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NYTimes release: New York Times and GateHouse settle out of court in linking case

January 26th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Legal, Media releases

The New York Times and GateHouse Media have settled their legal case out of court.

GateHouse Media had raised the action against the Times for links found on Boston.com to its local website network.

Full release at this link…

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Comment is free: Can links kill?

December 30th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

Dan Kennedy on how the dispute over online linking between New York Times and GateHouse Media could determine online journalism’s future. “What makes this battle especially dangerous is that the Times and GateHouse are struggling not just for advantage, but for their very survival.”

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Guido to introduce community rating system to blog

(or, ‘how many times can we use the word ‘comment’ in one blog post’?)

Guido Fawkes got the comments going today with a post that said he is ‘mulling over’ whether to moderate comments over the holiday period. He also announces that in the new year a ‘community rating’ element will be introduced to his blog (details at end of this post).

Guido Fawkes, aka Paul Staines, referred back to November, to the Goldsmiths seminar on media ethics and a comment from the Times Comment editor, Anne Spackman, who said that TimesOnline spends ‘six figures’ on pre-moderating online comments [unclear over what time period - Journalism.co.uk will follow-up soon. UPDATE 19/12: Anne Spackman told Journalism.co.uk that the paper cannot currently clarify exact details, but that a six figure bill is paid to another partner.]

Fawkes said today on his blog:

“It is certainly expensive in time, every morning Guido deletes a load of comments which have, in his rather arbitrary judgement, just gone too far.”

Journalism.co.uk was also at the Goldsmiths event and spoke to Fawkes afterwards. He told Journalism.co.uk that he doesn’t moderate comments – ‘it has to get pretty gynecological before I do’.

In regards to the BNP list (which had leaked that week): “I did allow it. oh terrible, terrible, terrible. Oh well…”

“I deleted the stuff about Baby P,” he told Journalism.co.uk.

“I noticed it [information about Baby P] was still on the BBC’s website. I called them up, and they said ‘we’re not taking it down because the order doesn’t apply’.  I said ‘well, is it because it’s an order or because it is right or wrong?'”

Fawkes said that if he is found to be ‘in the wrong’ he’ll take something down, but added that ‘it’s very difficult to send me a writ.’

“Unless you catch me having a drink here, where are you going to send the writ?”

“There’s no bricks and mortar,” he said.

While Guido Fawkes says on his blog post that he takes a ‘sticks and stones view to a large extent’, he outlines a number of changes to be introduced in the New Year:

“[Y]ou [the users] will still be able to say what you like (within somewhat arbitrary inconsistent limits) without pre-moderation or registering. However there will be incentives for those who produce better quality commentary based on a new element of co-conspirator community rating.

“Good comments will be more prominently displayed, disliked comments will be less prominent. The biggest innovation is that it will be possible for readers to set their own tolerance thresholds. Poorly rated comments will be invisible to those who set their preferences accordingly.

“If you only want to see comments judged by co-conspirators to be witty, amusing or illuminating, set your threshold to ‘Recommended’. Don’t want to read foul language? Set your threshold to ‘U’. Want to see all and any comments no matter how foul? Set your threshold to ‘XXX’.

“If your commentary is consistently recommended your comments will automatically be more prominent in the future and may even get highlighted on the frontpage.”

Unmoderated comments follow his post.

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Bad titles? Ben Goldacre surprised at new idea for the Times

December 17th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism

Dr Ben Goldacre reports that the Times has launched a new feature called… ‘Bad Statistics’. It asks readers: ‘Send your bad statistics to badstats@thetimes.co.uk’.

Déjà vu?

‘Rip off’ one commenter writes below the first piece. Ben Goldacre of the Guardian’s ‘Bad Science’ column, despite heading his blog post ‘Rather brilliantly I have been plagiarised by the Times’, seems philosophical:

“Good for the cause though. And the bloke who writes it used to comment here.  I hope it, er, gets better.”

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LATimes.com: Craigslist’s Craig Newmark talks to the editors of the LA TImes

November 26th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

Founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, visited The Times for a discussion with editors and members of the paper’s editorial board for a discussion about journalism in the digital age: here’s the transcript. Newmark still reads the print edition of the New York Times over coffee each day.

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Eric Ulken’s next assignment: the online world, from around the world

November 21st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

The LA Times interactive technology editor Eric Ulken is off to trot the globe, after ten years working in newspapers.

“Now I hope to effect change from the outside”, he writes.

“Earlier this month, I left my job as interactive technology editor at the Los Angeles Times to travel and learn and share stories about the great work taking place in online journalism around the world. I love the Times, my work and my colleagues, but I’ve decided it’s time to try something new: reporting.”

Read about his plans on his blog.

Come visit Journalism.co.uk in Brighton, Eric!

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