Digital Media Mash Up, October - Week 1

In this Issue

Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C.
In the News:


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

Almost Wikipedia: What Eight Collaborative Encyclopedia Projects Reveal About Mechanisms of Collective
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Benjamin Mako Hill, fellow at Berkman Center for Internet and Society and research fellow at MIT Center for Future Civic Media
About: Presentation of some preliminary findings from a qualitative, inductive, case-study based analysis of 8 early projects to create online collaborative encyclopedias. The project is part of a larger research project that attempts to use failure cases to understand why some attempts at online collective action are successful while most never take off.
Location: Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University
23 Everett Street, second floor
Boston, MA

Hack 4 Transparency
Deadline for application: October 17, 2011
The Hack4Transparency event will take place from Tuesday 8 to Wednesday 9 November 2011 and will be the first-ever 'hackathon' within the premises of the European Institutions, more specifically in the European Parliament in Brussels.

In the News

Global Censorship Update

NGO Calls for Investigation of Two Tragic Suicides of Close Friends of Detained Activist
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called for an immediate investigation into the recent suicides of two former detainees and close associates of Kouhyar Goudarzi, an activist who has been held incommunicado since his detention by intelligence forces on 31 July 2011 in Tehran's Evin prison. (International Campaign for Human Rights, 9/30)

Rights Groups Denounce Crackdown on Media Outlets
The Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression and the Support for Information Technology Center on Sunday condemned the curtailment of free press in Egypt. (Al Masry Al Youm, 10/3)

Tunisia: Palestinian Bloggers Denied Entry to Attend Arab Bloggers Meeting
Tunisian authorities refused to grant Palestinian bloggers visas to attend the Third Arab bloggers meeting taking place in Tunis from the 3rd to the 6th of October. (Global Voices Online, 10/4)

Appeal Against Fining Former Leaders for Communications Blackout Postponed
An Egyptian court decided Monday to postpone an appeal submitted by the defense team of ousted President Hosni Mubarak and former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif against the sentence of a fine for blocking communications during the January revolution. (Al Masry Al Youm, 10/4)

Authorities Warn Satellite Channels against Violating Terms of Licenses
The Egyptian authorities on Tuesday issued an official warning to ONTV and Dream TV, two major Egyptian satellite channels, for not abiding by the terms of their licenses and the Media Code of Ethics. (Al Masry Al Youm, 10/5)

Digital Media News Affecting Activists

Alleged Misinformation Campaigns by Mexican TV Giant Lead to Creation of Watchdog Website
Journalists, academics and telecommunication experts joined together to form "Ya Basta de los Abusos de Televisa" (Enough already with Televisa's abuses), an organization dedicated to denouncing media campaigns and manipulation of information by the Mexican television and multimedia giant Televisa, reported the website La Silla Rota. (Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, 9/30)

How False Rumors of a Surprise Radiohead Concert Spread Online
For East Coast fans of the rock band Radiohead, the news could hardly have been more exciting. The band, multiple news outlets confirmed, would be playing a surprise show in downtown Manhattan on Friday afternoon. The show would coincide with the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests that had been organized online and with which the band would likely be sympathetic. (New York Times, 9/30)

Friday of Victory for Yemen and Syria: A Video Essay
Revolutionaries in both Syria and Yemen who have both been revolting against defiant despots and brutal regimes for months unified the name of their Friday demonstrations, in solidarity. On the "Friday of Victory to Syria and Yemen," activists in both countries coordinated their efforts to share not only the same name, but the same banners, slogans, as well as audio and video materials. (Global Voices Online, 10/2)

Postcards from the Heart: Campaign Uses Digital, Analogue Media to Support the Breast
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and much of the media, public service and pharmaceutical marketing efforts surrounding it will celebrate the great success the healthcare industry has had in treating breast cancer, and the fact that thanks to greater awareness and early diagnosis, more women now survive it than don't. The problem is that many women do not -- and must struggle with it the rest of their lives, often with little public support and media awareness. In an effort to shift attention to women suffering from metastatic breast cancer, New York-based pharma agency CementBloc is launching an innovative campaign that combines the power of digital and analogue media. (MediaPost, 10/3)

