This Weblog comes from Mindy McAdams and resides at It's a personal blog and probably not of much interest to anyone but me. You are welcome to read and comment as you like.

September 27, 2004

Terra Incognita

Some work on the Flash journalism book, some surfing, and there I was on the home page of Terra Incognita. Sometimes it's nice to review things you know. It's easy to find these sites at Interactive Narratives, but I do not always remember that the same design firm produced, for example, African Voices (2001) and a current favorite of mine, Cycles (2004). Both for museums. Both about Africa. What a difference three years can make!

Then there is the wonderful Lewis and Clark package -- one of dozens that were produced for the anniversary. The intro to this really nails it -- such an evocative Ken Burns type of opening scene. Very appropriate here. And yet ... so much text, so much to read. I'm still not crazy about the idea of cramming all that text into a Flash package.

Someday I will learn how they do that super-zoom effect with the photos. It's so awesome!

New info: It is probably Zoomify!

Posted by macloo at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

Light Under a Bushel

In a blog entry, Joe Weiss made an excellent observation about strutting your stuff: Some small team of Flash journalists builds a great package, and what does their newspaper do with it? Promote it on the home page? No! Promote it in the print edition? Of course not!

What's up with that? They should be smarter.

Posted by macloo at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

After the Hurricane

No trees fell on my house.

After three hurricanes swept by Gainesville in two months, I feel pretty lucky to be able to say that.

Alex and Bonnie both missed us, but they scared us for a while. Charley, Frances, and Jeanne all left serious damage in central Florida. Jeanne blew in yesterday and howled all night long. Today the sky is blue. It's still a bit windy.

According to the National Hurricane Center: "The total of eight tropical cyclones reaching storm strength is a new August record, breaking the previous record of seven set in 1933 and 1995. The eight named storms that have formed so far in 2004 is twice the normal number of four."

The September report is not online yet.

Posted by macloo at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2004

Air Travel Research

Today I am learning all about KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), such as how to get there. Oh, that's just how to get there from K.L. If you want to get there from Florida ... that's a whole 'nother story.

Turns out there is a law called the Fly America Act (PDF file). Basically it says that if the U.S. government is paying for your plane ticket, you must fly on U.S. air carriers even if the trip is longer, has more stops, or costs 10 times as much as some other airline. The comfort and convenience of the traveler are at the rock bottom level of concern here. The taxpayers' burden also appears to be of very little concern.

I found an article about the act that sums it up pretty well.

So anyway, I could leave from Tampa on an approved U.S. airline, change planes in Chicago, Hong Kong and Singapore, and arrive in Kuala Lumpur 49 hours later.

Or I could use my own frequent flyer miles and fly Jacksonville - L.A. (Delta) and L.A. - Kuala Lumpur (business class!), with a layover (but not a plane change) in Taipei, using Malaysia Airlines. Travel time: 32 hours.

I learned that Malaysia Airlines is a "partner airline" of Delta (not to be confused with a "SkyTeam" member, which is another set of airlines), with which I have racked up many miles. I also learned that in order to "claim my reward" from Delta, I need to book the Malaysia Airlines ticket through Delta by calling (800) 323-2323. I am writing this here because it was impossible to figure this out from the Delta Web site, and I spent far too long trying.

Naturally, Malaysia Airlines flies from the U.S. to Kuala Lumpur. They fly to and from Newark and LAX. There are no U.S. carriers that fly to KLIA (which provides a list of all the carriers that do land there).

Anyway, this has all been quite educational.

I have flown on Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific -- all provided excellent service. I've also flown on several European airlines, and I must say that on any transoceanic flight, the service is really superior on those airlines.

Posted by macloo at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2004

Development Journalism

The question is, when one advocates "development journalism," are you saying the government should be able to tell journalists what they may and may not publish, broadcast or post online?

Are you saying the government should control the journalists?

The idea is that it would be for the good of the country. Who needs all this sleazy media we have in the U.S.? Obviously, the press cannot control itself. It panders to the lowest level of human interest rather than to the public good, etc., etc. The obvious counter-argument is that if the government is muzzling the press, then who is making sure the government stays honest?

The idea of news media that do write about what good the government has done lately is not a terrible idea by itself. And the idea that by always focusing on discord, crime, ethnic conflicts, etc., the media only makes things worse is not a totally crazy idea.

The trouble is, you can't have it both ways. You can't tell the press what it can and cannot do and still have a free press.

I can empathize with a notion that endless criticism of policies makes the population feel hopeless. However, a muzzled press does not have the pulic's confidence -- so then, what use is it?

Posted by macloo at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

Beyond Objectivity

Patricio P. Diaz wrote a good column about community journalism in 2003 for MindaNews, a site about Mindanao. Some excerpts:

(1) "Journalism books discuss investigative reporting, science reporting, sports writing, etc. I remember that the Philippine Press Institute once conducted a seminar on ethnic reporting. Obviously, investigative journalism is just a technique of reporting. And so is development journalism.

"Whether there are distinctive branches of journalism or none is a concern fit for dissertation. For practicality, what matters is the focus of reporting and the benefit the focus can bring about."

(2) "The present reality is this: Through the press, radio and television, the people outside of Mindanao know about the Moro rebellion, the kidnapping and hostage-taking by the Abu Sayyaf and the Pentagon gang but are ignorant of the roots of the troubles to make them not see Mindanao in the right perspective.

"And worse, the world outside Mindanao sees only little, if any, of the much, much, much bigger portion of Mindanao not in trouble but enjoying peace and prosperity -- facts about Mindanao that when contrasted with the troubles can put Mindanao in a sharper and proper perspective."

I like the point in No. 2 particularly, because it's a complaint I often hear from non-journalists in the West, criticizing our news media: Isn't there ever any good news to report? It seems like everything is dark and dismal.

Also, the ideas of perspective and context are vital to journalism -- especially foreign correspondence and international news. When we read about an unfamiliar place, we should also be reading some contextual material that helps make it clear how the events came about. The practice of portraying certain conflicts as based in religious or ethnic differences, for example, when the real issue is an economic imbalance, is completely irresponsible.

(3) "The picture of Mindanao as the land of troubles -- not of peace and progress -- has come about because journalists are contented of reporting incidents solely based on sources -- the military, the police, the MILF, etc."

And this is a problem for journalism everywhere today, I think.

Posted by macloo at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

View from the East

Aliran has a blog about Malaysian media. This entry concerns development journalism:

"So, what then can we say is the real problem with Western mainstream media? Actually, the answers can be obtained from many in the West itself -- people like Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Robert McChesney, Stuart Hall, etc. These western critics have by and large stated that the problem with the Western mainstream media is they are hypocritical or not practising what they preach. They have the constitutional rights to be as free and independent a media as they can be but they have used that primarily to make as large a profit as possible. Thus the sensationalistic bent and the inclination towards conservative politics (which, among other things, supports big business) have become hallmarks of Western mainstream media."

Posted by macloo at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2004

Journalism in Southeast Asia

Found today while searching for textbooks relevant to mass comm and society in Asia:

Journalism Asia

Contents (all online) are papers presented at a forum on the subject, held in February 2003. Included are:

The IT way to political reform in Malaysia

Malaysia: Politics and the Internet

The raid on Malaysiakini

Other articles concern Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and a few other nations.

Posted by macloo at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)