Some media stories of note for Wednesday, May 15, 2013:The Guardian is reporting
that China is attempting to curtail the blogging activities of writers and intellectuals by closing their social media accounts. In recent weeks notable social justice critics have been silenced in social media. There were other recent efforts to curtail mainstream media's use of western-based content.
The U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, has defended the seizure of telephone records of The Associated Press. The New York Times reports
he says the article that prompted the seizure arose from a serious leak of information with serious national security implications that put Americans at risk. The Times' public editor, Margaret Sullivan,
weighs in with a critique of the Obama Administration as one of the most secretive and threatening to the press, with implications for readers and democracy. The Times' media writer, David Carr,
looks at how it's not only government snooping on us, but all of us snooping on all of us. The New Yorker is releasing
the technical specs on Strongbox, software that permits reporters to cover their tracks as they reach out to the magazine. It uses a particular network and masks your IP address, information about your computer and browser, and won't plant cookies or third-party content. AllThingsDigital surmises
that the release of the program, created by the late Aaron Swartz, is aimed at letting other organizations create their own versions.
Some media stories of note for Monday, February 25, 2013:
José van Dyck, a professor of comparative media studies at University of Amsterdam, argues that social media
have taken on the qualities of mass media. While social media platforms began with a promise of connectivity, independence and a restoration of the public sphere for users, the major platforms now are partners with established media and are driven by many of the same values. "Online socializing, as it now seems, is inimically mediated by a techno-economic logic anchored in the principles of popularity and winner-takes-all principles that enhance the pervasive logic of mass media instead of offering alternatives," she writes for the Oxford University Press blog.
On Friday, the Women's Media Center released its annual Status of Women in U.S. Media report
, and the results do not demonstrate much advancement. Indeed, the percentage of women in U.S. newspaper newsrooms was the same in 2012 (36.9 per cent) as it was in 1999. Six online newsrooms studied were overwhelmingly male, and female participation in Sunday talk shows or roundtable discussions was quite low. The Center calls the gender gap a "crisis" in media.
The satirical site, The Onion, has expressed an apology for a Tweet during the Oscars that characterized Quvenzhané Wallis, the nine-year-old Academy Award actress nominee, with a vulgarity. The Tweet, taken down within an hour, prompted widespread outrage. The Onion's CEO called the Tweet
a "senseless, humorless act" said it has tightened its procedures and disciplined those responsible. Andrew Beaujon of Poynter has a roundup
of the issue.
Some media stories of note for Wednesday, Feb. 13:
Cory Bergman, the general manager of Breaking News, has a five-point brief
at Poynter today to accompany a live chat in which he asserts mobile will disrupt journalism in the same way the Internet did. He argues a mobile-first, not a mobile-too approach is necessary. In short, his points: responsive design is not a strategy; mobile will surpass, even erode, the desktop; desktop declines will hurt news revenues; news needs to solve problems; technology companies are getting the mobile-first idea.
Matthew Ingram, writing in GigaOm,
reports on the social network and hyperlocal site Nextdoor and its efforts to build an exclusive, verified service for specific neighbourhoods. He identifies the differences between Nextdoor and some other, more open hyperlocal services, and cites the closed nature of Nextdoor as one of the keys to its possible success.
Time Warner appears to be ready to sell portions of Time Inc., according to Fortune.
A meeting today will pursue the matter. It is possible that such titles as People, Real Simple and InStyle would be rolled into a new firm and sold, leaving Time Warner with Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. The publishing division is substantial, with $3.4 billion in revenue.
Jonah Lehrer, the author and literary journalist who was caught up in a plagiarism scandal last year, resurfaced publicly Tuesday to speak to the Knight Foundation
(his speaking fee was $20,000). He apologized, but Andrew Beaujon of the Poynter Institute suggests
Lehrer mainly stirred up more negative than positive response in a craft not quite ready to forgive and forget.
The Web analytics firm, Sysomos, has examined the pathology of Twitter
and determined that it's not quite the social network one thought --- mainly, people use it to broadcast information but the sharing has its limitations.Sysomos looked at 1.2 billion Tweets over the last two months and found 71% generated no response whatever. Some 23% generated a reply, but a very small percentage (6%) were deemed worth sharing with one's followers upon receipt. And perhaps the more startling finding is how Tweets wither on the vine quickly --- if they're not ReTweeted in the first hour, they tend not to be at all.
Some 92% of ReTweeting took place in the first hour, Sysomos found. (It is possible that Twitter streams are so vast that users can't keep track of what they're sent, so they don't dig very far back to look for content to share.)
How deep are conversations on Twitter? Sysomos said not very. The number of Tweets three levels deep --- that is, those that are sent, replied to, replied to again and replied to again --- amounts to about 1.5%.
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.
Every so often comes research that redeems faith in the human condition.
Babycenter and the Keller Fay Group conducted research that indicates new and expectant mothers are influenced by word of mouth more than anything.
The research shows that such women have an average of 109 such conversations a week and are more likely to be influenced on buying, trying or considering a product or service.
The oldest social network there is, still works.
News that the Gannett and Meredith organizations have conscripted a social-networking technology firm to generate new digital enterprises.
In the case of Gannett, it'll create an independent music site to promote local artists in an effort to connect them to radio play. The fever of social networking will presumably be the catalyst to get them on the air.
And in the case of Meredith, it wants to launch what it says is the first user-generated recipe-exchange site.
Both have enlisted Ripple6, which has built a thriving new social network for the Guiding Light television program for Procter & Gamble.