Saturday, December 06, 2008

Layer Cake Journalism 4: hellogoodeveningandwelcome

David Frost: Are you really saying the President can do something illegal?
Richard Nixon: I'm saying that when the President does it, that means it's 'not' illegal!
David Frost: ...I'm sorry?

Robin Holden: love child of Batman and J.D Salinger, welcome to the literary mash

I don't know either.

Solar wi-fi: now that's Retailisation

Yesterday, wireless networking provider Meraki started shipping the world’s first solar-powered WiFi mesh device. Meraki’s groundbreaking energy-independent device is powered by a single solar panel and solar-charged battery. Since the unit requires no grid-derived energy, it can be set up in areas lacking power supplies, like parks, golf courses, rural areas, and resorts.



The Economist & Boob Bait to Bubba

An older piece, but important in mythology of the 2008 election, I think.

Conservative intellectuals are also engaged in their own version of what Julian Benda dubbed la trahison des clercs, the treason of the learned. They have fallen into constructing cartoon images of “real Americans”, with their “volkish” wisdom and charming habit of dropping their “g”s. Mrs Palin was invented as a national political force by Beltway journalists from the Weekly Standard and the National Review who met her when they were on luxury cruises around Alaska, and then noisily championed her cause.

From the Economist.

And in a desperate attempt to serve boob bait to Bubba, he appointed Sarah Palin to his ticket, a woman who took five years to get a degree in journalism, and who was apparently unaware of some of the most rudimentary facts about international politics.

Did the Economist come up with the Boob bait line, does anyone know?

Lost in the Information Sea: 130,000 inflatable breasts

What an excellent piece of viral marketing.

More than 130,000 inflatable breasts have been lost at sea en route to Australia.

Men's magazine Ralph was planning to include the boobs as a free gift with its January issue.

The cargo is worth about $200,000, which is another blow for publisher ACP's parent company PBL, which is already in $4.3 billion of debt.

From WA Today in Australia.

Zittrain's generative Internet gets Pew backing, sort of

Well, they seem to agree anyway. It makes sense.

...42% of cell phone users, on the average day, use their device for a non-voice data application. The most frequent users of these applications are found in minority groups - African Americans and English-speaking Hispanics. This diversity in the user base suggests there could be a distinct brew of creativity as people tinker with wireless applications in unexpected ways.3 This suggests that users would appreciate policies for wireless devices and networks that keep the gadgets and their connections open to outside innovation. In the private sector, several firms embrace this. For instance, Google's Android project is committed to allowing outside application developers to have access to its devices, and Verizon has made a commitment to allow outside developers to create applications for Verizon's devices.

Pew on "Obama's Internet opportunities".

Latest iteration of Jonathan Zittrain's save the open Internet.

The Original Future of the Internet.

Content: the third way, pretend you are 19

Or 14.

Then there’s the troublesome third argument, the one we know is true. This is the one that admits that the content that thrives in the new distribution-and-display systems is suspiciously different from the American popular culture we used to love even 10 years ago. Thrillers, it seems, don’t flourish on Hulu. No one is reading a six-part investigative series about mayoral malfeasance on Twitter. And if it’s the afterthought message boards — the ones moderated by interns — that draw all the traffic, why are we in old media pouring so much money and time into “main event” programming that goes unread and unviewed?

NYT on the content truth that dare not speak its name.

People who work in traditional media and entertainment ought either to concentrate on the antiquarian quality of their work, cultivating the exclusive audience of TV viewers or magazine readers that might pay for craftsmanship. Or they should imagine that they are 19 again: spending a day on Twitter or following a recipe from a Mark Bittman video played on a refrigerator that automatically senses what ingredients are missing and texts an order to the grocery store (it will soon exist!). Then they should think about what content suits these new modes of distribution and could evolve in tandem with them. For old-media types, mental flexibility could be the No. 1 happiness secret we have been missing.

Writers: pimp your story or else to win? That, of course, is the billion-dollar question, and armies of people tackle it, every day: the dark art of manipulating Google's algorithms, otherwise known as search engine optimisation (SEO), has become a big business in the last 10 years. "A common way to get a lot of links very quickly is by getting people in India or somewhere to make them for you," says Paul Roach, the Guardian's head of SEO.

