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NEWSLETTER JULY 2004

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  • N. WATSON SOLOMON
    +-------------------------------------------------------+ JOURNALISM ONLINE http://www.angelfire.com/nd/nirmaldasan/journalismonline NEWSLETTER, July 2004
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2004
      +-------------------------------------------------------+
      JOURNALISM ONLINE
      http://www.angelfire.com/nd/nirmaldasan/journalismonline
      NEWSLETTER, July 2004
      EDITOR: N. Watson Solomon (aka Nirmaldasan)
      EMAIL: watson@...
      Issue No: 53
      +-------------------------------------------------------+
      Dear subscribers,
      Welcome to another edition of the Journalism Online newsletter. It is
      a bit overloaded with ... Read on.
      Regards. Nirmaldasan, from Chennai

      IN THIS ISSUE...
      * thought for the month
      * editorial: pulli raja again
      * media news
      * site review: www.gurunet.com
      * special column: creating an e-mail newsletter -- part I
      * guest column: professional education for media
      * small things that mean much
      * creative pulse
      * media humour
      * site update

      THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH
      ---------------------
      In 'On The Sense Of Humour', Lin Yutang writes: "Homorists handle
      thoughts and ideas as golf or billiard champions handle the ball, or
      as cowboy champions handle the lariat. There is an ease, a sureness,
      a lightness of touch, that comes from mastery. After all, only he who
      handles his ideas lightly is master of his ideas, and only he who is
      master of his ideas is not enslaved by them."

      EDITORIAL: PULLI RAJA AGAIN
      ---------------------------
      Pulli Raja, the invisible icon of the controversial AIDS awareness
      campaign (first phase) in South India last year, will once again be
      all over town in a couple of months. The U.S.-based Population
      Services International, responsible for the multi-media campaign,
      simply ignored protests from women's groups till the very end. PSI
      had earlier courted controversy with a similar campaign (Balbir
      Pasha) in Maharashtra.

      A study, commissioned by the PSI, claims that the Pulli Raja campaign
      had raised AIDS risk perception. But the fact remains that the
      campaign was ill-conceived, sexist and vulgar. The PSI communications
      manager, Kaveeta Jayaram, reluctantly concedes that the first phase
      of the campaign had unwittingly portrayed women, especially sex
      workers, in bad light. She promises that the second phase would give
      a rounded picture and steer clear of gender bias.

      PSI has a sorry record of unkept promises. Balbir Pasha and Pulli
      Raja-I have done enough damage to the gendered psyche. It would be a
      fallacy to argue that AIDS is a greater problem than gender
      discrimination. Even if it were, we need to remember that AIDS and
      gender issues are mutually exclusive. Therefore, there is no need for
      an AIDS awareness campaign to be gender biased. Such campaigns, in
      fact, should be launched only after a review by women's groups. The
      National Commission for Women should take up this issue with the
      authorities concerned lest an unrepentant and sexist Pulli Raja
      dishonour the human mind once again through hoardings and television
      screens.

      Discuss
      http://www.cijindia.org/board/1088679159/index_html

      MEDIA NEWS
      ----------
      Akbar threatens to sue government in 'IHT' case dispute
      http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k4/june/june82.htm

      Pressure on Government over IHT issue
      http://www.hindu.com/2004/06/27/stories/2004062704770800.htm

      Women in the Media Survey
      http://www.alliance.org.au/hot/WOMEN/

      `Pulli Raja raised AIDS risk perception'
      http://www.hindu.com/2004/06/12/stories/2004061202610600.htm

      Tehelka Tapes Original, Not Over-Dubbed: Expert
      http://www.indolink.com/displayArticleS.php?id=062104025327

      Nod for Radio Pakistan reporter likely
      http://www.hindu.com/2004/06/24/stories/2004062405081200.htm

      BBC to adopt new guidelines on reporting standards
      http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_845060,00050003.htm

      Rural Newspaper Revolution
      http://www.hindu.com/mag/2004/06/27/stories/2004062700250400.htm

      Iranian dailies tie up with Urdu, Telugu papers
      http://www.hindu.com/2004/06/12/stories/2004061206111100.htm

      SITE REVIEW
      -----------
      GuruNet At A Glance
      By Yona Noone
      (student5432004@...)

      GuruNet's mission: To deliver relevant, qualified answers on demand.

