- BLOGGING -
The word BLOG is derived from "Web Log". A rather unattractive name, no doubt constructed by the regular journalists to describe a phenomenon that could well lose them a large proportion of their business within five years.
Regular journalists are, of course, creations of the establishment, promoted to their positions by people like Murdoch. Individually they strenuously deny that charge, claiming modestly to have obtained their status by ability. Rubbish. They got promoted by editors because their opinions were predictable and in line with editorial policy.
Apart from following editorial policy and wordsmithing skills, (mostly absent), what is it that gets a regular journalist his paycheck? Most regular journalists would ascribe their superiority to bloggers on the basis of their research skills and it's concomitant virtue, reliability. Both of those claims are just plain rubbish. Bloggers write when they obtain facts, and generally I would trust a blogger on the spot over an unknown professional journalist. As for reliability, look at the Phillip Adams criticism by blogger Tim Blair who wrote about Adams "plastic Turkey" story.
On the other hand, there is the occasional star class journalist, (rarely found in Australia), like Padraic McGuinness, who actually seems to actually have an occasional opinion of his own, as quoted by blogger Jay Random. "One has to wonder what the anti-American campaign to save Iraq from liberation really wants to achieve. Perhaps the baby boomers facing ageing and death just want to ensure that nothing better follows them."
And then there is rachel lucas, who wrote an article on guns. Rachel is a bit too verbose for my liking, (a common failing in females, and what is it about female journalists that they always seem to put their picture on their byline?), but definitely off the editorial policy of most newspapers.
So what we really need is a blogger index.
- SERBIA -
I started writing these pages in 1999, during the Indonesian and Kosovo incidents. I was anti Soharto and anti US intervention in Serbia. Indonesia seems to have lost it's way, since promoting Sukarno's daughter over Muslim cleric Gus Dur.
In Serbia, the electorate recently indicated their displeasure with
the NATO intervention by increasing the representation of the party of
still unconvicted Slobbodan Milosevich.. This was done with a turnout
of over 60%, which indicates that Serbians take their politics fairly seriously.
Of course, most people in the "free world" still seem to believe the lies
(published by the majority of regular journalists who supported Clinton)
that Serbians had institutionalized discriminations against Muslims in
The Economist seems to think that the Serbians are mad, because they do not bow down to the weight of public opinion.
Furthermore, if Serbia does not deliver indicted war-crimes suspect General Ratko Mladic to The Hague by the end of March, America is set to cut aid and prevent further loans from international financial organisations. With nothing to gain, no Serbian politician will grasp the thorny issue of Kosovo. And with no progress towards independence, more Albanians in the province will be tempted to revert to violence.
I rather like the Slavs that I know. I think that we (NATO & the US) have given the Serbs a rotten deal.