I wish I knew on what basis the NG decides to not allow comments on some stories. The recent arrest of the juvenile delinquent who saw his friend Kiwane shot is a topic of public interest.
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I am sure that they have meetings to run or not to run a story, so get over it. One article, that you are interested in does not get run. I submit several things that the NG don't run. If you or anyone don't like it, buy another paper.
It is apparent that this paper is a republican paper. When the television new reported that people were protesting at the offices of republican members of congress all across the country, including at Tim Johnsons' office, there was not a word about it here.
Were you talking about the 10 or 11 floppy hat and vest wearing Urbana hippies outside of Tim Johnson's office whining about the debt ceiling vote? Is that news? Here is some news for you. Not covering that little joke of a protest is not what makes the News Gazette a republican paper.
The reporter said "more than a dozen" people showed up, and then said it was about 13. I counted about 10 including a small child, but perhaps she counted herself and crew members to get the number to "over a dozen." If it was 13, she should have just said a "bakers dozen of people showed up to voice their concerns." That doesn't really sound right though does it? A "bakers dozen of people...." Wait, what were we talking about? OHHH, I forgot. Yeah. N-G republican paper and all that. Right on. Keep the pressure on the N-G and Tim Johnson with the Bakers Dozen protests and the message board sound offs. Power to the people.
The cartoon in the editorial section always slams Obama and the editorials always seem to lean toward big business. The protest is noteworthy because it was one of many held across the country. It is a sign that people are getting quite angry with the state of things. You sound like a repug when you refer to protesters as hippies. Don't forget though that it was the hippies who gave the young generation a voice and forced the government to end Vietnam.
Does the paper lean to the right? Yes I believe it does, and rightfully so, pun intended.
What is a repug? If you mean I sound like a conservative or a republican, that is because I am just that.
I don't call all protesters hippies, I called the Bakers Dozen Protesters hippies. Maybe all 13 were not hippies, and if some were not then I do apologize to them. Better?
I didn't live through the sixties, so if you want to say that hippies forced an end to Vietnam, okay then. I guess you'd have to give some credit to horrible U.S. policy, and to the North Vietnamese, and the Chi-coms also. But yeah, Hippie power. Peace and love and free health care and all that.
The ironic thing about hippie culture, is that it can only survive in a country like America.
Here's the really hilarious part of it all. Remember last year when there were literally millions of Tea Party rallies all over the country, including in Champaign-Urbana. The left tried to trivialize the whole thing, tear it down, make it seem like it was no big deal. The end result lead to the biggest political smackdown the country may have ever witnessed. Now we hear that a few hundred people protesting throughout the U.S. is significant? Please. People need to put their anger in perspective. Even after the conservative victory, the left still controls the Senate and the Presidency. The 'Tea Party' apparently has about 20 votes in the House. If you're angry, be angry at those in power.
The N-G provides you and Buzorro and Penteller and Wilton Diary and Alabaster and Mr. Sanchez and Ronaldo and me, and all the rest with a system for us to be heard, 100% absolutely free of charge. We choose to do it anonymously, but still we choose to use it. I'm sure this will be lost on many, but you guys and gals should be thanking the N-G for providing the forum, instead of tearing it down.
Many words to say that you agree the NG favors the Republican party.
'...Don't forget though that it was the hippies who gave the young generation a voice and forced the government to end Vietnam.'
Which is exactly why the national media will not give coverage of nationwide protests and why 'free speech zones' were established during the Bush Administration.
The NG favors the Republican party, no doubt about it.
Yes, I think most readers have noticed the GOP bias of this paper.
Free speech has never been free, it has always come with a cost associated with its practice. The most talked about cost is about those who died in battle to attain and maintain a society in which to practice the rights of the individual to speak freely.
Meanwhile, the rarely spoken of cost in free speech is the countless individuals who break from the social herd to speak what others may think, but have no courage to say. Brave and patriotic individuals who many times giving up their lively-hoods or positions of honor (such as Helen Thomas) and sometimes their lives, so that others may hear the truths they reveal.
Today, these traditions are under assault as we no longer throw our young and treasuries against a foreseen enemy, but into the bottomless pit of contrived boogiemen and false flagged events, designed to enrage, frighten and herd the populace towards a planned goal.
This world wide assault upon our liberties has recently been revealed in the drama of the Rupert Murdoch’s scandal. Wherein a brutal autocratic business man who built at world wide media machine covering and dominating the worlds news and information, claimed ignorance in the criminal activities of his corporate design.
It is a world wide soulless machine with the rights of an individual in a court of law and now in this country unlimited in its political campaign funding, which has corrupted law enforcement and compromised a nations security at the highest level in England.
