26 Jul 2004 chalst   » (Master)

News sources
berend wrote: That's why I love blogs. News can no longer be ignored or hidden.

That's a thought that unites Berend and Raph, despite the different types of news that makes them happy when it breaks out from behind the media skirts. Pessimistic thought: appearing in a blog doesn't mean a news story has made it to the wider social awareness. Blogs are still obscure, and precious few stories are successfully nurtured to the point where mainstream news media are forced to take note of them.

Optimistic note: there's now news sources for lots of the emerging topics I'm interested in, and I can now bring my expertise to ears that would not otherwise hear it. I'm now a contributing editor at Ehud Lamm's Lambda the Ultimate (not yet made use of the privilege), and am a founding member of a team of a to be soon launched group weblog on the contact area between computer science and philosophy; here is the announcement.

And on the crucial question: which is the best news source for international issues: NYT vs. WaPo? Josh Marshall weighs in, saying:

Over time you get a good sense of which news outlets consistently generate new information and which don't. And by this measure -- on the issues I follow closely, which I'd say are foreign policy, defense policy, intelligence and national politics -- the Post consistently outclasses the Times, particularly on the first three topics. When it comes to who's generating fresh information rather than summarizing the story a few days later or relying on hand-fed stories, my experience putting together this site tells me I usually end up finding new information -- which stands up over time -- in the Post.

My own take: I've never liked the NYT, it always has a parochial feel when reporting foreign news (especially Germany: I don't recall ever reading an article on a story in Germany in which Nazis were not at least alluded to); the WaPo is infinitely better in this regard, and as Josh says, you have the sense that you are reading the stories by people who have done the spadework. I prefer the Financial Times to both, btw.

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