Posts about News

Don’t they need new blood?

The American Press Institute puts $2 million into a project to find new business models for newspapers but I think they make a few mistakes: First, it’s not about new models for newspapers; it’s about new models for news. Second, the august group they gather for the task, though smart and experienced, are all from the big companies and the old ways. The newspaper industry’s worst fault is that it is insular and rejects new blood. This would have been a chance to find new people (and no, I don’t mean me) who are doing new things in new ways. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where the new models are going to come from, not from the old ways.

: Rafat Ali’s take here. And Rafat’s just the kind of person who should be in this thing.

: LATER: Nancy Wang says:

… the project goals also entail an “assessment of the threat to newspapers, including emerging competition”. Call it semantics, but this line of thinking continues to be insular. Instead of thinking about threats to newspapers, they should be thinking about learning (maybe even partnering) with the emerging competition that seems to be taking away their audiences.

Right. It’s not about the threats to newspapers.

It’s about the opportunties for journalism.

The French bloggers

I’m interested in your reaction to bloggers’ relationship to the French riots (because I may be writing about it in a column) — about the bloggers who were pulled in by the cops for allegedly inciting and about the French blogosphere’s reporting and reaction to the riots. Any help appreciated. Here‘s the Guardian story:

Two bloggers have been detained by authorities in France on suspicion of encouraging people to take part in the Paris riots.

A 16-year-old French teenager and an 18-year-old of Ghanaian nationality are being questioned by Paris prosecutors, according to reports.

One of the blogs was called “sarkodead”, a reference to the interior minister and presidential contender, Nicholas Sarkozy, who referred to the rioters in disparaging terms and has been singled out for criticism by many French bloggers.

The pair have been placed under investigation, which is a step short of formal charges under French law, for “inciting harm to people and property over the internet”.

Sarkodead and the second blog – called “hardcore” – were suspended last weekend, according to judicial officials in Paris.

French bloggers have been divided over their attitude to the riots. Some have tried to calm the situation, while others have tried to inflame the situation.

“I have never got how turning where you live into a war zone proves anything,” said “bobcoloredglasses”.

“If anyone in the ghetto is reading this and is ever part of a riot, try rioting in the mayor’s neighbourhood. I bet you get a much faster reaction, and you can go back to your house that hasn’t been wrecked.”

Another blogger wrote: “It is not by firing teargas into a mosque – in Ramadan – how one restores order. Peace is gained by meeting people. Unfortunately this long-term work does not figure in the presidential planning of Mr Sarkozy. Sarkozy will never be my president.”

: See also this fascinating Business Week story on Sarkozy buying Google AdWords to try to drum up support for his side.

Welcome to the uncontrolled world of media where anybody can try to control it but can’t.

So much for the wisdom of the polls

Once again, pre-election polls were full of it. The gubernatorial race in New Jersey was supposed to be close. It was anything but.

Why they hate France

Well, at least it’s not us.

Maybe he was just calling them bloggers

In PC France, a pol got in trouble for calling rioters who burned cars scum — for calling criminals criminals. Turns out, something was gained in the translation. The Guardian blog says:

Much has been made of Nicolas Sarkozy’s description of the French rioters as “racaille”, a derogatory term held to have fuelled the nationwide spread of the violent disturbances over the past week. The term, widely translated in the British media as “scum”, actually equates more closely to “rabble”. (The Guardian, which has also used “scum” on a number of occasions, will be using “rabble” from now on.)

Laurent Greilsamer in Le Monde investigates the etymology and changing meaning of the word, which has taken on a totemic significance since its utterance by Mr Sarkozy. The word came from Provençal, was introduced into French in the 15th century, and was, he says, in common parlance until 10 days ago. It had even been appropriated by disaffected young people to describe themselves, he says – a view supported by the vivelesracailles site, which starts with the line “After all, it’s not a crime to live in your pyjamas”.