An Apology from Sys-Con

by PJ

May 19 2005

The following apology is now on Linux Business News:
To Our Valued Readers: (May 13, 2005) - Our syndication arrangement with LinuxGram has recently ended after ethical questions were raised by our readers in response to one of the stories published in last week's issue. I agreed with their view on this matter; therefore I pulled the article shortly after it was published earlier this week, before the DoS attacks against all our web sites began. I apologize to our readers, to the open source community, to our LinuxWorld editors, and to Ms. Pamela Jones for publishing the article. Fuat Kircaali Publisher, SYS-CON Media

That is the message in its entirety, so don't all go to visit at once, or they might misunderstand what is happening.

A lot of us are having thoughts about what journalism is and what it should be. Here's an excerpt from a graduation address in Canada by the former publisher of the Toronto Star to the graduating class of the University of Toronto :

"As members of any community we must continually assess ourselves as citizens ... and in that process, newspapers must play a critical role as the pulpit from which the issues of the day are unveiled, debated and dissected," Honderich said.

"Yet today that tradition of real journalism rooted in a code of principles is under siege."

Honderich said the pressure for newspapers to improve profitability has undermined the higher sense of social purpose the press should strive for.

Another worry, he said, is the "new influx of transit news and newspaper celebrity tabloids apparently united in a craven pursuit of triviality and the perfect four-paragraph story."

Turning to the graduates inside the Isabel Bader Theatre, Honderich asked them to be vigilant in their pursuit of the truth and their preservation of democratic and social values that define, in his view, real journalism.

"Be demanding in what you expect from your media. Set your standards high, do not let yourself be pandered to, take up your role as citizens and insist on the quality of information you deserve. At issue could be nothing less than the health and vibrancy of your community."

Then there is this insightful article by Glenn Reynolds, "Dirty tricks against the blogosphere?" which mentions three attacks on bloggers, by GM, Apple, and the Groklaw incident:

Blogs and bloggers wield small but significant power, and they do so at the expense of established interests that wield much more power themselves. Now the empire seems to be striking back. . . .

But the most outrageous anti-blogger behavior involved the GrokLaw blog, and wound up getting reporter Maureen O'Gara . . . put out of work for publishing all sorts of personal information regarding GrokLaw's semi-anonymous blogger, publication that seems to have been inspired by hostility about what the blog was reporting.

I think that we'll see more things like this in the future. But so far these assaults on bloggers have one common theme: They were miserable failures. . . .

Instead of going after bloggers, I suggest that businesses in and out of the media consider a different approach: Try telling the truth, and dealing honestly with critics. . . .

Telling the truth. What a concept. The funny thing is, if they did that, while we'd still be busy on the patent front and in other ways, there would be nothing for Groklaw to dig up.

09:56 PM EDT

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