Egypt Blogger Maikel Nabil 'Ailing' from Hunger Strike
The family of a jailed Egyptian blogger have said his health is seriously at risk, as a military tribunal adjourned a court hearing for three weeks. (BBC, 10/4)

China: Student Interns Or Cheap Labourers?
Since 2004 a labour shortage has begun to emerge in China; in order to tackle the problem the Chinese government has started encouraging privately run institutes to expand the number of vocational schools. In 2006, the government introduced the so-called "factory in front, school at the back" or school-business cooperation model. However, the students involved are not protected by the minimum wage and the businesses do not need to pay for their social insurance, even though these students work like ordinary workers. A number of student workers from Guoyang Military School or Guoyang Secondary Vocational School decided to expose the problem online. (Global Voices Online, 10/4)

Ethan Zuckerman: News Organizations, Activism, and the Media Ecosystem
This month, noted media and technology scholar Ethan Zuckerman takes over as the director the MIT Center for Civic Media. "I have no idea what civic media is, and that's a weird place to be as director of the Center," he said. "This is a new field." In a KDMC@USC interview, Zuckerman outlined how the Center is defining and exploring the possibilities for civic media around the world-something that should interest news organizations, activists, and all other significant players in the ever-shifting digital media ecosystem. (Knight Digital Media Center, 10/4)

Video Exposes Military Abuse of Coptic Protester
Internet users on Wednesday shared a video clip that shows military police beating and dragging a protester on the ground while dispersing a sit-in by Christians outside the state TV building. (Al Masry Al Youm, 10/5)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

Bon Voyage, Travel Agents; Google's Taking over Travel
Where Google goes, people follow. So consider Google's excursion into the travel industry. The move seems a logical part of the company's strategy to challenge established markets; the recent launch of Google+ to take on the social media behemoth Facebook, Google Offers encroaching on Groupon's territory - the track record is definitely there. (GigaOM, 10/1)

Facebook and Its Impact: Video
Is Facebook and social networking the next step in the human evolutionary process? (GigaOM, 10/3)

ABC News and Yahoo News Announce Deal to Share Content
Yahoo News, which has more unique visitors than any other news Web site, is partnering with ABC News to share stories and feature Web video series. (New York Times, 10/3)

Social Media News Site Gains Clout
Pete Cashmore acknowledged he was nervous. Only a few years ago, he was living with his parents in a small town in northeast Scotland, trying to start a technology blog. Now, at 26, he was about to interview Elie Wiesel, the 82-year-old Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, onstage at the 92nd Street Y, about the future of ethics in a digitally connected world. (New York Times, 10/3)

Yahoo Suits Tout New Reporting Focus, But What About the Old One?
After Monday's splashy announcement that Yahoo News and ABC News are teaming up in the name of worldwide web-traffic domination, The New York Times followed up with a piece about how Yahoo executives are redirecting their efforts to original reporting. (Capital, 10/5)

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Helps Open Twitter Office on Madison Ave
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on site this morning for the grand opening of Twitter's new East Coast headquarters on Madison Avenue, which are currently occupied by about 30 sales and engineering employees. Twitter's head of East Coast ad sales, Dan Coughlin, is based in the office. (AdAge, 10/6)

Digital Media in the Middle East

Al Jazeera's Laudable Embrace of Creative Commons
Last week the Online News Association's annual conference came to Boston. Naturally, many prominent news organizations showed up, tchotchkes in tow, to woo attendees - including Reuters, MSNBC, NPR, and CNN among many others. But of all the exhibitors attending the conference, I'd like to drop a bit of praise on Al Jazeera, and not just because they were giving away really nice keychains. While poking around their site and materials at the conference, I discovered that Al Jazeera has been offering up video, photographs, and even full-fledged blog articles for public use under Creative Commons ("CC") licenses since January 2009. This is a truly excellent thing. (Citizen Media Law Project, 9/29)

