Tag Archives: online world

Scottish Sun: Naming Baby P’s mum and step-dad

The Scottish Sun is claiming it will name the mum and step-dad of Baby P at midnight (BST) tonight) as a reporting ban on identifying the pair expires at 11:59pm.

The article goes on to describe how their names were made available online:

“Vigilantes managed to get around the identity ban in the early weeks of their conviction by naming them on websites (…) But Scotland Yard’s e-crime unit worked with internet service providers to remove most of the content from cyberspace.”

The conditions of the reporting ban aside it’s an interesting series of events – banned, leaked, removed, reported in the ‘traditional’ press – a cycle under increasing pressure from the online world.

Full story at this link…

Second dose of Stephen Fry: transcript from Digital Britain – ‘I don’t need to be re-skilled into anything’

Another dose of Fry this morning, in an earlier post we reproduced yesterday’s comments to the BBC about journalists and expenses.

Courtesy of Malcolm Coles, here is the full transcript [below video] of Stephen Fry’s presentation at Digital Britain on April 17. Fry’s appearance caused a little stir that day, not least for the way he was introduced onto the stage by the BBC’s Nick Higham:

“Stephen is, one of the organisers told me beforehand, the representative at this conference of the ordinary person, frankly: if that’s what someone thinks the ordinary person is like, then someone needs to take them aside and fill them in…”

Some of Fry’s comments relate to technology more broadly, but some interesting points on media, and keeping the web ‘organic’:

“You talk about the BBC doing a digital switchover, as if that’s the same thing as the world-wide web.”

“We’re moving from a world, in which no-one knew or saw the point of, online world, into something [where] everybody has reserved to themselves some special insight into how it’s to affect us.”

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

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!

Editor&Publisher (via AP): Murdoch tells ‘cynics’ that newspapers will survive

It’s widely reported, but worth flagging up for those who haven’t seen coverage. AP reports: Rupert Murdoch has said that doomsayers ‘who are predicting the internet will kill off newspapers are ‘misguided cynics’ who fail to grasp that the online world is potentially a huge new market of information-hungry consumers.’

Naming Baby P is not about giving into a Facebook campaign

Naming Baby P and his mother is not about giving into a hysterical Facebook campaign group; this is about confronting the reality of the online age.

I can’t link to it here, because it would be breaching reporting restrictions, but I know Baby P’s name, the baby’s mother’s name and the name of her partner.

So does anyone with even a little bit of Google cache savvy about them: it’s on a BBC report from 2007. Google cache preserves a page even if, as the BBC has done, original articles have been removed.

As the Independent reported, Facebook groups have published the details, despite the court order not to.

My argument is not about revealing the names for justice, it is about having a law which can actually be enforced.

If it had been reported abroad, on non-UK websites, they would be not be held accountable under the UK Contempt of Court legislation. Court orders, such as the one in this case protecting the names of the defendants, are simply not feasible in the web age.

I believe that whatever ensures fair trials without prejudice, protects the innocent people involved in the case (other people connected or in the family, for example) is necessary, and if keeping the names secret does that, then that should be done: I certainly won’t be joining any Facebook group to force their disclosure.

But it should be done in such a way where they really are secret, which has not happened in this case:

Jason Owen’s name is known; the mother’s name has also been previously published and is reachable with a quick search; the baby’s photograph is in the press.

One of the Facebook groups has a description reading: ‘For sum [sic] reason the press have seen it fit not to reveal the sick people who killed this poor helpless child.’

The press has not chosen to keep quiet (they certainly would print the names if they could); they are bound by law not to. But what happens when the wider community who have not been taught about reporting restrictions and contempt of court choose to publish, using blogs and social network sites?

I imagine that most people in that community, and wider geography, knows who the family are. Last night’s BBC Panorama showed that the research team were able to access things the mother wrote on social networking sites.

Yet the names cannot be disclosed by the British press without contravening the Contempt of Court Act. This means that disclosures are made through people who aren’t necessarily so concerned about, or even think about, media ethics or face any kind of editorial process.

As I reported in September, Bob Satchwell from the Society of Editors believes the legislation is out of date and redundant, as do many others.

Orders, such as those under section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, for example, allow a court to ban publication of specific information, in addition to statutory reporting restrictions. But how on earth to enforce this in an online world?

This is starkly proven in the case of Baby P.

It’s time to readdress our laws, as Satchwell has urged the Attorney General, and make trials really fair.

Postscript: I’ve just found Martin Belam’s blog post, which makes a similar point, and also focuses on the ‘sheer scale of useage of the internet’ in the UK as compared to 2000 when Victoria Climbié case was reported, for example.

