Open is better than closed

Who can predict what will happen in today’s fast-moving world, asks CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. […] I don’t know where all this goes but in periods like it, open systems like America’s will do better than closed ones. The US often looks like a dysfunctional country because all its problems are on display and debated daily. Everthing – economic strategy, monetary policy, homeland security, police practices, infrastructure – is out there, open for constant criticism. But this transparency means that people have information and it forces the country to look at its problems, grapple with them and react. While it’s a messy, sometimes ugly process, the American system actually takes in a lot of diverse contradictory information and responds. It seems […]

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How to solve the ad blocking question

If you run ad blocking software on your computer or mobile device, you’re either preventing the appearance of obtrusive, annoying ads that sometimes block content and add code that slows down the loading of the site you’re visiting, especially on mobile devices; or you’re strangling the revenue lifelines of companies who need to advertise to keep their businesses running, or enable media companies to keep paying for great journalism. That’s pretty much what the current situation looks like, divided into two camps – the for and against. I’m very much in the ‘for’ group as I think advertisers need to make their advertising compelling enough that visitors want to see it or, at least, don’t mind it; and publishers need […]

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A new guide to help you verify digital content from any source

Verifying facts before publishing a news story is one of the cornerstones of trusted behaviour that we have traditionally expected from the mainstream media. Even in the disruption of traditional sources of news over the past decade – with the rise of social media, of newer sources of news and information that compete with the traditional, of newer digital platforms from which to make news and information available, and in changing behaviours of people from purely consumers to creators (citizen journalists and the ugly-sounding ‘user-generated content‘) and questioners of the news story wherever and whenever it appears – we still largely hold the mainstream media to a higher standard with a continuing expectation that reporters and editors will get the […]

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The Sun’s ‘walled content garden’ brings together print and digital

Today, The Sun newspaper becomes the latest national mainstream medium in the UK to erect a barrier to its content on the web where access to that content is only available now if you pay £2 per week. Switchover to The Sun’s new paywall-fronted site began yesterday evening, and the new site went live overnight. When you land on the website now,  you’ll see The Sun as the screenshot above shows, requiring a log-in before you get to any meaningful content. It’s similar in this approach to its stable mate, The Times. (The Sun is part of News UK, Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper business in this country previously called News International that includes The Times and The Sunday Times. The relaunch […]

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Unfiltered social reporting from Boston

Hot on the heels of the Boston marathon bombings last weekend comes another frightening event in the United States, this time a fatal shooting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in neighbouring Cambridge late on Thursday night US time. As I write this, it’s still very much a breaking news story with sketchy reporting in the mainstream media, certainly here in the UK. Yet social media is a mass of reporting from individuals on the ground. Citizen journalists all even if some wouldn’t choose that label to describe their tweets, instagrams, Facebook statuses and more. They’re just saying what they’re seeing and experiencing right there because that’s the nature of what many people do these days, especially if […]

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