Facebook may be one of the most successful companies to emerge on the
consumer internet in the past decade, but it has made more than its fair
share of blunders and is no stranger to controversy and criticism,
especially when it comes to privacy.
The latest feature to attract negative attention is the company's seamless sharing, which was announced earlier this year at Facebook's F8 developer conference.
Last month we were contacted by the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which is owned by the UK’s national newspapers. It wanted to sell us a ‘newspaper copyright licence’. The licence would ensure that we become “copyright protected”.
Apparently we need a licence if we share press cuttings internally. It also applies to links shared that include “text extracts to explain what the link is”.
A licence is also required for photocopying newspaper content, scanning and email cuttings, printing from a newspaper’s website, cutting and emailing text from a newspaper website, and putting any cuttings on our website.
Much of this doesn’t apply to our organisation, but we want to make sure that we’re operating in an ethical manner and are keen to abide by the rules.
The issue is that the rules are:
b) self-defeating, and...
c) being set by people who aren’t really in any position to set them.
Let me explain.
Earlier this year, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. announced that it was making a significant bet on tablet devices.
The bet: that an iPad-only news publication could launch and thrive at a time when many established news publications were struggling to survive.
"New times demand new journalism," Murdoch proclaimed. And with eight figures in investment in The Daily, he stated confidently, "we believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told and consumed in this digital age".
Half a year later, however, The Daily appears to be off to a slower start than Murdoch may have anticipated.
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.
Here's a question most publishers would love to have an answer to: what's the secret to building a successful pay wall?
Although one might expect major publishers like the New York Times to eventually provide the answer, newspapers in Slovakia may have beat their Western counterparts to the task.
The iPad is a source of hope for many traditional publishers. Which explains why publishing moguls like Rupert Murdoch are investing lots of time and money into the tablet device.
But not all iPad strategies are created equal, and one of Murdoch's newspapers, the New York Post, may have the dubious distinction of executing the dumbest iPad strategy yet.
That strategy: in an effort to get readers to pony up for the newspaper's $6.99/month app, block the Safari browser on the iPad from accessing content on the nypost.com website, content that's freely available via any other browser.
For traditional publishers, the Apple has been a blessing and a curse. On one hand, its iOS devices, including the iPad, have created hope and inspired thought about the future of publishing. On the other hand, it's clear that it is no savior.
It's not into charity either. Case in point: the 30% cut Apple demands from subscriptions sold in iOS apps. Begrudgingly, many publishers have agreed to this fee. But not all.
Journalism or not? Ethical or unethical? WikiLeaks, the infamous internet-based organization that releases sensitive and often-classified material that is leaked to it, is perhaps one of the most controversial organizations in the world today.
But despite the controversy surrounding WikiLeaks, it appears that at least one major newspaper is envious enough of what it's doing to start its own online service designed to allow 'whistleblowers' to share their wares.
Newspapers need help anywhere they can get it, and the Audit Bureau of Circulations is trying to help. Recently, it updated the rules it uses to calculate newspaper circulation.
One of the changes: free copies given to local schools and newspaper employees are now counted.
That should help, right? Apparently, it's not that easy. Despite the Audit Bureau of Circulations' good intentions, newspaper circulation in the U.S. continues to decline.
Newspapers face numerous challenges in the digital age. From online
business models to organizational structure, many newspapers are
struggling to find their way in the world.
And then there are the 'smaller' challenges that are sometimes just as thorny. One of these: the importance of journalist objectivity.