Posted on March 5th, 2012 by La Casa de las Madres
In recent weeks, a number of highly publicized stories have captured attention and inspired conversation about domestic violence: the passing of Whitney Houston, a reported victim of domestic violence during her 15 year marriage to Bobby Brown; the both disturbing and encouraging responses to Chris Brown’s return to Grammy glory three years after assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of a Grammy performance; the charges currently pending against one of San Francisco’s top public safety officers, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, of domestic violence battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness.
The good about these stories—and others—is that they’ve gotten people talking about a topic often seen as a private matter. The bad is that these stories represent a true epidemic. They represent millions of people around the world whose experiences of domestic violence don’t make headlines, or don’t get acknowledged at all. No one acknowledges that an estimated three women die per day just in the United States— murdered by an intimate partner (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003).
Domestic violence isn’t an isolated issue that occasionally surfaces in the tabloids. It isn’t specific to people of certain races, classes, educational or professional backgrounds, personality traits, or any other characteristics. The issue—often hidden—touches our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, coworkers, neighbors… and not just the women in our lives. Domestic violence directly and indirectly harms our sons, brothers, fathers. It affects us all.
Those who choose to exert control over their partners—whether physical, emotional, financial, sexual—often blame their behavior on their partner. If their partner didn’t do x-y-z, they wouldn’t have to hurt her or him. They often threaten increased violence or retaliation if their partner leaves or tells anyone about the abuse. So it’s no wonder victims of domestic violence often feel ashamed, afraid, or unable to reach out for help or to report abuse.
But let’s focus on the good—the opportunity that this moment in time represents. We all have the opportunity to participate in creating a society where survivors feel safe coming forward and seeking help, where they hear loudly and clearly that abuse is never your fault. No one deserves to be hurt, so it’s time we stop asking what he or she did to provoke the abuse and instead say to survivors of domestic violence that we—as a community—have their backs.
How can we all be part of this necessary shift? First, we can keep talking about domestic violence. The shame and the hurt thrive when we allow domestic violence to be kept quiet, or when we avoid the topic because it’s uncomfortable, or because we think it’s none of our business. Within our families, friendships, spiritual and cultural organizations, and workplaces, we can show survivors that we’ve got their backs and help increase awareness by talking about what domestic violence is, how it affects people, and where people can seek help if they need it. The need for community dialogue and education is why organizations like La Casa de las Madres provide free workshops and educational sessions. This kind of dialogue also helps to prevent future violence, as people become better equipped to recognize it and seek help.
From dialogue to action, there is a place for each of us in the movement to end domestic violence. Local nonprofits serving survivors of domestic violence, like San Francisco’s La Casa de las Madres, need the community’s help and provide lots of opportunities for involvement. Perhaps it’s volunteering a few hours a week or month to answer calls for help from victims, or to care for children living in an emergency shelter. Or it could be participating in a group volunteering project with your family, workplace, or community group. Financial contributions are always needed help ensure the continued availability of life-saving services, and contributions of needed items—like toiletries and diapers—help meet the basic needs of families fleeing violence.
As a community, together we can create an environment where survivors feel supported and domestic violence is not tolerated.
La Casa de las Madres is a San Francisco-based nonprofit providing shelter and community-based support for victims and survivors of domestic violence of all ages—24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Posted on February 29th, 2012 by Craig Newmark
Folks, I stumbled across a great editorial this past weekend in a North Carolina newspaper, Sun Journal. The article connects the survey we just conducted with factchecking remarkably well:
First they report on survey finds, but then use them to rightfully brag on their own strict policies regarding the accuracy of their coverage.
We’re not popping any buttons over the survey results — a Gallup poll last fall reported 55 percent of Americans distrust the media generally — but we do take them as an endorsement of some standard practices at this newspaper, all of which are designed to ensure accuracy, even at the cost of not being first.
We do not report information that we cannot confirm through reliable sources — for instance, from a police department spokesman or an official document, if not from an eyewitness — and we attribute that information by name, not to an unnamed source, in virtually all cases. We do not usually report second-hand news — that is, news that originates with a media outlet not associated with the Sun Journal — and if we do, we identify the source, a practice not always followed by our cousins in the electronic media.
The zooming popularity of social media and its potential for newspapers as a distribution platform put pressure on those practices only if reporters and editors subordinate our primary goal of getting it right. That won’t happen here. We’re excited about possibilities offered by social media for getting and distributing the news and plan to use those tools fully to make our reporting more timely, more accessible and, yes, to beat the competition to the punch. But when speed conflicts with accuracy, we’re not afraid to apply the brakes.
I appreciate when people can use both social media and factchecking effectively. It's so important to verify your sources properly and it's a topic I continue to explore. Recently I spoke at the NextGen: Charity event to explore this topic further. Reliable factchecking will go a long way in restoring readers' trust in newspapers. With only 22% of respondents in our survey finding newspapers "very credible" I think improved factchecking is something newspapers and publishers should think about making a higher priority if they ever want to win back our wholehearted trust.
Posted on February 23rd, 2012 by Craig Newmark
Folks, as you may know, I've been doing a lot of work with good orgs who are doing factchecking work, and voter protection. As the nation gears up for the general election in November, and news outlets increasingly cover campaign stops and primary results, my craigconnects team asked the polling firm Lincoln Park Strategies to survey likely voters to find out the real deal about what they look for in a news outlet, the trustworthiness of news outlets, and their opinion about the effect of social media on news quality. Check out the infographic to see the survey results.
The survey interviewed 1,001 likely voters nationwide. Interviews were given by land-line and cell phone from January 10 – 12, 2012.
