Rupert Murdoch — the guy who’s under investigation in England for phone hacking, influence peddling and bribery — wants to buy the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Right now that would be illegal because Murdoch already owns TV stations in those cities. But Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is trying to change the agency’s ownership rules to pave the way for Murdoch to get exactly what he wants.
If the FCC proposal passes, one company could own the major daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in your town. And that one company could be your Internet provider, too. What is the FCC thinking?!?
We can still stop the agency from taking this step — but we have less than a month to do it.
A Linked Ballot - How News Organizations Can Help Citizens Prepare to Vote
As people prepare to head to the polls, a lot of people have been asking me where they can get more information about local ballot questions and smaller races that have received little or no attention.
Here is a idea… What if every news organization posted a copy of the local ballot and linked every ballot question and race to their past reporting on the topic. This would be a simple way to help citizens navigate all the new organizations election coverage and prepare for voting.
Imagine if there was a clear explainer for every issue and person on the ballot with background, interviews and more. Ideally, news organizations could link to a topic page for each vote and draw on the best reporting from around the web.
I believe that just as there is a human hunger to know that sustains journalism, there is a human desire to share knowledge, and that too can sustain journalism.
Hint: US is way lower than most would assume, and for good reason. We need to stand up to the ongoing erosion of press freedom at home and abroad.
Press freedom rankings from the Newseum and Freedom House
The most free? Finland, Norway and Sweden. The least? North Korea. Where does the U.S. rank? Find out here at the Newseum’s website.
Is this the new business model for news?
New data from Pew on the reach of mobile Internet and the implications for news.
“New Study Finds Half of U.S. Adults Have Mobile Internet – With Big Implications for News”
See the full infographic here and read about the rest of the findings.
I’ll write more soon on the policy issues this new data raises.
“I had journalists who were poking fun at me, while I was in jail, on Twitter and social media” ~ journalist Susie Cagle
As the landscape of journalism changes, we need solidarity amongst journalists struggling against the slow grind of institutions that have not adapted to how journalism is done in a digital age. As more and more journalists on the front lines, covering our communities are from small newsrooms or independent, we have to rely on each other. See more on my thoughts about journalist support networks here.
There was no reason to detain Ferral, other than police didn’t know what to do with her. In this country, that’s not a good enough reason to force a citizen to lie face down and be cuffed.
Me: So far very few cities have taken this important step. Of the 13 cities where journalists have been arrested over the past year only a handful have stepped up and apologized. Fewer have taken proactive steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“The business of verifying and debunking content from the public relies far more on journalistic hunches than snazzy technology. While some call this new specialization in journalism “information forensics,” one does not need to be an IT expert or have special equipment to ask and answer the fundamental questions used to judge whether a scene is staged or not.”
I genuinely don’t know what’s going to happen to freedom of speech as we enter into a networked world, but I suspect it’s going to spark many more ugly confrontations. Rather, it’s not the freedom of speech itself that will, but the visibility of the resultant expressions, good, bad, and ugly. For this reason, I think that we need to start having a serious conversation about what freedom of speech means in a networked world where jurisdictions blur, norms collide, and contexts collapse. This isn’t going to be worked out by enacting global laws nor is it going to be easily solved through technology. This is, above all else, a social issue that has scaled to new levels, creating serious socio-cultural governance questions. How do we understand the boundaries and freedoms of expression in a networked world?
This is a must read.
“If we are going to measure our impact in the world we have to get out in our world. We have to join community conversations, we have to be better listeners, and we have to ask different kind of questions. Our journalism shouldn’t be seen as something that happens to the community, but rather with the community. More than ever, as the ground beneath journalism shifts and our newsrooms adapt, we need to be testing our assumptions and ground truthing our data.”
Read more here.