Adumbration: Impotent spooks & nationalist kooks with big missiles

“Russia’s intelligence community is simply pandering to killer thugs in Eastern Ukraine in the dumb hope that engagement will pass for real influence. (Ref: Pakistani ISS spooks and the Taliban) Meanwhile Putin persists with the dumb hope that daily FSB reports on violent neighbourhood chaos that keeps other powers at bay will pass as a geopolitical strategy. (Ref: Pakistan and Afghanistan). Moscow thinks that managing the fallout from a long war is a desirable alternative to a long march to a lasting peace settlement (Ref: Israel). But unlike Israel, Russia is simply finding ways to manage its own impotence.” … More Adumbration: Impotent spooks & nationalist kooks with big missiles

Protecting sources: Raising the stakes

“No matter how careful you are from that point on, no matter how sophisticated your source, journalists have to be sure that they make no mistakes at all in the very beginning to the very end of a source relationship or they’re placing people actively at risk… It’s a constantly increasing list and one that we’re not even aware of today. I would say lawyers, doctors, investigators, possibly even accountants. Anyone who has an obligation to protect the privacy interests of their clients is facing a new and challenging world and we need new professional training and new professional standards to make sure that we have mechanisms to ensure that the average member of our society can have a reasonable measure of faith in the skills of all the members of these professions.” … More Protecting sources: Raising the stakes

Surveillance: Guns for hire

“In light of the absence of guidelines and oversight, together with its clandestine nature, this technology is uniquely vulnerable to misuse, By analyzing the tools and their proliferation at the hands of companies like Hacking Team and Gamma Group, we hope to support efforts to ensure that these tools are used in an accountable way, and not to violate basic principles of human rights and rule of law.” … More Surveillance: Guns for hire

Ten ‘most obvious business models’ for news now & in the future

After listing today’s staples, (1) advertising and (2) subscriptions, Marc Andreessen continued with (3) premium content (that is, “a paid tier on top of a free, ad-supported one”); (4) conferences and events; (5) cross-media (meaning that your news operation also generates books, movies, and the like); (6) crowd-funding; (7) micropayments, using Bitcoin; and (8) philanthropy. Nicholas Thompson, the editor of The New Yorker’s Web site and a co-founder of The Atavist, chimed in with two more: (9) “while building product you’re passionate about, create software you then license widely!”—The Atavist’s approach—and (10) “fund investigative business stories + then short stocks before publishing” … More Ten ‘most obvious business models’ for news now & in the future

An outsider’s view of media ‘morality’

From what I’ve read, journalism tends to sort of have this strong moral foundation to it, in a sense that it’s a very important institution in a democracy. Keeping people informed is its duty. … But people have grown to neglect that a bit or not appreciate it as much, so now the industry is sort of flailing, or withering a bit. … More An outsider’s view of media ‘morality’

The dysfunctional co-dependence of old and new media

“It helps to envision modern journalism as a kind of video game. If you’re part of the Internet media, everything you put out into the world comes with its own scoring system. Tweets are counted by retweets and favorites, stories are scored by page views and Facebook likes. A writer’s reach and influence is visible right there, in the number of his followers and the number of “influencers” who subscribe to his or her feed. If you’re wondering why so many writers and journalists from such divergent backgrounds would feel the need to instantly tweet out unconfirmed information to their followers, all you have to do is think of the modern Internet reporter as some form of super Redditor — to be silent is to lose points. To be retweeted is to gain them. We do it for the ‘karma’.” … More The dysfunctional co-dependence of old and new media