Digital Media Mash Up: November, Week 1

In this Issue

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

In the News:


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

Washington, DC Events

Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media
November 17, 2011, 12pm
Join us to learn how the lack of management skills and inexperience in developing effective business models pose a significant risk to the sustainability of independent news media. Panelists will examine these challenges and discuss two new reports: Financially Viable Media in Emerging and Developing Markets, published by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media, by the Center for International Media Assistance.
Featuring: Michelle J. Foster, author of Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media; Caroline H. Little, president/CEO of the Newspaper Association of America; Harlan Mandel, chief executive officer for the Media Development Loan Fund; Anne Nelson, adjunct associate professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and principal researcher of Financially Viable Media in Emerging and Developing Markets; John D. Sullivan, executive director of the Center for International Private Enterprise.
Location: Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC.

Beyond Washington

Africa Cast: Unlocking the Potential of African TV through Digital Transformation
November 9-10
A business-focused conference examining the growing opportunities in Africa's TV market, including the evolution of the communications, media and TV ecosystem and the role of new players in the market; understanding the new business models and services enabled by new technologies and regulation; and assessing how the improvement of network capacity will affect the provision TV services.
Featuring: Anahi Ayala Iacucci, Internews media advisor for Africa, will discuss the case study: Focusing on the Role of Local Radio Stations and their Connection with Mobile Phones and Social Media for Development about the possibilities and future development of ICTs for local media.
Location: Cape Town Convention Center, Cape Town, South Africa

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, 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 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

View the Global Censorship Update in a Google Map.

BELARUS: Lukashenka: Belarus Has Learned to Combat "Revolutions through Social Networks"
Belarus has learned to combat "revolutions through social networks," Alyaksandr Lukashenka said while meeting Wednesday in Minsk with members of the Council of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). (Naviny.BY, 10/28)

BRAZIL: Brazilian Blogger's Computer Equipment Confiscated
As a result of a judicial decision, Brazilian blogger Noel Júnior had his home office equipment confiscated in the municipality of São Francisco do Itabapoana, the blogger said on his site. According to the blogger, the action was motivated by a commentary on his blog against a company that provides services to the local city government. (Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, 10/31)

CHINA: Can China's Economy Thrive with a Censored Internet?
There are two Internets in the world today. The first is the one you are probably using right now to read this post, through which you can connect with people around the world, surf for whatever information you want and blog at will. This Internet is a key tool for businesses to enhance productivity, for people to educate themselves about the world and for new ideas to bounce briskly from place to place. Then there is the second version of the Internet. The one here in China. (TIME, 10/26)

EGYPT: Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah Detained for 15 Days Pending Military Investigation
Egypt's veteran blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah (@alaa) was detained today (Sunday, Oct. 30) for 15 days pending investigation after refusing to be interrogated by a military investigator, insisting on his right to be tried before a civil court. (Global Voices Advocacy, 10/30)

EGYPT: Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah Jailed for Defying Military Court
Prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa Adbel Fattah has been jailed for 15 days for refusing to be interrogated by a military court. (Washington Post, 10/31)

EGYPT: Egyptians Rally for Blogger Jailed by Military
Egyptian activists marched in Cairo on Monday night to demand the release of an imprisoned blogger and an end to military trials for civilians. Supporters of the blogger, Alaa Abd El Fattah, chanted slogans demanding his freedom as they rallied outside his cell. (New York Times, 10/31)

EGYPT: Egyptian Activist Alaa Abd El Fattah Accuses Army of Hijacking Revolution
The jailed Egyptian revolutionary Alaa Abd El Fattah has written a secret letter from his prison cell, accusing the country's military rulers of murder and lamenting what he views as the army's hijacking of the revolution. (The Guardian, 11/2)

EGYPT: Judge Postpones Trial of Mikel Nabil Sanad, Appoints Him a Lawyer
A military court on Tuesday postponed to 13 November the retrial of blogger and activist Mikel Nabil Sanad, who is charged with insulting the Egyptian armed forces. (Al Masry Al Youm, 11/2)

EGYPT: Egyptian Satirist Finds Little to Laugh About in Pre-Vote Media Crackdown
Bassem Youssef shot to fame and landed a satirical television show after poking fun online at state media coverage of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak. Nine months on, the man known as Egypt's Jon Stewart sees little to laugh about. (Bloomberg, 11/3)

IRAQ: Draft Informatics Crimes Law
In October 2011, ARTICLE 19 analysed the Draft Informatics Crimes Law of Iraq ("Draft Law") that assesses the Draft Law's compliance with Iraq's obligations under international human rights law. ARTICLE 19 finds the Draft Law fundamentally flawed from a freedom of expression perspective; and if adopted, it will significantly undermine the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information in the country. ARTICLE 19 recommends that the Iraqi Council of Representatives reject the Draft Law in its entirety. (Article 19, 10/26)

IRAN: Westerners Aid Iran's `Digital KGB'
VIDEO: Andrew Apostolou, senior program manager at Freedom House, talks about Iran's acquisition of Western surveillance technology it uses to suppress political activists. Apostolou spoke with Bloomberg's Ben Elgin from Washington on Oct. 28. (Bloomberg, 10/31)

KAZAKHSTAN: Bloggers Discuss New Copyright Protection Bill
Kazakhstan's Internet community has yet again suffered a setback, this time at the hands of state authorities. In recent months, state interference in the growth of the Internet has reached unprecedented heights. The government's interest in the new trend can be evaluated in various ways but, in particular, as a desire to diffuse and reinforce state power throughout various sectors of society. (Global Voices Online, 11/1)

LEBANON: Is Lebanon about to Clamp Down on Its Blogosphere?
While censorship and monitoring seems a rampant practice by authorities in the Middle East, Lebanese blogs and news sites may have a new form of control to deal with. Lebanon's National Audiovisual Media Council, an independent body which regulates TV and radio in Lebanon, founded by the government, has requested that all blogs and news sites register with the organization, starting from November 1st. (The Next Web, 10/31)

RUSSIA: Government Eager to Use Net Surveillance Software Currently in Test Phase
Reporters Without Borders condemns plans by Roskomnadzor, Russia's federal supervisory agency for communications, information technology and mass media, to use search software to track down "extremist" content on the Internet. The agency is currently testing the software and intends to start using it in December. (Reporters Without Borders, 10/28),41309.html

SAUDI ARABIA: Three Online Television Journalists Held by Saudi Police
VIDEO: Reporters Without Borders hails yesterday's release of three Web TV journalists - Firas Baqna, Khalid Al-Rasheed and Hussam Al-Darwish - who were held arbitrarily for two weeks, without being charged and without any reason being given, in what was clearly an attempt to intimidate them and get them to censor themselves. (Reporters Without Borders, 10/31),412...

SYRIA: Detained Bloggers and Journalists in Syria: The List Gets Longer
Since the street protest movement began in March 2011 in Syria, threats and physical attacks against journalists have increased. The list of detained bloggers and journalists gets longer and includes foreign journalists arrested and deported. Among the latest, prominent blogger and programmer Hussein Ghrer, who disappeared on October 24. (Global Voices Advocacy, 10/28)

SYRIA: U.S. Firm Acknowledges Syria Uses Its Gear to Block Web
A U.S. company that makes Internet-blocking gear acknowledges that Syria has been using at least 13 of its devices to censor Web activity there-an admission that comes as the Syrian government cracks down on its citizens and silences their online activities. (Wall Street Journal, 10/29)

SYRIA: Syrian Journalists, Blogger Missing
The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the continued disappearance of Syrian journalists and bloggers. (Committee to Protect Journalists, 10/31)

SYRIA: Syria Makes Journalists Disappear
Business reporter Lina Saleh Ibrahim is the latest Syrian journalist to go missing. The 31-year-old who works for the state-owned daily newspaper Tishreen has been missing for seven days. She was last seen leaving her Damascus home on 25 October. (The Guardian, 11/1)

UKRAINE: Appeal to Parliament about Dangers of "Public Decency" Bill
Dear Members of Parliament, Reporters Without Borders, an international organization that defends freedom of information, would like to share with you its concern about Bill No. 7132 proposing amendments to the Protection of Public Decency Law. (Reporters Without Borders, 10/28),...

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: UAE Begins Trial of Five Democracy Activists
Five activists have been put on trial in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for expressing their opinions on the banned political website, UAE Hewar (Dialogue). They have been accused of incitement and insulting the symbols of the state under article 176 of the penal code. The case has even been upgraded to a threat to national security, even though the accused did not write anything of the sort on the blog. Since their arrest six months ago, they have been humiliated and tortured. (Al-Akhbar, 10/28)

UNITED KINGDOM: UK Cops Using Fake Mobile Phone Tower to Intercept Calls, Shut Off Phones
Britain's largest police force has been using covert surveillance technology that can masquerade as a mobile phone network to intercept communications and unique IDs from phones or even transmit a signal to shut off phones remotely. (Threat Level, 10/31)

UNITED KINGDOM: Cameron Told Not to Shut Down Internet
The Foreign Secretary cautioned David Cameron against shutting down internet services during the riots this summer, it has emerged, over fears a blackout would be seized on by countries such as China and Syria as evidence of British hypocrisy on free speech. (Telegraph, 11/1)

Digital Media News Affecting Activists

How to Create Your Own Google Maps
Would you like to create a custom Google Map of all the wonderful cities that you have visited so far? Or maybe an annotated map that offers easy driving directions to the wedding venue? Or maybe you have customers in different parts of the world and you would like to display testimonials on one Google Map. (Digital Inspiration, 10/17)

Google Plus Finds Sweet Spot Between Facebook & Twitter
VIDEO: Google Plus got a few more fun features today in addition to workplace ones. There's a new feature called What's Hot that surfaces popular posts (don't call them "trending"), and a very cool visualization tool called Ripples that lets you watch Plus conversations flow out across the network. These are neat ways to track social activity that Facebook and Twitter don't offer. (Read Write Web, 10/27)

When is the Best Time to Tweet? Timely Will Tell You
It might seem like the only things that affect the amount you get retweeted are your follower count and what you're tweeting - but the timing of your tweets is just as important. (All Twitter, 10/28)

Being Handcuffed? Press Send
There is a strong technological strain running through Occupy Wall Street, and software developers have been gathering at events in several cities to develop such tools for the demonstrators. (New York Times, 10/30)

PODCAST: Simon Cox and Rupert Goodwins look into the secretive world of hacktivism. As the Occupy movement sweeps the globe protests and disruption are increasingly emerging on the web. Simon talks to those involved in hacktivism as well as the security experts trying to combat their activities. (BBC Radio, 10/31)

CHINA: Chinese Activists Turn To Twitter In Rights Cases
AUDIO: In China, microblogs are transforming the way activists draw attention to human rights cases. Despite strict Internet controls, netizens are using Chinese Twitter as a powerful tool. (NPR, 10/28)

MEXICO: Anonymous Skeptical of Proposed Attack on Zetas Drug Cartel
OpCartel, an announced Anonymous operation to take on the Mexican drug cartel known as the Zetas, seems like it might be in line with Anonymous's recent shift away from pursuing lulz in favor of morals-motivated attacks against pedophiles, misbehaving corporations and repressive regimes. (Threat Level, 10/30)

MEXICO: Dying for the Truth: Drug Cartels Target Journalists in Mexico
"There are more independent bloggers commenting on drug issues and posting gruesome photos of crime scenes," says Forbes. "This is something that the mainstream media has basically decided against in the current situation." A worrisome consequence of this development is that drug cartels are now targeting social media users. In September the bodies of two bloggers and Twitter users were found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo. The victims had earlier published information and pictures related to drug traffic on Twitter and blogs. The message from cartel leaders was clear: "If you write about us, you will pay for it." (European Journalism Center, 11/1)