      GuruNet www.gurunet.com provides answers at your fingertips. Have you
      ever tried to look up simple reference information with a search
      engine? First, you open the search engine in your browser. Then you
      type in a term. What comes back? Frustrating and time-wasting
      information overload -- lists of thousands of links, each to be
      clicked on one at a time. GuruNet goes beyond search to display
      authoritative answers, definitions, and facts for more than three
      quarters of a million topics.

      The ultimate reference tool, GuruNet is an answer engine that
      provides answers, not links. We all believe that life's too short to
      search, so GuruNet gives you the answers you need without burying you
      under an avalanche of irrelevant, distracting information.

      GuruNet's value proposition is simple: As an answer engine, GuruNet
      delivers clear, focused, authoritative facts without the clutter and
      time-consuming process of searching web pages full of thousands of
      links. It's a complete, virtual collection of hundreds of reference
      works and live data feeds.

      Search engines are helpful at conducting wide-area scans. However,
      using a search engine as a reference tool has a number of clear
      disadvantages -- the list you receive is sometimes hundreds of
      thousands of links long, and the ideal page may be in position
      2,148. Ahead of it may be links that you try one by one, back and
      forth, wasting time viewing entire pages, when all you actually
      wanted is a short tidbit, definition, or explanation.

      With the GuruNet Kids edition, younger students get the answers they
      need without exposing them to inappropriate information often found
      on the web. For example, a child who is working on a biology project
      may look up the word 'skin' on a regular search engine. With GuruNet
      Kids, they find a diagram of the parts of the skin with clear,
      concise explanations -- not inappropriate content.

      Since customers usually find the information they are looking for in
      GuruNet's content, the reference answer process becomes a quick,
      safe, enjoyable, and efficient one.

      GuruNet attracts two major categories of users:

      1) Individuals who require precise language/terminology/facts as part
      of their primary daily activities:

      a. Students -- for help in writing papers, homework and doing
      research. Ask any kid -- it's pretty easy to get distracted when
      working on schoolwork!

      b. Teachers -- GuruNet helps teachers reach many kinds of learners,
      with live in-classroom look-ups, sign language content, and
      preparation for focused topic-based learning. They also can
      reinforce classroom assignments with targeted GuruNet homework
      assignments.

      c. Professionals with diverse projects -- attorneys, advertisers,
      journalists (editors, writers), consultants working on projects in
      various realms needing instant access to the diverse vocabularies of
      each discipline.

      d. ESL/International -- for those who seek a more extensive command
      of the English language, GuruNet provides concise, easy-to-read facts
      and definitions about words or phrases they may come across while
      reading to ensure the usage is correct. In addition to the
      information found in the topics themselves, we offer translations on
      a word-by-word basis into one of 14 languages.

      2)General Public -- anyone who sees the time-saving benefit of being
      able to type in or 'Alt-Click' on any word and get instant
      information (e.g., while reading an article/column on-line, an e-mail
      that uses an unfamiliar term, quick weather info, or language help
      when writing).

      The GuruNet product line is continuing to evolve, providing
      information retrieval power to both individuals and organizations.
      They are continuously expanding their patented technology and expect
      to announce support for new platforms, functionality, and products
      for vertical markets.

      SPECIAL COLUMN
      --------------
      Creating An E-mail Newsletter
      Part I: Before You Start
      By Moira Allen
      (moirakallen@...)

      Writers have experimented with a variety of forms of
      "self-publication" on the Web, and one of the most popular types
      of publication to emerge from online technology is the e-mail
      newsletter. There are literally thousands of e-mail newsletters
      online, on every subject you can imagine (and many you probably
      never dreamed of).

      E-mail newsletters appeal to writers who dream of launching their
      own periodical, without the costs of print, paper and postage.
      Unlike a Web site, they have the advantage of requiring no design
      or HTML skills. All you need is an e-mail program; sites like
      Yahoo Groups and Topica will host your newsletter at no cost.

      Before yielding to the temptation of the "paperless periodical,"
      however, you need to ask yourself a few questions -- the most
      important being "Why?"

      Determining Your Purpose:
      There are actually many good reasons for a writer to launch an
      e-mail newsletter. One of the most common is to provide a vehicle
      through which to promote your books or other writings. An e-mail
      newsletter can be a great way to stay in touch with fans, and to
      build a larger audience for your work.

