Digital media

Southland Times editorial on Press Council changes

The Southland Times editorial is very good on the changes the Press Council is making to include bloggers.

Sometimes the news media need to grab their ankles for a health check.

This being the case, it’s a welcome development that bloggers and other digital media are being offered to partake in the process, by means of membership of the Press Council.

It’s a body that weighs up complaints against principles including accuracy, fairness, balance, privacy, confidentiality, discrimination, the use of subterfuge, the distinction of comment and fact, and conflicts of interest.

Inviting independent digital media to succumb to such extra scrutiny not only brings more accountability but, equally, credibility.

It doesn’t do any news or current affairs media any harm to be found out when they have seriously erred, nor to have their judgments independently endorsed, as occasionally happens too.

Nowhere is it written that those running their own websites must now form an orderly queue and join up. But the absence of a self-regulatory body has become an issue for those bloggers and sites that have become heavy hitters. And those who aspire to be. So they should be willing to join up.

[This is provided the yet-to-be-confirmed costs aren't disproportionately high compared with their income and that they are fairly represented on the complaints panel.]  Read more »

Press Council extends membership to bloggers

The Press Council has announced that they will extend their coverage to bloggers.

Oh dear someone is going to have to amend their submission to the High Court.

The only problem I have is the two EPMU representatives on the Press Council. I believe that in extending these provisions they need to have two bloggers on the council too. Perhaps is now time to formalise the Bloggers Union so that representatives can be appointed to the Press Council.

The Press Council is to offer membership to new digital media and gain additional powers to deal with complaints against traditional print media.

The moves follow a review of the Press Council by its main funder, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, which considered recommendations by the Press Council and a report last year by the Law Commission.

The Press Council was established in 1972 to adjudicate on complaints against member newspapers. Newspaper publishers decided to include magazines in 1998 and the council’s mandate was further expanded in 2002 to include members’ websites.

Current chair is former High Court judge Sir John Hansen and the council has a majority of non-media industry members.

Newspaper Publishers’ Association editorial director Rick Neville, who chairs the Press Council’s executive committee, said most publishers felt the time had come to strengthen the Press Council’s authority, and to extend its coverage to handle complaints against digital media, including bloggers.  Read more »

New media in ascendency, times have changed already

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AUT’s annual internet use report is out and there are some interesting results in relation to NZ’ers access to news:

  • 81% of NZ’ers say the Internet is an important source of information compared to 47% for TV, and 37% for radio and newspapers
  • 92% of NZ’ers use the Internet, 5% never have, and 3% used to
  • 79% of users access the Internet through laptops, 74% desktops, 68% mobile phones, 48% tablets, 15% gaming consoles and 10% Smart TVs
  • 70% of users are on Facebook, 7% of LinkedIn and 3% on Twitter  Read more »

Karl du Fresne on the new media landscape

Karl du Fresne looks at the ongoing Brown sex scandal and makes note of the changing and changed media landscape.

In the digital era, the news cycle operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The tempo has increased exponentially and a far more aggressive media constantly hounds politicians, hungry for new developments. It seems John Key can’t go anywhere without having microphones thrust at him.

But an even more potent factor is the emergence of new digital media – text messages, blogs, Facebook and Twitter – which provide a virulent forum for rumour, gossip, lies, abuse, propaganda and character assassination. It feeds on itself, each inflammatory item ratcheting up the intensity of the political conversation.    Read more »

Why ending anonymity online won’t make blogs a better place

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Pete and Travis have performed wonders in cleaning up the discourse here at Whale Oil Beef Hooked. At first we discussed the light use of the ban hammer to rid ourselves of genuine trolls, or people who failed to take the clear warnings. Now I pretty much leave them to it.

I do prefer a light hand and I think they get the balance right.

Some journalists, notably Fran O’Sullivan and other commentators here and world wide think that the answer to increasing civility is removing anonymity of commenters. I disagree…especially when we are discussing sensitive subjects, like mental health issues or cannabis then having anonymity allows people to share personal experiences they otherwise might not have shared if not anonymous.