New Offers Unveiled for BlackBerry, Internet Users in Lebanon
Land-line provider Ogero will wire 1 Mbps connection speeds to Internet users in the vast majority of the country Oct. 1, marking the start of the implementation of a widely anticipated Internet package, Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui said during a broadcast of LBC's Kalam en-Nass. The announcement follows widespread speculation that Ogero, which controls roughly 80 percent of Lebanon's cable network, would not follow through with the plan. (Daily Star, 9/30)

Telecom Egypt: Unidentified Saboteurs Damaging Cables since January
Unknown saboteurs have been damaging terrestrial cables for Telecom Egypt (TE) in several areas across Egypt since January, according to documents obtained by Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Senior sources from TE said officials have noticed that the cables are being cut off rather than stolen, which affects the functioning of both landlines and mobile phone lines. (Al Masry Al Youm, 10/2)

Bloggers Say Arab Spring Has Gone Global
New forms of activism that have evolved in the Arab world in 2011 are being picked up by activists in the West, speakers at the Third Arab Bloggers' Meeting have affirmed. The meeting is the first since the uprisings began, and brings some of the most prominent bloggers in the region together for a three-day gathering. (Al-Jazeera, 10/4)

Transforming Tunisia's Internet Agency
It was a historic moment when the head of Tunisia's once-notorious internet agency spoke to a room full of the Arab world's leading bloggers. Moez Chakchouk, the head of the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI), won enthusiastic applause and gasps from a crowd of bloggers for his speech on Monday, October 3. (Al-Jazeera, 10/5)

Algeria: The New Media Bill Does Not Liberate the Media
Despite the abolition of the imprisonment penalty, The new media bill does not liberate the media - Arabic Network for Human Rights Information has serious reservations about the bill and demands more reform. (fesmedia Africa, 10/5)

Taliban Using Modern Means to Add to Sway
Punctually, at 8 o'clock every evening, the cellphone signals disappear in this provincial capital. Under pressure from the Taliban, the major carriers turn off their signal towers, effectively severing most of the connections to the rest of the world. (New York Times, 10/5)

Saudi Blogger: Social Media a Key Player in Revolutions, Social Change
IJNet recently spoke to Ahmed Al-Omran, the 27-year-old Saudi blogger who created Saudi Jeans, a blog that reflects his views on issues facing the Arabian Peninsula. (ijnet, 10/6)

United Arab Emirates Invests in Mobile Internet
Emirates Telecommunications Corp., or Etisalat, inaugurated a high-speed network in all major cities in the United Arab Emirates last week that executives hope will improve the company's revenue after a decline in profit this year. (New York Times, 10/6)

Steve Jobs

Apple's Visionary Redefined Digital Age
Steven P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple who helped usher in the era of personal computers and then led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday. He was 56. (New York Times, 10/6)

Steve Jobs's Apple Legacy
Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., passed away on Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at the age of 56. (Washington Post, 10/6)

What Steve Jobs Understood That Our Politicians Don't
As in most other big American cities, it would be hard to walk 100 feet in Washington and not slam into somebody who's using something that Apple created - an iPhone or an iPad or a Macbook Pro. And so it's staggering to contemplate just how little of Steve Jobs's genius ever permeated the nation's politics, and how much he understood about modern America that those who govern it still don't. (New York Times, 10/6)

Steve Jobs and America's Decline
EARLIER this year a Federal Reserve official tried to tamp down worries about inflation by noting that, while food and petrol were getting more expensive, you could now buy an iPad that was twice as powerful for the same price as the previous model. The remark, soon lampooned as "Let them eat iPads", predictably drew derision. But it typified a tactic to which American leaders frequently turn when they need a rejoinder to economic doomsaying: cite an Apple product. (The Economist, 10/6)

