Media (415)


Correspondents

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

An Amsterdam newspaper published an interview with one of the many correspondents of Dutch news media in the US, who was quoted as saying that he is always wary of a situation where a correspondent ‘idolizes’ the country where he (or she) is stationed.  Idolizing – which is synonymous with worshipping – a country is hard to imagine, but for practical purposes let’s translate it into a combination of ‘admiring’ and ‘being very fond of.’  The journalist who gave the interview makes clear that he neither admires nor is very fond of America, although he calls New York City ‘fabulous’ and US politics ‘fascinating.’  His problem with correspondents who idolize America is that they cannot be ‘critical’ anymore, because after a couple of years they start identifying with the people of the country where they are stationed.  The interview raises some interesting questions, which I assume are discussed in freshman classes in journalism schools every year, for instance if there is such a thing as ‘neutral’ or ‘value-free’ journalism, where the reporter is strictly an observer without a specific interest in his or her topic
      The argument reminds me of a settled debate in the social sciences, in which some people a long time ago argued that researchers should never study something they are really interested in, for fear of not being ‘objective.’  That was not a very productive opinion, but it helped clarify a host of methodological issues, and maybe this opinion can be made productive too.  I would argue that correspondents who have a love for the US practice better, and in fact more objective, journalism than those who don’t and try to be strictly neutral.  Let’s make the current election cycle a case in point:  Journalists with the latter attitude might consider Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz ‘equal,’ in a sense that they are all candidates running for their party’s nomination, and therefore treat their ideas and proposed policies as equal too.  That would put protecting women’s reproductive rights and fighting excesses on Wall Street on the same level as keeping all foreign Muslims out of the US or giving citizens of all backgrounds unlimited access to guns, and it is hard to see how that is a critical approach.
      Correspondents who are fond of America are more likely to analyze the various policy proposals on their social consequences and form an opinion.  They would want the most qualified candidate to become president, and although they are still obliged to report on what every candidate proposes, the results of their analyses will shine through in the tone of their reporting, the questions they ask candidates when they have a chance to interview them, and opinion articles they may write.
      The result will be better informed, more complete, and yes, more critical and objective journalism.   In his book ‘Dialectics of the Concrete’ the philosopher Karel Kosik distinguishes between ‘pseudo-concrete’ concepts that hide the truth, and concrete concepts that have the opposite function.  The difference between neutral and ‘engaged’ journalism perfectly mirrors that distinction.
     
Of course one could argue that the journalists who work for Fox News love America as much as reporters who work for MSNBC.  It’s an excellent starting point for a discussion, so let’s analyze their mutual values and the interests they represent, and then draw our critical conclusions.

 

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DIGITAAL ERFGOED

Je gaat met pensioen. Je hebt een omvangrijk archief, dat is opgeslagen in gestapelde zakken & dozen. Je hebt met grote regelmaat dagboeken bijgehouden en je hebt zo’n 2.000 cassettebandjes aan ruw materiaal voor radioprogramma’s. Bestaande uit interviews, reisimpressies, monologen, muziek, straat- en omgevingsgeluid, uitzendingen en presentatiebeurten.
      Je hebt zeven opgroeiende kleinkinderen. Je hebt diverse passies en je volgt het één en ander nog op de voet. Je schrijft graag en probeert zo goed mogelijk te fotograferen.
      Je besluit op 10 februari 2007 geheel in het kader van de tijdgeest om al dat materiaal te gaan verwerken op een WEBLOG.

      Je bent bijna negen jaar bezig en krijgt dan –zonder daar om gevraagd te hebben- een bericht van de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, dat je blog wordt aangemerkt als ‘’digitaal erfgoed’’ en voor volgende generaties door dat Instituut zal worden gearchiveerd.

Je bent vereerd.


Hieronder het bericht
:

 

Geachte heer Van den Boogaard

In het kader van het initiatief van de Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) om een selectie van Nederlandse websites te bewaren voor toekomstig onderzoek, willen wij ook uw website archiveren en voor de lange termijn bewaren. Het gaat om de website en eventuele bijbehorende subdomeinen die toegankelijk zijn via de volgende URL(s):
https://ronaldvandenboogaard.nl/


Websites bevatten vaak waardevolle informatie die niet analoog verschijnt en die ten gevolge van de grote 'omloopsnelheid' het risico loopt voorgoed verloren te gaan. Dat websites als 'digitaal erfgoed' het behouden waard zijn, is internationaal erkend in het Unesco Charter on the Preservation of the Digital Heritage uit 2003. Het signaleert dat digitaal erfgoed verloren dreigt te gaan en dat het bewaren daarvan voor gebruik door de huidige en toekomstige generatie onderzoekers zeer urgent is.

