The new law that criminalizes homosexuality is popular among Nigerians. But it shows a failure of our democracy, because the mark of a true democracy is not in the rule of its majority but in the protection of its minority – otherwise mob justice would be considered democratic. The law is also unconstitutional, ambiguous, and a strange priority in a country with so many real problems. Above all else, however, it is unjust. Even if this was not a country of abysmal electricity supply where university graduates are barely literate and people die of easily-treatable causes and Boko Haram commits casual mass murders, this law would still be unjust. We cannot be a just society unless we are able to accommodate benign difference, accept benign difference, live and let live. We may not understand homosexuality, we may find it personally abhorrent but our response cannot be to criminalize it.
But to plug the enormous gaps left by contracting newspapers, we need not only innovations in journalism and revenue models but also in financing models. Current pools of commercial startup capital have done a magnificent job spurring innovation in the creation of technology and news distribution platforms but they have not underwritten labor-intensive, local accountability journalism. There are few private sources of financing for journalism projects that “merely” break even in a single city but have a huge positive civic impact. One approach might be for the foundations and philanthropists who care about this to set up a double-bottom line investment fund for local media. It would be explicitly for startups, acquisitions, expansions or rollups for companies that will be both break-even and have positive impact on the community. It could help single-city projects, or help other “platform plays” expand at a logic-driven rather than froth-driven pace. Such a fund would (unlike much philanthropy) place a high emphasis on business strategy but (unlike private capital) would also demand merely financial viability, not 1,000 percent return. There are such funds focused on environmental sustainability; how about one focused on journalistic sustainability?
The approach is novel for newspapers,” says Cooper. “It physically removes reporters from the traditional newsroom and gives them new digital metrics, such as engagement time, to judge whether their stories have reached our core audience. We also plan to use real-time monitoring of the clicks we get from social media and other referral sites, including LinkedIn, Pinterest and Reddit.
Good for you folks
Merely being a mid-career woman programming is a demonstration of passion the privileged men around me will never have an opportunity to display. I can smell their fear, the possibility that their mediocrity is merely covered by privilege. When they protest that women aren’t interested, it is with the fear that their house of masculine cards might come toppling down. There is nothing manly about typing, about understanding systems, about communicating with humans and machines to create useful tools. Our work is not white-collar networking and control. It is not blue-collar physical strength. It is not pink-collar emotional labor. It is something new, beyond the gender binary. A huge amount of political work has gone into turning this profession masculine, but that distinction is precarious and some of us seek to actively undermine it. There is nothing masculine about what we do, and so the masculine performances that accompany it are beyond ridiculous. To need pictures of naked women to prove that we are all Straight Men here, we must know it isn’t true. Some of us are so anxious that if we can not use “he” in our job postings and documentation we might, what, forget that we are men?
Giant wow on this articulate and powerful essay It is easier now that I look like a guy | Geek Feminism Blog