Category Archives: Uncategorized
So you thought print was dead. Well, it isn’t. The New York Times published an article for their blog, Media Decoder on Tuesday. “Small Gain in Newspaper Circulations, Aided by Digital Subscriptions” by Tanzina Vega focused on the recent report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which monitors newspaper circulation.
The report shows an overall increase in circulation for the 618 daily newspapers over a six month period. Vega states in her article, “The biggest increase was for The New York Times, whose daily circulation, including the digital version, increased 73.05 percent over the previous year, largely because of the introduction of its paid digital subscription model last year. The A.B.C. report on 618 daily newspapers for the six-month period ended March 31 counts both print and digital subscriptions.”
Vega adds, based on the A.B.C. report, “The 618 newspapers with daily circulation increased 0.68 percent. The Wall Street Journal remained in the top spot with a total average daily circulation of 2,118,315, compared with 2,117,796 last year. USA Today was second with 1,817,446; The New York Times had 1,586,757; The Los Angeles Times, 616,575; and The Daily News of New York, 579,636.”
She also quoted the chief executive of the Newspaper Association of America, Caroline H. Little, as stating, “We’re particularly gratified to note that newspapers’ embrace of digital platforms, as well as smart and efficient circulation strategies for print products, are reflected in the numbers, which clearly demonstrate positive trends in total circulation growth for publishers.”
Okay, so you might be sitting here thinking that it shouldn’t count because it’s not print. Well, actually it is. It’s just in digital format. I won’t go as far to say this gets the newspaper industry out of the woods just yet. I will say that this is promising. It shows how old media platforms are integrating new media platforms and using it to keep their brand alive. If it takes a bunch of new online subscriptions to keep The Gray Lady in business, and others like the Wall Street Journal, then I’m all for it. I still enjoy the feel of a newspaper page between my fingers, but I’m also the same person who gets daily email feeds from various news sources and has an online subscription to a major news organization.
Video didn’t kill the radio star, and I honestly don’t think digital will kill traditional print. There is room for everyone.
- Wall Street Journal Remains No. 1 U.S. Newspaper (usnews.com)
- ABC: Newspaper Circulation Increased in Last Six Months, 5% on Sundays (worldmediatrend.wordpress.com)
- Online subscriptions push circulation up (nzherald.co.nz)
- Paywall helps WSJ set pace on circulation and maintained 1st position (worldmediatrend.wordpress.com)
- Wall Street Journal remains No. 1 US newspaper (troyrecord.com)
- One in seven US newspapers now digital: survey (hazimc.wordpress.com)
The Committee to Protect Journalists released an analysis yesterday, of what they consider the worlds top ten censored countries. CPJ said this report was released to observe World Press Freedom Day, which is today.
Below, I will list the top ten countries along with a brief excerpt taken from the report which describes some of the censorship for each and how it operates.
“Only state news media are allowed to operate in Eritrea, and they do so under the complete direction of Information Minister Ali Abdu. Journalists are conscripted into their work and enjoy no editorial freedom; they are handed instructionson how to cover events. Journalists suspected of sending information outside the country are thrown into prison without charge or trial and held for extended periods of time without access to family or a lawyer.”
2. North Korea
” Nearly all the content of North Korea’s 12 main newspapers, 20 periodicals, and broadcasters comes from the official Korean Central News Agency and focuses on the political leadership’s statements and supposed activities. Ruling elites have access to the World Wide Web, but the public is limited to a heavily monitored and censored network with no connections to the outside world. ”
” …the regime has imposed a blackout on independent news coverage, barring foreign reporters from entering and reporting freely, and detaining and attacking local journalists who try to cover protests. Numerous journalists have gone missing or been detained without charge, and many said they were tortured in custody.”
“Imprisoned journalists are subject to horrible conditions including solitary confinement, physical abuse, and torture; families of journalists are also intimidated and harassed in a bid to keep them silent. Iranian authorities maintain one of the world’s toughest Internet censorship regimes, blocking millions of websites, including news and social networking sites; using sophisticated techniques to detect interference with anti-censorship programs; and intimidating reporters via social networks.”
“Technically, some outlets are privately owned, but none are independent, as Obiang and his associates exert direct or indirect control. State mediado not provide international news coverage unless Obiang or another official travels abroad. Censors enforce rigid rules to ensure the regime is portrayed positively; journalists who don’t comply risk prison under criminal statutes including defamation. Security agents closely shadow foreign journalists and restrict photography or filming that documents poverty.”
