Saturday, August 27, 2016

Like Minds - Media Kerfuffle

“Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.”
~John Dalberg-Acton

Wall Street Journal, Why 4 A.M. Is the Most Productive MEdiaDragon Hour:
Most people who wake up at 4 a.m. do it because they have to—farmers, flight attendants, currency traders and postal workers. Others rise before dawn because they want to.
Whatever the hell it is, because trust me on days like today I’m not sure, blogging is fun at any hour... Blogging gives me a reason to sit in a Local Cafe three days a week looking super important, and it gives me a reason to visit country after country complaining every inch of the way. I personally wouldn’t give it up for anything, well until I’m broke and hungry.

Mendeley Blog paradise for bohemian researchers Elsevier takes the next step in making researchers’ lives easier with the new DataSearch engine. You can search for research data across numerous domains and various types, from a host of domain-specific and cross-domain data repositories. It’s available at 

Melania Trump threatens to sue news outlets A lie with a billion dollars behind it is stronger than the truth. Peter Thiel has shut down Sadly, too many comentariats attracts that 5% of people who cause all kinds of grief as they should be surrounded by Sigmund Freuds and not let lose on the internet. It is a sad week to lose trailblazer such as Gawker...

This is a column about's demise, but it is also a column about a plane ride I took last Friday. The two are related, though it might not seem that way at first.
I’ll start with the plane ride, which was from San Francisco to Raleigh-Durham. I sat next to a woman who brought an assortment of religious material to read on the plane. We made some initial chit-chat about disliking airplane rides, then we both settled in for the lengthy flight — she read her Kindle, I thumbed through my backlog of New Yorkers.

Gawker’s demise is troubling for experiments in reader engagement

… Dilbert Explains Donald Trump - WSJ
My own sense is that media are doing Trump a favor by not even trying to disguise their bias. They seem unaware the polls indicate that the media are trusted about as much as Congress, which is to say hardly at all. 

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's new website, "Corbyn Facts," is "getting mocked mercilessly," notes the Huffington Post, and has spawned dozens of Twitter memes British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's new website, "Corbyn Facts," is "getting mocked mercilessly," notes the Huffington Post, and has spawned dozens of Twitter memes ...

“I’ve worked at A Current Affair for nearly eight years now and I’ve seen some very confronting stuff — some we’ve shown on camera, some we haven’t. And I do have to say, this is the most confronting video I’ve seen in my eight years on the show"
Mr Mehajer responded to through the PR company Media Mehajer Family 

Be wary of any statement that begins with "Believe me" or "In all honesty," says CNBC commentator Pamela Meyer. "Insisting to people that you are telling the truth is a tell-tale sign that you probably aren't," says the author of "Liespotting." Read her tips for journalists covering politicians and campaigns.

“We need to hold allcandidates accountable for their positions, impromptu statements, collection of political money and, yes, their temperament. We need to check facts and vet stances. If we do that well, voters will have what they need to make an informed decision.” Amy Chance, The Sacramento Bee

R.I.P. Gawker, 2002-2016

The most gratifying event to have occurred this past year—my ambivalence about surrendering them aside—was selling my papers to Yale University’s Beinecke Library. The Beinecke is a prestigious repository of many distinguished writers’ papers, and to be accepted into that august company must mean I am a distinguished writer, too, no? But it was never a sure thing. Here is how it came about  Selling my papers  - Yale

How CIR created an investigative series just for Instagram 

Losing Trust: Frustrations Grow Over German Response to Terror

This election year, journalists must be watchdogs — and word dogs

Plausible-looking copyright takedown complaints have demanded that site operators take down particular posts on the grounds that they are not original, but reprint the copyrighted work of a journalist that had earlier appeared elsewhere. The posts tend to be ones that are critical of someone’s reputation. But it’s hard to establish that the journalists exist, and the demands cite backdated links on fake news sites apparently created for the purpose with names that sound like legitimate media outlets. [Patrick Coffee, AgencySpy/AdWeek; Tim Cushing, TechDirt]

Clickbait = Trump's Rise/Fall, Not Hillary's Legal Troubles

Those of us who were early adopters in blogging and tweeting about what would be called The Trump Phenomenon had a surge in traffic. No fools, we knew a good thing.
GiftsNow that The Trump Phenomenon is imploding it remains the clickbait gift that keeps on giving. Posts and tweets on aspects of that are also bringing in record traffic.
I predict we can sustain this until September 26th, when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton meet head-to-head in a national debate.
If Trump can't produce remarkable performance art, he will be finished. No one will care much about what he's up to. So the gift will stop giving.
If Roger Ailes, who supposedly isn't coaching him for the debate, does coach him effectively, then traffic could increase exponentially.
Incidentally, for those of you who want to get in on this action, it's Trump who's the clickbait, not Clinton. The only exception is when I headline posts and tweets bundling Clinton and the Drudge Report. Her legal troubles? Too complex to attract eyeballs.

