Inside the Snitch Tank. After his arrest for the worst mass shooting in Orange County, CA history, Scott Dekraai poured out his feelings to a jailhouse informant. But instead of nailing down a death-penalty conviction against a confessed killer who was arrested with murder weapons in his car, the bugging of Dekraai’s cell touched off a legal storm over prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants which has delayed justice and drawn national attention. The Orange County Register has set up an extensive website to accompany their ongoing investigation and report.
The 2013 edition of Salon's annual Hack List is out, and this year, Salon hackmaster Alex Pareene has stirred the pot of hackery by "channel[ing] each hack's unique voice" and "let[ting] them 'write' their own entries." [more inside]
"Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it."
'The Hubris and Despair of War Journalism: What Martha Gellhorn teaches us about the morality of contemporary war reportage.' [more inside]
The death of the news.
What is really threatened by the decline of newspapers and the related rise of online media is reporting -- on-the-ground reporting by trained journalists who know the subject, have developed sources on all sides, strive for objectivity and are working with editors who check their facts, steer them in the right direction and are a further check against unwarranted assumptions, sloppy thinking and reporting, and conscious or unconscious bias.
Rollback. Media critic Jay Rosen rises above the McClellan/"shake-up" foofaraw to put several pieces of the puzzle together and show how the Bush administration has significantly altered the long-standing relationship of the press to the White House. (More from Rosen here.) Another piece that fits: Donald Rumsfeld's bold, frequent, and rarely-challenged assertions that the American press is being expertly "manipulated" by Al Qaeda "media committees" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Blog people, Wikinewsies, and other citizen journalists are coming together to provide new and timely sources of information in the continuing Digital Revolution. OhmyNews swung the election in South Korea, Wikinews published 9 stories on the London bombings, and NowPublic aims to combine murmurs in the blogosphere with a sleek, media-filled interface. Indymedia has been publishing citizen-written news since 1999 and in the same year Salon first penned the idea of Open-source Journalism. OhmyNews continues to be the mold-breaker, combining open-source with revenue. According to CyberJournalist, to the tune of $500,000 a month. Now hiring too.
The Newsweek-Fahrenheit wars - Michael Isikoff's "seven errors, distortions and selective omissions of crucial information" detailed by Craig Unger, "House of Bush, House of Saud" author (read excerpts of his book at Salon.com, for members or by a "day pass") Isikoff has heavily cited Unger's book but, it seems, not bothered to read Unger's generously provided source files. "Liberal" PBS is not excluded, as credulous (or ignorant) "On the Media" host Bob Garfield's July 2 interview with Isikoff demonstrates. What shall we call such pervasive, ongoing and seemingly willful patterns of inaccuracy, distortion, and selective omission?
Sony writes 'article' for Salon. In an effort to find new revenue streams, Salon has published an ad/article written by Sony Corp. National Geographic and Parent Soup have also published ad/articles, though the New York Times said no. While the articles do not directly reference Sony products, the feature people who do fascinating things with technology... technology which, it just so happens, is advertised conveniently right next to the technology featuring passage. Is this sort of thing ever ethical? If so, what sort of disclosures are necessary. Clearly the ad/articles are intended to appear to be regular content.
More badly-written paranoid dreck from everyone's favorite floundering Web daily. Like a sore tooth, I can't stop picking on Salon. (more inside)
The Salon Death March continues. I personally thought the nadir was the cover story last week featuring a photographer reminiscing about almost nailing Marylin (not work-safe), but no...now Salon has dared to crawl into the underbelly of this country and expose the horror of...hippie parents. Good to see the most high-profile online magazine tackling these hard-hitting issues. How's that stock price doing again?
Is this a typo? Salon's David Talbot in the NYT: "'A lot of our audience pays $300 a year to join National Public Radio and they don't have to pay anything,' he said. As early as next year, Mr. Talbot said, Salon hopes to impose a fee of $75 to $150 a year to read any of its site with ads." Now, I would have read that last sentence as "to read any of its site without ads", but perhaps I'm just being naive.
Salon's new strategy: make the banner ads AS ANNOYING AS HUMANLY FUCKING POSSIBLE. Now it's either the subscription model or horrifying Flash ads that take up more column inches than the articles. Are they on crack, or merely dumb?
"I've been a broadcast journalist for a quarter of a century and I've never seen a slower period ... There is really no comparison in our lifetime." Are we facing The End of News? Will we ever again live in interesting times? (Yes, I know it's a Salon link. But I've been thinking about this for a while.)
Salon gives in. Back to readability, baby.