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LISTENING POST on AlJazeera: must see TV (with video)
Aug 23rd, 2013 by Warren Swil

Show has had the best

coverage of Manning case

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was interviewed on Listening Post during its June 12 show. Click image to enlarge.

WITH THE ARRIVAL this week of AlJazeera America, those in the U.S. who have previously not been able to now can watch one of the best half hours on television.
“Listening Post,” a show about the media and journalism in general, is now scheduled to be aired on AlJazeera America on Saturdays, starting tomorrow, at 2:30 p.m. EDT (in the East) and again at 2:30 p.m. PDT (in the West).
It is not just a show for journalists.
It is an in-depth examination of the most important issues of the day, and how the media shapes public opinion – either with its coverage of these issues, or the lack thereof.
 WATCH A VIDEO OF THE SHOW BELOW THE FOLD


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THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL: Campaign cash

PUBLIC FINANCING OF ELECTION CAMPAIGNS URGENTLY NEEDED
Outstanding enterprise reporting and an editorial in The New York Times on Sunday have put back onto the national agenda the system of legalized bribery known as election campaign financing.
The evidence is conclusive that a piecemeal approach to campaign finance reform is never going to gain traction.
While all these efforts are laudable, there is ultimately only one solution: public financing of election campaigns.


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Violence in schools leads to 2-day shut down (with video)

NO TEACHING OR LEARNING CAN TAKE PLACE WHEN STUDENTS, TEACHERS ARE AT RISK
According to local newspapers, the BBC and the Washington Post, violence in the schools at the southern tip of South Africa has reached epidemic proportions.
Sixteen schools were closed for two days – Thursday and Friday – this week because the mayhem got so out of control.
It does not sound like an environment where teaching and learning can take place.


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Local news ‘patch’ shrinks again

SMALL COMMUNITIES NEED JOURNALISTS WITH VESTED INTEREST
Today, AOL is expected to close or find partners for 400 of the Patch unit’s 900 community websites as it looks to cut jobs.
But some other hyper-local sites are thriving.
The difference is that local owners/publishers have a far greater vested interest in the communities they actually live in than giant conglomerates.
They are likely to be far better informed of what is important to their communities, to have better sources (their neighbors, after all!) and to be able to reach out to those close at hand far better than some mass-emailer with the moniker “A-O-L” attached to every email.


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EGYPT TURMOIL: A clash of civilizations (with video)

ISLAMISTS VS. SECULARISTS: THE BATTLE BETWEEN WORLD VIEWS
As the crisis in Egypt deepens it is becoming increasingly apparent that the enormous gulf that has opened up between the two sides represents a titanic clash of civilizations.
On the one side is the Islamic Brotherhood.
On the other is the Egyptian military, supported for decades by the United States, which would prefer a secular government.
The clashing world views seem, alas, to be irreconcilable.
Get In the (K)now … here, now


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Russian homophobia: don’t boycott – protest at the Games

GAY RAINBOW FLAG SHOULD BE CARRIED BY EACH COUNTRY’S DELEGATION
Calls for an international boycott of the Russian Winter Olympics over the country’s anti-gay law seem to be losing steam.
Flagrant civil disobedience might be far more effective in getting the message across to the Russian people that hatred and bigotry is unacceptable.
When the athletes parade at the traditional opening and closing ceremonies, along with their national flags each delegation could carry the Rainbow flag in support of the cause of gay rights in Russia.
Let’s see if they’re all thrown in jail.


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Housing market scandal continues to reverberate

NOT A SINGLE FRAUDSTER HAS BEEN SENT TO JAIL
In a new lawsuit, top officials at the U.S. Department of Justice allege “reckeless and fraudulent” behavior by Bank of America and others in the collapse of the mortgage market during the 2005-08 housing bubble and crash.
And yet not a single banker has gone to jail because of this blatant disregard for the rules and regulations that are meant to protect borrowers (and lenders) alike.
So the government, despite President Obama’s wishes, continues to buy 90 percent of all mortgages.
It’s regrettable in the extreme.


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Proposed changes to drug policy a welcome development (with video)

HOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT MAY SIGNAL END TO ‘WAR ON DRUGS’ (with video)
Attorney General Eric Holder’s major policy announcement this morning on federal drug law policy is hugely significant.
It could herald a sea change in both the government’s attitude about drugs (how about calling off the battles against medical marijuana, for a start?) and the media’s coverage of the issue.
It is way past time for dumping the ineffective, expensive and cruelly discriminatory “war on drugs.”
WATCH A VIDEO HERE.


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The New York Times turns spotlight on itself

THE GRAY LADY REINVENTS ITSELF FOR DIGITAL ERA
In a column as remarkable for its subject matter as for the fact that it appeared at all, James B. Stewart discusses in detail the present and future ownership of the Grey Lady (as she is affectionately known in the trade) and details of its business operations.
The New York Times is succeeding in transitioning its business model to the digital era.
But its continued success at offering readers indispensible journalism – the value of which we are now beginning to fully comprehend and pay for – is just as important.


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GSR 2013 run climaxes at 9,200 feet: The back story (with movie)

CHALLENGING ROADS, SCENIC SPLENDOR, CAMARADERIE CAPTURED ON CAMERA (WITH MOVIE)
Part II
The southern reaches of the Kern River in the Sierra Nevada mountains was the bucolic destination chosen for the 2013 Gay Sport Bike Riders group’s annual run of motorcycle enthusiasts seeking camaraderie, hard and fast motorcycling, challenging terrain and an all-around great time.
After lunch on Aug. 2 the fun began with a fast downhill sprint along 9 Mile Canyon Road into the Owens Valley where it meets U.S. Highway 395.
Here’s the back story on how the movie was made.


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