      Newsletters are particularly effective if you've written a
      nonfiction book, as you can use it to target an audience hungry
      for information on your subject. By creating a newsletter that
      offers worthwhile articles, news and updates, and links to useful
      sites, you're likely to attract a broader readership for your
      work. Such a newsletter is also likely to attract links from Web
      sites related to your topic.

      Fiction authors often use an e-mail newsletter to keep fans
      informed of new releases, speaking and booksigning engagements,
      and other events in the author's life. Such newsletters may also
      include short book excerpts, or perhaps nonfiction material (such
      as background information or writing tips) that are related to
      the author's fiction work.

      Another reason to launch a newsletter may simply be your desire
      to provide information about a topic that is close to your heart.
      Whether you write about parenting or pets, children or computers,
      chances are you have lots of information to share that won't fit
      into a traditional magazine article.

      Whatever your reason for launching a newsletter, your second
      question should be, "Who?"

      Determining Your Audience:
      Who will read your newsletter, and why? Unless you can answer
      these questions, your newsletter's circulation will remain
      discouragingly limited. As you develop your newsletter topic, you
      must also develop a mental picture of the "typical" reader for
      whom the newsletter is designed.

      If, for example, you wanted to launch a newsletter about
      "writing," you need to determine what type of writer you want to
      reach. Do you want to provide information for beginners, or for
      more experienced writers? Based on your specific area of
      expertise, should you target writers in a particular genre or
      subject area, such as mystery writers or tech writers? Perhaps
      you might choose to target writers in a particular demographic
      group, such as "writing parents," or "working writers." By
      defining your audience, you will be able to define the content
      that is most appropriate for your publication. You'll also have
      a better idea where to find that audience (i.e., by promoting
      through Web sites that appeal to that audience).

      If your goal is to promote your work to existing and future fans,
      you need to know a little bit about who your fans are and what
      appeals to them about your work. Are your readers drawn to your
      books by the characters, or for your accurate depiction of a
      period in history? Do they enjoy the romance or the flashing
      swords? Are they interested in your personal life, or would they
      rather hear your tips on becoming a successful author?

      Keep in mind that you can never please all the people, all the
      time. For every letter that I get telling me that the "Writing
      World" newsletter has too much "beginner" material, I'll get
      another saying that the articles are too advanced. For every
      person who complains that the newsletter is too long, another
      will say that it is too short. One will ask why I never cover a
      particular topic; another will ask why I wasted so much space
      covering that same topic. Having a firm "vision" of what you want
      to accomplish and whom you're trying to reach is the best way to
      keep this sort of conflicting feedback in perspective.

      But "how" will you reach that audience and accomplish that goal?
      That's the third and final question you need to ask yourself
      before launching a newsletter!

      Determining Your Approach:
      It's very easy to get caught up in the excitement of launching a
      publication, to imagine the thrill of having hundreds or even
      thousands of readers signing up to read your words every month,
      or even every week. Then the reality sets in: Those readers
      expect something from you every month, or twice a month, or every
      week. How do you intend to deliver?

      Do you have enough material to produce a regular publication?
      Does your subject area lend itself to regular coverage? Does it
      offer enough "fuel" for regular monthly, bimonthly or weekly
      articles? Is enough happening in your field to provide regular
      "news updates?" Will you be able to fill those pages week after
      week, month after month, year after year?

      Do you intend to write all the material yourself? This is the
      least expensive way to produce a newsletter, but also the most
      time-consuming. Coming up with something new for your readers
      week after week can be a tremendous burden. Nor can you afford to
      "slack off" -- even a single mediocre issue will cost readers.

      Do you need help? Many, if not most, e-mail newsletters rely on
      contributions from outside writers. Many also have a small
      "staff" to help gather news items, hunt up useful links, and
      manage subscribers. It's often possible to find volunteers for
      all of these tasks, but when your help is unpaid, it can be more
      difficult to control the quality of your newsletter. (It's hard
      to be critical of the performance of those who are donating their
      time or work out of the goodness of their hearts.) Which brings
      us to the final question...

      Do you want your newsletter to be a source of income? Many
      e-mail newsletters began as labors of love -- and evolved into
      income-producers. Often, this transition is a matter of
      necessity, such as the need to generate enough income to pay for
      contributions to the publication. Many editors suddenly realize
      that their "labor of love" is cutting into paying writing time
      -- and to justify its continued existence, it must start paying
      for itself.