A machine built by a man who is an Illumiati, a member of the Builderberg group and Bohemian Grove camper, a confidant of many world leaders and champion in all things right-winged and fascist in nature. A man of untold fortune who now claims innocence and without doubt, will never be charged for any of the crimes he has committed.
On the local level our ability to speak freely in public is severely limited. No longer are any of our major business’s located in public places like they once were, but are private properties where you cannot directly contact or speak to the masses of shoppers who roam their grounds.
Even our fairs are now off limits, as the Champaign County fair is on private property, which means if you try and talk to people entering there you will be asked to leave. And what passes for public comment in the paper is really just smoke and mirrors, since individuals are limited to 250 words, while industrialized mega groups like a certain national farm group(*), are allowed unlimited rebuttal space to counter any dissenting 250 word voices.
The total control of our voices would nearly be complete if it were not for the internet, the last lifeline to which people like myself desperately hold onto and fervently pray for its survival against the repeated assaults upon its open structure.
But even the internet is limited, as witnessed within these pages, where we can only speak of certain things and code word others. Yes we can individually create our own web page and say whatever we wish, but it is like putting up a sign in our front yard, a public view but only those who stumble by will see it, while the corporate presences in truly public places continue to train the masses through their unlimited exposure.
This control of our public discourse is not only contrived and manipulated, but the people have been well trained in accepting only official media voices. Many come to places like this, not to learn truths but to regurgitate the training they have received, unleashing personal attacks upon anyone who dare bring a different perspective or raw truth to the discussion group.
Although they claim they appreciate the medium of this netherworld, they adversely label those of use who use its power fully, claiming our voice and the voices of others like ourselves, who are in the social trenches, seeing and understanding what is really happening, are somehow inferior.
They also ignore and or berate any link that we may present in our argument as irrelevant and unworthy of review if they are not “official” like Murdock’s (we determine what you decide) FOX NEWS or the corporate rag Wall Street Journal. A sentiment best summed up by one writer who stated that; “If you and Buzz post something good, I will recognize that. But if you post a bunch of rubbish links I am going to be critical…”.
We now face the greatest threat to mankind that the world has ever known, as the corporate machinery becomes so complete as to manipulate every aspect of our lives. The concentration of global wealth in the hands of the few, now pull the levers on the machinery we are entangled in.
To this we have governments who are beholding to these international machines, giving whatever they want in the hope of the few jobs left to mankind that is not being done by robot machines. Meanwhile the money men continue to enslave individuals and nations in usury, creating ponzi schemes that upon collapse are paid for from public coffers through fears in the collapse of financial institutions deemed “To Big To Fail”.
All of this is being maintained and generally empowered by a now Fascist Republican party who have sold their soul and auctioned their children to the corporate beast and military doctrine of imperial domination. Who are now in the final stages of destroying our country and finishing the selloff of our future to the money men, all empowered by the controlled media who keep the real news from us, while saturating the airwaves with right wing daily talking points, consumed by programmed people.
In conclusion, the News Gazette may be a private corporation but it has a responsibility like any media called “Public Trust”. Wherein we allow our public airwaves to be used for commercial enterprise with the understanding they will be socially not corporate balanced and our printed media will allow for all voices to be heard.
To this we empower them with “official” media certification and pray they will fulfill their responsibility to our social order, in order to enhance our daily lives and future needs.
No time in our history have we been in such danger from within and no time have we been so manipulated and control by so few. It will take us all speaking as freely as we can in order to achieve our release from this grasp. But I fear the mold has been cast and the grip so complete upon the mindless who never question what they are told, in order for us to remain free for much longer – much less speak freely.
(*) Great example of self censorship in these times, as I probably pushed the censoring envelope with the Helen comment and would have probably broke through with naming the Nation’s largest, most powerful and corporate controlled agricultural manipulation group.
I am very upset that when I make a post about the Bank of Rantoul or Roessler construction, I get censored. The fact that the Gazette ownes the Rantoul Press should in no way limit freedom of the press. The paper should not fear those organizations. In fact, the press has a long and honored tradition of exposing corruption and bringing about change.
I won't persuade anyone of anything by re-entering this discussion, but it's a worthwhile topic and one of particular interest to me.
1) I can't censor anything. Only the government can censor. Likewise, I cannot abridge your Freedom of Speech, because I don't grant your freedom of speech. You are free -- so far as I know -- to say or write almost anything you please. I am not obliged to provide you a place to say it. A bookstore does not abridge your freedom of speech when it forbids you from writing curse words in the margins of the books. You can still -- for the most part -- go outside and express those thoughts to anyone who cares to listen. If the government arrests you, you have been censored.
