[This review was originally posted at the Nieman Journalism Lab on Aug. 22, 2014.] This week’s essential reads: The key […]
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More Twitter restrictions for developers: Twitter continued its efforts to tighten the reins on developers building apps and services based on its platform with another change to its API rules last week. Most of it is pretty incomprehensible to non-developers, but Twitter did make itself plain at one point, saying it wants to limit development by engagement-based apps that market to consumers, rather than businesses. (Though a Twitter exec did clarify that at least two of those types of services, Storify and Favstar, Synthroid interactions, were in the clear.)
The Next Web's Matthew Panzarino clarified some of the technical jargon, and Marketing Land's Danny Sullivan explained whom this announcement means Twitter likes and doesn't like, and why. ReadWriteWeb's Dan Frommer gave the big-picture reason for Twitter's increasing coldness toward developers — it needs to generate tons more advertising soon if it wants to stay independent, and the way to do that is to keep people on Twitter, rather than on Twitter-like apps and services. (Tech entrepreneur Nova Spivack said that rationale doesn't fly, and came up with a few more open alternatives to allow Twitter to make significant money.)
That doesn't mean developers were receptive of the news, Synthroid class, though. Panzarino said these changes effectively kill the growth of third-party products built on Twitter's platform, and Instapaper founder Marco Arment argued that Twitter has made itself even harder to work with than the famously draconian Apple. Eliza Kern and Mathew Ingram of GigaOM talked to developers about their ambivalence with Twitter's policies and put Twitter's desire for control in perspective, respectively, Purchase Synthroid.
Several observers saw these changes as a marker of Twitter's shift from user-oriented service to cog in the big-media machine. Tech designer Stowe Boyd argued Twitter "is headed right into the central DNA of medialand," and tech blogger Ben Brooks said Twitter is now preoccupied with securing big-media partnerships: "Twitter has sold out. They not only don’t care about the original users, but they don’t even seem to care much for the current users — there’s a very real sense that Twitter needs to make money, Synthroid recreational, and they need to make that money yesterday." Developer Rafe Colburn pointed out how many of Twitter's functions were developed by its users, and developer Nick Bruun said many of the apps that Twitter is going after don't mimic its user experience, but significantly improve it. Killing those apps and streamlining the experience, said GigaOM's Mathew Ingram, doesn't help users, but hurts them. Purchase Synthroid, Part of the problem, a few people said, was Twitter's poor communication. Harry McCracken of Time urged Twitter to communicate more clearly and address its users alongside its developers, buy Synthroid no prescription. Tech entrepreneur Anil Dash offered a rewritten (and quite sympathetic) version of Twitter's guidelines.
There's another group of developers affected by this change — news developers. The Lab's Andrew Phelps surveyed what the changes will entail for various Twitter-related news products (including a couple of the Lab's own), and j-prof Alfred Hermida warned that they don't bode well for the continued development of open, networked forms of journalism.
Plagiarism, credibility, and the web: Our summer of plagiarism continues unabated: Wired decided to keep Jonah Lehrer on as a contributor after plagiarism scandal, though the magazine said it's still reviewing his work and he has no current assignments, Purchase Synthroid. Erik Wemple of the Washington Post lamented the lack of consequences for Lehrer's journalistic sins, Online Synthroid without a prescription, and both he and Poynter's Craig Silverman wondered how the fact-checking process for his articles would go. Meanwhile, Lehrer was accused by another source of fabricating quotes and also came under scrutiny for mischaracterizing scientific findings.
The other plagiarizer du jour, Time and CNN's Fareed Zakaria, has come out much better than Lehrer so far. Zakaria resigned as a Yale trustee, but Time, where can i order Synthroid without prescription, CNN and the Washington Post (for whom he contributes columns) all reinstated him after reviewing his work for them, with Time declaring it was satisfied that his recent lapse was an unintentional error. Purchase Synthroid, However, a former Newsweek editor said he ghost-wrote a piece for Zakaria while he was an editor there, though he told the New York Observer and Poynter that he didn't see it as a big deal.
