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31 October 2007

Remember, remember the fifth of November

Don't forget to Stand up for Journalism on Monday.


Read what Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ President, wrote for journalism.co.uk

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25 October 2007

My article in The Journalist and the subsequent controversy

A little article I wrote for the NUJ's magazine, The Journalist, railing at how the philosophy of Web 2.0 is being used to attack professional journalism - reposted on my blog - elicited a response in the Telegraph's blogs.

The magazine contained more articles, drawn from a report I'm involved in preparing on the impact the way some media outlets are using new technology is having on journalism and journalists. Some of the details are here in the Press Gazette blog.

There's been a a little bit of controversy kicked up by this, with some frankly rather odd reactions. Jeff Jarvis tried to be funny and then followed-up with a more considered response. The Torygraph followed up slagging me off with a go at the rest of the articles and then Roy Greenslade made a grand announcement.

So there we go - a nice big debate about the issues, which is a good thing. So what do you think?

Update: here's another one .

More updates:
Some Silicon Valley oiks get their facts wrong (I'm neither particularly old, a hack nor a Limey - there's a clue in my name)
Shane Richmond strikes again
Greenslade needs the weekend, his City University colleague jumps in and, finally so far, we've someone missing the point (seeing as the whole point of the Multimedia Commission is to "equip our members to embrace it").

And the Podcast:
The Guardian interviewed me about this story - and then people discussed what I said, though I'm not sure they really got the point.

Even more, this time some more considered pieces looking at the issues involved:
Journalism and the articulate commons
What is Wrong with the Tech Journalism

and then there's this one:
Hands up those who think Web 2.0 is rubbish!.

Now It’s Your Turn Journalist.

And it goes on:
Let's have a real debate about Web 2.0

Still going: more of the NUJ debate
The NUJ and me: a considered response

Is the Web as weak as its weakest link?
Stand up for kremlinology and groupthink
Night Of The Blunt Nibs
Facing the reality of new media

Another audio appearance from me, this time on late night BBC 5 Live and the subsequent podcast.

And over on our sister site, nujnewmedia.org.uk - Much Ado About Not Very Much

Even more updates:
More Jeff Jarvis:
In olde London
Leaving the union

More Neil McIntosh:
Five things the NUJ could do to engage with the web

NUJ and new media: the trouble is, they just don’t know what’s going on

More Shane Richmond:
Still going: more of the NUJ debate

Paul Bradshaw: The NUJ fuss - now I’m spitting

Joanna Geary: Bedtime reading for the NUJ...

Reportr.net: Does the NUJ understand the internet?

And apparently the Internet's own personal blog

A considered and interesting look at the issue from the University of Bedford's New Media Research Group, contrasting with this from the PBS in the US.

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18 October 2007

Standing up for journalism in the blogosphere

The NUJ inspired Stand Up for Journalism day on November 5 has been generating interest in the blogosphere.

And everyone is taking a different line.

Grimmer Up North concentrates on the BBC.

Labour of Love goes with the Peterloo massacre.

Dave's Part plays it straight.

Brussells Reporter takes the Euro-angle.

PR in a jar says she's taking part.

City of the Dead looks at Liverpool's media.

Stephen Newton wants his press releases re-jigged.

How-do pokes the bonfire.

And the Guardian does it the old fashioned way.

If you see anything else, please add them to the list by commenting (thanks to Miles Barter for compiling this list so far).

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01 October 2007

Downed blogger Craig Murray defends Usmanov attacks

see also
Stand up for Tila, an unlikely web warrior

Craig Murray will be back online shortly...

Downed blogger Murray vows to continue Usmanov attacks
Ex-ambassador defiant in libel row
By Chris Williams

Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has vowed to carry on making allegations against billionaire Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, despite attempts to silence him and his supporters.

Murray told The Register: "If the man believes he was libelled then he should take me to court."

Murray's blog was deleted by www.fasthosts.co.uk on Friday 21st September after threats from Usmanov's UK legal team. It's expected to reappear on an overseas server, and will repeat the charges that drew heavy fire from specialist libel firm Schillings.

The ex-diplomat says he has contacted Schillings to ask for clarification of which specific aspect of his allegations they contest, but has not received a response. "They say my book [Murder in Samarkand] is 'grossly libellous and defamatory', yet it has been widely available for a year and has sold 25,000 copies, without their actually taking any legal action," he added.

