Obama’s Orwellian Image Control - NYTimes.com: "Until the White House revisits its draconian restrictions on photojournalists’ access to the president, information-savvy citizens, too, would be wise to treat those handout photos for what they are: propaganda." (read more at link above)
One reason that Glenn Greenwald is so hated inside the beltway by mainstream media, is that he is a living example of a real journalist who is not intimidated by, nor fearful of, nor in bed with, the surveillance state.
Greenwald: One of the things that's happened to media outlets in the United States is that because of the financial struggles they've undergone, there is a fairly risk-averse, fear-driven climate in which these institutions are eager to avoid protracted [legal] battles with the government or with large corporations because they simply can't sustain those kind of battles financially. So one of the benefits of being a well-funded media organization is that you can do the kind of journalism you want to do without being afraid of ending up in those battles....And another, crucial part of press freedoms that's been attacked is the way sources have been deterred from going to journalists out of fear that surveillance will immediately detect who they are and then they'll be prosecuted very aggressively. And source protection, meaning enabling sources to come to us with the confidence that they can do so safely, is a crucial part of our strategy. That too will go a long way to revitalizing press freedoms." (More on Greenwald and the NSA at the link above)
Can You Use Pre-Suit Discovery To Unmask An Anonymous Blogger In Texas? | Looper Reed & McGraw, P.C. - JDSupra: " . . . It’s possible, the court could rule on the jurisdictional basis in a way that would allow it to punt on the anonymity issue. As often as it comes up and is likely to come up again, it would be nice to have some guidance. We’ll be keeping an eye on this case and report on it when the decision comes down. A lot of times, it is obvious — like when the sheriff seeks to unmask someone critical of the sheriff’s actions. That blogger will almost always be entitled to protection. The person that criticizes the company down the street based on a financial transactions and accuses the owner of accounting fraud deserves a little closer scrutiny." (read more at link above)
Obama's Chief Cheerleader -- what happened to real journalism at the New York Times? No wonder a real journalist talks about the pathetic american media --
New York Times’ Obama cheerleading harms the nation | New York Post: "Poor Barack Obama. Ending his fifth year as the world’s most powerful man, he is running out of scapegoats and fairy tales. Blaming George W. Bush has lost its punch, and the ObamaCare debacle is shredding the myths he is competent and honest. Still, before he rides off into that sunset of self-pity and low poll ratings, he ought to invite his remaining friends over for a heart-to-heart. That way he can tell The New York Times that its fanatical support does him no favors. Instead, it feeds his arrogance and reinforces his belief that he can solve any problem with another speech. The unflattering truth doesn’t stand a chance — until it is too late. Not that the president would admit any of that, of course, but the Obama Protection Racket, led by the Times, cuts both ways. It is a key reason he has defied political gravity for so long, and also why he is now in deep trouble. As watchdogs became lapdogs, the presidential bubble grew impenetrable, isolating him from ordinary Americans and the trickle-down pain of his policies...."
New York Times, Elitist, Corrupt; the sooner it dies the better for everyone --
The New York Times endorsed a secretive trade agreement that the public can’t read: " . . . But as Sutton points out, it seems strange for the Times to be opining on a treaty the public hasn't gotten to see yet. If the Times has gotten a leaked copy of the report, it should publish it so the public can make up its own mind. If it hasn't seen the treaty, perhaps it should reserve judgment until it's learned what's actually in it."
‘Smarter Than You Think,’ by Clive Thompson - NYTimes.com: ". . . “Before the Internet came along, most people rarely wrote anything at all for pleasure or intellectual satisfaction after graduating from high school or college,” Thompson notes. “This is something that’s particularly hard to grasp for professionals whose jobs require incessant writing, like academics, journalists, lawyers or marketers. For them, the act of writing and hashing out your ideas seems commonplace. But until the late 1990s, this simply wasn’t true of the average nonliterary person.” More important, the writing produced in the new world of blogs and tweets is being done, at least ostensibly, for public discourse and reaction. It may not be getting us back to the dialectic of Socrates’ agora, but at least it produces a more stimulating and interactive realm than existed before the Internet."
Glenn Greenwald and the Future of Leaks: "Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer-turned-journalist-turned-global headline for his reporting on leaked NSA documents, says there is about to be a revolution that will radically change how news organizations cover governments and other big institutions. The change, he insists, is inevitable because of the pervasiveness of digital content, which has already remade the global economy by allowing instant access to vast troves of information. “Government and businesses cannot function without enormous amounts of data, and many people have to have access to that data,” Greenwald says, adding that it only takes one person with access and an assaulted conscience to leak, no matter what controls are in place. . . ."
Wikipedia editors, locked in battle with PR firm, delete 250 accounts | Ars Technica: " . . . .Wikipedia editor Kevin Gorman in an interview with Vice. "They're immediately obvious to the casual user as lame spam. I'm much more worried about what happens when an unethical outfit manages to start getting major clients and start controlling articles that our average reader assumes are not written by corporate flaks.". . ."
Deja View: Fourth Time Lucky - Yahoo! Hires Gadget Guy Pogue For New Media Venture -SVW: "Investing in software engineers is far more profitable for Yahoo! because it knows how to scale their work across its entire platform. Star columnists can cost the equivalent of ten software engineers and their work is scaled across a dozen or so monthly web pages. However, every few years Yahoo! forgets that the economics of a media business (now, even more dismal) are too dismal to pursue, and yet another Yahoo! media venture bites the dust."
