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Barb Ehrenreich tells journalism school grads "Welcome to a dying industry."

Just a reminder of why supporting Voices is so important for us all - investigative journalism is collapsing as a profession, the corporations that took over the older family-owned newspapers are going bankrupt, and jounalism has never been in greater peril in the history of our country.

A country that was built by and on the free press.

Read this commencement address given by Barbara Ehrenriech on May 16 to the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2009.,_j-school_grads/

The dean gave me some very strict instructions about what to say today. No whining and no crying at the podium. No wringing of hands or gnashing of teeth. Be upbeat, be optimistic, he said -- adding that it wouldn't hurt to throw in a few tips about how to apply for food stamps.

So let's get the worst out of the way right up front: You are going to be trying to carve out a career in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. You are furthermore going to be trying to do so within what appears to be a dying industry. You have abundant skills and talents -- it's just not clear that anyone wants to pay you for them.

Well, you are not alone.

How do you think it feels to be an autoworker right now? And I've spent time with plenty of laid-off paper-mill workers, construction workers and miners. They've got skills; they've got experience. They just don't have jobs.

So let me be the first to say this to you: Welcome to the American working class.


A handy tool from Google for getting public data and statistics


Instructions for this first release--

If you go to and type in [unemployment rate] or [population] followed by a U.S. state or county, you will see the most recent estimates:

Once you click the link, you'll go to an interactive chart that lets you add and remove data for different geographical areas.


See a VIDEO about this at the top URL --

The data we're including in this first launch represents just a small fraction of all the interesting public data available on the web. There are statistics for prices of cookies, CO2 emissions, asthma frequency, high school graduation rates, bakers' salaries, number of wildfires, and the list goes on. Reliable information about these kinds of things exists thanks to the hard work of data collectors gathering countless survey forms, and of careful statisticians estimating meaningful indicators that make hidden patterns of the world visible to the eye. All the data we've used in this first launch are produced and published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Division. They did the hard work! We just made the data a bit easier to find and use.
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Non-profit VOICES the model for future journalism - David Simon before Senate today

VOICES recently was granted it's formal 501c3 status as a nonprofit organization. This success for our little newspaper (which took many years of effort) is doubly interesting in that the journalism world is now abuzz with talk of nonprofit local journalism taking over the workload of news and information gathering, as one by one the biggest names in corporate news crash into bankruptcy.

Today, a number of newspaper journalists and news organization owners and representatives testified before the United States Senate about the difficulties that the "Fourth Estate" faces. One of the most interesting and anticipated speakers was David Simon.

In his speech before senate, he suggests that Wall Street culture of 'profit before all' is what killed the newspapers, and proposes that a local non-profit approach to journalism may be the only solution to the loss of our society's most important protections for democracy - accurate reporting about the government and community. Read more »

AWAKEN PSU - free environmental event Sun 1-5:30pm

Awakening the Dreamer Symposium Trailer from Pachamama Alliance on Vimeo.


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Penn State will host a free public event to raise awareness and inspire action on some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. The program, called Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream, will take place on Sunday, May 3, 2009, from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the lower level of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park at University Park.

Awakening the Dreamer is an initiative that encourages people to get together to "bring forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on this planet," according to organizers. To date, millions of people across the globe have participated in Awakening the Dreamer symposiums.

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