Review 1496

Grrrrrr. I’ve just spent some time at Global News Watch, and goddamn it if it hasn’t got me riled up and ready to go kill me some terrorists.

Looking for “objective” news reporting? Emotionless assessments of current events? Well look somewhere else, ’cause you ain’t going to find them here. But what you will find is impassioned — but well reasoned — argument and opinion, complete with much link-and-commentary, on the news of the day, and in particular, the war against terror. But don’t believe me, here’s the author, Howard Owens, in his own words:

“Blogging appeals to me because I can put things in a real world context. Of course, it’s a totally subjective exercise, but I think the news is both more entertaining and more informative when it is given that kind of context. If the reader knows your context, your biases, right up front, he can judge your words accordingly.”

Owens spent time as a newspaperman, according to the bio on his site, and describes his political thinking as follows:

“My political odyssey over the last five years has carried me through Russell Kirk, George F. Will (whom I actually started reading in high school), Edmund Burke, more Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley, Bill Kristol and to myself — a thoroughly conservative, non-aligned voter. I belong to no political party and have no allegiance to any political agenda. I believe fiercely in the values of American conservatism, though I do not always agree with prevailing conservative opinion. It is from this perspective that I present my blog.”

On a recent day (6/12/02), GNW’s covered recent statements by al Qaeda and a dissection of liberal claims that believe terrorists do not “hate us because we are free”; the details of what occurred when Richard Reid was subdued by passengers in his shoe-bombing attempt; the arrest of Jose Padilla; a long essay on “liberals” and “convervatives”; Lou Dobbs statement declaring our war to be one “against Islamists”; and the meeting of several baseball players with President Bush.

Content-wise, clearly, there’s damned little to complain about at GNW, if you are looking for a frequently updated, war-focused news & commentary blog. Owens is a skilled writer, and presents his opinions forcefully, but also takes pains to recognize the validity of opposing thoughts. He is a conservative thinker and clear about it, which might be off-putting to those who disagree with his views, but is definitely not a ranting-caveman type – so I’d recommend hearing him out even if you don’t expect to agree with him. Update frequency is heavy: posts are made most days, it seems, and generally posting-days have many items as opposed to just one.

The layout is straightforward, but chock full o’ riches. Left and right navigation bars hold links to current news articles, Owens’ blogroll, and references to recommended books & music, with the main content in the center pane. The top nav bar, however, is where the real action is at: there, you can select from various regions of the world to filter the main pages content: allowing you select, for example, “Middle East” to see only those posts Owens has made regarding that region. This is an outstanding feature, and one that I’d love to see more weblogs implement – heck, I want it for mine.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for solid news-roundup blogs with insightful commentary, particularly those focusing on the war, GNW is a solid win. Highly recommended.
Global News Watch

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