Digital Media Mash Up: November 2011, Week 3

In this Issue

Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C. and Beyond

In the News:


Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C. and Beyond

Beyond Washington

The Spanish Revolution & the Internet: From Free Culture to Meta-Politics
November 22, 12:30pm
In the context of multiple crises - ecological, political, financial and geopolitical restructuring - large mobilizations are taking place in several countries. In the Spanish case, we have seen some of the largest demonstrations since the country transitioned to democracy in the 70th with massive occupations of public squares, attempts to prevent parliaments functioning and citizen assemblies of thousands of people taking place in spring and autumn 2011. Furthermore, the free culture movement (FCM) played an important role in the rising and shaping of the mobilization. The campaign agents "Sinde Law" (on Internet regulation) in December 2010 and its afterworld meta-political derivation into "Don't vote them" campaign (referring to do not vote the parties which approved the law) are considered a starting point of the mobilization cycle. Additionally, FCM has influenced the agenda and organizational logic of the protest for a "True Democracy Now" (particularly in terms of the use of the new technologies); even if the mobilization has also caused an split between two sectors of the FCM itself. The presentation will be based on a qualitative research analysis and aims to open up a debate on the similarities and contrast between the Spanish case and the mobilization that emerged in other places (such as Arab Countries, Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Chile or New York City).
Featuring: Mayo Fuster Morell has developed research in the field of the Internet and politics; social movements (Global Justice Movement, Free Culture Movement and recent mobilization wave of "indignated" in Spain); online communities; common-base peer production; and public policies. She specializes in online methods and action-participation research.
Location: Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor, Harvard Law School, Boston, MA

Change Your World!-Yahoo! Business & Human Rights Summit on Women and Social/Digital Media
November 27, 2011
Change Your World! will spotlight how the women in the Middle East North Africa are using technology, the internet, and social and digital media platforms to create positive change in the world.
Featuring: Mona Eltahwy, Asma Mahfouz, Dalia Ziada, Shereen Allam, and many others.
Location: Fairmont, Nile City, Cairo, Egypt

From Public Squares to Platforms: Free Speech in the Networked World
Wednesday, November 30, 6pm
The panel will bring together a range of speakers from academia, public interest, and private practice, to discuss issues of free speech as it increasingly moves from the town square to the online world.
Featuring: Andrew McLaughlin, Non-Residential Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society and the Executive Director of Civic Commons; Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California; Laurence Pulgram, Partner and Chair of Commercial and Copyright Litigation Group, Fenwick and West LLP; Nicole Ozer, Co-Chair- California State Bar Cyberspace Committee, Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California
Location: Stanford Law School, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA, 94305

FAILfaire NYC 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 201, 7pm
Tech projects for social change succeed sometimes, but more often than not, they fail. The successes are reported on, and the failures are quietly pushed under the proverbial rug. Well, it's time to bring out the failures, with a sense of humor, and with an honest look at ourselves at FAILfaire NYC 2011. FAILfaire features case studies of projects using tech in social change that have, to put it simply, been a #FAIL. Busted, kaputt. Tongue firmly in cheek, we take a close look at what didn't work and why the projects failed amidst the hype of tech changing the work - hype that we all are subjected to (and are sometimes contributors to).
Organized by: - a global network of people using mobile technology for social impact. Hosted by: The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, with participation from UNICEF's Innovation Unit
Location: U.S. Fund for UNICEF
125 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038-4999

In the News

Global Censorship Update

The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens?
VIDEO: Does the internet actually inhibit, not encourage democracy? In this new RSA Animate adapted from a talk given in 2009, Evgeny Morozov presents an alternative take on 'cyber-utopianism' - the seductive idea that the internet plays a largely emancipatory role in global politics. (RSA, 3/14)

BAHRAIN: Bahrain TV Station Struggles as Signal Blocked
VIDEO: Setting up a new television station is a risky business at the best of times.
But what do you do when your own government stops you broadcasting, preventing your message getting out and undermining any hopes of building a thriving business? It is a problem the Bahrainis behind Lualua TV are facing, following the anti-government protests that took place in the country in March 2011. They have turned to technology to try and help them find a market. (BBC, 11/15)

CHINA: Sina Weibo's Warning to DeutscheWelle
DeutscheWelle's official Sina Weibo account has been forced to "re-incarnate" again in November 13, 2011. The deletion of user account is a punishment mechanism by Sina Weibo to those who have posted "sensitive topic". If the user insists to make its presence in Weibo, s/he has to open a new account and accumulate its followers from zero, Chinese netizens call this "re-incarnation". (Global Voices Advocacy, 11/14)