New media types among Evening Standard’s 1000 most influential Londoners

Peter Mandelson had to be a last minute addition to the list because the magazine had already gone to press: being offline seems to be a recurring theme for the London Evening Standard’s 1000 most influential Londoners list, out this evening.

Can we get an online version? Can we heck! After time wasted going round the editorial houses through the Evening Standard switchboard, Brighton-based Journalism.co.uk is getting sent a print version.

So in the meantime (till the print copy arrives) here’s the online media and general media types we’ve spotted on the list of 50 that are featured on the website. And it looks like new media gets a fairly good representation.

The little ‘see new media’ under the names almost had us thinking we could click on links… no chance. Well, we’re not in London; we don’t really exist, clearly.

Shiny Media’s three founders are included – and quoted as being “highly influential in the UK online world”. They aren’t among the very top 50, but you can see a scanned in bit of the list on the Shiny blog.

Media/Online types from the top 50:

  • Nikesh Arora, GOOGLE, EUROPEAN VP: Boss of the internet giant’s most important base outside California, bringing in close to a billion pounds a year in advertising revenue in the UK. Landed Google job after 17 interviews. (New Media, TV & Radio)
  • Jonathan Ive, 41, APPLE, DESIGN GURU: The world’s most influential product designer, involved in the iPhone and iPod. He is returning to British roots, buying a £2.5 million retreat here. (New Media)
  • Mark Thompson, 51, BBC, DIRECTOR-GENERAL: From deception scandals to swingeing job cuts, Thompson has had to weather many storms while rival broadcasters pitch for a slice of the corporation’s income from the licence fee (Television & Radio)

Outside of the big 50 we’ll have to rely on the Guardian’s Media Monkey for information:

“…chief exec James Murdoch, Ashley Highfield, chief exec of the Kangaroo on-demand TV project and, drum roll please, Evening Standard owner Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT! Who’d have thunk that thisislondon.co.uk was such a groundbreaker?

Other media bods on the list were Paul Darce, Rebecca Wade, Ed Richards, Mark Thompson, Simon Cowell, Simon Fuller, Nick Ferrari, Emily Bell, Eric Huggers, Evan Davies, John Humphrys, Jay Hunt, Peter Horrocks, Alexandra Shulman and Gok Wan.”

Inflection Point: Pay per performance for online journos

Journalism.co.uk wrote a story last week about comments RBI managing director Jim Muttram made to the PPA conference about performance related pay for journalists.

Back on his own blog Jim has posted about the hubbub surrounding the issue.

“If any pay for performance scheme were ever to be implemented in a blanket fashion that very well might be the result – which, for the record, would be a bad thing!

“However, in an online world where attention is firstly more valued and more difficult to get, and secondly increasingly measurable it surely comes as no surprise that questions about how to maximise it arise from time to time.”

I recommend a click through to read the whole post.

Happy birthday WWW!

Screen grab of second online newspaper to be launched, September 1993

Today is the 15th birthday of the World Wide Web, marked by the CERN announcement on April 30 1993 that the web would be free to all.

It’s a cue to sit back and marvel at how much has changed in a relatively small amount of time and post screen shots that may induce the same feeling as mum fetching the baby photos.

After the WWW age was born, online news and journalism was swift to follow: The Tech – an online version of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology newspaper, went live in May 1993; closely followed by the first journalism site from the University of Florida that October.

By 1994 there were already more than 20 online newspaper and journalism services. The Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph were the first British papers to enter the online world in 1994 with the Beeb taking slightly longer to catch up, launching its news website in 1997.

1999 saw the launch of Journalism.co.uk in its first form and my haven’t we grown…

Screen grab of Journalism.co.uk in 1999

With web technology advancing daily, the slick news sites of today will surely be drawing fond smiles in another 15 years.

Happy birthday Web, here’s to many more…

French court finds website guilty of privacy breach for linking

Last week a French court found a website guilty of breach the privacy of actor Olivier Martinez because it linked to a story about him (hat tip Cybersoc).

The site, Fuzz.fr, had linked to a gossip website which was carrying a story about the actor’s relationship with Australian singer Kylie Minogue.

In landmark ruling for the French online world, the court decided that Fuzz.fr has taken ‘an editorial decision’ to link to the other site and was therefore responsible for the content.

The site, which allows users to post their own links, was taken offline shortly after the ruling.

“It’s a black day for French participatory websites, because it opens the door to all kinds of (court) procedures,” Fuzz’s creator Eric Dupin told AFP.

According to a report on Yahoo News, Dupin was ordered to pay 2,500 euros in damages and legal costs.