Digital Media Mash Up: October 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

Internet and Democratic Change - Net Activism, Empowerment and Emancipation
Wednesday, October 26, 9:00am
Hanna Hellquist, State secretary , Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director General, Sida; Marcin de Kaminski, The Julia Group; Scott Lucas, Professor, Birmingham University (UK); Anita Hunt, Social Media Curator for Human Rights (UK); Jacob Appelbaum, Researcher and Hacker, The Tor Project (USA); Måns Adler, CEO, Bambuser (Sweden); Stephan Urbach, Hacktivist, Telecomix (Germany); Mahnaz Afkhami, Founder and President, Women's Learning Partnership, WLP; Slim Amamou, Computer programmer, Entrepreneur and Blogger (Tunisia); Salma Said, Political blogger (Egypt); Hamza Fakhr, Activist (Syria); Maryam Al-Khawaja, Human Rights Activist (Bahrain)
About: "New media" has overtaken the international pages of daily newspapers. Twitter is now a portal not only to the latest from publications in Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, and Brazil - it is the opening to the latest from NGOs, activists, financial institutions, and other actors. Rather than waiting for hours for a US publication to confirm a report, an active participant in new media can navigate a route picking up events (and interpretations of events) almost as they happen. In short, the "gatekeepers" --- both in politics and in the media --- have been brought down. From my room in central Britain, I can observe from Egypt to Libya to Bahrain to Iran to China to Sudan. "New media" offers a window on the changing landscape of negotiation, and it is also the location where much of that negotiation takes place.

Geopolitics of Internet Infrastructure
Tuesday, November 1, 12:30pm
James Cowie, Renesys Corporation
About: The growth of the global Internet is still determined, in large part, by local factors: geography, politics, and the economics of interconnection and competition. We'll examine the paths along which Internet traffic flows, focusing on the emerging markets of the Middle East and Central Asia. We'll discuss ways in which the evolution of these paths dictates the choices available to information consumers, and the costs they must pay to interconnect with global information markets. A lot is at stake, as the countries that emerge as Middle Eastern regional transit hubs will play a significant role in the evolution of the region's post-oil information economy.
Location: Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor

Developing Independent Media as an Institution of Accountable Governance: A How-to Guide
Thursday, November 3, 2pm
Shanthi Kalathil, international development consultant and author of the report
About: Independent media play a crucial role in underpinning good governance, and many development organizations are increasingly interested in supporting media programs. While stakeholders use the media to communicate development messages, they are sometimes less knowledgeable about how to strengthen the media sector itself as an instrument of accountability. Moreover, governance advisors are often unfamiliar with how best to provide media assistance within various political and economic environments and within a project's budget. As a result, this fundamental piece of the governance reform agenda is sometimes neglected. The World Bank's Communication for Governance and Accountability Program addresses this gap with Developing Independent Media as an Institution of Accountable Governance: A How-To Guide.
Location: Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004

SMS to Map: Using FrontlineSMS + Ushahidi to Tell Your Story
Monday, November 7, 6pm
FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi are tech tools which can be integrated to create powerful social change.
Hosts: FrontlineSMS, Ushahidi and Ihub
Location: ihub Upper Hill Estate, 4th Floor, Bishop Magua Centre , Nairobi
Location: London, UK (Venue TBD)

In the News

Global Censorship Update

Italy: Investigative Reporters, Websites Threatened Once Again by Proposed "Gag Law"
Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the resumption of parliamentary discussion of a government bill that would curb the publication of police wiretaps in the news media and would force websites to publish corrections automatically. Approved by the senate in June 2010, the bill had been shelved because of an outcry from civil society. (IFEX, 10/12)

Blogger Released in Mass Amnesty in Burma
The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's release of Burmese blogger and comedian Maung Thura, but reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional release of at least 13 other journalists on CPJ's imprisoned list. (Committee to Protect Journalists, 10/12)

