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The Media

What's the Best Online News Story You've Read Lately? 124

Posted by Roblimo
from the giving-the-little-guys-a-chance dept.
The entry deadline for the Online News Association's second annual Online Journalism Awards is less than a month away. Last year, almost all of the finalists and winners came from big, well-funded sites, possibly because of the $100 ($80 for ONA members) entry fee. This year I am going to try to level the playing field a little, and I need your help.

I'm asking you and your fellow Slashdot readers, "What's the best online news story you've read lately?" because last year I stood up during the awards ceremony and said I felt the entry fee was way too high (the Pulitzer Prize entry fee is only $50), especially for volunteer and non-profit news sites, many of which do excellent journalism even though they don't have the resources of an MSNBC, ABC News or major newspaper chain behind them.

Since I believe in putting my money where my mouth is, I offered to pay the entry fee next year for five deserving stories published by sites that couldn't otherwise afford to enter. Now it's "next year," and I'm keeping my promise. I would like to make sure the entries I sponsor (the money is coming out of my own pocket) have at least a fighting chance of winning, which means they need to be among the very best published anywhere, not just the best ones I've run across myself. Many eyeballs can make a big difference here.

Please take a look at the contest rules before you start posting your favorites to make sure they qualify, and in which category they should be entered.

I'll select the five entries I sponsor based on your comments, and next week I'll update this post with the titles and URLs of the chosen ones.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What's the Best Online News Story You've Read Lately?

Comments Filter:
  • Agreed on all points above. I always look forward to reading the daily Bleatage [lileks.com] on lileks.com.
  • amoung the typical news goons I thought this story was very impressive. I generally don't agree with much that comes out of salon, but this [salon.com] article was obviously thoroughly investigated and I felt it was very well written.
  • Without a doubt this should be modded up and then submitted.

    Even if it isn't all true, it is quite scary and a damn riveting read given the size of the article.
  • I just got email from the author of the piece after I submitted this up to kuro5hin earlier...

    In it he (Stephen Marshall) discusses a lot of the missing detail had to be cut to get the piece down in size. And that much more of the detail is covered in the hearings.

    He also wrote that their servers got overloaded. Guess he should be glad it didn't make it up on slashdot. I submitted it at the same time as kuro5hin, it was of course rejected here.

  • The amazing thing is that ever single post on that story was in-character. It gets my vote, at least in the humor category. Oh wait, I mean

    Delight and bemusement at those k5 denizens.

    Self-deprecating humor ending with an inappropriate smiley.

    Lame-ass (but confrontational, always confrontational) sig to follow:

    Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

  • Agreement with Comment that is to be repeated by others. repeat.

    Additional comment re-stating comment that is to be repeated by others in a slightly different way.

    Response to bold text in italics to further overemphasize minor point.

    witty sig
  • Hi Paul,

    No offense, but if you would have read my original post a little more carefully, you'de realize that it wasn't the perceptions of the users that I was referring to, but rather the perceptions of the media and the industry as a whole. I dont think the Linux movement will ever dry up and vanish, but in the eyes of everyone BUT its users, Linux will be dead when VA dies. The public perception of Linux is that it was shepherded by a singular company. Microsoft didn't kill Linux -- VA Linux Systems did. They made the mistake of taking an inherently decentralized community and shoved all the eggs in one basket. That's what people are going to see. The buzz will die down, and the game will be over. On to something else.

    The point has already been made by someone else in this thread that IBM's commitment to Linux was a drop in the bucket compared to the money they put behind OS/2 -- And look where OS/2 is now.

    The money is meaningless--All the money in the world can't make up for a bad business strategy. If you don't agree with me, you're more than welcome to pull up a performance chart of VA's stock over the past 6 months. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where that train is headed..