Bloomberg News Is Said to Curb Articles That Might Anger China - NYTimes.com: ". . . In the call late last month, Mr. Winkler defended his decision, comparing it to the self-censorship by foreign news bureaus trying to preserve their ability to report inside Nazi-era Germany, according to Bloomberg employees familiar with the discussion. “He said, ‘If we run the story, we’ll be kicked out of China,’ ” one of the employees said. Less than a week later, a second article, about the children of senior Chinese officials employed by foreign banks, was also declared dead, employees said . . ."
Jeremy Scahill on Media Venture with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras: "We Hit the Jackpot": "Jeremy Scahill talks in the clip about the new media venture with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras funded by eBay found Pierre Omidyar. Jeremy Scahill is National Security correspondent of "The Nation", author of "Dirty Wars. The World Is a Battlefield" and the New York Times best-selling book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army", won the Georg Polk Award. The whole interview with Jeremy Scahill is going to be online at www.kontext-tv.de in English and German versions by October 18, 2013. Scahill talks about Europe's and Germany's role in the "dirty wars", the situation in Somalia and Syria, the Afghan war and the connection between NSA spying and covert kill operations around the world. Published on Oct 21, 2013
New York Times Struggles to Replace Print Ads With Digital Sales - Bloomberg: "The New York Times Co.’s advertising department is struggling to replace its once-lucrative print ads with digital sales, as Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. gobble up increasingly large chunks of marketers’ budgets. Both print and digital advertising at the newspaper decreased about 3 percent in the third quarter, the company said last month, signaling that the total amount fell below $140 million. That’s the lowest level since at least 1998, when the Times began reporting the ad revenue of its individual papers." (read more at link above)
Newspaper Ad Spending Continues To Drop - Business Insider: "The newspaper ad spending collapse has been monumental. After peaking in the early 2000s, print ads have dropped off a cliff, and "digital dimes" haven't replaced them. On an inflation-adjusted basis, newspaper print ad spending is now back to 1950s levels."
NYT Discovers Confirmation Bias | The Big Picture: “Perhaps something more complicated than sketching out voting districts is at play. The polarized political map is now accompanied by a media ecosystem that is equally gerrymandered into districts of self-reinforcing discourse.”
The bad news is that we learn that the media reporter for one of the more important American newspapers is only now discovering both confirmation bias and the Balkanization of the press. The good news? Well, let’s consider this a form of progress. more news below
Pierre Omidyar, Investigative Journalism’s New Patron Saint - The Daily Beast: " . . . John Temple, for one, insists Omidyar is the real deal. As the son of two people who left a country riven by political oppression and religious fanaticism, “he really believes in the American Constitution and wants to see it upheld and the promise of America fulfilled. He is an immigrant and, like many of us in journalism, part of his motivation is he cares about the quality of our community and our country and thinks that journalism has a role in setting the tone. And he’s passionate about that. . . ." (read more at link above)
Obama appears not to have learned much about the Constitution at Harvard Law --
News from The Associated Press: ""In the Obama administration's Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press," wrote Downie, now a journalism professor at Arizona State University. "The administration's war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post's investigation of Watergate.""
magazine / issue / Laura Poitras filming NSA Utah Data Center construction site | MOUSSE CONTEMPORARY ART MAGAZINE: "A renowned documentary filmmaker, and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, among numerous other awards, Poitras is known for films that evoke complex political realities through personal stories. For the past decade she has focused on a trilogy of feature-length documentaries about America post-9/11. My Country My Country (2006), set in Baghdad during the 2005 elections, and The Oath (2010), filmed in Yemen and Guantanamo Bay, will be followed by a film that returns to the US to examine the ways the government has turned towards and against its own citizens through surveillance. I first started following Poitras’ work in 2003, when I saw Flag Wars, an incredibly moving film about gentrification in Columbus, Ohio told through the city’s residents. The film demonstrates the same intense commitment, critical analysis and emotional power evident in all her work. . . ." (read more at link above)
How Images Become Viral on Google+ | MIT Technology Review: "Finally, they looked at how their virality indexes are correlated with each other. They say that the plusone and replied to indices are highly correlated while the reshared index appears to be independent of these. “We hypothesize that plusoners and replies can be considered as a form of endorsement, while reshares are a form of self-representation,” they say."
Delivering the News, All of It, in 2 Minutes - The company Prologue did the title sequence for “The Fifth Estate,” a movie about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Creating a Prologue for ‘Fifth Estate’ - NYTimes.com: "Mr. Condon takes titles seriously — so much so that he put the opening sequence of “The Fifth Estate” in motion even before he started shooting the film in Belgium last year. The idea was to tell the entire history of news — from Paleolithic cave paintings 17,000 years ago to today — in under two minutes." (read more at link above)
Perilous Task of Innovation in a Digital Age - NYTimes.com: "EXPERIMENTS IN ADVERTISING Take traditional advertising and put it in the digital space, and what you often get is either annoying (people can’t wait to close the ad) or invisible (people look right past it). What’s the answer? “Native advertising” — in which advertising is presented to mimic the appeal of editorial content — is all the rage elsewhere. The Times, so far, has only dipped its toe in that water but continues to explore new advertising ideas, including “micro sites” devoted to specific advertisers."
