RootTruth seeks to build a news distribution network that is open, transparent, and democratic. The goal is justice, liberty, and better lives for all. The way is a communications system that encourages the sharing and discovery of collective truth.

The Root of RootTruth

In addition to discussion about an open, democratic, transparent communications system that encourages the sharing and discovery of collective truth, will serve as a showcase for the Related Content module for Drupal and a companion to that part of the IdeaLab blog.

Please create an account and help define news or recommend a news source. Maybe we can build a little collective wisdom and get closer to the root of truth in news.

Swine flu and the more important health and safety story – sexual violence – by the numbers

Great application of the news-is-what-matters "how many people does this effect and how much" analysis to the media's top health story for 2009.

In watching the rapid mobilization against this virus I know that the public health infrastructure works when our government, our media, and our medical leaders are motivated to mobilize it. H1N1 is not getting any attention it shouldn’t – it’s getting the attention all public health crises should.

A Related Epidemic: Swine Flu brings New Lows in Context to Chatter Ratio

Crossposted from PBS IdeaLab:

One pig, if only in the news topic logo*, usually gets a cameo in television coverage of swine flu. The lonely pig is out of context, though- separated from the three-quarters of a million caged, crammed, and fattened pigs slaughtered annually at the massively polluting pig factory in the town with the first human case of the virus.

Relevant Content

This module provides blocks [that] give the user a list of nodes which it considers most relevant based on the current page [...] by finding other nodes which are of the same type and have the most similar terms associated.

Hasn't been updated in a while, but if the author is still interested it would be an excellent one to integrate with Related Content, as it looks like he is thorough and thoughtful. Unless someone requests, though, there are no plans at this time.

Each news room is re-inventing the wheel in its own way... collaborate?

Mandric commenting at

Each news room is re-inventing the wheel in it's own way because they're competing with each other. There needs to be a way the newsrooms could collaborate so they build a system to accommodate the base needs, then they would be doing something smart. Or they should all throw a bit of their money toward google and just start building stuff. instead they all run around trying to do the same...

This morning

This morning, newspapers are leading with the story that at least 50,000 preventable deaths worldwide occurred yesterday– and more than 50,000 more will occur today. (These deaths are the equivalent of one hundred full jumbo jets crashing with one hundred percent fatalities every day.)

Preventable deaths worldwide

preventable deaths worldwide

In all the world, there are over 50 million preventable deaths each year. (unsourced?)

50000000 / 365
= 136986.30136986301

In rich territories, deaths from most of these conditions are much lower except for infections in the elderly. For this reason they can be considered easily preventable conditions.

These conditions caused 32% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 2968 deaths per million people.

2968 / 1000000 * 6000000000

Politics, economics, and how misery is caused for elite private benefit

To understand international political economy, understand Haiti:

"Hope for wireless cities fade," but it's not like it could be the fault of the massive telecom lobby


This takes the prize for lies of omission today.

"Hopes for Wireless Cities Fade as Internet Providers Pull Out"

And I think I've respected Ian Urbina's other articles. Maybe the facts were hacked out of this one farther up the hierarchy.

No mention, in a story that focused on Philadelphia's problems, that incumbent providers (such as Verizon) can block any such bill everywhere else in Pennsylvania.

What drives news decisions (what are they thinking)?

[Cross-posted from IdeaLab.]

Senator Barack Obama mischaracterized statements of Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

To be charitable, there's only so many media narratives any one person or even campaign can try to change at one time. That's my question for today: how are these media narratives formed in the first place, and why?

Easier question: Did you see the videos below? The seven and ten minute versions, not the seven and ten second versions?


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