titled: From the Frontlines to Online.

One of the panels was called — Looking Back: Thirty Years of Covering War. Dan Rather moderated. Guests included: Terry Anderson, former chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press; Maria Teresa Ronderos, journalist from Columbia; Rajiv Chandrasekaran, of the Washington Post; and Michael Kamber, photographer for the New York Times.

The panel explored a range of issues dealing with how news organizations and journalists are covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including: the effects of instantaneous technology, the need to be embedded with U.S. troops, reduced staffs and the rules imposed by the government on what gets photographed and disclosed.

Michael Kambler mentioned being told by a U.S. Army officer “we don’t like your take on the war,” after his attempts to photograph U.S. casualities. Terry Anderson said that he had been threatened with being shot, by a U.S. Marine in Lebanon, if he photographed a wounded Marine.

One of the panelists said the U.S. government spends billions of dollars on “information management” to keep people from knowing what is happening. Anderson said “they don’t want you (the public) to see the reality of war. If you see what is going on you won’t support it.” Several times while speaking about his experiences, Mr. Rather choked up. Responding to the criticism that it was the “media” that lost the Viet Nam War, Rather said that it was “the bodies coming home” that caused the public to turn against that war. 

Anderson told of being asked by an Israeli General “why do you report bad things about us?” To which he responded “General don’t do it bad and I won’t report it bad.”

Maria Teresa Ronderos described the situation in her country, Columbia, as one where “hopelessness” can set in, because the wars (among criminal gangs) don’t end quickly, and people can “get use to the madness.”

LE asked Dan Rather if he was concerned about “entertainment” companies owning news organizations? He responded — “Exceedingly!”

Because of the demands place on journalists in the field today, the question arises — how much do they really understand about what they are covering? Anderson asked “how many of correspondents in Cairo’s Tahrir Square really figured out what was going on?” He emphasized the need to “be critical consumers of the news.”

Photographs: Stephen Wise

On the day that Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt’s President, the Columbia Journalism School hosted a timely live audience taping of the Al Jazeera English show, “Empire” — which included a discussion of the roll that mainstream media, the internet and social media are playing in societal transformation.

The panel included show host Marwan Bishara, along with Carl Bernstein, Emily Bell, Amy Goodman, Evgeny Morozov and Clay Shirky.

One thing most people in the room, except Carl Bernstein (of Watergate fame) seemed to share, was a disdain for the “mainstream media.” Berstein did acknowledge that “great journalism was not the rule but the exception.” The goal, he said, should be the “best obtainable version of the truth.” He mentioned the importance of “context,” which he thought was missing with the Wikileaks release of war related documents. 

Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now, defended Wikileaks saying “governments that thrive in darkness can’t stand up when the light shines on them.” Regarding the internet and social media, she said “people make revolutions, not technology — but tech supports it, puts it on steroids.”

Ms. Goodman challenged President Obama’s siding with industry and “not going down the path of an open and free internet,” as he had promised he would.

In commenting on the future roll of the internet/social media and “what happens next in Egypt?” she said “I can’t think of a more important roll for journalists than holding those in power accountable — now.”

Photographs: Stephen Wise

We received an e-mail today titled: “Figuring Out Foursquare,” from a prominent dean at a leading American journalism school.

In it, he suggests that everyone read the article he wrote about “foursquare.com,” the social media site that tracks and targets its members with geolocation and incentives to buy stuff.

When I saw the words “figuring out,” I thought for a millisecond that he was talking about “Egypt.” Which would have been welcomed, given his job description and the news of the day.

American journalists have been negligent in not exploring what is truly driving the events in Egypt this week, including any role the U.S. State Department may be playing, and the ramifications for the region.

At the end of his e-mail, the dean writes: “If you aren’t careful it (foursquare) can distract you from real life.”

Photograph: Stephen Wise

The Columbia Journalism School hosted their Inaugural J-School Debate this evening. The topic was: “This house would forbid journalists from political activity.”

Debate Chair Richard Wald was joined by Nizila Fathi of the New York Times and Victor Navasky of The Nation, along with various faculty and students.

