Human Rights Watch, the organization that examines freedom of expression worldwide, discusses how Russian authorities have harassed individuals and firms critical of the planning for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The organization says authorities have intimidated and threatened those who have criticized the use of migrant workers, the health and environment impact of construction, and the forcible eviction of residents to make room for facilities. In recent weeks there have been other concerns about Russia's new laws that have been seen as open threats to homosexuality in the country.
Alastair Reid, writing for journalism.co.uk, likens negative online comments to broken windows. He argues that the below-story comments has an impact on readers, journalists, and the brand. While there are clear benefits to comments in strengthening journalism and engaging audiences, he notes it is not all positive. "If the publication is your home, then comment threads are the party you are hosting," he writes.
Friday will be a difficult day for AOL's Patch.com. Many of its sites will be shuttered, and while AOL expresses high-level support for the hyperlocal journalism sites across America, the step back is bound to raise concerns about the concept. Jeff Jarvis, in writing a Buzzmachine post, suggests the approach should be to invest and permit employees to take over and run the sites.
Anna Li, writing for Poynter, suggests journalists can benefit immensely from a clearer understanding of design thinking. She identifies the several steps designers take in generating content: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. She argues a regimen of this type can ensure a clear framework for journalism.