craigconnects: Connecting the World for the Common Good

Craig's Blog

How about news we can trust?

Here's the deal, folks – recently, the Poynter Institute held a conference regarding the restoration of journalistic ethics. They're a real big deal in professional journalism, so I helped 'em, modestly, some funding, significant social media stuff.

Me, I just want news I can trust.

Sure, I'm not in the news industry, and have no idea how to fix the problem. However, maybe we can get a good start regarding what might be the worst of ethical abuses.

Right now, "objectivity" in news means that sometimes, to pretend objectivity, a news org will bring on two sides of a story. They'll be fully aware that one participant will lie to the public. (I'm not talking about gray areas; there're lots of black-and-white clear situations.)

Similarly, news orgs will present a speaker who will lie to the public, and the interviewer will say something about "leaving it there" instead of challenging the speaker. This is what Jon Stewart calls the "CNN leaves it there" problem.

Such efforts are clearly deceptive, but not (yet) called out in the Society of Professional Journalists ethics code as bad behavior.

One step toward trustworthy news would be to declare that kind of thing unethical.

Next step would be for people in the public, people who don't want to be lied to any more, to bring light to such situations.

Might this help? Hard to say, it's sure no fix, but maybe a good start?

$3M + Raised at Stand Up For Heroes Benefit

Folks, I hear this guy Springsteen is big…

(credit Lee Woodruff)

This photo's from The Bob Woodruff Foundation’s Sixth Annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit last week, on Thursday 11/8. If you missed the show, you can watch the live stream here.

There were some real great folks there, and we raised some money for a good cause. My match of $25k was met during the event, and another donor matched $25k on Friday.

A total of over $3 million was raised.  The Woodruff Foundation folks are still totaling the final amount because of the storm, re: not being able to get mail – but the goal amount has already been exceeded.

This is really good stuff and real important to help out wounded warriors and their families.. They've really stood up for us, now it’s time we stood up for them.

A nerd's gotta do what a nerd's gotta do.

Comments Off

Will you Stand Up for Heroes this Thursday?

Hey there, folks - Here's the deal, The Bob Woodruff Foundation’s Sixth Annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit's less than a week away.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation does real good work to support injured service members, vets, and their families. They have over 70 community partnerships nationwide, and are dedicated to ensuring that this population of people are thriving. I've pledged to match any donations raised during the live stream until midnight EST, up to $25K.

The folks at the Woodruff Foundation are targeting the real needs of transitioning vets and focus on important things, such as identifying barriers to employment and suicide prevention, among other needs that wounded warriors have. I'm not speaking from experience, but from a place of thanks – the wounds of these injuries may not always be visible, their impact is felt long after a service member returns home.

The event, Stand Up for Heroes, honors and supports those heroic folks who were injured while serving our country.

This year, the event features musical performances by some people you may have heard of: John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters, and more. And for the first time, it'll be live streamed so you can Stand Up for Heroes from wherever you are. Just tune in at 8pm on Thursday, November 8th to enjoy the show.

Also, in honor of their inaugural live stream, the Bob Woodruff Foundation's giving away 2 free tickets to next year’s show — an event that’s sure to be as inspirational as this year’s. For your chance to win, RSVP to the live stream today:

Our country's caring for more injured service members than at almost any other time in history. The numbers are staggering:

  • 1 in every 50 service members who served in Afghanistan or Iraq has sustained a physical combat injury.
  • 1 in 5 suffer from post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and/or depression.

For many, it’s going to take a lifetime of assistance to heal their wounds. Folks, they've really stood up for us, now it’s time we stood up for them.

The folks at the Bob Woodruff Foundation and I hope the live stream will allow more people to tune into the show, and that it'll help raise awareness for the cause.

Stand Up for Heroes by RSVP’ing to Thursday's live stream today, and make sure to help out by donating if you're able to.

More later…

Poll Problems or Questions? OVL has the Answers

Here's the deal, folks -

Real big news, Our Vote Live (OVL) just launched this morning. I supported the good folks at Election Protection, Lawyers' Committee, NOI, and Ushahidi who developed and launched this site.

It will map out all reported voting/election questions and incidences around the country. You can report problems on the website: or by using Twitter: #OVLreport, or calling into Election Protection's hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA.

The new site allows voters to report problems at the polls, receive assistance from trained volunteers more quickly and easily, and allow for better tracking and reporting on the nature and location of these incidents. Features include:

  • Easier reporting. New systems allow voters to report problems and submit questions and concerns around the voting experience using smart phones, online, and Twitter (#OVLReport), in addition to the existing telephone hotline.
  • Faster, more accurate response. Trained volunteers have instant access to necessary data, including polling place information and local election rules and regulations – streamlining the processing and resolution of complaints, and expanding the capacity of volunteers to respond to reported issues.
  • Greater transparency and more accurate reporting. As reports are filed, the data will be collected and grouped into categories, and then visually shown on an online interactive map and timeline to provide a real-time interface showing the types and regularity of election-related problems.

So please, folks, share this effort and help folks have easier access to voting. And I believe that it's truly our civic duty to vote, so do so for our country!

Comments Off

Craigconnects to Match $25K in Donations on Crowdrise to Support Hurricane Sandy Relief

Ok folks, Hurricane Sandy is real serious. It’s causing a lot of damage across the East Coast including my hometown Morristown, New Jersey from downed power lines to major flooding. The news is reporting that this storm could be one of the top ten costliest storms in history.

A lot of good folks out there need our help. So I’m doing my small part by matching $25K to relief organizations like the American Red Cross, Feeding America, AmeriCares, IAVA, and National Wildlife Federation, who have their boots on the ground and will be helping people (and the little furry ones) out. Check out my Crowdrise campaign.

And hey, if you can spare a few bucks to these relief organizations please do.

There are lots of good folks who are working on relief efforts, so feel free to start your own fundraiser on Crowdrise too. I will match up to $25K for all donations supporting relief efforts.

This is my small part to make a difference here. A nerd's gotta do, what a nerd's gotta do.

Comments Off