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Fox News Twitter account hacked, claims Obama is dead

Fox News has apparently fallen foul of hackers, with its @foxnewspolitics feed being used to spread false rumours about Barack Obama being shot and killed.

Earlier this morning, the account announced: “Just regained full access to our Twitter and email”, before embarking on a series of tweets that announced fake details about Obama’s death.

 

The most recent tweet bids Joe Biden good luck as the “new President of the United States”.

It remains unclear whether Fox News has regained control over the account.

Gizmodo have reported that @TheScriptKiddie and @ScriptKiddi3s (both now suspended) have claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

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HuffPost: Obama’s State of the Union address, now with real-time fact checking

January 26th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Politics

In the latest political fact-checking innovation, Obama’s State of the Union address last night was subjected to live fact-checking.

The Huffington Post, working with the National Journal, the Center for Public Integrity and the Sunlight Foundation, using their Sunlight Live platform, cross-checked Obama’s statements as he spoke.

Other news organisations followed suit, including the Washington Post and PolitiFact.

See additional live updates from the Huffington Post at this link.

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Rolling Stone under fire for mishandling of General McChrystal scoop

June 24th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Magazines, Politics

Rolling Stone has come in for a fair amount of flak from media commentators for the way it handled its General McChrystal scoop. It’s a very big scoop, the fallout from the story has seen McChrystal, who was US and NATO Commander in Afghanistan, sacked by President Obama. And yet the magazine decided to hold back the story for its print edition, aiming instead to generate buzz online and direct the money to the newsstands.

Buzz successfully generated (as Roy Greenslade reports, the New York Times has led with the story since it broke, as have many other outlets), readers who logged onto the Rolling Stone site couldn’t access the article. In fact, the story was nowhere to be seen.”It is one of the best pieces of reportage I’ve ever read. In these digital days, how could Rolling Stone ever imagine it could keep such an agenda-setting story to print alone?” writes Greenslade.

The story is still not available in print, it hits the newsstands tomorrow. “Clearly, competitors can’t wait until Friday to pick up a copy, especially when McChrystal has already been summoned to the White House,” wrote former Politico staffer Michael Calderone on his Yahoo! blog that day. They didn’t need to wait though. Rolling Stone had provided advance copies to Associated Press and others as part of its buzz-generating exercise, and in an unauthorised move Politico made the full text available for download from their site hours before Rolling Stone conceded and published it online.

The story eventually went up on the Rolling Stone website at around 11:00am ET, the following (Tuesday) morning.

If you are a news outlet looking to break a big story in a similar way, Megan Carpentier’s TPM Livewire article includes a step-by-step guide. Some of the key points:

  • Fail to publish even excerpts of the story on your own website, figuring that your promotion of the story will cause people to go out and buy the magazine.
  • Go to bed and sleep like a baby after the story hits.
  • Wake up to find out that Politico has published a reprint of the story you gave them, since you weren’t smart enough to put the story on your own site and despite the intellectual property violation.
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E&P: US media ‘unabashedly biased’ toward Barack Obama

Editor & Publisher have a comment piece from Congressman Lamar Smith in which he claims the US media have been exceptionally favourable toward President Obama and relatively disparaging of George Bush and the tea party movement.

The mainstream media’s treatment of President Obama provides an interesting case study. Journalists who gave to President Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign outnumbered those who contributed to Sen. McCain by 20-to-1.

And once the election was over, the slanted coverage continued. The nonpartisan Center for Media and Public Affairs, comparing media coverage of Presidents Bush and Obama at the same point in their presidencies, found that 58 percent of all network news evaluations of Obama and his policies were favorable, while only 33 percent of assessments of Bush were favorable.

Full story at this link…

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Barack Obama on Twitter and Chinese internet censorship

Barack Obama answered questions on internet censorship and Twitter in his (live-streamed) talk to Chinese students yesterday:

ReadWriteWeb was shocked to learn that Obama has ‘never used Twitter.’ It turns out that someone else in his office is responsible for the 2.6 million followers… “But I’m an advocate of technology and not restricting internet access,” Obama said.

Meanwhile, the UK nationals have picked up his comments on internet censorship. The Times, for example:

Mr Obama was asked whether he knew of the ‘Great Firewall’ – the popular term for the blocks that China’s Government imposes on the internet to keep out content its censors deem inappropriate for its citizens. Mr Obama said: “I have always been a strong supporter of open internet use. I am a big supporter of non-censorship. I recognise that different countries have different traditions.”

