about :: jose nestor marquez

Category: journalism

How North Koreans (and Cubans) read the state-sponsored newspaper

From the excellent blog Ask a Korean!, a very familiar account of how readers adjust to propaganda in order to eke out the truth: Take, for example, the war in Iraq. When the war broke out, North Korean newspapers would report: “Iraqi army is bravely battling against America’s imperial army, downing two fighter jets and […]

About a year of tweets, archived here for posterity.

I began this current journal, XSML, with the intent of reducing my own notes to extra small, XML-friendly updates. Increasingly, I have been drawn by the allure of the 140 character limit of Twitter. I may get a round Tuit and synchronize my use of Twitter with this blog. For now, here’s a dump of […]

re: Egypt. Enough with the prattle about new media. It’s the economy, stupid. (And satellite TV.)

Here’s a headline you don’t want to miss, from January 18, 2007: MIDDLE EAST: Population growth poses huge challenge for Middle East and North Africa – – International Herald Tribune. More from the Arab Planning Institute: Currently, an estimated 2 million Egyptians are out of work. The overall unemployment measures, high as they are, do […]

The separation of powers and personalities.

Yesterday I spent some time thinking about the differences between grifters and leaders and how the public stage beckons and rewards them both. So much so that, from a certain distance, and if viewing only a single scene, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two kinds of players. Today, Josh Marshall eloquently disabuses […]

On friendly politicians and presidential character.

My parents just sent me a story in the Washington Post by Anne Kornblut that focuses on the personal slights and favors that underpin so much of our politics. In other words, grade A standard political journalism. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I recently celebrated just such a report by Ryan Lizza in […]

If you know any Italians, please forward this anecdote to them.

An anecdote that must be shared: Their favorite activity, however, seems to be holding joint press conferences. At one of their most memorable appearances together, in Moscow, in 2008, a Russian journalist named Natalia Melikova asked Putin about his apparent marital trouble and rumored romance with the young and indecently plastic gymnast-cum-parliamentarian Alina Kabaeva. When […]

A nail-biter, page-turner, on the edge of your seats drama… about cap and trade.

Ryan Lizza’s recent account of the birth and death of the most promising U.S. response to global warming is by far one of the best written thrillers I have read in some time. And it’s all true. It should be taught in every high school history class in the nation, alongside Julius Caesar or whatever it […]

Right wing frustration over Colbert’s testimony to Congress is the best news I’ve heard this week.

Our society and economy would be much, much better off if debaters, especially on television, were able to call each others’ bluff with the simple use of the word “ignorant.” “You’re ignorant and here’s why.” That is, “You do not know what you are talking about. Here’s why. Now, prove me wrong, right here, right […]

News as meat: raw vs. aged prime, ground vs. choice cuts.

Or, to fight commoditization, provide analysis. I pay to read The New Yorker because its reporters provide a service that is rare in the information marketplace: they not only quote people accurately, they also tell me whether or not that quote is factual. It’s an added service that requires the writers at The New Yorker […]

Falsehoods being traded as facts, “irrespective of their validity.”

The problem with so much journalism: Mr. Loeb’s views, irrespective of their validity, point to a bigger problem for the economy: If business leaders have a such a distrust of government, they won’t invest in the country. And perception is becoming reality. It is precisely because these views are not questioned that they pose a […]

Countering the real threat of fake news.

Short version: To counter the real threat of fake stories – e.g., “Right-Wingers Stand By Their Fabricated Mexican Drug Cartel Raid Story” – it’s not enough to expose a lie by replacing it with a rational proof. We must also require that the leaders who benefit from such lies renounce them publicly. Long version: We’re not so […]

For it before he was against it, finance journalism edition.

Ouch. Matthew Yglesias points out that Michael Lewis, now making mint by ridiculing banksters, only recently ridiculed their critics.

IT circa 1880: the newspaper.

News journalists and software developers are two branches of the same tree: information technology.

Is the web making journalism more effective and thus more pleasurable? Maybe.

Context transforms content. It’s not that people like reading at a computer, though many have more opportunities to do so in the modern workplace. It’s that writing and reading under new conditions transforms that writing. In the case of the web, which is driven as much by pleasure as by technology (as is everything), the […]

Journalists: your job is to speak truth to power. That’s it.

America would be a stronger, more democratic and far wealthier nation if our journalists asked questions as directly as the team of Frank Dohmen and Klaus-Peter Kerbusk do in this interview for Spiegel: SPIEGEL: Is the crisis over for you? Kleisterlee: No, it isn’t. But we are getting it under better and better control, as […]

On unsubscribing to BoingBoing, thanks to Google Reader, curiosity and time.

There was a time, before I always read MetaFilter and Andy Baio’s waxy.org/links, before I checked Jon Gruber’s Daring Fireball and Bruce Schneier’s blog daily, before I ran through every update on art sites ranging from Designboom to VVork, that I was often delighted by the posts in BoingBoing, one of the first successful instances […]

Blind spots.

The AP quotes one of the pilots of the NWA flight that overshot its destination by 150 miles: “We were not asleep; we were not having an argument; we were not having a fight.” Has anyone asked them if they were making out? Update: sadly, it was a Dilbert moment. (Or Tufte.)

Opportunists and demagogues both trade in real events and real emotions.

They wouldn’t be called opportunists if they weren’t exploiting a real opportunity. Rick Perlstein via TPM: So the birthers, the anti-tax tea-partiers, the town hall hecklers — these are “either” the genuine grass roots or evil conspirators staging scenes for YouTube? The quiver on the lips of the man pushing the wheelchair, the crazed risk […]


I should know better than to respond to a post on BoingBoing. When it veers into politics, it’s too often fluffernutter. But this post, by a guest blogger, was hard to swallow: [This 1968 Rolling Stones story denouncing the Yippies' tactics], in the middle of the Vietnam War, one year before Woodstock would prove just […]

dry humor

Chris Beam: No doubt the new political appointees can handle the job. Roos, as CEO of a global, technology-focused law firm, understands trade issues likely to arise in Japan. Rivkin has international experience as a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. And Obama’s appointee to Great Britain, Louis Susman, speaks fluent English. via […]