Tag Archives: TechCrunch

#followjourn: Mike Butcher/editor

#followjourn: Mike Butcher

Who? Editor of TechCrunch Europe

What? Mike has previously written for the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Times and the New Statesman. He has also worked as the editor of New Media Age magazine. His personal blog is mbites.com.

Where? Read about TechCrunch and Mike Butcher here.

Contact? Follow @mikebutcher

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

TechCrunch decides to release confidential Twitter documents; ethical questions raised

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington is defending his decision to release private material, sent to them by a hacker  ‘who claims to have accessed hundreds of confidential corporate and personal documents of Twitter and Twitter employees’.

” The zip file contained 310 documents, ranging from executive meeting notes, partner agreements and financial projections to the meal preferences, calendars and phone logs of various Twitter employees.”

While TechCrunch does not plan to use all the documents, where breaches to individuals’ privacy are made, it plans to release those which have significant – in its view – ‘news value’.

“[W]e are going to release some of the documents showing financial projections, product plans and notes from executive strategy meetings. We’re also going to post the original pitch document for the Twitter TV show that hit the news in May, mostly because it’s awesome,” writes Arrington.

“There is clearly an ethical line here that we don’t want to cross, and the vast majority of these documents aren’t going to be published, at least by us. But a few of the documents have so much news value that we think it’s appropriate to publish them.”

The debate commences below Arrington’s post, with both supportive and critical responses.

Many are outraged by TechCrunch’s decision. E.g Derek:

“It is STOLEN material, Michael! What on Earth are you on about… ‘ethical compass’?! What kind of ethics you subscribe to that allow for publishing stolen material, NOT of proper interest to the general public – but harmful to the one they were STOLEN from?”

Round-up: Media Futures conference 2009 – ‘Beyond Broadcast’

“Gradually more power cuts – the future is more certain than you think (…) With 90 per cent certainty I can tell you that tomorrow will be Saturday.”
James Woudhuysen, professor of forecasting, De Montford University

“Content is not king, it’s about how people use it. SMS is one of the most expensive mediums but still massively popular.”
Matt Locke, commissioning editor, education new media, Channel 4

The above quotes were just a small sample of the varied and interesting points discussed at Media Futures 2009 in London last Friday.

The conference explored the future of the media as we move ‘beyond broadcast’.

Speakers and guests included the BBC’s Richard Sambrook, POLIS director Charlie Beckett and TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher.

Themes for discussion included desirable, feasible, challenging and viable futures for the industry.

Video on Demand (VOD) was a popular topic, which divided opinions. Avner Ronen, founder of Boxee, a video service that connects your TV to online streaming media, argued that personal video recorders (PVR) were soon to be obsolete.

But as media analysts, including Toby Syfret from Enders, were quick to point out, TV still has a lot of life left in it. According to his analysis, despite the success of services such as the BBC iPlayer, watching streamed content remains a niche market with just 0.5 per cent of total viewing time being spent on computers.

Panellists were agreed on the future for local newspapers. Patrick Barwise, professor of management and marketing at London Business School said: “Local newspapers won’t come back, the classified advertising model that held them together has changed.”

After the conference I ran into Bill Thompson, the BBC’s technology columnist. Listen below to hear his views on the future for journalists:

Alex Wood is a multimedia journalist and social media consultant based in London. You can find him on twitter here.

Fallout from Jarvis’ ‘perfection vs beta culture’ post

Jay Rosen, said that yesterday’s New York Times’ piece on the ‘truth-be-damned approach’ of Tech blogging ‘did not bother’ him.

Not so for fellow NY journalism professor, Jeff Jarvis. His Buzzmachine post on ‘Product v. process journalism: The myth of perfection v. beta culture’ is currently doing the link rounds and has sparked a number of debates. For example:

  • A Twitter row between Jarvis and the editor of the Sunday Business section of New York Times, Tim O’Brien: Blogger here; MSM here.
  • A response from the Guardian’s Tech editor Charles Arthur, in regards to a criticism of UK tech reporting. One commenter, Wessell van Rensberg, remarked underneath Jarvis’ post: “I live in the UK and the Guardian’s weekly tech edition is paltry in terms of its tech coverage. Both in terms of scope and quality.”

