News About Space, and Why it is Frequently Incomplete
Below is an uncensored list of all of the other news sites (of which we are aware) that pertain to space. Please be sure to notice which news sources have an "" beside them. "" signifies that the "website's editors and / or owners conspicuously and publicly state that all of their simultaneously owned cyberproperties have a longstanding policy of accepting no form of $upport from major aerospace contractors, and someone (anyone) has notified us accordingly." In other words, you'll not find potentially compromising advertising such as these banners on their cyberproperties:
Remember, follow the money!
William Safire has said that
journalists have the primary objective of "unearthing facts that policy makers
do not know, do not want to know, or do not want the public to know they
know." Unfortunately however, most if not all of the space journalism
websites linked below depend at least in part upon the NASA monopoly for
worthwhile interviews, and the opportunity to ask a question among
numerous competing interrogators at public events. They also seek
to be kept "in the loop" in an especially timely manner
either by the NASA Public Affairs Office, by major government contracts'
public affairs offices, or by any "gossiping" bureaucrats who predictably
have their own "pro-big government" agendas. Journalistic websites
and their corresponding writers also need for both NASA and its favorite
aerospace contractors not to block their employees´ internet access
to such purportedly scrutinizing websites.
Predictably, it still seems all too rare for journalists to get to publish particularly unfavorable facts about the NASA clique which could otherwise apparently help with improving upon the status quo. For example, the progress of legal reforms seems to get little more than mere token or symbolic coverage (if that much). There is also a relative lack of coverage about the facts justifying such potential reforms, such as the NASA clique´s widely perceived unfriendliness towards competing private space ventures, or the documented ability of prizes, tax incentives and property rights' recognition to attract far more capital than Congressional appropriators can give the NASA oligarchy at taxpayer expense. Perhaps more significantly, there seems to be relatively insufficient critical analysis of the potentially intriguing human elements responsible for shamelessly or at least unpatriotically maintaining the stagnating "inertia" that is plaguing the aerospace industry. Are such omissions by the press voluntary?
News websites regarding space need aerospace sponsor$, and have received support from the tax dollar-subsidized aerospace industry in most if not all of the cases linked below. Admittedly, the business model for Consumer Reports (which accepts no advertising, whatsoever) might not yet work for the aerospace niche, even if the industry is one of the USA´s leading exporters. Nevertheless, is the burden not on those who benefit from such $upport to try and persuade us all that it somehow does not influence their journalism in any way (even on a subconscious level, of which they are by definition unaware)? And are we really supposed to believe that such "journalists" would reject a possible job offer from the public affairs office of either NASA or one of its pet government contractors???
Compounding matters, any
websites which occasionally might publish potentially significant, unfavorable
comments regarding the NASA clique nevertheless simultaneously need NASA
bureaucrats. Such NASA clique insiders are not only a source of potential
gossip and leaks, they also provide cyber-traffic, direct booksales and (whenever
possible) banner impressions for such websites. It would seem that
webmasters and journalists annoy them at their own peril. Sadly
enough, though, such bureaucrats have their own agenda (i.e. remaining employed
regardless of whether their projects ought to be discontinued or at least
privatized in order to liberate scarce funds for more worthwhile NASA
When was the last time we saw a sufficiently probing article regarding why space-related prices remain so astronomically high? While we link to all known space news-related websites below and also recognize that the choice is yours, we recommend visiting (and thereby enriching) essentially just those websites which you deem to be sufficiently probing in nature (if you think there truly are any). Spread the word, too. Doing so can actually empower journalists who are denied sufficient journalistic latitude to finally get more from their bosses. It will also reward those entities where such latitude already exists more than it does at others. If we don't act then most actual and potential space enthusiasts will remain relatively "in the dark" about why prices continue being so prohibitively high regarding space, and at taxpayers´ and voters´ expense. Perhaps many of us honestly believe that a more entrepreneurially friendly space industry can increase such webmasters´ and journalists' profits, notoriety and hopefully even fun. If so, is it asking that much of ourselves to increasingly demonstrate this for them by selectively "voting" with our computer mice, periodically reevaluating our selections, recommending genuinely ground-breaking sites to our friends, and fervently supporting the truly risk-taking authors and publishers?
On a different note, a webmaster who contacted us specifically to attempt to assert having a (conspicuously stated?) policy of rejecting assi$tance from the aerospace contractor industry seems to deny our (documented) recollection of that person´s having previously sported paid banner ads featuring the controversially funded space station Alpha (for example) on that webmaster´s cyber-property. Were such media-related promotional banners regarding the ISS not displayed even as the only privatized space station (MIR, which was backed by various investors from the U.S.A. as well as a few other countries) was struggling to compete against the unfairly tax-supported and powerful U.S. federal government? Meanwhile, where was the coverage regarding how the State Department (allegedly lobbied by the NASA clique) blocked MIR´s tether export for a year (until after the decision to deorbit the station was officially made by Russia)? Was that unfair competition drama not essentially completely ignored by that very same purported news source until after MIR´s deorbiting into the Pacific Ocean?