EGYPT: Jailed Blogger Alaa Urges Egyptians to Celebrate His Birthday in Tahrir
Following the extension of the imprisonment of Alaa Abdel-Fattah for a further fifteen days, the prominent Egyptian blogger has sent a message to his supporters from his prison cell, asking them to celebrate his 30th birthday in Tahrir Square on 18 November. (Uncut, 11/16)

EGYPT: International Community Urged to React as Situation of Free Expression Worsens in Egypt
Reporters Without Borders condemns the accelerating deterioration in the media freedom situation in Egypt in the run-up to the 28 November elections. In the latest development, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ordered a 15-day extension to blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah's pre-trial detention on 13 November. (Reporters Without Borders, 11/17),414...

INDIA: Surveillance and Censorship in India
When it comes to censorship in India, the hardworking folks at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore recently concluded that the Indian government is violating not only Indian laws but also the Indian Constitution in the way it handles censorship demands to companies. (Rebecca MacKinnon, 11/11)

INDIA: Bollywood Censors Ban Tibet Flag
Indian censors have ordered the makers of Rockstar to cut or blur scenes showing images of the Tibetan national flag, which features in one of the film's song and dance numbers. The movie opened last Friday with the required cuts. (Uncut, 11/14)

MEXICO: Twitter User Arrested for Joking about Helicopter Crash
VIDEO: At least one Mexican Twitter user was detained by local police after a series of sarcastic tweets made after a helicopter crash that killed Mexico's interior minister Francisco Blake Mora, as well as seven other Mexican officials. (Uncut, 11/14)

Digital Media News Affecting Journalists and Activists

Where Are the Bodies Buried on the Web? Big Data for Journalists
E-BOOK: Download the free online ebook 'Where are the bodies buried on the web? Big data for journalists' published by Pete Warden in January this year. (Data Driven Journalism, 11/9)

Andy Baio: Think You Can Hide, Anonymous Blogger? Two Words: Google Analytics
Last month, an anonymous blogger popped up on WordPress and Twitter, aiming a giant flamethrower at Mac-friendly writers like John Gruber, Marco Arment and MG Siegler. As he unleashed wave after wave of spittle-flecked rage at "Apple puppets" and "Cupertino douchebags," I was reminded again of John Gabriel's theory about the effects of online anonymity. Out of curiosity, I tried to see who the mystery blogger was. He was using all the ordinary precautions for hiding his identity - hiding personal info in the domain record, using a different IP address from his other sites, and scrubbing any shared resources from his WordPress install. Nonetheless, I found his other blog in under a minute. (Wired, 11/15)

6 Innovative Ways For Nonprofits To Use Social Media
For many nonprofit organizations, finding low-cost solutions to marketing and fund raising is paramount. Social media has been able to offer many solutions to existing problems, as well as offering some innovative new ways of interacting with supporters. Here are just some of the things nonprofits can do to reach their audience effectively. (MediaPost, 11/15)

Web 2.0 Tools for Data Journalists
SLIDES: David Herzog is an associate Professor at Missouri School of Journalism. He also serves as the academic adviser to the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR), a joint program of the Missouri School of Journalism and Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., a global association of journalists. He recently gave a presentation about new online tools for data journalism and we thought it would be nice to publish the slides on the DJB and to get your opinion. (Data Journalism Blog, 11/15)

Next Big Thing: New Tools for Digital Digging
VIDEO: Experts in data mining gathered at the Paley Center for Media on 10 November 2011 to discuss the future of journalism and how to sustain a journalism watchdog in the digital age. This session is about data mining and the new tools available online. (Data Journalism Blog, 11/15)

Four Social Media Rules Journalists Should Break
Here are some social media "rules" worth breaking. Your mileage may vary. But if you're a journalist just getting started or struggling with social media time suck, try them out. Experimenting can't hurt and we're pretty sure at least they won't get you fired. (ijnet, 11/15)

Reuters Social Media Editor: Journalists Must Be Data Scientists
Journalists' responsibilities in the digital age are changing and so are their job titles.
With journalism scholarships going to computer programmers rather than reporters, a new breed of information brokers is on the rise. (ijnet, 11/16)

