Sunday, April 22, 2007

media should stay as the role model

The TV media in U.S. such as CNN and NBC have gradually given up replaying the video sent by the gunman in the Virginia Tech Massacre. But the question is: should the TV media exaggrate those video 24 hours that day? The shocking images didn't send a positive or even neutral signal at all, but instead, increase the pain for the family who lost their children in the massacre, or lead to a few people's bold idea to do something more terrible than this. (A few students or grown-ups in U.S. were arrested yesterday for threatening to destroy some other schools after watching the VT massacre). Also, for print media, Time magazine set a good example for all the other media, while its front page is 32 portraits of the people who were killed, instead of the gunman's pictures with gun and knife.(Many newspaper made the gunman pictures as the frontpage picture, which is really terrifying and disturbing) It's those people, including young students and respectable professtors, that should be remembered and known by the public.

All in all, we have to think about media's responsbility in the current competitive environment, especiall for TV which could show the raw material containing terrorifying or misleading content directly to the public. We used to focus on the quality of journalism a lot, but now with the spreading of unlimited info, could media still stay as the role model and a good watchdog? or should we do something to fight for it?

The media's role in VT's reporting will be a very memorial day to me, especially as I am travelling in U.S. and watching the media's development directly. Luckily, I gave my voice on this. Here is a piece of news reported by WKYC, an affliate of NBC, in Cleveland. I was in the show, telling my concern. (You could either read the news via here or watch video here)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What's going wrong in the media?

After watching the Larry King's show on CNN for over an hour, I decided to give myself a break by turning off the TV. The massacre in the Virginia Tech really disturbed me these days after reading tons of information on the newspaper(almost over four pages every day, such as USAToday) or watch the TV with the gunman's self-shot video with terrifying words repeating again and again. At first, I was in the deep sorry for those young lives; then, I was terrified by the gunman's horror words; and now, I felt I was disturbed by the media who has whrling around those words, no matter where those details, follow-ups are necessarily needed.

Curiosity is one of the most bright character of human beings, but also the weakest one. You couldn't help wondering who the gunman is, his background, how he did it and why. But is it really important for you to know all the details? No, people will soon forget about it in one week, or in one month. The reason why you want to know is because of the need to meet the curiosity, a growing and never-ending, bigger and bigger human need.

However, media doens't really care. It is the world of competition: the first is always important, no matter if the media could report the gunman was from China or turning out South Korea, or the disturbing video of the gunman's threatening words.(NBC must feel honored in some way as the recipent of those video). But is it the first always in a good-quality shape, or it is nonsense stuff, nobody will care. So the gunman achieved his purpose by shooting 30 plus young people and respected teachers, making him famous on every TV station, and then publicizing his character and theories by sharing with the TV station on his video, photos and transcripts. Some Chinese blogger named Zhuweilian (in Chinese) has a good comment, and quote: some youngester must sit before the TV and stare at the news, planning some other "activities" on the classmates or teacher they hate.

I guess one day we will not stand this at all, and I expect some new form.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

some secret Google function

Today I diabled some certificates of my Firefox to remove some virus from the computer; so my laptop will not automatically go to certified websites, and have to ask for my permission anytime. Then accidentally, I found I have to go to * all the time either when I access to or I tried this website, but seems doesn't open to the public. what kind of this websites should be, and what is its analysis?

Anyone having idea?

Lady on the mission

My next stop is Austin, Texas after the DC. To my surprise, Texas is a quite enjoyable city with nice people who think of the world in a quite ambitious way. As the former "Lonely Star", Texas is quite famous for its arrogance to the other American states. But the good side is that they turned to think of the U.S. policy from a very neutral and unbiased way. It is easy to meet some academic who is very concerned on U.S.'s future, or the working journalists caring about the neglected stories by mainstream media.(Like this one: Texas Obeserver, with very intelligent editors, and supported with an very interesting business model: financing by a non-profit organization)

Topics discussed included U.S. news media, immigrant issue, politics and online media. Of course, I am most interested in the last one. It's amazing to find that so many American media have been concerned on the competition of online media, or even overconcerned, I would say. We visited one of the largest city newspaper here: to my surprise, there is a Web Intelligence Report attached after their daily budget(the story list for editors to discuss every day). "Online is the future to the newspaper", I heard many people are repeating this sentence these days, however, the one making more sense is "online media is one of the pipes to deliver the information, just like the print media". The technolgy is not that advanced now to make print media immediately digital still keeping in the format of "paper", so holding a newspaper on the way is always needed, though the demand is not as much as before.

Austin is not a big city, but is the capital of the country's largest state(the size is bigger than any European countries). Here you could have nice Mexican food, live music and more importantly, a group of nice people welcoming you to their home. I got a red stylish "cowboy" hat, and they now call me cowgirl, haha, cool.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A new window to me

A very refreshing tour to me, I am in Washington D.C. now. The weather is cold and freezing, which made me catch the cold. The 16-hour-long flight from Hong Kong made me sick, too. But all in all, it worths the effort.

I am on a very prestigious fellowship program visiting the U.S. to learn about the media practice here. More important, the learning starts from a policital pospective, which is a totally new area to me, a working financial journalist. The schedule is very tight each day, and I found I could only sleep six hours a day to catch up the conferences, seminars, meetings and then self-readings.

Most of the information we got from senior government officials and research fellows are off the record, so I couldn't speak a word. But the process talking to those people is something really exciting and fasinating. We talked about the new technoloy's impact on the U.S. media(one of my favorite topics), George W. Bush's wrong decision on the Iraqi War, the Cross Straits relations between China and Taiwan, or even who will won the 2008 presidential campaign. The people we met are all knowledge experts, though they may have different biases. And it is very educational to listen to them, challenge them, and also, bring a Hong Kong and China perspective to U.S.

Tomorrow, I will be heading to Austin, the Lonely Star once-to-be. The experience will be very different from D.C. and I know I will learn another U.S. from there.

P.S. the Internet access is very limited here, and very expensive(US$10 a day). So I will keep more time on writing my thoughts and hope to share with you folks soon)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tornado in U.S. , gone gone gone

My mother has been worried on the Tornado Alley in the middle of U.S. these days. Yeah, I am going to visit the country this month and one of the stop will be Texas. Isn't thaPublisht scared? Hmmm, good luck to me.