Murray's criticism of Usmanov stems from his rise in Uzbekistan following the collapse of communism to become one of Russia's richest men. He denies the accusations. His profile in the UK has skyrocketed since he followed Chelsea chairman and fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich into football investment.

Murray's blog entry about Usmanov, made September 2, were picked up by many political and Arsenal websites which later also received complaints from Schillings. It became the third-highest hit on Google for the search "usmanov", but was quickly removed from Murray's site after the first legal letter.

Tim Ireland, who runs the political site Bloggerheads.com, which was downed along with Murray's site, has slammed Fasthosts' action, and denied the claim that they refused to comply with takedown requests after he repeated Murray's allegations.

Fasthosts says it acted according to standard industy practice and has declined to answer Reg questions.

Ireland said Fasthosts has so far failed to provide copies of two of the three complaints made by Schillings. "We don't have any of the correspondence despite multiple requests," he said.

The third complaint was made weeks after the September 2 post was removed. The takedown meant the Google robot instead indexed another piece Murray had penned in October 2005 that included the name.

On contact from Fasthosts, site administrator Clive Summerfield suspended the site and wrote back to Fasthosts to suggest that it, Schillings, Ireland and Murray liase on what was acceptable. Fasthosts responded by pulling the plug on his two dedicated servers on Friday.

Bloggerheads and craigmurray.co.uk were part of a small stable of sites run by Summerfield. This connection explains the deletion of Tory mayoral hopeful Boris Johnson's site, despite it having no involvement in the Usmanov affair. The action also downed the website of the London Bach Society and an independent record label.

The new hosting has been arranged separately from the rest of Summerfield's sites - Murray believes that Usmanov's lawyers are trying to make him back down by attacking others.

We asked Murray if he intends to stay on Usmanov's back. He replied: "There is room on Usmanov's back for an awful lot of people. You could get even more on his stomach, and possibly lose some under the overlap of his chins."

We think that's a "yes".

© The Register.

Yahoo, AOL and MSN censor truthout emails

Subscribers to the anti-war email news service at Californian news site Truthout.org have found messages diverted into their trash bins, and at Yahoo! blocked entirely, without explanation. This apparent censorship raises questions about the honesty and accountability of free email 'services' and whether those who sign up are actually getting the service they think they are entitled to.

I personally experienced exactly this one month or so ago when sending an invite by email to ex editor of the Independent on Sunday Rosie Boycott. She wrote back to me explaining that she had found my invitation in her trash folder and only noticed it because I had put the word URGENT in the subject heading. One wonders whether this is some ind of systematic policy?

Managers and PR people of these largely faceless free email services have still, since the problem was originally encountered on 14th September, failed to give an apology or a credible explanation. This sort of error, deliberate or otherwise, by the major players who provide free email services to the public round the world begs the question... If MSN, Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo can't be trusted with our mail then who can? I want out but where can I go?

Answers on a postcard please, or post a reply below on this blog. Personally I have found fastmail.fm to be reliable but there doesn't appear to be any quality control to speak of in place as these big corporations apparently use their market share to censor peace movement material they don't like and abuse the trust of their users allying themselves with the US war faction.

AOL/Microsoft-Hotmail Preventing Delivery of Truthout Communications

Here's what one truthout subscriber had to say.

Guys, just to let you know, I do receive my Truthout communications at my Yahoo e-mail address, -@yahoo.com, however, I have noticed this past week that they no longer appear in my Inbox. Rather, they are now always delegated automatically to my BULK folder. I have to check my Bulk to make sure they're Truthout's, and usually, they are.

So, they are coming through, but for some reason, are now delegated to the dump.

I will add your Truthout address to my address book to try and correct this problem - nothing for you to do on your end. I just thought that, in light of your message about Microsoft, this was a curious development.

Keep fighting for truth. We activist/bloggers out here fighting to end this war - I'm a Marine mom who's sent three family members to Iraq SIX times - and fighting to bring sanity back to govt can't do it without you guys.

Deanie (TO Reader - Yahoo box holder)

And here are some of the people responsible.......

Brad Smith
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, Legal & Corporate Affairs
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052-6399
Phone: 425-882-8080
Fax: 425-936-7329

Tom Burt
Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Litigation Group
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052-6399
Phone: 425-882-8080
Fax: 425-936-7329


Michael J. Callahan
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Tel: (408) 349-3300
Fax: (408) 349-3301