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July 12, 2005

Comments on media coverage of the London bombings

By Charlene Li

I’ve been on a blissful vacation for the past week in the Sierra foothills, hiking trails, jumping into water holes, and eating tons of good camp food. And also, totally unplugged with no access to cell phones or the Internet. Withdrawal symptoms from RSS feeds and eBay auction depravation lasted all of about 30 minutes.

When I came home on Sunday night and started checking my personal emails, I noticed a short “We’re all right” email from friends who had moved recently to London. Odd, I thought – it was nice to know that they had survived the move, but that was over three months ago! Then my husband came and told me about the London bombings. We had had absolutely no idea that they had happened. We'd lost a friend in 9/11 and my first thought was "not again."

I then realized that I was in an interesting situation – I could experience a major news event “from scratch”, so to speak. My goal: to find out as much information as quickly as possible. So I sat for a full minute to figure out my information strategy.

First stop: CNN.com. Nice timelines, good photos and videos. I noticed that there were plenty of requests for stories, photos, and videos, but for the most part, it was company-produced content. There was a link to a compilation of emails sent in by readers. The most poignant – one pointing out that the bus bombing took place just 50 meters from a park where a statue of Gandhi stands. .

Next stop: news.BBC.co.uk. Great overview and also some fantastic compilations of comments, photos, and videos from witnesses to the attacks. At this time they are up to four pages of content.

But where are the blogs? Next stop: the blog/feed search engines. Only Technorati highlighted a special section they had developed around the London bombings. Lots of great links, but it was hard to shift the wheat from the chaff. One interesting link found on Technorati -- thanks to links contributed by Furl/Del.icou.us -- went back to the BBC...a story on blogs covering the bombings.

Last stop: Several of the blogs I found through Technorati pointed me to Wikipedia which has a very comprehensive overview.

Observations: Traditional media outlets were able to give a quick overview with great graphics, professional coverage, and good analysis. The people on the street perspective provided the personal connection to the fear, shock, and pain experienced by Londoners, while Wikipedia provided tremendous context.

Which one is the best? It’s like asking me which one of my children I love the most. Each news source has unique features that I treasure, and I couldn’t imagine my news experience being complete without them. My only wish – that the traditional news outlets would do a better job providing links to alternative sources so that it’s easier to get that comprehensive point of view. It’s likely that I will still begin my next intensive news experience with traditional outlets, but if Technorati and Wikipedia continue to do such an outstanding job pointing me to great resources, traditional media will soon find themselves with one less regular viewer.


Update: The original title of this post was "Getting plugged into the London bombings". Thanks to the comment from James, I realized that this was inappropriate, hence the title change.

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Comments

Melanie

The Swedish blog Media Culpa (http://www.kullin.net) has an interesting entry about citizen journalism. It contains links to newspaper articles about the role of citizens in media coverage of events. Newspapers are indeed beginning to wake up to the possibilities new media is offering. Newsweek is also to integrate Technorati to include links to related blogs and feeds.

james governor

more than 50 people died. many bodies are still underground, with rescue workers in conditions from dante's inferno.

is the best you can do to call out "fantastic coverage"? I was going to blog on your approach, but its not worth it; you dont deserve the attention. people's lives are way more important than business models or comparisons of old and new media. couldnt you have sent your condolences? strange way to do so if thats what you think you did.

am i to take it because you didn't lose a friend you didn't care? it was just interesting. it was just an experiment. i better sign off before i say something uncharitable.

just reread your headline and think about it for a second.

i am going to unsubscribe from your blog. its a small gesture, but then again, its the only action i can take.

Charlene Li

James: You did something else -- you commented and called me on this and for that I'm grateful. I'm very sorry you thought my approach was callous -- especially since you are right in the middle of everything happening in London. If anything, the bombings are incredibly painful because of the personal connection. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by the bombings. In this instance, I decided to write about my use of media after I had gone through the whole experience, primarily because this is what this blog is about -- analysis and insight. Lesson learned -- this blog should also be about heart.

Poseidon

The only link between "Muslims" and the London 7/7 bombings is that they are an innocent third party mutually agreed upon as suitable for the frame-up by the perpetrators and their target. For an explanation of how we may be sure that Israel ordered the London bombings - to a confidence factor of tens of thousands to one against a false conviction - please see
www.takeourworldback.com/
77suicidebombershoax/

Alternatively,
www.takeourworldback.com/zionistcrimes.htm
shows how the London attacks relate to 9/11, the Bali bombings (2002 and 2005), Jordan attacks, Egyptian ferry sinking, Lockerbie Pan Am 103 bombing, JFK assassination, Reagan's attack of Libya, Lavon Affair, World Wars I and II, imprisonment of historians / chemists / execution science experts, etc.

The motive for London 7/7 was precisely the same as the Sharm al-Sheikh attack just 16 days later, which was Egypt's worst ever terrorist atrocity. British Gas had done a deal to sell Palestinian gas to Egypt; Israel wanted to buy its energy from Egypt rather than Palestine in order to avoid bankrolling what it perceived as Palestinian terrorism. Israel had just concluded a $2.5 billion deal to buy natural gas from Egypt. When it found out that the British Gas deal effectively meant that Israel would both be contributing to Palestinian finances and paying a premium price into the bargain, attacks were ordered on the UK and Egypt.

Government shills may pose as "bombing victims", for example, winding up remarkably unscathed, posting all over the blogosphere within ten hours of the attacks, promoting the ludicrous "Muslim extremist" government account to the Press, and even admitting that they work full-time in the field of advertising and promotion. It does not change the fact that Israel did the attacks, and that it was physically impossible for the Muslim patsies to have got on and off the trains at the times claimed by the official account - which was concocted from the regular Thameslink timetable before the authorities realised that trains had been cancelled and delayed on the day due to problems with the overhead lines in the Mill Hill area.

We now know that Jack Abramoff is a prime suspect for involvement in the "wasting" of the Muslim scapegoats for 9/11 (Mohammed Atta and others); they would have wound up as shark bait in the Gulf of Mexico after being lured onto his gambling boat. Rudi Giuliani, who was in Harrogate on July 6 and in London on July 7, is a major suspect for obtaining and planting evidence such as a receipt from a Leeds garden centre. It is high time the military quit working for a criminal cabal, and returned to their own nations to escort their treacherous "leaders" to some well-deserved war crimes tribunals.

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