There are more aggressive, automated ways, too - scripting, using hijacked computers to add links to blogs, hacking messageboards - but these are referred to, in somewhat Disney-esque fashion, as "black hat" methods, and Google thoroughly disapproves: in fact, if you're caught using them, you're immediately banned. "We're what you call white hat," says Roach. "We follow Google's terms of service. Then again, we've got no reason not to - Google trusts the Guardian, so we generally do all right."

Blog will, as I said earlier in the week, eat itself.

"Now," says Karp, "everything is up for grabs", and every piece has to fight for attention on its own merits. It isn't enough just to publish it: you suddenly have this "whole idea of actually having to market the news - how do you get it emailed around? How do you get it on to Twitter, or Digg [a content-sharing site]? And whose responsibility is it to flog stories? The PR department? The editorial staff? It's what bloggers do - they're out there hustling, interacting with each other a lot. You actually have to engage in a more social dynamic." He compares old and new media to the difference between standing in front of a room and giving a speech, and going to a party: it isn't enough just to walk into a room - you have to get stuck in there, and start talking to people, and try to work out what they're interested in, and what they want to hear.

Timely Guardian. Read here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Google, Libraries & Commodifiction, same old, same old

Everyone's terrified of trashing Google, mainly because of the company's astonishing power in the marketplace, and because it has already digitized 7 million books that libraries want access to. "There's no Google-bashing," insists Maura Marx, executive director of the new Commons. "We need to ensure that there is a viable alternative and that access to knowledge remains open and does not become commodified."


Mash-up: please no

Content isn't King - it's the Lord

City Gates helps churches build great websites. With our simple content management, your church ministry workers will be updating, blogging, podcasting, sharing photos, and more - without any administrative overhead.

More here.

E-books selling, no IPod moment yet though

...but, for those still anticipating an “iPod of e-books,” it’s still way short of the 1.3 million units the music player sold in it’s first two years.

That said, the iPod didn’t truly take off until more than two years into its life cycle. For now, Sony is playing against only a handful of rivals, Amazon’s net-connected Kindle chief among them,

From Paid Content.

Arianna says let them eat blog

“You lost your job — you have time to blog.”
— Arianna Huffington, on The Daily Show.

Like we said, the meltdown will be blogged. By you.

Thank you.

To share your stories, your tips, your fears, or your ideas with us, click here and fill out the simple form.

From the Huff Po.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ok so change is gonna come...

In times of change the learners will inherit the earth, while the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer

Seemed appropriate today. More on "the talk" tomorrow.

James Gleick and the new life for the Book

I found this at 5am whilst looking for an opening paragraph to my talk at Online Information today thanks to my new tumbleblog thing. Sign up and follow your'll see.The information seas are choppy these days.

And now comes the news, as book sales plummet amid the onslaught of digital media, that authors, publishers and Google have reached a historic agreement to allow the scanning and digitizing of something very much like All the World’s Books. So here is the long dreamed-of universal library, its contents available (more or less) to every computer screen anywhere. Are you happy now? Maybe not, if your business has been the marketing, distributing or archiving of books.

James Gleick, one of the very best explorers of the speedy tides. And he's on the board of the American Authors Guild. This was my bible for a while.

For some kinds of books, the writing is on the wall. Encyclopedias are finished. All encyclopedias combined, including the redoubtable Britannica, have already been surpassed by the exercise in groupthink known as Wikipedia. Basic dictionaries no longer belong on paper; the greatest, the Oxford English Dictionary, has nimbly remade itself in cyberspace, where it has doubled in size and grown more timely and usable than ever. And those hefty objects called “telephone books”? As antiquated as typewriters. The book has had a long life as the world’s pre-eminent device for the storage and retrieval of knowledge, but that may be ending, where the physical object is concerned.

This is good stuff.

I think, on the contrary, we’ve reached a shining moment for this ancient technology. Publishers may or may not figure out how to make money again (it was never a good way to get rich), but their product has a chance for new life: as a physical object, and as an idea, and as a set of literary forms.

Talking Today

And this is what about.
More text when I've talked.

Here's a review.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

PR & Search Technology & the Usual Ending

This is a pull model as opposed to our present exclusive reliance on a push model of pitching story ideas. We agreed that we need to create high quality content that is regularly discussed, remixed and linked to, using a human tone and aiming to add value to conversations taking place anyway.