      In Part II, "The Mechanics", we'll look at ways to make a
      newsletter profitable, as well as how to design and format your
      newsletter, and how to attract and manage subscribers.

      Resources:
      Ezine-Tips.com -- http://Ezine-Tips.com/about/
      E-zines.com -- http://www.e-zinez.com/index.html
      So, You Want to Start an E-Zine? -- http://www.zinebook.com/roll.html

      (This article originally appeared in 'The Writer' and has been
      reproduced with permission from Writing World www.writing-world.com )

      GUEST COLUMN
      ------------
      Professional Education For Media
      By Dr. I. Arul Aram
      (arulram@...)

      For the world to be a happier place for all, we need to develop more
      open and inclusive information societies. This depends on the
      capabilities of those who work in media. Realising the challenge,
      JourNet was formed under UNESCO's auspices to network media schools.
      The JourNet International Conference on Professional Education for
      Media was in Newcastle, Australia, from February 16 to 19, 2004.
      (Newcastle is a beachside city known for surfing, sailing, skydiving
      and dolphin watch cruises.) The conference attracted some of the
      world's leading media experts.

      Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General, UNESCO, said media
      should promote mutual understanding and tolerance. It should
      facilitate free exchange of knowledge and serve as a platform of
      dialogue for diverse groups.

      Chen Peiqin said bilingual journalism teaching in Chinese
      universities combined Chinese and Western concepts. The increase in
      English media (particularly websites) called for journalists who
      could work in both English and Chinese. Those undergoing such a
      programme could work overseas as well.

      Janne Bang Nielsen argued that qualified journalists often could not
      work together as a group. The modern journalist must be a team
      builder and team player. The notion of the journalist as just a
      writer was narrow. Instead of acting as a lone ranger, the journalist
      had to learn different actors' perspectives and tasks. Considering
      the convergence of media (in formats and professional practices),
      media educators should redesign syllabi.

      Violet Valdez presented an overview of an online M.A. programme in
      Journalism from Manila. This e-learning programme gave journalists in
      the Asia-Pacific region access to high standard of education from
      their home or office computers, anytime.

      Romy Froehlich said the high percentage of women who graduated in
      journalism and the rising share of women entering the profession
      during the past few decades had had least impact on the number of
      women in senior positions. The image of female journalists as "better
      communicators" was a dangerous myth that might hinder women's career
      in journalism. Transferring mothering role from home to workplace led
      to a "friendliness trap" that made women lack assertiveness.

      Tanja Dreher said that while journalism had a long tradition of
      informing citizens and defending democracy, the discussion of
      journalists' responsibility in a multicultural context remained
      underdeveloped. `Indifference to difference' had been a value in
      Australian journalism and this needed to be challenged. Journalists
      should be more sensitive towards aborigine issues. Journalists and
      journalism educators must reflect critically on this.

      Kathryn Bice of The Sydney Morning Herald said the newspaper
      recruitment process emphasised on taking in minority groups like
      Arabs and those from backward areas, so as to ensure that a
      multicultural diversity was reflected in the newsroom.

      Ruediger Claus talked about a digital photography course offered free
      by the International Institute for Journalism in Germany. A
      photographer of today had to do more jobs than just clicking a
      picture. S/he should have knowledge of transferring photographs into
      a computer, digitally improving photos, cropping photos, writing
      captions, distributing photos and archiving photos.

      Taking cue from the Noelle-Neumann's spiral of silence model, my
      paper discussed how the Internet was redefining media. According to
      the model, some people might find their views losing ground; such
      people might not openly express deviant opinion and/or change from
      deviant to dominant opinion. But the Internet went a step further by
      allowing groups neglected by media to air their views - it could be
      done by initiating an e-group or creating a website. Thus the
      Internet helped contain the `spiral of silence' to some extent.

      Chatting during the conference dinner in wine countryside, JourNet
      president Frank Morgan (of Newcastle University) said media people
      must be more professional. An instance where media had got it
      completely wrong was that it painted a wrong picture that Australians
      were mostly Republican. "But we are not; we love monarchy." (And adds
      humourously) "Monarchy is good. It is better to put the blame on
      someone when something goes wrong!"

      The British Council, Chennai, funded my trip to the conference at the
      request of Pieter Wessells of the Commonwealth Journalists'
      Association. CJA is an association of journalists, and it organises
      training programmes on journalistic skills throughout the
      Commonwealth. To sign off, Australians have a special liking for
      India as many of their ancestors had served in India during the
      British rule.