SOUTH KOREA: By Lampooning Leaders, Talk Show Channels Young People's Anger
Once a week, the four men sit around in a rented studio, laughing, blurting occasional expletives and making fun of South Korea's leader, President Lee Myung-bak. Then they post a recording of their talk online. (New York Times, 11/2)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

FACEBOOK: Facebook's 'Coolest' Data Hub Coming to Sweden
Facebook announced Thursday that it would immediately begin building a massive data centre -- its third globally and first in Europe -- in the Swedish town of Luleå, near the Arctic Circle. (The Local Sweden, 10/27)

FACEBOOK: Where In The World People Do Not Use Facebook
IMAGES: Way back in December of last year, Facebook released its connections map. recently released an inverse of the Facebook friendship map, showing where in the world people don't use the social network. Facebook has not been able to adequately penetrate the non-Western markets of China, Russia, South Korea and Japan. To create the UnFacebook map, visual arts grad student Ian Wojtowicz mashed the Facebook connections map with NASA's map of Earth at night. (Read Write Web, 11/1)

FACEBOOK/GOOGLE: Google Begins Indexing Facebook Comments
Googlebots, or the spiders that crawl web pages, are now reading Facebook comments on websites just like any other text content and the more interesting part is that you can also search the text of these comments using regular Google search. (Digital Inspiration, 10/31)

TUMBLR: Tumblr Admits Its Spam Problem
Tumblr doesn't like to talk about all the spam coursing through its servers. But when NPR's Fresh Air started commenting on the problem, the microblogging site came clean. Because who is dumb enough to cross Terry Gross? (Gawker, 11/1)

TWITTER: Twitter Launches "Twitter Stories" To Highlight How One Tweet Can Have A Big Impact
Twitter has launched a new initiative called "Twitter Stories", intended to show the world just how powerful a single tweet can be. The company is highlighting the heartwarming stories of individuals using Twitter to change their lives and the lives of those around them. (All Twitter, 11/2)

TWITTER: Why Twitter Could Win the Online Identity Race
As social media and social networks become a larger part of our online lives, the race to become the default identity platform for the social web continues to intensify, with Facebook, Twitter and Google all hoping to control - and profit from - the ways that users connect to various services. Although Facebook and Google both have massive resources to deploy in this battle, venture capitalist Mark Suster of GRP Partners argues that Twitter stands the best chance of becoming the go-to identity player for many users, and there are some pretty compelling reasons to believe he is right. (GigaOM, 11/2)

Digital Media in the Middle East

Arab Spring Reshapes Market for TV News
As revolutions upend the political landscape across the Arab world, the news media landscape is shifting, too. The market for Arabic-language television news, dominated for years by two satellite channels with close links to Arab rulers, is poised for a shot of new competition with the pending introduction of two 24-hour news channels backed by Western media conglomerates. (New York Times, 10/31)

Yahoo and BBC Team Up to Bring More Arabic Content to the Web
Yahoo Maktoob has just signed a deal with BBC Arabic which will see the BBC's content shared on Yahoo's Arabic site. (The Next Web, 11/2)

Internet Freedom Initiative Mere Lip Service?
For years, the Middle East has led the world in online repression. Over the course of the past year, the region has changed drastically but, it seems, some things are intent on staying the same. In the past few weeks, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Syria have all detained bloggers and online activists, while elsewhere in the region, self-censorship is the name of the game. While the United States and the European Union have repeatedly condemned the actions of the Syrian government - where they have virtually no influence - both have remained largely silent on the threats facing bloggers in allied countries across the region, at a time when arrests are at an all-time high. (Al-Jazeera, 11/3)

EGYPT: Revolution Inspires Egyptian Digital Professionals
"It's the revolution," answers Heba Honsi, a young activist who has been working for ten years in charity, when asked what motivated her to launch a website to enable people to donate to those in need. (Al Masry Al Youm, 10/28)

EGYPT: Brotherhood, Salafis, and Sufis Wage Electronic War ahead of Elections
Facebook has turned into an electronic battlefield for the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis and Sufis campaigning for seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections, as they increasingly criticize each other and promote their own candidates on the popular social network. (Al Masry Al Youm, 11/1)

