Litlets

March 13, 2007

Hero of the Week, 2007-03-11

Filed under: Hero of the Week — crcb @ 5:54 am

Mood: Fastidiously ludic

Yes, I know I skipped a week or two. I overslept.

This week’s hero is an organization, the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC). In a government run by the governed, as ours is supposed to be, information is vital. The NFOIC , a loose affiliation of state organizations, helps citizens get the information we need to oversee our government responsibly. The NFOIC website provides an electronic newsletter, The FOI ADVOCATE; a listserv; a blog; links to federal and state resources; and white papers and reports.

Also worth a look is the Freedom of Information Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism, though it doesn’t seem to be actively maintained. The headlines in the “Current News Highlights” are from 2005.

February 20, 2007

Hero of the Week, 2007-02-18

Filed under: Hero of the Week — crcb @ 8:56 pm

Mood: Dactylic

It’s a 2-fer!

  1. Craig Ferguson. The host of The Late Late Show won’t mock Britney Spears — at least for now — maintaining that comics should attack the powerful, not the vulnerable. That was also the attitude of the late (and much missed) Molly Ivins, and of all decent satirists throughout history. Why not send a note of appreciation to CBS or one of the show’s sponsors?
  2. The Electronic Frontier Foundation. This organization is to cyberspace what the ACLU is to meatspace. They’ve scored some legal victories lately, helping bloggers and webmasters maintain their free speech rights against the likes of Eli Lilly, Discovery Communications and a certain purple dinosaur. Whether you know it or not, they’re fighting for you.

February 13, 2007

New Feature: Hero of the Week, 2007-02-11

Filed under: Hero of the Week — crcb @ 1:44 am

Mood: Ebulliently apropos

In an attempt to prod myself into blogging at least once a week, I’m instituting a new feature. Each week, I’ll bring to your attention one person who, in my opinion, deserves respect and possibly aid or support.

This week’s hero is imprisoned U.S. journalist Josh Wolf. He’s broken the record for the longest detention of a journalist, at 170+ days and counting. His crime: returning to turn over video footage of a tussle between anarchists and police in San Francisco.

I have to admit, I’m ambivalent about his withholding the footage, suspect though the government’s motives are in requesting it. What’s of more matter, though, is the government’s tack: they claim he’s not entitled to the protections due to journalists, because he is “a journalist only in his own imagination.” As Mr. Wolf says, if the state is in the business of certifying journalists, how far are we from state-sponsored journalism? (I should note that Mr. Wolf has won journalism awards.)

There’s an interview with Josh Wolf on Democracy Now. His own site is at www.joshwolf.net.

Bonus heroes: Molly Ivins, The Dixie Chicks

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