  • Network TV will simply never run this story because of Coke's enormous advertising budget. That bumps this story up to the best thing I've read online.
    -----
    god exists !
    there is an plan !
  • A small local news and events site in central Virginia, farmville.net [farmville.net], was one of the first news outlets to cover the April 24th fire at Longwood College. The fire was reported at 9:20pm; the farmville.net reporters were there by 9:45pm, shooting stills and video. The initial story was on the net by 4:30am the next day (while the fire was still going on). According to emails, the site was crucially important to alums and parents of students in other states & countries as their local news didn't cover the event.

    The article was updated continously throughout the day with new pictures and information, as well as several times over the next couple of days.

    Further, this site was the first to break the news that there were two (minor) injuries rather than simply repeating the "no injuries" line from the official press release.

    Therefore, I suggest "Major Fire Hits Longwood College [farmville.net]" as an entry in the breaking news category for an independent organization.
  • A $100 entry fee is not what's keeping independent web sites from winning these awards. That entry fee is pretty low if you think about it. Can you imagine if the Oscars had a $100 fee to allow the nomination of anything (including my home videos?)

    I think we're all becoming spoiled by the open nature of these online awards. At most, I think this fee is to discourage people from nominating their diaries and what not. I hate to say it, but the major reason that Big Media (TM) has sweeped these awards last year, is because they have the resources and manpower.

    And yes, Slashdot itself has also become Big Media (in terms of the Internet.)

    There goes my Karma! :)
  • Wow... Someone mod this up!
  • I just scanned the awards, but did it specifiy US only, or is it just the usual US tunnel vision ?

    Really though, in online journalism surely the rest of the world deserves some mention.
  • Why anything written by Jon Katz of course..... not!
  • Without a doubt, the online news story that has had the most impact on my life in the past year has been Surviving the Boy Band [gogeek.org] and its subsequent fallout in the form of TERVOR PENICK ISNT DED AND U R DUM!: A Learned Treatise on Stupid People Who Speak Their Mind [gogeek.org].

    Not that I'm conceited or anything.
    ------------------------

  • This is perhaps one of the best examples I've seen of web journalism's promise and why i hope we won't see the fall of indy sites in the face of increased corporate internet "ownership." This story raises a lot of very interesting questions.

  • Be sure to find the one that mentions "corporations" - that was a good one.
  • wow, analogous to the Committee on Presidential Debates...

    (puts down his drum)
  • At investigative reports Narconews is the best, hands down. Nobody knows more about banks, politicians and Latin America for that matter, when it comes to narco-money.
    www.narconews.com

    Luigidigi
  • I would agree. More investigative reporting like this would actually make my hours of news reading more enjoyable.
  • The best article [sierratimes.com] I've read in a while I read just today. This can be found on the Sierra Times [sierratimes.com] website and reports on aspects of this crisis that major media have ignored.

    Like how environmentalists are set to destroy wetlands habitats for 400+ species of waterfowl.

    Sierra Times is as far as I can tell an independent website.
  • I have to second the nomination of James Lileks for his Bleats. He is a pretty techno-savvy writer but has an actual life and personality. The attraction for him is he gets to rip into things that he doesn't want to put into his syndicated or newspaper columns.
  • My hat (tinfoil?) is off to you, sir. Nice critique.
  • Nice troll.

    But individual workers generally don't have the resources to go to a foreign country, spend a significant amount of time researching a situation, collate the data while searching archives of relevant information regarding important players and so forth, and then produce a well-written, well-thought-out article to boot.