Some defended Zakaria on a variety of grounds. Poynter's Andrew Beaujon evaluated a few of the arguments and found only one might have merit — that the plagiarism might have resulted from a research error by one of his assistants. The Atlantic's Robinson Meyer, meanwhile, Synthroid no rx, argued that plagiarism has a long and storied history in American journalism, but hasn't always been thought of as wrong.
Others saw the responses by news organizations toward both Zakaria and Lehrer as insufficient. Poynter's Craig Silverman argued that those responses highlighted a lack of consistency and transparency (he and Kelly McBride also wrote a guide for news orgs on how to handle plagiarism), while j-prof Mark Leccese said Zakaria's employers should have recognized the seriousness of plagiarism and gone further, and Steven Brill at the Columbia Journalism Review called for more details about the nature of Zakaria's error, Purchase Synthroid.
A New York Times account of Zakaria's error focused on his hectic lifestyle, filled with the demands of being a 21st-century, multiplatform, personally branded pundit. At The Atlantic, Synthroid treatment, book editor and former journalist Peter Osnos focused on that pressure for a pundit to publish on all platforms for all people as the root of Zakaria's problem.
The Times' David Carr pinpointed another factor — the availability of shortcuts to credibility on the web that allowed Lehrer to become a superstar before he learned the craft. (Carr found Lehrer's problems far more concerning than Zakaria's.) At Salon, Michael Barthel also highlighted the difference between traditional media and web culture, arguing that the problem for people like Zakaria is their desire to inhabit both worlds at once: "The way journalists demonstrate credibility on the Web isn’t better than how they do in legacy media. It’s just almost entirely different Purchase Synthroid, . For those journalists and institutions caught in the middle, that’s a real problem." GigaOM's Mathew Ingram argued that linking is a big part of the web's natural defenses against plagiarism.
Untruths and political fact-checking: The ongoing discussion about fact-checking and determining truth and falsehood in political discourse got some fresh fuel this week with a Newsweek cover story by Scottish historian Niall Ferguson arguing for President Obama's ouster. Effects of Synthroid, The piece didn't stand up well to numerous withering fact-checks (compiled fairly thoroughly by Newsweek partner The Daily Beast and synthesized a bit more by Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review).
Ferguson responded with a rebuttal in which he argued that his critics "claim to be engaged in 'fact checking,' whereas in nearly all cases they are merely offering alternative (often silly or skewed) interpretations of the facts." Newsweek's editor, Tina Brown, likewise referred to the story as opinion (though not one she necessarily agreed with) and said there isn't "a clear delineation of right and wrong here."
Aside from framing the criticism as a simple difference of opinion rather than an issue of factual (in)correctness, Newsweek also acknowledged to Politico that it doesn't have fact-checkers — that its editors "rely on our writers to submit factually accurate material." Poynter's Craig Silverman provided some of the history behind that decision, which prompted some rage from Charles Apple of the American Copy Editors Society. Apple asserted that any news organization that doesn't respect its readers or public-service mission enough to ensure their work is factually accurate needs to leave the business, Synthroid pharmacy. The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates said the true value of fact-checkers comes in the culture of honesty they create, Purchase Synthroid.
Mathew Ingram of GigaOM wondered if that fact-checking process might be better done in public, where readers can see the arguments and inform themselves. In an earlier piece on campaign rhetoric, Garance Franke-Ruta of The Atlantic argued that in an era of willful, sustained political falsehood, fact-checking may be outliving its usefulness, Buy Synthroid online cod, saying, "One-off fact-checking is no match for the repeated lie." The Lab's Andrew Phelps, meanwhile, went deep inside the web's leading fact-checking operation, PolitiFact.