A fascinating interview by Edelman with Jeff Levick, Vice President of Industry Development and Marketing, Americas for Google. Do read. The result of this new thinking: success & No 2 on YouTube for a week.

Trust, Bob Dylan & the BBC

BBC Dylan - News 24 Revisited (Full Version) from James Adam on Vimeo.

From James Andrews mash.

Twitter co-founder is amazed people use Twitter

Williams also said that the company is working on ways to make Twitter easier for newbies to get into. "It's amazing anyone uses Twitter today," he said. "It's hard."

Twitter to make money soon, as well.

From CNET news.

Cinderella Can't Read

Ad campaign from Canada fighting illiteracy.

Frank Rich links, others don't

Not Brooks nor Cohen nor Collins nor Dowd nor Friedman nor Herbert nor Kristof nor Kristol nor Krugman. (The lone exception: Charles M. Blow, whom the Times calls its “visual Op-Ed columnist.”)

But Frank Rich does. From the Nieman Journalism Lab.

More jewels in the comments section: a Poem or Song about the Daily Me

From the Daily Beast piece about Sam Zell I found this in the comments section. Thanks to JohnJay60.

This is DAILY ME, a song from 2001 I think, by Dr. Tomasz Imielinski (who is also a Professor at Rutgers).


My personalized newspaper have been delivered again this morning by Yahoo
The headlines today read
"Your wine supply is down,
there are only two bottles left in your refrigerator"
A front page article described
how my basement has been recently successfully
treated for termites,
also quoting unconfirmed reports
from unnamed sources about the colony of ants developing under my bed
A society chronicle discussed the recent party in my house
and in a weekly column, the columnist,
typically not very friendly to me,
questioned my motives behind buying a new car
A sports section carried the minute by minute
coverage of my tennis match with an old buddy
and gossip page quoted "my close friend" speculating
about the imminent breakup of my marriage
A devastating plane crash somewhere far away
was also briefly described in small print on the last page

What the Zell?

Daily Beast gets stuck into Sam Zell, the man who took over at the Tribune company.

“Local, local, local” is what readers want, he said at a media mogul conference last month. On the Chicago Tribune website, that means, under the banner of news: “Woman says ex-husband stole half of their bed.” Elsewhere on the homepage is a key to a calorie counter for turkey and a report on the finale of Dancing with the Stars.

More from Peter Osnos, senior fellow for media at The Century Foundation, and vice chair of the Columbia Journalism Review.

History is in at the White House (and Camp David)

You know, I'm the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President.

I'm a little upset that we didn't get the reforms to Fannie and Freddie - on Fannie and Freddie, because I think it would have helped a lot. And when people review the history of this administration, people will say that this administration tried hard to get a regulator. And there will be a lot of analysis of why that didn't happen. I suspect people will find a lot of it didn't happen for pure political reasons.

ABC gets Bush. A little of Charlie Gibson's interview.

GIBSON: Was not saving Lehman a mistake?

BUSH: We'll let the historians look back on that. At the time, the recommendation was not to, obviously. And some are second-guessing that. And in a situation like this, Charlie, where the administration is making big decisions and big calls, that there's going to be a lot of second-guessing. The one thing that I don't want to have happen is people say this thing was in a financial meltdown and we didn't do anything. And so we're moving -- hard.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It's a trend: second post about a new job going in journalism inside 12 hours, almost

Market forces finally hit journalism...

The winner of the “I Am The Future Of Journalism” Contest receives a prize that we know is increasingly valuable in journalism due to shrinking supply — a job.

And it is with Publishing 2.0.

Entry form here.

Blog Will Eat Itself

Somehow I have become a cross between Edina in Ab-Fab & Andrew Sullivan. In search of why Twitter matters, which clearly it does but I'm too prolix, I find, via Fred Wilson's blog, that I'm interested in tumbleblogs. Here's Wikipedia:

A tumblelog (also known as a tlog or tumblog) is a variation of a blog that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging. Common post formats found on tumblelogs include links, photos, quotes, dialogues, and video. Unlike blogs, tumblelogs are frequently used to share the author's creations, discoveries, or experiences while providing little or no commentary.

