“[T]he press is not supposed to be cozy with the powerful. Journalists are supposed to be a check on power, and that means not being afraid to be adversarial when needed: to dig out the truth when people don’t want us to, to state it clearly and let the chips fall where they may.”—
“Real journalists are not for sale, not for insider access, a free lunch or the prospect of a future book contract. The best journalism is about truth-seeking and truth-telling; it’s meant to serve the public… the press is not supposed to be cozy with the powerful. Journalists are supposed to be a check on power, and that means not being afraid to be adversarial when needed: to dig out the truth when people don’t want us to, to state it clearly and let the chips fall where they may.”—New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan, from Lodestars in a Murky Media World - NYTimes.com
All year, nprchives is going to pull stories out of our 1984 archive. Today, this gem from NPR’s tech coverage about the MICROWRITER. It was invented by the late Cy Endfield, who imagined a handheld alternative to the typewriter — with only five keys.
I was trying to give a keyboard that would be usable by all the people who used personal computers, all the new people to have to come to keyboards, who didn’t have to come to keyboards before the age of the computer. And, well, the answer was, play chords.
“Martin Luther King studied Thoreau and Gandhi and put their ideas to work in the United States, while in 1952 the African National Congress and the young Nelson Mandela were collaborating with the South African Indian Congress on civil disobedience campaigns. You wish you could write Thoreau a letter about all this. He had no way of knowing that what he planted would still be bearing fruit 151 years after his death. But the past doesn’t need us. The past guides us; the future needs us.”—Rebecca Solnit, “The Future Needs Us” at TomDispatch.com
“My name is Ella. My name is not Ford, or Chrysler or GM. I’m talking about being able to buy food and provide rent and heat. I’m not talking about furnishing an office. Or making more or having a larger profit margin. I’m talking about sustaining my life.”—Retiree Ella Johnson worked for the city of Detroit for 33 years. She faces a 34% cut to her pension check under Detroit’s bankruptcy proposal. (via nprontheroad)
I hope my latest post will startle you. If you survey our planet, the situation is remarkably unsettled, confusing, and often violent, yet at least two things stand out, and whatever you make of them, they could be the real news of the first decades of this century. Both are right before our eyes, yet largely uncommented upon. First, the imperial principle, which has ruled for half a millennium, and the great power competition to which it has been wedded are visibly on the wane. Second and no less startling, war of the traditional sort (global, intrastate, anti-insurgent), which convulsed the twentieth century, seems to be waning as well. This is genuine news, I think, and I explore both of these phenomena carefully. The question is: as 2014 starts, just how deep are we into uncharted territory in the history of the planet. Tom
“What is a force of 10,000 going to accomplish that 150,000 did not?”—Afghan War veteran Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis on the Obama Administration’s efforts to keep military forces in Afghanistan after 2014. Read the rest at the Daily Beast
The University of the West Indies’ St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago campus premieres the Pulitzer Center-supported documentary “The Abominable Crime,” a film directed by Micah Fink with Common Good Productions. The event is dually hosted by I Am One TnT, a new lobbying group seeking…
I take pleasure in sending out a TomDispatch post with two superb historians and writers in it, one (Adam Hochschild) introducing the other (Greg Grandin). Grandin’s new book on the transnational slave system, The Empire of Necessity, has been getting much attention. Now, he returns to TD with a powerful piece that begins with right-wing fever dreams about reparations for slavery (including the Drudge Report’s claim that President Obama is handing out free cell phones to African Americans). Then, in a highly original essay, he considers what we really owe the slave system — and the answer is, in every sense, from medicine to insurance, our world. It’s a stunning and painful look at the foundations of our way of life. Tom