Mobile Is Killing Media – and Here's What We Need to Do About It / Say Daily: "Digital publishing is headed off a cliff if we don’t get back behind the wheel. There's a five fold gap between mobile revenue and desktop revenue for the same page. In other words, for every page viewed on a mobile device, publishers currently see only 20 percent of the revenue they’d receive from a desktop visit. What makes that gap even starker is how quickly it’s happening. By the second half of next year, we predict that greater than half of all time spent with online content will happen on a mobile device. On the industry’s current course, that’s a recipe for disaster. . . ." (read more at link above)
Meet Silicon Valley's Top VC Publicist... -SVW: "When New York Times tech reporter Quentin Hardy told Wennmachers that he thought Nicira was too wonky for a long story, she asked him out to lunch at Boulevard to make her case for the company… After Hardy's story - headlined "Startup Nicira plans to disrupt networking giants" - Nicira, which had initially been valued at $500 million, was bought by VMware for $1.26 billion. I think that Quentin Hardy might not be pleased about this account of being dined at one of San Francisco's top restaurants and then pumping out a winning article. "
"It's pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama]," he declares in an interview with the Guardian.
"It used to be when you were in a situation when something very dramatic happened, the president and the minions around the president had control of the narrative, you would pretty much know they would do the best they could to tell the story straight. Now that doesn't happen any more. . . ." (read more at link above)
Scripting News: The govt should stay out of journalism: "The US government is hoping to legislate who is and isn't a journalist. This is serious stuff. They aren't deciding who can and can't get a Pulitzer Prize, instead they're deciding who goes to jail for publishing leaks "without authorization.". . ." (read more at link above)
Actually, the US government is defining shills. US looking more and more like a police state.
Univision CEO sees profits in English-language news - Business Monday - MiamiHerald.com: "The CEO of Univision already presides over the dominant network for Spanish-language television. It recently won the bragging rights of snagging the No. 1 rating of any network during the summer re-run season, beating out NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox for adult viewers under 50. Now Univision is partnering with ABC to launch Fusion, a cable network ostensibly aimed at English-speaking Hispanics but increasingly looking like a channel designed for young people in general."
A Look at September Fashion Magazines - NYTimes.com: "And is it just me, or has the branding of every editor and intern into a society/street-style star with pages dedicated exclusively to their own fabulousness made magazines seem as narcissistic as Facebook postings? Oh, I do simultaneously adore and envy everything about Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis, but I’m not sure I need to know any more about her brother Albert’s surprise birthday party on the rolling family estate in Hohenberg beyond its theme of “lederhosen/Versace/Howard Carpendale/sweat pants,” thank you very much."
Confirmed: ChromeCast will be able to play local content, go ahead and order yours | Muktware: "The suspicion was raised that Google doesn't want streaming of local data through ChromeCast. Then there were misleading stories from sites like The Verge . . . . So it's abundantly clear that Google is not trying to block playback of local content. It's just that the SDK is in very early stage and developers should refrain from publicly releasing apps as they may break unless the SDK is in stable stage. So if you were planning to buy ChromeCast and changed your mind thinking it won't play local content you don't have to worry. You will be able to play anything that you want on that device. As far as developers are concerned they can wait till the SDK is ready for the prime time. So go ahead and order your ChromeCast" (read more at link above)
Disruptions: A Blogger Mocks the Denizens of Silicon Valley - NYTimes.com: "But no matter where he is, Mr. Biddle understands that a job at Valleywag can be like a job as a crash-test dummy. “There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had,” Mr. Biddle said. “But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.”"
Choosing a specific domain name and adding commentary to defamatory posts causes host to lose §230 immunity - Lexology: "Via Section 230, the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides broad immunity for service providers, hosts and website operators for claims stemming from their publication of information created by third parties. In general, courts have adhered to that expansive view in construing Section 230, even in cases when the operator knowingly published defamatory content. However, one recent case from the Eastern District of Kentucky illustrates there are limits to the extent of the aegis afforded by this immunity."(read more at link above)
A "must read" for journalists, bloggers, writers . . . . .
When you’re in a Fourth Estate situation » Pressthink: " . . . I believe Bruce Schneier was correct when he wrote in the Atlantic this week that the U.S. government has “commandeered the internet.” He urged the big technology companies to fight back. But even if they don’t, others will. And when they make that decision, they will pick up the tools of journalism and try to alert the public. If the press won’t help them, they will go it alone. Wise professionals in journalism will understand this, and choose accordingly."
Jeff Bezos Brings His Low-Margin Ways to Newspapers - Justin Fox - Harvard Business Review: "while the decline of American newspapers (especially the big regional papers) was probably inevitable in the age of the Internet, the reluctance and at times inability of newspaper companies to transition from high-margin business models to low-margin ones has made things much worse. Layoffs and other cutbacks meant to preserve profit margins have only sped the decline in revenue, while bold new investments have been few. And for the most part the margins have declined anyway." (more at link above)
Uncomfortable Facts About The Bezos Washington Post -SVW: "There's an astounding lack of critical analysis of Jeff Bezos' planned $250m purchase of the Washington Post newspaper. It is not a viable business, it loses $50m a year and has large pension liabilities. Its purchase only makes sense as a vehicle of influence, and not as a rescue of the newspaper industry." (read more at link above)
Good Luck With That - Pew Research Graphs Bezos' Stunning Challenge -SVW: "There's not much help from digital revenues — precisely the area where Mr. Bezos is expected to help — the situation is getting worse: In 2012 for every one digital dollar earned - $15 in print revenues was lost. Things are getting worse: In 2011 the ratio was $1 digital gained for each $10 lost." (read more at link above)
Bezos In 2012: People Won’t Pay For News On The Web, Print Will Be Dead In 20 Years | TechCrunch: " . . . . Bezos says “We [Amazon] realized that people are willing to pay for newspaper subscriptions on tablets. In the near future, every household will have multiple tablets. That’s going to be the default and will provide momentum for newspapers, too”, so we may see some creative subscription models on the Kindle or bundled with other products. I’m curious to see how Bezos will be applying these ideas to his newly-purchased newspaper. . . ."
