Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Biz: Giordano's "Authentic" J-School

Al Giordano, founder of the pioneering anti-drug war Narco News Bulletin, has a great take in this Boston Phoenix piece on the woes of the big media, which are still crying about the problems that the internet has created for them. Boo-hoo. Giordano says the internet has challenged the big media to do their jobs, rather than pander so much to advertizers. He has also created a School of Authentic Journalism on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (see more from Giordano on it here and here), which he hopes can offer aspiring journos a better education than the nonsense many j-schools teach. Right on.
I tell every beginning journalist the same thing: J-school might help some folks, but it is probably a huge waste of time and money for others. Get a real education in university or college (i.e. a philosophy degree; seriously!) - or via self-education (yes, the research is clear that there's no better education than homeschooling). Plus, volunteer at your local school or community paper or radio operation to get the actual hands-on experience and skills and meet fellow scribes.

TAGS: the biz

Monday, October 12, 2009

Investigations: Contractor Death Toll a Third of Military's

Pentagon outsourcing in Afghanistan and Iraq is unmatched in U.S. wartime history - and is feeding a huge, unprecedented toll in American lives, according to this ProPublica report. While the U.S. defense department continues to stall on a requirement to track contracting in the war zones, ProPublica has dug up a little-known study that found 1,688 civilians have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - a 1:3 ratio with the number of military deaths - while 37,000 were injured.