Here are some media stories of note for Friday, June 14, 2013:The New York Times chronicles
the process that led several major digital firms to participate in the PRISM surveillance program under the National Security Agency that has stirred debate on the balance of privacy and spying in U.S. society. A secret court hearing and ruling determined how Yahoo participated. Other major firms are part of the program to share their data.
Jay Rosen, the NYU media scholar, writes on the differing approaches
to political journalism (some with a commitment and viewpoint, versus an approach with none evident). He uses the case of Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, who this past week has revealed several elements of the National Security Agency spying case via source Edward Snowden, as his example of one of two valid approaches to reporting. He calls these two approaches politics: none and politics: some. He feels both need to share the stage.
The New York TImes looks at the practices
of the Bloomberg News agency and reports a symbiotic relationship between the news pursuits and business pursuits of the company, in part through the use of its powerful data terminals to break news. The Times raises questions about the ethics of the tactics by reporters to generate market-moving content.
Media stories of note for Monday, March 25, 2013:
Matthew Ingram, writing for paidContent,
relates his discussions with media scholars Jay Rosen and Clay Shirky on the future of media. Their conclusion: there is a "barbell" issue in media, with either end of media, big and small, generally in good shape with strong reputations or relationships. But the middle remains quite uncertain. While Ingram doesn't suggest solutions, he concludes the challenges for medium-sized media are significant.
Matt Sokoloff, writing for the hyperlocal StreetFight blog,
suggests newspapers could evolve into "local membership" organizations, using their reach to connect people to a series of services, programs, discounts and offers. The opportunities would deliver strong revenue, too.
Lauren Hockenson, writing for 10000 Words
, discusses the relatively new phenomenon of hacking journalist accounts and provides a tip sheet on two-step verification to protect online identities. She argues it's a necessity, given some of the recent events.
Some media stories of note for Monday, February 18, 2013:
Frederic Filloux, in his weekly Monday Note,
writes about the need for a digital "new journalism" that sheds many traits of the legacy newsroom. He says traditional newspaper writing is aging badly and that new work needs to reflect four developments: readers' time budget, the trust factor with the brand, the speedier competition from within, and magazine writing elegance.
Jay Rosen, the New York University journalism scholar, talks about five shifts in media power
in his latest post on Pressthink: writers ascendant on publishers, shifting scarcity of content, the economics of human presence (in conferences run by organizations, for instance), the renewed importance of voice, and the rise of niche journalism.
Andrew Beaujon of Poynter examines the most recent column
from Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton, who surmises he may be the last one to hold that job at the news organization. With a newsroom in likely need of further cuts, his job is a "tempting target," Pexton concludes.
Media notes for Saturday-Sunday:
Jay Rosen, the journalism scholar at New York University, publishes on his Pressthink blog
a succinct yet wide-ranging argument about the climate in traditional journalism --- what it is right about (among other things, overload), what it is wrong about (among other things, business ignorance) --- that summarizes the challenges of the craft.
Jay Kirsch, the president of AOL's business, technology and entertainment group, weighs in on
the recent controversy involving CBS' involvement in its subsidiary CNET's decision to recognize a CBS rival and litigant with an award (the award was rescinded and CNET was restrained from writing about the rival Dish Network product). Kirsch writes at TechCrunch (one of AOL's holdings) such involvement in the so-called church and state relationship doesn't hurt the church --- it hurts the state.
David Gelernter, the Yale computer science professor widely credited for his foresight about the web, writes for Wired
on the emergence of information timeline streams and how they will create the end of the web, the reorienting of search, and the shift of computers to devices that "tune in" to the latest information.
David Carr, in his latest Media Equation column
for The New York Times, reports on how traditional media aren't faring badly, at least for the time being. Media companies have managed in 2012 to perform ahead of many other industries and cope with change. "Eventually we may be right — the sky will fall and the business will collapse — but for the time being, the sky over traditional media is blue and it’s raining green," he writes.
Jay Rosen, the New York University journalism professor, offers a view
on the emerging model of journalism that emphasizes truth-telling and eschews the notion of objectivity or the division between news and opinion. "The outlines of the new system are coming into view. Accuracy and verification, fairness and intellectual honesty–traditional virtues for sure–join up with transparency, 'show your work,' the re-voicing of individual journalists, fact-checking, calling BS when needed and avoiding false balance. Progress is slow, we’re not there yet, but this is the direction things are headed in," he writes.
Stuart Leavenworth, writing for the Sacramento Bee,
examines the plight of the newspaper editorial and the debate about its place in a media environment of emerging forms of engagement and a reduction in the one-to-many and top-down traditional media approach. He concludes, as an editor responsible for that function, there is a role for them as adcocates as part of a broadly-based newsroom effort to involve the audience ,
The AOL Jobs site
, citing a recent book, notes that media jobs rank third and journalism jobs sixth in attracting those with the characteristics of psychopaths.
Belatedly I'm posting the link to
an interesting thread revived last week by the NYU journalism scholar Jay Rosen on what he criticizes as the uncritical "he said, she said" characteristic of some reporting.
Rosen identified a National Public Radio story in which two conflicting views were granted about the same weight. In his view, one of those parties was lacking in credibility, but the journalist seemed to take the view that the audience could decide so.
As he sees it (and has written earlier
), this passivity is a problem in journalism. Standards should be high enough to not just give airspace to anyone, and Rosen views it as washing your hands of determining what's true.
In the end, he concludes, it's at the very least lame.
The New York University scholar, Jay Rosen, has made an enormous contribution to the understanding of journalism's direction, practice and relationship to the public. He is fast approaching 25 years of teaching and has distilled his views
into four simple points.
1. The more people who participate in the press the stronger it will be.
2. The profession of journalism went awry when it began to adopt the View from Nowhere.
3. The news system will improve when it is made more useful
4. Making facts public does not a public make; information alone will not inform us.
His post elaborates on these ideas, and some remain highly unconventional, particularly the assertion that journalists should correct the craft's emphasis on objectivity (that View from Nowhere). He thinks the emphasis needs to be on narrative, public participation, and useful opinions.
What do you think?
New York University's Jay Rosen never fails to be instructive, but his latest lesson is an intriguing exercise in self-criticism.
Rosen sent an errant Tweet this week on seeming corporate pressure
involving a subsdiary of AOL --- what he calls "a serious error" --- and he has not only corrected the 140-character mistake but provided an extensive chronology of its pathology.
Before Rosen could correct, his Tweet had spread to a six-figure audience. He found undoing the mess problematic, in particular the weight of making a mistake with his professional credentials behind him.
His case study of his foul-up is an excellent example, though, of how to thoroughly explain how a mistake was made and his thinking along the way. Rosen has Tweeted 15,000 times, but this acknowledgment does nothing to take away from the contribution he has made. If anything, it enhances it.
In an essay for Technology Review
, NYU journalism professor and online-savvy Jay Rosen questions the definition of journalism, now that the social pattern of creation and consumption has been altered by the arrival of digital media.
Rosen notes that journalism has been conducted for the most part inside the media industry, but that the old production cycles --- the daily paper, the broadcast or the magazine --- have been disrupted by the always-on-deadline Internet.
"Journalists insist that their habitual practices are not artifacts of a technological era but the essence of good journalism. They shouldn't do that," he says. These days, "journalism is not the media."
NYU's Jay Rosen recently spoke to science writers in New York about the media revolution --- in particular, the lowering of costs of entry for everyone to possess the tools to communicate with each other --- and Twitter. His 10-minute video is a good insight into his academic work and outlook.