Who Just Bought The Washington Post?: "Jeffrey P. Bezos is the founder of Amazon.com. He has spent his career relying on steady growth but says he is ready to push The Post to compete in a changing online world."
One could say hindsight is 20-20, of course, but what made me sad about the sale — and I was very sad when I heard of it — was that these laudable and smart people could not seem to figure it out, and had to turn to a magical Internet wizard to do so. (source infra)
Open Letter to Jeff Bezos From ex-Washington Post Staffer Kara Swisher - Kara Swisher - Media - AllThingsD: " . . . . And it was then and there that I felt the first stirrings of the coming disaster that would soon envelop the Post and so many newspapers like it. Most of them never even seemed to see it coming, even when what was happening was right in front of them. It was there that I also first saw the extraordinarily stubborn resistance by old media — which still exists like some super-barnacle that will not detach from a sunken ship — to what the digital age meant. It happened every day — other reporters playfully mocking me for using email so much . . . or major editors telling me that the Internet was like the CB-radio fad, or sales people insisting that the good times would never end for newspapers . . . ."
Dinosaurs. One wonders if anyone in DC understands that the WaPo is just another example of how hopelessly inept and out-of-touch Washington DC is--particularly the US federal government?
Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales explains its mission to be mainstream | Technology | guardian.co.uk: "Wikipedians plan more outreach for teachers, better tools for developers and simpler editing tools to increase their audience - The 12-year-old website is also planning more outreach work to educate teachers and students, as well as those in museums and libraries, how to use the site. Speaking in London on Monday, co-founder Jimmy Wales said Wikipedia was part "of the edutech gold rush" and that students would learn not by reading but by editing the site. New editing tools being introduced later this year will make editing simpler, he said, and encourage more people to get involved in editing articles. Wales, who has been advising the UK government on open access, said there had been huge progress in the understanding of sourcing material online. "This is a community that will digest and then repurpose information to people in interesting ways – we have a lot to teach on that front … Communities are working to encode more of this information in machine readable ways.". . . ."(read more at link above)
The Google County Times: The Future of Local News? - Christopher Mims - The Atlantic: "Google has hatched a plan to boost the visibility of its existing local news product, and in the process is testing a whole new way to get people to pay attention to the news that is geographically most relevant to them. Google is testing a local news "card" in its Google Now service, which is built into all new Android smartphones and is available on the iPhone through Google's Search app. Google Now is a logical vehicle for local news because one of its primary functions is knowing where you are and providing information that is "contextually relevant" to you, as specified by your interests, the time of day, and your location. . . ."
Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos - The Washington Post: "The Washington Post Co.’s newspaper division, of which The Post newspaper is the most prominent part, has suffered a 44 percent decline in operating revenue over the past six years. Although the paper is one of the most popular news sources online, print circulation has dwindled, too, falling another 7 percent daily and Sundays during the first half of this year. Ultimately, the paper’s financial challenges prompted the company’s board to consider a sale, a step once regarded as unthinkable by insiders and the Graham family itself."
Oh my, the constipated "culture" of the New York Times lays exposed in the wake of the departure of Nate Silver--
Nate Silver Went Against the Grain for Some at The Times - NYTimes.com: " . . . I (Margaret Sullivan, NYT Public Editor) don’t think Nate Silver ever really fit into the Times culture and I think he was aware of that. He was, in a word, disruptive. Much like the Brad Pitt character in the movie “Moneyball” disrupted the old model of how to scout baseball players, Nate disrupted the traditional model of how to cover politics. His entire probability-based way of looking at politics ran against the kind of political journalism that The Times specializes in: polling, the horse race, campaign coverage, analysis based on campaign-trail observation, and opinion writing, or “punditry,” as he put it, famously describing it as “fundamentally useless.” Of course, The Times is equally known for its in-depth and investigative reporting on politics. His approach was to work against the narrative of politics – the “story” – and that made him always interesting to read. For me, both of these approaches have value and can live together just fine. A number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work. The first time I wrote about him I suggested that print readers should have the same access to his writing that online readers were getting. I was surprised to quickly hear by e-mail from three high-profile Times political journalists, criticizing him and his work. They were also tough on me for seeming to endorse what he wrote, since I was suggesting that it get more visibility. . . ."(read more at link above)
One commenter: "Comments on fivethirtyeight today reflect the same ideological biases and bloviating that all the other commentary at the (New York) Times displays. "
Amazon defends use of swear word in ad as 'light-hearted' | Media | guardian.co.uk: "Amazon said that the wording of the card "did not target any particular group, nor was it likely to cause offence to any particular race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age". However, Nicola Mendelsohn, chairman of ad agency Karmarama and one of the most senior women in UK advertising, said she was stunned at Amazon's attitude. "It is one of the most vulgar, dreadful words and I'm really surprised that Amazon don't think it is offensive to people, to women," she said. "Germaine Greer said it is one of the few remaining words in the English language with the genuine power to shock." Amazon said that just because a "small minority" might find the word offensive the product should not be banned from being made available for the "wider public" to buy."