The Times' new CEO and incremental change: The New York Times Co. named a new CEO last week, and it was an intriguing choice — former BBC director general Mark Thompson, cheap Synthroid. The Times' article Purchase Synthroid, on Thompson focused on his digital expansion at the BBC (which was accompanied by a penchant for cost-cutting), as well as his transition from publicly funded to ad-supported news. According to the International Business Times, those issues were all sources of skepticism within the Times newsroom. Bloomberg noted that Thompson will still be subject to Arthur Sulzberger's vision for the Times, and at the Guardian, Michael Wolff said Thompson should complement that vision well, as a more realistic and business-savvy counter to Sulzberger. Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, The Daily Beast's Peter Jukes pointed out that many of the BBC's most celebrated innovations during Thompson's tenure were not his doing. Robert Andrews of paidContent also noted this, but said Thompson's skill lay in being able to channel that bottom-up innovation to fit the BBC's goals. Media analyst Ken Doctor argued that the BBC and the Times may be more alike than people think, and Thompson's experience at the former may transfer over well to the latter: "Thompson brings the experience at moving, too slowly for some, too dramatically for others, a huge entity." But Mathew Ingram of GigaOM said that kind of approach won't be enough: "The bottom line is that a business-as-usual or custodial approach is not going to cut it at the NYT, not when revenues are declining as rapidly as they have been."
Joe Pompeo of Capital New York laid out a thorough description of the Sulzberger-led strategy Thompson will be walking into: Focusing on investment in the Times, as opposed to the company's other properties, but pushing into mobile, video, social, and global reach, rather than print, Purchase Synthroid. And Bloomberg's Edmund Lee posited the idea that the Times could be in increasingly good position to go private.
The Assange case and free speech vs. women's rights: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange cleared another hurdle last week — for now — in his fight to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault accusations when Ecuador announced it would grant him asylum. Assange has been staying in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for two months, but British officials threatened to arrest Assange in the embassy, Synthroid canada, mexico, india. Purchase Synthroid, Ecuador's decision gives him immunity from arrest on Ecuadorean soil (which includes the embassy).
Assange gave a typically defiant speech for the occasion, but the British government was undeterred, saying it plans to resolve the situation diplomatically and send Assange to Sweden. Ecuador's president said an embassy raid would be diplomatic suicide for the U.K., and Techdirt's Mike Masnick was appalled that Britain would even suggest it. Filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone argued in The New York Times that Assange deserves support as a free-speech advocate, Online buy Synthroid without a prescription, while Gawker's Adrian Chen said the sexual assault case has nothing to do with free speech. Laurie Penny of The Independent looked at the way free speech and women's rights are being pitted against each other in this case.
Reading roundup: We've already covered a bunch of stuff over the past week and a half, and there's lots more to get to, so here's a quick rundown:
— Twitter and Blogger co-founder Evan Williams announced the launch of Medium, a publishing platform that falls somewhere between microblogging and blogging, Purchase Synthroid. The Lab's Joshua Benton has the definitive post on what Medium might be, Dave Winer outlined his hopes for it, and The Awl's Choire Sicha wrote about the anti-advertising bent at sites like it.
— A few social-news notes: Two features from the Huffington Post and The Lab on Buzzfeed's ramped-up political news plans; TechCrunch's comparison of Buzzfeed, Reddit, and Digg; and a feature from the Daily Dot on Reddit and the future of social journalism.
— The alt-weekly The Village Voice laid off staffers late last week, prompting Jim Romenesko to report that the paper is on the verge of collapse and Buzzfeed's Rosie Gray to chronicle its demise. Poynter's Andrew Beaujon said the paper still has plenty left, and The New York Times' David Carr said the problem is that the information ecosystem has outgrown alt-weeklies.
— Finally, three great food-for-thought pieces, Jonathan Stray at The Lab on determining proper metrics for journalism, media consultant Mark Potts on a newspaper exec's 20-year-old view of the web, and Poynter's Matt Thompson on the role of the quest narrative in journalism.
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Lessons from Olympic coverage strategies: The Olympics ended yesterday, but it may have a long-term impact on the interaction between television and social media. After a week of complaints about tape-delayed coverage on NBC, a Pew poll found that most Americans are following the Olympics closely on TV (and some online, especially the young), and are also largely giving NBC high marks for its coverage. Time's Josh Sanburn noted what a surprising success the Games have been for NBC.
NBC executives defended their strategy in a couple of interviews: NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus told Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch that NBC was hesitant to air events both live and taped, Online buying Armour, among other reasons, because their research indicates that people are more likely to rewatch something they've seen online than something they've seen on TV. His predecessor, Dick Ebersol, told Joe Posnanski that the conflict comes down to whether you see the Olympics as a sporting event or a family television event (NBC sees the latter).