Als nationale bibliotheek is de KB wettelijk verantwoordelijk voor het verzamelen, beschrijven en bewaren van in Nederland verschenen publicaties, al of niet elektronisch. De KB ziet het als haar taak om ook websites duurzaam te bewaren en raadpleegbaar te houden voor toekomstige generaties en ze te behoeden voor verlies door bijvoorbeeld technologische veroudering.
Om die reden archiveert de KB websites die als verzameling een representatief beeld geven van de Nederlandse cultuur, geschiedenis en samenleving op het internet.

Uw website zal daartoe gearchiveerd en duurzaam opgeslagen worden. Het archiveren zal voor het eerst gebeuren vanaf 14 februari 2016. Daarna zullen regelmatig opeenvolgende versies opgenomen worden. De archiefversies worden beschikbaar gesteld aan een algemeen publiek via de website van de KB. Aan gebruikers van het archief zal in een disclaimer duidelijk kenbaar worden gemaakt, dat de auteursrechten berusten bij de oorspronkelijke rechthebbenden en dat zij voor commercieel gebruik van de gearchiveerde websites toestemming van de rechthebbenden nodig hebben. Daarnaast zal duidelijk worden vermeld dat het een door de KB gearchiveerde versie betreft en zal er een verwijzing naar de originele website worden opgenomen.

De KB zal uw site archiveren met behulp van het programma Heritrix [1]. Deze software is zo ingesteld dat uw webserver er weinig tot geen last van zal ondervinden. We streven er naar om de webpagina's op het toegankelijke deel van de site zo volledig mogelijk te archiveren. Eventuele beperkende aanwijzingen in het zgn. robots.txt-bestand [2] zullen we daarbij negeren.
Wij hopen dat u mee wilt werken aan dit initiatief.


Met vriendelijke groet,

Lucinda Jones
Hoofd Collecties
Koninklijke Bibliotheek

  

 


Hardball

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

As the election season progresses and the Iowa caucus comes closer, the polls tighten and the campaigns get meaner.  On the Republican side it’s between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, at least for now.  After having acted as Best Friends Forever until recently Trump took the gloves off and brought up the issue of Cruz’s foreign birthplace, and the fact that the senator did not ditch his Canadian passport until he started running for US President. 
      Cruz tried to wave it off but soon landed in a legal quagmire.  A host of constitutional scholars has now argued that it has never been settled how ‘natural born citizen’ should be defined, but that the Framers clearly meant ‘born in the USA.’  Harvard professor Laurence Tribe, who taught constitutional law to Chief Justice Roberts as well as Barack Obama and Ted Cruz, pointedly argued that ‘redemptive constitutionalism,’ the liberal current in legal thought, would suggest that a broad, non-contemporary interpretation of the term is the proper one, which would make Cruz eligible to run for the White House, but he also made clear that Cruz’s own ‘originalism’ would prohibit that.
     
Trump’s argument against Cruz’s eligibility to become president is a logical extension of the ‘birtherism’ campaign he launched against Obama.  The fact that Obama’s mother was a US citizen was never in doubt, and the issue at the time was whether Obama was born in Kenya or in Hawaii, with the assumption that the former scenario would have disqualified him.  Similarly, Cruz’s mother’s US citizenship is not in question, but from a legal perspective Canada is no different from Kenya.  Trump is hammering home his point in both a tenacious and an amusing way.  He correctly observes that if Cruz were to become the GOP nominee, Democrats would file a lawsuit against his candidacy, and therefore advises Cruz, ‘as a friend,’ to seek clarity about his status in the courts.  Cruz cannot expect any support from  his colleagues in the Senate, who in a  slightly similar situation in the past certified John McCain’s natural born citizenship, and Trump knows that any attempt at clarification will sow doubt in the minds of potential Cruz voters and tie the candidate up in a court battle for at least months, reducing his effectiveness on the trail.
     
Although not surprising, it is still a sight to see how little support Cruz is getting in the political arena.  Mitch McConnell declared that the Senate should not involve itself with campaign issues, and John McCain called Trump’s questions ‘legitimate.’  Apart from Donald Trump, his wife and children, his parents, Steve King and Jeff Sessions nobody likes Ted Cruz, whom David Brooks in today’s New York Times calls a stranger to “humility, mercy, compassion and grace.”
     
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side Hillary Clinton is now forcefully attacking Bernie Sanders for a House vote he took in 2005, shielding gun manufacturers from liability.  Sanders’s inability to call that vote a mistake will cost him votes in the long run, and Hillary is trying to get into Bernie’s socio-economic lane with a proposal for an added 4% tax on the super-rich.
     
After having lost the nomination to a young black man in 2008 the possibility of losing to an old white man in 2016 must be a constant nightmare for Hillary, and as long as that possibility is real she’ll throw everything but the kitchen sink at Sanders, and if need be the sink too.