Arthur responds:

“Flattered, I’m sure. Haven’t noticed your name in the letters pointing out what you think we should be covering; don’t know if you’ve commented on our many blogs (Tech, Games, PDA) that cover tech. We do have lots of insightful commenters (which I think is what you mean instead of ‘commentators’.)

“Hard to know quite what you want. For instance: TCrunch says Apple is going to buy Twitter. As soon as possible I point out, on the Guardian blog, why that’s absolutely not happening. It turns out it isn’t happening. Which is more useful?

“And I’ll also point out that when TCrunch does get it wrong, such as on Last.fm ‘passing data to the RIAA’ – a story denied by all sides, where it would be illegal for Last to pass the data (UK data protection act forbids) – TC deletes comments pointing that out. Do you really trust it?”

Now, might there be room for a response on that point? Come on, TechCrunch fight your corner!

Journalism.co.uk is quite enjoying its ringside view, but – on a side point – is there a neater way of viewing Twitter debates, than the links suggested by Jay Rosen?

Media140: Follow the event where microblogging meets journalism

Updated May 20: There’s a great line-up of speakers at tomorrow’s today’s Media140 conference and Journalism.co.uk is proud to be involved as a media sponsor.

Panels featuring, amongst others, the Guardian’s blogs editor Kevin Anderson, Sky News Online senior editor Jon Gripton and TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher, will discuss how Twitter and social media work as tools for journalists and news organisations.

A full agenda can be viewed on the Media140 site.

If you’re not attending there are plenty of ways to follow online including: a Flickr group, a roster of bloggers (including Mike Atherton, Vikki Chowney, Dan Thornton and Kate Day) and – in the spirit of the event using the hashtag #media140.

You can watch the livestream below:

If you’re an Audioboo user – why not tag your boos with #media140 too?

Sky News will be running a liveblog on the event and you can see a Twitter stream of updates with hashtag below:

TechCrunch: Review of new crowd-funded journalism project Global For Me

Would you pay a journalist to report the news you want to read, asks Robin Wauters.

This is the premise behind Global For Me – a new journalism service, which asks for individuals or groups to donate money for story pitches.

When the necessary funds are found to hire a journalist, they can be deployed on the donors’ behalf to chase stories, attend events or press conferences, says the website.

The idea is similar to the non-profit, San Fransisco-area, crowd-funded site Spot.Us (though as this is a project of Global Radio News (an independent freelance news agency), I’m assuming it’s for profit and internationally-focused?) – can it gain enough traction to work?

Full story at this link…

TechCrunch: Why a Kindle for newspapers won’t save them

Responding to this week’s scheduled launch of a new large screen version of Amazon’s Kindle (an e-reading device), this TechCrunch post says newspapers should not pin their hopes on this new technology.

“It’s not the ‘paper’ part of newspaper that’s the problem, it’s the ‘news’,” writes MG Siegler, adding that Kindle’s new launch could do well in the textbooks market.

(A post on BNET responding to TechCrunch suggests the site hasn’t fully disclosed its own investments in a mobile computing device)

Full post at this link…

TechCrunch: Sarah Lacy – ‘Who the hell is enrolling in journalism school right now?’

We spotted this yesterday, and Sarah Lacy has sparked a bit of a reaction – at time of writing, it had received 188 comments.

Lacy never went to journalism school like her friend:

“Fast-forward and my friend no longer works in journalism. Meanwhile, I’m not only gainfully employed, but have managed to make more money every year the industry has declined all around me.”

She ends: “(…) in any time of volatility, there’s huge room for opportunity. But you’re not going to learn how to exploit it in a stuffy classroom taught by people who got there by working at newspapers.”

Full post at this link…

TechCrunch: Ustream’s Watershed allows websites to broadcast own live streams

This week the live video streaming service, Ustream, introduced Watershed, a ‘white-label service for websites and businesses that want to broadcast their own live streams’ on a pay-as-you-go basis, TechCrunch reports.

“Watershed comes with a lot of extra management capabilities like the ability to customize the player, add a logo, turn on features like chat, polling, picture-in-picture video chat, Twitter integration, analytics and more,” TechCrunch outlines.

Full story at this link…