And papa can’t do a thing

By Chindu Sreedharan on March 27, 2008 6:20 pm

In which ITV lads go to war, scribes look at five years of Iraq, Mint takes on NYT, the Vicar of Putney prays for Bush’s soul, and British kids thumb their noses online… Buzz from the web.

WHAT DO BRITISH kids do when they are bored?

They socialise. Online.

So what do they do when they are not bored? 

They socialise. Online.

Here’s the dope: an Institute for Public Policy Research study — to be published next month but sneak-viewed by Guardian Communications Editor Richard Wray — shows children this side of the Atlantic spend more than 20 hours a week on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo.

So kids are in effect “raised online”, whatever that means.

Of course the kids know parents don’t like them partying out there, but, hey, how’re they going to stop ‘em?

Like one smarty pointed out – and this is interesting — parents and teachers know diddly-squat about the net and there are a zillion ways around the child locks and other tricks they try:

“We have restrictions at school but we can just get an administrator’s account and take them off.”

Parents these days, we tell you.

Gotcha! No, you didn’t! 

So we had the NYT-Mint spat, which, by the look of it, Mint won, no sweat.

For the uninitiated, it began with NYT’s Sunday Business Deputy Editor Patricia Kranz complaining to Poynter about a ‘discovery’ she and friends made.

Apparently, there is this website called livemint.com (online avatar of the Indian newspaper Mint, as she, um, discovered soon enough) happily lifting “numerous” stories from the NYT and International Herald Tribune — wasn’t that shameful and such a “flagrant case of mass copyright infringement”?

Would’ve been, but seems Kranz got it all wrong.

In his rebuttal, Mint Managing Editor Raju Narisetti said HT Media, Mint’s parent, has a syndication agreeement with the NYT and could Kranz please check her facts before she spake?

For good measure, Narisetti, who took media ethics “very seriously”, also got HT Media lawman Dinesh Mittal to issue a notice to NYT demanding it withdraw its allegations and update records.

Haven’t heard from Kranz since, but are the folks at NYT making an awful lot of mistakes these days?

Shh, let’s not talk about the February embarrasment

The jolly war in Afghanistan

Seems there’s a good laugh on in Afghanistan – if you were to believe this ITV video blog.

But war is no fun – if you go by this well-made multimedia package from Reuters.

Paul Bradshaw’s critique of the two, War reporting: two online reports — spot the difference, is certainly worth a read. As he says, one’s a blog, another journalism — and the difference is quite evident.

One day the ITV lads will grow up. Who knows, they might even spot the difference.

For he knows not

Speaking of war and Easter and five years of Iraq, the Vicar of Putney no relation to the one in Dibley, mind – has an interesting commentary in the Guardian, A funny kind of Christian.

In a nutshell, it is about Bush the Evangelist — and why he will not go to heaven.

While on the topic, here are a few suggestions — some quite offbeat — for your Iraq reading…

In the CJR series On the GroundPaul McLeary contextualises Iraq and the stories that do not always get reported. The Enemy of My Enemy is the first in the series.

Another good resource, the perspectives of scribes who covered the war, from John F Burns to Anne Garrels to Ted Koppel, a kind of reporter’s notebook on NPR.

Juan Cole, writing in Salon, is critical of Bush in Five years of Iraq lies – and how.

Time presents a timeline of the Iraq, month by month. And Newsweek offers a look at the next five years.

The USA Today points to how the Iraq war has gone online. And in this Reuters analysis, Andrew Gray talks about the changes Iraq brought about in the US Army.

Collateral damage

Here’s a pointer to a forgotten war, also to a collateral damage we don’t normally take note of — all credit to South Asian Journalists Association’s Sugi for flagging this up.

It’s from Simon Gardner’s piece on the Sri Lankan war (yes, there is a war still on that side), Elephants fall victim to Sri Lanka war. And here’s the passage that makes it so extraordinary:

“Once he came with a gunshot wound to his stomach. We made a paste of chilli powder, pepper and turmeric and rubbed it on the wound,” Jayasinghe said. “Then he used his trunk to massage the paste in!”


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