    So what you're suggesting is about as impractical as, say, large-scale Marxism.
  • This was actually the first site I thought of while reading the caption for Roblimo's posting. Not sure why, it was a decent article, but very long and melodramatic, but hey, half the crap newspapers print are just as bad (around where I am at least...)
    ---
  • "Score:0, Redundant": Actually, Mr. Moderator, the next posting was the redundant one, as I forgot to double check my formatting on this post (forgot the line-breaks.) But I guess I won't complain...
    ---
  • You may be very right, but these people also have bosses in the company, and the bosses may not like some of the decisions put forth from something like this contest...granted this isn't big enough to fire over, but it's also not big enough (in the judges eyes) (I would assume) to go through the hassle of explaining to their boss why the editor-in-chief for Business Week didn't choose the article from Business Week...
    ---
  • He's great. Especially this column which skewers nicely the big online brokers and financial media:
    http://www.fair.org/media-beat/010315.html
  • I'm nominating me, Gigant0r, in the category of online commentary. Phierce.net [phierce.net] is my website. I specifically recommend "My Mortal Enemy," which got me expelled from school in Brazil. I doubt any of these other namsy pamsy girl scout journalists can say they've taken that big a hit for their craft.
  • I would definitely say this story is the best. Now the question is, what is the best story about the best stories?
  • http://www.guerrillanews.com/cocakarma/

    I've spent the last week reading into this article and it's supplementary links, and I thought some of you might get a kick out of it. Suffice to say it's difficult to summarize, but it's one man's fight against a force known as Coca-Cola, his right to a fair trial, copyright and trademark issues, a lack of SEC investigations, and maybe even an entire Federal Circuit Court gone corrupt.
  • What the heck - I'll throw my hat in too for this one. A very interesting story.
  • wouldn't you like this on-line story? its url is http://news.lycos.com/news/story.asp?section=Break ing&storyId=187072
  • You should try Newsforge [newsforge.com]. That's not a shameless plug.
  • This was one of the best articles I have read on the internet. The author kept well to the facts and did his research. Defenitely a great work of journalism. Everyone should check this out.
  • By far, the most under-reported or distorted story of the year is: "anti-globalization and anti-capitalist protests suppressed by draconian police response around the world"

    as reported on a daily basis by the independent media center [indymedia.org].

    this is the independent category, general excellence in journalism (first category).

    in addition, the independent media centers have extended the community of the web by creating collaborative, non-commercial, consensus-based collectives in cities around the world for web, print, video, and audio media distribution. i'd say IMC is making history.

  • >> The Tower of Babel Is Crumbling

    Errr.. Except that's an AP story, not a Wired story.
  • its actually possible that this is just another nuissance suit presented entirely from the nuissance's point of view.
  • The sight I've found that uses many mediums for their content is Heavy [heavy.com]

    It uses sight(Flash), sound(music), and video to show it's audience it's content. There is no url(besides www.heavy.com) since it's all flash. But the section is called HIPNODX, and it catches the real life of "break dancers"(for lack of a better word in my head). It's very cool.

    • From: "SuziQ"
      To: "BoB"
      Subject: YEW R NOT A COWARD, AN I DID NOT NO THAT TERVOR DIED!!!

      Why you call you a coward? I no that u r not because u send me this message! An wen did TREVOR DIE?!!? I CANT BELEVE THIS LIES! I have to go cry now.

      Suzi Q
      SuziQ@AOL.COM [mailto]



    ---
  • This one made a big difference and should definitely get a prize.
  • Damm - I was going to post this one also! Aside from the technical information we geeks crave, I think it was well written and interesting from a story point of view.
  • clay shirky is one of the most talented an well spoken authors i read on the internet. i lean towards his open letter to j. neilson as a favorite.

    http://www.shirky.com/writings/nielsen.html

  • whether you agree with it or not, there is certainly unusual aspects about the case

    one thing though that did raise my opinion of it a little more, was searching for the case by it's court name and finding very little in online news sites that even mention the existence of this case

    while the "court reformer" may be biased against judges, he has in the past been right on this count

    maybe he's wrong this time, but bringing a possibly suspect case into the public spotlight can only increase accuracy in the courts

  • I guess they were slashdotted. Check it in a few hours. Think I've got some 'splaning to do...
  • It was rejected at k5? I followed the link while it was in the submission queue, and damn, that was a good read. I came back here to vote for it so i'll just ask for my vote to be counted in this thread :) Interesting enough to hold my attention for all 11 or so pages, that takes quite a talent since i'm one of those anti-depressant popping ADD types :P

  • wtf? You were supposed to mod the PARENT comment up....not the comment asking for the parent to be modded up!

