Daily Archives: August 10, 2007

Friday…Jookie, commenting on the news, relying on lawyers may give the other side a PR edge, etc.

I was sorry to hear of Ah Jook Ku’s death. I met her when I took over as director of the local Common Cause group back in 1983, and she was a tireless worker as the backbone of the Honolulu Community-Media Council and active in all the causes the council supported, such as the sunshine law coalition. She dragged me into the Media Council, where I was able to watch her guiding hand at work for the next two decades. Both Honolulu dailies feature obits today (here are links to the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser versions).

I missed the meeting on Wednesday night, so appreciated the Advertiser story today on the plan to clear Makaua Stream, just across the street from us, and strengthen the area around the bridge where the stream flows under Kamehameha Highway. This summer, the stream bed is just dry rocks, but when it rains it’s a whole different story.

Google is beginning an interesting experiment. The search giant will be allowing people directly involved in news stories to post comments that will be displayed along with the original stories on Google News, according to an announcement on the news blog. Here’s one early example of the system in action, if the link keeps working.

Lots of bloggers see problems in Google’s approach. Here’s one comment from a longer blog post:

But I think that rule is deeply flawed, anyway. One of the things that frustrates me most about the media is their propensity to publish industry press releases seemingly in toto, without any balancing views. In these cases, it’s important that people not quoted in the story be able to comment in order to balance out poor or biased journalism. By only allowing the previously quoted to comment, Google News are, as the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart once said about MSM blogs, “giving a voice to the already voiced”.

I also wonder about the feasibility of scaling up full comment moderation. Google News tracking 4,500 sources and linking to thousands of articles, just one comment on each is going to create a massive workload for the moderators. Even normal moderation of comments on a medium-sized media website is highly onerous, so much so that many news sites prefer the “report abuse” approach, rather than have to moderate each comment as it comes through. The volume of comments can be just huge, and If you add in verification of the commenter’s identity, you open up a whole new can of worms.

In any case, it’s going to be interesting to watch this approach develop, problems and all.

Browsing around this morning, I found this story from Advertising Age assessing why “Why Unilever lost the laundry war” to it’s rival, Procter & Gamble. I like to find tidbits like this far outside my normal range of reading.

And the Media Orchard points out why lawyers aren’t necessarily the best defense in our new media world.


Yes, it’s another Feline Friday, and I’m sharing a picture taken last night when we got home and put the first round of canned food on the floor for the cats. For perhaps the first time, Ms. Kitten took her place right there in the middle of the big boys, surrounded by Romeo, Duke, and Leo. Just click for the full photo.