No, Steve Jobs's Death Did Not Set a Twitter Record
The passing of Steve Jobs was a big deal on Twitter, but not as big a deal as Beyonce's baby bump. (Forbes, 10/6)

For Some Protesters, Steve Jobs Wasn't Just a Billionaire, He Was 'Beneficial' to Society
For weeks, a cluster of computerized protesters have camped in a park near Wall Street, telling the world how they believe America's billionaires destroyed the economy. Suddenly, Wednesday afternoon, the typing stopped - when the world got news of the death of inventor Steve Jobs. (Washington Post, 10/7)

Jobs's Death Leaves Hollywood Without Trusted Technology Envoy
Steve Jobs's death leaves Hollywood without the trusted technology envoy who helped push the film, TV and music industries into the digital age. (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/7)

Digital Media for Journalists

Five Stages of Grief: A Cautionary (and Optimistic) Tale for Online Community News Startups
The emerging local news ecosystem looks as chaotic as ever. But a few patterns are emerging in the way online community news start ups develop or stall out. Here's my latest attempt to make some sense of what I am seeing. In these Five Stages, I attempt to cover both the grief that pioneer publishers experience and the opportunities for growth that successful news pioneers are capitalizing on. (Knight Digital Media Center, 9/28)

Like Them or Not, the Latest Changes to Facebook Offer Big Ideas for News Orgs
If your Facebook feed is like mine, it has been full of complaints recently over the latest changes Facebook has made to its interface. People don't like the Twitteresque status-update feeds. They don't think Facebook should decide what "stories" are likely to be popular. They don't understand the new friend groups, unless they are also on Google Plus and love its "circles." In general, it seems that many people want to go back to the old way (which many hated when it first came out, too). (Nieman Journalism Lab, 10/3)

5 Things Journalists Need to Know about the New iPhone 4S and iOS 5
Apple today announced the iPhone 4S and the new iOS 5 operating system for all its mobile devices. Among the many upgrades and changes, a handful will have a direct, immediate impact on newsgathering and news business models. (Poynter, 10/4)

A Journalist's Guide to Verifying News Tips on Twitter
When information appears on social media, it's tempting for news organizations to race to report it first. Resist that impulse. You'll have a more complete story -- and one you won't later regret -- if you follow a few steps from digital journalists Mandy Jenkins and Craig Silverman. (ijnet, 10/5)

Social Media in Government

Thailand: Prime Minister Cancels Twitter Account
Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has stopped tweeting after her Twitter account, @PouYingluck, was hacked a few days ago. (Global Voices Online, 10/4)

U.S. Senator Urges Twitter Diplomacy in Latin America
The United States should move aggressively to use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to promote its agenda in Latin America and help newly wired citizens cement political gains, said a new U.S. report obtained by Reuters. (Reuters, 10/4)

Jordan: Prince Hassan Joins Twitter
Jordan's Prince Hassan joins Twitter, much to the delight of many Jordanian tweeps. He is the son of the late King Talal and Queen Zein al-Sharaf and brother of the late King Hussein and uncle of the present King Abdullah II. (Global Voices Online, 10/6)

Around the Blogosphere

2011 Cameroon Presidential Election: How Candidates Are Navigating the Social Media Landscape
One of the most striking novelties of the 2011 presidential election in Cameroon is the impressive number of candidates who have incorporated social media into their campaign strategies, even though the Internet penetration rate in the country is estimated at a mere 5%. Obviously, the target audience are Cameroonians abroad and the international community, and significantly, the international media, which can serve as an echo chamber for candidates and offer the kind widespread and free publicity which regular media outlets in Cameroon cannot - e.g., an interview on the BBC, RFI, and Aljazeera or on TV5. (Scribbles from the Den, 9/18)