New Media, New Challenges: Best Practices In the Digital Age
A South Asia Training Program to Bring Journalists Together. The application deadline for this program is: December 12, 2011. (ICFJ)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

CNN: CNN's Just-Revamped iReport: Imagine All the Data!
Today brings the launch of an overhaul of CNN's iReport, the network's platform for citizen journalism. As of today, iReport will look much less like a straight-up content site...and much more like a social network. (Nieman Journalism Lab, 11/14)

FACEBOOK: Europe: What Facebook Knows About You
VIDEO: Max Schrems, a 24 year-old law student in Austria, requested all the data Facebook holds on him, and eventually received a CD with more than 1,200 pages, including private messages he had deleted. Max has now filed a data protection complaint in Ireland - where Facebook's European subsidiary is based - and launched a campaign website, Europe vs. Facebook. (Global Voices, 11/15)

GOOGLE: Google Launches Gmail Free SMS Chat in the Arab World and a Number of African and Asian Countries
Google has launched recently gmail SMS chat in many Arab and some African and Asian countries with a number of mobile operators. SMS with Gmail enables users to send free text messages (SMS) to their friends directly from their Gmail accounts. (Arab Crunch, 11/10)

GOOGLE: Google's User Data Requests: See What's Been Revealed and Taken Down Where
Google's Transparency report lists government attempts to get the company to reveal data about its users - or take content down. (Guardian, 11/14)

WIKIPEDIA: The World of Wikipedia's Languages Mapped
What happens if you map every geotagged Wikipedia article - and then analyse it for language use? A team of Oxford University researchers has found out. (Guardian, 11/11)

SINA WEIBO: Sina Weibo Has Over 2 Million Users in Hong Kong
Weibo is freakin' huge. I think we've mentioned that before. But they're not just big in mainland China, you know. According to a press release from Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) today, its Weibo service now has more than two million users in Hong Kong. (Penn-Olson, 11/11)

ZEEGA: @Zeega: Allowing People to Collaboratively Produce, Curate and Publish Multimedia
VIDEO: Zeega is an open-source HTML 5 platform for creating interactive documentaries and inventing new forms of storytelling. (Knight Foundation, 11/16)

Digital Media in the Middle East

The Revolution Will Be Tweeted
What happened in January 2011 in Egypt did not start in January 2011. It began at least ten years earlier, and it's not over yet. The revolution was joined by people of all walks of life, Internet users and non-users alike. It gained momentum once it was joined by hundreds of thousands of workers, many of whom have been demonstrating for years. Why was this particular round of demonstrations so successful? Much of the organization and mobilization occurred through the Internet, particularly on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. But social media also played a vital role as a democratic model. Its inclusive space indirectly taught lessons in democracy to a wide sector of Egyptian youth that was not necessarily politically inclined. When the right moment arrived, they were ready to join the revolt. (Cairo Review, 11/10)

Russia Update

RUSSIA: Russian TV: A Different Truth for East and West?
Russia's 9 time zones are often exploited by TV management to pull controversial programmes, but the internet has changed the rules of the game. A recent film about kidnap victims in Chechnya was shown in the Far East, but not in European Russia. The ensuing outcry and internet activity show that people have had enough of censorship. (Open Democracy, 11/11)

RUSSIA: Russian Internet Biggest in Europe; Will Earnings Follow?
The moment and Yandex investors have been waiting for has arrived: Russia, at long last, has finally surpassed Germany to become the largest internet market in Europe. (Financial Times, 11/14)

RUSSIA: Student's Hidden Camera Reveals Illegal Electioneering in School
A scandal caused by a hidden camera recording at a school in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia has highlighted a serious problem in Russian schools: teachers agitating for the ruling party United Russia. (Global Voices, 11/16)

Conference and Event Roundup

Reflections from Nairobi: FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi 'SMS to Map' Event
Last week FrontlineSMS held an event with Ushahidi, as previously reported on our blog here. The event was held in both Nairobi and London on the same evening, and the below is a guest post from Samanthat Burton who attended the Nairobi-based event. (FrontlineSMS, 11/14)

Lessons from #Mozfest: How the Knight and Mozilla Foundations Are Thinking about Open Source
The foundations see a future that fuses journalism and tool-building, storytelling and code. (Nieman Journalism Lab, 11/16)

Online Identity and Privacy

Who Decides Who You Are Online?
The writer Salman Rushdie hit Twitter on Monday morning with a list of exasperated posts. Facebook, he wrote, had deactivated his account, demanded proof of identity and then turned him into Ahmed Rushdie, which is how he is identified on his passport. He never used his first name, Ahmed, he pointed out; the world knows him as Salman. (New York Times, 11/15)