EGYPT: Egypt's Revolution is in Turmoil but its Social Media Activism Points to a Bright Future
"Same book, different cover." That was how a well-connected social media manager described Egypt's post-revolution transition when the Meedan team met him last week in Cairo. (Meedan, 11/3)

IRAN: Report: Iran Creates Special Unit to Defend against Cyber Attacks on the Islamic Republic
A senior Iranian official says the country has created a special unit to defend the Islamic Republic against cyber attacks. (Washington Post, 10/31)

PALESTINE: Hackers Shut Down Palestinian Internet Network
Internet service is completely cut off in Gaza Tuesday and partially shut down in the West Bank after an attack on the main Internet provider to the Palestinian territories, according to a minister with the Palestinian Authority. (CNN, 11/1)

PALESTINE: Palestinians Hit by Cyber-Attack Following Success at UNESCO
Internet services in the West Bank and Gaza have come under "sustained attack" by unknown hackers in multiple locations, according to officials. (The Guardian, 11/1)

TUNISIA: Let's Invade Social Networks
A crazy wave of posts hit the world of social networks when Tunisian netizens decided to invade Facebook and Twitter with their comments. The move started with netizens showing solidarity and support for the American occupy movement by posting chants and messages on the official Facebook page of US president Barack Obama. (Global Voices Online, 10/31)

Digital Media in Journalism and Newsrooms

Newspapers Use Social Media to Say 'Smart is the New Sexy'
Print newspaper subscriptions have declined for years as younger readers increasingly turn to digital sources for news. And surveys have shown that more younger readers are getting their news not through traditional news sites, but from Facebook and Twitter. That is why Tarabocchia is exactly the type of reader newspapers are trying to seduce with a saucy new marketing campaign. (CNN, 10/27)

Cyborg No More! The BBC Moves to Human-Edited Twitter Feeds
Move over, auto-tweets: This week, the BBC has switched its @BBCNews Twitter feed to all-human curation. (One small step for a news feed; one giant leap for newsfeedkind.) (Nieman Journalism Lab, 10/27)

Let's Get It Right with Real Names in 2012
Traditional news media have made a destructive mistake by encouraging anonymous commenting on their web sites. But it's not too late to simply do away with this bad idea. The upcoming 2012 election - likely to be the greatest digital political event in American history - offers the perfect opportunity to get journalism's house in order. (Knight Foundation, 10/28)

Heron: "I think my job will probably not exist in five years."
Why the social media editor job may be a transitional one. (Nieman Journalism Lab, 10/28)

Wherever You See a Demonstration, Journalism Has Failed
I know that this might sound harsh to some readers, but people don't take to the streets to support a cause that's getting wall-to-wall news coverage. They take to the streets when they feel their voices aren't being heard - and won't be, unless they make a public demonstration. (Online Journalism Review, 10/28)

Robot Network Seeks to Enlist Your Computer to Beat Fox, CNN to Breaking News Video
A South Korean startup called Shakr aims to use the processing power of its users' distributed computers to create video news coverage of breaking events faster than international news giants can with human labor. Shakr unveiled its use of WegGL technology, which uses a computer's powerful graphics processing card to extend the capabilities of Javascript in the browser, at TechCrunch's startup event today in Beijing, China. (Read Write Web, 10/31)

Zeega Makes Interactive Storytelling Simple (But Don't Call It a WYSIWYG)
Journalists and coders on Sunday got a first look at Zeega, a web application that aims to help journalists create rich, interactive stories with drag-and-drop ease. (Nieman Journalism Lab, 10/31)

Highlighting Journalists on Google News
Great journalism takes more than facts and figures -- it takes skilled reporters to knit together compelling stories. Knowing who wrote an article can help readers understand the article's context and quality, see more articles by that person, and even interact directly with them. Whole communities can form around prominent contributors, which is why we started showing information about content creators next to their material in Google Search. (Google News, 11/2)

Radio in the Digital Age

AFRICA: New Social Network for Radio Broadcasters
Digital4Good and Farm Radio International launch social network for African radio broadcasters.