    -- juju
  • I have always found their stories insightful.
  • I agree. If you want to talk about election coverage this year, The Onion had the best!
  • ...this article? Wouldnt that be funny?
  • Why do you say that. The business model of free software and selling support is flawed. Nobody can make money selling support for an OS that is administered by experienced people. I think John Dvorak's prediction that Linux will be successful in the embedded arena is a good one. Tivo, caching servers, terminals.
  • Declaration that this is the funniest thing the poster has read in a long time.

    Misguided/failed attempt to construct this comment in similar style.

  • by maynard (3337)
    Florida State Presidential Election Rigging [lumpen.com] by Bush Jr. And Sr. through common CIA and Intelligence community tricks. Note the close similarity to of events to Coup d'etat [amazon.com], a HOWTO book written from the perspective of the American Intelligence community. I note that Bush Sr.was the former Director of Intelligence during the Carter administration, and has detailed experience with overthrowing many governments while managing the CIA. --Maynard
  • Perhaps an independent outlet could be seen as non-threatening, and preferred over a better site on a rival conglomerate. Something like giving the Congo to the King of Belgium instead of any of the big powers.

    For a moment, I thought of Jon Katz being in the judge board. Brrr.
    __
  • Yeah, what he said!

    (Wrote the author of said story [nancies.org]. :)

    -Waldo
  • You might want to consider submitting something from Suck. If they have something that'd fit, it would be a nice tribute to a dead site.
  • Moderation of "-1, troll" applied because of hatred of comment authors supposed politics.
  • The return of segfault [segfault.org].

    They say it was a server problem at VA Linux, I think it was a LoI [segfault.org] attack, myself.

  • I think most of the articles at Salon.com are very well-written and worthy of some sort of an award. They tend to look at all sides of the issue and bring up interesting points. I especially like Salon's series of articles about clear channel. [salon.com]
  • It's not pulitzer prize winning writing or anything like that, but I really enjoyed the report Slashdot ran under the headline DirecTV's Secret War On Hackers [slashdot.org] . I strongly feel that the "best online news story" needn't -- indeed, shouldn't -- be a tech story (there's lots of other stuff out there), but within the genre of tech writing, I thought this was really well done, with a compelling narrative and a description of events that was both easy for the lay person to grasp & accurate enough to keep most of the tech savvy readers happy. It gets my vote.

  • Grant Gross' Newsforge article [newsforge.com] detailing LinuxOne's tangled web was a great read and showed some impressive investigative journalism.
  • http://www.guerillanews.com/cocakarma/ [guerillanews.com]

    A very lengthy and detailed account of a currently pending case in the US 7th Circuit Federal Court system. It chronicles the case of one Bob Kolody as he fights Coca-Cola over some marketing intellectual property.

    By the end of the article, we've seen armed US Marshals bursting into courtrooms, a judge's connection to the Chicago mafia, complicity in frauds on the Federal Courts and on the Copyright Office, and the whole fate of the case resting on a little-known angle on how the US Supreme Court works.

    A definite must-read for the slashdot-type crowd.

    There is a LOT that could be improved in this story. Specific references to court papers are made, but not enough detail is really presented to make it entirely convincing. It needs more footnotes, more links, more actual testimony, more data to go with this narrative. As it stands, it is just a very interesting outline for a John Grisham novel, made especially for conspiracy theorists. But if it's more than a quarter true, it's quite a worthy feat of "not scared of the big boys" journalism.

  • Damn. Fixed link: http://www.guerrillanews.com/cocakarma/ [guerrillanews.com]

    A very lengthy and detailed account of a currently pending case in the US 7th Circuit Federal Court system. It chronicles the case of one Bob Kolody as he fights Coca-Cola over some marketing intellectual property.

