Journalism.co.uk’s office – and me – got an appearance on Al Jazeera English this week. The media show Listening Post looked at the issue of online anonymity as part of today’s programme. It also featured Ian Reeves from the Centre of Journalism at the University of Kent, blogger Gaurav Mishra and Andrew Ford Lyons from the Committee to Protect Bloggers. It looked at the recent Liskula Cohen case in New York, Times v NightJack in the UK, and raised multiple questions about the practicalities – and future – of blogging without a byline.
Pushing the NightJack discussion futher, journalist and writer Martin Cloake raises some tricky questions for online observers – or anyone who enjoys a good ethical debate. In a previous post, Cloake said that he broadly agreed with a comment on FleetStreetBlues – ‘There is no automatic right of privacy in the street – and neither should there be on the information superhighway.’ Now he elaborates on this, and other points raised by the case: his unease with the Times’s main justification, the problems of the old vs new ‘vendetta’ theory, contradictions in the anonymity debate, why whistleblowers and journalistic sources are another matter entirely, and new boundary issues for the public/private spheres.
I will now be cross-posting, and/or contributing occasional posts to Global Voices, the US-based founded but global community of more than 200 bloggers ‘who work together to bring you translations and reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media.’ Sponsors of the project can be found at this link.
My first post for the site looks at the implications of the NightJack case (which I’ve previously rounded up here) with links to some of the best UK blog posts on the subject.
“A victory for freedom of expression (The Times’)… or a severe restriction for freedom of expression (anonymous bloggers)? Popular opinion is divided, though a blog search would indicate that blogger opinion veers towards the latter.”
Outside of the issues raised by a British court’s decision to reveal the identity of anonymous police blogger NightJack, Paul Bradshaw offers seven tips on keeping anonymity.
Links include: registering your blog with an anonymous email address and using an anonymous blogging platform.