Here's mine.

Forget Cloud Computing, this is Clod Computing

Last night I went to a discussion at the Royal Court in London about the state of theatre criticism - the traditional first night reviewing of the Billingtonia Brigade, and the newer nascent world of blogging enthusiasts. I'll write more later on the debate, but the key thing - of course - was how will mainstream media pay for something as rarefied as in-depth theatre reviews in the future? I don't know, though I suggested philanthropy perhaps; particularly as theatre does seem such a fertile social network. More on that too. Money issues are everywhere. I like this tart summing up of advertising and social media from a fine American blog: can’t barge into the middle of an intimate social situation, yell "buy my stuff!" and then leave. A brand that does that will certainly be remembered — as a clod.

Being a clod is certainly the way to get kicked out of the social media party, but the decline of every form of media begins with the rescinding of a welcome. Media companies don't see this, so we don't believe it. We believe our own hyperbole, and can't imagine that we're actually doing things to make ourselves less welcome in the lives of consumers.

From Local Media in a Postmodern World.

The Future of News: saving the profession?

From "Greater Boston", a news program on Boston PBS station WGBH. Is this where news goes? This and Twitter? No, but this is going to be part of the new news sea.

Credit Crunch Journalism: Using the Comments Section to Apply for a Job

Roger Alton, Independent editor, blogs. The first comment in response - a bunch of suggestions to improve the paper, as Alton requested - is also a job application. Smart. From Ed Gallois.

...3. Keep the fluff in the features section. Let the other papers run stories on John Sergeant quitting Strictly Come Dancing and stick to the important stuff. You might lose short term hits on your website, but your reputation for being THE thinking man's newspaper will build and spread. There's a reason the Economist's circulation figures remain steady while all national papers lose popularity...

10. Hire me. I'm cheap, hardworking, talented (ask Steve Richards or John Rentoul), NCTJ qualified and want to make the Independent better.

Lots more ideas for the Indy here.
Ed Gallois here.

More Wolff at the Door: on why Murdoch has a problem

This time it is MySpace.

MW: I don’t think that’s true. I think it is- if you’re on MySpace now, you’re a [expletive] cretin. And you’re not only a [expletive] cretin, but you’re poor. Nobody who has beyond an 8th grade level of education is on MySpace. It is for backwards people.

Jon Fine & Michael Wolff Q&A and generally chat about the prospects for MySpace.

Jon Fine: What do you identify as the problem?

MW: Facebook.

Books Don't Furnish a Parisian River Bank

Those Left Bank book stalls in Paris [Bouquinistes] filled with First Editions and rare collections of poetry and are in trouble: books aren't selling so well, and plastic Eiffel towers are doing better. What happens next?

...Paris city hall, alarmed that the garish knick-knacks are damaging Paris's "cultural landscape", has launched a battle to protect the literary soul of the banks of the Seine. Bouquinistes have been invited to crisis talks at the city hall in an attempt to promote more intellectual merchandise. But some warn that if they cannot adapt to the changing market they will "die of hunger".

Imagine this in a market near you:

The trade is strictly regulated. Each bouquiniste is allowed four boxes painted dark green: three must contain books, the fourth can sell items such as prints, collectors' postcards, stamps and souvenirs.

From Le Guardian.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Wolff's new Masters of the Universe - technology people and professional managers

Jon Friedman interviewed Michael Wolff for Marketwatch about his new Rupert Murdoch biography a few weeks ago.

He got some media advice as well. Wolff said:

* "Newspapers are over and done with. Broadcast news also."
* "Newspapers are not up to date. Not save-able."
* "Nobody's going to make it in the media in their present form because of the financial meltdown. We're going to have a much smaller, more streamlined media world in which the weak players will be moved out."
* Media companies "are going to stress profitability and all the classic business virtues."
* "The next wave of media leaders is going to be technology people and professional managers, for better or worse."
* "Journalism students should know that this is still an exciting time to be in the news business. Everything has to be reinvented."

Answer? Not this.

Kindle: the new newspaper reader

...the New York Times is the 27th most popular thing Kindle users buy.

From the Nieman Journalism blog.

And what that means:
One other important note from that internal New York Times memo my colleague Zach got a hold of: The company reports it has “more than 10,000 paid subscribers” to an electronic edition of the newspaper on Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader.

