(CNSNews.com) - Freedom of speech is on the verge of expanding its boundaries and challenging the media's dominion over news, says the creator of a newly-released Internet forum called NewsBull.com.
Officially launched Wednesday, cyberspace media's latest addition claims to be "the news rating and comment clearinghouse," with features that allow visitors to post news articles and rate stories for balance and accuracy.
"It's news, or it's bull," stated NewsBull creator Chuck Pardee, who envisions the "bull rating" to soon be a routine reference for nationally syndicated talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh.
"It's just something that I think will allow people to express themselves a little more," Pardee said. "And that's what this is all about - being able to express yourself without having to be a big national paper."
The site includes forums for all types of discussion, covering the world, the nation, the state, and hundreds of cities with more on the way. A city forum would include everything from local headline news to special interest topics, Pardee said, such as religious news and obituaries. He hopes to expand to other nations in the future as well like Canada and England.
The words, "Is your news bully or bull?" proclaim themselves from atop a flashy red, white and blue homepage banner, which is accompanied by an animated American flag. Guests are invited to "rate or respond to any news story from your own bully pulpit."
Pardee says NewsBull.com offers "the best bang for our buck," in publicizing everyday opinions on topics ranging from international trade to hometown little league games.
"You can't talk about the news until you can find it," said Pardee, referring to the plethora of links to news organizations, political and public policy groups, and others for just about every locale and issue conceivable.
Pardee, an Ocala, Florida commercial real estate broker and political activist, said he first came up with the concept about five months ago and has been working on it ever since.
"You know, when you think about it, everybody wants to give their opinion," Pardee told CNSNews.com . "That's what made talk radio so good, and I want NewsBull to be just like talk radio - where it empowers the little person and allows them to voice their own opinion. And I think that's what it will accomplish."
Pardee's involvement in various political issues has earned him nicknames such as "rubbish in the middle of the road," "instigator" and "rabble-rouser," he said.
"I once thought about having a card made with all those little things on it that they had called me," joked Pardee.
His latest political fight involves his opposition to abortion and his endorsement of the "Choose Life" license plates.
"Too many people are apathetic about what they do," Pardee said. By offering "a cheap way to be an activist," NewsBull has the potential of attracting a lot of people who otherwise would not speak out, he added.
Although NewsBull.com is neutral - combining news and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum - Pardee says he expects it to attract more conservatives than liberals.
Conservatives are more concerned about news bias and more likely to voice their opinions, he says.
"I'm really into this media bias stuff," Pardee said. "I believe that it's happening in just about everything that comes out. So I want to be able to point out this stuff. That's why stories are rated bully or bull."
Pardee hopes his site will catch on just as the 2002 election season intensifies.
"What my real goal is, is to see this thing be very active and very strong before the elections," stated Pardee. "If I can affect one race with this thing, I'm happy."
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