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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Last year 129 media employees were killed in the line of duty, according to the International Federation of Journalists, which is calling on governments to do more to investigate news workers' deaths.

"Behind each tragic death is a story of widespread intimidation and violence against journalists being carried out on a scale never seen before," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "We honour each of those who have died, from the dedicated and courageous correspondents to the support staff who make up the media team."

The federation said new international rules are needed to force independent investigations of media killings. Its report covers incidents in 34 countries, including the war in Iraq. It plans a worldwide protest April 8, the second anniversary of the killing of two journalists at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.

Thanks to J's Scratchpad and the Guardian for pointing out the IFJ story. For other information about the risks of international journalism, see the News Safety Institute.

8:20:38 PM    

SouthKnoxBubba points to media-business gossip in Betty Bean's Halls Shopper News column, including rumors of the Metro Pulse being for sale and the Knoxville Journal having its own problems.

In response, Metro Pulse owner/publisher Brian Conley (or someone impersonating him) joined the discussion thread at Bubba's site, posting several responses to comments on his downtown redevelopment connections and their relationship to the paper, as well as the Shopper News item:

I'm not "peddling" MP, which is exactly what I would have told Betty Bean if she'd bothered to ask me. And while I may be relatively new at the newspaper business, we at MP do at least make an effort to report accurate information.

As of this writing, there's no response from Betty Bean -- but I'm learning something about local media history, animosities and attitudes from the conversation... reading some of it in the papers, some of it in the blog and some of it between the lines.

I hadn't visited Halls Shopper News before, but found other pieces in it about the Knoxville Journal and local TV stations, both in Betty's column and elsewhere. (I do keep a large salt shaker handy when reading opinion columns and business gossip, regardless of source -- especially when I'm new in town, don't have a scorecard and don't know the players.)

However, while I was at it, I also found this piece about back when the Journal was a daily paper, in the online edition of the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture at, which looks like a fine resource for a newcomer to browse when there's no breaking news.

(The irony is that all of this Web browsing went on while I skipped a Society of Professional Journalists meeting to wait for a UPS delivery -- at least I didn't miss out entirely on opportunities to learn a little more about the local media.)

7:57:16 PM    

The Media Bloggers Association is organizing a conference at Belmont University in Nashville for May 5-7.

Unfortunately, the conference dates are exam (and exam-grading) week for me at UT in Knoxville, but students or faculty who wrap-up early will be able to go.

The "placeholder" website, BlogNashville, lists Glenn Reynolds, the UT law professor known online as Instapundit, as chairman of the conference committee building the agenda.

Blogger, Belmont U public relations guy and journalist Bill Hobbs is on the committee, along with the media bloggers group organizer, Bob Cox, whose blog is The National Debate, blogging journalist Ed Cone of Greensboro, N.C., and Sybril Bennett of Belmont's journalism program.

Cone and Cox, and maybe others from the group, are scheduled to be at Harvard's Blogging, Journalism & Credibility conference this week, so they should come back full of ideas. The Nashville event plans to borrow the "unconference" group-discussion centered BloggerCon concept that Dave Winer evolved at Harvard and Stanford events.

Speaking of the Harvard conference... a New York Times story has kicked off quite a discussion of the quality of its reporting about Iraqi bloggers. See Cone and Jarvis, and many others in their "comment" streams.

12:47:28 PM    

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