Who will go open source on e-books? And what will that mean for newspapers - as well as book publishers?

The Dutch-German lingua franca: English

...With the launch of this site, we want to participate in the international discourse and to claim a space in the European public debate," said Birgit Donker, editor in chief of NRC Handelsblad. "We are convinced that we can appeal to a broader audience by publishing a selection of our daily content in English...

Spiegel Online & NRC Handelsblad in The Netherlands are now publishing together...

How Many Levels of 'Unknowns' does it take to make History?

Great blog on one of those Front Page of History Scenes that probably didn't happen...
Henry Morton Stanley pretended to have written something in his diary on November 23rd, 1871. Perhaps he did, though the pages in his diary are torn out, so we can’t know for sure. The event he claimed to have recorded — but probably didn’t — also probably didn’t happen, or at least not the way it’s usually “remembered.” He most likely didn’t say “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” on meeting the older doctor (Tim Jeal says so in his new biography), and he didn’t even meet him in the jungle at all. He met him in a town...

From the Edge of the American West blog.

And here is an interesting take on the above from the Nieman Journalism blog.

The value of unmediated information, direct from the source closest to the scene, versus the value of an older tradition that filters that information through the methods and mores of a profession? Substitute “those bloggers” for Stanley and “the mainstream media” for the Royal Geographic Society....

Is it just speed we're talking about...?

CNN: the new AP?

Everything is Everything.
The goal is for American newspapers and their Web sites to end their associations with the AP and consider using CNN's cheaper service.

CNN gets closer to the wires, as it were.

Google and Trust - lose it and they are dead

“To love Google, you have to be a little bit of a monarchist, you have to have faith in the way people traditionally felt about the king,” Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor and a former scholar in residence at Google, told me recently. “One reason they’re good at the moment is they live and die on trust, and as soon as you lose trust in Google, it’s over for them.” Google’s claim on our trust is a fragile thing. After all, it’s hard to be a company whose mission is to give people all the information they want and to insist at the same time on deciding what information they get.

From Sunday's NYT magazine piece on Google's Gatekeepers.

Literary Man goes 'bally up' about MIT

I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit.
P. G. Wodehouse

So does Wodehouse's biographer, it seems.

Wake up, folks, storytelling is in peril! To the ramparts of fiction, tale tellers! Seriously, there can be no argument with Kirkpatrick's premise that 'civilisation needs stories as much as it needs wheels, fire and fibre optics'. Where sensible people will part company with him is in his conclusion. At the Centre for Future Storytelling, he says: 'We want to use technology to keep storytelling alive.'

Robert McCrum has a new column to fill.

Perhaps he hasn't heard about e-books, or multiple player online gaming, the slight problems that newspapers are having in print...tipping points even or YouTube? The key word in David Kirkpatrick's quote from MIT is not "storytelling", but "alive". Keeping stories alive will involve some innovations that result directly from technological advances. So why can't MIT investigate? Can't we give the new story a try?

I think we should return to this sentence of McCrum's soon, as well.
Now, if there is one thing about 21st-century culture that has never needed life support, it is our imagination and the means through which we enjoy it - books, cinema and the mass media in all their manifestations.

Robert McCrum wrote last year of blogging that:
...the democracy of the web is in danger of becoming a cacophonous nightmare. For every carefully crafted, thoughtful expression of opinion, there are a score of half-baked rants: ignorant, bilious, semi-literate and depressing.

I wonder if he has read Simon Cowell's autobiography?
Or, for something really hopeful and interesting about the consumption of storytelling, checked out the collective reading of The Golden Notebook online?

We need our literary folk to get it, just a bit - please?

Is Citizen journalism any stronger when it confronts power?

The question that is not answered in Jeff Jarvis's paean to the eyes and ears and writing and photographing skills of the citizen journalist is how can its rapidly increasing members hold power to account in ways that we as consumers of news and information will trust?

The former editor of the New Statesman wrote this on Saturday:
British journalism is dangerously weak. It veers between hysteria (the "I'm so angry because" school of commentary) and stenography. What is the point of the media if it does not see its primary task as gathering information to hold power to account? Investigative journalism takes time and money. One can count on the fingers of perhaps two hands the serious practitioners, many of whom rely on whistleblowers.