Hanoi Authorities Again Deny a Fair Legal Hearing for Blogger Pham Minh Hoang
Professor Pham Minh Hoang's appeals trial, announced only three days before the scheduled date, has been postponed. No reason was given by the so-called People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City. (Viet Tan, 10/14)

Hyperlinking Doesn't Constitute Defamation, Supreme Court Rules
The Supreme Court of Canada has erected a shield to protect those who post internet links to defamatory sites. The Court was unanimous in ruling that anyone whose site supplies hyperlinks that lead to another site has not published it for the purposes of libel and defamation law. (The Globe and Mail, 10/19)

Saudi Video Blogger Reportedly Detained for Showing Poverty in Riyadh
A popular Saudi video blogger was detained this week, along with his crew, after his report on poverty in the kingdom's capital, Riyadh, was viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube, human rights activists said. The blogger, Feras Bugnah, was arrested on Sunday with his colleagues Hosam al-Deraiwish and Khaled al-Rasheed, in connection with the latest episode of their online show, "We Are Being Cheated," according to the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association. (New York Times, 10/19)

Digital Media News Affecting Activists

Five Content Lessons for Non-Profits on Tumblr
Non-profits, like many other businesses and organizations, are finding that Tumblr can be a home run for content sharing and storytelling. The viral blogging platform offers easy tagging, image posting and video sharing. (Mashable, 9/16)

A Citizen's Guide to Reporting on #OccupyWallStreet
We at the Citizen Media Law Project have taken great interest in the ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" protest in New York. Much of what we know about the protest has come from independent reporters and citizen journalists covering the story from the ground. Knowing this, we are alarmed to hear reports of police arresting reporters during the protest. This, of course, could greatly discourage press coverage of this story. (Citizen Media Law Project, 10/7)

Mobile Tools for Backups, Data Deletion, and Remote Wipe
Anyone who has had a phone stolen knows the frustration of trying to rebuild your contacts list, not to mention data on the phone that is unrecoverable. Worse, the data stored on your phone can be dangerous in the wrong hands. In addition to being able to impersonate you to your mobile contacts, consider the risk of an attacker who has access to some of all of the following. (MobileActive, 10/14)

Securing Your Mobile Email
Email wasn't designed with security in mind. Unless you take steps to protect your communication, emails are sent in plain text - and so are you email account username and password. (MobileActive, 10/14)

Digitaria Joins Fight Against Lord's Resistance Army
Like any good agency, the team at Digitaria treats each of its client's campaigns as if they were a matter of life and death -- but its latest project literally is. One hundred and thirty-four deaths so far this year, and counting. In fact, the Digitaria campaign will let you keep count. That's the whole point of a new digital platform the agency created for Invisible Children, a non-governmental organization that has been helping Central African communities battle the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a brutal rebel group that has been committing atrocities, including massacres and the abduction of children who are forced to serve as soldiers. On Friday, President Barack Obama ordered the deployment of 100 U.S. combat troops to help regional forces combat the LRA. (MediaPost, 10/17)

Occupy Wall Street Hackathons Produce Digital Tools and New Activists
Groups of programmers gathered in three cities this weekend to build digital tools for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Several of those tools have already launched, and in many cases they're being maintained by activists who've never held a sign in a park. (Mashable, 10/19)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

Samsung Loses Dutch Bid to Ban Apple Products
A Dutch court on Friday turned down Samsung Electronics' request for an injunction against all of Apple's mobile products that use 3G telecommunications technology, denying it revenge over a similar move by Apple. (New York Times, 10/14)

Meet the Journalist behind Tumblr's Rise
Former Newsweek editor Mark Coatney won't take all the credit. But since he joined Tumblr and began selling the platform to other publishers, it has skyrocketed. (CNN, 10/14)

Russia: The Future of LiveJournal's Network Effect
On October 12, 2011, the Vedomosti newspaper published an article titled "A Half-Dead Journal" [ru] which analyzed the drop in LiveJournal's traffic within the last nine months. The publication provoked a heated discussion on the credibility of journalists' work, the value of network effect, and the structure of the Russian blogosphere. (Global Voices Online, 10/15)

