ARCHIVES

MARINES CANCEL BASETRACK

February 8th, 2011

Picture 12I wrote about Basetrack not too long ago; it’s a novel concept for journalism, a new way to report on the war in Afghanistan. Embedded journalists, supported by a stateside team, use a combination of social media and a website interface to report on a battalion of Marines. The primary audience are the friends and family of the 1000 Marines, but if you’ve visited the site or are on their Facebook feed, you’ll see that it’s a repository for a lot of things relating to the war in Afghanistan. Considering today’s fractured audience, and the ability to pull content from various feeds (thus avoiding “traditional” media), I really do think it’s a novel way to report on a war. “We’ve been calling it a media experiment,” says Teru Kuwayama, the idea guy behind it.

Today word got around that the Marine Corps, over the weekend, decided to cancel the requisite embed making Basetrack what it is. From what I could glean, and many seem puzzled, the chief reasons are operational security (OPSEC) and available resources.

From the letter the Marine Corps sent Basetrack:

“Basetrack is also being asked to leave 1/8’s positions due to perceived Operational Security violations on portions of their website. These concerns are legitimate. Specifically the websites tie in to google maps to display friendly force locations…this Public Affairs office also deems an undue burden on the remaining personnel as the Executive Officer, the primary liaison to Basetrack, rotates back to CONUS.”

Find that letter here, at the Basetrack site.

I’ll let Teru Kuwayama explain the rest here on this downloadable mp3 fromPRI’s “The World,” broadcast today.

Also, read about it here, at the Neiman Journalism Lab.

However, maybe the two most important links are:
The Basetrack Website
The Basetrack Facebook page

And one other, on the use of the iPhone as a primary camera on the battlefield.

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 10

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Posted in afghanistan, journalism, photography, publishing, research, war, work of others Comments Off on MARINES CANCEL BASETRACK

TRANSPARENCY AND THE CONFLICT MINERALS IN OUR PHONES

July 31st, 2010

I’m typing on an Apple MacBook Pro while data backups are running in the background; gigabytes of images and video are flitting from Seagate to Lacie to Netgear hard drives. I have a Belkin router, a Comcast modem…I have all the accouterments of technology I need to capture content and publish in a digital world. What I don’t have is peace of mind.

I’ve spoken about and written about this before and, increasingly, so are many others. We are talking about conflict minerals, those metals essential to the electronics industry and our everyday conveniences. These metals also pay for ongoing war and sexual violence. As a consumer, I feel powerless to affect such a global issue. But, it is becoming easier to see how our role in the killing and what we can do to stop it. Like many things, it starts with transparency and accountability, through knowledge and conversation.

Jobs_EnoughProjectApple CEO Steve Jobs, as reported by Wired, recently responded to a customer about conflict minerals in Apple products. The customer wrote:

“Are you currently making any effort to source conflict-free minerals? In particular, I’m concerned that Apple is getting tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold from Eastern Congo through its suppliers.”

Read the rest of this entry »

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

TIM MATSUI CONTACT INFO

VIEW PROFILE
US mobile: 1.206.409.3069
skype: timmatsui
e: tim(at)timmatsui.com

PO Box 17941
Seattle, WA 98127 USA