Journalism roundup: Spain’s “Ancillary Copyright” Law leads to closure of Google News in Spain…

Spain’s government Thursday defied Google’s vow to shut down its Spanish online news service in protest at being made to pay for content, in its latest legal clash in Europe.
Google EU 2
A new copyright law in Spain is forcing Google to close the doors on its news product. In a post on the Google Europe blog today, the company wrote that it’s closing the service with “real sadness” ahead of the new law going into effect this January.
Google News closes up shop in Spain

Earlier this year Spanish lawmakers passed a law requiring Google and other aggregators to pay local publishers for snippets or links to stories. As Europe continues to turn up the heat on Google, the company decided today to shut down Google News in Spain.

Today, Google has announced that it will be permanently shutting down theSpanish version of Google News, effective from December 16, 2014. The shutdown comes in direct response to amendments to the Spanish intellectual property law (Ley De Propiedad Intelectual) imposing a compulsory fee for the use of snippets of text to link to news articles, by online news aggregators that provide a search service.

Hacker Lexicon: What Is a Backdoor?

Hacker Lexicon: What Is a Backdoor?

TL;DR: A backdoor in software or a computer system is generally an undocumented portal that allows an administrator to enter the system to troubleshoot or do upkeep. But it also refers to a secret portal that hackers and intelligence agencies use to gain illicit access. A backdoor has multiple meanings. It can refer to a […]

The Newsroom: We Are All Tweeting Towards Bethlehem

How could anyone doubt The Intercept’s commitment to fearless journalism? Who among you is strong enough to stare into the Sorkin Void and not unravel into psychic vertigo from the rom-com to the debates over shield law to the zeitgeisty take on sexual assault to the collapse of old media? More flirting! More tweeting! More encrypting! And the walking! And the yelling! And THE DYING. So die with us this week, as we review The Newsroom, episode 5. 

Natasha Vargas-Cooper: There’s a term in poker for when you bet too much and you don’t make great decisions: you are ON TILT. Aaron Sorkin was ON TILT last night.



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New Pew Journalism report examines newsroom partnerships

A new report out today from the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project takes a look at how partnerships work in journalism by way of five case studies. Rick Edmonds and Amy Mitchell write about collaborations between Charlottesville Tomorrow and The Daily Progress; I-News Network, Rocky Mountain PBS, and KUSA-TV; five Texas newspapers;The Lens and WWNO Public Radio; and The Toronto Star and El Nuevo Herald. It’s worth noting that these examples include both nonprofit and commercial partnerships.

What’s in your news diet? Sure, we can name the sites, papers, and stations that pepper us with news through the day and week. But we can’t easily sum up what we’ve read and how much of it, or really get an accurate sense of the balance between serious Times or Guardian fare versus the clickbait du jour.

What if we could know what we’ve read — and tune it — over time? What if we could count and categorize our news consumption, as we try to do with our meals, to become better versions of ourselves?

It’s About Ethics in Sports Journalism

As Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston exited his student code of conduct hearing on Tuesday, a woman asked him a series of questions. Some of them were on point: “Why didn’t you come in and cooperate with police and answer their questions? How do you explain the bruises if it was consensual sex, Jameis?


The fight to get Google to pay for news continues in Europe

BERLIN — The European Union’s new commissioner for digital affairs didn’t waste any time. Days before starting the job at the end of October, Günther Oettinger (his official title is commissioner for digital economy and society)announced plans to reform European copyright law in 2015. That could mean introducing a levy on search engines when they show results for European companies, he said — a contested issue that’s been pushed by large news media companies from across Europe in recent months.

It’s from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, authored by John Lloyd (FT,, La Repubblica) and Laura Toogood (managing director of private clients, Digitalis Reputation). There’s a live introductory event you can stream at 6 p.m. GMT (in about 90 minutes as I type this) and you can read the executive summary and intro.

The Newsroom: Saunas Are the Last Bastions of Free Speech

In our ongoing quest to commit fearless acts of premium-cable-watching, we are recapping Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. In this, our discourse about Episode 3, we talk about bad haircuts, cheap hotels, searching and seizing and a sex magazine.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper: Let’s discuss the lady source and her GARBAGE OpSec.

Micah Lee: So bad. She couldn’t even figure out how to copy files off SIPRNet herself.  And the incriminating paper was dipped in champagne.

Peter Maass: Should have burned it like Neal and the menu.

NVC: Can you encrypt champagne, Micah?