Me, Myself and I: Aggregated and Disaggregated Identities on Social Networking Services
Digital identity is used online not only in contexts requiring strong authentication, such as e-government or online banking, but also in less formal interactions where anonymous, pseudonymous, and disaggregated identities can suffice. (Stanford Center of Internet and Society, 11/15)

Q&A: EU Chief Privacy Regulator on New Internet Rules
Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission, is the continent's leading advocate for laws on Internet privacy and data protection. And she's not slowing down. (Washington Post, 11/15)

Around the Blogosphere

Three Reasons Why M4D May Be Bad for Development
Fair warning, this post is a slightly intemperate and possibly ill-advised rant but sometimes you just have to get something off your chest if only to enable someone else to tell you how wrong you are. I have previously raised my "issue" with the theme of Mobiles for Development or M4D as it has come to be known, in the form of a twisted parable but it is still bugging me so I am going to say what's on my mind a little more clearly. I hope to inspire some pushback and discussion. Here are three reasons why I think M4D may actually be bad for development. (Many Possibilities, 11/1)

Mapping Wikipedia's Augmentations of Our Planet
We all know that Wikipedia is an immense project. It is an incredibly impressive coming-together of human labour on a scale that the world rarely sees. Over the last few years, we've also seen a few maps of the encyclopedia (including my own) which have shown that the project is far from complete (whatever that might mean). (Zero Geography, 11/15)

Defending the Middle Ground of Online Journalism
It's easy to use polarizing descriptions of online news-gathering. It's the domain of citizen journalists, blogging without pay and institutional support, or it's a sector filled with the digital works of "mainstream media" facing financial worries and struggling to offer employees the protection they once provided. But there is a growing middle ground: trained reporters and editors who work exclusively online on projects born independent of traditional media. (Committee to Protect Journalists, 11/15)

Stop Digital Arms Trade From Western Countries
Today, the EU imposed sanctions on 3 members of Syria's electronic army: a new and important step, but what about the corporate actors? While both the United States and the EU have imposed sanctions on Syria and Iran, the use of Western made technologies to crack down on people flourishes in many countries across the world. (Marietje Schaake, 11/15)

Tanzanian & Rwandan Startups Making Content Publishing via SMS Work
According to an official report released by the GSMA, Africa is now the second largest mobile market in the world. The report showed that over the past five years, Africa's mobile subscribers has increased by 20 percent every year, and is expected to reach over 735 million subscribers by the end of 2012. (Afrinnovator, 11/17)


Photographing Conflict for the First Time
When scores of young and inexperienced photographers descended on Libya this year to cover the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's government, many seasoned conflict photographers were shocked. (New York Times, 10/25)

MYANMAR: Gospel Radio in Chin Dialects: Interview with Former Dai Broadcaster
The majority of Chin people in Burma still have little access to modern high-tech facilities and radio remains as one of the most important tools for getting access to information. A few online-based radio programmes in Chin dialects have recently been developed by the Chin Diasporas across the globe. (Chinland Guardian, 11/8)

Internet Freedom: EU v US
VIDEO: A couple of weeks back, I was honoured to give the second seminar in George Washington Law School's distinguished speaker series on Internet Freedom and Human Rights. I discussed Europe's approach to this topic, on which there has been virtual silence in comparison to the debate stimulated by the US State Department. (Blogzilla, 11/12)

Putting the Brakes on Web-Surfing Speeds
State-of-the-art Web surfing, for all of its breathtaking speed, can be baffling. A favorite page gets hung up. A data-intensive application, like playing a video or downloading large files, stutters or stops. Is it the telecommunications operator? Is it the Web site? Is it the smartphone or the computer? Or just a sign of Internet thrombosis? Krishna Gummadi, the head of the Networked Systems Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, in Saarbrücken, Germany, says the blame often lies with the telecom operator, which is selectively slowing broadband speeds to keep traffic flowing on its network, using a sorting technique called throttling. (New York Times, 11/13)

Media Companies and Twitter - Still Mostly Doing It Wrong
We've written before about the difficulties many mainstream media entities have when it comes to adopting social-media tools like Twitter and engaging with their users. So there's some good news in a new study of major media outlets by the Pew Research Center: namely, the fact that plenty of them have Twitter accounts. Unfortunately, it also shows that the main thing most of them do with those accounts - and the main thing most of their reporters also do - is simply broadcast links to their own content all day long. By doing so, unfortunately, they are missing out on many of the things that can make social media a powerful tool for journalism. (GigaOM, 11/14)