2) Our experience with other stories, other newspapers' experience and the original stories on this demonstrate that certain topics very quickly bring out the worst in a few. They quickly turn the discussion in a unproductive fashion. That saddens me, but I'm convinced of the inevitability. We simply lack the capacity to (you say "censor;" I say) edit those as they come it -- just as we always have done in print.
3) Identifying the topics that will prove troublesome requires no radar.
4) You CAN, in fact, start a topic in this forum that refers to a story. So long as issues are merely discussed in an intelligent, civil and spirited manner, that conversation will go on. We all know the difference.
You are correct in your statements.
The word censorship was loosely and perhaps unfairly used.
Of course the NG doesn't have an obligation to provide me with a place to exercise freedom of speech.
All that doesn't change the fact that the NG blocks comments on some stories from the get go.
All that doesn't change the fact that the this type of editing occurs frequently and impedes, by Mr Foreman's own admission, important public discussion of significant topics.
And again, the NG doesn't explicitly explain beforehand what type of stories will be banned/edited. It decides based on experience and the whole thing saddens Mr Foreman.
Well it does me also. That is why I started the topic. If this state of affairs saddens us all, can't we work on a small solution? Like maybe looking at the "experience based" process of selecting which topics to ban/edit? Could that process be imporved?
I think so. I have read some suggestions in this forum.
#4 is the understood definition of a 'Forum.' '...issues are merely discussed in an intelligent, civil and spirited manner...'
I know what a difficult position the moderator is in. Some posts push the envelope regarding personal attacks.
Examples of such posts:
1) 'Think you're morally superior though, don't ya?'
2) 'But yeah, that really is the same thing in principle as complaining when taxes go up a nickel. Awesome comparison.' (Sarcasm noted)
3) '...you still engage in the childish personality cult surrounding the founding fathers,...Strike three, hit the showers, son!' (If his personal info is true, I'm 20 years his senior)
But don't get me wrong John, I'm not filing any sort of grievance. I think anyone who has been exposed to society learns that it takes all kinds of people to make up this crazy world. Then there's the 'Type A' and 'Type B' personality sets. In my humble opinion I believe that the vast majority of people, when confronted with a certain type of personality, are able to take things in stride. 'Sticks and stones' as they say..
But getting back to the topic, you are right on when you stated that 'only government can censor.' Regarding the freedom of speech, it's only been recently that in certain circumstances the government has set the precedent of establishing 'Free Speech Zones.'
None of the examples provided constitute personal attacks. All three were "spirited" and relevant assertions regarding the topic at hand.
Many online versions of newspapers do not have comment sections at all, and I'd be quite surprised if the majority of those that do have comments did not engage in "censorship" of said comments themselves. In addition, the N-G provides this separate discussion forum that you are reading right now, in which apparently just about anything goes (which I say judging by the fact that all the conspiracy theory threads have not been deleted). The News-Gazette is a private entity that has every right to "censor" comments on stories that are likely to generate a stream of crass, insensitive, and ignorant comments, such as the Kiwane Carrington story has.
The comments generated by the story about the young man who was ran over in Urbana a few months ago provided all the evidence in the world to me that comment "censorship" is a good idea on this website. I wanted to throw up after reading all the comments from the opportunistic SOBs who were seemingly so excited that the young man had died, since it gave them a great excuse to vomit out their favorite talking points against their least favorite campus drinking holiday.
Of course corporate-owned media engage in censorship in order to bolster,not weaken, whatever political stance that the corporate board of directors chooses to take on any given subject. What surprises me is that you acknowledge this practice of corporations 'controlling the media,' yet you then label anything from alternative news sources as 'conspiracy theories.' You can't have it both ways. I trust that reports that Saddam did NOT have WMD's prior to our invasion of Iraq, even though the Bush administration and controlled media constantly drummed this into our heads, were labelled by you as a 'conspiracy theory?' How about our 'Peace' president who promised to withdraw our troops from Iraq? We are now militarily engaged in six sovereign nations and threatening even more. Does that sound like 'Change' to you, or worse than Bush, when we were only in two countries?
Due to the competition from the internet and it's alternative news sources, plus the downward spiral our nation's economy has been on, most newspapers no longer can afford their own investigative reporters, and get their national and international news from the wire services that number two. That's pretty restrictive, wouldn't you agree? My advice is to turn off the TV, rely on your local newspaper for local sports reports and obits only, and seek the truth rather than accepting what a corporation wants you to believe. Otherwise you're subject to swallowing the bait, hook, line, and sinker.
