Murdoch versus Google

In a Mothra versus Godzilla battle, media magnate Rupert Murdoch is detaching his newspapers from Google, to stop the free searching of stories from his newspaper. The attempt is to make it harder for people to get “free” stories from his media empire, and drive them to subscribe. Interesting battle ahead; Murdoch doesn’t lose often and he has deep pockets.

Globe and Mail, Nov. 11 2009

Canadian newspapers profitable, stock rising

Take that blogosphere! Yes, this boring old technology trivialized as MSM is alive and well, even able to withstand incompetant ownership.


J–, Oct. 27 2009.

Some thoughts on new technology

NM/MSM is better than MSM/NM. New is better than old. Technology will liberate. Technology is evil. These absolutist arguments don’t pass much intellectual scrutiny. Technology is morally neutral. Cavemen figured this out with fire. Fire is good (“mmm, cooked meat”), fire is bad (“CAVE ON FIRE! CAVE ON FIRE!”) settled this debate millenia ago, and cavemen figured out that use of technology determines its usefulness and any ethical value that may be put on it. So, a link to a couple of academics who look at the same argument through the lens of new technology in the nascent Iranian revolution.

Globe and Mail, July 3 2009

New Media from Iran troubles MSM

The tendency of mainstream media to simply quote from new media, without seeking a second source or other verification, is troubling enough. It’s even worse when the state clamps down on all media, new or traditional, and observers outside that state try to get a sense of what’s going on. As a result, blogs, posts, videos etc. on the current unrest in Iran are being cited frequently by MSM, but with the unease that they have no way of verifying that any of it is factual. A thoughtful piece from the New York Times.

New York Times, June 28 2009

MSM fall for Wikipedia hoax

An Irish student put a phony quote in  Wikipedia obit on Oscar-winning composer Maurice Jaure to see if any MSM would use it. They did in droves and most (but not all) have apologized. The point? To reinforce the notion that MSM and the blogosphere should check the facts before logging on to one site and going with it, particularly an open site like Wikipedia. Teachers and professors advise their students to go on Wikipedia if they want, but only to use it as a starting point to more authoritative sources. Media and bloggers should do the same.

Canoe/AP, May 11 2009

New media taking a financial hit too

While New Media tend to gloat over the financial troubles of MainStreamMedia, it turns out that they are just as vulnerable to the root cause of the current media crisis: seriously reduced advertising dollars. notes that YouTube, one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the web (Susan Boyle is up to 50 million hits now), nevertheless is on track to lose $470 million this year (it takes a lot of servers, geeks, wires and overpaid executives to keep a site like YouTube going.) Meanwhile, Yahoo is laying off another 600 people (Globe and Mail), though its problems are complicated by serious competition from Google., April 14 20009

Globe and Mail, April 22 2009

Susan Boyle demonstrates MSM/NM co-dependency

It’s been about nine days and counting, but Susan Boyle’s clip from the British “reality” show Britain has Talent has so far had about 50 million hits. Prior to the New Media, you would have to rely on heavily copyrighted reruns from the  original TV show. Now, the show posts it to YouTube, it goes viral around the planet, and the show’s producers are licking their lips trying to calculate how much money they will make at her next appearance. Meanwhile, after the euphoria, some questions are being raised, as by John Doyle in today’s Globe. Be careful, gentle reader, if you peruse this column: I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there is very little that is real in “reality” television, as I learned as a television producer in the 1970’s.

Globe and Mail, April 21 2009

Canadians flock to social media

Canada NewsWire (CNW) and Leger Marketing released a survey of 1500 Canadians and found that we really like social media, particularly Facebook and YouTube. Even the old folks (45 plus) use them for news and information. One intriguing finding for advertiseres — and the journalists who rely on ad dollars to stay employed: 31 per cent of users say social media is more credible than advertising. This isn’t a good thing when lack of ad dollars is killing MSM.

CNW/Leger, April 7 2009

State of the media: bleakest report yet

The Project for Excellence in Journalism (US) put out its sixth — and admittedly  bleakest — report today. Newspapers in particular are suffering from the double whammy of technology change and a crippling economic recession (ad rates actually fell last year despite it being an election year, typically a good time for advertisers.) Oddly, the report notes that giants like the New York Times have bigger audiences than ever, if you add 0n-line.  Two links,  summary story from AP, and the complete document itself.

“This is not an industry that is dying,” Rosenstiel said. “This is an industry that is in disorientation.”

AP/Canoe, March 16 2009

Project for Excellence in Journalism, March 16 2009

CRTC hearings on new media to be broadcast

For the first time in ten years, the CRTC is looking at its role as a regulator (if any) of new media. Hearings start next week; check the schedule here.

Broadcastermag, Feb. 13 2009


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