Image

News

Corporate control of information

A couple of interesting items this week about corporate control of public information:

A major U.S. telco censored two lines in a telecast of the band Pearl Jam. The lines were critical of U.S. president George W. Bush. From the response on Pearl Jam’s web site:

AT&T’s actions strike at the heart of the public’s concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.

And a Washington Post writer, Rob Pegoraro, has a critique of our dependence on Google’s search engine:

The technology used to figure out what pages people want to see also helps companies calculate what products people might want to buy, and therefore what ads to display for them. Do you really want one company controlling that show?

Pegoraro takes a look at other search techniques, it’s a worthwhile read for any journalist.

Continue Reading Corporate control of information

Yahoo grilled over role in Chinese jailing

The behaviour of Yahoo and Google in China has long been controversial, because of allegations that the companies comply with Chinese censorship. Now Yahoo is on the hot seat before a U.S. congressional committee.  An excerpt of a story in the Financial Times:

A US congressional committee is investigating whether Yahoo intentionally misled Congress over its role in exposing the identity of a Chinese journalist who was sent to prison for a decade.

The House foreign affairs committee announced the probe last week after new documents showed possible discrepancies in Yahoo’s 2006 testimony at a congressional hearing about its co-operation with Chinese authorities in the case against Shi Tao. The Chinese reporter and editor was arrested after posting material on a website about a government crackdown on media and democracy.

Michael Callahan, Yahoo senior vice-president and general counsel, said last year that the company had “no information” about the nature of an investigation by Chinese authorities when it divulged identifying information about the activist.

But the Dui Hua Foundation, a California-based human rights group, released documents that disputed Mr Callahan’s version of events.

Hat tip to Janet Tate’s Press Notes at the Society of Professional Journalists.

Continue Reading Yahoo grilled over role in Chinese jailing

Info-porn: enough already

From a report on the CBC web site: A survey conducted this July shows nearly nine out of 10 adult Americans believe there is too much coverage of celebrity scandals.

Finally!!!!!

Here’s the Pew report.

Continue Reading Info-porn: enough already

Climate change: misreporting?

A story by Mike De Souza of CanWest concerns a report blaming mainstream U.S. media for “stalled international efforts to reach an agreement to fight climate change.”

An excerpt of the story:

The report, in the latest edition of a magazine published by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, said there are multiple examples of major American media organizations watering down recent warnings from peer-reviewed scientific literature about the consequences of global warming and the human-produced pollution that is causing it.

The watchdog group based its analysis on a comparison of American and British headlines and articles about the release of a series of international reports that assessed the latest peer-reviewed on climate change.

Oddly, the report by FAIR seems to be available only in print, not on the Internet. 
Continue Reading Climate change: misreporting?

Media and Chinese Olympics

Weekend protests against Chinese repression of press rights by Reporters Without Borders included a giant flag flown in Paris showing the Olympic rings transformedinto handcuffs; a bicycle rally in New York with the “Beijing 2008” handcuffs graphic; a news conference in Beijing outside the building that houses the Beijing Organising Committee; and a news conference with Amnesty International in Montreal. An op-ed was published in several daily newspapers.

The press rights organization wants China to keep human rights promises made before it was awarded next year’s Olympics — namely, the release of some 100 imprisoned journalists, cyber-dissidents and free speech activists and “an end to censorship of the news media and Internet. ”
Continue Reading Media and Chinese Olympics

Alain Accardo, Journalistes précaires, journalistes au quotidien (extraits)

By  •  News

Gilles Balbastre, Acrimed.org |

Présentation :

Le secteur de la presse est certainement de ceux où la précarisation des petits salariés est la plus galopante. La corporation, pourtant truffée de grandes consciences toujours prêtes à délivrer des leçons d’humanisme sans frontières, ne s’émeut guère de la condition galérienne qui est faite, en son sein, à des milliers de jeunes complaisamment livrés à l’arbitraire des employeurs par les écoles de journalisme.


Continue Reading Alain Accardo, Journalistes précaires, journalistes au quotidien (extraits)

La crise des crises

By  •  News
André Pratte, La Presse

Crise des algues bleues, crise de la vache folle, crise du budget, crise du logement, crise forestière, crise du bois-d’oeuvre, crise des urgences, crise du Suroît, crise des finances publiques, crise des barrages, crise des piscines, crise de Kanesatake, crise des prêts et bourses, crise du mont Orford, crise(s) au PQ, crise des médecins spécialistes, crise des écoles juives…

Décidément, il y a beaucoup de crises au Québec. C’est à se demander comment une société peut survivre à autant d’événements graves… à moins qu’il ne s’agisse pas vraiment de crises. Que ce soient les médias, les lobbies et les politiciens qui transforment de simples problèmes en prétendues crises.


Continue Reading La crise des crises

Chérie, ils ont rétréci mon journal

By  •  News
Richard Hétu, La Presse

Après le Wall Street Journal, le USA Today et plusieurs autres journaux nord-américains, c’est au tour du New York Times de devenir plus étroit All the News That’s Fit to Print. Devise qu’on devra peut-être remplacer par All The News That Fits.Car le rétrécissement du journal entraînera une réduction de 10% du contenu rédactionnel par page.

Continue Reading Chérie, ils ont rétréci mon journal

Sarkozy en vacances: sevrage médiatique?

By  •  News

Un coup de tampon orne le dernier sommaire de Courrier International, en haut de la page: “100% Sarkofree!” Slogan répété une deuxième fois le long du cercle, à l’encre rouge, comme sur ces étiquettes qu’on voit dans les supermarchés, type “Label Rouge”, ou “Vu à la TV”. Le numéro de cette semaine est donc garanti sans Sarkozy. Même l’article tiré du journal bulgare Dnevnik sur la libération des infirmières ne mentionne pas le Président.

Continue Reading Sarkozy en vacances: sevrage médiatique?

Le faux Steve Jobs démasqu

By  •  News

Tristan Péloquin, La Presse / Technaute.com

Depuis des mois, tout le monde voulait savoir qui se trouvait derrière la plume de Fake Steve. Des blogueurs se sont même mis sur sa piste, traquant son adresse IP. C’est finalement le New York Times qui l’a démasqué aujourd’hui. Fake Steve n’est nul autre que Daniel Lyons, un des éditeurs du magazine Forbes.

Lyons a tout avoué.

Continue Reading Le faux Steve Jobs démasqu