  • http://cbc.ca/news/indepth/hackers/

    This was originally a story broadcast on the CBC on Dec. 6, 2000.

    Very, very well done and pretty accurate (for the time). All in all, I was incredibly impressed, this is the first (and only) piece of mainstream journalism that "Get's It" with respect to computers and network security.

    Good read (for the most part). Check it out.
    --
  • mod this man up! This is an *amazing* story
  • ...in the Affiliated category

    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
    http://www.fair.org [fair.org]

    - tokengeekgrrl

  • 6. Creative Use of the Medium -- Independent category: http://www.fray.com [fray.com]

    I can't pick just one story from fray so I'm going to say the entire Criminal [fray.com] section as a packge.

    - tokengeekgrrl

  • I'm not absolutely sure that it's eligible, but Charles Taylor's recent article on Salon.com entitled "The Morality Police" is definitely the best piece of online journalism that I have ever read.

    Salon is unique in that it's authors have differing opinions: they don't all fit into their editor's socio-political mindset. I write for my University's newspaper and one thing that I notice every time that I attend a press conference is that most media employees are simply toeing the company line, not really expressing themselves as journalists. How sad.

    The thing about Taylor's article is that it is insightful and it is not afraid of questioning norms and "established" values in order to get his point across. He even goes so far as to directly contradict another Salon.com article, a move that would be unprecedented in today's news media.

    So cast my vote for "The Morality Police".

    --windside
  • I nominate LinuxPower.Org [linuxpower.org]. Christian Schaller has got to be one of the best reporters ever. I have never seen someone so honest, objective, logical and insightful. He is truly the best of the best.

    My favorite was his article last year about "KDE is dead, GNOME has won". This article truly showcases Christian's talent and intelligence.

  • SatireWire [satirewire.com].

    They have their own list of popular [satirewire.com] articles, and .com [satirewire.com]pany craziness, but just from the homepage comes these gems: SETI@home [satirewire.com], house bonds [satirewire.com], web profanity [satirewire.com], Dell says [satirewire.com], communists! [satirewire.com], corporate power [satirewire.com], and from their archives [satirewire.com]: capitalism! [satirewire.com], Jakob Nielsen [satirewire.com], more onion than the onion [satirewire.com], famous cubist site [satirewire.com], Nader [satirewire.com], USentric [satirewire.com]... Jezus, I'm gonna stop adding links now, otherwise this post could be a copyright violation of their archives page.
    --
    mrBlond (I don't email from Malaysia)

  • well come on, what about the reports "voices from the hellmouth" those could win any sappy journalistic award, especially an online journalism. I hate for /. to plug /., but we must. "Voices From the Hellmouth" was a real heartfelt story and should be put up as some of the best user community and Jon Katz writing, members put forth their memories and current experiences of violence, while Katz relegated it all.
  • Simson Garfinkel: Hard feelings meet hard logic [goose24.org]
    Foley's, Idiots, and Thoughts on Capitalism [goose24.org]

    Both from Goose24.org [goose24.org], an independant random article, free software, goose loving site.
    ---
  • Almost everyone has been posting general sites. when the contest specifies exact news stories for most categories.

    As a general site, I recommend Netslaves [netslaves.com]. They have a large number of articles by a number of talented writers, and so it is hard to recommend just one.

    There is The Last Time I Ate Neuchatel [netslaves.com] By Heedless Housman; and many other similar observational pieces.

    But the one I actually recommend is the "How To read a 10q" series [netslaves.com] of articles kicking apart the hard core financials of places like Juno [netslaves.com], Salon [netslaves.com], Razorfish [netslaves.com], Yahoo [netslaves.com], and many others. The explanation The Media, Money, and You [netslaves.com] by Steve Gilliard also should be included with it, as it explains what the series is about. The whole package is really worth looking at.