Making Up: Free Apps for Furious Blackberry Users
Trying to make amends for massive outages last week, Research In Motion announced a free premium apps giveaway for millions of its customers who may still feel jolted, and a month of technical support for some. (New York Times, 10/17)

Google Takes Street View to Amazon
This community in the heart of the Amazon is so remote that villagers had until recently never heard of one of the world's best-known companies, Google. (Washington Post, 10/18)

Nine Stunning Facts about Twitter
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed nine stunning new facts about Twitter during an interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco just a few hours ago. (Buffer, 10/18)

In Web TV Service, A Glimpse of the Future
Live TV, distributed over the web: The very idea is disruptive to the cable and satellite companies that have spent billions laying cable and launching satellites. But it's coming a little closer to reality with a new service from a New York-based startup, RadixTV. (AdAge, 10/19)

Digital Media in the Middle East

BlackBerry Outages Made Roads Safer in U.A.E.
A dramatic fall in traffic accidents this week has been directly linked to the three-day disruption in BlackBerry services. In Dubai, traffic accidents fell 20 per cent from average rates on the days BlackBerry users were unable to use its messaging service. In Abu Dhabi, the number of accidents this week fell 40 per cent and there were no fatal accidents. (The National, 10/15)

Arab World: Celebrations Break Out as 477 Palestinians Released
Tweeps have been busy today following the details of the Israel-Palestine prisoner swap, which saw the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. (Global Voices Online, 10/18)

Digital Media Empower Middle Eastern Youth
Revolutions in the Middle East have been powered by young people using new technology.
Young people, who make up 30 percent of the region's population, have played a dominant role in protests and political upheaval by documenting events with cell phones, the Internet and social media. (ijnet, 10/19)

Libya Source of Jamming of Lebanese News Channels: TRA
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority confirmed Tuesday that Libya has been jamming Lebanese news channels. "It turned out that the jamming likely came from a Satellite News Gathering base present outside Lebanese territories, and specifically inside Libyan territories, especially as the area covered by network provider Arabsat stretches throughout vast areas in the Middle East, Gulf, Africa and Europe," said a TRA statement. (Daily Star, 10/19)

Al-Jazeera: How We Got the Gaddafi Scoop
When the news of Moammar Gaddafi's death broke on Thursday, it was no surprise which network was first witih a video of the bloodied dictator's body dragged through the streets of Sirte: Al-Jazeera. (The Wrap, 10/21)

Digital Media in Journalism and Newsrooms

Find a News Organization on Tumblr
A list of news organizations found on Tumblr.

The Impact of Social Media on Journalism
Video: The Council of the European Union held a conference on the impact of social media on journalism on October 7, 2011. (Consilium, 10/7)

Why New Media Literacy Is Vital for Quality Journalism
On June 17, 2009, Mashable made a mistake. In a report about the volume of Twitter activity surrounding the #IranElection movement, we accidentally used a "b" instead of an "m," inflating the number of total tweets one thousand-fold. This, on its own, is not spectacular. Though we certainly try to avoid it, every organization makes mistakes like this. The great thing about the web is that we were able to fix the error within minutes of the article going out. "Billion" became "million," our readers had the correct information. No big deal. (Mashable, 10/14)

Lessons from Our Open News Trial
The first week of the Guardian's experiment in publishing its news lists has reaped advantages, but more is needed. (The Guardian, 10/17)

New York Times Expands Opinion Pages Online
The Times says it's expanding its Opinion pages online with more contributors, content, video and discussions. Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal will launch a blog that "will scan and respond to the world of opinion at The Times and elsewhere," says a release. (Poynter, 10/18)

Five Google Tools Journalists Don't Use but Should
You may think you know Google, but here are lesser-known tools that can help journalists with everything from reporting on natural disasters to hunting for new sources. (ijnet, 10/18)

