Monthly Archives: January 2005

Knowing who lobbies who, and who funds research

Keyword: Online Journalism. The Education Guardian reports on the SpinWatch website, what looks like an excellent resource for journalists. Written by researchers, journalists, and, now, anyone who wants to post, it aims to expose “hitherto unknown – or undeclared – links between organisations.” There is some editorial control: the founder, David Miller, professor of sociology at the University of Strathclyde, says “All articles must have their sources checked and verified by the vetting committee before they are allowed to appear on the site.”

Another quote from Miller make a compelling case for journalists using the site:

“You [The Guardian] ran a story about a report from the International Policy Network claiming that climate change was nowhere near as bad as had been previously thought,” he says. “What you didn’t say is that the IPN is a small company … that has received a $50,000 (£27,000) donation from Exxon, the US oil giant. If your readers had been made aware of this, they might have read the article somewhat differently.”

On a related subject, check out this book about how science, the media and public opinion is manipulated by industry. The page is on the PRWatch website, an organisation dedicated to monitoring the PR industry, and a site well worth exploring.

Google to move into internet telephony? (and TV search) (and browsers)

Keyword: Technology. Rumours abound that Google are planning to launch a VoIP (Internet telephony) service. Here’s the post that led me to those rumours, with some interesting comments.

On a related subject, the company has also confirmed that it is introducing a TV search facility that allows user to search the text of the show. There are plans to eventually include internet-based video in the search too.

Is that all? No. Here CNET report on Google hiring the lead programmer of Firefox, fueling speculation that the company intend to launch a web browser.

Expect to hear future rumours such as ‘CNET hire cleaner – address already registered’…