Why Google is pulling the plug on Frommer's - Fortune Tech: "Spotting a tourist used to be easy. Just look for someone toting around a travel guide. Today, vacationers are organizing their trips entirely online. All they need to carry with them is a smartphone to occasionally look up tourist attractions and navigate around town. Travel guide publishers are in upheaval amid this new reality. Sales of guidebooks are down sharply as people instead turn to sites like TripAdvisor for hotel and restaurant reviews. . . . BBC's sale of Lonely Planet, happened earlier this month. The British broadcaster disclosed plans to sell the guide-book publisher for $78 million, far less than the nearly $200 million it had originally paid. . . . "
The end of Google Reader: Have I got news for you | The Economist: "Tens of millions of internet users embraced RSS feeds via Google Reader and other software that mostly relies upon the search giant's news-aggregating engine. That may sound a lot, but it pales into insignificance next to the more than a billion who get their fix of news via Twitter or Facebook, not to mention e-mail. Still, Brent Simmons, who developed a popular news-feed reader called NetNewsWire, notes that in contrast to Twitter and other services, RSS links users and websites directly through a distributed network without intermediaries. No central authority dictates how feeds are displayed, decide whether to include ads, or shut down a feed (unless the news provider goes under). . . ." (read more at link above)
A Tale of Two Newspaper Interfaces | MIT Technology Review: "The New York Times revealed a “prototype” of a new online “article experience” yesterday. Was it a bold technical experiment, a new multimedia whatzit, a paradigm-busting business model? No. It was just an article, laid out… readably. That is, in such a way to encourage reading. Ian Adelman, director of digital design at the Times, told me in an email that this “prototype” is intended to “create an appealing and engaging environment for our readers/viewers, as well as for advertisers.” You’d think that the essential, obvious point of a newspaper website interface is to do exactly that, and that the essential, obvious way to accomplish it is to set said interface up in a way that encourages reading, which is the essential, obvious thing that someone comes to a newspaper website to do. This, apparently, is innovative and risky enough to require prototyping? Counterpoint: The Daily Mail, a newspaper website whose interface intentionally doubles down on anti-readability – a strategy that wins them more unique users than any other news website and a 500% increase in revenue since 2008. Said interface won a prestigious award last month for its “effectiveness.”. . . " (read more at link above)
PCWorld Exits Print, and the Era of Computer Magazines Ends | TIME.com: ". . . it’s sort of a shock it didn’t happen several years ago. After slightly more than thirty years in print, PCWorld magazine is ceasing publication, effective with the current issue, to focus on its website and digital editions. If I have to explain why, you haven’t been paying attention to the media business for the past decade or so. The web has been awfully hard on magazines, and no category has suffered more than computer publications. Both readers and advertisers have largely moved online. Many of them did so years ago — especially the sort of tech-savvy people who once read PC magazines. At the end, PCWorld was about a quarter the size it once was in terms of pages and had lost two-thirds of its readership. I don’t even want to think about what had happened to its profits. . . ." (read more at link above)
Polaroid was taken by surprise: "It's amazing, but kids today don't want hard copy anymore"
What was Polaroid thinking? | YaleInsights: "Through the 1990s, Polaroid executives continued to believe in the importance of the paper print. Gary DiCamillo, CEO from 1995 to 2001, said in a 2008 interview at Yale, "People were betting on hard copy and media that was going to be pick-up-able, visible, seeable, touchable, as a photograph would be."" (read more at link above)
Miami Herald Prepares to Leave Bastion on the Bay - NYTimes.com: " . . . the demise of The Herald’s longtime home and the newspaper’s gallop away from the heart of the city are symptoms of a much larger problem: the retreat and retrenchment of newspapers in the digital age and their waning influence. . . The Miami Herald has scooped up 20 Pulitzer Prizes and has inspired dread in wrongdoers. It also minted talent like Carl Hiaasen, Dave Barry, Edna Buchanan and many others with less recognizable names. Reporters on the dwindling staff still wade into the muck, winning accolades and respect. With the newspaper thrashed by budget cuts and scores of departures in recent years, reporters find themselves overwhelmed by the never-ending news cycle and hustle for online clicks. “The building was symbolic of being a powerful institution in the community, and I think that many newspapers are not as powerful as they used to be in the community,” said Kelly McBride, a senior faculty member for ethics, reporting and writing at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. “You were downtown because you needed to be close to all these institutions,” she said. “But with the digital environment and the mobile environment, you can do your reporting from anywhere, and often you are doing it across the transom. . .” (read more at link above)
NEW YORK: Study: Nonprofit news sites need business help | National | FresnoBee.com: " . . . Pew said 93 of these sites completed surveys, and 54 percent said that their greatest need came in business, marketing or fundraising, compared to 39 percent who cited reporting or editing help. Nearly two-thirds of the groups said it was a major challenge to find enough time to focus on the business aspects of their operations. Many of the sites are bullish about their futures, however, with 81 percent saying they are confident they will be financially healthy in five years, Pew said. The organizations tend to be small, with 78 percent reporting having five or fewer staff members, Pew said. They also tend to work in specialized niches, including the environment, health and foreign affairs, the study said."
