Browse > Home /

2012 – a year of irony for the media industry?

December 29th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Comment, Funny, Journalism

By Matt Buck, currently engaged as engraver to @tobiasgrubbe

If…

1. Rupert Murdoch revives the News of the World, but online-only.

2. Nick Davies loses his job at the Guardian, but joins the revived News of the World as part of its investigative team.

3. The Guardian poaches the “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood from the Sunday Times.

4. A trend develops for floundering local newspapers to be bought out by local entrepreneurs, returning control and vested interest to their communities.

5. The Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the UK press concludes nothing needs to be done about unethical and/or illegal media practices, as they are redundant because everyone is publicly revealing everything about themselves on social media sites like Facebook anyway.

6. Journalists are officially declared to be bloggers, thereby ending a perennial (and very tedious) debate.

7. The Guardian launches a paywall.

8. Richard Desmond, founder of Northern & Shell and owner of Express Newspapers is knighted in the New Year Honour list and becomes chair of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

9. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is appointed National Security Adviser to the Obama administration.

10. Facebook buys the Daily Mail, as part of a number of strategic acquisitions of ‘accordant’ news outlets throughout the world.

Thanks to Matt Buck for permission to use his excellent cartoon.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

#jpod in depth: How some news outlets are going it alone in the world of WikiLeaks

October 28th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Podcast, Press freedom and ethics

In this week’s #jpod news editor Rachel McAthy looks at the issue of document leaks in light of WikiLeak’s announcement earlier this week that the “financial blockade” has forced it to temporarily suspend publishing operations. At the beginning of the year news outlets started to launch their own internal WikiLeaks-style platforms to enable anonymous submissions.

In this podcast we speak to the head of Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit Clayton Swisher about the broadcaster’s decision to set up the platform and how it is to re-launch in the ‘coming weeks’, and El Pais journalist Joseba Elola about why he values a relationship with WikiLeaks and the difficulties of going it alone.

You can also hear more about OpenLeaks (referred to in the podcast) in the below audio, in an interview with co-founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg who spoke to Journalism.co.uk at the World Editors Forum in Vienna earlier this month:

You can sign up to our iTunes podcast feed for future audio.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

#wef11: Why Der Spiegel and the Hindu used WikiLeaks as a source

In today’s session on WikiLeaks and whistleblowing at the World Editors Forum in Vienna, the panel included a number of news outlets which have chosen to publish WikiLeaks material, and some which hadn’t, who shared their thoughts on the platform and process. Some interesting opinions were discussed.

First up, N Ram, editor-in-chief of India’s the Hindu told the conference that his publication had a clear understanding with WikiLeaks and as a result the newspaper was able to offer a “series of worthwhile insights”.

It is an astonishing achievement for any journalistic venture, not to mention a not-for-profit that relies on volunteers. It shows the power of new technology but even more the power of ideas of justice and freedom including the idea that information wants to be free and you have to show very good cause if it is not to be free.

WikiLeaks has a role on the global media stage, as a reliable source, as an enabler. My contention is that there’s nothing nebulous about WikiLeaks or OpenLeaks as a source and we need to cut through the muddle. The muddle is not out there but in our mindsets as professional journalists who often work on the assumption that we have to follow clear standards for dealing with a source. This is a myth. Market practice takes in an astonishing range, from ethically sound rules to an anything goes approach e.g. paying sources, corrupting high value sources, stings purely for sensationalism.

He added that it is not just sources which have an agenda, as do news organisations.

There is no special reason to be suspicious of the agenda of WikiLeaks etc. You just have to apply good journalistic verification procedures and standards.

Another newspaper which partnered with WikiLeaks was Der Spiegel in Germany. Editor-in-chief Mathias Muller von Blumencron discussed the pressures of this form of work, saying there is a lot of credibility at risk if it emerged that such processes were not safe.

It seems in the digital age every step is traceable. Perhaps we all focus too much on technical aspect. In the end it all becomes a very human factor, which I think is more important than the technical aspect. It’s called credibility and trust. Does the audience feel the news organisation handled it in protective way?

He said the paper decided to deal with WikiLeaks last year, as it had the impression that “the material was so important that we had to find a way to publish it in a responsible way”.

We were also thinking it was valuable to work with partners in other parts of the world. Things change. sources change, We don’t know about the future, but what happened during the last month was not making us very happy [a likely reference to WikiLeaks' decision to publish the US embassy cables in full unredacted form].

It was interesting to then hear the viewpoint of Tom Kent, standards editor and deputy managing editor of the Associated Press, which did not publish the material and is, in his words, a “virgin” as far as working with WikiLeaks is concerned.

Leaked information becomes really valuable when combined with interviews and analysis and leak sites tend not to do a lot of this. If leaking does become a new way of reporting, leakers will face the same issues as news outlets. How do you know what stuff is real? It will be increasingly possible to forge what seem to be authentic documents, or thousands of documents, so they may eventually find their credibility at serious risk. I would not like us to get to a place where we ask for information and authorities say “it’s secret, just try to steal it”.