The debate was as much about human anthropology and philosophy, as it was journalism, with more questions raised than answered. But in the end, with a show of hands more attendees (30 to 11) supported the view that journalists are people and people need to be able to participate in the political process.

Ms. Fathi, who is Iranian, said that journalism in Iran is an extension of the government and few if any “independent” Iranian news organizations exist. She and others on her side argued for journalists not being involved in political activities, except for voting.

The problem in the U.S. is not that journalists contribute to political campaigns, but rather that many are complicit in manipulating the facts and misleading their audience. This is especially true in areas of the economy, the ‘war on terror’ and health care — where journalists can and do acquiesce to pressure from the government, industry and advertisers.

The  Committee to Protect Journalists held their 20th Annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner, Nov. 23 at the Waldorf in New York.

Among the honorees, were Laureano Marquez (Tal Cual, Venezuela), Nadira Isayeva (Chernovik, Russia) and Dawit Kebede (Awramba Times, Ethiopia). A fourth honoree Mohammad Davari (Saham News, Iran) remains imprisoned in Iran for having reported on alleged rape, torture and abuse in the now closed Kahrizak Detention Center.

Mr. Marquez (left in photo) is a political satirist and a thorn in the side of Hugo Chavez. When asked if there was anything about the U.S. that bothered him, he said: “We need to work together for democracy, not with (military) power but with solidarity.”

The CPJ press release for the evening stated that “these journalists exposed uncomfortable truths, even at personal risk.” The question could be asked — Where are the American journalists “telling uncomfortable truths, even at personal risk?”

I asked Ann Cooper, of the Columbia Journalism School (also at the dinner), if her students believe the U.S. is collapsing?  “I don’t know, she said, we worry about whether journalism is collapsing.”

One problem with American journalism is that news organizations have largely been taken over by profit driven entertainment companies, that have gutted journalism of serious and courageous reporting. CBS’s 60 Minutes should be doing investigative stories on PhARMA companies like Pfizer, but they’re not, perhaps because Pfizer is a major advertiser of the network. 

During his remarks, Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation, who chaired the dinner — made fun of Brian William’s “eye brows,” saying that when people see him deliver the news “they might think that North Korea attacked South Korea.”

Photograph: Stephen Wise

NPR host, Robert Siegel, spoke at the Columbia Journalism School on Nov. 16 before receiving the 2010 John Chancellor Award for Excellence.

Mr. Siegel got his start in radio working at WKCR, the Columbia radio station, while attending the Journaism School there in the 60’s.

During his talk, Mr. Siegel recounted covering the Columbia riots in April 1968 — which culminated in administration buildings being occupied by students and black protesters from the neighborhood, protesting a plan to put a Columbia gymnasium in Morningside Park. There were 700 student arrests.

Siegel chastised the New York Times for not giving the riots proper coverage. Which is ironic, because NPR hasn’t done its job either as a “conscience” for the country, in failing to provide proper coverage of the injustices and miscalculation associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s interesting that Republicans and Fox are going after NPR, in the hope of reducing its government funding, especially considering how NPR personalities like Robert Siegel and Ted Koppel have generally been supportive of America’s misguided “war on terror.”

Photograph: Stephen Wise

The Columbia Journalism School hosted a program last night called Changing Media Landscape.

Sree Sreenivasan, Dean of Student Affairs, was joined by David Karp, founder of Tumblr; Mark Luckie, of the Washington Post; Betty Wong, of Reuters; Adam Ostrow, of Mashable; and Hilda Garcia, of Impremedia.

The event was presented by the Hearst Foundation.

One takeaway from the evening was Mark Luckie claiming authorship of the term “unwebable.”

 

“You got a problem — you need an answer? Ask an actuary.” Donald Segal, President SOA

Actuaries are ‘risk management’ professionals. They measure risk. Their skill set can be applied to many areas, which is why it was interesting to hear Ted Koppel, journalist and analyst (formerly of ABC and now NPR), ask a room of 1000 actuaries, “Why are we in Afghanistan?”

