Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A lesson from exploiting pains

What should you - a journalist – do when you want to interview the mother of a teenage murderer for an in-depth report of a crime story? This would make a fascinating report; however, it could also hurt the mother who has been suffering the pains of her son’s crime. Working as a TV reporter for seven years, I always faced such questions whenever I made investigative reports.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A trick for campaign?

Demonstrators from the Backbone Campaign, part of the Stop the Machine
occupation of Freedom Plaza, unfurl banners Tuesday in front of the Capitol.
(Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images) - LA Times
On Tuesday this week, Republicans in the US Senate blocked President Obama’s jobs bill despite his campaigning efforts across the country. According to the BBC, Democrats said that Republicans are more interested in defeating Obama than helping the country recover from its deepest recession since the 1930s.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

An organised anarchy

Occupy Wall Street is still going strong after 25 days - CNN
It is very interesting to watch footage of the recent ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement on CNN website. I have rarely witnessed such peacefulness in a leaderless movement. 

It is now probably time for us to see a model of ‘anarchy’. 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Agitprop 2.0

A message from Anonymous

                                                                                              Source: Youtube

Now the Arab Spring protests, sweeping through Africa and the Middle East this year, have inspired the US. As CNN reports, it is the 3rd week of the Wall Street protest expressing people’s anger with the U.S. economy and corporate greed; and the movement has gained momentum nationwide through online social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, 29 September 2011


The MP3 player dominates the Western world - BBC
BBC News Magazine on 27 September posted an article entitled “Has the iPod made us anti-social?”, by

The story discusses whether iPods or MP3 players could make people isolated from their surroundings and society. I share the opinion of the Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon, who writes that “young people have grown up to be ‘plugged in’ to their iPod, rather than relating to their surroundings”. This is not simply a lack of interaction with their surroundings but with the values nourished from relationships in communities.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Facebook me!

According to Nielsen’s report, American people spent the staggering amount of 53 billion minutes on Facebook in May this year, much more than any other site. 

With 150 million users, it means that each American user spent 350 minutes a month, or 10 minutes a day on Facebook.  However, this is much less than I expected.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

“Living with 9/11”: Stories of healing the pain

Ground Zero. Source: AP
The Guardian this week has a series of “Living with 9/11” with many stories about people who have been suffering pain and loss from the terrorist attacks on 11 September ten years ago. Since the devastation of the World Trade Centre, the world has witnessed the broader war on terror, beginning with the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The war was marked by the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death this year. Leaders of state considered it as a great success of the war. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Buddhist approach to journalistic responsibility

 by Minh Duc Luong
In the book The elements of journalism, Kovach and Rosenstiel clarify journalists’ obligation to the truth as the first and most ‘confusing’ principle in journalism. “[E]very one agrees journalists must tell the truth, yet people are befuddled about what ‘the truth’ means.” (2007, p. 36). Truth is the fundamental element for journalists to be responsible to society. There are many western philosophical approaches defining the concept of ‘truth’ which are relevant to the role of journalists in society; among them is Utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill. These discussions of ‘truth’ result in an argument about the self of the journalist and as a result, leave equivocal conclusions about the way journalists should act in society. However, Buddhist philosophy has another approach to ‘truth’ with a methodology of behaviour that would be relevant to a discussion of the concept of journalistic responsibility. This essay thus first gives an overview of the utilitarian approach and argues the problems of this theory in explaining the responsibility of the journalist in society. Secondly, it examines the fundamental concept of the “Four Noble Truths” in Buddhist philosophy in an attempt to clarify the questions remaining unanswered regarding journalistic obligations. Case studies will be used for practical examples.

Friday, 26 August 2011

“The best General in Vietnam is the people of Vietnam, nation of Vietnam”

Source: Wikipedia
Today is the 100th birthday of legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap, Commander-in-Chief of Vietnam People’s Army during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and the Vietnam War.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The human nature of journalists

by Minh Duc Luong

There were two incidents that have had strong influences on the media world: the WikiLeaks publishing the US top secret documents last year and the Murdoch phone hacking scandal this year. From an observational angle, it could be argued that the subsequent developments of these occurrences were arguments over the power of journalists. It is also argued that the behaviour of Assange and Murdoch's journalists in these incidents resulted from the process of subjective self awareness of power which could not be anticipated by dominant and ethical institutions in society. This understanding refers to some ideas of Foucault, and realism philosophers of human nature. This paper thus approaches the journalist, as the subject of journalism, from the realistic perspective of human nature, typified by Machiavelli, and Foucault's theory of the nature of power, in an attempt to identify the nature of the journalist in social structures. In the latter part, this assignment applies theoretical understanding to explain the Murdoch and WikiLeaks incidents as a practical approach to the human nature of journalists.

Friday, 12 August 2011

The consequenses of 'absolute' freedom

BBC News Magazine yesterday put forward some arguments to explain the riots across the cities in the UK. Among the theories to understand the causes of the riots, the concept of " welfare dependence" presented an interesting discussion. 

Friday, 5 August 2011

A scandal and the judgment over an media empire

There is now 'silence' in the mainstream publications over the Murdoch scandal except for the latest developments from the ongoing inquiry. There has been no more reportage, analyses or comments about the so-called "tabloid empire being threatened" or criticism of the tabloid culture or "the madness of the moguls" as in the first week of the scandal. Are they probably waiting for the clearer decision from the inquiry or is the story no longer 'hot'? It is by no means that a wrong thing or an unethical action needs to be judged with a proper count, however such a scandal has presented a pretext for criticism of Murdoch's empire in particular, and tabloid media in general.

That would be unfair as it cannot equate the scandal with the tabloid identity.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Phone hacking scandal and a game between politicians and the media

  There has been an interesting development in the ongoing phone hacking scandal as there is public concern about the British PM, David Cameron's decision to hire Andy Coulson, former editor of News of the World. It was expected that the Prime Minister should have taken responsibility for his decision to hire Andy Coulson despite early warnings.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Critical Review of Robinson, S. (2006). The mission of the j-blog: Recapturing journalistic authority online. Journalism, 7(1), 65-83

the article link (username and pass required or universities' library access)

            In the article "The mission of the j-blog: Recapturing journalistic authority online" (2006), Susan Robinson contends that journalist's weblog (or j-blog), a short-form of reporting, analysing and writing in mainstream online press (Dube, 2004), has  influenced, even altered  journalism’s traditional standards. The article attempts to conclude the role of the j-blogs, or the mainstream bloggers, in regaining the journalistic authority in online medium. The author demonstrate her thesis by approaching the j-blog from the perspective of the traditional values of journalism, namely truth, independence, credibility, ethical obligation to answer the question on whether the j-blog has presented a new form of journalism. In a deeper discussion, she analyses the performance of journalists in making use of  traditional news frames in weblog. By examining j-blog in the relation with the inherent interaction between subjects and objects of traditional journalism, Robinson makes strong arguments on how j-blog has influenced and adjusted this interaction.  Many points in the article have been persuasively made. The exception is that the article results in a matter of argument  over the subject of journalism in a new frame.