Keith Olbermann’s ‘Network’ moment

Keith Olbermann
Peter Finch's Mad as Hell moment!

This evening Keith Olbermann and MSNBC parted ways leaving viewers and the Media clucking their tongues and wondering what exactly happened here.  Since his suspension in November on ethical issues, there has been no love lost between network management and Olbermann. Still, the departure tonight was certainly speedy and without an explanation.  I have included a link to the goodbye, it is an interesting summation of a controversial cable host’s eight year tenure–sadly he did not channel Howard Beale at the end.

The first must read of 2011: Alone Together!

Last summer as we drove up to Maine for a family vacation, I watched my 14 year old nephew and his best friend spend hours texting. When I asked who they were each texting, they looked at me as if I was crazy and stated each other.  Why when they are two feet away from each other were they not just talking I asked? They shrugged and continue typing.

The relationship between man and the computer has been a popular topic for years, however Sherry Turkle of MIT has reexamined the issue and focuses not on the man-machine relationship, but man-man relationship as influenced by technology. Alone Together: Why we expect more from Technology and Less from each other, is an outstanding piece of research that Sociologists, Psychologists and Information Specialists all will find useful. Her conclusions and theories concerning the evolving of human interaction will leave the reader contemplating the ramifications of our new social order and questioning one’s own relationships in the world of social networking.

I highly recommend Alone Together to anyone interested in phenomenon social networking and its relationship with its users.

When did fact checking become irrelevant?

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords being sworn in earlier this week

Greetings from a cybercafe in sunny Puerto Vallarta.  I have been following the attempted assasination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with facination and alarm. From the first bulletins that were sent out, false unvarified information was all over the web and media– the villians were not bloggers or social networkers, they were the major media outlets.

NPR was one of the first to break the story of the shootings. Sadly they annouced  that the congresswoman was dead. Check this link for NPR`s News Editor Dick Meyer explaination.  Not only were some of the news agencies announcing the congresswomen`s death but also the death of a pastor at the Mountain Avenue  Church of Christ. Now, that individual has been identified as Dorwin Stoddard, a part time maintenace man for the church not the pastor. I can not imagine what the people of Tuscon experienced as the news organizations tried to scoop their colleagues.

My question is have journalists forgotten the basic rules of reporting?  And what ever happened to notifing the next of kin before publicly annoucing someone`s death? When did restrain in reporting undocumented facts leave the profession of Journalism?

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