There are other puzzling examples of omissions and we have absolutely no legal qualms with disclosing which webmaster was involved with such seemingly unpatriotic deeds that are at least inadvertently hostile to the overall health of the space industry. However, despite it all, we would nevertheless prefer to keep the identity private in order to give that webmaster time to hopefully regain focus and finally call significantly more attention to genuine reforms (as opposed to often trivial gossip that's more fitting for a soap opera). Why not raise awareness about the "illness" instead of merely the "symptoms" of the industry? Granted, if the industry becomes more healthy then there will obviously be less vitriolic gossip to publish and profit from. However, comparatively insignificant soap opera-like coverage of the space industry seems like a waste of that webmaster´s otherwise relatively impressive abilities to potentially help make a difference. Such petty coverage is also a time-wasting distraction for space industry employees who are living off of taxpayers´ earning$ presumably to help the commercial space sector jumpstart the global economy. This is the case even if such coverage used to be an effective bullying tool for use against the cowardly or unpatriotic, and in favor of actual or potential "moles" who could thereby subvert reforms more effectively during a previous presidential administration which endured far more press leaks than the current one does.
Meanwhile, though, isn't it odd how Europe´s press consistently depicted MIR to be anything but the orbiting trashcan that the USA´s press faithfully and peculiarly asserted that it was? Our (documented) recollection is that the abovementioned media outlet did not call much, if any, attention to that seemingly interesting difference of public perceptions, or what factors could be influencing the press (whether they be comparatively different standards from region to region, or at least indirect pressure from the NASA clique, or both). Curiously enough, significant publications by House Space Subcommittee Chairperson Dana Rohrabacher criticizing the much maligned $5 billion Space Launch Initiative program (SLIp) were also intentionally ignored by that same webmaster´s source of "news" in the fairly recent past. Is it merely coincidental that the lone remaining space station´s primary government contractor (which was featured on that webmaster's cyber-properties) also happens to gain hundreds of millions of dollars from the Space Launch Initiative that he "coincidentally" flagrantly failed to criticize?
So much for our country´s
freedom of the press, then? What if NASA´s
Our goal is not to maliciously malign but rather to facilitate the aerospace industry´s finally reaching its potential, for the good of all, with the help of a vigorous press like we would expect to have in a supposed democracy. Should we not be concerned about the future of our beloved space industry if someone from a news outlet in our uncensored list below asks to be delisted (as has shamelessly happened)? Should we coldly let them hide from scrutiny which could otherwise eventually enable them to regroup and better withstand others´ understandable criticisms? Or should we instead supportively and politely encourage them to take a long hard look in the mirror, figuratively speaking? Is it worthwhile to continue to patiently overlook potentially libelous statements that are once again unapologetically being made about us, this time regarding our long overdue and patriotic coverage of this sad state of affairs with the press? Which actions on our part are truly best for such people, and (more importantly, we think) for the overall industry?
Do you think that any of the news sites linked below deserve special recognition for making at least a little bit of a positive difference for the space industry? Are their intentions sincere (as opposed to mere chameleon-like ones predictably intended basically just to boost traffic or public image until the tides of public opinion once again change)?
Hopefully these published comments can help better empower patriotic journalists to subtly and politely rebuff those who would otherwise try to pressure them even more to de-emphasize important issues which a few entrenched interests in some areas of the space industry still might not want to have adequately examined. One such issue involves how the high cost of launching has not decreased much (at least not in the USA) for decades... Others involve the various moving obstacles to potential legal reforms that could otherwise inadvertently rock the boat for those presently benefiting from the (frankly stagnating) status quo. Such journalists merely need to e-mail this scrutinizing page´s U.R.L. to any clearly over-bearing sponsors, supervisors or sources who would otherwise more shamelessly try to suppress their press freedoms. Ideally no additional excuse would be necessary to justify such journalists´ subsequently doing what´s right.
"" signifies that the "website´s editors and / or owners conspicuously and publicly state that all of their simultaneously owned cyberproperties have a longstanding policy of accepting no form of $upport from major aerospace contractors, and someone (anyone) has notified us accordingly."
Meanwhile, the presence of banners or animated red
arrows here and elsewhere
MSNBC.com (space section)
Have we not uncovered
corruption involving NASA Ames and
SpaceScience.com (former sister site to NASA online)
Universe Today - Space news from around the Internet, updated every weekday.
Again, the presence of banners or
animated red arrows here and elsewhere within
"" signifies that
the "website´s editors and / or owners conspicuously and publicly
state that all of their simultaneously owned cyberproperties have a longstanding
policy of accepting no form of $upport from major aerospace contractors,
and someone (anyone) has notified us accordingly."