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Category: Journalism
How to cure internet addiction
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 10, 2007
Here's a news story that's been making the rounds recently. This case is said to have occurred in Chengdu city, China: Jiang Ming promised his wife, He Ling, that he would not go on the internet any more and would spend more time at home. But he started to sneak into internet cafes again to have video chats with girls. "I was on the internet, and suddenly the arrow on the screen stopped moving, " says Jiang Ming. "Then I found that my right hand was on the mouse pad, and blood was shooting out." In court, the husband pleaded…
Vicious attacks by girls increasing or decreasing?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 07, 2007
Joe Littrell alerted me to an amusing piece on slate.com which takes the air out of a Boston Globe story about the disturbing trend of "Vicious Attacks By Girl Cliques Seen Increasing." Jack Shafer points out that the article contradicts its premise in its own subtitle, where it admits, "Despite Police Statistics, Violence Causing Worries." In other words, police statistics show that girl-on-girl violence is decreasing, but the article tries to spin it the other way, presumably because a rise in girls fighting each other sounds more intriguing, especially when you can lead off with vivid descriptions of girls fighting such as this one:
Fake Al Sharpton Fools MSNBC
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 27, 2007
Newsgroper is a parody site full of fake celebrity blogs. To make sure that no one confuses its content with real news, it posts the warning "Fake Parody Blogs, Political Humor, Celebrity Satire, Funny Commentary" in the title bar of every page. Apparently, this warning wasn't enough for MSNBC's Alex Johnson. In a piece about Michael Vick, he quoted from Newsgroper's fake Al Sharpton blog, presenting the following quotation as if it were something Sharpton really had said:"If the police caught Brett Favre (a white quarterback for the Green Bay Packers) running a dolphin-fighting ring…
Categories: Journalism, Sports, Websites Comments (7)
Reuters Searches for the Titanic beneath North Pole
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 11, 2007
Last week two Russian submersibles descended to the seabed beneath the North Pole and planted a flag, as a symbolic gesture of staking a claim to much of the Arctic Sea. When Reuters ran the story it seemed to have scooped all of its rivals by obtaining an actual photo of the Russian submarines beneath the North Pole. It ran a picture with the caption: "Russian miniature submarines are seen under water in the Arctic Ocean in this image taken from a television broadcast yesterday." The image was subsequently reproduced by many newspapers around the world. But a 13-year-old Finnish schoolboy who saw the picture thought there was something strange about it. He had seen it before.…
Categories: Journalism, Photos/Videos Comments (5)
Cardboard Bun Caper
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 20, 2007
China's food industry, already reeling from reports of toxins in pet food originating in China, took another blow when Beijing TV recently reported that snack vendors in eastern Beijing were selling "steamed dumplings stuffed with cardboard soaked in caustic soda and seasoned with pork flavoring." Yuck! In this case, however, the accusation appears to have been unwarranted. CNN reports that: Beijing authorities said investigations had found that an employee surnamed Zi had fabricated the report to garner "higher audience ratings", the China Daily said on Thursday. "Zi had…
Categories: Food, Journalism Comments (3)
Elizabeth Albanese
Posted by Boo on Mon Jun 25, 2007
The Press Club of Dallas has been a much-respected institution for years, offering the annual Katie awards to journalists for high quality work. Recently, though, the organisation’s reputation has been dealt a crippling blow, with the news that their recent president, Elizabeth Albanese, has been falsifying the award results for at least the past two years. Albanese became involved with the Katies in 2003, the year she first won prizes, and has been reportedly tampering with the results every year since. For the 2003 awards, unlike following years, a list of judges for the awards was provided. However, it appears that Albanese…
Man Apologises to Internet
Posted by Boo on Thu Mar 22, 2007
10zenmonkeys.com has posted an article discussing the interesting law case surrounding Michael Crook. Inspired by the craigslist sex hoax by Jason Fortuny, Michael Crook started up a website to expose ‘perverts’ on the Craigslist site. He’d copied Fortuny’s prank, then posted his results on his webpage. When 10 Zen Monkeys posted a screen shot of Crook taken from a Fox news report on his previous ‘Forsake our Troops’ hoax, Crook responded with an email falsely claiming that he owned the copyright for his own image. Crook hadn’t just…
Computer Programme Debunks Pianist
Posted by Boo on Tue Feb 20, 2007
English pianist Joyce Hatto had risen to some prominence over the year preceding her death. Whilst she never played in public, recordings of her performances of works by artists such as Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninov and Dukas, produced by her husband from a private studio, had her hailed as an unknown genius. However, an iTunes programme that compares recordings with an online database has thrown her abilities into doubt. A critic for the classical music magazine Gramophone was surprised to find that, when he loaded into his computer a recording of the pianist playing Liszt, the programme identified it as the work of the pianist Laszlo Simon on…
Quick Links: Chicken Born With Duck Feet, etc.
