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31 October 2006

Web 2.0 is watching you!

2 new startups which aim to keep an eye on us hacks. Both are very new, and have a long way to go to build up both content and users, but if they make it they could have an interesting impact on media transparency in the UK:

Newscounter - www.newscounter.com
This one monitors contentious stories in the papers (though chosen by the site managers rather than users). Site members can then vote on each story they'd like to see the other side of, and Newscounter will then try to source a 'right of reply' from the maligned party to post on the site. No rights of reply yet, and very few votes, so pop over now and give them a click (we'd like to hear the Telegraph's side of the NUJ strike ballot, heh heh...)

Newssniffer - newssniffer.newworldodour.co.uk
Ever been back to a story on the web to find it seems to have mysteriously changed? This new site stores revisions of news stories on major sites (mainly the Beeb ATM), and checks for edited/censored versions throughout the day. A very fun idea, though in practice it seems to find a lot of typo corrections. It also sniffs its way round the Beeb's message boards to snuffle out traces of censorship.

24 October 2006

BNP terror trial set for February

by Ian Morgan

24th October 2006

A former British National Party election candidate and a dentist both appeared in court today accused of possessing an explosive substance.

Robert Cottage, 49, of Talbot Street, Colne, Lancashire, and David Jackson, 62, of Trent Road, Nelson, Lancashire, were charged under the Explosive Substances Act 1883 after chemical components were allegedly found at Cottage's house.

Cottage stood for the BNP in this year's local elections in Colne. [as such he must be still a member of the party as, according to their website BNP membership is from year end to year end and he had to be a member to stand - ed.]

Both men were remanded in custody at Preston Crown Court.

No application for bail was made for either men.

The case was adjourned until January 15, 2007 for a plea and case management hearing.

A provisional trial date has been set for February 12 at Manchester Crown Court. It will be held before a High Court judge and is expected to last one and a half weeks.

see also...
North West Evening Mail
BBC News
International Herald Tribune
Socialist Worker

Blair Watch
Progressive Gold
Brights Online
Don't Start The Revolution Without Me
Watson Blogs
Daily Grail
West Brom Blog
Blind Nation
Cernigs News Hog
S J Howard
Homo Ludens
Musings of a flying Imam

20 October 2006

World awaits Monday's BNP terror hearing in Burnley

Met police are breaking all records for incarcerating Muslims without trial for possession of bottles of perfume. So it might well be worth a seat in the public/press gallery on Monday to see how Cumbria Constabulary's Superintendent Neil Smith's claim that explosives precursors and a rocket launcher are "not related to terrorism" runs in court.

This week a British National Party (BNP) election candidate has been accused of possessing the largest amount of chemical explosives of its type ever found in Britain.
Home secretary John Reid did not hold any special press conferences and it did not make any headlines outside of local newspapers in England and one online news service.
The 22 chemical components recovered by police are the largest haul ever found at a private house in the UK.
The home of another man charged with similar offences contained a rocket launcher and a nuclear biological suit as well as BNP literature and chemicals.
Cottage is an ex-BNP member who stood as a candidate in the Pendle Council elections in May.
The two men from Pendle, England, have appeared in front of Pennine magistrates accused of having "a master plan" after the record haul of chemicals used in making home-made bombs was found in Colne.
Robert Cottage (49), of Talbot Street, Colne, and David Bolus Jackson (62), of Trent Road, Nelson, made separate appearances before the court charged with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose. The offences are under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
Both men were remanded in custody to appear at Burnley Crown Court on Monday October 23rd. Cottage was arrested at his home on Thursday of last week, while retired dentist Jackson was arrested in the Lancaster area on Friday, the same day as he left a dental practice in Grange-over-Sands.
Mrs Christiana Buchanan, who appeared for the prosecution in Jackson's case, alleged the pair had "some kind of masterplan".
She said a search of Jackson's home had uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals, BNP literature and a nuclear biological suit.
Police raided Cottage's Talbot Street home on Thursday of last week. The house was taped off while forensics officers searched the premises. Neighbours were told to stay in their homes for their own safety. Mr Cottage's car was also taken away for examination.
Officers also made a thorough examination of Jackson's Trent Road home and, again, officers were on duty outside the house. Forensics officers examined the property.

see also

Army Rumour Service discussion

Some answers from the BBC as to why it wasn't covered... because the police were 'playing the story down'.

There was nothing here about the story - so did Cumbria BBC cover it as they say in the forum above?

-- Mathaba News Network reports the news that other mainstream media ignore. Please be sure to subscribe to our new Mathaba Gold service to ensure you do not miss out on special coverage and uncensored news. One month subscription costs only 2 Pounds Sterling or $3 US. Find out more on the link below:

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17 October 2006

More media please!

Via the BBC, a survey showing hours of web use in Europe have for the first time overtaken hours of print media consumption.

Interestingly though, it's not a zero sum - the increase in online reading isn't necessarily denting overall print or TV consumption. At least not at the moment, the demographics for different media are skewed somewhat, with the young preferring the web and older people sticking with print.

16 October 2006

Guido vs the Lobby: Round 2

Blogging MP Tom Watson claims that rumours of the demise of the lobby correspondent have been greatly exaggerated, and that in the long run, Private Eye has more to fear from Guido and the gang than the lobby do.
Punting partially-verified information goes on in all areas all over the blogosphere, not just in the political field. The world is still intrigued by blogs and the opinions within them. I just think that in future years there will be a reaction against them, or at least, a collective worry about the veracity of what is written on them. People will want fact-checked, verifiable information from the sites they read. And you know what? They'll get that from good old quality journalism. Well researched news stories will be a premium.

More at Tom's Blog.

09 October 2006

Calling all Mancunians!

Do you live in the north west and work in new media? If so, let us buy you a drink!

We're holding a new media meetup at the Lass O'Gowrie pub, on Charles St, just off Princess St (map), between 6.30pm and 9pm on Thursday 12 October. Feel free to drop in at any time. We'll buy the first drink and lay on some food. It will be an opportunity to network with other new media workers in the north west, discuss your new media issues, and maybe find out a bit more about the NUJ.

For more information email newmedia(at)nuj.org.uk. Everyone is welcome - members and non-members, so if you know someone who may be interested in attending, please let them know.