Media Companies Worst at Answering Facebook Questions
Wow, here's an eye-opening study by eConsultancy, which looked at the response rate across different industries to questions posed on their company Facebook pages. (Lost Remote, 10/18)

Don't Just Blame the Player - Blame the Game, Too
I would have hired former reporter Kendra Marr. Why? Because her resume and my resume are so alike. Same journalism undergrad and grad school. Same love of journalism. We both worked in the San Francisco Bay Area region. Both women of color. In other words, if I was a hiring editor interviewing her for a job, I would figure that we shared the same journalistic values. Yet I also understand how the kind of plagiarism accusations lodged against her could lead a young reporter to resign from a good job. Sure, the player has to shoulder the blame. But I blame the game, too. (Online Journalism Review, 10/18)

When is Google Going to Really Disrupt the News Business?
Google has already disrupted plenty of markets - search and online advertising being just two of them - and is trying hard to disrupt many others, including mobile. So why is the company so backward when it comes to the news business? Dan Frommer, a former writer with Business Insider and Forbes who left to start his own one-man shop called SplatF, writes about how Google has refused to index his blog in Google News because it isn't a corporate entity with multiple authors. Aren't we past that by now? If not, we should be. This is just another example of how Google has failed to take advantage of Google News and its real disruptive potential. (GigaOM, 10/19)

Live Blogging: Five Tips for Traffic-Building Journalism
Live blogging's raw, unedited format constantly feeds content to the most prolific of social media sharers, resulting in high traffic and engagement metrics. A format that began in the mid-2000s as a way for tech geeks to virtually attend a tech trade show or Apple product launch has now become a mainstream and essential tool for journalists to cover rapidly evolving situations. (emedia Vitals, 10/19)

Blogging Beats Traditional Media, Veteran Journalists Say
A veteran journalist uses his blog to "scoop" the publication he works for by publishing stories they won't. (ijnet, 10/21)

#jpod: How Video Games Can Tell News Stories
Podcast: Creating a video game to tell a news story can enhance a reader's understanding of the complexity of the issues involved. When 33 Chilean miners were trapped underground just over a year ago the world's media told the story and this Los 33 game, was created by Root 33, in which the online viewer has the task of rescuing each miner and gets to understand the lengthy rescue process. (, 10/21)

Digital Philosophy: Serendipity

SOS - Save Our Serendipity
We, the creators of the Internet, are on our best way to banishing serendipity from our lives. But how high is the price we are paying? Are we exchanging a challenging but exciting life for a predictable but dull one? Our revolution against serendipity is a silent one, as it is our mere usage of the Internet that gives the algorithms of Google, Facebook & Co. the opportunity to calculate our preferences, interests, desires and our next steps, thus gradually banishing everything unexpected from our digital lifestyle. (Miriam Meckel, 10/11)

All Hail the Analog Computer! It Shows Us What We Are (Not)
I am obsessed with serendipity. It's become an almost pathological fascination since 2009, when I was inspired by a happy confluence of what I was doing then, and something that bumped up against it. I'm curious about what serendipity is, how it can be predicted and the things that help facilitate it and hinder it. And, being a student of the social psychology of the web, I'm interested in how the digital space affects it. (DML Central, 10/17)

If The Internet Killed Serendipity, It Probably Never Existed Anyway
I have a friend who for years refused to get a mobile phone. Eventually he succumbed, driven by his corporate overlords who wanted to be able to reach him. One of the reasons he said he didn't want a mobile phone was that their proliferation had destroyed any chances of serendipitous encounters. We used to bump into people on the street, he said, and catch a movie or a drink or a show, but now everything is digitally preordained. We just call and arrange and leave nothing to fate. (Trust Media, 10/18)

Anonymity on the Internet

Victory! Google Surrenders in the Nymwars
Proponents of pseudonymity scored a major victory today, when Google executive Vic Gundotra revealed at the Web 2.0 Summit that social networking service Google+ will begin supporting pseudonyms and other types of identity. (Electronic Frontier Foundation, 10/19)