Digital Democracy: A More Perfect Union? - A Knight Blog Series
The Digital Revolution and Democracy, a series of idea-inspiring videos over the next few weeks on KnightBlog, examines the fast-moving trends transforming our lives. From Arab Spring to the Digital Divide, from the promise to the peril of these new tools, we talk with thought leaders who are shaping the future of media and democracy. Follow along as foundation vice president Dennis Scholl interviews 17 people who believe passionately in self-government -- but have different visions of how it will evolve. (Knight Blog, 9/30)

Theorizing Ushahidi: An Academic Treatise
Activists are not only turning to social media to document unfolding events, they are increasingly mapping these events for the world to bear witness. We've seen this happen in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and beyond. My colleague Alexey Sidorenko describes this new phenomenon as a "mapping reflex." When student activists from Khartoum got in touch earlier this year, they specifically asked for a map, one that would display their pro-democracy protests and the government crackdown. Why? They wanted the world to see that the Arab Spring extended to the Sudan. (iRevolution, 10/2)

Politics, Media, and the Soviet Legacy in Kyrgyzstan
It was just over twenty years ago when Herman and Chomsky developed their propaganda model to analyze how information and communications systems are controlled in seemingly "free" political contexts - i.e. capitalist societies, in juxtaposition with the monopolistic Eastern Bloc. A true sign of the times, anticommunist ideology was even listed as a mechanism for manipulating media content in the West. Since then, the world has become far less polarized; however, many former Soviet nations have resisted full democratization, clinging to the political and economic practices of their fallen empire. (MIT Center for Civic Media, 10/3)

Kim Han-Sol's Internet Footprint
The teenager believed to be the 16 year-old grandson of Kim Jong Il has scrambling to delete or block access to his Internet social media accounts after news spread of his admission into a Bosnian school. (North Korea Tech, 10/3)

Cacophany: How the Internet Makes the Nonprofit Sector More Competitive and Hurts Causes
I recently searched Facebook for the term "cure AIDS" and received 10 top results. Some groups, like Petition to Cure AIDS, with 88,932 members, are fairly well-established, if not necessarily effective. But most of the groups had less than twenty members. Some of these small groups are local, like Condom Sense: Petition to Cure AIDS-MSU edition, from an awareness campaign in Maryland, and Friends for a Cure - Phoenix Aids Walk 2009 from Arizona. But other groups purport snake-oil cures, like Ayurvedic Cure of Aids/HIV and FREE the chinese doctor lady who might cure AIDS!, and some are simply jokes: there are five groups demanding the cure for "squirrel AIDS." The result is a cacophany in which organizations, causes, and kooks compete with each other for supporter participation and for the attention of decision-makers. (Open Society Foundation, 10/4)


Sixth Annual Internet Governance Forum Meeting Held
The Sixth Annual IGF Meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya on 27-30 September 2011 at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). The theme of the meeting was: 'Internet as a catalyst for change: access, development, freedoms and innovation'. (IGF, 9/30)

Digital Takes the Jobs Lead in New Mainstream Media
When it comes to jobs, digital is the new mainstream media. Consider this: U.S. employment at digital-media ventures is on track to pass employment in broadcast TV and in magazines by early 2012. (AdAge, 10/3)

Europe to Study Telecommunications Leasing Charges
The European commissioner for digital technology was expected to begin an in-depth review Monday of the charges that the Continent's largest telecommunications operators impose for leasing access to their national landline networks. (New York Times, 10/3)

Hands on with the Washington Post's New Android App
Washington D.C.'s largest and oldest daily newspaper, the Washington Post, launched an Android application on Monday. (GigaOM, 10/3)

Can Sports Startup Bleacher Report Score With Fans?
In August of this year, three-year-old sports site Bleacher Report closed a $22 million funding round, bringing its total to $40 million. The news came a few months after the startup hired CBS Interactive ad sales veteran Rich Calacci as its chief revenue officer -- an acknowledgement that if the site were to have a real future, it would need a sales leader capable of luring real brand dollars. (AdAge, 10/3)

