Saturday, March 22, 2008
"Be obscure. Write about stories that other people don’t write about. Write about brilliant people who aren’t well known to the web. And if you’re having problems getting people to pay attention to your stories on Somalia, it never hurts to put in the names of obscure starlets who’ve taken their clothes off for photo shoots."
--Ethan Zuckerman, from his post about what leads readers to a blog: Give the People What They Want (?)
And what do I want from my news source? Mostly I want it to be smart and personable (i.e. not in zombie-voice), but, given my current financial situation, I also prefer it to be free.
My subscription to the Economist runs out next month, and their price just jumped. Since I'm trying to extend my "sabbatical," and since I don't avidly read every issue anymore, (I've lost some of my delight in its tone and come to anticipate their pov), I've decided not to renew.
I can read much of it for free online.
Most importantly, I can read its fantastic obituaries.
They often cover lesser-known deaths, skipping the thoroughly gone-over Bill Buckley, for instance, but noting, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon [right], otherwise known as Ben Chapman, died on February 21st."
(I'm also letting the New Yorker lapse, not to save money, but because its elitism has been getting up my nose lately. That magazine is like a snotty but highly intelligent friend, however--I always go back to it eventually.)
I've found a new (to me) source for world news: Global Voices
I found it through My Heart's in Accra, "Ethan Zuckerman's musings on Africa, international development and hacking the media."
Here's some of what Global Voices says about itself:
Our international team of volunteer authors, regional blogger-editors and translators are your guides to the global blogosphere.
These amazing people are bloggers who live in various countries around the world.
We have invited them as contributors or hired them as editors because they understand the context and relevance of information, views, and analysis being posted every day from their countries and regions on blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, videoblogs - and other kinds of online citizen media.
They are helping us to make sense of it all, and to highlight things that bloggers are saying which mainstream media may not be reporting.
Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society. (Ethan Zuckerman is part of the project--that's the link.)
[Badges are from Global Voices site.]