Category Archives: editorial

G20 Coming to Toronto in July

The G20 summit will take place in Toronto July 26 and 27, 2010. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the location for the meeting Monday morning.
The Group of Eight meeting was to take place in Huntsville, Ontario. That has been canceled over lack of hotel rooms. To host the G20 summits a venue requires at lest 10,000 hotel rooms. The city of Huntsville has around 1,000 rooms. Toronto can easily accommodate the international visitors.
Huntsville is in the District of Muskoka, in the heart of cottage county. While it is an upscale location for tourists there simply is not enough space to hold the international event. The international summits also require air-tight security for the international delegations that come into a city.
The second G20 summit meeting of 2010 will take place in Seoul, Korea in November.

Artists’ Alliance for Mental Health Canada Breaks Down Barriers

The Artists’ Alliance for Mental Health Canada is a group in Canada that brings together artists with mental health issues. Their goal is to break down the barriers of stigma and discrimination when it comes to mental illness.
The goal of the group is to sign up at least 1,000 artists across Canada to be part of this initiative. By gathering those who live with mental illness on a day in and day out basis the group hopes to be able to change the society within Canada on this issue. Patrick John Timothy Connors is a Leadership Team Member with the group. He spoke to Digital Journal about what his hopes for this group are. The group was launched by the founder Greg ‘Ritallin’ Frankson, a poet in Ottawa, this week. At this stage the group is brainstorming on ways to help break down the barriers that those with mental illnesses face and recruiting more volunteers.
“There will be events held in 2010 in Ontario,” Connors promised during a telephone interview with Digital Journal. Connors himself is a spoken word artist in Toronto. He leans towards the academic side of poetry performing his art on open mike nights.
“I’m a middle-aged White guy,” Connors laughed when I asked if he goes to the local Poetry Slams to perform.
Connors told me that this group is close to his heart. He has suffered from depression form time to time and understands the problems that face those with mental health issues.
“Mental health is a huge part of Canada. It’s seen everywhere, from the homeless to the family home. It tears apart the fabric of Canadian family life.”
Connors said that The Artists’ Alliance for Mental Health Canada main goal is to promote awareness about mental health and to help those dealing with mental illness to be welcomed and embraced in society. “By helping one another we help ourselves. We’re making our society stronger.”

Associated Press to drive traffic to new AP-hosted website

The Associated Press (AP) is planning to prevent members and customers from publishing some of the AP’s news content on their websites. AP will instead have other news sites link directly to the main AP website for that content.
The Associated Press has put together a briefing of their plans sent to AP members late in July. The document labeled “AP CONFIDENTIAL — NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION” was sent to Nieman Journalism Lab, a project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. Titled “Protect, Point, Pay — An Associated Press Plan for Reclaiming News Content Online,” the document outlines a tracking device that will be attached to future AP content. The Protect, Point and Pay directive will put a copyright on AP content. Nieman Lab reports:

“So a headline item that says, ‘Mid-air collision outside of New York and tourists die,’ let’s say. You can imagine, in the New York area, there are lots of media covering that story.” Kasi, the AP’s general counsel, “it’s not to suggest that there’s a legal distinction.”

The newswire coverage would remain in place, but at a lesser degree than the more complex and unique materials. In easy-to-understand terms, the AP wants users to pay for the content and to drive additional traffic to their site. That move could put bloggers and smaller journalism sites at risk if they use AP content. It could also have those users refusing to take a chance with AP content, thus reducing traffic to AP’s site. AP will be using a microformat called hNews, Ars Technica reports. The program annotates news stories with information about the author, dateline and other key meta targeting aspects. It is open-source software. That software is already in use by some other media outlets in an effort to ensure users tag all sources used. It remains to be seen if AP’s plans will strengthen their hold on news content or if it will have news media sites turn away to other sources.

Opinion: Let’s All Get A Kenyan Birth Certificate

Do you have a Kenyan birth certificate? It’s not hard to get one with the Kenyan Birth Certificate Generator. All it takes is a few minutes to fill out the details and you can be Kenyan or make a Birther’s version of President Obama’s birth document.
This past weekend ‘Birther’ Orly Taitz said she had the real birth certificate of President Obama showing Kenya as the nation he was born in. It was a forgery. The real document that she was using was for David Jeffrey Bomford who was born in April 1959 in Australia. Salon reports:

“That is ridiculous. Little old person in Adelaide, the President of the United States. I don’t know whether to laugh about it or not, be worried about it,” Bomford said. “It is interesting, someone from here being involved in a conspiracy — that is so funny …. It’s definitely a copy of my certificate. It’s so laughable it’s ridiculous.”

There is plenty of software on the Internet to produce fake documents. Of course Taitz is not admitting to committing the crime of fraud when it comes to the fake documents that she paraded over the Internet early this week. President Obama’s birth certificate has been public since June 2008. That hasn’t stopped the Birthers from looking into any dark corner to find something that will prove their claims. Each claim gets wilder. Obama is a closet Muslim. Obama is Kenyan. Obama runs with scissors. One day we may even hear a rumor that Obama plays with dolls. Perhaps we should all make our own Kenyan birth certificates and be part of the Birthers’ 15 minutes of fame.



