Monday, June 27, 2005

press, pestilence and Pollard

On the press -

See Fred Clark on commercial bias in reporting, and Bruce Murphy's wonderful In the Belly of the Beast, a no-holds-barred account of his three years at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Joseph Pulitzer quote (found in Nieman Watchdog):
Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and 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 mould the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations.
(North American Review of May 1904)

The Greensboro News & Record gets recognized as one of Editor and Publisher's "ten papers that do it right". Not sure this is all that newsworthy, though - for it to be news, it'd have to be something we didn't already know.
(Update: July 4 NY Times article on the N&R)

On the avian flu pandemic -

From Recombinomics, the Pandemic timeline so far.

Effect Measure on the food shortage angle to the Osterholm "we're screwed" press briefing

Phila from Bouphonia on the coming pandemic -
(in a comment at EffectMeasure:)
...if the pandemic comes, half of America is going to be saying it's the wrath of God, and the other half's going to be saying that some shadowy cabal cooked it up in a lab. The idea that nature has active powers all its own seems to be very much on the wane in the USA.
(and on his(?) own blog:)
Lately I've been thinking about the Republicans' nonsensical claim that we must fight terrorists in Iraq, so we don't have to fight them here. It'd be nice if we took that approach to epidemic disease. Given a choice between spending $300 billion of taxpayer money on the Iraq War, and $300 billion on global flu surveillance and research, I think I would've been tempted to pick the latter.

Dave Pollard on Making Peace With the End of Civilization -
As Canadian archaeologist Ronald Wright says, if we destroy the ecosystem that sustains us "nature will merely shrug and conclude that letting apes run the laboratory was fun for a while but in the end a bad idea".

...we are wrong in the uniquely human conceit that we are in charge of our own destiny and that there is some kind of collective politic and collective intelligence and 'free will' that can be harnessed to move us all in a chosen direction. We are nothing more or less than six billion creatures individually doing what we are driven to do moment by moment.

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