Tag Archives: Federal Trade Commission

Dan Gillmor at Salon: ‘The newspaper industry essentially deserves to die’

I love newspapers. I worked in them for almost 25 years. But I’m not itching to bail out a business that is failing in large part because it was so transcendentally greedy in its monopoly era that it passed on every opportunity to survive against real financial competition. With a few exceptions, the newspaper industry essentially deserves to die at this point.

Dan Gillmor, author of ‘We the Media’ and director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship in the US, argues in this article for Salon that its not journalism that needs to be subsidised – as suggested by the initial findings of the US’ Federal Trade Commission’s research into the state of the industry – but the infrastructure that makes online publishing and distribution possible.

If you want to worry about a threat to the journalism of tomorrow, consider the power being collected by the so-called “broadband” providers right now.

If we’re going to spend taxpayers’ money in ways that could help journalism, let’s make that benefit a byproduct of something much more valuable. Let’s build out our data networks the right way, by installing fibre everywhere we can possibly put it. Then, let private and public enterprises light it up.

Full post at this link…

NYTimes.com: FTC’s journalism study could ‘sidestep’ making recommendations

The New York Times updates its readers on the US Federal Trade Commission’s public forums on journalism and how to save it, the last of which will take place this week.

The commission is expected to produce a final study later in the year, but the New York Times report also warns: “the commission could easily sidestep making any recommendations to Congress or invoking its regulatory powers, and instead issue something along the lines of an analysis of its findings”.

Full story at this link…

Fishbowl NY: Americans reject taxpayer-funded journalism idea

A survey conducted by Ramussen Reports suggests that 84 per cent of Americans oppose a Federal Trade Commission proposal to prop up the ailing newspaper industry with a three per cent tax on mobile phone bills.

Those surveyed also quite roundly rejected the idea of a taxpayer-funded scheme for young journalists:

Seventy-one percent oppose the creation of a taxpayer-funded program that would hire and pay young reporters to work for newspapers around the country. Fourteen percent support such a program, while 15 per cent are undecided.

Full post at this link…

New FTC rules: US bloggers must disclose payments for reviews

As reported by the Associated Press, the Federal Trade Commission in the US will try to regulate blogging for the first time, ‘requiring writers on the web to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products’.

“Violating the rules, which take effect December 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews.”

Full story at this link…

Also see Jeff Jarvis’ post for a comment round-up, and his take on the changes.

Jarvis writes:

“The FTC also concedes that it treats critics at publications differently – less stringently – than bloggers. Don’t they realize that people on travel and gadget and food publications get freebies all the time. I’ve long believed that ethics alone should compel them to disclose. But the FTC doesn’t.”

AP: FTC to monitor blogs for ‘tainted reviews’

The US’ Federal Trade Commission is extending is monitoring of  reviews of products and services to blogs.

New guidelines expected to come into force this summer will expand the body’s remit to bloggers offering false claims or who do not disclose conflicts of interest.

An interesting shift in regulatory thinking:

“As blogging rises in importance and sophistication, it has taken on characteristics of community journalism – but without consensus on the types of ethical practices typically found in traditional media,” reports the AP.

Full post at this link…

Stinkyjournalism.org: Time Warner comes under fire for Greg Gumbel infomercials

Stinky Journalism has unraveled a tangled web involving CNN, its parent company Time Warner, an anchor for a rival broadcaster and infomercials run without proper identification, as required by the Federal Trade Commission in the US.

Full story at this link…

Behavioural ads form of ‘free speech’, says Newspaper Association of America

The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) has weighed in on the debate surrounding behavioural targeting of newspaper ads online, saying privacy standards proposed by the US’ Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could ‘infringe on newspapers’ First Amendment rights’, according to a report on Online Media Daily.

Targeted online advertising, says the group, is “not only truthful advertising speech, but advertising speech that meets their [the audience’s] interest”.

Ads are a form of free speech so long as they are not misleading, the association wrote in its comments to the commission:

“Efforts to restrict what newspaper websites publish, and the basis by which editors and advertisers make decisions regarding what to publish, run directly counter to core First Amendment rights, and can amount to a prior restraint.”

The Guardian recently pulled out of a behavioural advertising deal with Phorm, because of ethical concerns, while web creator Tim Berners-Lee voiced concerns over Phorm’s technology.

The FTC’s guidelines on this form of advertising suggest websites allow users to opt-out of the tracking process and seek consent before making use of sensitive information relating to users’ behaviour.