A newsgroup is the Internet version of the computer bulletin board of the 1980’s. People leave messages, and other people respond to them.
The newsgroup alt.assassination.jfk is a moderated newsgroup. Stuff that is off-topic (messages headed Make Money Now!), nasty comments (flames in the lingo of the net), and messages posted to ten or twenty newsgroups (spams) are not allowed. What is allowed is discussion of the assassination, from any perspective.
The newsgroup charter has more details.
There is no requirement that people posting be serious researchers. High school students writing papers, people who just read one book and want to know whether it is accurate or not, and people who haven’t even done that and want advice on what books to read are all welcome.
There are serious researchers on the newsgroup, however, including assassination web page authors, people who have published articles and books on the assassination, and people who teach college courses in the assassination. And there are both a good number of people who believe that there was a conspiracy, and who believe that Oswald did it all by himself.
There are several ways of getting the group:
- Read the group from your default news server. This should be quick and convenient. However, some users, especially in businesses and universities, won’t have a default news server.
- Read the group from the Newsguy news service. With just your web browser, you can read the newsgroup, and post messages. Joe Zip wants $60 per year for his Basic service which includes not only alt.assassination.jfk but all the newsgroup access you need unless you are downloading lots of very large binary files on other newsgroups. It’s a bargain, and if you go to the subscription page with plastic in hand you won’t be sorry.
- Read the newsgroup from Google. At Google you can read current posts, and also search an archive of old posts. And if you register you can post to the newsgroup. The service is free, and web-based, which means you don’t have to configure a newsreader application to use it.
- Read the group from a publicly accessible server. All of the following servers have good feeds although not all allow posting of messages. In order for the following links to work, you will need to have a newsreader configured to work with your browser. Most users will have Outlook or Outlook Express on their computers. Going to Help and asking for help on newsreaders or set default newsreader will provide instructions.
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