For Twitter, Free Speech is What Matters - Not Real Names
During an interview at the Web 2.0 conference on Monday, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo talked a lot about the company's growth, including the fact that it now gets a quarter of a billion tweets a day and that sign-ups have exploded, thanks to the integration with Apple's new mobile operating system. But for me, the most interesting comments he made were about the philosophy that drives the company - and specifically, Twitter's approach to matters like freedom of speech, identity and requests from governments in Britain and the United States to either hand over user data or shut the network down during times of unrest. (GigaOM, 10/18)

Around the Blogosphere

The Future of Citizen Journalism
The revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa have captured the attention of the world, and have inspired citizens everywhere to speak out against injustice. Yet many of these movements have felt the wrath of the regimes they are speaking out against - through violence, arrests, and massive censorship. In such environments, how can the media capture the stories unfolding on the ground? More and more recently, we are seeing mainstream media look to citizen media and citizen journalists to accurately capture the story. (Changemakers, 10/10)

Crisis Mapping Analysis of London Riots 2011
My colleague Adam White from GroupShot just shared an interesting location analysis study of the recent London riots. The study was carried out by the group Space Syntax. The purpose of the study was to test whether the overly complex spatial layout of large post-war housing estates has "an effect on social patterns, often leading to social malaise and anti-social behavior." While the study's methods are interesting, I'm concerned about some of the underlying socio-economic assumptions that buttress the analysis. (iRevolution, 10/16)

Court News, Videos Drive Hyperlocal Website in Colombia
Thanks to dedicating a small staff to court news and creating videos, a news website in Colombia has earned a large local following. (ijnet, 10/17)

Will #OccupyWallStreet Succeed? A Lebanese Experience Offers a Cautionary Tale
A lot of people have been comparing Occupy Wall Street (OWS) to the Arab Spring. The idea is that, like in Tunisia and Egypt, activists will organize themselves online through social media and then gather in the real world where they will drive change through a "revolution". But there's a better example of an Arab revolution that we can compare to OWS: The Lebanese revolution against sectarianism. (Beirut Spring, 10/17)

Six Years On: Reinforcing Our Core Values
It's hard to believe, but six years ago this month FrontlineSMS was quietly released into the world. There was no press release, no fuss, no fanfare and certainly no funding. (Frontline SMS, 10/17)

Italian Media: Who Changes the Guard?
Despite a slow start some ten years ago, digital technologies have experienced a huge growth in recent years in Italy. But the much-trumpeted benefits that digitization was hoped to bring to the Italian media system are slow to appear. Public service RAI has remained a fiefdom of political interests, the broadcast regulator continues to be heavily politicized and the same old, biased content is found on today's TV screens. These were the main conclusions of the Mapping Digital Media: Italy report launched today at Eurovisioni Festival in Rome's Villa Medici. (Media, 10/18)

Journalists Need to Wise up to Secrecy Laws
I had a fantastic time at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Kiev last weekend. A huge well done to the organisers for a great four days, and I loved having the chance to meet so many interesting and interested people from across the world! (Annie Machon, 10/18)

What Global Development Needs to Make an iPhone? Start With Storytelling
There is more to life than randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Esther Duflo. Abhijit Bhanerjee. Dean Karlan. These have quickly become household names in global development thanks to their steadfast and charismatic leadership for more evidence-based project design and implementation. But besides well-deserved fame, they share a common limitation: their advocacy for a single tool, RCTs, to gather evidence. (Next Billion, 10/19)


The Rise of Crime-Sourcing
Crowdsourcing began as a legitimate tool to leverage the wisdom of the crowds to solve complex business and scientific challenges. Unfortunately, these very same techniques are increasingly being adopted by the criminal underground for nefarious purposes. (Forbes, 10/3)

