Comments on: Harper High School, and finding solutions to complex problems Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003 Thu, 31 May 2018 07:56:57 +0000 hourly 1 By: Sevesteen Tue, 19 Mar 2013 13:49:10 +0000 I don’t know if it was “Giant Pool of Money”, but I’ve listened to a very good TAL on the financial crisis. However, the conclusion that I came to was very different–I remember a series of “this regulation was enacted, so this loophole was used”, where the biggest and least ethical firms were able to take advantage of the very regulations intended to control them.

What I’m hearing from this post is in part “Chicago has a violence problem, so to help reduce violence, places without a violence problem need to be more like Chicago”. Prohibition of alcohol was disastrous, a mistake we are still paying for. Prohibition of drugs is similarly bad–I would suggest that drug prohibition is a very major factor in Chicago’s culture of violence, and that legalized drugs would at least limit the majority of the problem to voluntary participants.
But gun laws affect the law abiding far more than they affect the lawless. There can be logical argument about the weight of defensive vs criminal use of guns, but making legal ownership more difficult will by its nature affect the positive, defensive use far faster than it will affect criminal misuse. I don’t believe it is possible within the limits of the second amendment to reduce legal gun ownership enough to significantly reduce illegal misuse–and ignoring or weakening the constitution is a bigger danger overall than isolated gun violence.

By: Geoffrey Gevalt Mon, 18 Mar 2013 17:05:02 +0000 Ethan,
Thanks for this post. I, too, was moved by this piece and have listened to it twice. I might disagree with you a bit on whether donating money is thin or thick because I think the principal of Harper makes a case that MONEY will help THEM continue pro-active action within the school. So from my perch in Vermont, it is the thickest engagement I can make short of a)sharing the story with friends and youth, b)driving out to Chicago and volunteering.
As a former journalist of some 33 years, I would paint a grimmer view on whether this time of journalism is or can be prevalent. Sadly, I don’t think it can. In the last 15 years, the number of journalists working in America has declined by half; many more newspapers (and other media outlets) have been absorbed into corporate ownership; corporate owners are proportionally more concerned about profits and stock price and really have booted the opportunity to use social media and the Web in general to leverage their franchise of news and community expertise. So major ‘investigative’ pieces — translation: stories that take months rather than hours to produce — are far more rare.
At DML2013 had a fascinating discussion with some of the Detroit First folks about a)applying pressure on existing media and b)helping youth figure out what new media will take the place of traditional news sources which, whatever one says, had a room filled with professional journalists passionate about their craft who were paid money to do so. I think it is the youth that must decide the next iteration of the American newspaper. And it will be very different.
Which I guess speaks to my c) in thick engagement: Can folks like me — decent, experienced journalists — be mobilized to help youth tell their stories with journalistic power and effectiveness?
I would like to. And perhaps that is one idea that came out of the DML2013 conference for me and some others out in Detroit, Chicago, Nevada and Pittsburgh… If only there were more hours in the day.
Thanks for your speech, your work and this post.
Geoffrey Gevalt