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“Viva La Revolucion!”- Social Media; The New Yellow Journalism? May 3, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Risk & Risk Management.
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In the late 19th Century, a phenomenon known as ‘yellow journalism’ took hold as newspapers battled for marketshare.  More specifically, it was the battle between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst which fostered the coining of the phrase.  At a high level, Yellow Journalism is defined as: “…a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.[1] Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.”  In fact, Yellow journalism was blamed for the start of the Spanish American War.  In response, responsible journalists founded organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists (founded 1909) and developed codes of ethics and responsible reporting.  Today, responsible, professional journalists adhere to a code of ethics or canons which dictate that they will report the truth accurately.  As stated in the SPJ: “Seek Truth and Report It”.   While some bend the rules, most reporters are accurate and professional.

With the rise of “bloggers”(this author included) and other social media ‘experts’ could it be that we are seeing the rise of a new wave of ‘Yellow Journalism’?  (more…)

Geopolitical Context of Piracy; Dr. Heather Mark April 18, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security.
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Since I am traveling to Hamburg this week for a piracy event (pirates like “ARGHH MATEY!” type)…not software pirates….to provide my readers with some piracy info, I am publishing the whitepaper:  “The Geopolitical Context of Piracy” by the illustrious Dr. Heather Mark.  This paper has an interesting history.  At one point the paper was ‘borrowed’ by a person who proceeded to publish the paper as four articles which he attributed authorship to himself.  Plagiarism is alive in 2012 😉  Fortunately, the organization who published the articles recognized something was amiss and contacted Heather.  Please read the paper….good info…No doubt the person who “borrowed” the paper will try to once again pass it off as his own as the event…

London Conference on Somalia – “Talk, Talk, Talk” February 24, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Uncategorized.
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On February 23, 2012 the London Conference on Somalia was held.  The conference brought together representatives from 40 different nations including US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.  The impetus for the conference was not solely piracy rather the idea that Somalia, as a failed state, may become the Worlds’ largest safe haven for Islamic extremists. As stated: “For two decades politicians in the West have too often dismissed the problems in Somalia as simply too difficult and too remote to deal with,” British Prime Minister David Cameron told the summit. “Engagement has been sporadic and half-hearted. That fatalism has failed Somalia. And it has failed the international community too.”  While the nations came together to talk about the future of Somalia, it seemed to have a familiar ring harkening back to 1991-1994.  “In many ways, I think I was more confident before the summit,” said researcher, and Somali specialist Anyimadu at Chatham House. “All this emphasis on security and talk of airstrikes — there’s a real risk we will simply repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Published Articles: – “Geopolitical Context of Piracy” February 24, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security, Uncategorized.
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UPDATE:  The company that published the articles contacted Heather and has agreed to pull the articles off their website.  This is good news and shows that the copany is interested in ensuring their readers get original work from the original author.   In an interesting twist, the company representative stated that, when asked, the party who submitted the articles stated “unequivocally” that it was their work.  Considering that the company pulled the articles, Heather has a PhD and background in defense, and political economy, and has published over 100 articles, scores of whitepapers, research briefs and other material as well as possessing the original whitepaper from which it was taken, I think the readers are savvy enough to know the actual author of the work.  It certainly seems unlikely that a person who has never published a single article or other document would embark on something as complex as: “the Geopolitical Context of Piracy” for their first foray into writing.

Two years ago my wife, Dr. Heather Mark wrote a whitepaper on the Geopolitical Context of Piracy that has since been broken into its component sections and published verbatim as 4 different articles without any form of attribution to her.  She was contacted by the organization that published the articles today to ask about her work and attribution.  To assuage any concerns that it is indeed her sole work and not anybody else’s work here is a copy of the whitepaper. “Understanding Modern Piracy; Geopolitical and Regulatory Considerations”….the first section is titled: “Geopolitical Considerations”, the next section is titled: “Current Anti-Piracy Efforts”.  Heather is a brilliant person and a tremendous righter writer (thanks to Heather’ brother Bill for pointing this out;).  There are times that I certainly would like to “borrow” her work and claim it as my own.  I would certainly appear smarter and more informed than I actually am.  As professional writers (yup, we actually get paid to write;) it is disturbing when someone uses your work without attribution.

Kudos to the company for maintaining the integrity of its service and evaluating the content and writers.

Egypt States Position on Armed Guards and Weapons February 22, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security, weapons and tactics.
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UK P&I Club released a bulletin that outlines Egypt’s position on armed guards and weapons within Egypt and its waters.  Below are the salient points of the letter received from the Egyptian Government:

“1) The Egyptian Government forbids the presence of any Weapons / Armed Guards on
board of commercial vessels as per the rules and regulations of the International Maritime Organization. (more…)

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