Posted by Boo on Sun Feb 11, 2007
Chicken Born With Duck Feet A chicken in Columbia has surprised everyone by being born with webbed feet and legs like a duck. Vetinary experts say that the chicken is not a result of cross-species breeding, and is just a genetic mishap. (Thanks, Adam.) Divine Or Delusional? wcbstv.com has a gallery of images showing items on which religious icons have allegedly been found. We've covered a few of them here, but some of the images were new to me. I found I could generally make out the figure or face…
Quick Links: Square Watermelon, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 07, 2006
Flora and I have decided on a more efficient way to post links that really don't need (or don't deserve) an entire post of their own. We'll just dump them together in a "quick links" post whenever we accumulate a bunch of them. Should mean more stuff gets posted. Here's the first such set of links: Square Watermelon Soon to be on sale in Britain. Really. "Boxes are placed around the growing fuit which naturally swells to fill the shape." Buy two and get a bonsai kitten free! (Thanks, Lou) Reuters admits altering…
Journalist Fakes Bill Gates Interview
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 04, 2006
Status: News Microsoft has accused a Norwegian journalist of fabricating, out of thin air, an interview with Bill Gates. Bjoern Benkow, the journalist in question, claimed that he interviewed Gates while onboard a commercial flight. Gates apparently didn't share any interesting secrets with the guy, only that "rival search engine giant Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) has "been smart," that he never carries more than a "dime" in his pocket and that he occasionally places $1 bets with his wife, Melinda." Still, Microsoft insists the whole thing is bogus. Which makes one wonder how the journalist thought he could get away with this. Maybe he figured that Bill Gates would never…
Categories: Journalism Comments (4)
Naked Skydiving
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 12, 2006
Status: Hoax Here's an amusing article that deserves mention on Regret the Error (the weblog about newspaper corrections), if it isn't already there.Tabloid Aftonbladet has been forced to withdraw an article about naked Swedish skydivers, after it turned out that the paper had been the victim of a hoax. The article, headed "It's wonderful - but cold", described how Stockholm Skydiving Club had celebrated spring by jumping from a height of 4,000 metres in their birthday suits. The paper quoted Johan Persson, a supposed member of the club, who described the naked jump over the…
Categories: Journalism, Sports Comments (7)
Fake News On Your TV
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Status: advertising disguised as news In Hippo Eats Dwarf I discuss Video News Releases (VNRs) and how their use means that a lot of the news we see on TV is either advertising or propaganda in disguise. (VNRs are video segments created by corporations or the government, that are then aired on TV news, often without their true source ever being revealed). RAW STORY reports that "over a ten month span, 77 television stations from all across the nation aired video news releases without informing their viewers even once that the reports were actually sponsored content." The article cites a…
Categories: Advertising, Journalism Comments (2)
CNet April Fools Article
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 01, 2006
Status: Journalistic errors CNet has an article about April Fool's Day hoaxes on the internet. It has some interesting info in it, but surprisingly it makes two rather large errors. First of all, it describes the Microsoft iLoo (an internet-enabled portable toilet) from 2003 as an April Fool's Day hoax. Microsoft announced the iLoo on April 30, making it a real stretch to describe it as an April Fool's Day hoax. But more importantly, although Microsoft did initially say the iLoo was a hoax, it later changed its mind and admitted that it was a real project. And that was the final word from them about it. The article…
Google Hires 15-Year Old
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 14, 2006
Status: Hoax 15-year old Tom Vandetta found a neat trick described on the internet: how to upload a fake press release to a free wire service, and get Google News to pick it up and disseminate it, thereby making it look like real news. Of course, he couldn't resist trying this trick out, so he decided to write a release from Google itself announcing that they were hiring him: (I-Newswire) - 15 year old student, Tom Vendetta has been hired by search engine giant Google Inc. The student will receive a lowered salary, which will be placed into a bank account for future education, said Google CEO Larry Page. When asked what role Vendetta will play…
Categories: Journalism Comments (18)
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