Four media stories of interest for Monday, March 11, 2013:
Margaret Sullivan, the public editor for The New York Times, looks at the "danger" of suppressing leaks
of classified information. She wonders what the world would be like without an understanding of Abu Ghraib, black sites, or the drone program. She explores the concerns that leaks can undermine security, but notes that the trend line is toward chilling journalistic investigation. She concludes the Times needs to be more robust as a media leader in this realm.
Jack Shafer, the veteran media columnist writing now for Reuters,
examines the rise of "native advertising" or "sponsored content" and is skeptical of its effectiveness. He says "publishers are advertisers have polluted their own tradition by erasing the traditional line" between editorial and advertising content. One result of this blur, he asserts, is that readers will blame controversial stories on advertisers and controversial ads on journalists.
Jeff Jarvis, in his latest Buzzmachine post,
notes the collapse of the Daily Voice hyperlocal enterprise and identifies some of the common causes of strife in the sector and what might address them. More than anything, Jarvis says, the ventures are trying to do too much, too soon, on scales that are not sustainable. While hyperlocal efforts will eventually take hold, he believes financiers need to place their efforts away from tools and grants and into consciously sustainable models --- even if they're small.
The Mr. Magazine vlog interviews
Keith Kelly, the media reporter for the New York Post, on the biggest problem in media. His one-minute video concludes that advertisers don't know how to use digital properly yet.
the academic/journalist/blogger/adviser, wrote in The Guardian this week
that the article is no longer the centrepiece of news. It's something else. The digital age provides a freer space, devoid of the box-like article artifice.Jarvis believes that collaboration with the public now is an essential attribute of the journalist. The journalist can become curator, collaborator, organizer in the community.Articles are either valued luxuries or bi-products of the processes of the digital era, he argues.
It's not that he believes the article should be killed; far from it, he's advocating the article as an expansive, analytical element of the larger media production.
There are several other perspectives, but journalist/author/scholar Jeff Jarvis has typically offered an ahead-of-its-time approach to the direction of journalism.
In his latest post for Buzzmachine, he has set down some new rules of the game.
They veer from the new rules for business models, for newspapers, for digital media, and for the opportunities that now and will exist. Clearly he has concluded that existing models are broken and cannot be mended; all that remains is how media contend with change, not how they preserve tradition.
He is trying to create a "canonical link" in his wide-ranging work that involves helping organizations determine their best paths. There are several implications for the relationship between media and the public in his ideas, so I am carrying a link to it here.
It risks suggesting fandom to repeat most everything of what Jeff Jarvis creates on Buzzmachine
, but his blog remains a leading-edge resource on thought leadership in the digital sphere.
His latest argument involves the case
and when information gathered by others can be legally redistributed --- the definition of "hot news" in U.S. terms.
Clearly much is at stake for sites that now build upon information gathered elsewhere, with several news organizations attempting to protect their reporting from repurpose. The case is particularly important in an age of technological capacity to scrape and redistribute content without human editing.
The case also tests an old concept in a new era and especially challenges the notion of how much value information has and for how long. Understandably, the largest companies have the most to lose in the legal tussle, as do those who have gathered content and seen it simply redistributed.
In Jarvis' view, the process and structure of news has changed to the point where such protection is no longer relevant. All news is hot news and freedom of speech requires the ability to rework it instantly without reprisal.
He sides with such companies as Google and Yahoo in the case in arguing that protection of such information is irrelevant and futile --- in other words, news cannot be defined by or bottled into a particular span of time. The question in the court, as Howard Weaver points out in a comment to this site, is what if anything should be done about consistent, systematic redistribution.
In deciphering the noise about Facebook's latest measures on privacy and sharing, Buzzmachine's Jeff Jarvis admits
he's been a little baffled. Why have so many people suddenly gotten hostile to the social network?
Jarvis thinks it may have to do with Facebook confusing sharing with publishing. In other words, Facebook is assuming that what you put on your page is effectively there for the world, when he thinks it ought to simply be there for the public you've chosen (that is, your Friends and perhaps their Friends).
Facebook wants to be the creator and enabler of identities, but cannot because users do not want it to be so, he asserts.
It has been intriguing the last few days to decipher what Facebook has done with the introduction of its Social Graph, the evolution from Facebook Connects and a fairly onerous ringfence around our identities online.
Jeff Jarvis, in his latest post on his Buzzmachine blog
, thinks the approach is too control-minded. Facebook has put itself first, he believes, instead of putting users first and then trying to get a dividend from their practices.
Jarvis concedes we need organization, verification and connection, the tenets of what Facebook is advancing, but he would prefer that his identity --- the one he's generated through Buzzmachine, his own URLs, his other networks --- be at the heart of his activity.
He agrees with others that it would be better for Facebook to permit you to connect to competitors instead of channel social networking through its service. Jarvis is uncomfortable with what Facebook wrought.
The concept of using technology to refer to another creation --- on the Internet, through linking to another page --- is part of a significant skirmish between the world's largest press baron and a Web aggregator in the United Kingdom.
While it may be definitive, this battle between News Corp. and NewsNow may portend the battleground: Is it a right to link out, or does one need approval?
Blogger, author, academic and journalist Jeff Jarvis has been a longtime proponent of what he calls the link economy. He sees it as essential to journalism's success --- you scratch my back, I scratch yours, in essence --- and believes the business model of the future will owe much to using this link economy.
But Rupert Murdoch's team has another idea. It won't let NewsNow link to its content, feeling that the aggregator's repurposing of it denies News Corp. of revenue it should have to itself.
In his latest column for rhe Guardian,
Jarvis is rather pointed: "I fear that what is really in danger here is the doctrine of openness on which journalism and an informed society depend."
He asserts that if a link is public for one, it should be public for all.
What do you think?
He remains a believer in the ability of legacy media to transform, but it's possible to detect impatience in the writing of author, academic, journalist and adviser Jeff Jarvis.His latest post
prescribes a blizzard of initiatives. He says it's not too late, but that legacy media are at one minute to midnight. He suggests, among other things:
1. Stay in print, split functions of companies, outsource everything possible.
2. Invest in local networks of independent sites, add value with curation and sales.
3. Create a pure ad network.
4. Create a high-end product and charge a lot for it.
5. Create niche services and publications.
It's a typically insightful post with many more suggestions. Recommended reading.
It has been a busy few days in the life of the world's prime search engine and advertising vehicle, Google Inc., and the threads of change have been pulled together nicely by Jeff Jarvis in his latest post.
Mainly what Jarvis is pointing to is Google's evolution into a company that wants its search technology broadened and applied into the mobile environment. It is strengthening its search results.
But he's also demonstrating that the company is getting even more personal in its gathering and disseminating of information, perhaps to the edge of the envelope.
Among the areas of activity in recent days: the imminent acquisition of Yelp, the distribution of tags to businesses for augmented reality search, the seeping of news about the Google Phone and its capabilities, and the deeper understanding of the Google411 service and how the firm wants to move into the voice-activated search field big-time.
It's an enlightening post, typical for Buzzmachine.
Last week Jeff Jarvis argued that the future of journalism was entrepreneurial, not institutional.
But his post focused more on creation and lacked an explanation of his theory of distribution.
Now he has filled in that gap
with a post on how the future involves ecosystems. No longer a system of control, of acquisition, or of mergers, Jarvis' vision is one of platforms, entrepreneurial enterprises, and networks.
While it's true now that companies have networks, Jarvis envisions a world of collaboration and not zero-sum-game wrestling for parts of the pie.
He thinks news "would come more and more from ecosystems made up of scores of companies operating under different means, motives, and models, each dependent on the others to optimize their success."