Community Radio Programming for the Digital Age
VIDEO: Benjamen Walker is the host of the program "Too Much Information" a radio show (and podcast) about life in the information age. He reports on many of the issues and topics of the day (Wikileaks, Anonymous, online porn, surveillance, net neutrality) but he also throws in conspiracy theories, fiction and interviews with ordinary people trying to make sense of their digital selves. (MIT Tech TV, 10/27)

Conference Roundup

AUSACE: Heyday of Digital Activism?
Traditional media have maintained a stronghold on news consumption in many countries in the world, but the internet is increasingly entering the battle for audiences. In the Arab world, it remains the only space for critical voices and is driving civil society activism. These were some of the conclusions of a panel of Mapping Digital Media researchers on 31 October 2011 at the conference "Digital and Media Literacy: New Directions" organized by the Arab-US Association of Communication Educators (AUSACE) at the American University in Beirut. The event took place between 28 October and 31 October 2011. (Media Policy, 10/31)

JOURNALISM INTERACTIVE: Research into Social Sharing, Twitter, and Networked Journalism
VIDEO: The three presentations were by Zizi Papacharissi of University of Illinois at Chicago, Adrienne Russell of the University of Denver and myself. The session was moderated by Kalyani Chadha of the University of Maryland. (, 10/28)

JOURNALISM INTERACTIVE: #JICONF Explores Best Journalism Practices in Social Media
The Journalism Interactive conference at the University of Maryland kicks off with a panel on social media, with an introduction by Mashable editor-in-chief Adam Ostrow, @adamostrow. (Reportr, 10/28)

LONDON CONFERENCE ON CYBERSPACE: Governments Must Not Censor Internet
The UK has issued a direct challenge to China and Russia over regulation of the internet, with William Hague insisting that cyberspace must not be "stifled by government control or censorship". (The Guardian, 11/1)

LONDON CONFERENCE ON CYBERSPACE: Freedom Abroad, Repression at Home: The Clinton (now Cameron?) Paradox
The London Conference on Cyberspace, attended by top government leaders and corporate actors, was set against a backdrop of increasing concerns about cyberwarfare and the risks (to governments and businesses) of the open internet. (London School of Economics Media Policy Project, 11/2)

As part of the Lab's new focus on openness, for the first time we offered all the meeting's presentations to the world by live streaming them on the web in real time. These are archived and available for viewing. (MIT Media Lab, 10/28)

RIGHTSCON: "If we don't get this right, people will be put in jail."
The first Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference, held in San Francisco on 25 and 26 October, presented a dynamic forum for private sector companies, government representatives and activists to discuss the protection human rights and freedom of expression online.
Perhaps the most powerful part of the conference was the inclusion of activists and bloggers as speakers. (Index on Censorship, 10/28)

RIGHTSCON: Silicon Valley Meets Net Freedom
The Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference in San Francisco this week sought to connect tech companies that build tools and services that are used in challenging political environments with the activists and human rights groups that use them. As is widely recognized, particularly since the Arab Spring uprisings, these technologies often cut both ways in that they can be used by the good guys in support of political freedom and democratic development, or by tyrants to suppress speech, access to information and monitor or surveil citizens. (NDI Tech, 10/28)

RIGHTSCON: Giving People Uncensored Internet Can Be a Profitable Business Model
VIDEO: The Silicon Valley Human Rights conference took place last week to discuss issues around why the Internet should be a basic human right and how censorship is threatening freedom of speech. David Gorodyansky, CEO and Co-Founder of Anchorfree, a company offering shielded hotspots for Internet usage is interviewed by The Next Web. (The Next Web, 11/2)

Around the Blogosphere

SERBIA: Media Ownership and Control, Kind of a Big Deal
The radio show Pescanik is no longer broadcast on B92, another side of the disconcerting slide of that station to the political right. But it is still one of the most informative broadcasts coming out of Serbia - interviews that give the speaker time to say something substantive, commentary that is always provocative - and it is still available to people who want to listen to it online. (East Ethnia, 10/7)