“No independent media outlets are based in Uzbekistan. Independent journalists—mostly contributors to outlets outside the country—are subject to interrogation and prosecution under defamation charges or outdated statutes such as “insulting national traditions.” They and their families are harassed and smeared; some have seen sensitive personal information published by state media.”
“The government dominates radio and television with a steady stream of propaganda. Laws bar the ownership of a computer without a license and ban the dissemination or posting of unauthorized materials over the Internet. Prison sentences have been used to punish reporters working for exile-run media groups. Regulations imposed in 2011 banned the use of flash drives and voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) communication in Internet cafés.”
8. Saudi Arabia
“Regulations require government registration and approval of editors for any organization or individual conducting “electronic journalism” or “displaying audio and visual material” on websites, while criteria for approval are vaguely defined. No foreign or local journalists are granted access to the Eastern Province, where protesters have been calling for political reforms and greater rights for the Shiite minority since February 2011. Local news websites that have reported on the unrest have been shut down and their editors arrested. ”
“All authorized domestic news media are controlled by the Communist Party, which recognizes freedom of the press only “in accordance with the goals of the socialist society.” Internet service providers are obliged to block objectionable content. Independent journalists and bloggers all work on websites that are hosted overseas and updated through embassies or costly hotel connections.”
“…wide-ranging anti-press tactics have included politicized prosecution of journalists; imprisonments; travel bans against critical reporters; debilitating raids on independent newsrooms; wholesale confiscation of newspapers and seizure of reporting equipment; and failure to investigate the murdersof at least three journalists in the past 10 years. After the rigged election of 2010, he cracked down on what was left of the independent media, sending it underground.”
It is also important to note that CPJ recognizes a few runners-up, which include: Turkmenistan, China, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Sudan and Azerbaijan. You can read the entire report here.
After I read this report from CPJ, I found myself a bit exasperated. I thought to myself, this is the 21st century! How is this still taking place in the world? How is it that all over the world, people are continually stifled and kept in the dark? There is the Internet for crying out loud! Well, this report should help to remind all of us that our freedoms are always under attack. Basic human liberties, as we view them in the West, are consistently trampled on. It’s bad enough that there are governments out there that continue to murder citizens and completely oppress the people of their country. I’m not a Pollyanna, by any means. I think there will always be this kind of behavior. And I also think there will always be some battle for control of information, but to see it on this scale, today, in these modern times? Well, the lack of attention given to this is dis-heartening to say the least. If you are reading this, and you live in the United States, don’t think we are immune to this kind of behavior, albeit on a smaller scale. Read this.
I think we journalists, as well as the average citizen, should always remember this: Independent journalism needs to exist as a protective tool of democracy, freedoms and basic human rights. Something that is, in my opinion, under attack daily.
- Eritrea tops list of world’s worst press censors (guardian.co.uk)
- Journalism Group Cites Censorship in 10 Countries (abcnews.go.com)
- Journalism group cites censorship in 10 countries (heraldonline.com)
- Journalism group cites censorship in 10 countries (kansascity.com)
- Govt Vows to Lift Media Restrictions (irrawaddy.org)
- Burma Still Among World’s Worst for Press Freedom (irrawaddy.org)
1. CISPA has nothing to do with SOPA.
2. CISPA got better with amendments.3. …But it’s still fundamentally broken.
4. CISPA is not the only cybersecurity bill in Congress.
5. CISPA likely won’t pass the Senate. (unchanged)
The first point Couts makes is this, “CISPA has to do with privacy. SOPA dealt with censorship. CISPA threatens our Fourth Amendment rights — the right against “unreasonable searches and seizures” — because it allows businesses to hand over a staggering amount of information about us to the federal government with impunity. SOPA threatened our First Amendment rights — the right to free speech — because it would have allowed the federal government to block access to websites using the same practices employed in oppressive regimes, like Iran and China.”
His second point? “A total of 11 amendments were added to the bill, some of which made positive changes to the types of information that may be shared, and how the government may legally use that information.” He continues on to list some of the major changes made in the bill and discusses the most notable change, the Quayle amendment that he summarizes in his article.
