"Dear God What Twaddle"
Not being a subject of Her Majesty The Queen, it is difficult for me to imagine the British Broadcasting System: a public media network of radio, TV, internet, podcast, iPhone app, etc., which is funded by a TV tax and oft-criticized for being a mind-numbing bureaucracy that pushes its limits, unfairly making private media businesses redundant. I was, however, able to delight in the comedy following a post in The Guardian about the BBC’s directive to its journalists to consider social media a direct source.
“Dear God what twaddle…” one commenter said, in a delightful Briticism. “So can we now expect more breaking stories across the web site and News 24 sourced from that bastion of news and direct truths: Twitter? Given the rush to ‘break news’ one can only fear that it will mean less fact checking, more hurried and hashed reports quoting ‘sources’ and ‘it is reported that..’”
To be fair to the BBC, perhaps its intention to make its journalists more social media-savvy would have some positive outcomes for journalism. The new director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks, illustrated one way in which awareness of the power of social media is publicizing news that would be otherwise be kept in the dark.
He references the BBC’s distribution of cell phones to citizens in Nigeria. Each village has an (anachronistically named) “keeper of the phone” and when events happen, residents use the phone to report it. According to Horrocks, this method uncovered land rights abuse issues. Horrocks wasn’t specific as to how the phone was used to communicate with the BBC, but if it was not via Twitter or Facebook, then it is not clear why social media is relevant to the example.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.
- At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
- See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
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A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Yes, a coup d'état.
- Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
- A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
- Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
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