Tracing the "most-hated" meme was easy enough. A half-dozen Web stories all led to the same story: A piece by Victoria Woollaston published the day before in that bastion of quality journalism, the Daily Mail. The headline: "Apple's iPhone 5 is the most hated handset -- while the majority of people love the Samsung Galaxy S4, study finds" (source infra)
How A Great Google Workplace Turned Into A 'Nightmare' - Business Insider: " . . . After speaking with a number of sources, some of whom worked in Google's Zagat division for the past year or so, we have a story that answers those questions. It's a story about coming close to having something awesome, only to see it slip away. It's about the collision between the wealthy dream world of the technology industry and the scratch-and-claw meager existence of freelance writers. . . ." (read more at link above) more news below
Facebook Aims to Become Newspaper for Mobile Devices - WSJ.com: "This month, Facebook rolled out hashtags, a feature popular on rival Twitter Inc., that lets users find public conversations based on words marked by the "#" sign. Earlier this year, Facebook unveiled a redesign of the news-feed portion of its main Web portal that features a more prominent display of content from news publishers. At an event to unveil the redesign, Mr. Zuckerberg said he wanted Facebook to be "the best personalized newspaper in the world.""
James Somers – Web developer money: " . . . The price of a word is being bid to zero. That one magazine story I’ve been working on has been in production for a year and a half now, it’s been a huge part of my life, it’s soaked up so many after-hours, I’ve done complete rewrites for editors — I’ve done, and will continue to do, just about anything they say — and all for free. There’s no venture capital out there for this; there are no recruiters pursuing me; in writer-town I’m an absolute nothing, the average response time on the emails I send is, like, three and a half weeks. I could put the whole of my energy and talent into an article, everything I think and am, and still it could be worth zero dollars. . . ."
The Economist explains: What is ASCII? | The Economist: " . . . . ASCII, too, has its flaws. In particular it does not support the various characters required in non-English languages. As a result, several variations of ASCII emerged to support accents and non-Roman characters. To address these problems an entirely new standard, Unicode, was devised starting in the late 1980s. It uses between 8 and 32 bits to represent each character, theoretically providing support for 4.3 billion unique characters, symbols or glyphs—though in practice it is limited to 1.1m symbols, of which more than 100,000 have so far been defined, including the cuneiform characters of Sargon's time. In 2007 the dominant form of Unicode (called UTF-8) surpassed American ASCII and a Western European variant as the most widely used encoding on the web, and UTF-8 is now used on more than 75% of web pages. As it celebrates its 50th birthday, then, ASCII is in decline, as it is gradually replaced by Unicode. But in a sense it lives on: the first 128 characters of Unicode precisely match those of ASCII, providing backwards compatibility, while also preserving aspects of even older codes in digital amber."
Herald dedicates its new Doral headquarters - Business - MiamiHerald.com: " . . .The newspaper industry has suffered significant disruption during the past decade, including bankruptcies, ownership changes, layoffs and furloughs. In response, some news organizations have introduced paid online subscriptions, cut back on print delivery and introduced alternative publications. Meanwhile, daily print newspaper readership has declined nationwide by nearly 20 percent since 2001, Scarborough Research’s figures show. Yet in the past five years, the Herald has seen an 80 percent increase in monthly unique visitors to its four websites, from an average of 4.5 million unique monthly visitors in 2008 to an average of 8.1 million this year, said Alex Fuentes, general manager of Miami Herald Interactive. . . ."
All journalism is advocacy (or it isn't) — BuzzMachine: " when a whistleblower knocks on your door, you must decide not whose side you’re on but whom and what principles you serve. This is a way to recast the specific argument journalists are having now about whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor. Wrong question. As a journalistic organization, the Guardian had to ask whether the public had a right to the information Snowden carried, no matter which side it benefitted (so long as the public’s interests — in terms of security — were not harmed)." (read more at link above)
Oh, and by the way, if Snowden were a "traitor"--he wouldn't be in Hong Kong, he would be in Beijing (or Moscow or Tehran or Havana or Pyongyang)--we know where traitors go.
Amazon Publishing: How it controls whole book supply chain - Sep. 27, 2011: " . . . . Amazon quietly launched its own book imprint in 2009. The effort expanded the next year into a line of foreign translations and another of "manifestos" from thought leaders, but it stayed fairly under-the-radar until this May, when Amazon brought in famed New York editor Larry Kirshbaum to head up its Amazon Publishing unit. Kirshbaum quickly dumped gasoline on Amazon's publishing sparks: Last month, he signed uber-popular self-help author Timothy Ferriss, whose book The 4-Hour Workweek (published by Crown, a division of Random House) remains a perennial bestseller. Amazon plans to publish Ferriss's next book, The 4-Hour Chef, in April 2012, in all formats: digital, audio, and old-fashioned ink on paper. Ferriss is the highest-profile author yet to jump ship from the traditional publishing houses, and his defection has rivals spooked. "Amazon is holding the entire book industry hostage," says Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association. "First they disintermediated retailers, and now it's publishers and authors.". . ."
