Saturday, September 17, 2005

So, I think that the news page is going well.

(Click me!)

At least it has had a good start. Better than I had hoped. I am still learning though. And there are a ton of new problems that have arisen that I had never thought of. A lot of it is simply technical things which I have no yet learned to do yet. Many of these have to do with working within Blogger’s framework, which while being very, very easy to work with, does have its limitations. So it is a learning curve, and I an on an uphill slope, but I am trying.

And also, I have gotten some really good lesson so far about how hard it is to produce a news journal. I have a new respect for the press after doing this, believe me. The job of acquiring new news is not an easy one and there are so many pitfalls along the way. Even simply trying to interview people and re-check facts can become time-eating ordeals and even deal breakers in certain circumstances.

As a for-instance, I printed a story about a local newspaper being shut out of circulation. I got this news originally from the Viasna site. But as the story is local I have been trying to get little more in depth. This I a logical step for me. But I have had the most difficult time tracking them down to talk about it. The people have simply been impossible to find. And this is not the only story I have been struggling with. I think that my school bike team has finally collapsed, but I can’t even get a hold of the head trainer. I think he has completely left town, but I can’t get anybody to give me a straight answer. And there is a real story here, even if it is also a personal one for me.

But aside from dealing with news sources, there is also the fact that the news itself is growing older every day! Before this moment, I had never been under any time constraints whatsoever when writing this blog of mine. If I started in on a story about life in the village or about something I was into I town, well, this was my business and really, it never occurred to me that it really mattered if I even finished the stories I was telling or not. And in certain cases, as with say, saying something about Yasha, well, I never actually finished them. But hey, it was just gabbing about life here and I was just filling space and keeping the thought alive; who cared if I did if I didn’t finish the stories? But when an event is news, when the story has some real connection with people’s lives, well this I a different question. I can’t speak about it again in a week or in a month because by then, it will all have been overshadowed by other new evens and whatever good I may have hoped to have done by making the story public with have been lost, buried under the weight of other things, other news.

There are other problems. I need to work on my access to certain sources. And this of course is difficult not only because I lack several essential credentials (like always) but also because Belarus conducts its business primarily in Russian or even Belarusian and pretty much all media from here is controlled by the state. As for the language problem, though I have some experience in these languages, I was not born with them nor did I study in school. So, all tricks of the translator program aside, working out what the hell these people are talking about tends to take up some time and energy. And as for the second problem, well… I guess that knowing what is going on is why I am here, so perhaps this is not so much a problem as my current rasons de être.

But all of this completely ignores the fact that I have to do this work only late at night when I can afford the internet time and this really sucks too.

But I am at it and I am thinking hard about my format and content and about how to offer what I am trying to offer in a reasonable satisfying manner. I have a philosophy here. There is an editorial policy, and I am also trying to work it out so that this is clearer. I am, trying to do something and I think therefore it should be done well.

So anyway, that’s about all I wanted to say. Other than this, I am going to be putting up some new chapters of the book within a day or so. I had been thinking of changing the posted chapters about once a week. But I have rethought the idea of simply running the book from beginning to end. There are reasons for this that have to do with the content of certain chapters which, I have been thinking have relevance in book form, but does need to be explicated in a free sample sort of format. So, rather than simply say what happens next, I thought I would rather jump ahead to Zaremba’s day in court. A really interesting day that. November 5th, 2002. Lies, intrigues, corruption… pretty much all of the principals are in there and more than a few shocking revelations from the insides of the Polish judicial system. The lying bastards...

And you know, even though all of this was now three and half years ago, I am not sure that it is old news. It can’t be because I have not yet had my day in court. I have not yet had my chance for comeuppance yet. And if you read the chapters, you will understand what it is about and about what they did. They need to be accountable. They need to be news. And just as with what I really going on in Lukashenko’s Belarus, people have a right to know the truth.
And that is why I am sitting here at… 2:i9 in the morning.

I have got a job to do.

The links for the News page and the page for the book are to the right.

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More soon…