Looking forward to the next step for newspapers, N Ram said papers need to be bolder and collaborate with hackers, “in a legitimate sense”.

The most elegant way will be to have an open-door approach. This can be a very powerful way of enabling although not soliciting sensitive material relating to security. We all have to gear up, take this seriously, because if we don’t do it other newspapers will.

During this panel session OpenLeaks co-founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg said why he feels journalists must become more aggressive.

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

#wef11: Journalists must become more aggressive, says Daniel Domscheit-Berg

German journalist and co-founder of OpenLeaks Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who set up the whistleblowing platform after leaving WikiLeaks, called on journalists at the World Editors Forum in Vienna to become “more aggressive” in publishing public interest information.

Speaking on a panel titled ‘After WikiLeaks: The next step for newspapers’, Domscheit-Berg highlighted the importance of the role of journalists in extracting the stories from leaked material while WikiLeaks offers whistleblowers an ease of digital data-dumping not available through news organisations.

WikiLeaks offers part of the aggression that the civilians expect from you people but you don’t give it back to them.

The only new thing I think about the whole WikiLeaks story is that it offered people a means to submit large amounts of information that was easier than contacting you, by just a few clicks online. In the digital society this is what you as an industry needs.

The OpenLeaks model, which is not currently live, works on the premise that its role is to provide the technology for whistleblowers to pass on material to specific organisations, news outlets and NGOs, based on the needs of the source.

Domscheit-Berg said the platform was set live for five days in August which proved to be “quite successful”.

We want to be facilitators. We don’t ever want to get in situation of having information and then deciding who to give it to.

At WikiLeaks we had this big cache of documents and we wanted to collaborate with a few newspapers. So if you are an outfit that enables whistleblowers then you will have the trouble of not being political in who you work with.

A source of OpenLeaks can pick the organisation they think is good, and we pass it on. They decide how to go along with making this public. This will enable a more robust process.

Near the end of the session he also called on journalists to share information more freely.

I believe that we’re living in an information age, developing into an information age and in that age information is the currency so it’s very important that because of this world being so complex that we share this information.

It wouldn’t be right to offer a mechanism to make sure journalists get more papers and then put them in a drawer and the public will not know.

You need to be more aggressive in the way you’re publishing, being transparent and showing that you’ve done a good job. This will not only be better for everybody it will also make sure you get more credibility.

This is part of what the future needs, that we give out more information.

He added that OpenLeaks has mechanisms in place to ensure that, with the source’s permission, even if information is given to one organisation, it will be shared with others.

This is so the media do not depend on copying stories from each other but use source material from each other. This sharing is what the future needs.

He added that in the future the platform will also look to bringing in the wider community to help in the investigative process of working through larger batches of material.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, co-founder of OpenLeaks by journalismnews

There will be more from this panel on Journalism.co.uk soon.

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

OWNI.eu publishes WikiLeaks ebook

The rush to get books in the shops in the wake of the WikiLeaks phenomenon was quite predictable. It’s a story with all the Hollywood mores, but strangely real. The films are soon to follow.

So far we’ve had, most notably, David Leigh’s and Luke Harding’s “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy” and Daniel Domscheit Berg’s “Inside WikiLeaks”.

Now Paris-based OWNI.eu, which helped build apps for WikiLeaks to allow people to navigate the Iraq war logs and US embassy cables, is publishing Olivier Tesquet’s “WikiLeaks: A True Account” through its own publisher OWNI Books. The organisation boasts an “exceptional vantage point” on the whistleblowing group, and claims that Tesquet’s “thorough investigation” will shed light in the relationship between the WikiLeaks and OWNI.

OWNI Books publishes ebooks only, and this latest one will be the first published in three languages: French, English and Arabic.

Hot on the heels of the OWNI book – and the other behind-the-scenes accounts – will be a more academic take on the affair from Polis director Charlie Beckett and former WikiLeaks journalist James Ball.

The book was announced by Beckett at the Polis Value of Journalism conference on Friday and is expected within the next few months.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

#jpod: The top news stories from Journalism.co.uk, 28 April 2011

April 28th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Podcast

Listen below for this week’s news round-up from Journalism.co.uk’s senior reporter Rachel McAthy and sign up to our iTunes podcast feed for future audio.

This week’s jpod reports on WikiLeaks’ publication of almost 800 secret files from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay and its disputes with former media partners the Guardian and the New York Times. Also covered: BBC presenter Andrew Marr’s revelation that he took out a superinjunction to protect an extra-marital affair being reported on; the Guardian’s closure of its Guardian Local project; a 30 per cent hike in online traffic for Daily Mail website Mail Online, and Al Jazeera’s closure of its Syria bureau after safety concerns.

