Thursday, May 24, 2007 Hawaii court considers whether Web site reporter is a journalist


"A lawyer trying to get an Internet writer to testify and turn over notes for a court case says Web bloggers shouldn't have the same rights as mainstream reporters." Interviews, Going the Way of the Linotype?

From Howard Kurtz:

"The humble interview, the linchpin of journalism for centuries, is under assault... in the digital age, some executives and commentators are saying they will respond only by e-mail, which allows them to post the entire exchange if they feel they have been misrepresented, truncated or otherwise disrespected. And some go further, saying, You want to know what I think? Read my blog."

The Chronicle of Higher Education: MIT Scores a $5-Million Grant for a Digital News Project

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:

"The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today the first winners of an unusual contest to foster blogs and other digital efforts that seek to bring together residents of a city or town in ways that local newspapers historically have done."

Friday, May 18, 2007

BBC News: Global net censorship 'growing'

From BBC News:

"The level of state-led censorship of the net is growing around the world, a study of so-called internet filtering by the Open Net Initiative suggests. The study of thousands of websites across 120 Internet Service Providers found 25 of 41 countries surveyed showed evidence of content filtering."


"In five years we have gone from a couple of states doing state-mandated net filtering to 25," said John Palfrey, at Harvard Law School."

Wall Street Journal: Why China Relaxed Blogger Crackdown

From the Wall Street Journal:

"The Chinese government, which spent months mulling over ways to crack down on bloggers, is retreating from its campaign, a development that illustrates the difficulty China faces as it tries to control technology."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

WebProNews: NBC Denies YouTube Debate Requests

From WebProNews:

"The alliance calling for open licensing of debate footage, which includes conservative blogger/columnist Michelle Malkin and the Huffington Post, have been putting pressure on both the Democratic National Committee (who will sanction 6 debates) and the Republican National Committee to join them."

Comment: Any time you have Michelle Malkin and the Huffington Post on the same side of an issue, it's worth taking notice. I agree with Markos Moulitsas, who was quoted in the article as saying, "The trappngs of our democracy, which includes the debates, belong to the people, not to powerful media interests." So do the airwaves, last time I checked. NBC should give in on this one ASAP.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BuzzMachine: Smartest media quote of the year

From Jeff Jarvis:

“'We can’t expect consumers to come to us. It’s arrogant for any media company to assume that.' Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, said that in today’s Wall Street Journal explaining CBS’ smarter-than-most strategy for a distributed media economy. This is the way all media executives should be thinking: Go to the people, don’t make the people come to you. That’s expensive for you and inconvenient for them and it’s just not going to happen — or, it’s no way to build a media business model anymore."

Comment: Jarvis is right, but unfortunately many old media people still think like this.

Editor & Publisher: Pasadena Local News Site Postpones Coverage by Reporters in India

From Editor & Publisher:

"A local news Web site's editor who hired two reporters in India to cover suburban Pasadena said he's been so overwhelmed by handling reaction to his plan that he had to postpone publication of their first stories."

Comment: The outsourcing of journalism begins. If you're a journalist and want to know what this is like, talk to a computer programmer.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

BBC: Row over Scientology video

From the BBC:

"Scientology has fought many battles to keep its secrets off the web, now they are using it to attack my investigation into them. Scientology has prepared an attack video, and they have shown the Scientology v [BBC reporter John] Sweeney shouting match to anyone who would watch it."

Link to short preview of Sweeney's documentary, Scientology & Me

Link to Sweeney freaking out at a scientologist

Sunday, May 06, 2007 Assignment Zero First Take: Wiki Innovators Rethink Openness


"The first piece of citizen journalism created by Assignment Zero, a 'pro-am' collaboration between Wired and, explores crowdsourcing. The project still has a month to go, but here's a preview."

BBC: Social lending gains net interest

From the BBC:

"Microfinance... is not new, but the web's ability to allow anyone to become a banker to the world's poor certainly is."

CNN: No restrictions on presidential debate footage

From CNN:

"The presidential debates are an integral part of our system of government, in which the American people have the opportunity to make informed choices about who will serve them. Therefore, CNN debate coverage will be made available without restrictions at the conclusion of each live debate."

Comment: Cool move. I'd like some more detail on what they mean by "without restrictions," but if I take it literally, it means there might be some interesting mashups coming out of this.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

techPresident: The Battle to Control Obama's Myspace

From Micah Sifry on techPresident:

"By the time of Obama's official campaign announcement in late January, Anthony's Obama profile--which had the valuable url of had more than 30,000 friends, well more than the other contenders. Over the following weeks, it continued to grow at a rapid pace, generating lots of headlines about Obama winning the "MySpace primary." Yesterday, the profile had just over 160,000 friends. Today, that url has only about 12,000. And it's under new ownership. Joe Anthony, one of the super volunteers of the Connected Age, has lost control of the page he started to the professionals on Obama's staff."

NewsLab: You Witness News

From NewsLab:

"In the past few months, CNN, MSNBC and Reuters have launched online ventures encouraging users to share their stories, photos and video, which the companies say could be used on television as well as the Web. CNN's "I-Report," MSNBC's "FirstPerson" and Reuters' partnership with Yahoo! on "You Witness News" differ somewhat, but they have one thing in common: They don't pay contributors a dime."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Slashdot: Attempts To Suppress HD-DVD Revolt

From Slashdot:

"An astonishing number of stories related to HD-DVD encryption keys have gone missing in action from, in many cases along with the account of the diggers who submitted them. Diggers are in open revolt against the moderators and are retaliating in clever and inventive ways. At one point, the entire front page comprised only stories that in one way or another were related to the hex number."

Comment: This story is pretty technical, but the main point is that sites built around community can't $#*&!@ with their community members -- the community will always win.

Washington Post: China's Muckrakers for Hire Deliver Exposes With Impact

From the Washington Post:

"What happened... in Qinglong was typical of a new kind of journalism that is emerging in response to the Chinese Communist Party's suffocating censorship of newspapers, radio and television. With no more investment than a computer and a taste for taking risks, several dozen Web-based investigative journalists have set up sites and started advertising their willingness -- for a price -- to look into scandals that traditional reporters cannot touch."

Comment: One of the reporters in the story runs a website that translates as 'China's Famous Reporter Online Investigations.' I love translation almost as much as I love the web -- it's so useful, yet so imprecise.

First Amendment Center: Google nudges state governments to open public-records databases

From the First Amendment Center:

"By providing free consulting and some software, Google Inc. is helping state governments make reams of public records that are now unavailable or hard to find online easily accessible to Web surfers."

Newspaper Association of America: Online Newspaper Audience Sets Records in First Quarter

From the Newspaper Association of America:

"More than 59 million people (37.6 percent of all active Internet users) visited newspaper Web sites on average during the first quarter of 2007, a record number that represents a 5.3 percent increase over the same period a year ago, according to custom analysis provided by Nielsen//NetRatings for the Newspaper Association of America. In addition, newspaper Web site visitors generated nearly three billion page views per month throughout the quarter, compared to just under 2.7 billion during the same period last year. The first quarter figures are the highest for any quarter since NAA began tracking these numbers in 2004."