It's hard to choose just one, but I think the funniest thing about this post from my perspective is that you somehow arrived at the conclusion that I'm a democrat and/or Obama supporter. I would think that someone as, uh, let's say "free-thinking" as yourself would at least recognize the fallacy of the left-right paradigm.
Anyways, I seriously, seriously, seriously doubt that the gentleman (Mike Howie, I believe) who is responsible for removing and "censoring" comments on this website is under any orders from some shadowy board room to stifle free speech. I believe he is a guy hired by a small-town paper to keep comments that they might deem unsuitable from being posted on their website.
Finally, I guarantee you that I am less gullible and more difficult to convince than you are, so spare me the lectures on that subject please. I don't consider the people who I imagine you get your information from to be "reliable news sources." I imagine that they are sources whose operating goal is to produce conspiracy theories, just as I believe that the operating goal of much of the mainstream media is to parrot lies sent to them by their corporate offices. Helpful hint: the truth is always somewhere in the middle. I view you as an equally repellant extreme opposite from the unholy amalgamation of misinformation and propaganda that the mainstream media represents. Does this clarify anything for you?
Freedom of speech includes freedom to say stupid things and even inflammatory things.
You should trust your readers to sort out the thoughtful comments from the ranting.
Stifling the ranters just feeds their obsessions.
If you wish to monitor, there aren't that many stories that generate ranting. Just monitor those.
"freedom of speech" also does not apply to this topic at all, since this website is privately owned.
"freedom of speech" also does not apply to this topic at all,...
Freedom of speech does not apply to the topic of 'Censorship?' Wow! HAHAHAHA! How would you define 'Censorship?'
'...this website is privately owned...'
I believe that it's 'corporate-owned,' but I won't nit-pick your choice of words in that usage. I already posted that John, who represents the corporation that owns the News-Gazette, by having a 'press' (which in this case is the N-G forum) is able to take advantage of the right to a 'freedom of the press' (not 'speech,' re-read the First Amendment), and therefore has the 'power' of censoring (deleting) anything that he sees fit. I believe that you were trying to make this point, but in an incorrect way. (Please don't tell me that you have a college duh-gree)
Correction: neither freedom of speech, nor the term "censorship" in the way that some people posting on this topic are twisting it, apply to the topic of the News Gazette blocking comments on certain articles. Happy now, or should we argue semantics some more?
Corporations are private entities when it comes down to it, unless you agree that allowing the purchase of stock by the public constitutes "public ownership" of a company...but I won't nitpick your nitpicking. And not that it's any of your concern, but I have both multiple degrees and something resembling common sense...can you say either?
John, I'm not going to jump to any conclusions and am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, which was raised in Penn's post. I also host a website and I originally included a Guestbook where visitors could ask questions or make comments. The website is not political or religious, and has visitors of all ages and races. The Guestbook was doing just what I intended it to do, provide answers and information at the local level for those who asked. Unfortunately I had to delete it because of one immature person who used language that was not appropriate for a 'civil discussion.' I know many of the visitors and am well aware that some would have their sensibilities shocked at reading a word that, in all truth, is probably spoken on some TV show at last once a night. Out of respect for them I deleted the Guestbook.
The First Amendment recognizes the citizenry's right to a free press. The kicker is that one can only take advantage of that right if one owns a press. The bottom line is that this is your 'press' and you can do with it whatever you want. Evidently your doing ok with it because Penn's still here, I'm still here. etc. We also have the 'right' to not frequent this forum if we're not happy with it. Right, Penn?
Epilogue: Matt Drudge, of the DrudgeReport, was on C-Span a couple of years ago and a caller complained that he wasn't getting the 'Real News' from Drudge's website. Mr. Drudge answered, 'So? Don't visit it. Start your own. That's what I did. It's easy.'
And what “wrong people” would they be?
Your comment seems a bit “elitist” as it indicates there are certain voices that should never be heard, voices that will find a venue away from the public eye to fester with others of similar ilk until popping to the surface at the most unfortunate of times.
Kind of reminds me of when desktop publishing first began and the publishing industries decried its use by “laymen”, claiming that the common man would debauch the printed word, since they had no clue in producing such work. Guess it applies to the meaning of our words also?
As for “sensitive” subjects there are ways to handle them. Perhaps a “fully monitored” thread, wherein only after your papers review will “appropriate” content be allowed posted.
But then this medium is still something folks like yourself are still trying to comprehend fully and figure out how it fits into the corporate business model. However your foray into this tinny online group, does bring some hope in future potentials.
Welcome to your brave new world as censorship is rampant at all levels, Buz and myself could fill this server with examples, but then you would probably disavow because we’re just some loony conspiracy nuts.
