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Fwd: Fw: NEW ONLINE PROJECT: Request for volunteering for a mediamonitoring/archiving project (Read carefully)

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  • Khalid Mahmood
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    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2002
      > >BismillahirRahmanirRahim,
      > >
      > >AssalamuAlaikum Brothers and Sisters,
      > >
      > >I hope you and your families are in the best of health and happiness,
      > >InshaAllah.
      > >
      > >This mail is an invitation for you to join in a project designed for the
      > >purpose of media monitoring and archiving, with regards to coverage of
      > >issues related to Islam and Muslims in the media. The main motivation is
      > >to have such articles archived, in an electronic [textual email] format,
      > >in a central location for the purpose of reading, reference and research.
      > >This archive will serve as important tool for muslim activists,
      > >volunteers, speakers, teachers and students etc. [More details are in the
      > >attached file called MediaArchiving.html ].
      > >
      > > This is going to be a grassroots effort and everyone's effort is going to
      > >be needed to make this project a success. Please read the attached html
      > >file which gives the details of the project. Note that this is very simple
      > >effort on each individual's part, since one can do this work at their own
      > >time and convenience, and you don't need to go to any place to do this
      > >volunteering. All it needs is that you have a computer with internet
      > >access. In simple words, this is web-surfing for a cause ;) You can do
      > >this work in the comfort of your homes etc. In fact, it is also be a good
      > >project for your spouses to participate.
      > >
      > > Please forward this email [along with the attachment] to as many people
      > >as you can, so that the word is spread around, and people can take part in
      > >the project.
      > >
      > > Please let me know if you have any questions/comments. My email is
      > >sajedahmed@...
      > >
      > >JazakAllah Khair for your time and patience, Your brother in Islam Sajed.
      > >
      > >
      > >-------
      > >
      > >Electronic Islamic Media-monitoring and Archiving Network (EIMAN)
      > >Project Description and Invitation to Join
      > >Bismillah hir Rahman nir Rahim (In the name of Allah, the Beneficent,
      > >the Merciful)
      > >
      > >As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu
      > >
      > >Goal
      > >Our goal is to, InshaAllah, establish an Islamic electronic media archive,
      > >to provide a reservoir of information for analysis and research for the
      > >benefit of Muslims and Islam all over the world. The project is to
      > >collectively monitor the electronic media outlets and archive the relevant
      > >news and articles, related to Islam and/or Muslims.
      > >
      > >Motivation
      > >
      > >What Could We Do With This Archive?
      > >All important news articles regarding Islam and Muslims are readily
      > >available at one location, for reference, reading and serious research
      > >and analysis. A simple example of reference: if you were preparing a
      > >presentation/speech and you wanted some facts/figures from some leading
      > >mainstream media sources, you can use this archive to do your research and
      > >get the relevant information. For example, if you want to query for "all
      > >articles by Thomas Friedman on terrorism in new york times", all you need
      > >to do is go to this archive and search for "thomas friedman terrorism
      > >nytimes" and you will see all such articles.
      > >
      > >Another point with respect to reference, is the credibility of your
      > >source. For example, if you wanted to present a fact that "none of the
      > >1400+ individuals arrested in the FBI dragnet were charged with anything
      > >related to the New york attacks" etc, it does not carry as much effect on
      > >the audience as quoting from the mainstream media itself, like, "According
      > >to USA Today, in a article published on January 20, 2002, none of the
      > >1400+ individuals arrested in the FBI dragnet were charged with anything
      > >related to the New york attacks". And to be able to refer to the articles
      > >in the mainstream media, you need to know about their location and
      > >existence in the first place. And this project proposes to address that
      > >issue by having the articles archived.
      > >
      > >In the last few months, there has been a tremendous focus on Islam, and
      > >there has been a lot of coverage in the media, both positive coverage as
      > >well as negative coverage. And thats where the main motivation of this
      > >project comes: use the positive coverage effectively to increase awareness
      > >and dispel the negative stereotyping etc.
      > >
      > > In this way, this archive will serve as a valuable tool for the Muslim
      > >activists, thinkers, scholars, students, teachers etc.
      > >Strategy
      > >
      > >Monitor the electronic media through grass-roots effort for material
      > >relevant to Islam and Muslims all over the world. This means monitoring
      > >not only the mainstream media outlets [like New York Times or Washington
      > >Post or BBC], but also non-mainstream media outlets like zMag, Independent
      > >etc. Also included are transcripts of TV or radio shows if available. The
      > >aim is to archive not just the positive but also the negative coverage of
      > >Islam/Muslims.
      > >
      > >Archive the full textual content of the relevant news/analysis articles in
      > >(email) text format with references to the original source by having the
      > >actual link, so that the content is available even when the original link
      > >becomes obsolete or is removed from the original web sites. (This way, we
      > >also avoid any copyright issues.)
