Al Qaeda Citizen Journalism on NYTimesRiver

The time I’ve spent with the New York Times has probably trebeled since I began using NYTimesRiver on my blackberry. (Thanks, Dave Winer, “media hacker.”) (An ancillary benefit: reading news on my bb in the morning in bed bothers my wife less than did crinkly, bulky, dirty newsprint.)

Two internet-related stories jumped out to me this morning. First is HASSAN M. FATTAH‘s creepy story on Al Qaeda citizen journalists. “Al Qaeda has been turning itself from an active organization into a propaganda organization,” said [Chris] Heffelfinger, a specialist in jihadi ideology at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Fattah focusses on 28 year old Abu Omar, who is

part of a growing army of young men who may not seek to take violent action, but who help spread jihadist philosophy, shape its message and hope to inspire others to their cause…“We are typically observers, but when we see something on the Net, our job is to share it,” Abu Omar said. He no longer trusts news reports on television, he said… “We become like journalists ourselves.”

Second was this story on the difficulties facing independent filmmakers. A telling quote from American Splendor direcor Ted Hope: “If I were starting out now, I would be a producer for the Internet.”


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