Here are some media stories of note for Monday, June 17, 2013:
David Carr's latest Media Equations column
for The New York Times discusses the changed nature of traditional, big media in the new landscape of players and platforms. Carr looks at (as the headline indicates) how big news forges its own path, no longer reliant on a large organization to drive large results. He notes many recent examples of how major stories made their way in unusual circumstances to public attention.
Paul Farhi, writing for the Washington Post
, examines the wealth of familial connections, and possible conflicts, involving journalists and the Obama administration. While media organizations are vehement in denying these connections affect their coverage, Farhi notes that many media critics believe the administration is treated lightly as a result.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has released a report
on the faltering effort to entrench press freedom in Burma. It notes an extensive array of legislation and practices by government to make more difficult to pursuit of a free press in the country and it calls for the repeal of several bills and policies so that an independent press might emerge.
Some media stories of note for Wednesday, May 22, 2013:
Jonathan Stray, writing for Nieman Journalism Lab,
examines the slow evolution of journalism from "just-the-facts" to "what it means" reportage. He cites academic research on content and concludes that prominent work today is more regularly contextual. He attributes this to the shift away from the pursuit of objectivity to one of analysis, backgrounding and connecting the dots.
Anthony de Rosa, posting on Soup
, decries the duplication in today's journalism. He doesn't cite particular outlets but notes that so many stories are simply matched by those who do not advance the material. He thinks it's time to relent and devote precious resources to original content. The medium no longer requires matching, he argues.
Dana Milbank, political columnist for the Washington Post, devotes attention to the
Obama Administration's surveillance and seizure of journalists' records and concludes this is a serious matter deserving of much wider attention because of its collision with constitutional rights of freedom of expression. Milbank says the administration needs to address the recent series of episodes involving organizations or else its "ominous" precedent is bound to be followed by later leaders without a real dedication to the First Amendment.
Some media stories of note for Friday, May 5, 2013:
Today is World Press Freedom Day, and the Editors Weblog notes
how the recent passage of the South African secrecy bill poses a new threat to expression by journalists of uncomfortable ideas. Critics express concern that journalists and whistleblowers will not be protected when they expose corruption.
Our perceptions of the strength and reach of particular social media might not be accurate. BuzzFeed has assembled
the official data to demonstrate what people are actually using. For instance, SnapChat is more popular than Instagram, Yahoo Mail is more popular than Twitter, and MySpace is about as popular as Spotify.
Mathew Ingram, writing for GigaOm,
takes on the idea that Twitter should have some sort of correction mechanism. The idea surfaces every time there is a large, complex event that spurs a fair amount of bad information. Ingram says correcting would ruin the vibe of Twitter, which is an iterative stream of real-time content. Much as he regrets making an errant Tweet, he thinks the wider crowd will eventually help fix the mistake.
Peter Verweij, writing for Memeburn,
tracks the development of data-driven journalism and its importance in modern story-telling. He notes the emergence of visualized data, programmable pages, maps and geographic information systems. While typical editors may lack the skills, there appears to be a need for developers in newsrooms to master the new opportunities.
Some media stories of note for Thursday, May 2, 2013:
Friday is World Press Freedom Day. In advance of it, the annual report from the Committee to Protect Journalists
has been released to demonstrate where it is most hazardous to practice the craft --- its Impunity Index. Nigeria, Somalia, Brazil and Pakistan feature rising levels of deadly, unpunished violence against journalists. The report suggests conditions are improving in Nepal and Russia. Poynter's Andrew Beaujon reports
that Iraq remains the most dangerous country and that half of the victimized journalists worldwide covered politics or corruption.
The Los Angeles Times, taking the lead from recent language style changes at The Associated Press
, has updated its guidelines for reporting on immigration. Its reader representative, Deirdre Edgar, writes that
the organization will no longer refer to individuals as illegal or undocumented immigrants, but will instead describe their circumstances.
A job posting isn't always notable, but this one arguably is. Twitter is looking to increase its connection with journalism
in seeking its first-ever Head of News and Journalism to cultivate and manage relationships with news organizations and expand the reach of the platform into the craft. The job posting is indicative of the ambition of Twitter to develop a greater presence in conventional news.
Media notes for Friday, April 26, 2013:
South Africa pushed through contentious legislation Thursday that restricts access to information and imposes fines and penalties including jail time for journalists who publish what the government considers secrets. The Guardian notes
there is widespread agreement that the bill's onerous measures have been reduced in the five-year debate since it was proposed, but critics believe there remains discretion for the government to curtail press freedom. Some see it as the first erosion of democracy since apartheid was eliminated in the country nearly two decades ago.
The English-language Egypt Independent closed abruptly Thursday. The New York TImes reports
that the site, one of the most aggressive in chronicling political change in the country, was experiencing financial difficulties that investors said could not be surmounted. But it also notes that its staff believes there was a political motive in the closure because of the site's criticism of the president and the Muslim Brotherhood. That observation is shared in a commentary on Tahrir Squared.
A new law in England and Wales makes it tougher to sue. The New York Times reports
that the bill passed Thursday does not switch the burden of proof from the defendant, but it offers some provisions to strengthen their position. They can, for instance, claim the information was published in good faith and that it was in the public interest. The bill also is aimed at reducing "libel tourism," in which people chose England as a litigation venue even when publicity of the information was minor there.
Media notes for Thursday, April 25, 2013:
Most national British newspapers have rejected a government royal charter plan to regulate the press and have proposed an alternative plan that avoids state-sponsored regulation they say would reduce press freedom. BBC reports
the move, supported so far by nine of 11 national titles, has thrown open the debate once more on how to regulate the press following the Leveson inquiry's efforts to identify a new process in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.
The New York TImes, which Bloomberg notes
missed analysts' revenue expectations in its first-quarter results, has revealed a new digital strategy. Forbes.com reports
the plan includes tiered pricing that would permit access to "important and interesting" stories only at a lower rate (a plan now termed NYT Junior, aimed at younger readers), an expansion of its live events, and even an initiative to introduce games.
Not so long ago it was considered beneficial to be included on Twitter lists because it spread your content and associated you with particular expertise. But Nina Diamond, writing for Poynter,
suggests journalists reexamine which Twitter lists they are on and consider removing themselves from ones that do not help their brands, make you uncomfortable or are inappropriate.
The Supreme Court of Canada this week ruled that the presence of a hyperlink on a website does not confer legal responsibility for its content. It means that sites can link without fear they will be liable. The ruling has been seen as a bit of a commonsensical acknowledgment of reality --- it would be quite difficult to enforce what happens in Canada and elsewhere as a cultural norm of the Internet --- but also as another effort to interpret the Canadian version of freedom of expression.The Globe and Mail today offers a feature on the ruling and its implications for journalistic standards.