How the News Media Use Twitter
A new PEJ study takes a look at how mainstream news organizations use Twitter. Perhaps not surprisingly, most news organizations use the service to share links to their own content. TV Newser, 11/14)

A Newsroom Primer: Starting Fresh With Google+ Brand Pages
If newsrooms avoided creating an account on Google+ when the product asked brands to stay away, the time has come to build your brand inside the social-networking tool. Last week, Google opened up brand pages for all to use. (PBS Mediashift, 11/14)

World Service Trust Receives £90m Govt Boost
The World Service Trust is to receive a £90m boost from the government, targeted at specific countries for cross platform projects "to help people cope during disasters and drive social change". (Broadcast Now, 11/14)

IREX Releases 2011 Annual Report
In this new Annual Report, you will see the stories of men and women working with IREX to make lives better for people, communities, and institutions in 120 countries around the world. Our work today reaches and helps more people than ever before in our history. These stories highlight just a handful of the 300,000 people IREX has helped this year. (IREX, 11/14)

LIBERIA: Liberians Welcomes the Country's First Sub-Marine Cable System
Liberia's leading converged telecoms company, Lonestar Cell MTN, last week welcomed the landing of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE()) submarine fiber optic cable in Liberia. This is the first sub-marine cable landing in Liberia with the SAT-3/WASC having bypassed the country since when it was being deployed, Liberia was deep into civil war. (TechMtaa, 11/11)

KENYA: Kenyan Startup Delivers to You the Full Newspaper in Digital Format S5YKRKPZXY56
I have been seeing this advert about the Standard newspaper being available on digital format online. I decided to test what the offerings was and I must say I have been impressed. (TechMtaa, 11/16)

Cerf Calls Internet Governance Critical Issue in High Tech
Vint Cerf, widely considered one of the fathers of the Internet, said Monday that Internet governance is one of the most critical issues in the high-tech world. Cerf, speaking at the Google Atmosphere event in Palo Alto, Calif., said the Internet is a disruptive influence in most areas of people's lives and that it is making a lot of governments around the world nervous. (Computer World, 11/16)

POLAND: The Internet in Poland 2011
The following is a penultimate version of my introduction to the 2011 report of the World Internet Project (WIP) Poland. I recommend the report to those interested in the WIP and the diffusion and impacts of the Internet in Poland and other European nations. (Bill Dutton, 11/17)


Media Codes of Ethics: The Difficulty of Defining Standards
Profession-wide codes of ethics for reporters and editors have long been established and are widespread in Western democracies, where they are typically voluntary and are often issued and adopted by leading organizations of journalists. They incorporate best practices that may go beyond the laws of libel, defamation, and privacy. In the not-so-free world, these codes are not always the products of a self-regulating free press. They may represent a cultural and political compromise with a society or government that holds a more restrictive view of what journalists should and should not report. This report examines the different types of media codes of ethics and offers recommendations for making them more robust and useful in efforts to raise standards of journalism. (CIMA, November 2011)

Mapping Digital Media: Online Advertising-Origins, Evolution, and Impact on Privacy
The Open Society Media Program has commissioned background papers on a range of topics that are important for understanding the effects of new technology on media and journalism. The papers accompany a series of reports, "Mapping Digital Media," on the impact of digitization on democracy in 60 countries around the world. (Open Society Foundations, November 2011)

How Mainstream Media Outlets Use Twitter
For nearly every news organization, Twitter has become a regular part of the daily news outreach. But there are questions about how those organizations actually use the technology: How often do they tweet? What kind of news do they distribute? To what extent is Twitter used as a new reporting tool or as a mechanism for gathering insights from followers? To answer some of these questions, the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs collaborated on a study of Twitter feeds from 13 major news organizations (Pew, 11/14)

The Online Video Environment in India - A Survey Report
iCOMMONS, the OPEN VIDEO ALLIANCE, and the CENTRE FOR INTERNET AND SOCIETY have initiated a research project which seeks to survey the online video environment in India and the opportunities this new medium presents for creative expression and civic engagement. This report seeks to define key issues in the Indian context and begins to develop a short-term policy framework to address them. (Centre for Internet and Society, October 2011)