And this:
A few years back, when I was a full-time political journalist, I had a chat with a colleague who had just become a government information officer. It was one of those periods when Fleet Street was taking pot shots at Tony Blair, and I asked my friend how it felt to be embattled. He laughed, saying he had been shocked to find out how little reporters - let alone the public - knew what was going on in Whitehall. "I reckon on any given day you'll be lucky to find out 1%."

John Kampfner's piece reminded me of an extract in Lance Price's The Spin Doctor diaries.

In April 2001 making his chauffer-driven way back from election planning at Chequers (the British Prime Minister’s country residence) the BBC journalist turned New Labour press officer Lance Price had an experience he subsequently revealed in 2005. The experience, despite changes in fashion over the past seven years, sums up our contemporary approach to political news rather well. It also helps to define another part of the swampy news landscape that we now journey across.

“On the way back in the car to Downing Street Sally [Morgan], Pat [McFadden] and I have to listen to Five Live on medium wave, because the radio in the fancy Lexus Philip [Gould, Labour’s pollster] had laid on for us would pick up any FM station over 90.0 because apparently they don’t exist in Japan! So the driver said, anyway. They were running a thirty-minute discussion on our choice of ‘Lifted’ by the Lighthouse Family as our campaign song. The guests on Five Live, all music-industry insiders, were dismissive, saying it was safe and bland, etc. They had a Labour MSP [Member of the Scottish Parliament] on, Frank McSomething-or-other who has a collection of CDs running into thousands, who agreed, and said that ‘those people down at Millbank’ [headquarters of the Labour party] probably thought it was good music. We had a laugh about it and agreed that if ‘Lifted’ was a drink it would be Jacob’s Creek; if it was an item of clothing it would be Gap chinos; if it was a car it would be a Ford Mondeo; and if it was a politician it would be Tony Blair. ”

Today Mr. Price would undoubtedly be chauffer-driven from Chequers in a Lexus hybrid car (or be cycling a discrete fifty metres in front of it), and if he wasn’t listening via digital radio to a Radio Four analysis of the curious music Playlists on Gordon Brown’s new IPod, he would be reading something unpleasant on Guido Fawkes’ politics blog via his IPhone (ok, his Blackberry). The surface consumer detail is unimportant (though not to the sea of interpreter journalists, the commentator, columnist and sketch writer): the larger point, that all news, however it is constituted and then distributed (other than the football scores) is now apparently beyond objectivity: everything from a political speech, through the theme song used by a political party in an electoral campaign, to a Hurricane in New Orleans and the state of Al Quada in Afghanistan, is reducible to mass “discussion” and “analysis” thus interpretation - be it by Price’s “music-industry insiders”, or, as happens more frequently, by phone-in pundits, or media-trained polemicists and the guinea-fowl of malleable focus-group organizers.

Of course this process is most marked online, where the news and the comment is fodder for us - the commentators, the “Fisking” bloggers, the simple factual correctors, the Googling Aggregators, and the very, very angry.

In this information sea how does the Twitter news, and citizen journalism (based on empirical eye-witness evidence, or just made up), create some kind of epistemological foundation? Is it, in fact, by being linked to, or published by, other kinds of non-citizen-based journalism? And if so, what kinds of journalism? And can citizen journalism hold power to account any better than Kampfner's view? Will Twitter out-fox the heirs of Lance Price?

Social media sure, but also social fragmentation

A study [PDF] from Sheffield University looks at the strength of physical communities in the UK. Using a formula that is
based on the proportion of people in an area who are single, those who live alone, the numbers in private rented accommodation and those who have lived there for less than a year.

The higher the proportion of people in those categories, the less rooted the community, according to social scientists. They refer to it as the level of "anomie" or the "feeling of not belonging".

From the BBC.

The researchers conclude that the increase in anomie weakens the "social glue" of communities. The result, they suggest, is that neighbourhoods are likely to be less trusting and more fearful.

Mumbai and the New News Media Orthodoxy

The Mumbai media triangulation:

The country’s broadcasters were summoned Friday by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to deal with charges that the live saturation coverage had helped the terrorists. At the same time, however, traditional media were criticized as too slow and inaccurate by legions of “citizen journalists” using Internet services such as Twitter and photo site Flickr.

