Thursday, August 31, 2006

All The News

There are multiple motives for selections in the list of online news sites appearing on the Forum's left column. One, of course, is to conveniently obtain the news. Another is to give a sense of the sort of things people are writing and reading around the world. But then we have the question, what is the news?

Understand very little news is obtained by reporters discovering and verifying events on the scene. More likely wells, in both virtual and wet sense, are hotel bars where well oiled 'reporters' concoct tomorrow's story by playing catch among each other with balls of tonight's bull shit. Much of that originated pre packaged by parties with self serving agendas. From there, the course of most news is through copying, and when enough copiers copy from copiers, there can emerge stories bearing little relation to existance, sequence, and importance of events.

All news outlets have their own bias. They are first of all businesses and configure offerings with financial success in mind. That is done by feeding an intended audience what it wants and expects. Publication is also always filtered by local political and social desires and constraints. What is censored, externally or internally, either officially or de facto, in one society, may be promoted in like manner and cause in another.

There are many, not always obvious, editorial ways for bending news to fit and further business, political, and social ends. Some are placement of articles, wording and size of headlines, who is assigned to what story, who and what is and isn't published, what other sources are copied from, length of time a story stays 'current', attaching eye and interest catching graphics, enhancement or degrading with psyche twisting adjectives and adverbs. All contribute to slant not only particular articles but entire publications. A perceptive reader notes those and always questions "Who is it that wants me to believe that and why?"

What follows is an opinionated take on Further Left's news links.

al Jazeera
Based in Doha, Qatar, al Jazeera is probably the most accurate, reliable, and balanced daily news source, particularly in regard to events in the middle east. That the US government has tried its damndest to shut it down may be its best recommendation.

Asia Times
Published in Hong Kong, carries excellent opinion pieces that would never see print in the 'West'.

El Universal
There are balanced and even left oriented national papers in Mexico, but this one's seemingly wishful straining stare north is the only daily English coverage of Mexico from Mexico. Better to translate La Jornada.

Google News
Once in a while something outside the US sneaks through the claimed automatic selection of offerings, but it is generally best to keep your bull shit detector plugged in. The international versions linked at page bottom are worth exploring.

Cuba's official cheerleader. Sure it is driven by anti US propaganda. So would any paper published under deprivation from and constant fear of the great shark of the north. You can find articles the shark would never chew.

One word, the same that personal prejudice attaches in general to the English, "boring". Lots there but what about? Supportive evidence shows in its listing of Most Read Stories.

Gulf News
From Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Carries opinion pieces you will never see in the 'West'.

Indy Media
Hooray, hooray for our side! Activist stuff. Not often updated or online. There are links to more local Independent Media sites.

Moscow News
Used to carry Pravda but replaced by this 'independent' Russian news preferred by one of our Contributors. Wins the prize for best online layout and readability. Not much beyond concern to Russians. Anyone smell CIA?

NNN News
Non-aligned Nation News. Brief articles not driven by guns and planes of the 'democrazies' busy attacking these sorts of nations, not openly anyhow.

People's Daily
Beijing, China. "Old Hu had a farm, Eyi eyi Hu, Here a Hu, there a Hu, everwhere a Hu Hu, Eyi eyi Hu." But they are the other side of the colossus and hardly a paper tiger. Opinion pieces can be good. So are informative ones about China the nation and its cultures.

Prensa Latina
Seems driven by Cuba in covering Latin America. There is material not appearing elsewhere.

Thanh Nien
Anyone remember the 'domino theory' worn out in justifying slaughter? (Once one nation goes communist, the rest will tumble right in line). Can't tell it from this Vietnamese paper. Reads like a little brother business journal. Guess that domino was glued in place.

The Hindu
Tried in vain finding an Indian source with at least enough balance to admit there is a 'leftist' outlook. One of our users from India told this one is owned by communists. That is not apparent on reading.

All Papers
Look here if seeking a Spanish language paper in Chicago, univsersity newspaper, or weekly cross road home town gossip sheet.

Then you can always turn on the TV for CNN, stuff beans in your ears, and watch the talking heads lie.

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