It was the answer in which he came the closest to subtle criticism of his hosts, saying he believed the freedom to reprove a country’s leaders helped to strengthen democracy. “I should be honest, there are times when I wish information didn’t flow so freely, then I wouldn’t have to listen to people criticise me all the time. People naturally when in positions of power think ‘How could that person say that of me? That’s irresponsible’.”


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‘Jackass’ tweet raises question of on and off-the-record

September 16th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Kanye West has apologised (at least four times) to Taylor Swift for interrupting her acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs to tell the crowd that Beyoncé should have got it, while ABC News has apologised for one its reporters tweeting about an ‘off-the-record portion’ of an interview between another television network and President Obama.

Too late really: the audio is out there thanks to TMZ and the tweet sent by Terry Moran had already done the rounds:

“Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential.”

Yes, hold the front page of the website (and they are) Barack Obama called Kanye West a jackass.

Politico reports an apology made by an ABC spokesperson:

“In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview.

“This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologise to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again.”

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Editors Weblog: Election candidates must pay for campaign coverage, says US editor

A round-up of reports that a local Florida newspaper is planning to charge candidates in a local mayoral election for coverage.

An email from the publication’s editor Tom Oosterhoudt to two of the candidates explained that others had had their campaigns covered, because they had already purchased advertising with the title, Conch Color.

“As far as candidate forums and debates, we’ll cover those when we can, but if candidates want their campaign covered, they have to pay to play,” Oosterhoudt told fellow Florida news site, Keynews.com.

Full post at this link…

In July the Washington Post was heavily criticised for offering paid-for access to exclusive ‘salons’ with officials from Barack Obama’s administration. The paper later dropped the plans.

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FT.com: ‘There will be a transition to people paying for the internet,’ says Liberty Media chairman

A couple of things extremely pertinent to the paid content debate in a ‘view from the top’ interview on FT.com.

It’s with Liberty Media chairman, John Malone, described by the FT’s Richard Milne as ‘one of the most powerful figures in the media world’. He controls a ‘sprawling empire of assets’ including  DirecTV, the Discovery Channel, QVC, the Atlanta Braves baseball team and a company focused on Cable TV, Liberty Global.

Two extracts from the interview:

“How bad is the outlook for the media industry right now?”

“The media has lots of different elements in it. Probably at the bottom would be local, because local advertising has been the most adversely affected. Newsprint is probably the most damaged media going forward. Cable television has been OK. It continues to grow, a little slower than we’d like. The broadcast networks are getting beaten up, but not as bad on their national side as on their local side (…)”

and:

A big debate in media is: can you get consumers to pay for online content?

“There will be a transition to people paying for [the] internet. Unfortunately, a lot of the people promoting the internet have other monetisation theories, such as search, which is ‘free’ to the consumer. Believe me, it’s not free to the retailer. The real question is: can you get people to pay for content on the internet? That will happen over time. If you’re a newspaper publisher and you’re giving information free on the internet and charging a subscription fee [for the paper], I don’t understand the logic.”

Full interview at this link…

And this:

“Long or short? Newspapers? Short James Murdoch? Long Hedge fund regulation? Long Share prices? Neutral The European economy? Short Nicolas Sarkozy? Long Ben Bernanke? Long Barack Obama’s healthcare plan? Disaster – short Twitter? Neutral Barry Diller? Long.”

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AfricaNews: Obama praises Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas for risking life to report the truth

“US President Barack Obama paid tribute to Ghanaian ace investigative journalist and AfricaNews’ reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas for his selfless work towards humanity. Obama said the democratic dispensation in Ghana is worth emulating across the continent to boost press freedom and governance,” Africa News reports.

Full story at this link…

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CNN’s iReport attracts nearly 4,000 submissions on Iranian elections

June 24th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism

The role of amateurs, citizen journalists and non-professional media in the coverage of the Iranian elections and subsequent protests has been significant, both in its provision of material and insight to traditional news organisations, who have had their reporting restricted; and in its use of social media tools.

CNN’s citizen journalism site, iReport, has received 3,866 submissions on Iran since coverage of the elections began, with 1,600 from last Saturday and Sunday alone, according to a press release.

Of these, 131 have been used on air or online by CNN, after producers have carried out verification checks.

It is apparent that the reason for this astonishing increase in iReports is because of the strong views felt towards this specific case. Likewise during the election of Barack Obama CNN also saw an increase in iReports.

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