Gawker's Millions Mired in Tax Dodge  

We live in a time of rampant narcissism. We are told this is exceptional. It matters less whether that's true than whether we believe it's true... Emptiness Narcissists are imitators par excellence. And they do not copy the small, boring parts of selves


“Despite its integral role in popular culture and in social justice initiatives from the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter, Twitter is as infamous today for being as toxic as it is famous for being revolutionary. And unless you’re a celebrity — or, as it turns out, the president of the United States of America — good luck getting help.”  “A Honeypot For Assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment

When I compared Robert Bartley to Walter Lippmann the other day as having been the most influential economic journalist of his age, I soon realized that hardly anyone knew what I was talking about.  Bartley (1937-2003) for thirty years had been editor of the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. Many people remember him and sense his influence in the present day.
Generations of Economic Journalism

Finding Out What We Don’t Know

A tale of two Louisiana disasters and media bias The Hill

How reliable is your source? Start by asking these questions
Four (4) verbal listening skills when you’re working with staff members 

UCLA's George Geis explains What went wrong with Yahoo:
There are three major reasons for M&A failure — flawed strategy, misguided valuation and ineffective integration. And Yahoo is a classic case study in how these three factors can destroy company value.

As his army blatantly annexed Crimea, Vladimir Putin went on TV and, with a smirk, told the world there were no Russian soldiers in Ukraine. He wasn’t lying so much as saying the truth doesn’t matter...
“The new media, with its myriad screens and streams, makes reality so fragmented it becomes ungraspable, pushing us towards, or allowing us to flee, into virtual realities and fantasies. Fragmentation, combined with the disorientations of globalization, leaves people yearning for a more secure past, breeding nostalgia.” Post Fact 

American households are changing. So should American news

Press Release,  Twelve Tables Press and Carolina Academic Press Announce Publishing Alliance
Twelve Tables Press today announced a publishing alliance with Carolina Academic Press. The new joint venture will provide all back-office fulfillment, editorial, sales, and marketing support to enable Twelve Tables Press to focus on its vision to chronicle the individuals behind the landmark decisions, capture the craft, scholarship and often sheer will needed to change and redefine American Law, jurisprudence and society..

The bad news:  the Internet was down on my six hour New York to Los Angeles flight yesterday.  The good news:  it gave me the chance to read Colorado Law Prof Pierre Schlag's new novel (American Absurd: A Work of Fiction) and article (The Law Review Article), brought to my attention by Jeff Lipshaw of our The Legal Whiteboard:
Mr. David Madden lives in L.A. He's an ordinary man. Every day, he gets up and drives to work. Only he never gets there. Instead, he drives from here to there, from Westwood to Santa Monica, Santa Monica to Venice . . . and so on. It seems he's always just going from point A to point B. Of course, driving from point A to point B--that's pretty much what people do in L.A.

“Press releases tell us when federal agencies do something right, but the Freedom of Information Act lets us know when they do not.”
~Patrick Leahy Twenty Years ago in 1996  

A barber was itching to score 
Some tickets for Hair — needed four.
’Twas a popular show,
So a likely no-go;
Scalpers rendered his purchase odds poor.
What Goes Through My Head When Exploring a Site 

In Athens of the fifth and fourth centuries BC, a central term of pride in the democratic self-understanding was parrhesia, which meant “frank speech.”
On frank speech

“A danger arises when amateurs and bogus experts aren’t able to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s reproduced. Worse, they might see the digital copy and decide that it is not worth the effort to see the original. They might not think that the work is better, but it is unarguably more convenient to access.” Replica and Paprika of Cold River

NPR joins tide of publishers getting rid of comments

“Finalists for the 2016 Online Journalism Awards, representing a wide range of nonprofit, public, academic, major media and emerging technology organizations from around the globe, were announced today by the Online News Association. Twelve of the awards now come with $53,500 in prize money, courtesy of Knight Foundation, the Gannett Foundation and the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. These awards honor data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, public service, technical innovation, student journalism and general excellence. This year’s awards reflect a deeper consideration of how newsrooms engage their audiences, focusing on the emerging prevalence of new digital tools, distribution channels and content platforms. The second James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting will again honor one of the many journalists reporting under the most challenging conditions; a special committee will select the recipient. “The range of this year’s finalists is truly remarkable,” said David Smydra, ONA Board member and Online Journalism Awards Committee Chair. “In so many respects — newsroom size, geography, subject matter, platform, technology, storytelling techniques and more — judges were extremely impressed by the full scope and achievements of digital journalists across the industry.” A group of 76 industry-leading journalists and new media professionals teamed up to screen 1,029 entries and select semi-finalists. Twenty judges representing a diverse cross-section of the industry then conferred to determine finalists and winners. The winners will be announced at the 2016 ONA Conference 

Media Consumer Survey 2016: Australian media and digital preferences
The survey takes an in-depth, multi-generational look into the media consumption habits of Australians and how they may evolve with the changing digital landscape.

‘Some things cannot be measured’: the limits of evidence-based policy
It’s really important both to recognise that there are things that can be measured and should be measured and we should spend time doing that — but it’s also important to recognise that sometimes the pursuit of measurement leads you to more and more resources spent on things that tell you less and less.  

… Around the world in 20 books | Mumsnet

7 ways to write a “kick-ass” column, via Sally Jenkins

CNN just launched a new drone division. Here’s what they plan to do with it

Should writing for the public count toward tenure? The Conversation  

The hidden danger of big data Al Jazeera 

The lawyer who sued Gawker into bankruptcy is now representing Melania Trump 

9 guidelines to access public and private property