Murdoch's Tablet Newspaper Experiment Shows Some Promise
Can you build a general-news publication exclusively for tablets and gain an audience of paying subscribers? That was Rupert Murdoch's gamble seven months ago when he launched The Daily, the first (and still only) "iPad newspaper." It was a $30 million bet on both the tablet as a medium and the public's willingness to pay for news. (AdAge, 10/3)

Will the Internet Save Newspapers?
The two visions of higher education's future I described in my column this week - Stanford Professor Sebastian Thrun's mission of a virtual university and Stanford President John Hennessy's devotion to a flesh-and-blood campus - intrigued me because of the larger context. So much of the debate about the impact of new technology tends to be polarizing. The utopians versus the skeptics, the idealists versus the realists, those who throw themselves headlong into the great mosh pit of the new, and those who cherish the familiar and time-honored. (New York Times, 10/3)

Open Sesame: Gary Knell, NPR's Soon-to-Be CEO, Is Also a Blogger
Starting December 1, NPR will have a new CEO: Gary Knell, currently the chief executive of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind "Sesame Street." [Insert your favorite Kermit/Elmo/Oscar joke here. Or just savor Gawker's headline: "Muppet Slavedriver Named Head of NPR."] (Nieman Journalism Lab, 10/3)

Amanda Knox Mistake Exposes the Media's Guilty Secret
The ghastly editorial snarl-ups over the Amanda Knox verdict announcement may have revealed (again) journalism's dirty secret. No, it's not that journalists are biased, lazy or stupid, though like everyone, they are sometimes all those things. The real problem is that they are slaves to formula. (The Guardian, 10/4)

Questions for the Big Bird: Gary Knell on Digital Expansion at NPR
NPR's incoming president and CEO, Gary Knell, inherits challenges that are well-reported elsewhere: repairing the network's image after scandals forced three executives to resign this spring; fighting to salvage federal funding and looking for new funding models; and maintaing good relations with 268 member stations. (Nieman Journalism Lab, 10/5)

Freedom of Expression on the Internet Expert Group Meets
Minister of State Jeremy Browne today chaired the second meeting of the Foreign Office's Expert Group on freedom of expression on the internet. (UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 10/5)


Facebook Use By Country: See Who Spends The Most Time Social Networking (STUDY)
Data monitoring and analysis firm Experian has released the results of a study examining the Facebook habits of users in eight countries across the globe. (Experian, September 2011)

The Tilted Playing Field: Hidden Bias in Information Technology Workplaces
The report reveals that hidden biases within the workplace can produce unequal opportunities and outcomes for employees depending on their race and gender. This study reports on data collected from a sample of IT engineers and managers in large companies and small startups nationwide. (Level Playing Field Institute, September 2011)

Media in Africa 2011
The book is a collection of writings by over 70 media scholars and practitioners. Some of the contributors present included Omar Osman, President of the Federation of African Journalists and Professor Jane Duncan, Highway Africa Chair of Media and Information Society at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. The book covers a broad range of topics, from theoretical and ethical issues to the practical concerns around practicing journalism in Africa. These themes are explored within the context of the (past and present) threats and restrictions faced by the African press. (Media Institute of South Africa, September 2011)

Symantec State of the Cloud Survey 2011
While computing changes constantly, most shifts are simple changes that don't require organizations to change the core of how they work. Not so with cloud computing. While promising significant benefits, it requires organizations to change how they approach IT.
To better understand how organizations are dealing with these changes, Symantec commissioned the 2011 State of Cloud Survey, which gives a unique perspective on how organizations are adopting cloud computing. One of the largest surveys of its kind, it includes responses from 5,300 organizations across 38 countries. (Symantec, October 2011)