There is also more information on Journalism.co.uk’s fourth news:rewired event, noise to signal, which takes place on 27 May at Thomson Reuters, Canary Wharf.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

#media140 – El Pais writer Joseba Elola ‘witnessing history’ with WikiLeaks

“I’ve never lived something like that and I don’t think I will live something again like that,” – these are the words of El Pais staff writer Joseba Elola, reflecting on his work on the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

Speaking on a WikiLeaks roundtable discussion at #media140, Elola spoke about the journey from arranging to meet with Julian Assange for an interview, to helping El Pais join outlets such as the Guardian and Der Spiegel as a media partner of the whistleblower website in its release of more than 250,000 secret and confidential cables sent by US embassies around the world.

Three months after requesting an interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the pair met, Elola told the conference.

He is a fascinating character, a brilliant person, extremely intelligent.

At the end of the interview I asked him if he had anything on Spain. Why don’t you include also a Spanish media as part of your launch, I asked him, why don’t you transfer your documents to El Pais, we will help.

He said let him mull it over. I came back to Madrid, I was excited and then quite an ordeal began.

You meet them, you see them, but then it takes a long, long while to get to see them.

I got an email from him three weeks afterwards and in the newsroom we were excited, finally that long-awaited email came asking for the specific number for the director.

I have never lived anything like it in my life, it was like witnessing history of the 21st century.

All of a sudden you get new information every day, day after day, it was a very exciting experience.

Speaking further with Journalism.co.uk he added that while he fears it will take “years before we manage to get another release of such relevant information”, he is “so happy to have been able to play a little role in that story”.

I hope we keep on being a reliable media for any platform; WikiLeaks, OpenLeaks, KanariLeaks, BrusselsLeaks or whatever.

I think the important thing is to keep your brand reliable to the public and I hope that the fact we were involved in Cablegate might raise some confidence in the people who leak information into the public, too.

I really think the media for years have been a little bit asleep and didn’t do their job properly, and I think WikiLeaks brought something really good for journalism and for society.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

WikiLeaks satire takes first prize at cartoon awards

April 12th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Awards, Editors' pick

A cartoon satirizing the 2010 WikiLeak’s story has been named the winner of the World Press Cartoon awards.

WikiLeaks and Uncle Sam, created by Australian artist David Rowe, was awarded Grand Prix at the 7th edition of the awards.

As well as being named overall winner, Rowe’s work took first place in the Cartoon Editorial category. In the same category, Polish Pawel Kuczynski came second with ‘Made in China’ and Alecus, a Mexican cartoonist living in El Salvador, took 3rd prize with ‘Chilean Miners’.

See the full image at this link.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Alan Rusbridger on relationship with WikiLeaks: ‘things are quite difficult’

April 6th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Awards, Editors' pick

Last night Journalism.co.uk was at the Press Awards, where the Guardian was named Newspaper of the Year. At the ceremony the paper was praised specifically for its its coverage of the WikiLeak’s releases.

We caught up with Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger at the end of the awards, who said that while the current situation with WikiLeaks is “difficult” there will be more revelations to come.

I think WikiLeaks was the stand out story, not only nationally but also globally. I think it had a global impact and I think it will be historically significant. I can’t think of another story in my lifetime where a story created by a newspaper has become the most discussed thing in every capital city around the world. That was the stand out story.

At the moment things are quite difficult between WikiLeaks and the Guardian, because they just are, partly due to the communications. It’s very difficult to keep relation with people if you never see them and the only way of communicating is through encrypted text messaging.

I think there will be more revelations to come and I think lots of papers are going to be developing their own mini versions of WikiLeaks. One thing WikiLeaks has taught us is the importance of working out how to get information securely and publish securely and I think that’s been a valuable lesson for us all.

You can see the full list of winners from the Press Awards here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Politico: Amid WikiLeaks battle, Clinton to assert US support for internet freedom

Hilary Clinton is due to give a speech on internet freedom later today. In the wake of Egypt’s shutting off of internet access during recent protests, and in the midst of her department’s ongoing battle with WikiLeaks, it has the potential to be interesting.

Politico has published extracts from the speech Clinton is expected to give. Certain parts closely resemble previous attempts by the US administration to carefully chastise China for its severe curtailments of internet freedom:

History has shown us that repression often sows the seeds for revolution down the road. Those who clamp down on internet freedom may be able to hold back the full impact of their people’s yearnings for a while, but not forever… Leaders worldwide have a choice to make. They can let the internet in their countries flourish, and take the risk that the freedoms it enables will lead to a greater demand for political rights. Or they can constrict the Internet, choke the freedoms it naturally sustains—and risk losing all the economic and social benefits that come from a networked society…

While others are clearly there to speak to the problem of WikiLeaks, and clarify the pro-freedom stance of an administration currently attempting to subpoena private information from Twitter accounts belonging to members and affiliates of the whistleblowers’ site.

Our allegiance to the rule of law does not dissipate in cyberspace. Neither does our commitment to protecting civil liberties and human rights. The United States is equally determined to track and stop terrorism and criminal activity online and offline, and in both spheres we pursue these goals in accordance with our values… Liberty and security. Transparency and confidentiality. Freedom of expression and tolerance. There are times when these principles will raise tensions and pose challenges, but we do not have to choose among them. And we shouldn’t. Together they comprise the foundation of a free and open Internet…

See more on Politico at this link.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement