Monday, May 07, 2007

Stop! Look! Links! 5/7/07

Save Pandora....Citizen Journalism hype: the view from Australia. . .Ziff-Davis' ethical gaffe...Jack Myers on ethical lapses with the VA Tech independent hyperlocal citizen journalism in Buffalo,NY...Where is social media going?

Sorry I've been remiss with posting here. Lots going on at Assignment Zero and I've barely had a chance to breathe. However, there's been a number of stories y'all should take a look at:

Tim Westergren of Pandora recently sent an email urging action on recent regulations boosting fees for Internet radio. from Tim: Understand that we are fully supportive of paying royalties to the artists whose music we play, and have done so since our inception. As a former touring musician myself, I'm no stranger to the challenges facing working musicians. The issue we have with the recent ruling is that it puts the cost of streaming far out of the range of ANY webcaster's business potential. Sign the petition to Save Internet Radio. . .

Check out Buffalo Rising a new hyperlocal site for Buffalo, NY! I love when people go and do things without the permission of the local newspaper magnates! BR's got its own reporting, PLUS it's aggregating local blogs, PLUS an ad from the local minor league team! Best of luck to George Johnson and everybody at BR :-)

(if I had the time and $$ to do it, I'd set up something like this out here in W. Mass...)

DIY journalism is not a real alternative: Christopher Scanlon writes a how the rhetoric around the term "citizen journalism" is being used in Australia: The ease with which a blog or a news site can be set up fuels the myth that citizen journalism is free of constraints. However, the most popular sites aren't owned and controlled by altruistic charities intent on spreading free speech. They're controlled by entities that are driven by profit.... In most cases, and esp. as far as the big media-style blogs are concerned, he's right. The smaller, hyperlocal ones, however, are a different story. I wonder what the hyperlocal scene is in Australia?

Fellow blogger Paul Conley's been following Ziff-Davis' use of IntelliTXT ads in their news copy and ZD journos have informed Paul of ZD's recent malfeasance Paul says: Look. I have nothing against advertising. But this is not a negotiable issue. The ethical standards of our industry are as clear as can be in this area. The editorial department controls editorial. It's that simple. Here, in fact, is what ASBPE says: "Whether for editorial or advertising information, hypertext links should be placed at the discretion and approval of editors. Also, advertising and sponsored links should be clearly distinguishable from editorial, and labeled as such ... Contextual links within editorial content should not be sold, and generally should not link to a vendor’s Web site, unless it is pertinent to the editorial content or helpful to the reader."
There may be a place for ads such as these, but that place cannot be in any publication that claims to adhere to the standards of professional journalism.
I so completely agree with Paul...this kind of thing is nonsense. Hyperlinks in text should lead to further information, as in related stories, and not to ads. This really is just bloody awful...

NBC Should Never Have Aired the Virginia Tech Video: Jack Myers’ Think Tank former CBS tv exec Jack Myers writes the best column at MediaPost TVBoard blog--Jack's look at lots of the decisions that networks are making these days and is unflinching in his criticism of the ethical gaffes msm is making these names all in the name of money. from Jack: There are endless arguments about free speech, about how the videos would have found their way into the public eye — and, of course, NBC’s responsibility not only to the audience but to shareholders as well, for whom any ratings opportunity is more important than issues of the public good. Jack's got a good point....and also understands that when these sorts of things show up on YouTube, it's a very different thing than when they show up on something like the NBC Nightly News--partly because of the money involved but also because of the ethical implications. I can't do Jack justice here...go read the whole post...

Vincent Maher's Where is Social Media going? is an unflinching look at the downside of social media: The social media world is highly fragmented, in terms of both content and format, and also tends to be filtered around clusters of special interests or communities. For instance, the collective intelligence that emerges on sites like Digg and Reddit ultimately recreates the considered decisions made by editors but the process is very different and, ultimately, harder to fix.

If an editor begins to display a consistent bias that negatively affects the publication, the editor can be fired and replaced, quickly. On the other hand, the wide-spread ideological bias of the readership of a site like Digg (and perhaps the influence of an elite of power users) is much harder to eradicate.
Anybody who thought the Digg riot was a good thing should read Maher. Social media sites are great when the emphasis is on "social"--but when "media" dominates "social" in the word-equation (and in the thinking of those who want to boost their profit margins), we've got problems.

That's the best of the bunch from my Inbox! more later...

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Brian Ward said...

There is a growing hyperlocal blogging phenomenon in Australia. I just wrote about it in my blog -

Tish Grier said...

Thanks for the link, Brian! that's a great site, and keep up the really cool work :-)