Many have long felt that philanthropic high-net-worth individuals were going to be making the difference as digital journalism found viable business models, and the move in recent weeks by Jeff Bezos to buy the Washington Post and Pierre Omidyar to start an investigative journalism operation (and its hiring of three key founders, including Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian) provide some evidence to that end. NYU media scholar Jay Rosen, in his latest Pressthink column, sheds light on Omidyar's initiative, Will Bunch of Philly.com looks at the phenomenon of wealthy benefactors for journalism, and Ryan Chittum of Columbia Journalism Review sounds an optimistic tone.
Roy Greenslade, the media columnist for The Guardian, updates the "haphazard" process toward new press regulation in the U.K. Regional publishers of newspapers appear unlikely to sign on to a government royal charter, among the many outlets that won't be covered by it, and a self-regulatory body appears likely to emerge with some reasonable gains for the public but plenty of shortcomings in its approach. The net result is being left in a worse place than when the process started, he concludes.
Margaret Sullivan, the public editor for The New York Times, updates the legal travails for investigative reporter James Risen, who has refused to testify in a government case against a former CIA official accused of leaking secrets. Risen faces penalties for refusing to testify and courts have so far indicated he does not have legal grounds to challenge the matter, but he intends to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case.