The scene was the SOA (Society Of Actuaries) 2010 Annual Meeting, this week in New York. Mr. Koppel was the Keynote Speaker on day 1 of the meeting. The theme of his talk was: “Garbage in garbage out,” on Wall Street but also in the news business.

Mr. Koppel described a change in news reporting, that started in the 1970’s, when television news organizations went from telling people what they “needed to know” to telling them what they “wanted to know.” To illustrate his point he asked the actuaries “Why are we in Afghanistan?” He seemed to be patronizing them, which was risky, considering most of them truly are the “smartest guys/gals” in any room they inhabit. But some played along, saying: “Oil” “Bin Laden” “Pride” “Votes” “Fear.”  Koppel dismissed all of their answers, saying that the U.S. is in Afghanistan because Pakistan has nuclear weapons and the U.S. needs to be there to protect against the nukes getting into the hands of fundamentalists. With respect to Iraq, he said “I don’t agree with it (the war) but I understand why we are there.”

When Mr. Koppel opened it up to questions, someone asked him what he thought about “QE?” “What the hell is that?” — was Koppel’s response.

Next, an actuary from Bosia commented that a greater risk for the world — than nukes in Pakistan, is the view that genocide can be rewarded, as it seems to have been after the Balkan’s wars of the 90’s, given the way the borders were drawn up and perpetrators like Ratko Mladic were not brought to justice. Mr. Koppel said “we can talk after.”

The next day, Paul Embrechts, professor of mathematics from ETH Zurich, commented on Mr. Koppel’s talk saying that Wall Street wasn’t about “garbage in garbage out,” but rather “garbage in and sweet smelling rose water out” — referring to 65,000 securities that had AAA ratings in 2007.

So…yes, we in America have a problem, many problems, but its unlikely that elitist journalists — working for big media companies, will help solve them. Hopefully some actuaries can step up!

The country needs Arianna and the Huffington Post to be “on” in this moment, but her amused detachedness (a la Bush and Obama) makes it difficult.

One gets the impression that her business interests have diminished her willingness to advocate for truth and justice, as a journalist — during this serious moment in American and human history.

It will be unfortunate if, years from now, Arianna is remembered for having fixated on “sleeping” (one of her passions) — while the ship was sinking. Ironically, being truthful and just are helpful in sleeping.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Deception and manipulation have become part of the American way of life — from Wall Street to Washington and Main Street. Even “journalists” are in on it.

Jonathan Alter, a columnist for Newsweek and an analyst for NBC, is out with a book called — The Promise, President Obama — Year One. In it he asserts that President Obama’s stimulus plan kept the country from a depression — “without it the country would have stayed mired in a deep recession or even slipped into a depression.”

Actually, President Obama hasn’t dealt with the root causes of the country’s troubles. Yes, he “bought” the country time — which hasn’t been well spent, but a serious reckoning still lies ahead. So far his actions as President will only make it worse because he is not dealing organically and holistically with the nation’s problems.

In talking with Mr. Alter about his book the other day, he said — “President Obama kept us out of a depression.” I suggested that the reckoning is still ahead. He said — “I agree with that.” Ok, then why not put it in your book?

Most people would agree that the U.S. is on an unsustainable track. Many of her institutions and citizens are withering and not being renewed. Truthfulness and goodness are viewed — not as priorities, but as “boundaries” that need to be busted through.

It’s important that people (especially journalists) step up in this moment. But that can’t happen if we are greedy, angry and/or delusional.

Somehow it seemed appropriate to see this car in front of the News Corporation building in Manhattan.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

ThankYouHaveANiceDayPhotograph: Stephen Wise

Today, the New York Times published a Frank Rich op-ed titled, “Tiger Woods, Person of the Year.” In it, he argues that Woods leads an illustrious list of characters who successfully conned American “suckers” this year. At one point Rich says that “we keep being fooled by leaders in all sectors of American life over and over.”

While all that may be true, the larger question is what role has the Press played and continues to play — in the con? The democracy can survive a few Tiger Woods’, but can it endure if the Press (whatever is left of it) is complicit in the unrelenting disorder that threatens the future of the United States?

