Saturday, October 29, 2005

I need to get better at this...

My vision for this blog... for my own purposes as well as for yours... is to articulate my thoughts based on my experiences and the shared ideas and experiences of others. To bring that vision into reality, I need to be able to cite my sources... to dig a little into their sources... to distinguish fact from probability and hearsay.

For instance, when people talk about the Republican base or the Democrat base, I have read that they are talking about something like 15% of the population who might be described as very conservative or to the right for Republicans or 15% of the population who might be described as very liberal or to the left for Democrats. I need to remember where I read that because, if it's true, that's an enormous opportunity for change! Excluding another 5% of the population too extreme to be represented by either the right or left, that's 65% of the population who've seldom if ever had anyone representing them in Washington... or in Sacramento.

At some level I believe we know this, but we don't believe we can do anything about it. When Arnold was running against Tom McClintock for Governor I'd ask people what they were thinking when they supported Arnold, and they'd tell me that it was because McClintock couldn't win! Because?

Okay, Perot and Nader are both nuts. Senator McCain has made maybe one too many deals. Senator Jeffords? I know next to nothing about him. Is there a John Anderson out there? Is there a John Anderson in your district?

If we're ever to get back to being able to choose from among the best qualified candidates for anything we can't wait for the Republicans or the Democrats to move away from what works for them.

I need to do a much better job of keeping track of where I hear or read stuff.


Anonymous Winston said...

Good to have you back after a couple of weeks of silence!

Agreed, we all need to know, track, and cite our sources better. Most of us are NOT journalists, nor do we aspire to that status. However, if we are to be taken seriously, we do have a responsibility to truth, fairness, and integrity. To do otherwise is to diminish the power of what we write.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Tamar said...

Yes indeed. Yes indeed. Cite our sources and be aware of *their* biases too. Yes indeed!

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Ronni Bennett said...

I AM a former journalist and I have a lifetime of habits on sourcing that I've adapted to blogging.

I keep dozens of categories and subcategories in my bookmarks where I store links to websites, news stories, research pages around the internet that give me almost instant access to facts when I need them in the future.

I keep a blog journal where I handwrite notes to myself about what I may want to write about in the future and scribble notes about facts I'll need to track down.

I print out a lot of pages and tear up magazines and newspapers I then store in files on topics I know will be ongoing.

I use sticky notes on pages of books with a word or two about what the notes reference.

When I email or telephone someone for information, I store the notes - with dates, source name and email address or phone number in the appropriate folders - on my computer on in a file drawer.

Yeah, yeah, I know - I'm accustomed to doing this for decades, but it's not hard to develop these habits as you're surfing the web and doing other reading.

2:58 PM  

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