The Guardian has an article about the move of the Huffington Post to remove anonymity for commenters and they note that it won;t work as they believe it will.

Using real names is often cited as the magic pill to prevent this type of unpleasantness. Putting aside the important point that implementing such a system is technically complex and virtually unworkable, anyone who has watched two friends mud-slinging below a Facebook status update knows real identities don’t bring instant politeness.  Read more »

Finally 3News gets the international recognition it deserves..

How to make The Herald look world class…

The Huffington Post thinks that 3News dog attack animation is the worst news graphic ever.

US manning up against Chinese

The US is fighting back against the Chinese PLA hackers and getting stroppy over intellectual property theft.

With President Obama preparing for a first meeting with China’s new president, a commission led by two former senior officials in his administration will recommend a series of steps that could significantly raise the cost to China of the theft of American industrial secrets. If milder measures failed, the commission said, the United States should consider giving companies the right to retaliate against cyberattackers with counterstrikes of their own.  Read more »

Why Breaking News is Broken

I have been getting emails why I didn’t immediately cover the bombing in Boston and leap on the bandwagon of grief porn.

There are a couple of reasons. The first one was that I was busy. Then there was the confusing and in some cases outright wrong reporting, and lastly…some of the photos that are out there are just shocking. I had people at the office claiming variously that dozens were dead, then  just some, before settling on three, that they had arrested a Saudi national and he was under guard at a hospital. Then as I watched over the last few days at the witch-hunt unfolding for people who are innocent I am kind of relieved I didn’t jump on the band-wagon.

Slate has an article about the splatter porn and breaking news that I think people should read. It explains why breaking news is broken.

Inspired by the events of the past week, here’s a handy guide for anyone looking to figure out what exactly is going during a breaking news event. When you first hear about a big story in progress, run to your television. Make sure it’s securely turned off.

Next, pull out your phone, delete your Twitter app, shut off your email, and perhaps cancel your service plan. Unplug your PC.

Now go outside and take a walk for an hour or two. Maybe find a park and sit on a bench, reading an old novel. Winter is just half a year away—have you started cleaning out your rain gutters? This might be a good time to start. Whatever you do, remember to stay hydrated. Have a sensible dinner. Get a good night’s rest. In the morning, don’t rush out of bed. Take in the birdsong. Brew a pot of coffee.  Read more »

What would you do with the world’s fastest internet? [POLL]

Google is rolling out their fibre plans in locations in the US. It sounds totally awesome.

There are of course people who think there is no need for such speed.

In March of 2010, Google announced its intention to build super-fast fibre-optic internet service in “a small number of trial locations across the United States.” A year later, after receiving more than 1000 applications from cities and towns across the country, Google chose Kansas City as its first location. Last November, Google began installing service in people’s homes. For $US70 a month, the company offers Kansas City residents a 1-gigabit internet line – the fastest home internet service available anywhere in the world, about 150 times faster than the average American broadband speed of 6.7 Mbps. (You also get 1 terabyte of online storage as part of the deal, something Google normally sells for $50 a month.) For $120 a month, you get the 1-GB line plus cable-like TV service, as well as a Nexus 7 tablet that you can use as your remote. There’s also a “free” plan: After you pay a $300 construction fee – which you can split into 12 payments of $25 – Google will provide your home with a 5-Mbps internet line for “at least seven years,” and probably indefinitely. (Legally, the company needed to provide an end date for service.)

These are amazing services at unbelievable prices. For about the same fee that many Americans currently pay for cable, Google is offering internet speeds that, until now, were available only to big companies for thousands of dollars a month.

Therein lies the mystery. Google’s gigabit initiative, called Google Fibre, has sparked a round of questions across the tech industry. Is Google looking to become an internet service provider? Does it simply want to spur other ISPs into providing faster service? And, finally, why gigabit internet – what does Google expect people to do with the world’s fastest broadband service?  Read more »

Stuff just as bad as NZ Horrid, maybe their staff are role swapping

It looks like Stuff has caught the Herald Disease.

They really made a hash of their coverage of Shearer’s re-shuffle:

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They aren’t even close to approaching the awful job the NZ Herald is doing with digital media.