Danny Schechter Blogging From Al Jazeera Forum

Awesome liveblogged posts from Danny Schechter this weekend, straight from Doha. Thanks for bringing us all to the AJ forum in a land far away. Today’s post features an excellent exchange involving Lawrence Lessig and Ethan Zuckerman on the future of media. Yesterday’s post starred Sy Hersh and others. Must reads.

The 3-day forum was titled “Media and the Middle East: Beyond the Headlines” and there’s more coverage at the Association for International Broadcasting.

Yahoo! Goes Underground

Choosing to launch on April Fool’s Day, Yahoo! is live with its eccentric, odd news portal, Yahoo! Underground.

Despite whispers that this may in fact be a hoax, this project was mentioned in an October interview (as set for January ’07) with Y! News exec Scott Moore for the PBS Frontline series “News War.”

According to the transcript, Moore says, “We have another project coming out in January that’s called Odd News Underground, and it involves a journalist who also writes songs. So it’s a singing reporter, if you will, and he will be covering a number of very interesting sort of eccentric subject areas.”

In the televised version — you can stream it here — at just over halfway through Chapter 20 of News War, we see a snippet of what would qualify for a great April Fool’s prank, were it not broadcast in February on PBS.

The clip matches up to the content in the Gay Rodeo post, which promises: “We’ll lasso you into a two-step in April.”

The idea is a good one — everybody loves Odd News and profiles of fringe culture, and Brad Miskell has the talent to attract a younger audience to dig the news but unfortunately, the UI is pretty outrageous as you can see below.

As far as making the news fun again, I’m more optimistic about the proposed Luke Burbank-hosted Morning Edition alternative planned for NPR or even (OK, now this is sort of a joke) ONN, the Onion‘s planned 24-hour “news” network.