“One added provision, known as the Quayle amendment, has raised the most number of eyebrows. It outlines the purposes for which the government may use information collected from businesses. They are as follows:
- investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes;
- protection of individuals from the danger of death or physical injury;
- protection of minors from physical or psychological harm; and
- protection of the national security of the United States“
Couts goes on to discuss why he thinks the bill is still flawed and said, “For starters, the bill still does not provide any limits on the information shared under CISPA to be passed along to shadowy organizations, like the National Security Agency, which has essentially no public oversight. Furthermore, CISPA still allows data collected under the bill to be used for vague purposes of “national security,” a term that could mean almost anything.”
He also informs his readers that there are two other bills currently in Congress, one brought forth by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called SECURE IT Act or S. 2151. The other bill is presented by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), called Cybersecurity Act of 2012 or S. 2105. Couts explains that both other bills share the problem of broad language like CISPA and that it’s possible in the end that CISPA could be combined with one of the two bills. Couts reports that currently, Lieberman’s bill has the support of the White House and Senate Democrats. This is significant since the President has threatened to veto CISPA if certain changes do not take place.
The veto issue is also part of Couts last point, that CISPA will not likely pass in the Senate. He includes the caveat of change. If certain requirements outlined by the President take place, and the bill can be hashed out to everyone’s liking, it may pass into law. Considering the track record, of the two major political parties agreeing on anything, as being less than stellar, I’m personally not going to hold my breath. That doesn’t mean I’m not deeply concerned about the bill. After all, it did pass the House with a 248-168 vote and had over 100 cosponsors, which is cause for serious concern for all those who use the internet, and more specifically, investigative journalists.
Overall, I don’t see any real positive change in the language of the bill. I’m concerned for investigative journalists for a very good reason. The nature of their work. The “watchdogs” of government may have to begin re-thinking the methods they use to get information online. I’m skeptical that should the government get wind of an investigation through the abilities provided by the CISPA bill, they would just let journalists go about their job undeterred. We may end up seeing more instances like what happened to the two journalists working for USA Today. You can read more about their story here.
So what’s the take-away? Well, as Couts points out, it’s a long process and we should all be willing to accept that fact, and keep paying attention no matter how long it takes for a decision to be made on CISPA. Journalists especially, should be paying close attention. If you thought there were problems with the use of anonymity before, just wait and see what happens when the government, at will, snoops around your information and starts to monitor you under the guise of national security. (Especially if your story targets the government.) As a computer scientist friend of mine casually suggested recently, getting to know the ins-and-outs of encryption might become a valuable investment in your career.
- Tech Giant Warns CISPA Is “Alarming” Threat to Privacy (mountainrepublic.net)
- Five things everyone needs to know about CISPA (digitaltrends.com)
- CISPA – pay attention 007 (marcgartenberg4li.wordpress.com)
- Who supports and opposes CISPA, and why? (theverge.com)
- EFF Condemns CISPA, Vows to Take Fight to the Senate (eff.org)
- Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote (techdirt.com)
- Homeland Security Internet monitoring dropped from CISPA (news.cnet.com)
- Microsoft backs away from CISPA support, citing privacy (news.cnet.com)
- CISPA: What now? (digitaltrends.com)
- Rate My Amendment, How CISPA Attacks the Constitution (kendramercer.wordpress.com)
- Government Bullies (kendramercer.wordpress.com)
Besides writing an award-winning piece that gained national recognition and awards, Michael Berens and Ken Armstrong decided to give back. They took their $10,000 prize money and paid for IRE training for their colleagues at The Seattle Times.
Horvit quotes Manny Garcia, the IRE Board President, “Mike and Ken have always been unselfish with their time and talent,” Garcia said. “They both exemplify what IRE is all about: equipping and training journalists world-wide to produce important investigative work. It speaks to their character and the quality news organization that is The Seattle Times.”
According to Horvit’s article, these two men are the second major award winners to do this sort of philanthropic work in the last few years.
This is important news to include these days. Why? The news about the news doesn’t always have to be critical, or negative or controversial. Gestures like this will keep journalism moving forward, steadily toward improvement. Reporting, writing and investigating are skills that can always be improved upon. I’ve re-discovered that just by keeping this blog. These two men, decided to invest in the important work that investigative journalists do every day. Honing their skills, and now making that practice available to others in the business through this training, is invaluable to the industry.
Journalism is not only learning about what we report, but how and why we report.