The deceptive twist in Rich’s column comes at the end when he compares President Obama’s “hollowness” to Tiger Woods, and buttressed his argument by saying that those on the left and right, who “don’t agree on much,” would agree on that.

With that, he seems to be throwing a bone to the crowd, because the elites on both sides are quietly thrilled with Obama and have profited from his hollowness. He has given them everything they wanted — from bank bailouts, relaxed accounting rules, and free Fed money, to whatever Israel wants, to the Afghan surge, no cap and trade, plus whatever the unions, insurance companies and Big Pharma wanted etc., etc. Even Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich praised his Oslo speech.

The bottom line is that President Obama has “delivered” for the darkest forces in American society, as the country continues its self-destructive trajectory. The Depression has been merely kicked down the road. Meanwhile, the press laments at how vitriolic and unpleasant the “people” have become, while Lieberman and Woods take the heat that Obama would be taking — if the press were doing their job. Frank Rich is trying to be seen as “with the people,” but is really offering cover for the corrupt leaders he is criticizing.

As always, the question for people of good will is how to bring about positive change, peacefully, when many of the agents of change and renewal — are themselves corrupt and crumbling?

Photographs: Stephen Wise

The Committee to Protect Journalists — CPJ, held their 19th Annual International Press Freedom Awards Dinner this evening, at the Waldorf in NYC.

Among those honored were Mustafa Haji Abdinur of Somalia, left in the photo and Anthony Lewis, center.

Mr. Haji Abdinur is among the very small number of independent journalists still working amid devastating violence in Mogadishu, In 2009 alone, six Somali journalists were murdered or killed in crossfire.

Mr. Lewis is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the foremost thinkers on freedom of the speech and First Amendment rights. I asked him what he thought about Afghanistan. He said: “We should get out.”

Also honored was Naziha Rejiba, one of Tunisia’s most critical journalists. She is the editor of an independent online news journal Kalima — which is blocked in her own country.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke was on hand. When asked by this reporter why the U.S. was in Afghanistan, his response was: “Give me a break, you can’t just walk up to someone and ask them why we are in Afghanistan.”

At Lotus Editions, we believe that escalating the war in Afghanistan is unjust. It’s unfortunate that career diplomats like Mr. Holbrooke, seem to lack situational awareness in this matter. To say that we have to be there because of 9/11 — is not legitimate anymore, and it’s wrongheaded to conclude, as some have, that the West is in a permanent war with Islam. If we really care about the Afghan people, a better way to help them would be to offer humanitarian assistance and get our troops out of there as soon as possible.

The gravest threats to America’s future are coming from disorder at home and from cyberspace — not from Afghanistan.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

columbiajschoolLast night, the Columbia Journalism School hosted an event called: “The Changing Media Landscape” — its annual look at the journalism revolution vis a vis new media and social media.

Sree Sreenivasan, Dean at the J-school, announced that they were now offering a credited course on Social Media — Twitter, Facebook etc. But, so that parents wouldn’t be alarmed, it was only worth 1 credit out of 36.

One of the panelists, Julia Angwin, of the Wall Street Journal lamented that “objective — just the facts” journalism was giving way to “advocacy” journalism at the hands of citizen journalists. That’s funny. Most WSJ readers would probably say that their paper has a definite point of view. At Lotus Editions, we see the marriage of objectivity and subjectivity as being a good thing, with the potential for delivering a more honest and holistic product.

Jennifer Preston, of the NY Times, talked about their recent use of Twitter Lists — to augment NYT coverage of the Fort Hood story and the World Series. In addition to creating their own content, many newspapers today are acting as collaborators and curators of information. As always, verification of the facts remains important. The subjective has to be anchored in truthfulness.

There was also some discussion about on-line intellectual property rights, an issue that seems to be more unresolved than resolved.

Sreenivasan announced the creation of a new “news” site, by former Columbia J-school students: DNAinfo.com

The program was well attended and every seat was full at the end.

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