And the Web Shall Make You Free

WWW means World Wide WebMost of us agree that free access to reliable information is essential for democratic societies. Until recently most of our information came from books, magazines, newspapers and radio and television news. Most of this news arrives late, in bits and pieces, and comes straight from “official spokespersons” via the mainstream media. Not only that, we only get it one day, and then it’s gone. It’s practically impossible to go back and find anything we’ve read or seen or heard. We’ve already wrapped the garbage in it and thrown it out.

The World Wide Web has changed all that, both for professional researchers and concerned citizens. I am convinced that, if anything is going to be done to rectify the current world situation, the Web will play a determinant role. It already does, but I think that role will become increasingly important. We need only look at the Web’s unique characteristics to see why:

  • It functions day and night, every day of the year.
  • It’s present in almost everyone’s homes.
  • It’s instantaneous. Just connect and you’re off.
  • It’s constantly updated, every minute of every hour of every day.
  • It’s permanent. It’s there waiting for you when you need it.
  • It presents all shades of opinion, so you can contrast them and make up your own mind.
  • It’s searchable, so you lose no time in getting to the topic you’re interested in.
  • It’s content comes in text, audio and video, making the information both more accessible and more convincing.
  • It’s interactive. You can even contribute your own content to the Web. Continue reading

Seymour Hersh, The Great Reporter

Seymour Hersh, the great investigative reporterI want to mention another honest, independent journalist, one whom some consider to be the finest investigative reporter of our time, and point you to a revealing video interview where you can very quickly take the measure of the man. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Pulitzer Prize winner, Seymour Hersh, contributes regularly to The New Yorker these days, but he has been researching and writing his muckraking books and articles for more than 30 years. Hersh was the reporter who, as a 30-year-old freelancer, uncovered the Mai Lai massacre and the ensuing Nixon-administration cover up in 1969. It was also Hersh who exposed the mistreatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in 2004. His most recent work deals with the Bush administration’s plans to bomb Iran using nuclear weapons, a revelation which he first published in 2006. Continue reading