Cyber War: Still Not a Thing
Despite what your congressman may tell you, cyber war might never happen, says a researcher in the Department of War Studies at King's College London. (Reason, 10/21)

Social and Mass Media: Looking at BBC's Guidelines for Using Pictures in Social Media
BBC is one of the few mass media outlets that has a worldwide footprint, and as someone who used to live in a region which is heavily covered by the BBC, it was very interesting to see the "outside perspective" that it brought in for issues which had a strongly localized context. With the BBC going into the practice of inviting participation (via social networks) to their reporting process, I think it would be very interesting to see the resultant blending of the local and the outside perspective. (MIT Center for Civic Media, 10/31)

LEBANON: Is Lebanon Lagging Behind in Digital Activism and Social Media?
If you are on twitter and following the Arab Spring news, you couldn't have missed Andy Carvin - the journalist and senior strategist at NPR - who happened to be taking the lead since the start of 2011 in curating the news of the Middle East and North Africa. Andy Carvin (@acarvin) was this week in Beirut on a conference in the American University of Beirut (AUB). (Lebanon Spring, 11/1)

Thinking about Journalism in the Open: An Intro
Over the next few days, I'm going to be blogging about some of that thinking, mainly around the themes and opportunities in which I think Mozilla can play a role in helping to move journalism into an exciting, dynamic, and sustainable future. (Daniel Sinker, 11/1)

Media Development and Monitoring & Evaluation
Earlier this year I joined a team of student consultants assisting Internews in their Media Map Project. Our objective was to create a report outlining the role of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in donor decisions. Over the course of 4-months we interviewed 23 individuals from the media development field, focusing our efforts on donors: private, public, and multi-lateral. This post, however, is not going to outline the results of that project (for those interested, the report is available online), but recount my experience on the other side, facing the implementation challenges of media development M&E. (Media Map Blog, 11/1)

Objectivity v Transparency - Does Journalism Need a New Ideology?
What is the hallmark of good journalism? Objectivity would be one of the standard replies: neutral journalism that is not partisan and that steers clear of disseminating personal opinions. Actually, the answer is just not quite as simple as that. Hang on to your hats, people, it's time for an ethics class...(Editors Weblog, 11/2)

Sharing Not Stealing: Issues of Plagiarism in the New Media Landscape
"Thou shalt not plagarise". This phrase surely must be somewhere near the top of the ten commandments of journalism. Hence in 2005, when David Simpson, then-cartoonist for The Tulsa World, was found to have redrawn somebody else's work, the paper's publisher Robert E. Lorton III dismissed him, saying he had committed "the cardinal sin of a newsroom". The story was reported at the time by the AP and picked up by Sign On San Diego. Still, there's no peace for the wicked; history has repeated itself. After his dismissal from The Tulsa World, Simpson was hired by the Urban Tulsa Weekly but, as Poynter reports, he was fired yesterday for further instances of copying other people's work. (Editors Weblog, 11/2)

Two Honest Google Employees: Our Products Don't Protect Your Privacy
Two senior Google employees recently acknowledged that the company's products do not protect user privacy. This is quite a departure from the norm at Google, where statements about privacy are usually thick with propaganda, mistruths and often outright deception. (Slight Paranoia, 11/2)


The History of Digital Storage
INFOGRAPHIC: The whirring hard drives that once occupied entire university labs held but a fraction of the data we carry in our pockets every day - and that's only 50 years of progress. (Mashable, 10/8)

Hacker Leaks 90,000 Passwords as a Warning to 'Naive' Swedes
Right-wing MP's Twitter account hijacked and popular portals and websites compromised in country's worst-ever online attack. (Guardian, 10/27)

