MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- Somehow I thought we were done with various government agencies secretly accessing reporters’ phone records, but apparently not. As we learned last week, the Justice Department covertly seized information about the phone calls of some 20 news organizations. The records, by the way, were not obtained from the media organizations themselves, but from various phone companies.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- There has been a lot of talk lately about cloning. You know, recreating extinct plants or animals.
But here’s an interesting bit of news about bringing something back from the dead: A team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has re-created the very first web page, designed in 1992 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. And unlike the first connections, which were pretty much limited to universities and government agencies, today anyone can go to the CERN web site and see what was going on a little more than 20 years ago.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- We all know television can bring us memorable visuals, and can provide an immediacy that is, quite frankly, impossible for newspapers and magazines. But that immediacy can lead to lack of details that can only be developed over time.
I’m not talking about errors that come from not having enough time to completely check sources and facts. I’m talking about how newspapers, and magazines, can provide documentation not available via video.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- This Friday is World Intellectual Property Day, an event that marks the 1970 founding of the World Intellectual Property Organization. This U-N agency has more than 170 nations as members, and was created to "promote the use and protection of works of the human spirit."
Around the world the organization has taken on added significance because of the growth in counterfeit goods, such as computer games, movies and clothes. It has been estimated that some 7 per cent of global economy is based on counterfeit products.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- I was walking down the hall the other day, and a young lady sitting in a chair, said, “Good morning, how are you today” as I walked by. So I said, “Pretty good. How are you,” but then I realized she wasn’t talking to me at all. She was talking to someone with her Bluetooth device.
Ooops. The same thing happened a few hours later, and in fact seems to be a pretty common occurrence.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) In 1954, Marian Anderson became the first black singer to be hired by the Metropolitan Opera. And in 1955, she became the first black singer to have a major role in a Met production.
But fifteen years earlier, and 74 years ago Tuesday, on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, Anderson sang a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, putting on display what Arturo Toscanini said was a voice that came along only once a century.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- What do most Americans know about foreign cultures, and what kinds of pictures of foreign countries do we get from the news? Well, there is something of a formula for the kinds of news we get about other places: floods, famine and fires; coups and catastrophes. Or, if there is good news, it's all about foods, festivals and famous people.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- How many of you complain about your spouse spending too much time using the microwave oven? Or, how many times have you said, “I think I’ll go in the kitchen and use the sink?”
Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? After all, these are simply tools we use to do something else.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- At an educational conference I’m attending, two strands keep coming up: students at all levels don't know how to read, compute, communicate or think, and the negative impact the media are having on those same students.
Well, at the risk of sounding old-fashioned or corny, I would like to propose that we use the media to provide a remedy for all of these educational deficiencies.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- In case you didn't know it, and apparently many people don't, this is Sunshine Week, and this Saturday is both Freedom of Information Day, and the birthday of James Madison, generally considered the father of the Constitution. But, there also seems to be a generalized fear that the media have grown too powerful and too aggressive. Yet, if we stop for a moment and take an historical look at American media, we'll see they have always been a powerful influence in American life.