Today is the day the U.S. Federal Trade Commission holds a workshop on native advertising. That sounds like the dullest possible combination, but its implications are enormous and the media business has prepared for it like a day on the stand as an accused. How this event goes could well determine the direction of regulation around sponsored content online and how consumers are protected as it is presented. The New York Post reports on the Interactive Advertising Bureau's discussion paper on the topic, which indicates sponsored content will be the prime engine for digital growth in the years ahead: $4.6 billion by 2017, up from $1.6 billion last year.
Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, was called to testify before a British Commons committee Tuesday to defend the news organization's release of surveillance secrets leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. He had to deal with fairly strenuous lines of questioning, among them one on whether he loved his country. The New York Times reports on the pressures exerted on The Guardian since the revelations, including more than 100 contacts with authorities. Roy Greenslade of The Guardian itself suggests Rusbridger didn't break a sweat.
Pierre Omidyar, the eBay founder who is creating an ambitious news organization, weighs in on the recent case involving PayPal and an an attack on service by the Anonymous organization. The prosecution of those accused of the attack, and the issues related to disclosures by WikiLeaks, raise important questions on free expression that Omidyar believes have not been properly discussed. He understands the concerns about the damages of attacks on services, but also wonders the direction prosecutors will take on issues of the First Amendment in the digital age. Even though these cases appear extreme, they set a tone for press freedoms, he argues.