For the mainstream media, it has been a hard spring--the scales have dropped from their eyes--they now see their worst nightmares in the form of Barack Obama and Eric Holder and this administration's abuse of first amendment freedoms--
It has been apparent for several years that the Obama Administration has departed from the First Amendment norms established during the seven Presidencies since Branzburg. Holder has overseen six prosecutions of government officials for aiding the press, more than were brought by all previous Administrations combined. (source infra)
Steve Coll: Why Journalists Deserve Better Protections : The New Yorker: " . . . Obama inherited a bloated national-security state. It contains far too many official secrets and far too many secret-keepers—more than a million people now hold top-secret clearances. Under a thirty-year-old executive order issued by the White House, the intelligence agencies must inform the Justice Department whenever they believe that classified information has been disclosed illegally to the press. These referrals operate on a kind of automatic pilot, and the system is unbalanced. Prosecutors in Justice’s national-security division initially decide on whether to make a criminal case or to defer to the First Amendment. The record shows that in recent years the division has been bent on action. . . ."
IRS Addresses Whether Publisher Is “Producer” Under §199 | McDermott Will & Emery - JDSupra: "The IRS National Office concluded that the taxpayer’s activities produce only electronic, intangible copies of the books, and therefore the taxpayer does not qualify under §199 because §199 applies, with exceptions not relevant, only to taxpayers that produce tangible property. Under §199, however, taxpayers and the IRS are required to determine whether the taxpayer produces the property that the taxpayer regularly sells. Treas. Reg. §1.199-3(d)(1)(i). The taxpayer at issue in the CCA does not sell electronic copies of its books; it sells tangible copies of its books, which it contends it produces in significant part, even if it doesn’t apply ink to paper."
The Slow Death of the American Author - NYTimes.com: "An even more nightmarish version of the same problem emerged last month with the news that Amazon had a patent to resell e-books. Such a scheme will likely be ruled illegal. But if it is not, sales of new e-books will nose-dive, because an e-book, unlike a paper book, suffers no wear with each reading. Why would anyone ever buy a new book again? Consumers might save a dollar or two, but the big winner, as usual, would be Amazon. It would literally own the resale market and would shift enormous profits to itself from publishers as well as authors, who would lose the already meager share of the proceeds they receive on the sale of new e-books."
John White on Sun-Times layoffs: ‘It was as if they pushed a button and deleted a whole culture’ | Poynter.: "He and his Sun-Times colleagues are just the latest professional photographers to face a daunting revelation: Their employers know their work is at the highest level of excellence, but aren’t willing to pay for it. White said he was most concerned about his colleagues — the former students, young families and folks who came in while on medical leave. He also worries about readers, who will no longer be able to experience “the most important ingredient of communication and understanding” in quite the same way. “Humanity is being robbed,” he said, “by people with money on their minds.” While by the lake, White turned to a reading from Psalm 20:4: “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” He reiterated: “My assignment comes from God.”"
John White on Sun-Times layoffs: ‘It was as if they pushed a button and deleted a whole culture’ | Poynter.: " . . . The Sun-Times plans to rely on reporters to take photos and videos and has begun mandatory “iPhone photography basics.” Its decision is just the latest example of a disconcerting trend in American media: professional photojournalism is being downsized and devalued, with news organizations increasingly turning to wire services, citizen-submitted content and independent/freelance contributions. The elimination of an entire photography staff is fairly uncommon among daily larger newspapers, but it’s not unprecedented. In 2008, Newsday terminated its 20-person photography staff and then allowed them to reapply for new multimedia jobs. It comes as no coincidence that Tim Knight, who’s now the publisher of the Sun-Times, was the publisher at Newsday when that transition was implemented. . . ."
Obama vs. the Press: Will the A.P. Scandal Yield Reforms? : The New Yorker: " I know it’s true that no matter what a reporter is willing to do, if a government is willing to subpoena her phone records, then sources are going to be less willing to talk—it’s the chilling effect, a cliché but a truth, too. And it’s an effect that can take hold deeply and perniciously in an atmosphere of national threat. We can’t let it, because this particular threat—terrorism—and the war on it are open-ended. We could be suspending our civil liberties forever."
Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore--From Eric Schmidt's New Book - Forbes: " . . . . An explosion of self-styled journalists.While traditional media institutions decline, more lay people are diving into reporting their take on the news–and often doing it very quickly using services like Twitter. “As language barriers break down and cell towers rise, there will be no end to the number of new voices, potential sources, citizen journalists and amateur photographers looking to contribute,” the authors write. This is a long-term trend that will have both positive and negative implications. We’ll have access to more information and to points of view that have been ignored. At the same time, we’ll be exposed to more news from unreliable and irresponsible sources. What it means for you: Many companies already reach out continually to bloggers and those with active social media followings to tell their stories, as part of their PR efforts . . . as members of the public, we’ll all need to become a lot more skeptical about anything we read, see or hear on the web . . . . "
What is Tumblr--a blogging site, a microblogging ecosystem, a social media site?