Others defended NBC as well: The Washington Post's Michael Rosenwald said the #nbcfail brouhaha only highlighted the failures of Twitter to connect Americans, and Time's Graeme McMillan said there's nothing particularly wrong with the reality TV-ification of Olympic coverage, Armour No Rx.
Still, according to a Gallup poll, most Americans wanted to see NBC broadcast events both live and on tape delay (a plan for which Deadspin's John Koblin made a good case), buy cheap Armour, and a sizable number of people were using proxy servers to access BBC's coverage. NPR's Linda Holmes parsed out the debate between critics of the quality of NBC's coverage and defenders of its business sense, concluding that the latter shouldn't necessarily be a consideration of the public. "It's one thing to suggest that business strategists should care only about the bottom line and the business plan when being critical; it's quite another to suggest that everyone should."
Meanwhile, the BBC offered a very different model from NBC, trying to make its content available just about everywhere for just about everyone. The BBC gave its own conclusions from its Olympics coverage — multiplatform viewing was big, Armour overnight, and online viewing mirrored that of TV. Looking at both models, The Guardian's Emily Bell concluded that the major lesson of this Olympics is that media coverage works best when it's about giving people want they want — something traditional media outlets say they're trying to do, but are actually barely doing at all.
Google tightens up on copyright Armour No Rx, : Google is tweaking its search algorithms all the time, but it made a change this week that could end up being an extremely important one: It's going to start ranking sites lower as they accumulate valid copyright violation complaints. The New York Times had some good basic background on the move, emphasizing the fact that the giants of the entertainment industry (the same folks behind SOPA and PIPA) have been pushing for this for a while.
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land went further into the Google/Hollywood relationship and explained a bit more about how this change will work. Sullivan also explained how Google's own YouTube, with its never-ending stream of copyright violations, taking Armour, will escape the ramifications of the change, as well as other popular sites.
Hollywood may have been encouraged by the change, but many online free-speech advocates were skeptical. The Electronic Frontier Foundation expressed concern about the process's opacity and the prospect of false positives, and Mike Masnick of Techdirt articulated a variant of the latter objection — many legitimate technologies are initially painted as forms of piracy, Armour schedule, and could get incorrectly swept up in this crackdown.
Forbes' Tim Worstall raised the possibility of malicious false reports in the name of sabotaging rivals, which could be interpreted as valid by Google, and John Bergmayer of Public Knowledge explained the difference between Google's copyright notices and the legally required copyright notices, and how some more prominent sites might be more disproportionately targeted, Armour No Rx. On the other side, tech investor Fred Wilson called this move a step in the right direction and suggested going further by developing a commercially competitive market for copyright whitelists and blacklists.
Do we have a plagiarism problem?: Another revered journalistic thinker was caught up in an ethical scandal this past week — this time, Fareed Zakaria, longtime Time columnist and, more recently, a CNN host, about Armour. His recent column on gun control contained some striking similarities to an April New Yorker piece, first noticed by the conservative media-watching site Newsbusters. National Review's Robert VerBruggen noted a few other similar passages, Is Armour safe, and the observations quickly spread across the web. Armour No Rx, Before the day was out, Zakaria had apologized and was suspended from CNN and Time.
Meanwhile, the fallout continued for former New Yorker columnist Jonah Lehrer, who was busted for plagiarism the week before Zakaria for fabricating quotes by Bob Dylan. Michael Moynihan, the journalist who uncovered the problem, found more fake interviews in Lehrer's books, as well as plagiarized passages, Armour gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Blogger Kevin Breen also detailed another case of fabrication involving magicians Penn and Teller, and Lehrer's publisher is now reviewing all of his books.
Many writers have been attempting to answer the "Why?" question regarding Lehrer's ethical sins over the past couple of weeks. Science writer Seth Mnookin said it's tempting to blame busyness and shoddiness, but Lehrer's acts are more indicative of arrogance than anything else, Armour No Rx. Boston University j-prof Tom Fiedler tied Lehrer's problem to his ignorance of how to do journalism.