 

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Luister bij het lezen naar My Country, Tis of Thee gezongen door Kelly Clarkson op Inauguration Day 2013



My Country, tis of Thee

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Lately I have frequently been watching, and listening to, the rendition of America’s first national anthem by Kelly Clarkson at Barack Obama’s second inauguration.  Somehow it gives me the certainty that in November 2016 the American people won’t hand the White House over to a real estate developer turned media clown, who at will can change into a xenophobe, a racist, a misogynist or a mini-Hitler, depending on the responses of his audiences, or to an acidic legal scholar operating on the far right side of the Constitution, whose only ambition is to starve the government, or to the son of Cuban immigrants, who betrayed his own kind in one of the most monumental flip-flops of all-time, or to a bully from New Jersey, who hasn’t seen his state in months but is probably already scouting the DC area for bridges he can close to retaliate against Democrats, or to the scion of a political dynasty, who has become so desperate that he now has his brother, the former president who was asleep when the 9/11 warnings came in, then sent US troops oversees for an insane adventure and had the economy collapse on his watch, campaigning for him.
      The lyrics of the song are not always encouraging.  ‘Sweet land of liberty’ is promising, but then comes the line ‘Land where my fathers died,’ suggesting that if your father didn’t die in the US you don’t belong here, which would make both Obama and me unwanted aliens.  The following line, ‘Land of the Pilgrim’s pride,’ is even more concerning.  Although the Pilgrims, as religious separatists, were not exactly like the Puritans, who still recognized the authority of the Church of England, they often had even more extreme views than the latter, who were infamous for their intolerance against other Christians, let alone Jews or Muslims.  If Donald Trump was not of German descent, and his family’s name had not originally been Drumpf, his anti-Muslim tirades would fit very well in this tradition.  It makes the line ‘Let freedom ring’ sound hollow, because the Pilgrims only wanted freedom for themselves but for nobody else.  But what makes the song so impressive is the way it is sung, the arrangement, the fantastic band and its director, and most of all Obama’s priceless, if hardly noticeable, facial expressions as Clarkson performs.
      The commentator announces Kelly Clarkson as ‘the winner of American Idol,’ and immediately after she’s finished all he can say is ‘Kelly Clarkson, a terrific voice.’  She goes from soft to all out in the three verses she sings, and every time her cue is the director who raises his head and opens his mouth wide when a verse starts.  During the first verse Obama looks pensive, during the second amazed, and during the third excited, as if he’s thinking:  “Shit, how fantastic is this?”
      At the time of his second inauguration Obama already had the major achievements of his presidency behind him.  He had pulled the economy out of the ravine where George W. Bush had left it and he had passed the Affordable Care Act, and his being fully accepted as the US President was perfectly mirrored by the shown acceptance of Clarkson by black women in the crowd.
      Call me a dreamer, but I cannot imagine that a country where such wonderful events have been possible so recently is about to regress into the grip of reactionary Republican rule that sends women back to the needle,  the uninsured needy to the ER, and the poor to charity.

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Anglo-Amerikaanse overheersing

Ik heb gisteren eens een tijd echt naar de Top 2000 geluisterd. Je weet natuurlijk dat die lijst gedomineerd wordt door Anglo-Amerikaanse bands en solisten. Maar het was erger dan ik dacht. ik hoorde alleen maar Engels tot Boudewijn de Groot na ruim een uur aan de beurt was.

Zou het echt zo monopolistisch zijn?
Zou onze keus uit pakweg 60 jaar populaire muziek in zekere zin vrijwel alleen maar bestaan uit meer van hetzelfde?
Zou er nog iets Frans, Duits of Spaans tussen zitten?
Zouden er nummers uit Afrika of Azië inzitten?
Uit Oost-Europa wellicht? Zuid-Amerika?

Nutteloze vragen. Je kent het antwoord.

Ik heb even de eerste 50 gerubriceerd.

24 keer Engeland
16 keer USA
1x Brits/Amerikaans

6 keer Nederland
1 keer Ierland
1 keer Schotland
1 keer Australië

Favorieten: Coldplay (4x); Adele (3x); Dire Straits (3x); Pink Floyd (3x); Metallica (2x); Rolling Stones (2x)

Voor Nederland: Claudia de Breij, Boudewijn de Groot, Racoon, Guus Meeuwis, Dotan en Wim Sonneveld.

De eerste ‘’buitenlanders’’ staan een eind verderop: Charles Aznavour (143). Abba (155); Jacques Brel (156)

Wat dit zegt over onze ontwikkeling, onze visie, onze moraal, onze afstemming, onze mores, onze diversiteit, onze eigenheid, onze opvoeding en onze kijk op de wereld moet uzelf maar uitmaken! Maar ik zou er niet gerust op zijn.

Goedemorgen!

 

Lees ook eens wat mijn oud VPRO-collega Wim Bloemendaal hier over schrijft

 

 

 

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