Posts tagged ‘blogs’

4 April 2011

“Arab Spring”

Oliver Kearns on pambazuka.org has drawn my attention to a powerfully multimodal critique of the narrative of the “Arab spring” that the mainstream news has been following. Swamppost‘s dynamic map highlights the truly global range of protest. North Africa and the Middle East are there. And so is – by mid-February – South Korea, the USA, the UK, and a long stretch along the eastern coast of Africa.

Kearns:

My point in highlighting this is not necessarily to argue that all protests happening across the world should be understood as developing as part of a homogeneous protest wave – each protest movement has its own particular dynamics and reasons for evolving the way it has. What I am arguing is that the public narrative of an Arab Spring excludes much of the world’s population both from public attention and concern and from discussion of what meaningful political change might look like and how it can be supported by people in other places.

6 February 2011

Media driving licence for primary schools

Niggemeier blogs about a pilot project for a “media driving licence” which has been introduced in Bavaria.

One particular set of materials aims to teach children in the 3rd and 4th grade about how news is produced, and how to evaluate the credibility of news sources. Newspapers are apparently credible and invariably double-checked. Blogs are full of mistakes, with no external observer to correct them.

Niggemeier:

Unter dem Vorwand einer guten Sache, nämlich Kinder dafür zu sensibilisieren, dass nicht jeder Information zu trauen ist und dass Quellen unterschiedlich vertrauenswürdig sind, erzählt der bayerische „Medienführerschein” ihnen das Märchen von der Überlegenheit gedruckter Nachricht. Es geht nicht nur um den Kontrast professionell ersteller journalistischer Informationen zu privaten Blogs — eine zumindest theoretisch sinnvolle Gegenüberstellung (auch wenn mit spontan gleich mehrere vermeintlich professionelle Medien einfallen, denen ich im Zweifel weniger Glauben schenken würde als einem unbekannten Blog). Die Unterrichtsmaterialen mischen das konsequent mit dem behaupteten qualitativen Unterschied zwischen Print und Online.

Most interesting about the materials is indeed the question of who produced them: the Verband Bayerischer Zeitungsverleger (Association of Bavarian Newspaper Publishers). Delightful. Niggemeier:

„Schau genau hin!” heißt die Lerneinheit. Zu ihren ehrenwerten Zielen gehört es, dass die Kinder (jedenfalls im Internet) auf den Urheber einer Nachricht achten sollen, um die Glaubwürdigkeit von Informationen bewerten zu können. „Firmen verfolgen eigene Interessen”, warnt das Begleitmaterial, „und werden vor allem sich selbst oder ihre Produkte ins rechte Licht rücken.”

In der Tat. Herausgeber der Unterrichtseinheit ist übrigens zufällig der Verband Bayerischer Zeitungsverleger (VBZV). Ich hoffe, Kinder und Lehrer schauen genau hin, entdecken dessen kleines Logo auf der Titelseite und denken sich ihren Teil, was von dieser Printpropaganda zu halten ist.

And there, of course, we see the internal contradiction in the materials themselves.

“Schau genau hin!” here as pdf.

6 January 2011

Sarrazin “statistically illiterate”

Finally, a major story in a major German newspaper which contests Thilo Sarrazin’s argument about Germany becoming increasingly stupid because more stupid people, especially Muslim immigrants, are having more children than university educated white non-Muslims (yes, he really does argue that).

Der Tagesspiegel quotes Hans Wolfgang Brachinger who sees “statistical illiteracy” at work in the whole Sarrazin debate. Not only Sarrazin but also the journalists and critics commenting on the book have no idea how to interpret the statistics.

Texts on the topic, offering an alternative reading of the statistics, via Der Tagesspiegel (in German):

The German blogs, of course, said all this back in September (e.g. nachdenkseiten, spiegelfechter, bildblog, and my favourite blog post on this: at weissgarnix)

3 December 2010

Russian bloggers and political change

Via Global Voices, a community portal reporting on blog and citizen’s media around the world, I came across a story about Marina Litvinovich, blogger, civic rights and human rights activist in Russia. (Her Russian blog here.) She talks about the increasingly important role of blogs as investigative journalism in Russia.

First we have to talk about a special place that LiveJournal plays in the Russian blogosphere. LiveJournal blogs have a tremendous impact on politics and news agenda. Mainstream media are losing their foothold as a sole provider of information and blogs are stepping up. Bloggers are also independent interpreters of events. In many news events, the first interpretation is very important. When the blogosphere interprets the news, it is like a soup that is being cooked in front of your eyes.

1 March 2010

Scienceblogs

Science is blogging. In English and in German. On science, ethics, politics, culture, education… News story on Telepolis.

Tags: ,