" . . . . register for an account and an entire microblogging ecosystem materialises. Photos, videos, text and other entries can be "reblogged" and marked with "likes", and individual Tumblr blogs (rather than users) can be followed. Popular posts may accrue hundreds or thousands of "notes": short comments, likes and reblogs. Mr Karp said in 2012 that each original item posted to Tumblr is reblogged nine times on average, which means about 10% of items posted on Tumblr are original; most are reblogs of items posted by others. Tumblr lets the mash-up/remix generation express themselves by sharing, curating and collating items of interest.A survey of American internet users found that Tumblr was the most popular site among those aged 13-25.This seems to stem from its embrace of sharing, combined with its social looseness: unlike on Facebook, real names aren't required (only an e-mail address), and users can present different personalities to the world through different blogs. Tumblr is, in a way, the anti-Facebook—a social network where you do not have to be friends with your mother. Buying Tumblr thus gives Yahoo a much stronger position in the field of social networking . . ." (source The Economist)
Pontin’s version is clearly correct insofar as it excludes “religious or ideological offense” from the category of what lawyers call “cognizable” harms. That odd term “cognizable” is meant to capture this dual understanding. The offense that people take at the conduct of others cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand, given that these feelings are often deep and long–lasting. They are in fact real harms, subjectively experienced. So the willingness to cut them out of the harm principle cannot rest on a simple denial of the fact, but must rest on the awareness that for the long-term success of the system, each person must waive that claim against all others, no matter how acute the feeling. . . ."
US court scrutinises suit against Google e-book project - Technology News | TVNZ: " . . . .If the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals bars the plaintiffs from suing collectively, it likely would be much harder for them to win a large damages award against Google. Circuit Judge Pierre Leval, one of three judges hearing Google's appeal, said the company's project could benefit many authors. It could particularly help writers whose works are more obscure, by telling readers where they could buy their books, he said. "A lot of authors would say, 'Hey, that's great for me,'" Leval said. Robert LaRocca, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, argued that a survey of class members that Google conducted was flawed. That survey, plaintiffs said in court papers, showed that 500 authors, or 58 percent of those surveyed, approved of Google's project. . . ."
The new, global electronic marketplace is rapidly depleting authors’ income streams--
The Slow Death of the American Author - NYTimes.com: "Last October, I visited Moscow and met with a group of authors who described the sad fate of writing as a livelihood in Russia. There is only a handful of publishers left, while e-publishing is savaged by instantaneous piracy that goes almost completely unpoliced. As a result, in the country of Tolstoy and Chekhov, few Russians, let alone Westerners, can name a contemporary Russian author whose work regularly affects the national conversation.The Constitution’s framers had it right. Soviet-style repression is not necessary to diminish authors’ output and influence. Just devalue their copyrights."
A look back at the Miami causeways and shoreline — before The Miami Herald | Belle Isle Blog: "The Miami Herald printed its last newspapers two weeks ago at 1 Herald Plaza, on the mainland between the Venetian and MacArthur causeways. . . . The final newsroom employees — and few from other departments — are scheduled to finish packing this week and all will be working in Doral by Friday afternoon. . . . The Herald moved to One Herald Plaza from a location on South Miami Avenue in April 1963."
Despite all the crying and whining from newspaper publishers, you CAN make money publishing on the internet--
So who's making money publishing on the web? - Fortune Tech: "The web has given rise to a number of notable digital publishers serving almost everyone's tastes, from straightforward news to guilty pleasures. For every Pulitzer-winning 10-part series on wounded war veterans, there are just as many frothy posts like the "10 funniest cat GIFs of the week." What about earnings? Some like The Awl have been profitable from the outset; others like Vox Media predict they'll be in the black soon. Here's a snapshot of just several new media businesses and how they're doing." (read more at link above) more news below
How Tumblr Forces Advertisers to Get Creative | MIT Technology Review: " . . . Tumblr recently allowed advertisers to feature content on its site. But unlike Facebook, say, or the New York Times website, Tumblr doesn’t rely on simple banner ads (founder David Karp is said to loathe them). Rather, Tumblr is forcing advertisers to play the same game as Tumblr’s own users. Advertisers have to create Tumblrs (pared-down blogs) of their own, in effect; the content of those blogs can then be featured prominently through the site. As Bloomberg put it last month: “Tumblr tells advertisers to come up with campaigns that will spread through the network like its other content.”. . ." (read more at link)
Does Buzzfeed Know the Secret? -- New York Magazine: " . . . Peretti wanted to fabricate memes, and after years of experimentation, he built BuzzFeed as a shop to do so. He didn’t do it for the news, or the movie gossip, or the cute pictures of pandas. Beneath BuzzFeed’s cheery gloss lies a data-driven apparatus designed to figure out what makes you click. Peretti is aware that if he really has divined that secret—if he can reliably manufacture, at mass scale, content you will want to share—he will have developed an asset of immense value. . . . "(read more at link)
Ghost's Blogging Dashboard Doesn't Need to Exist | MIT Technology Review: " . . . don’t know whether Dash’s anti-dashboard argument is realistic for managing the content-related activities of large organizations, but it seems pretty convincing for someone using a system like Ghost. Why? Because dashboards assume that you want to interface with them, manage them, interpret them–when really what you’re using the software for is something else completely: “blogging.” After all, what are analytics for, really? Not just monitoring them for the sake of monitoring them–but for extracting insight to act upon, when necessary. “I know [dashboards] demo well and look great in investor pitch decks or screencast videos,” Dash writes, “but they don’t actually help me make decisions, or get better at what I’m doing.”. . . "(read more at link)