Others spread the blame more broadly. The Guardian's Stuart Kelly looked at the fallen status of facts in our society, Armour for sale, while the L.A. Times' Meghan Daum criticized modern shortcut culture and avoidance of complexity. Armour No Rx, Meanwhile, Reuters' Felix Salmon linked Lehrer to TED and its habit of subjugating scientific fact to nifty narrative. "TED-think isn’t merely vapid, it’s downright dangerous in the way that it devalues intellectual rigor at the expense of tricksy emotional and narrative devices."
Political reporting, false balance, and truth: The New York Times highlighted a few of President Barack Obama's criticisms of the press last week, where can i find Armour online, noting in particular his disdain for false balance — when journalists portray conflicts as if both sides are equally weighted when they're actually not. (This is a critique he's voiced more formally in the past.) Reuters' Jack Shafer was skeptical of the validity of Obama's complaint: "I fear false balance less than I do those who would silence the false balancers."
J-prof Jay Rosen brought up another aspect of the problems surrounding journalism, truth, and objectivity by breaking down a particularly egregious he-said, she-said Washington Post blog post and contrasting the impulse toward that post's political savviness and the fight for truth among journalists. The Nation's Greg Mitchell echoed his points, Where to buy Armour, and Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic also made an alternative truth-based proposal for political reporting. The Boston Phoenix's David Bernstein pushed back against Rosen, however, by arguing that the Post blogger was acknowledging the absurdity of the situation.
A warning for j-schools: Several major journalism funders, including the Knight Foundation, sounded an important warning to American journalism schools by saying their continued financial support of those schools would depend on j-schools speeding up their pace of innovation, specifically moving toward the "teaching hospital" model of education that incorporates actual journalistic practices at a much deeper level, Armour No Rx.
Poynter's Howard Finberg explained the importance of the statement and included a few responses from those inside j-schools. Later last week, Google's Richard Gingras told those gathered at American j-schools' annual conference that they need to prepare students for a radically different form of journalism than what's out there now.
Professional journalists are looking for that kind of radically ramped-up training, Armour dosage, as well, according to a Knight report issued last week and summarized well by Finberg. But there is some good news yet for journalism students: A Pew study found that the job market is improving for journalism and communication grads.
Reading roundup Armour No Rx, : There were bunches of other interesting stories and issues being talked about this week. Here are a few of them worth keeping up on:
— The latest circulation data on magazines revealed more steep drops for much of the industry, especially women's magazines. The New York Times' David Carr warned that magazines are on "the edge of the cliff" just as newspapers are, Canada, mexico, india, focusing particularly on Newsweek's decline. Digital replica circulation is still just a small bit of magazines' total numbers, and both Adweek's Charlie Warzel and GigaOM's Mathew Ingram wondered whether the magazine-style tablet publication model is fatally flawed, and Mike Masnick of Techdirt said it's just an attempt to create artificial scarcity in digital form.
— Animated GIFs have officially become a Trend in web culture, with the Olympics acting as, in the words of the Lab's Andrew Phelps, its "coming-out party." Phelps explained the background and appeal of the humble GIF, order Armour from mexican pharmacy, and The New York Times' Jenna Wortham also talked about how well they fit the Olympics. For journalists hoping to take advantage, Poynter's Ann Friedman put together a useful how-to, Armour No Rx.
— Time Warner bought the sports site Bleacher Report for $175 million. As Bloomberg reported, Bleacher Report will operate under Turner Broadcasting, which had managed Sports Illustrated's ads until last year. GigaOM's Mathew Ingram called the acquisition an important affirmation of the maturation of user-generated content sites. Armour long term, — All Things D reported that The New York Times Co. is planning to sell its low-cost content site About.com to Answers.com. Forbes' Jeff Bercovici gave some background on About, and Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review argued that About has always been a poor fit for the Times.
— Finally, a short but thoughtful piece by longtime tech blogger John Battelle on the difficulty of founding, running, and properly valuing a digital media startup in a time of such significant flux.
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