Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Vivisimo's clustered search tool "clusty" has added a tab for searching government and related sources. (excerpt:) " Clusty's Gov tab brings together a number of special collections using VivĂ­simo Velocity. The Gov+ search is a powerful metasearch analogous to the Web+ tab, but focused on U.S. government and politics. It combines a metasearch of FirstGov, MSN limited to the ".gov" domain, DefenseLink, political news from Reuters, the Associated Press, and CNN, and a number of prominent American think tanks, including RAND, The Brookings Institution, The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and Milken Institute. "

Watching America

the following is excerpted from the "about" information on the site.
"WatchingAmerica reflects global opinion about the United States, helping Americans and non-Americans alike understand what the world thinks of current issues that involve the U.S. This is done by providing news and views about the United States published in other countries.
It is not our purpose to find favorable or unfavorable news and commentary, but to reflect as accurately as possible how others perceive the richest and most powerful country in the world. We have absolutely no political agenda.
WatchingAmerica makes available in English articles written about the U.S. by foreigners, often for foreign audiences, and often in other languages. Since WatchingAmerica offers its own translations, regular users of our site will be able to enjoy articles that are not available in English anywhere else. We are a unique window into world opinion.
In addition, by integrating the latest translation technology into the site, visitors are able to surf all of the content of foreign-language news outlets at the push of a button - in English.
The site is updated frequently.
We hope that the insights gained through reading various perspectives on American issues will help to raise levels of debate, open minds, and promote understanding among all the peoples of the world.
If coverage of an issue, on a particular day, surprises or irritates you, please remember that we are simply reporting what is out there, and trying to show the fullest range of views from around the world. We do not endorse any of the content presented, or imply anything about the motivation behind, or accuracy of, the original sources. Sometimes, the content we present on a particular issue may appear one-sided . In such cases, rest assured that Watching America does not seek to influence opinion by selective presentation but that sometimes global copy is dominated by a particular perspective that may fall outside the spectrum of debate in the United States.
Watching America has no affiliation with, nor funding from, any organization or corporation. We intend to cover costs by running ads and receiving donations."

Friday, March 18, 2005

Gulf2000 Project

This appears to be an authoritative source for information on the Persian Gulf region. (excerpt:)
"This site was developed by the Gulf/2000 Project at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University in New York City. It is designed to make available in a single location a wealth of information on the eight countries of the Persian Gulf region--Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. "

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

State of the News Media 2005 report

(source: http://www.bespacific.com, March 15, 2005)

Report on the State of the American News Media

The Project for Excellence in Journalism has published the State of the News Media 2005 report (navigate the contents of the 500 plus pages via this
link) which reviews two distinct categories of media: the first is identified as text-based media, and includes newspapers and Internet news sites; the second is electronic media, inclusive of broadcast network and cable network news.

  • From the project overview: "For each of the media sectors, we examine six different areas - content, audience trends, economics, ownership, newsroom investment and public attitudes."
  • From the conclusion: "Today, a host of new forms of communication offer a way for newsmakers to reach the public. There are talk-show hosts, cable interview shows, corporate Web sites, government Web sites, Web sites that purport to be citizen blogs but are really something else, and more. Journalism is a shrinking part of a growing world of media. And since
    journalists are trained to be skeptics and aspire at least, in the famous phrase, to speak truth to power, journalism is the one source those who want to manipulate the public are most prone to denounce."
  • Friday, March 11, 2005

    American Historical Assocation

    American Historical Association [pdf]


    (excerpted from Scout Report, March 11, 2005)

    Incorporated by Congress in 1889, the American Historical Association (AHA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "the promotion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of historical documents and artifacts, and the dissemination of historical research." Currently, the AHA has more than 14,000 history professionals at every type of educational institution, museum, historical organization, library, and archive. On the site, visitors can learn about various prizes and fellowships available from the AHA and also learn about its various publications. Those individuals interested in enrolling in a doctoral program in history will want to look at their profiles of various programs around the United States. Visitors will also want to look at the current and archived issues of the AHA's well-known monthly publication, Perspectives. The publication contains helpful articles that range from commentary on teaching to those on museum exhibitions. [KMG]

    Russia Profile

    (excerpted from the Scout Report, March 11, 2005)

    Russia Profile


    The availability of high-quality news reporting on the Internet continues to improve, though at times finding reputable sources can still be difficult for certain parts of the world. Russia Profile is one such source, as it is produced by the Independent Media group, which is responsible for publishing The Moscow Times along with a number of other magazines across Russia. The goal of this website is to both broaden the scope of news coming out of Russia and "to provide a platform for an informed discussion of issues related to or concerning Russia". From the site's homepage, visitors can read about the latest from Russia Profile, view a calendar of events, and subscribe for free to the print edition of Russia Profile. Visitors can also participate in a number of online forum discussions. [KMG]

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Not for conspiracy buffs!

    The head of the U.S. Department of State's countermisinformation team has put together a webpage that addresses some of the misinformation about the U.S. that is circulated on the internet and elsewhere. The page also includes an email address to which questions or information regarding disinformation, misinformation, urban legends, conspiracy theories, or false rumors can be directed.

    (excerpt from Washington File:) "Rumors, gossip, and conspiracy theories undermine trust and the advantages of the "Information Revolution." In an effort to correct malicious or simply misguided "information," the U.S. Department of State has created a new web collection, "Identifying Misinformation," http://usinfo.state.gov/media/media_resources/misinformation.html

    "Identifying Misinformation" was developed over a number of years. It corrects false claims that the United States:

    • had advance warning of the South Asian tsunami
    • invented AIDS as a biological weapon
    • is using chemical weapons in Iraq
    • "created" Osama bin Laden.

    The page is written by the State Department's countermisinformation expert. He has authored reports on this subject to the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, and has 12 years of experience debunking false stories. "

    Friday, March 4, 2005

    Amazing! Charming! Ingenious!

    Perhaps I'm getting old and sentimental, but I found Jon Udell's Walking Tour of Keene, New Hampshire to be a bit of Americana of the most endearing kind. Quite apart from being an example of technology so impressive as to make you grin, it presents - and quite unintentionally, I think - those soft and soft- spoken values of American community that are not always effectively conveyed through our public diplomacy efforts! This would make a great "show-off" item at a librarian's conference or at any gathering of technologically interested contacts - a 5 minute international visitor program!

    Thursday, March 3, 2005

    NYPL Digital Gallery

    The New York Public Library unveiled on Wednesday a free, searchable database of 275,000 photographs and manuscripts from its collection.

    "NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 275,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more."

    Think Tanks

    Here are some think-tank directories, courtesy of Resource Shelf
    Hillwatch.com: Think Tanks ("A directory of Canadian and International Think Tanks")
    KSG Directory of Think Tanks (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)
    NIRA's World Directory of Think Tanks (National Institute for Research Advancement in Japan. Hard copies of the directory are issued every three years. The 2002 edition is online here.) Political Resources: Think Tanks (Project VoteSmart)
    Political Resources: Think Tanks (University of Michigan Documents Center)
    Worldpress.org: Think Tanks and N.G.O.s

    Women's History Month

    Some quick facts from the Census Bureau for Women's History Month