During the last few months I’ve had many concerns about ethics in journalism. The political issues in Spain, which suffers of great political corruption and regional secession movements, have ended with most national newspapers aligning its news with certain ideologies. It’s not a secret that Spanish press has problems to fund itself and it is much more lucrative to play with interests than just telling the truth. One of my favourites examples is the front page of “La Razón”, one of the most important newspapers of the country, asking its readers to vote for a certain party on the previous day of an election (a day when promoting political parties is supposed to be forbidden).
This is just a glance of what I believe to be a major problem, which seems to have spread to the whole world. One defect of capitalism is that when there are limitations in funding, ethics go to the background.
In this context a few weeks ago, Elon Musk started complaining about some media criticising the latest model of Tesla’s cars, the Tesla Model 3. I’m a huge fan of Elon but he does not seem to be someone who assimilates criticism well, not only that but he also has no problem with going to Twitter and say what he thinks to his huge (22M at this moment) legion of followers.
If there’s someone who takes criticism worse than Elon Musk it’s journalists. They didn’t process Elon rants too well and the whining on both sides kept spiraling, including accusations of Elon being mysoginist and journalists being bought by some companies, and ending with Elon promising to build a platform that judges every media impartiality.
I find this last promise to be very interesting, considering how journalists have reacted in response. I see how starting a platform that pressures the media could end badly, since there’s nothing that guarantees such platform not to be equally partial, but I think it wouldn’t be necessarily worse than it already is. I think journalism is in need of some harder criticism, and although Elons idea won’t proabably end the problem, it could do good to provide an external point of view, or in the worst scenario shouldn’t be feared (such platform wouldn’t be exempt of criticism after all). Currently, journalists themselves seem no not understand the importace of what their job is supposed to provide. Truth and impartiality are much higher values than money and should be protected.
Sometimes more, sometimes less, I’ve been blogging since I was a kid. I’ve allways liked having a place where I could share the things I was interested in, and where I could express myself.
Nevertheless, as many others have experienced themselves, it can require some will power to keep posting with a reasonable frequency. Being young, a blog was almost the only space where I could express myself, but nowadays other social networks like Twitter are more than enough for almost anything I’d want to say.
Anyway I like the idea of having my own space, with my own domain name, where people can see who I am. I’m not sure whether I’ll be consistent with the blog but I’ll try to post something from time to time.
Also, as a personal challenge I decided to start writing in English. Yeah, that is like twice the effort it takes me to write something in Spanish or Catalan, but also a nice excuse to keep learning, and why not, show myself and others that I can handle it. I feel comfortable enough with English to be able to write quite complex posts, but I know that I will make some mistakes so I’m apologizing in advance. Feel free to scold me when I do, I’m trying to learn anyway :)
This time I decided to adopt Jekyll and GitHub Pages as the technology for the blog. This is not only really cheap (it’s free) but also reflects better than Wordpress the way I use technology. Jekyll generates an static website given some text and configuration files, and GitHub pages works as a nice and free hosting for static sites.
It’s kind of funny how static web pages have ended to be “next big thing” after so many years of complicating web technologies more and more. Less is more. Why would I want to fully generate my site every time someone accesses it? It’s amazing the huge amount of resources we are all spending right now into dynamically generating sites that are not really going to change in months, or even years. Static sites are blazing fast and more than enough for a simple blog like this. Not to mention that Wordpress and PHP have become huge dinosaurs (I’m sorry to say this, I see the work behind this tools, but it’s the truth).
That said, Jekyll can be right now a bit confusing to use for most people (I needed some time before having this site working), so I think that in the coming years this technology is going to evolve to some kind of CMS-ey generators that can allow to add content without struggling with codes, file formats, command lines, et cetera.
That’s why along with Jekyll I decided to try Forestry.io as a CMS for writing posts. It’s still pretty new and it’s easy to find stuff to polish here and there, but they are doing a nice work on it: it’s fully functional and one can see how there’s an interesting future in this kind of tools. For every change I do to the website, Forestry automatically pushes a new commit to the GitHub repository, and since GitHub Pages builds Jekyll repositories also automagically, this is enough for having it published if it’s correctly configured (which is not so trivial anyway, at least the first time you do it).