Thursday, June 28, 2007 NCAA clarifies position on blogging

From the First Amendment Center:

"The NCAA eased its restrictions on blogging and said live updates from its events are permitted as long as they are limited to scores and time remaining."

Comment: They still don't get it. Sigh.

Sacramento Bee: Eureka! Letters praising Bush are like gold nuggets

From the Sacramento Bee:

"'We'd love to put pro-Bush letters in,' said [Bill Moore, the paper's letters editor]. 'If a letter like that comes in, it goes to the top of the list. I make a big deal about it."

Comment: Aren't they supposed to be 'objective'? If so, why should they care what the balance is between pro- and anti-Bush letters?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Philadelphia Inquirer: Journalism's future is in global dialogue

From Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down:

"...without any doubt, the future of daily journalism is digital, not because it is the latest thing, but because it is, quite simply, a far better medium than paper and ink."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

International Center for Media and the Public Agenda: Openness & Accountability: A Study of Transparency in Global Media Outlets

From the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA):

"According to this new ICMPA study most news outlets are unwilling to let the public see how their editorial process works. Fewer than half of the websites publicly corrected mistakes in their stories and only a handful shared with readers the journalistic and ethical standards that theoretically guide their newsrooms."

New York Times: Blogger’s Ejection May Mean Suit for N.C.A.A.

From the New York Times:

"The eviction of a newspaper reporter from a baseball press box for blogging about a game while it was in progress has stirred a debate about First Amendment rights, intellectual property rights and contract law. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which on Sunday ejected Brian Bennett of The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., during the Louisville-Oklahoma State game at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, contends it is merely enforcing long-established principles as they apply to a new technology."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Editor & Publisher: 'NYT' Hires Popular TV Blogger As Media Reporter

From Editor & Publisher:

"The New York Times has covered him in its news pages but now it has hired recent college graduate Brian Stelter of TvNewser fame as its newest reporter, according to a memo from business editor Larry Ingrassia posted on Romenesko at"

Monday, June 11, 2007

San Francisco Chronicle: Journalism isn't dying, it's reviving

From Dan Gillmor on

"Journalism's old guard is in a panic. With the latest bad news -- massive editorial staff reductions coming at the San Francisco Chronicle and believable rumors of similar cuts at an already shrunken San Jose Mercury News, among other things -- it's no wonder that people who care about the traditional journalism business are frightened.

"But if the issue is the future of journalism -- as opposed to corporate business models -- there's at least as much reason for optimism as paranoia. The same technologies that are disrupting the news industry are offering unprecedented opportunities for creating a more diverse, and ultimately more vibrant, journalistic ecosystem."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Publishing 2.0: New York Times Live Blogging And The Transformation Of Journalism

From Publishing 2.0:

"I just went to the New York Times homepage and saw that political reporter Katharine Seelye is “live-blogging” the democrat’s New Hampshire Debate. Newspapers and other mainstream media have had blogs for quite a while, but this strikes me as the moment when blogs officially went mainstream and when journalism crossed a tipping point of evolving into the digital age."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

American Journalism Review: Rolling the Dice

From the American Journalism Review:

"A few of the estimated 500 or so 'local-local' news sites claim to show a profit, but the overwhelming majority lose money, according to the first comprehensive survey of the field. The survey, conducted by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism (affiliated with the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, as is AJR), documents a journalism movement that is simultaneously thriving and highly tenuous. While independent sites such as (Connecticut), (Vermont) and (Maine) have sparked useful civic debates and prodded established media outlets to compete more vigorously, the field as a whole is so far financially marginal. As the report puts it, 'their business models remain deeply uncertain.'" Internet expanding scope, meaning of ‘free press’

From the First Amendment Center:

"There’s no specific definition of “press” in the 45 words of the First Amendment. So who might be bound by responsibilities that go along with the role of a free press? Are bloggers and other Web users part of a broadly defined “press” even though they certainly could not have been envisioned by the Colonial-era Founders who wrote the First Amendment? And what of those who aren’t defined by traditional measures of circulation and ratings, but who may well have global audiences?"


"...surely the First Amendment’s provision for a free press counsels practitioners and product to be more than a transcription service."

Comment: The article's author, Gene Policinski, who is the executive director of the First Amendment Center, is referring in the second part of the quote above to the Pasadena Now editor's plan to have journalists in India report on local council meetings. I think he needs to reread the First Amendment. The idea of 'counseling' journalists to do something specific is more akin to censorship, in my opinion, than to press freedom.

On another page from the First Amendment Center's website, I found this quote: "'If the First Amendment protects speech advocating violence, then it must also protect speech that does not advocate violence but still makes it more likely,' the 9th Circuit court said." How can we protect free speech that is (at best) distasteful, but not protect a free press if we don't like how the press is being used?

In fact, as far as I understand it, the First Amendment doesn't protect journalists, but a right to a free press. I can't see how we can dictate that journalists do any reporting, let alone the kind of reporting we consider good journalism. If we don't like it, we don't have to read it -- in fact, we now have a truly free (as in beer) press to which we can publish our own quality journalism. If Policinski doesn't like how Pasadena Now is covering council meetings, maybe he should head out to California and do it himself -- or hire another journalist to do it.

Friday, June 01, 2007 HOG WASHED!


"The Associated Press News Wire, followed by FOX News, reported that a 'monster pig' had been shot by an eleven-year-old boy in rural Alabama. A dramatic photo (see Figure 2) accompanied the story. It showed the young hunter, Jamison Stone, a hardy 5 feet 5 inches, leaning on the back of the stupendous and dead 1,051 pound, 9 foot 4 inch, feral pig. This striking photo, which ran on the front page of the Saturday May 26th, New York Post, created an international news stir. One problem. Evidence collected by Stinky Journalism indicates that the photos, which ran on televisions and newspapers throughout the world, are not the straightforward snapshots they seem--but fakes."

Editor & Publisher: Company Will Track and 'Fingerprint' AP Content on the Web

From editor & Publisher:

"The Associated Press is moving to protect its content by partnering with the technology company Attributor, which will track AP material across the Internet. The arrangement will allow Attributor to 'fingerprint' AP copy down to a level where it can be identified anywhere on the Web."