There is a quote by Thomas Griffith, a former editor for Time, Inc., “Journalism is in fact history on the run.” That would be something difficult to chase without the necessary skills. Berens and Armstrong are setting a good example in this industry and they are providing those skills to their fellow staffers. Kudos to them.
- Two Seattle publications win Pulitzer Prizes (bizjournals.com)
- 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winners (themoderatevoice.com)
- 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners announced (twitchy.com)
- 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners for Journalism announced (economy4abc.blogspot.com)
The “Today” show for NBC decided last month to air an edited clip of the 911 call made by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman as you know is currently facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Trayvon Martin. According to Carr’s article, the show edited the clip, which ended up making Zimmerman sound as though he was making racist comments. Carr called the edited clip, “…misleading, incendiary and dead-bang wrong…”
Carr goes on to say that while NBC took swift action after realizing the terrible editing, albeit a week after it originally aired and re-aired, which included an investigation, the firing of the producer in charge and an apology.
Carr points out that what the network didn’t do, was make an on-air correction. Not during any of the four hours of the show was there one second dedicated to a correction that would set the audience straight.
Carr states, “What is it with television news and corrections? When the rest of the journalism world gets something wrong, they generally correct themselves. But network news acts as if an on-air admission of error might cause a meteor to land on the noggin of one of its precious talking heads. NBC used all of the powers at its disposal to amend the mistake, except the high-visibility airtime where the bad clip ran in the first place.”
Carr reached out to Steve Capus, president of NBC News, and much to his disappointment, Capus agreed with Carr.
Capus stated in Carr’s article, “We did an awful lot of work after it happened. We did an exhaustive investigation, I did interviews with a lot of publications to get the message out, but we probably should have done it on our own air.”
Carr wraps up his article saying, “Give NBC credit for dealing with a big error that threatened to sow further mayhem on a very delicate story. It’s just too bad it failed to remember that the fix for bad journalism generally includes more journalism. The kind that goes on the air.”
I agree with Carr. The network absolutely should have aired a correction, especially given the very nature in the evolution of this case and its national attention.
When Carr mentions that television news never corrects itself unless it is to make a lawsuit go away, I cringe at the comment. Why is this the case? Does broadcast journalism hold itself to a different journalistic standard than papers and other forms of the news media? Shouldn’t this type of behavior, airing corrections on the same broadcast show that made the mistake, be included in a “best practices” standard? I certainly think it should. Considering the amount of people out there that still get their news from television broadcasts, I would think that keeping the public correctly informed would be a major characteristic and goal of any network.
I think it’s time that broadcast news, as it pertains to corrections, be held to the very same standards that the print media and online media follow. Journalism is journalism, and accuracy should be equally required across the board.
Carr speaks with Aaron Brown, a professor of journalism and former anchor. Brown states, “But given how high-profile that this screw-up was and the fact that it became a news story itself, I’m shocked that they didn’t correct it on the ‘Today’ show.”
Exactly Mr. Brown. In my view, you and David Carr hit the nail on the head.
- NBC apologizes for making Zimmerman sound racist in edited Trayvon clip (rt.com)
- Media Malpractice: Month after edited Zimmerman 911 call, no on-air correction by NBC (twitchy.com)
- @ NBC News president says 911 tape editing was “a mistake and not a deliberate act to misrepresent the phone call” (mediaite.com)
- Trayvon Martin call was “mistake, not deliberate” – NBC (vancouversun.com)
- NBC News ‘In Shock’ Over George Zimmerman Error (huffingtonpost.com)
- NBC fires ‘Today’ producer over Trayvon Martin 911 call edit (digitalspy.co.uk)
- NBC News President Steve Capus: Zimmerman’s edited call was a ‘mistake, not deliberate’ (nextlevelofnews.com)
Okay, it’s a bit of a slow news day folks. So in lieu of posting about something I’ve read in the news about the news…I’ve decided to keep to the subject, but ask you all a question. I would like to know where you stand on this issue.
- Photos may show US troops with corpses (kshb.com)
- New Photos Surface With U.S. Posing With Insurgent Body Parts (fox2now.com)
- Was the LA Times right to publish gruesome photos? (politico.com)
- Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans (cbsnews.com)
- LA Times Publishes Awful Afghan Photos Over Strong Objection From The Army (businessinsider.com)
In an article for the New York Times, David Carr makes an attempt to defend journalism. His article is titled, “Fill in the Blank: Being a Reporter Is the _____Job in the World.”