      (The writer is Chief Sub-Editor with The Hindu, Chennai)

      SMALL THINGS THAT MEAN MUCH
      ---------------------------
      80 Is Good, Sober Genius
      By A. Thirugnanasambandamoorthy
      (ats@...)

      Twenty years ago I had read a very revealing article in 'Reader's
      Digest' by a psychiatrist. He had narrated how he convinced a parent
      that his child must be a good student to have secured 80 marks and
      not a mediocre one as the parent had dubbed him. Then he had gone on
      to say only an average student can consistently get more than 50.
      Only a student of very superior intelligence can get 80. This girl or
      boy can easily be encouraged to soar into the 90s bracket. But if you
      dismiss 80 as something commonplace the youngster will lose heart not
      knowing how big and good 80 is.

      A couple of months later I read English Test cricketer Peter
      parfitt's 'My Best 10 Cricketers'. Of course the great Gary Sobers
      was one of them. Mr. Parfitt had asked Gary: You are a genius to whom
      everything is natural and easy. And there are some in your team who
      just cannot measure up to your standard. How do you remain composed
      even when simple mistakes are made? Gary's answer is a lesson to
      teachers, coaches and parents. Peter, he said, right from the
      beginning I have known I am a genius and all my teammates are not.
      Some of them may be below the mark. When one of them spills a simple
      catch, I walk up to him to say do not let this lapse bother you. I
      know you are capable of doing better and you will do better.

      This attitude has a positive and rejuvenating effect on the other
      person. Elders will always do well to nurture the talent the younger
      ones have with words of encouragement and cheer.

      CREATIVE PULSE
      --------------
      1. The Medicine
      By Ashwin Kumar
      (winasht@...)

      It is now on for such a long time,
      It's about time they called it a miracle,
      I thought it would end soon but I was proven wrong,
      How by the sheer gift of hope she just lived on.

      They told it was cancer, that they could do nothing,
      But she proved it to them that they needn't do anything at all,
      She would see through the darkness as if it never existed,
      And wake up every morning to stand on her legs, unassisted.

      The doctors have grown bald, the nurses have grown fat,
      And those who were bachelors are now caring dads,
      The hospital is running out of patients,
      Getting sick is so out of style,
      As everyone seems cured and healthy after seeing her salubrious smile.

      2. Not To Belong
      By S.A. Prabhakar
      (sap@...)

      I cannot tell you
      Where I'm from
      The place I was born
      Was not where I grew up
      The first just a name
      The second was a shame
      Both had temples though
      One of the reclining god
      The other of a dusky goddess
      I'd visited more often
      Yet she watched quietly
      As hunger sat
      Unsatiated at my door
      And chaos swept in
      With rapid eyes
      And even swifter tongue
      Speaking of things unseen
      Railing at unknown foes
      The personal, a spectacle...
      Whose sacrificial fire
      Had I been thrown in
      Whose misery to mitigate?
      What god was it
      That slept through my nightmare
      What goddess,
      Scorched by whose sins
      Stood transfixed
      As I cried in torment --
      I was burnt to the bone
      Yet lived and learnt
      Not to strike roots in the air
      To let things go
      To look and not to long
      To be and not to belong --
      Beloved, you want to go
      Visit the reclining god
      And the dusky goddess --
      Maybe you will see him stir
      And the other smile.

      MEDIA HUMOUR
      ------------
      1. Deadlines

      Translator gets 400 words to translate.
      Client: How long will it take?
      Translator: About a week.
      Client: A whole week for just 400 words? God created the world
      in 6 days.
      Translator: Then just take a look at this world and afterwards
      take a look at my translation.
      (Courtesy: http://www3.sympatico.ca/srajano/jokes.html )

      2. Say That Again ...

      * He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
      * Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
      * Acupuncture is a jab well done.
      * A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium
      at large.
      * When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
      * She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.
      * Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
      * A backward poet writes inverse.
      * A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
      * Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
      (compiled from Express Vibes, November 28, 2003)

      SITE UPDATE
      -----------
      New links have been added to The Media Critic page at
      http://www.angelfire.com/nd/journalismonline/tmc.html

      back issues: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/journalismonline/messages
      ***********************NEWSLETTER, JULY 2004*************************
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