Today’s corporate media controls so much of what you hear and see, resulting in your dramatically reduced ability to fully be informed and capable of making in-depth and rational decisions.
The Tonnage of repressed information is stunning. Without question there is a orchestrated plan being implemented, especially at the national level and does ultimately impact the local community.
One such aspect is the NG omission of race in many of the recent news reports pertaining to weaponize robberies. First we had roving groups of young men, beating people of non-color and now it has escalated to a more sinister level and seems to be increasing. If the role was revered, what do you think the headlines would be?
Of course, as citizens it is impossible to monitor this information in detail and ascertain the scope, location and frequency of crime, as this information is kept from the public by Law Enforcement, who cannot bear the thought of informed citizens being part of the solution.
A great example of such mentality was a couple of years back when my wife had a gun shoved in her face and robbed at her place of work, while being told she would die. After weeks of diligent work by law enforcement they had no clue as to the robbers’ identity.
Only after a business owner found a young man acting suspicious and calling 911 did they catch the criminal who had a record, a record with a mug shot that fit exactly the sketch done with my wife’s help.
The result? On the evening news the head of the police department said they had caught the guy through “Good Police Work”. No mention of the citizens' role.
Isn’t that special!
"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people" - John Adams - Second President - 1797 - 1801
Penn I know that there is censorship, no freedom of the press, propaganda and misinformation.
That doesn't mean I have to trust Matt Drudge and believe everything in the Drudge report.
If you and Buzz post something good, I will recognize that. But if you post a bunch of rubbish links I am going to b e critical.
I don't like having to put a captcha for every submission, then click submit, then save again.
These topics are not unrelated. Both speak to the time commitment involved in reviewing every single post before it is published. Spam presents an unbelievable battle. I hate captcha as much as the next guy. But it is fairly effective in blocking spam posts. Without it, half of what you see in online comments would be spam.
Likewise, we don't monitor every single post for good taste, and we know that some stories -- by experience -- will quickly lead to discussion that is insulting more than illuminating. We just block those comments from the get-go. That, too, is a shame. Crime and race should be discussed more not less.It's a pity that some -- by virtue of their inability to control themselves -- stand in the way.
I like the idea of the class for civil discussion. But we both know that the wrong people would enroll.
What I want to know Mr Foreman is what criteria are used to block comments on some stories from the get-go? If it is based on experience, what experience?
Without criteria explicitly laid out beforehand, it seems arbitrary and subjective to ban certain topics. Basically you are telling us that you have a special "insulting/trouble" radar that informs you when to ban a story. We are to trust that you don't have any self-serving motives at all when you ban a topic.
Basically the NG bans whatever topic it doesn't want discussed. This is based on their experience.
It's not a secret.We've explained it several times, including here:
Hope this helps,
I wanted to post on the story about the police beating discussed at the city council meeting. It was "read only". When I wanted to discuss the censorship here, my thread was censored. God forbid that anyone criticize the jack booted thugs with badges. I guess if I am being censored here, I will take my story and that of the censorship to the public and other venues. By the way, the stalker story that I was going to tell was covered in a feature article by one of you own reporters.
I read your link and it is about removing posts that are offensive.
I'm asking about not allowing any comments at all on certain stories and not just the race ones.
The NG also blocked comments about the "unofficial" young man's death when he got hit by 2 vehicles while intoxicated.
Maybe the link could be clearer that what John Beck means is that we don't allow comments on those stories at the time we post them, which I think is the situation you're talking about. The story you refer to here is an example, in which we made the decision in advance to disallow comments.
We know from experience that some comments on some stories will be of a nature that violates our policy, and we will not allow them, either by deleting the comments or by making the story unavailable for commenting in advance.
Being the frequent commenter that you are, I'm sure you recognize that stories like this are the exception and not the rule.
I'm not sure what happened with the fatality, because I was on vacation at the time. I can infer that comments on that story became abusive in some fashion.
I do wish there were a way to leave intact the comments that are thoughtful and contribute to the discussion, and we do that when we can. But in some cases, they are part of a thread that gets deleted, and there isn't any good way, from a technical standpoint, to delete some and not other parts of a thread.
Again, hope this helps. Thanks for the followup.
So if I make the comment: "Anyone STUNNED by this development?", linking to the article presumably that Yatiri refers to above (at http://www.news-gazette.com/news/courts-police-and-fire/2011-04-09/teen-... ), it won't get posted? If not, shocking.
Maybe there's a "Publishing with Love and Limits" program that we offenders could take (and ignore the whole point of) as well...
That was an important story and the topic is important.
The NG did the community a disservice by banning any discussion from the get-go.