Carr basically sums up the past couple of weeks in the world of journalism, and how there seems to be a lot of talk of dissatisfaction with the job. In his article he quotes a fellow writer Malcolm Gladwell from a speech he gave at Yale, “Newspapers are kind of dreary, depressed places. I would go the penniless Web route to get practice.”
Carr mentions the Fox Mole indirectly, and we all know how dissatisfied he was with his job. He also mentions a young journalist who was hired and decided to write-up a press release about his new position and posted it to Tumblr, he was fired within twenty-four hours of being hired.
And then of course, Carr mentioned this, “CareerCast included hundreds of jobs in its annual ranking and decided that being a newspaper reporter was the fifth-worst job in the land. Being a dishwasher and a taxi driver rated as better occupations.”
Okay. So it wasn’t a great month in the land of journalism, and I agree, albeit with very little experience, that newsrooms and newspapers are not what they used to be.
But. There is still glory to be found in this old institution. There are still aspiring young journalists like myself that are figuring out what our niche’s are. There is a whole generation of journalists up and coming that want to restore the industry to the standards we are taught, and all, I promise is not lost.
Who does CareerCast think they are anyway? The future of journalism is a bright one. Thanks to Carr, journalists from all walks of life have commented on the state of the job, and in reading many of the responses to his article, I am convinced that CareerCast is completely off base.
To answer his question: Being a reporter is the most amazing job in the world.
- Advice for the Young Journalist (publicgoodreporting.wordpress.com)
- Matt Welch: Why legacy-newspaper media reporters get their own industry so wrong (nextlevelofnews.com)
- “Newspapers are kind of dreary, depressed places. I would go the penniless Web route to get practice….” (shortformblog.com)
- SXSW: David Carr and the Curator’s Code (theverge.com)
Mona Zhang wrote an article on Thursday for Media Bistro called, “Newton to Journalists: Focusing on the Story Just Isn’t Enough Anymore”.
According to her article, the distrust of the media by Americans is at an all time high. She writes, “In the digital age, journalists are required to don different hats; from multimedia to social media, there is an increasing amount of tools available for telling the story and sharing it. Still, it may not be enough.”
Zhang also mentions that Eric Newton, the senior adviser to the president of the Knight Foundation, spoke at the Logan Symposium on Investigative Reporting. Newton told the group of investigative reporters that just telling the story is not enough. Zhang says,
“…he [Newton] has spent his entire life worshiping the mantra, “The story is all that really matters.” Until now. “The story is not the only thing that matters,” he said. “A story by itself does not change the world. Someone must absorb it, share it, act on it and yes, even pay for it.” In order for stories to truly matter, he argues, news literacy is key, as is transparency, which can help facilitate dialogue and understanding within communities. “Sixty nine percent of America believes that if local newspapers no longer existed, it would be no big deal,” he said, which is why now, more than ever, journalists have an obligation not just to say, “Hey! Listen to this story!” but “Hey! This is why you should listen to this story!”
Newton, I believe is on to something. News literacy is a crucial part in today’s news industry. With so much information at our finger tips, most people have no idea how or where to begin gathering news. Many news consumers have no idea what the difference between propaganda, opinion and hard fact-based news truly looks like. I’ve said this in earlier posts, so many news organizations present information that is not truly news, as news. With this behavior becoming a growing trend, the news consumer hasn’t got a chance. Not to mention the impact of, yes I know…this again, social media. Information is at our very fingertips accessible twenty-four hours a day. Not just on the computer, but on our television screens, our tablets, and our mobile phones.
News consumers need the tools that news literacy provides. And now, it is the responsibility of journalists to give you the information you need, but also to inform you of the reasons why you should read the story and why it has relevance in your life.
Yes, as Zhang points out, we journalists wear many hats, and educating our news consumers about why they should read our stories, is just as important.
- Knight Foundation senior advisor receives Markoff award for investigative reporting fund (blogs.journalism.co.uk)
- CIR to launch investigative news channel on YouTube (gloucestercitynews.net)
- Americans on Environment News: We Want More! (motherjones.com)
- FAQ: Online journalism ethics, accuracy, transparency and objectivity (onlinejournalismblog.com)
- Getting the News – danah boyd (news.me)