      > >
      > >Take full advantage of other groups and websites that have been collecting
      > >such material and thus minimize redundancy.
      > >
      > >Store the articles after proper categorization and review, in an easily
      > >searchable database.
      > >
      > >Comparative Analysis
      > >
      > >Aren't there other projects/web-sites that do this? Actually, the work
      > >envisaged in this project is currently being done, on a shorter scale, by
      > >some mailing lists and web-sites, like ININ, AMILAnet, CAIR-net,
      > >PMWatch.org, ICNA.org, oureffort2001.com, zMag etc. But there are a few
      > >shortcomings:
      > >
      > >Content not available all the time: this is the most common problem. Most
      > >sites try to collect a whole bunch of links to other web-sites. In doing
      > >so they run into two problems, one of which is that the links themselves
      > >will become invalid after some time.
      > >
      > >Content not searchable across all sources: most sites have this second
      > >problem that you cannot do meaningful searches for articles across all
      > >sources etc.
      > >
      > >Not comprehensive: they do not have exhaustive list of material available
      > >so that later we can dependably go and find something we are looking for.
      > >And particularly lacking in a lot of sites is coverage from mainstream
      > >media. Most try to go to "alternative" media sources, and do not cover
      > >mainstream sources as much.
      > >
      > >Given the above set of problems, EIMAN project hopes to provide an answer
      > >to all of the above issues.
      > >
      > >Our content is always available because we do not just save the links, but
      > >also the textual content itself.
      > >
      > >Our content is searchable across all sources because we keep it all in one
      > >place.
      > >
      > >Our goal is to be comprehensive and get all the relevant articles. We want
      > >to get articles from mainstream media sources, not just alternative media
      > >sources. And as mentioned before, we will archive both the positive as
      > >well as the negative coverage.
      > >
      > >This project is closest to the ININ archives [
      > >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ININ ] in terms of format and methodology,
      > >and to PMWatch.org web-site in terms of structure and approach.
      > >
      > >
      > >The Project
      > >
      > >The effort has the following three stages:
      > >
      > >I. Selection: Selection and collection of news items and articles based
      > >on specified criteria and in an accessible format. This is done by
      > >emailing the article in an specified format to the following yahoogroup:
      > >eiman@yahoogroups.com. This document basically talks about this phase of
      > >the project. If you wish to take part in this part of the project, the
      > >details are given below.
      > >
      > >II. Categorization and Review: Next is to organize, categorize and
      > >keyword the articles. If interested in volunteering in this stage of the
      > >project, please email sajedahmed@....
      > >
      > >III. Analysis and Research: The Islamic think tank, which this effort is a
      > >part of, will use these categorized articles for research and analysis. If
      > >interested in this phase or in the think tank, please email
      > >uwaymir@....
      > >
      > >Details about the phase I (Selection phase) of the project:
      > >What to archive:
      > >
      > >The candidates for such archiving include news articles, columnists,
      > >special features, editorials, op-ed columns, letters to editor [if
      > >worthwhile], transcripts of relevant TV or radio shows, magazine articles
      > >etc.
      > >
      > >Which sites to scan for material:
      > >
      > >Here is a partial list of sites. Please suggest more sites. BBC,
      > >Independent, Guardian, NY Times, WashingtonPost, Boston Globe, LA times,
      > >Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Detroit Free Press, San Jose Mercury News,
      > >SF Chronicle, Seattle Times, Oregonian, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia
      > >Enquirer, CNN, ABCNews, Fox News, Times of India, The Hindu, The Dawn,
      > >Lebanon Daily Star, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Cato Institute, Christian
      > >Science Monitor, BeliefNet, Village Voice, Salon, Time, Newsweek,
      > >Frontline, Yahoo Full Coverage, ICNA links, iViews, oureffort2001 links,
      > >zmag.org, the transcripts of NPR shows, CNN shows etc. I am sure there are
      > >more sites that can be looked at that I do not know of, so please feel
      > >free to add more.
      > >
      > >Criteria of Selection
      > >The topic/subject of the material must fall within the following criteria:
      > >
      > >The subject must be relevant to the affairs of Muslims or Islam. Avoid
      > >other vast topics such as Islamic fiqh, fatawa etc that are already dealt
      > >with by dedicated sites for that purpose.
      > >The content should be serious and of long-term value for Islam and
      > >Muslims.
      > >
      > >Avoid sending news items of transient or short-term focus unless some news
      > >item is especially enlightening.
      > >
      > >Avoid items with repetitive and mundane arguments as much as you can.
      > >Sometimes, there can be articles that are not directly related to
      > >Islam/muslims but are indirectly related. For example, articles on civil
      > >rights in the US, and how the civil rights are getting eroded etc are also
      > >relevant for this archive.