BNO News covers breaking news via Twitter

BNO News is a news source that targets breaking and developing stories world-wide. Using the Twitter phenomenon this group of journalists and news hounds are bringing breaking news to the masses with amazing speed.
BNO News is a popular Twitter resource for journalists. They have a knack of getting the newest information much sooner than many other sources on the Internet. By following their twitter feed, journalists have the beginnings of breaking news stories to be on the look out for, often hours before press releases have been distributed to news agencies.
Many people are flocking to BNO’s Twitter feed; at last count, it enjoys 905,399 followers. CNN’s Breaking News feed is still more popular, at 2.4 million followers.
BNO can thank Osama bin Ladin for jumpstarting their service. In September 2007 founder Michael van Poppel got an unpublished videotape of bin Laden which he sold to Reuters. He realized he was sitting on a gold mine and started structuring a breaking news service using his Twitter account. Within months, BNO was providing 24/7 news updates.
Using a very efficient system to process breaking news, Van Popple and his staff are able to get the freshest news, sometimes within minutes of the event.
In 2009 Van Popple founded bnonews.com with more than 16,500 members. Michael van Poppel, from the Netherlands is just 20 years old.
BNO News’s editors are journalists from the Netherlands, Mexico and the United States.
Theeditors get the news they send out in Tweets from news wires like AP, Reuters, AFP and other reputable sources. They also do their own research.
By not waiting for official confirmation, they pass on the information allowing journalists and news hounds to do further investigations on their own. While this method can be a risk, BNO News is often the first source of breaking news for journalists.
While Van Poppel did not study journalism, his staff have.
At this time BNO is not making any money providing their source. The company does plan on using advertising in the future though in order to support the site.


Opinion: Social Networking and the non tech girl

What’s a girl to do with all the social networking places littering the Internet Highway? Should I tweet or bare my soul on LiveJournal? If I go to Facebook will they sell my soul or am I too old to MySpace and all that Indie music?
Should I set my life to video and have my own channel at YouTube?
For those of us who aren’t the web monkey type which areas on the web are safe or which ones will come back to destroy my chances of future employment?
Because I report at times on social media junkets it doesn’t mean I am up-to-date on the behind the scene action. I know what I like and what is easiest to navigate though.
The best advice for anyone hopping down the social networking jungle trails is to be cautious. Your future bank account could depend on it. Employers and the police are now tiptoeing around checking people out using the Internet. While posting that cute picture of you flashing the party during the weekend may seem like a great idea realize that not only your friends but your co-workers and future employers may question your off time ventures.
That advice is good for anywhere you travel on the web. While you may feel like it’s the best place to express all of your inner secrets because no one can ‘see’ you in reality those secrets can be exposed rather easily.
Social networking is a wonderful tool to keep up-to-date with friends, family and co-workers. You can use the sites as tools to further your career and stay connected to those that live far away.
Understand though that for all the positive activities that there rules of engagement. Don’t post anything that would cause you to question employing someone else about yourself and if you do something a bit rash like smoking marijuana it’s not in your best interest to broadcast it to the world.


Kindness Is Not A Photo Op

Celebs are often treated like teenagers in the press, the only time they make the wires is from something they have done that is wrong. Good news doesn’t bring in money. Sometimes though the good guys do good deeds that isn’t for the public display.
Actors are generally good people with creative energy flowing through their souls. They will do as much as they can do for others. Sometimes it’s visible and sometimes it is hidden away. Kindness is not a photo op.

It’s not often written about the good works of celebs. The public would rather hear about who’s doing who and who is a total goon. Those are the stories that sell papers.

Some stars like Ashton Kutcher use social networking in order to gather support for their causes. Kutcher is currently working to end hunger in the United States and using Twitter as a means to get the message across.

Others lend their names to causes to help the donations come in. Some celebs like Michael J. Fox use a condition they have to help others have hope. Michael J. Fox’s foundation is behind many medical breakthroughs for Parkinson’s Disease.

Alyssa Milano has been a huge supporter of the Twitter movement for Eric De La Cruz to get a heart transplant.

There are others though in the world of celebrity that do good works without the need for the media.

As a journalist it’s hard to be silent when the feel good story of the day falls in your lap. I made a promise though to a Hollywood agent. I promised not to reveal the man who brightened the day for a very sick little girl in Toronto. This man’s movies make my little friend laugh. As she battles serious medical issues a laugh is important. Her home for the past two months has been a Canadian hospital. Yesterday was a bad day. When I asked her mother what would make this strong and beautiful child smile she told me an actor’s name. It was an impossible dream.

I don’t believe in the word impossible.

A phone call here, a phone call there. I talked to the man’s agent and told her of a child who was sick. She told me she would talk to the man. She did. My friend talked this evening to her favorite actor.

There was a condition. No media involvement.

This story is real. No names are allowed.

A hero gave a child a giggle tonight.

Miracles do happen.