Many OpEd readers and contributors are engaged in various types of research on topics of concern to them and to our society at large. Because the mainstream media can no longer be counted on to cover certain stories, the trend has been more scattered coverage of important issues ("Impeachment" for instance) giving the impression that these stories are not really significant.
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A good deal of the research we do as individuals is in an effort to "find" the news, uncover the facts and describe the issues that are actually occurring. What we discover (or add!) is then "aggregated" on blogs, websites, etc., where it can be more easily found by others who are looking for the same things.
In the past, taking Watergate as an example, the mainstream media agreed that Nixon's involvement in breaking in to Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office as "a story of significance, worth reporting"---and so it was, big time.
These days, rigging of elections, the president's lies about WMD's, the torture of prisoners, elimination of habeus corpus, a general policy of White House secrecy unprecedented in our history---don't seem to be considered as "news" by the mainstream media. So we have to go looking for the facts around these stories and find ways to have others find them, in real time. Until our broken "media watchdog" (now a corporate lapdog) is repaired, this is going to be par for the course. We now use "horizontal media" to compensate for what the mainstream media used to do as a matter of course.
Two tools I have found useful in this regard are "aggregating bookmarks" and "pipes." I am far from tech-savvy and yet I was able to use these tools right away without any hassle. "Pipes" are created to find topics and collect them all together rapidly in one place. Just go to http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/ and you will find a number of handy "pipes" you can use to troll all the blogs and media coverage on any topic of your choice.
Doing so I was able to discover a lot of coverage on Impeachment that I hadn't been able to find via Google. According to the site "Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant." That's been my experience, to a tee!
The other tool is a website called http://del.icio.us/ This site enables anyone to start a collection of bookmarks of websites and to "tag" them under any heading you like.
I started a tag on "impeachment" and now after I do my "aggregation" searches, I post all the good stories on deli.cio.us. Sometimes I simply post the entire search results there under one URL. This way, everyone can contribute to the search and benefit from the results. The more people that funnel information into one convenient "library" the easier it will be to find what they are looking for.
To see how this can work, go to http://del.icio.us/ and search on the tag "impeachment" and you will see a long list of related stories, documents and videos that indicate impeachment is indeed a real story and that a large number of people want it to happen. If you see any URL's you want to keep, just create an account and save them in your own bookmark collection. This site also has a cool gadget easily installed in your browser's tool bar that makes it super-easy to save any URL you find, tag it, and go back to what you were doing.
Why is this necessary? Because I keep hearing people say things like "if this was really a happening thing we'd be hearing about it in the media!" Because they don't see it in USA Today, therefore for them "it must not be a real issue for people." In my experience, these are simply folks who haven't been paying attention to media trends over the past 6 years or so. Until they "get it" that we are now suffering from "sins of omission" by the mainstream media, it won't occur to them that we are now being brainwashed---by omission!
Good luck to all who are working to fill in the gaps left by today's mainstream media, controlled by a few corporations who have hijacked the editorial process in accordance with their Brave New World agenda. Until this changes we cannot assume that "journalism" as we know it (objective, fact-based, impartial) is happening at all.
And do remember: the price of liberty is eternal vigilance---not "continuous partial attention."
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