For journalists, the present day may seem like both the best of times and the worst of times.
Traditional news organizations, disrupted by the internet, are
struggling, making it harder to turn journalism into profit.
But at the
same time, change brought about by the internet is creating exciting new
opportunities for journalism.
Content from major newspapers and news wires is often popular fodder
for blogs large and small. Many, if not most, major news organizations
have not, however, been enthused by the (fair) use of their content by
But The Guardian has another message for bloggers: take our content and post it on your blog, please.
The App Store is certainly not going to be a panacea for print publishers looking to reverse their fortunes, but The Guardian is proving that getting into the App Store is a worthwhile exercise as the new Guardian iPhone app has been purchased 9,000 times since launch.
At a price point of £2.39, that amounts to over £21,000 in the first 48 hours (before Apple takes its 30% cut). Good enough to give the app the top spot on the list of top UK paid apps, and the second spot on the list of top US paid news apps.
I read an article in today’s Guardian about a gagging order imposed on it. In short, the newspaper has been legally prevented from reporting about the alleged dumping of toxic waste by a firm called Trafigura (it couldn’t even name the company).
The Guardian has been ordered to avoid reporting parliamentary proceedings about the matter. The newspaper’s David Leigh explains:
Today's published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.
The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.
The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.
Naturally I was interested to find out what this was all about. It turns out that many others were too, and the newspaper’s strong social media presence has allowed readers to fill in the gaps.
Online game company Evony may not like the negative attention it has garnered online recently, but the company is about to get a lot more scrutiny after filing a libel lawsuit claiming defamation by the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper and gaming marketer Bruce Everiss.
Evony recently drew media attention for a series of racy online ads. The multiplayer game may not have a lot of scantily clad women its game, but over a series of weeks, the company increasingly relied on semi undressed females in ads promoting itself online, eventually just cribbing pics out of lingerie catalogs and putting links to its site next to cleavage.
The company's methods led The Guardian to write an article titled "Has Evony become the most despised game on the web?" The company's owner took none too well to such allegations and has since sued for libel. Taking advantage of the country's favorable libel laws, Evony filed the suit in Australia. But while suing down under may have legal advantages for the company, it is only going to bring increased scrutiny on their business methods. And that is not likely to be a good thing.
The Guardian is one of the best mainstream media publishers when it comes to technology. Not only does it do a lot of things right, as far as its website goes, but it has some excellent tech-savvy writers.
However, sometimes it gets things wrong, and an article today by Richard Wray on the search engine optimisation woes of price comparison engine Foundem is badly misguided.
I read the article on the tube, so wasn’t immediately able to check the website in question, but normally when firms blame Google for their problems it is related entirely to their web strategy (or lack of it), as opposed to some outlandish flaw with Google's algorithm. As such I reckoned there would be a problem with the Foundem website, and probably relating to unique content, technology, and a lack of quality links.
It turns out that there are problems in all of these areas...