    There is a menu box on the right side devoted just to this series, complete with the intro, etc. Definitely worth putting in for something.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • Seriously. I'm thinking something from Peter Bagge or Ambrose Beers. Unfortunately Suck.com isn't responding right now (hopefully not dead already?!) but I hope to post some linx later.
  • Just published today in fact, a nice little piece about Cal Ripkin, Jr.

    "Cal Ripken eats his vegetables" [lumthemad.net]

  • Agreed. Very impressive story. And as best I can tell, they got the stroy out to enough people that the bigger sites started noticing, and things got changed. Not only impressive reporting, but reporting that made a difference. That seems to be getting rarer in a world where most reporting takes the tone of "this thing happened, and though it's important and impacts you directly, there's nothing that can be done," and, IMNSHO, ought to be rewarded.
  • How about the joint Kuro5hin/Slashdot story 'Why Community Matters'?

    K5 [kuro5hin.org]
    /. [slashdot.org]

  • I'd love to see the little guy win. I really would. And the large majority of my browsing time is spent on sites that aren't part of the media establishment. But I was unable to come up with anything that I'd want to nominate. And reading through other people's nominations, I'm not seeing anything too impressive: Shoeboy, Asia Carrera, Netslaves. The only one that stands out is The Register's CPRM story.

    Is that all there is? The only site that can challenge the Times, the New Republic, CNN, the WSJ and other primarily off-line sources is The Register!?! I've always thought of it as one step before Segfault.org. Kind of sad...

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • by teapot (2686) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @09:03AM (#141139)
    This is news in progress, but its the most disturbing piece I've read the last years. It's a long piece about a man suing coca-cola, and how far Coca-Cola is willing to go in a copyright-case. It's all here: CIA, corrupt judges, and missing documents; and it isn't even cranky.

    http://www.guerrillanews.com/cocakarma [guerrillanews.com]
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:29AM (#141140)
    This is a site dealing with DirecTV hacking. Some of the stories are lame. But others are quite compelling?

    Why? It documents the back-and-forth battle between DirecTV and hackers. Live. And it consistantly gives a very thorough and understandable explanation of what is going on. A good example is this story:

    We're Ready [hackhu.com] -- 06/13/01.

    Scroll around and ready some of the stuff, and some of the archives. There is some good material in there. Even if the site isn't quite 'above board'.
  • by tentac1e (62936) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:25AM (#141141) Journal
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Best Slashdot headline, ever. [slashdot.org]

  • by jhoffoss (73895) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:58AM (#141142) Journal
    Goes to show you who's a moron...here this is again but after previewing and fixing:
    See here:
    Search on The Register for "CPRM" [theregister.co.uk]
    Stealth plan puts copy protection into every hard drive [theregister.co.uk]
    Copy protection hard drive plan nixes free software - RMS [theregister.co.uk]
    Everything you ever wanted to know about CPRM, but ZDNet wouldn't tell you... [theregister.co.uk]
    ---
  • I feel this investigative piece is worth at least a read, perhaps even a chuckle...

    http://www.theonion.com/onion3722/surgeon_general. html [theonion.com]
  • by StevenMaurer (115071) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:31AM (#141144) Homepage
    I've always found the onion [theonion.com] to be a very interesting site, with plenty of fascinating news. Just take your pick!

    Oh wait, you mean stuff that's true?

