Microsoft is ready to pay Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to remove its news content from Google, according to the Financial Times. Microsoft has also approached other “big online publishers” with similar deals.
This post covers presentations at MIT?s Center for Future Civic Media at MIT?s communications forum.
Cristina Xu leads off a segment focused on the future of news. She introduces her project, the News Positioning System, by digging into American history to talk about ?transient newspapers?. When the US postal system heavily subsidized the mailing of newspapers, they began being used as mementos, or as post cards, underlined to make certain points. The practice became so widespread that Congress had to intervene, deciding that underlining a sentence in a newspaper was okay, while underlining letters to send a letter was not.
An article in Sunday’s New York Times by Chris Nicholson brings home an important lesson about digital life under The Law of Disruption. When social contracts are formed, the medium is often the message.
The story involves the Second Life virtual environment. A couple met and married online through the site, and with virtual currency called Lindens, purchased and furnished an island retreat. After the husband died in real life, the wife could not continue to make maintenance payments on the island. Linden Labs, which runs Second Life, erased all of their shared digital possessions.
Friend and colleague Dan Gillmor came up with a powerful idea at a Berkman retreat this past week ? the need for a ?slow news movement? in journalism, a focus on reporting that?s about careful, reasoned analysis, not about speed. (Dan credits the term to me ? that?s too kind. I?m merely the wiseass who took the complex idea he was putting forward and reduced it to a soundbite.)
Dan offers two reasons why news outlets publish news as quickly as possible, forcing themselves to correct and retract when following a story like the tragic Ft. Hood shootings. A newsroom veteran, Dan credits journalists? natural competitive instincts for some the need for speed. And he points out that speed is a way of maintaining an audience: ?Being first draws a crowd. Crowds can be turned into influence, money or both. Witness cable news channels? desperate hunt for ?the latest? when big events are under way, even though the latest is so often the rankest garbage.?
Readers who have come to rely on sports journalist Tom Boswell’s quality baseball coverage for the Washington Post, might not have been quite so impressed with Monday’s offering: His column, covering Sunday’s World Series game, was sent to the printers awash with typos, grammatical errors and misspellings; generating a number of complaints.
It’s been over a year now since the arrest of Hossein Derakhshan, popularly known as Hoder. Ever since he wrote the first Persian-language blogging guide in November 2001, he has helped pioneer the Iranian blogging community while living in his adopted home of Toronto. (Derakhshan is a dual citizen of Iran and Canada.)
However, beginning in 2006, Derakhshan’s views started changing. He called for Iran to have nuclear weapons, and engaged in personal attacks against people that he disagreed with politically. He was even sued for libel by another Iranian in September 2007.
Dan Gillmor sez, “Slow food was a great idea. Maybe we need ‘slow news’ in an era of accelerating — and wrong — information.” Like many other people who’ve been burned by believing too quickly, I’ve learned to put almost all of what journalists call “breaking news” into the categories of gossip or, in the words of a scientist friend, “interesting if true.” That is, even though I gobble up “the latest” from a variety of sources, the closer the information is in time to the actual event, the more I assume it’s unreliable if not false.
Search engine optimisation, the process of creating content for the web that will easily fall under the radar of search engines and therefore draw in more readers, has become an integral part of newsroom life. Many media outlets have been in on the act for a good few years, but only today has the BBC decided to latch on to this newsroom trend, increasing the length of its headlines on its news website, in the hope that this will generate more unique visitors to the site, the Guardian reported.