In 2010 when the country finally went ahead with automated general elections, I attended a briefing conducted for the media by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic-TIM, provider of the precinct count optical scan or PCOS system. Even my low-tech comprehension could easily digest the process of automated voting: instead of writing down names on a ballot, I would shade circles beside the names, slide the ballot into the machine, wait for confirmation that I had voted, and then go to the Comelec-deputized teachers so I could have my forefinger daubed with indelible ink. When the polling centers closed, we would wait for the results. No more laborious manual tallying on blackboards or large sheets of paper. No more ballot snatching. No more waiting for days and even weeks for results. “Trust the machine,” the Comelec chairman at the time, retired Supreme Court Justice Jose Melo, told me. I trusted Melo. But the machine? When the briefing folks began talking … [Read more...] about Trust the machine?
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SINGAPORE - The leading media in Asia have agreed to collaborate to promote World News Day, in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of professional newsrooms and quality journalism for proper governance and society in the region. Fifteen editors from across Asia agreed on Tuesday (May 7) to produce content to mark the day, which falls on May 2. It was started in 2018 by the Canadian Journalism Foundation to celebrate the work of journalists and raise awareness of the value of fair, independent journalism. The plan to lend their support was one of the initiatives proposed by the media honchos who gathered in Singapore for the inaugural meeting of the World Editors Forum (WEF) Asia Chapter. During the discussion at the revamped newsroom of The Straits Times, the editors also brainstormed on how to improve capacities across newsrooms in Asia. They agreed to share best practices on newsroom transformation. These include sharing experiences and learning points from the … [Read more...] about Major Asian media to work together to promote World News Day
When I recently wrote a column titled “ History of China’s Invasions,” I was pleasantly surprised at the number of reactions I received from readers. I did not think that a column on history was going to elicit much response considering that the average readers do not seem interested in fields like history and geography. But my column tracing 2,000 years of Chinese history and the many countries – Korea, Vietnam, Burma, Tibet, Japan – that it invaded and occupied apparently sparked a lot of interest. This led me to ponder on the reasons why the field of humanities, especially history, seemed to have lost ground in recent decades. There was a time when a university education meant studies in the humanities and the classics. But that has now changed. There is the drumbeat of STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The biggest culprit is the widespread belief that “soft skills” such as philosophy and history – do … [Read more...] about Education for the future
By Christine Sismondo Special to the Star Thu., May 2, 2019 Since the vast majority of bogus videos and stories are shared through social media, it’s easy to imagine that hoaxes and fake news are a new, modern, problem — an unintended consequence of digital age communications technology. But a new exhibit at University of Toronto’s Massey College featuring an assortment of fake artifacts from three millennia, shows that forgeries and hoaxes aren’t new at all. The exhibit, Make Believe: The Secret Library of M. Prudhomme, A Rare Collection of Fakes, has also been digitized at prudhommelibrary.ca, and its home page illuminates the back-story of this collection of phoney goods — recently “discovered,” found in an attic in Saskatchewan once owned by the Prud’homme family, who apparently liked to collect fakes. The collection includes a counterfeit bronze vase thought to be from China’s Zhou dynasty (circa 1045-771 … [Read more...] about U of T exhibit explores why we love hoaxes
By Kathy English Public Editor Thu., May 2, 2019 Why does journalism matter? I asked. You answered. In anticipation of today’s World News Day, a time to recognize and celebrate the power of journalism to make a difference in people’s lives, I asked for your perspectives on why journalism matters to you. The responses, as always when I reach out to Star readers for your views were (for the most part) thoughtful and constructive, showing tremendous insight into the value of the public service mission of journalism and deep appreciation both for journalism’s purpose in our democracy and for the work of journalists who aspire to journalism’s highest ideals. Thank you to all who participated. Here is some of why you believe #NewsMatters: Good journalism speaks truth in the face of lies, without fear or prejudice. When the public is confused by those with powerful self-interest, then the duty of the journalist is to lay bare the facts as (s)he … [Read more...] about ‘Great journalism holds the mirror to our souls’