Tag Archives: Wired

7 laws journalists now need to know – from database rights to hate speech

Law books image by Mr T in DC

Image by Mr T in DC

When you start publishing online you move from the well-thumbed areas of defamation and libel, contempt of court and privilege and privacy to a whole new world of laws and licences.

This is a place where laws you never knew existed can be applied to your work – while other ones can come in surprisingly useful. Here are the key ones:

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Wired stands by story after Guardian denies iPhone app paywall plans

If, like me, you’re a regular reader of The Guardian‘s media coverage, or you listen to their Media Talk podcast, you might have been surprised to have read the following in the February 2010 UK edition of Wired:

The Guardian… hopes users of it’s £2.39 (iPhone) app will pay extra for privileged access to in-demand columnists. (p.89)

This seems to fly in the face of what I know about The Guardian‘s digital strategy. The Guardian have always seemed to be staunch opponents of paywalls, and Emily Bell, Director of Digital Content at Guardian News & Media, always seems to me to take a particularly strong line that she doesn’t want to charge for online content. I asked her to comment on Wired‘s claim. “I’m not sure where the ‘columnists’ assumption comes from, not us, that’s for sure. Bit off beam” she told me on Twitter (incidentally the ‘columnists’ in question include David Rowan, Wired‘s Editor, who co-wrote the piece).

So, order is restored to my universe: The Guardian is still the bastion of free online content, creatively looking for another way to make digital pay. But wait, what’s this? Wired have weighed back in, with this tweet:

@jonhickman @emilybell Came from a senior Guardian exec who demonstrated the app in person, actually

So, are The Guardian really thinking about paywalls? Was this loose talk? Has there been a misunderstanding? Is someone fibbing?

I don’t know, but I think it matters. The Guardian‘s online brand seems to be about free: free data, free access, free comment. If there’s a grain of truth in Wired‘s claim, what does it tell us about the future of online access?

Shift is happening – useful advice for young journalists

Financial crisis, digital revolution, crumbling media companies – these are shaky days for media and everyone involved in the field. How can journalism students make sense of it all?

I asked several of the speakers and participants at the Digital News Affairs conference in Brussels one question: What is the best piece of advice you will give to journalism students in the middle of this upheaval? Here is what they want you to focus on:

Ben Hammersley, editor, Wired Magazine: Everything comes down to being able to write well. Before you write well, forget Facebook, Twitter, etc. And you learn to write well by reading lots of good stuff and write a lot yourself. And find a good editor! Continue reading

…and I was going to be on a panel with Chris “Long Tail” Anderson…

I was due to take part in the 9th Journalism Leaders Forum next Tuesday, but sadly have had to pull out. I’m especially gutted because Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine and author of “The Long Tail“, will be there via video link. Another time perhaps… Continue reading

Wiki journalism: are wikis the new blogs?

On Thursday I’ll be presenting my paper on wiki journalism at the Future of Newspapers conference in Cardiff. As previously reported, the full paper is available as a wiki online for anyone to add to or edit. You can also download a PDF of the ‘official’ version.

Based on a review of a number of case studies, and some literature on wikis, the paper proposes a taxonomy of wiki journalism, and outlines the opportunities and weaknesses of the form. The following is the edited highlights: Continue reading

Speech to the 8th Vienna Globalisation Symposium

Last week I was in Vienna speaking to the most diverse audience I’m ever likely to address: 120 or so people from organisations including the European Commission, Amnesty International, the European Space Agency, the United Nations, Princeton University and the World Trade Organisation, as well as students from universities in Serbia, Ukraine, Italy, Poland, Germany, Austria, and America.

They were there to attend the Vienna Globalisation Symposium, and I was speaking as part of the first panel, on ‘Web 2.0: The return of the internet’. The topic of the presentation was Blogs and journalism - click on the link for the Word document. It’s 15-20 minutes long. I may upload audio and/or video later.

Virginia Tech: the speed of news online

If ever proof were needed of the increased speed which the internet and blogs bring to news, yesterday Wired was already looking at the implications of the Virginia Tech shooting after a blog post:

“After Columbine, there was a nationwide backlash against geeks and goths — kids were being suspended, and worse, for wearing Marilyn Manson tee shirts. What will the Virginia Tech backlash look like, if it comes?

“Given all the emphasis on Cho’s creative writing, I’d guess student fiction-writers will be feeling the heat. Turning in dark, tortured, soul-searching fiction will be a good way to get sent to a counselor, or wind up interviewed by the local police.

“Kimberly Lacey, a graduate teaching instructor at Wayne State University, has a thoughtful blog post on the position creative writing teachers are in now.”

The article even links to two of Cho’s plays: “Richard McBeef and Mr. Brownstone are here, along with an account of one his former classmates.”