Open government is a central tenet for democracy. After all, if it's your government then you have the right to know what your money is going toward. But what about the rights of public employees' personal privacy? As reported in today's SFGate , the California Supreme Court has ruled that "the public has the right to know the names of police officers and the salaries of local and state government employees."
It was awhile ago that YouTube first allowed video comments on its service, and over time responses in video form began to populate the site--including those that address the original video and those that don't. In theory, Friction.tv is a Web portal built around YouTube's video response feature. In practice, there are few, if any, response videos, though people have been active leaving text comments. (In the interest of full disclosure, Friction.tv is a sponsor for the NewTeeVee Pier Screening Series in which I have been asked to speak on a panel).
When radio was first pioneered, print journalists were quick to dismiss it as inferior. This same scenario repeated itself with the advent of television and again with the rise of technologies that allowed solo journalists to produce their own stories single-handedly. As blogs and other community media become more popular and more relevant, the assault on this new medium continues to grow.
Michael Skube's recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times provides a reasonable critique on the blogosphere but neglects to look at the larger picture. He points out that many blogs are nothing more than commentary and suggests that many of these blogs are "noisy with disputation, manifesto-like postings and an unbecoming hatred of enemies real and imagined." While I can't argue with this conclusion, his analysis misses the fact that blogs have broken a number of important stories in recent years and fails to mention the non-news that the establishment media finds itself focusing on with alarming frequency.… Read more