We discovered that likely voters are looking for news they can trust, but are torn about where they can find it. I'm not in the news business and I won't tell anybody how to do their job, but I am a news consumer and I'd like to know I can trust the news I'm getting.
We asked people about, and explored six media types in the survey:
• Cable news stations
• Network news
• Talk radio
• Internet new sites
• Blogs and social media
We broke the results down by sex, race, age, and party:
• The data set only focused on people who identified as White, Black, or Hispanic. The data we had for other demographics such as Asian and Native American were such a small sample size that all answers for these subgroups are not considered statistically significant.
• Age was broken up by 18-35, 36-44, 45-64, and 65+.
• Party was broken down by Democrat and Republican.
Some of our findings confirmed our earlier expectations:
• “Traditional” news outlets scored highest in terms of perceived credibility compared to newer and less traditional mediums.
• Democrats are more likely to give cable news and network news a higher rating.
• Republicans have more faith in Talk Radio then Democrats.
As for social media:
• Younger people give more credibility to social media vs. older adults, which confirms people’s initial thinking, BUT neither really giving high scores for social media usage to get their news.
• Non-traditional media such as Internet news sites, blogs and social media sites scored far down the list as being credible.
• College grads are slightly more cynical about social media then non-college grads.
• Democrats were a little more positive about social media, but not significantly.
• There were some differences in Hispanics vs. Whites and Blacks – Hispanic people tend to be less enamored with news sources, and are going to social media for it.
Most people aren't getting hard election news from social media. I think tech folks and early adopters are, but not most people, not yet.
And we discovered some cool new stuff:
• Cable news stations were the top source of news for 33 percent of respondents.
• Newspapers scored the highest in credibility with 22 percent.
• Less than one quarter of the population would describe any source of election news as very credible.
• Talk radio, often cited as influential on political news, scored only 13 percent as very credible.
• 13% of Republican women and 11% of Republican men think that newspapers are very credible, with twice that: 28% of both Democratic women and men think that newspapers are a very credible source for information about voting.
• Blacks give more trust to news sources and Whites fall in the middle.
Interest-based efforts hold great promise for helping ensure trustworthiness and boosting public confidence in news reporting. It's called factchecking, and there are a lot of good people working on it. They're looking at ways to help the news media hold candidates and other public figures accountable for what they tell the public. It's hard, and it's expensive, but it's really important.
Posted on February 22nd, 2012 by Craig Newmark
Greetings Friends and Colleagues,
On Saturday, February 25th St. Anthony’s is hosting a “Fond Farewell” event in our original dining room. Please join us as we celebrate the space that has served San Franciscans for over 61 years and 38 million meals. This will be your last chance to pay homage and reflect on a miracle that began on October 4th, 1950.
When: Saturday, Feb. 25th
11am – 2pm: Open House
12noon: Entertainment and Speakers
Where: St. Anthony’s Original Dining Room
45 Jones Street; San Francisco, CA 94102
What: A public farewell to this sacred space.
Write a note or paint a picture on the walls about what this space means to you.
Swing a hammer to help us demolish a wall in the Dining Room and take a small piece of St. Anthony’s with you.
Contribute a message to our Time Capsule, which will be opened on our 100th Anniversary.
Please feel free to share this invitation with others, post in your organizations, post to your community calendar, etc.
We hope you to see you there as we say good-bye to the old and get ready to usher in the new St. Anthony’s Dining Room in 2014! Please contact St. Anthony’s Events Manager, Kathryn Murphy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415)592-2768 with any questions.
See you on February 25th!
Posted on February 21st, 2012 by Craig Newmark
(Folks, I rarely quote press releases like this, but the folks at FlackCheck.org, sister site of FactCheck.org, might have something brilliant here. They do have a great record of independent, nonpartisan factchecking. I'll personally request your help with this, once it gets going.)
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2012
Contact: Kathleen Hall Jamieson. 215 898 9400 or email@example.com Jamieson is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FlackCheck.org Launches “Stand by Your Ad” to Fight Deception in Super PAC and Other Third Party Political Advertising
TV and radio stations are required to air political ads by candidates for such federal offices as the presidency even if their content is blatantly deceptive. Not so the messages of outside groups. Instead, broadcasters have the right to bar so called “third party”’ ads or insist on the accuracy of those they decide to air. Ohio stations did just that when a group called “Building a Better Ohio” offered Ohio TV stations a deceptive ad last October (To see the ad they rejected, go to
the FlackCheck.org website.).*
In the hope that local broadcasters around the country will follow the lead of these Ohio stations, APPC’s FlackCheck.org, the sister-site of the award-winning FactCheck.org, is calling on them to insist on the accuracy of ads by super PACs, the political parties and all of the other outside groups that arrive at their doorsteps with cash in hand. In service of this goal, the project urges those in local markets to applaud responsible station action and decry business- as -usual.
To assist station managers and viewers, FlackCheck.org’s “Media Watch” page is both flagging deceptive presidential ads in primary and caucus states and identifying the stations airing them. To make it easier for viewers to send words of encouragement or dismay to station managers, the FlackCheck.org “Stand By Your Ads” initiative provides them with the names of station managers, the e-mail addresses of stations and a sample letter that can be amended and
sent directly from the viewer’s account.
“We urge broadcasters to insist on the accuracy of the third party ads, not just for the presidency, but across the board,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. “We hope that stations will take the same care in screening out deceptions in the political ads of outside groups that they take in protecting their viewers from misleading product ads.”
To locate the FlackCheck.org “Stand By Your Ad” page click, http://www.flackcheck.org/stand-by-your-ad/ and then click on “Stations.”