In Ourselves We Trust
There is really little question these days.
Our news, even NPR, totally sucks.
It is full of fear and shaping.
It is full of stories that shape the mind to distrust strange peoples
who aren't Christians who live where our oil is.
It is full of bombings and killings that support that fear.
It reports of the POTUS's famous 16 words
that Iraq is trying to get Uranium from Niger,
but hardly ever reports the idiocy of the claim,
given that Iraq had tons of uranium already.
It is too fearful to ask questions about a building that collapses
because the answer is just too horrible to contemplate.
It refuses to cover the really big stories.
Precisely, because they are big.
It is afraid to call the war in the mideast what it is.
A War for Oil.
Craig Newmark is thinking that perhaps we deserve better.
Free ads guru to 'restore trust' in journalism
Tuesday November 22, 2005
Craig Newmark has already revolutionised classified advertising in the US with his hugely successful website, craigslist.com. Now he is planning to shake up journalism, which he says has "lost the trust" of the public.
The founder of the free classifieds site - the seventh most popular website in the US in terms of page views - is to launch a major online journalism project within three months that will copy his "wisdom of the masses" approach to advertising and apply it to journalism.
"Things do need to change," Mr Newmark said. "The big issue in the US is that newspapers are afraid to talk truth to power. The White House press corps don't speak the truth to power - they are frightened to lose access they don't have anyway."
Mr Newmark told the Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford forum at Oxford University's Said Business School that, despite having a staff of only 18, his free advertising website ranked immediately below eBay and all the sites owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in terms of page views.
Craigslist, which began in 1994 in the San Francisco Bay area as an information service, decides its business strategy almost entirely by following up on the complaints and suggestions of its users.
"The American public has lost a lot of trust in conventional newspaper mechanisms. Mechanisms are now being developed online to correct that."
Mr Newmark would not reveal any specific projects, which will run separately from Craigslist, but implied that they would involve using web technology to let readers decide what the major news stories would be.
"We have seen a genuine wisdom-of-crowds effect at work at times on our website," he said.
Mr Newmark said the war in Iraq had spawned a series of events that had damaged American journalism.
Some analysts predict that Craigslist and its peers will kill off those newspapers that rely heavily on job advertisements because they allow users to post classified advertising for free.
The website is charged with sucking $50m out of the classified advertising market in San Francisco because it posts its adverts for free and does not charge for anyone to look at them."
OOOOH, now that's some serious hopeful scary,
The loss of income for newspapers and other fourth estaters,
who have lost their spine.
There are names for those kind of creatures.
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