Cyberspace and U.S. Competitiveness
In the last decade, the Internet has dramatically expanded channels for global commerce and social expression. While the success of companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon speak to U.S. excellence in digital technology, the country as a whole still lags behind other nations in critical areas such as bandwidth and broadband access. Additionally, privacy and cybersecurity issues are significant problems for both U.S. businesses and consumers that government has not sufficiently addressed. (Council on Foreign Relations, 10/17)

Youth and Media Project Launches New Website
The Youth and Media Project at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is pleased to present our new website design. Please visit our virtual lab space for up-to-date information on our research, advocacy, and curricular projects, including new photos and videos. You can also learn about our faculty, staff, and mentors. As always, you are invited to get involved in the Youth and Media Project or just come hang out at the Lab! (Berkman Center, 10/18)

Limited Use of Sharing Buttons Shows People's Desire to Share Links Privately
Despite the social sharing buttons ubiquitous on news stories and other Web pages, the dominant method of sharing is still the old-fashioned copy-and-paste of a page URL. (Poynter, 10/18)

U.S. Weighs Its Strategy on Warfare in Cyberspace
The four-star Air Force general who oversees Pentagon efforts in cyberspace acknowledged Tuesday that the Defense Department had more work to do in clarifying the military's doctrine for waging offensive computer warfare and setting up rules of engagement to guide specific cyberattacks. (New York Times, 10/19)

Thirteen Mistakes Not To Make With Your Digital Communication Strategy
1 - Planning too far out. These days things change quickly. Most of the emphasis should be on the initial launch and the longer-term aspects should be left vague to adapt to circumstances. 2 - Ignoring the culture. You can have the best plan in the world but if the employees can't carry it out or aren't going to get onboard then it's a waste of time. 3 - Failing to appoint a project manager. The project manager is the one who bothers people to make sure the work gets done. Without this person plans fall apart. (Government in the Lab, 10/19) Gets Analytical on Sports Fans with The Pulse
The new tool will help analyze fans moods and track trends around their beloved Patriots and Red Sox. (Niemen Journalism Lab, 10/19)

Wikipedia Isn't Journalism, But Are Wikipedians Reluctant Journalists?
Wikipedia articles on breaking news stories dominate page views on the world's sixth-largest website. Perhaps more importantly, these articles drive the most significant editor contribution -- especially among new editors. (MediaShift, 10/20)

No Internet? No Problem. Use SMS, Radio, Software, and Creativity
In Uganda, where many lack access to the Internet, people can engage with local radio stations to make informed choices and hold their leaders accountable. Using SMS and a new tool, TRAC FM, listeners can respond to poll questions such as: What service delivery should be a priority: health care, education, security, sanitation or transport? (MediaShift, 10/21)

How Journalism Professors Can Use Screencasts as an Effective & Efficient Teaching Tool
I have an essential equation for using technology in my teaching. My time creating content with a tech tool + students' time using that content + the cost of the tech tool = a demonstrable positive result. (Poynter, 10/21)


The Importance of Net Neutrality in the Emerging and Developing World
This briefing paper examines the ways in which governments, businesses and individuals in the developing world will be affected by any reversal of the net neutrality principle. Ultimately, findings reveal that net neutrality is key to unlocking the dynamic potential of ICT in the developing world. Policies and regulation that reject net neutrality will stunt economic growth and innovation as well as restrict access to social, health, educational and human rights services, which are increasingly dependent upon reliable, unfettered wireless connections. (Access, September 2011)

Assessing Community Information Needs
A White Paper on Implementing the Recommendations of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy (Knight Foundation, 10/17)

Report Finds Governments Restricting Media Freedom Through Regulation
A range of governments are increasingly restricting media freedom using licensing and regulatory frameworks and receive little criticism or attention for doing so, according to Freedom House's newest report, License to Censor: The Use of Media Regulation to Restrict Press Freedom. (October 2011)

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)
CIMA will be holding an event to present the report on November 3, 2011.
RSVP here: