From the Business Spectator:
One of Gina Rinehart’s closest advisers has argued that the Fairfax Media board should have the right to influence the editorial direction of the company’s media outlets, especially if the actions were designed to increase Fairfax profits, according to a Fairfax report…..Channel Ten board member, and Hungry Jacks founder, Jack Cowin told ABC Radio that newspapers are a business, not a public service, and that preventing board members from influencing Fairfax newspapers “would be like Qantas not allowing its directors to talk about aeroplanes,” Fairfax reported.
via Fairfax board should be able to influence editorial content: Rinehart adviser | News | Business Spectator.
So much for even pretending to have “editorial independence” which has usually been an illusion anyway. Cowin (and we assume Rinehart) don’t want to pussyfoot about when it comes to telling any media assets they might have control over what to write about or how to write it. Hey – it’s a BUSINESS, dummy.
As if we needed reminding.
Meanwhile… for those of you who are Mad Men fans, here’s Enoch Light’s original version of “Autumn Leaves”, as sampled by RJD2 on his track “A Beautiful Mine” which is used as the Mad Men theme.
According to Neiman Journalism Lab:
“Dan Schultz, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab (and newly named Knight-Mozilla fellow for 2012), is devoting his thesis to automatic bullshit detection. Schultz is building what he calls truth goggles — not actual magical eyewear, alas, but software that flags suspicious claims in news articles and helps readers determine their truthiness. It’s possible because of a novel arrangement: Schultz struck a deal with fact-checker PolitiFact for access to its private APIs.”
(via Bull beware: Truth goggles sniff out suspicious sentences in news » Nieman Journalism Lab.)
It’s a fascinating idea. Imagine browsers having a plug-in that is able to fact check all sorts of data using sources such as Wikipedia. It could have a huge impact on the future of news media. Imagine reading an article on, say, climate change in The Australian, and this “truth goggles” plug-in pointing out all of the inconsistencies in their reporting.
Or imagine reading Hilary Clinton ramping up the case for invading Iran because they are weaponising uranium, but have “truth goggles” pointing out that there is no evidence to support this claim.
Of course, this process doesn’t *need* to be automated with an algorithm. Chrome extensions like “Glass” allow people to comment on websites. For example, see this screenshot of a comment I left using Glass on a story in the Brisbane Times today about News Ltd corruption allegations from former QLD senator Bill O’Chee.
Could we all use tools like Glass to subvert the ability of the mainstream media and certain blogs to spin bullshit to their readers? Of course there is always the comments section of most sites these days, but perhaps they tend to get moderated and news sites promote comments by their faithful believers. Would Glass-like tools also get corrupted by flame wars? How do we keep them clean and useful? User moderation ala Wikipedia?
Reading Zite on my iPad tonight and saw this headline:
Drilled down into the story to discover the young guy in the photo is actually NOT a victim (or perpetrator) of pedophilia, but is, instead, an Aussie in Japan:
Australia’s most impressive media entrepreneur, Julian Assange, explains how Wikileaks works and provides some insight into recent events, in this recent interview with Wired’s Chris Anderson at TED.
Assange is trying to use the internet to change the world. He is what Peter Ellyard would call a “Future Maker”. I’m constantly motived and inspired by Julian’s quietly bold approach to tackle world governments and corporations. He’s spot on in this interview when he says a good approach to figuring out what the most important news is, is to discover what corporations and governments are spending a lot of effort and money to keep secret.
Recently I’ve been reading ridiculous suggestions that Wikileaks is a “honey trap” for whistleblowers. The idea seems to be that Wikileaks gets potential whistleblowers to come forward, and then they are arrested, Manning’s recent arrest is taken as being a sign that something is rotten in Denmark. The only problem with this scenario is that stuff is being leaked. It would be seem a bit of a stretch to think the establishment are allowing their dirty laundry to get exposed in an effort to create a temptation for potential whistleblowers to come forwards. As Julian says at the beginning of the video, Wikileaks has released more leaks in the last couple of years than the rest of the world media COMBINED.
(via Wikileaks, probably the most exciting news operation on the planet at the moment)
This morning I ran a quick experiment. I searched through News.com.au’s site for stories that mention Facebook in the title to see what percentage of those stories had a negative slant. My theory is that large media companies such as News are scared about the amount of traffic Facebook is getting, as it’s decreasing their own readership thereby affecting the revenue they can generate from advertising. So they are running Facebook scare campaigns.
News Corp, of course, has even more reason that other media companies to be hatin’ on the Facebook, because they own MySpace, Facebook’s biggest competitor.
So – on with the results.
Facebook pedophiles stalk TV star, 11
Police probe students’ Facebook hate group
Spook’s wife in strife over Facebook post
Pupil’s Facebook slur against teacher
Facebook affair behind murder, suicide
Teacher dies after nude Facebook photos
Facebook used to organise Auburn racial riot – police
Nicole Kidman bullied on Facebook
Teenager fired from job via Facebook
Fake police Facebook page fools users
Premier Bligh writes to Facebook boss
Facebook removes kill-a-prostitute page
Teen’s death posted on Facebook first
Parents use Facebook to trap paedophile
Facebook deal forces computer clean-up
Rail bash teen’s mates turn to Facebook
Smiling in a bikini on Facebook costs Canadian woman her insurance
Facebook extended to iPhone, iPod Touch
Pure Digital Sensia radio goes on Facebook, Twitter
Orangutan photographer a Facebook hit
Thief nabbed by Facebook detectives
So… out of twenty-one stories, there are FOUR positive stories (19%) and SEVENTEEN negative stories (81%).
The question is – does this show a bias in coverage?