A Plague on Plagiarism – but there’s a lot more at stake here than rip-offs By William Bowles

31 March 2006

Like a lot of other independent journalists I’ve seen my work published on corporate Websites without my permission (or without being paid) including al-Jazeera and Yahoo. The terms of my copyright are clearly laid out in my Creative Commons license (see below).

But worse still, mainstream publications seem to think that work produced by ‘Bloggers’ is there for the taking or, as one journalist put it, “in the public domain”. Even the use of the term ‘blogger’ is a deliberate ploy used to downgrade the value of the independent media, for what it does is draw a line between ‘real’ journalism and work that largely challenges the ideological view delivered by mainstream (corporate) journalism.

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400 Years of Blogging By William Bowles

14 March 2005

Painemain

SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Common Sense, Thomas Paine 1776.

If nothing else, the explosion of electronic ‘Penny Dreadfuls’[1] or the ‘Blog’ has at long last enabled us to challenge the long-held assumption that to be a journalist you need to have some special dispensation from some higher power that enables one to stand aside from the human race and cast an ‘objective’ eye over events.

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US Enterprise: Lost in (cyber) space? By William Bowles

23 February 2005

“Oh god mike – do you take care of these sorts of things, or do we ignore them?”
Judy Swallow, presenter of the BBC’s World Service Newshour, sent presumably to a BBC colleague concerning the letter sent by a listener to Ms Swallow about the BBC’s coverage (or lack thereof) of events in Fallujah
. (Read the full MediaLens story)

“Journalists are supposed to perform a watchdog function, not a lapdog function”
Danny Schechter, editor of Mediachannel.org, and a former journalist with CNN and ABC.

“At least 12 journalists” were killed by US military in Iraq, Dominic Timms, Guardian, 18 February 2005.

Do I get a sense that the ‘enterprise’ is unravelling or is it merely wishful thinking on my part? Judging by the media’s (mis)handling of for example, the situation in Iraq as well as the ‘war on terror’, it would seem so. On many fronts, the corporate/state-run media is under concerted assault from the so-called alternative press for its complicity in covering up the crimes of the imperium as never before. So have we come ‘of age’?

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