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NYTimes.com: N. Korea sentences American journalists to 12 years hard labour

Two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, have been sentenced to 12 years of hard labour in North Korea ‘in a case widely seen as a test of how far the isolated Communist state was willing to take its confrontation with the United States,’ the New York Times reports.

“Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee were on a reporting assignment from Current TV, a San Francisco-based media company co-founded by Al Gore, the former vice president, when they were detained by the soldiers.”

Full story at this link…

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Valleywag: Current TV axes 30 jobs, plans channel expansion

November 12th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick, Jobs

Al Gore’s Current TV is cutting 60 staff and creating 30 new roles, according to a memo published on Valleywag.

The job changes are part of plans to launch eight new cross-platform channels in early 2009.

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Tweeted debate: does it have any significance for democracy?

September 17th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

So, the first tweeted presidential debate. This week the AP reported that Current TV will let its audience have their say by publishing their live Twitter comments on screen; now the news is doing the rounds on the blogs.

During the debates, the station will broadcast Twitter messages (or tweets) from viewers as John McCain and Barack Obama go head to head.

It’s all certainly a lot further on than when the first ever debate went out on television: on September 1960 26, when 70 million US viewers watched senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts word-battle vice president Richard Nixon.

Current TV, which is extremely pro viewer interaction, was actually co-founded by Al Gore, though the channel says ‘Hack the Debate’, as it has become known, was not his idea.

An article over at the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) says, of the Nixon-Kennedy debate, “Perhaps as no other single event, the Great Debates forced us to ponder the role of television in democratic life.”

So, does Twittering and instantaneous (as much as it can be) viewer feedback have anything like the same significance? What’s the role of the internet here in democratic life?

Also, comments will be filtered to fit in with broadcast standards: does this change its impact at all?

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