      > >
      > >Method and Format (How to)
      > >
      > >A yahoo group for this purpose called eiman@yahoogroups.com. Once you have
      > >found that an item meets our selection criteria, email it to
      > >eiman@yahoogroups.com.
      > >
      > >Please follow the following guidelines: Each article needs to be in plain
      > >text format. Please turn off any html or other fancy settings from your
      > >email program. Each article is sent via email, and the email's subject and
      > >body should follow these guidelines:
      > >
      > >
      > >1. Subject: The subject should have the following 4 fields:
      > >
      > > : : :
      > >The field can have only one of the following values: NEWS
      > >(general news), COMMENTARY (opinions, analysis and feature articles, at
      > >newspaper level of depth), RESEARCH (Serious research paper. Academic or
      > >from a think tank), EDITORIAL (for editorials) , MISC (undecided
      > >category).
      > >
      > >Example:
      > >
      > > NEWS: WashingtonPost: More than a thousand caught in the INS dragnet
      > >
      > >2. Body: The body should first have the actual link to the article itself.
      > >And then the textual content of the article. And at the bottom, we should
      > >try to have the copyright statement from the web-site itself, like for
      > >example: 2001 The Washington Post Company .
      > >Example:
      > >
      > >http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-092301stans.story
      > >
      > >Crisis Puts New Focus on 'Stans' of Central Asia
      > >
      > >September 23 2001
      > >MOSCOW -- Collectively, they are sometimes called "the stans."
      > >Individually, as the United States prepares for possible military action
      > >in their neighborhood, the stans are suddenly the focus of intense
      > >attention in Washington and Moscow........
      > >......
      > >......
      > >Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times
      > >Some points to note:
      > >
      > >1. Avoid hard-breaks. There are a couple of good ways of getting the
      > >entire text of the article without the hard-breaks: most sites have a
      > >Printer friendly version button in each article, use that to cut and paste
      > >into your email client.
      > >
      > >2. Note that we do not want to have just the links because links can
      > >become invalid after a period of time. So please make sure to have the
      > >entire content, along with the link.
      > >
      > >3. Also note that eiman@yahoogroups.com will ONLY be used to collect
      > >articles. Please do not post any replies etc to this group.
      > >
      > >4. To see an example of how articles have been archived, you can go to the
      > >link http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EIMAN/messages .
      > >How to join the EIMAN project
      > >
      > >I highly encourage everyone to join this project. It is a painless and
      > >InshaAllah a rewarding grassroots effort. One of the most attractive
      > >things about this volunteer effort is that you can do this media
      > >monitoring in your time, at your own convenience. You dont even have to
      > >attend any meetings ;-) Remember all that is required is that whenever
      > >you surf the web and come across something interesting, you capture the
      > >content and the link and send the email over to the list
      > >[eiman@yahoogroups.com]. Thats it. So, in other words, you already surf
      > >the web anyways, why not do it for a cause!!
      > >
      > >In order to join this project, please become a member of this group by
      > >sending an email to EIMAN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
      > >
      > >"Sign up" to monitor a particular web-site(s). Once you do that, In order
      > >to "sign up", please send an email to sajedahmed@... and give the
      > >name and website of the media outlet that you would like to monitor. Once
      > >you get back a conformation email, it becomes your responsibility to keep
      > >track of all the news/articles/editorials etc on that web-site that are
      > >related to Islam/muslims. Thats it! From then on, you are the responsible
      > >person for that website! For that particular web-site, it becomes your
      > >responsibility to keep scanning it for any Islam/muslims related articles.
      > >You can then keep sending the mails to eiman@yahoogroups.com.
      > >
      > >To see a list of which sites have already been signed up for, and who has
      > >signed up to which site etc, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EIMAN/ .
      > >On the left side of the page, you will see a link called "Database". Once
      > >you click this, you will see a list of tables. Click on the table titled
      > >"Website Sign-up Sheet". It will show you a table of 4 columns: Website
      > >name, Website link, Responsible person's name, Responsible person's email.
      > >
      > >Even if you do not want to volunteer to monitor etc, but just want to read
      > >all the articles collected, you can always just go to the link at
      > >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EIMAN/ and do so. Or, if you just want to
      > >get daily emails [individual/digest-mode], you need to become a member of
      > >the group by sending an email to EIMAN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
      > >
      > >If you have any questions/comments etc, please feel free to mail me at
      > >sajedahmed@....
      > >
      > >Also, please spread the word about this project to any of your friends
      > >that might be interested in joining this project and urge them to join in.
      > >Forward this mail to anyone you know could potentially be interested in
      > >joining in the effort.
      > >
      > >JazakAllah Khair for your patience. I hope that you will join in this
      > >effort, InshaAllah. Please forgive my mistakes.
      > >
      > >Wassalam,
      > >Sajed [Coordinator for the EIMAN project] [Email: sajedahmed@...]

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