RUSSIA: Just As Valve Shows That You Can Compete With Piracy In Russia, Russia Starts Cracking Down On Piracy
Bill Bliss was the first of a whole bunch of you to write in with a version on the story of how Valve has continued to show how to compete with free. This alone, isn't new. We've been covering these kinds of stories concerning Valve and its CEO, Gabe Newell, for years. There's a lot in this latest talk by Newell that repeats what he's said for years, but there are also some new experiments in there as well. (Tech Dirt, 10/27)

Satellite Images of Earth Show Roads, Air Traffic, Cities at Night and Internet Cables
IMAGES: Felix Pharand-Deschenes has created global snapshots depicting how power lines, roads and even air traffic corridors have come to dominate the surface of Earth. His visualisations are based on real data show air traffic routes, the underwater cables that carry the internet, road and rail networks, and electricity transmission lines all superimposed over cities at night. (Telegraph, 10/28)

Communications Forum: Surveillance and Citizenship
PODCAST: Digital technologies have exponentially expanded the power of government and corporations to keep tabs on citizens. But citizens in turn are exploiting new technologies to expose the activities of governments, companies and even each other. How does the persistence and ubiquity of surveillance in our digitizing world affect what it means to be a citizen? Does our emerging condition of constant surveillance encourage individuals to curtail how they speak and act -- or to offer more information? In what ways are new forms of citizen surveillance and public witness instruments of democracy and transparency? In what ways are they tools of distortion and propaganda for ideologues or special interests? Our panel of three distinguished scholars will engage these and related questions on evolving notions of citizenship in the digital age. (MIT, 10/28)

MYANMAR: Myanmar Netizens to BBC: Apologize Now
Some Myanmar netizens are asking BBC to apologize for publishing an 'inaccurate' map of Myanmar's ethnic groups. They claim that BBC reporter Anna Jones used an inaccurate map in an article she wrote on November 5, 2010 titled "Bleak outlook for Burma's Ethnic Groups." (Global Voices Online, 10/29)

Keeping an Eye on ACTA
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is slowly inching its way towards implementation, but obstacles still remain. Now that the signing window for ACTA has been open for a while, let's take a quick look at which countries have actually signed the agreement: United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. (Citizen Media Law Project, 10/31)

MEXICO: Mexican Soccer Club Replaces Jersey Names with Twitter Handles
A soccer team in the Mexican Primera Division has taken the unusual step of replacing the players' names on their jerseys with their Twitter handles. (PC Mag, 10/31),2817,2395598,00.asp#fbid=dvhkyasr3he

IRELAND: U2's Bono: The Tweetest Thing for Web Geeks
David Cameron might fancy the UK's chances of becoming the Silicon Valley of Europe, but he could learn a lot from the love-bombing Irish who are streets ahead in attracting the world's leading internet companies to Dublin's docklands, which may as well be rebranded Silicon Docks. (The Guardian, 11/1)

Governments Turn to Hacking Techniques for Surveillance of Citizens
Surveillance firms that recently attended a US conference are being accused of offering their services to repressive regimes. (The Guardian, 11/1)

BRUNEI: Brunei's First Social Media Meet Up
The social media scene in Brunei has again made its presence felt. Bloggers and twitterers in the sultanate gathered to attend a historic event in social media to unite and bring forth the faces and people behind the screen of their PCs or Laptops or whatever device they use. (Global Voices Online, 11/1)

SOUTH KOREA: By Lampooning Leaders, Talk Show Channels Young People's Anger
Once a week, the four men sit around in a rented studio, laughing, blurting occasional expletives and making fun of South Korea's leader, President Lee Myung-bak. Then they post a recording of their talk online. Their podcast is the most popular in South Korea, with each session logging as many as two million downloads. (New York Times, 11/2)


Developing Independent Media as an Institution of Accountable Governance: A How-To Guide
Media development seeks to support and promote a pluralistic, editorially independent and financially sustainable media sector. An independent media sector buttresses key governance goals such as voice, accountability, and transparency -- not through dissemination of messages about these issues, but through its very existence. (World Bank, October 2011)

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: Germany
The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs. (Open Society Foundations, October 2011)

The Semantic Web & Internet of Things
A list of resources from Ken Craggs.