  • by neema (170845) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:20AM (#141145) Homepage
    one of my favorite articles was on kuro5hin.org, it was the death of a false warrior [kuro5hin.org]. check it out. it was about an online journal of a "cancer patient" that got extremely popular and turned out to just be a hoax. actually, a few weeks after i read this article, i read a similar one in the nytimes.
  • by garnier (204518) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @04:05PM (#141146)
    I don't have the time to go into details, but this was a horribly biased article. If you want to see why, read the comments when this story was posted on kuro5hin here [kuro5hin.org]. I certainly hope that Roblimo doesn't waste his money getting that story submitted. Shoeboy's story has a much better chance of getting anywhere.
  • by Foggy Tristan (220356) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:03AM (#141147)
    It'd never win, but the Filthy Critic, while being obscene, vulgar, and pedantic, has always impressed me with some surprisingly intelligent commentary, and always remains true to form.
  • by Fatal0E (230910) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:39AM (#141148)
    is this Confusingly Titled Meta Story [kuro5hin.org]

    Appraisal of story, plus cogent quotes.

    Criticism of other similar stories contrasted with why this particular one shines.


  • by Louis_Cyphier (452923) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:25AM (#141149)
    I think my favorite was by Asia Carrera (yes the pr0nstar) where she rambled on about her new athlon system running linux she built www.asiacarrera.com maybe it was the pictures that gain my bias though.
  • by rcade (4482) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @09:00AM (#141150) Homepage
    It's hard to find worthy stories that aren't from publications that should have enough money to enter. However, here's a few good examples of online journalism from the rest of the Web:
    • Commentary: Phil Agre's Election 2000 wrapup [somewhere.com], which was sent Dec. 23, 2000, to subscribers to his Red Rock Eater Digest mailing list. No one tears into political jargon and other dissembling rhetoric the way Agre does, and this post-election contribution was widely forwarded around the Net after its publication.
    • Feature Journalism: The Bleat [lileks.com] by James Lileks, a daily column that's among the best feature writing in any medium, which is more impressive because his subject matter is nothing -- more specifically, the minutiae of his daily life, like movies, moving and odd yearbook discoveries [lileks.com].
    • Commentary: Deb Weiss [drudgereport.com]. Though her columns are hosted by the Drudge Report, Weiss is an amateur commentator who graduated from writing letters to the editor, not a professional. Though I disagree with her on every single political issue that matters, I have to admit that in columns like this Oct. 19, 2000, recap of the first Gore-Bush debate [drudgereport.com], Weiss rips into everyone to the left of Pat Buchanan with style, intelligence and savage wit.
  • by cowboy junkie (35926) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @09:22AM (#141151) Homepage
    While I'm happy Slashdot supports the little guy, I personally don't have any problem rooting for Salon again, especially considering their financial state. Their coverage IMHO is as in-depth as any of the best traditional media sources like the NYTimes, but they consistently ask questions and tackle topics that most papers & tv won't touch. They also follow up on stories that the majors report that turn out to be completely bogus (like the whole Clinton staff trashes White House offices on departure bit).
  • by Nurlman (448649) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @12:28PM (#141152)
    Full disclosure: I am a lawyer. I have also clerked for a federal judge (on the East Coast, not in Chicago).

    The first half of the article was interesting, and, although I have not looked into the details of copyright law or the specifics of the case, it appears at first blush that Mr. Whatzizname might have a valid claim against Coke.

    However, the second half of the article is little more than ill-informed, paranoid conjecture about the judge buying her seat on the federal bench, selective case assignments, the use of court security to intimidate people, a conspiracy by the 7th Circuit to squelch the "crusading lawyer," etc. Speaking as a lawyer, much, if not all, of these provacative events described in the second half of the article are all consistent with the normal and appropriate functioning of the federal court system.

    I will be the first to admit that, unfortunately, legal proceedings often seem inscrutable to the layperson. However, laypeople should not be in such a hurry to ascribe sinister motives to every legal ruling or procedure that they do not understand. It's a pity that the "journalist" writing this article decided to rely primarily on the guidance of a "court reformer" and "electronic journalist" who obviously has an ax to grind against the judiciary, and is prone to making wild assertions of extravagant criminal conspiracies involving judges, the CIA, etc. etc., and then citing the absence of evidence supporting his assertions as proof of the effectiveness of the same conspiracies. I've got news for the author of the story: while my court might not have tossed the plaintiff's lawsuit against Coke as abruptly (maybe-- it's hard to say without seeing the papers), from the decsriptions in the article, it would have responded exactly as the trial judge did on all the subsequent proceedings. Does that mean that my court is in line with the CIA and Coke and the rest of the black helicopter brigade, too?