Lee: Yes, it rearranges the bubbles to an even randomer order


Like Will McAvoy refusing to disclose the name of his source, we refuse to relent in ourrecaps of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. In this week’s discussion, which we dedicate to our most loyal fan, @svaroschi, we explore the wisdom of storing piles of classified documents in a glass office, the likelihood of traveling from New York City to Washington and back in four hours in a rainstorm while avoiding government surveillance of the BlackBerry in your hand, and whether any news organization’s operational security could be as dismal as ACN’s.


Thomas Mattsson, editor-in-chief of the Swedish tabloid Expressen, set a bold goal for his staff last summer: Develop, build, and launch a viral news site — think the more LOL elements of BuzzFeed — in just two weeks.

The paper met its deadline and in July launched Omtalat, which means “talked about” in Swedish. In short order, Expressen followed up on Omtalat with new viral sites specifically dedicated to sports and animals.

Expressen has a print circulation of 193,100 and its main websites — and — are among the most visited news sites in the country, but in an email Mattsson emphasized that he wanted a “more entrepreneurial approach” to look outside the main sites to “create simpler and…quicker sites.”

Peter Maass: Gametime!

If you’ve ever done a black flip over a canyon of lava or just wanted to shoot video of your bike ride, you’ve used a GoPro. Now it seems the company made famous by adrenaline-fueled extreme-sports antics is getting into the drone business. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, GoPro will start selling personal drones sometime in 2015 for $500 to $1,000 according to sources. Most consumer drones are sold either with, or support the mounting of, a GoPro camera. By entering the market, GoPro is cutting out the middle man. The company recently unveiled three new

Google wants to be the wallet you use to pay for news. Again.

Last week, the company debuted Contributor, an experimental platform that lets people pay publishers for visiting a site. Instead of buying a subscription, readers put $1 to $3 a month into an account that is used to pay publishers on a per-visit basis. Currently 10 sites are participating in the experiment, including Mashable, The Onion, Science Daily, andwikiHow (others have not been announced by Google).

Ebooks have failed to live up to their promise as a new revenue stream for newspapers. That’s the lesson from experiments at at least three dailies across Canada.

The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Edmonton Journal each experimented with a different ebook strategy, with varying degrees of success. In theory, publishing ebooks sounds like a good fit for newspapers. Longform content is often secondary to daily news, readers don’t have time to read a 10,000-word article every day, and editors can’t justify devoting resources to journalism that doesn’t make money.

Jack Shafer on losing his job, and the state of things

Capital New York – From CTIA – The Wireless Association – I called up the legendary media critic Jack Shafer after word got out he’d been laid off at Reuters. There was some idea of putting it all together into an article but he speaks too well for himself for us to publish it any other way than as a Q


The Silent Crackdown on Serbian Media

(R), Olja_Bećković (L). Images mixed from wikimedia commons and  Vreme.comPopular journalists Predrag Sarapa (L), Olja Bećković (R) recently had their political shows taken off-air in Serbia. Images mixed from Vreme and Media Center Belgrade.

The current and previous government in Serbia invested years into cleaning up the image of this Eastern European country that was known for decades as a hot spot for crime and war. Figureheads from across the political spectrum have sought to demonstrate their commitment to Serbia’s accession to the European Union. Publicly, they appear to want Serbia to become a truly free, democratic, and economically successful country. The reality, however, is different.

Doğan Akın: Journalism in Turkey is ill

Today’s Zaman (press release) (blog)

T24 news portal Editor-in-Chief Doğan Akın shared his belief that Turkish media is in a diseased state, in a panel that gathered academics and journalists in an effort for transparency in Turkish politics and media at İstanbul Bilgi University on Friday.

What’s the right news experience on a phone? Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BuzzFeed are trying to figure it out

Nieman Journalism Lab by Caroline O’Donovan


few weeks ago, we wrote about BuzzFeed’s hiring of Stacy-Marie Ishmael, formerly of the Financial Times, as the editorial lead for their forthcoming news app. Product lead Noah Chestnut, formerly of The New Republic, has been working on building a product that will serve news in a mobile context to core BuzzFeed News readers for a few months now.



Technology set journalism free, now new platforms are in control

Gigaom – Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) – Nov 22, 3:32 PM – Emily Bell, the former Guardian digital editor who now runs the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, gave a speech recently at the Reuters Institute in the UK about the crossroads at which journalism finds itself today. It’s a…



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