October 26, 2007

Edwards' Campaign Tries to Silence Student Reporter

A local radio station has been discussing this YouTube video for the past few hours, detailing how a journalism grad student from UNC-Chapel Hill has been the target of presidential candidate John Edwards' Media folks. Student Carla Babb's assignment was to create a feature piece on a topic being discussed on campus, so she decided to present a "fair and balanced" piece in response to an article written by another student in the Daily Tar Heel campus newspaper. The DTH news article had stated that Edwards' campaign office, located in an "affluent" part of Chapel Hill, contradicted his "campaign platform of fighting poverty." Babb created a video piece for the "Carolina Week" newscast, interviewing both that student reporter and another student working as an intern for Edwards' campaign office. She then posted the video on YouTube as part of an MTV News contest. Soon thereafter, she received a call from campaign officials working for Edwards, demanding that she pull her story offline and "saying that the story was straight from the Republican Party." C.A. "Charlie" Tuggle, a professor at UNC and news director of the "Carolina Week" broadcast, received repeat calls from Edwards' campaign after Babb refused to remove her piece from the web. "I thought I wrote it as balanced as possible," Babb stated in a radio interview.

You can read the rest of the details in the AP story here and watch the video for yourself below.

What do you think? Was her story fair and balanced? Have Edwards' campaign officials turned a non-subject into a major exposition of how silly they can react to something that otherwise would have only been seen by a few thousand people?

October 4, 2007

Paperback Swap

If you like to read, or if you're more like me and just like to tell yourself that you like to read, then I've got a great website for you to check out! It's called PaperbackSwap.com. It's free to join and this is how it works: After you sign up and post a certain number of books to your "bookshelf" that you are willing to give away, you'll receive free credits toward other books in the system! The number of credits is actually changing TOMORROW (Friday, Oct. 5th), so if this even vaguely sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend signing up TONIGHT so that you beat the system change. As of today, once you post at least 9 books on your bookshelf, you'll get 3 free credits, but as of October 5th, you'll need to post at least 10 books to get 2 free credits. (See why it's worth signing up today?)

What do you do with the free credits once you have them? Anything you want!! There are more than 1.5 MILLION books currently listed into the system and chances are strong that you'll enjoy reading a few of them! If a particular book is not currently available though, or there's a long waiting list of people ahead of you wanting to read it, you can add it to your "Wish List" and the system will send you an email alert as soon as you've reached the top of the waiting list and it's available!

So how do you get the books? Well if you're receiving a book, you just log into the system when alerted and accept the book offer. However, if someone wants one of the books posted on YOUR bookshelf, then you follow a few simple steps to mail it to them. The system will walk you through how to print out their address and tells you the appropriate postage amount for Media Mail. Then if your book isn't too bulky, you can actually use your printer paper to wrap the book instead of a bubble mailer and just stick it in the mailbox! There are a few details you have to know before doing all of this, but it explains everything to you. Then once the other person gets your book and marks it "Received," you'll get an additional credit towards another book in the system!

Anyway, it's a great way to clean out books that you don't want anymore, recycle books you find at garage sales or library sales, or even trade out children's books. Oh and did I mention they have a referral program? You'll earn a free book credit for each person that signs up (and eventually posts their initial 10 books) using your referral name. Since I know you're wondering, mine is goldentwig. :-)

Join PaperbackSwap to trade your books for titles like these! http://goldentwig.paperbackswap.com