    But to keep this on-topic, an online news story worth giving an award would try much harder to present a well-researched and balanced story, without resorting to the one-sided sensationalism that this one does. A real reporter would not only not adopt Mr. Skolnick's assertions that Judge Manning paid a million dollars for her seat on the bench, but would not even mention such an extraordinary claim without first attempting to verify through sources other than Mr. Skolnick. Any news story could be turned into an attention-grabber like this one by making vague innuendoes, failing to provide evidence to support the most outrageous claims, and mischaracterizing the consequences of particular acts, all of which this reporter repeatedly does. Keep in mind the addage that "extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof" while you re-read parts 6-10 of that article.

    These awards are for excellence in online journalism, not yellow journalism.
  • by Have Blue (616) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:25AM (#141153) Homepage
    For Feature Journalism, GRC's report on DoS attacks and zombie bots [grc.com]. Any news article that contains the phrase "Attack-Neutered Mutant Zombies" definitely deserves some sort of award :P

  • by zericm (21972) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @09:02AM (#141154) Homepage Journal

    While I appluad Rob's efforts, he still faces an uphill battle to get smaller news sites the recognition they deserve. The biggest roadblock is not the large fee, but rather the judges and screeners. The Judges from last year:

    • Tom Goldstein, dean, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (co-chair)
    • Rich Jaroslovsky, president, Online News Association & managing editor, The Wall Street Journal Online (co-chair)
    • Kurt Andersen, co-founder and contributor, Inside.com and Inside Magazine
    • Merrill Brown, editor-in-chief, MSNBC.com
    • Red Burns, chair, Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
    • Bill Kovach, chairman, Committee of Concerned Journalists
    • David Laventhol, publisher, Columbia Journalism Review
    • Jacqueline Leo, vice president and editorial director, Meredith Interactive
    • Walt Mossberg, personal technology columnist, The Wall Street Journal
    • Stephen Shepard, editor-in-chief, Business Week
    • E.R. Shipp, Columbia journalism professor and columnist, the New York Daily News

    Six of the the judges are from large media outlets. This large media bias becomes more pronounced when you look at the list of screeners [onlinejour...awards.org]. These are the folks who select the web sites for consideration by the judges. ABC News, AOL-Time-Warner, Knigh-Ridder, NBC and Microsoft owned media appear to have the largest reresentation. In addition, there are the other big media usual suspects: Fox, Bloomberg, NY Times, LA Times, CBS, Hearst, etc. You get the idea.

    Given big media's open hostility to on-line and independent journalism, why should we expect this collection of judges and screeners to be receptive to news sources that raise questions about the relevance and supremecy of the media conglomerates?

  • by typical geek (261980) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:07AM (#141155) Homepage
    On the cutting edge alternative news site, Geekizoid [geekizoid.com], by the charming Shoeboy. [geekizoid.com]

    Parts of it were posted in Troll Talk, originally.

  • by KilljoyAZ (412438) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:11AM (#141156) Homepage
    For the category of "Enterprise Journalism," I would say that the most important story broken last year was the Register's CPRM story (from a geek perspective, anyways). Catching media companies in the act of trying to destroy open computer standards through the backdoor was pretty impressive, and I doubt you'd find reporters from MSNBC digging around in T13 conference minutes for the dirt.

    That's my two cents. Feel free to disagree :)
  • by gnovos (447128) <.ten.deppihc. .ta. .sovong.> on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:38AM (#141157) Homepage Journal
    If it hasn't been said yet, Coke Karma (http://www.guerrillanews.com/cocakarma/) wasn't too bad. Long, though.

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