Posts Tagged ‘News’

Bin Laden and the twit-o-sphere

May 6th, 2011 Comments off

He was a guy who used digital technology to chilling effect, as do many of his followers. So it was apt, and inevitable, that the first news of Osama Bin Laden’s death came via Twitter, with associates of senior people around the Administration (past and present) blurting out the news.
But, after the first shock and awe, people turned to the established and respected news organisations. As some indication of this, see this page from Columbia Journalism Review online One typical response to the survey was from Dalla Abbas: “I saw the news on my facebook newsfeed. Not trusting this as a reliable source, I turned on BBC news to find out that the post had been legitimate.”
When there’s big news, big media is still needed.
The division of what used to be one lumpen mass of news is steadily taking shape. The fissure is developing between ‘breaking news’ – what we used to call ‘I saws’ in the business – and the verification, explanation and analysis that comes on its heels, but needs people who know what they are talking about, and, please deity, who can write.
A major mistake would be for established media to lose its head and become convinced that it has to become the ‘I saw’ on all occasions. This has been happening to an extent, and is one of the reason for the wholesale dumping of sub-editors. Subs are the people who professionalise the copy. See what’s happening in Australia, for example. link to
News professsionals cannot be first at the scene of every story – especially when the US government, for example, is trying to keep it quiet. But the ongoing responsibility of journalists and serious news organisations is to try to be on the ball when it comes to bringing clarity and understanding to the communities they serve.

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Qui custodiet? Marr and the pesky media

May 1st, 2011 Comments off

A MILDLY salacious scandal across the way brings up questions of privacy, prurience and media attitudes when their own ‘go rogue’.

Andrew Marr, the lean and hyperactive BBC frontman, has a distinguished career in print and broadcast behind him. He’s also at the centre of a story both extraordinary and mundane. It’s extraordinary because he, a ‘serious journalist’, sought a gagging order from the British High Court on stories about him; and mundane because it is about that most common of misbehaviour, an extra-marital affair.

Marr has revealed that he sought a ‘super-injunction’ in 2008. The matter he wanted suppressed was reporting of his relationship with a woman journalist, and a child she bore which he believed was his. Justification for the gag was the privacy of his family, he said.

Now super-injunctions, not familiar to the Irish courts, are bans which cover any reporting of the fact that the ban exists, not just the subject matter. So this article, for example, would be covered, as would a puzzling story that ‘A married actor has taken out a super-injunction to suppress reports of his frolics with a well-known prostitute’. That example is also being played out in Britain at the moment. Read more…

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Seemingly serene Irish press

April 15th, 2011 Comments off

There’s no great problems with press misbehaviour in our land, it would seem from the man who ‘polices’ it, the Press Ombudsman, John Horgan.

Only two of 315 complaints he received last year were sufficiently intractable to go to the Press Council. Resolution of one kind or another settled most, while some complaints were found to have no substance.

The Press Council of Ireland published its latest report on April 1. Unfortunate timing for any august tome, but this responsible document could not be mistaken for humour. It is serious and responsible – but perhaps gives a less nuanced picture of the Irish media than reality. Read more…

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Assange has shaken up media universe

January 7th, 2011 No comments

January, 2011

The Wikileaks revelations indicate a sea-change in the three-way relationship between power, information and the masses, writes ANGELA LONG

The story of Julian Assange and the Wikileaks revelations was manna from heaven for mainstream media at the end of 2010, during the notoriously fallow ‘silly season’. Not only was there news, but there was hot and strong news. One titillating revelation followed another, interspersed with more serious issues such as North Korea’s military preparedness. The overriding and delicious theme was revelation of what the powerful and privileged said and thought when they were not concealed in the cloak of correctness, or diplomatic euphemism and political non-speak. A lot of the revelations, as some commentators pointed out, fell into the characterization of ‘is the Pope a Catholic?’ Attitudes or antipathies we could easily have guessed were fleshed out by actual diplomatic cables.

Two features made the Wikileaks revelations important, even earth-shaking:
They were all true, undeniable, and in context, although many were opinions.
They shattered the myth that the press is there to reveal, and not take part in a cosy cartel conspiracy with the establishment. Read more…

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Whether desperate or shrewd, Murdoch is certainly no coward

June 7th, 2009 No comments

By Angela Long

Published The Irish Times, August 7, 2009

COULD THE Anti-Christ have saved us – again?

Newspaper people all over the world may well pose this question after Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corporation and grizzled veteran of a dozen to-the-death business battles, finally came clean on charging for online news.

The mogul made his historic announcement in New York yesterday, offsetting the group’s dire financial results – a loss of $3.4 billion (€2.35 billion) in the financial year to June.

It means that all the newspapers and broadcasters within News Corp – media platforms, to use the jargon – will now be looking for credit card details when net surfers land on their shores. The Sun, Times of London, News of the World, the New York Post, papers across Australia, will take the plunge, watched by hundreds of nervous nelly newspaper proprietors elsewhere. For making money out of online publication has been the big question that has had media heads aching, since it became apparent that the print newspaper as we have known and loved it is in terminal decline. Read more…

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