From Variety magazine.

Phase one: Creating celebrity terrorism, getting it wrong, being too slow - or too fast - aiding the bad guys, pumping out propaganda.

Phase two: media experts criticizing the first drafts of a 24/7 news culture for any of above reasons. Golden Ages remembered.

Phase three: journalistic self flagellation as usual, but with no regard to how we as consumers of news & context feel cheated by more messenger shooting. Trust levels diminish ever further; doubt democratized a little more.

Phase four: revisionism.

Phase five: more articles about the death of newspapers.

And then there is the handing over of the baton view:

The last mass-news story was 9/11, packaged from a distance. The 7/7 attacks on London and the 2004 tsunami then brought the perspective of witnesses via their cameras. The Sichuan earthquake and the Mumbai attacks brought the urgency of Twitter. The next news story will be seen live and at eye level.

Ever since I survived the 9/11 attacks, and later saw the coverage the world saw - smoke spied from rooftops miles away - I have made sure to always have a camera with me, as the view of the story from the ground was so different from that seen on TV. Now I carry a mobile phone that can capture and broadcast text, photos and video immediately. If I'd had that then, the image I would have shared would have been the image I most remember - not of smoke and helicopters, but instead of black tear-tracks on the face of an African-American woman covered in the grey dust of destruction. Such will be our new view of news: urgent, live, direct, emotional, personal.

Jeff Jarvis, from the Guardian.

Well Being, Five Ways to Leave your Languor

I think this is all part of the new modesty. I hope so. We do need some light.
Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

From the new economics foundation's contribution to the government's Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing.

PDF of the paper here.

Long Way to Doorstep: outsourcing news

Pasadena news is now written in Mysore...roughly 9000 miles away.
“I pay per piece, just the way it was in the garment business,” he says. “A thousand words pays $7.50.”

A penny for your thoughts? Now I knew my days were numbered.

I checked in with one of his workers in Mysore City in southern India, 40-year-old G. Sreejayanthi, who puts together Pasadena events listings. She said she had a full-time job in India and didn’t think of herself as a journalist. “I try to do my best, which need not necessarily be correct always,” she wrote back. “Regarding Rose Bowl, my first thought was it was related to some food event but then found that is related to Sports field.”

From Maureen Dowd & the NYT.

The End of Me Journalism starts by pointing at good examples of "Them"

Online, there's another alternative, which newspapers seem to have problems figuring out: Beef up coverage by aggregating links from other news sites. I'm always flabbergasted to hear editors complain about sites that link to them (somehow, in this view, the linkers are stealing content), when in fact that traffic is almost always additive- and newspapers should be doing the same thing themselves. Newspaper sites should be the central source of links to anything they cover, and they should use those links to supplement coverage they can't do themselves.

Mark Potts on the future of the "wires".

The next level of this analysis is how to be the "central source". That seems to involve legacy. Should YouTube become a news aggregator?

All that commotion: the hunt for profitable media

Life in interesting times is probably always like this, but nevertheless the sentences do make for a nice sounding paragraph.
As we work to develop this new game, or business model, within our own company, conflicts arise. Those who see the future, but can’t articulate it, are frustrated. Those who see the future and want to make it happen quickly are very frustrated by those who don’t even perceive the need for a new game. Those who don’t perceive the need for a new game are frustrated by all the commotion.

By the CEO of the Gazette media company in Iowa.

Internet moving from open systems to closed?

I'm going to talk about Jonathan Zittrain later in the week, but here's part his latest take on the "narrowing" of the Internet.

The new closed models that represent the likely future of consumer computing and networking are no minor tweaks. We face wholesale revision of the Internet and PC environment of the past 30 years. The change is coming partly because of the need to address security problems peculiar to open technologies, and partly because businesses want more control over the experience that customers have with their products. The trend from open systems toward closed ones threatens the culture of serendipitous tinkering that has given us the Web, instant messaging, peer-to-peer networking, Skype, Wikipedia and a host of other innovations, each of which emerged from left field. It will produce a concentrated set of new gatekeepers, with us and them prisoner to their limited business plans and to regulators who fear things that are new and disruptive.

From Newsweek's December 8 print edition.