It's a Citizen's Duty to Stay Informed

RECEIVED Mon., Aug. 18, 2003

Nowadays there is a digital divide, so those without Internet access or those with no interest in the Internet and PCs, a small minority of Austin Chronicle readers certainly, will miss out on letters to the editor not published in the print edition. On the other hand, you may be able to create a true people's forum better than your former radio show. Immediate posting of letters online might increase your traffic and hopefully the exchange of ideas.
   Dan Perkins says: "You just have to get it [information] from a lot of different sources, and have some basic understanding of how the world works to decode the ways in which it is presented and come up with your own composite portrait of the world. This reader wonders what composite portrait of the world the overworked, underpaid, and unschooled can come up with. Scanning headlines keeps one up-to-date on whatever "Ameri-centric" line the Washington Post/New York Times-AP-CNN triangle is feeding the listening masses, e.g., Friday in Seoul was a holiday, and I turned on CNN at 7:30am and the NYC blackout story was running and on my way out the door at 11am the same story was running; as if Asia and the rest of the world dropped off the radar for an American story.
   It's a citizen's duty in a democracy to stay informed but we get what Congress allows us, e.g., the killing of a recent bill that allowed for complete disclosure for mutual funds and their fees; and the fourth estate permits, viz., the infotainment factor, e.g., whatever happened to Enron? Hopefully the new letter policy could put a fire under the electorate's ass, direct their attention, galvanize them into direct action. To vote and elect isn't enough. Constant monitoring might stop the enrichment of elites via the government.
Warren Weappa, Seoul
   Editor's Note: Lest there be any misunderstanding, we have always printed as many letters in the issue as we can fit and offered the rest online. The difference now is that we're posting them daily and not just once a week.
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