Blog Archives

What a 21st Century News Ombudsman Should Do: Aggregate, Curate, Debate

It’s time to change the role of the news ombudsman. Two new posts/columns from the people who are best known in this job today prove it. The most recent was a head-scratching query from the New York Times’ Public Editor

Posted in Bad journalism, Principles, Transparency Tagged with:

Wall Street Journal’s (Fail)SafeHouse: Keep Trying

In 2005, intending to innovate, the Los Angeles Times published a “Wikitorial” — an editorial from the paper in a wiki that allowed readers to make changes. The idea was interesting. The execution was a classic in news organization stupidity,

Posted in Privacy, Tools, Transparency

Two Recent WIkiLeaks Books Offers Context and Detail on Controversial Media Innovator

I’ve finished two recent books on WikiLeaks, and can recommend them both. The first is by Micah Sifry, whose work has long been at the cutting edge of the intersection of technology and policy. (Note: He’s a friend.) In his

Posted in Innovation, Transparency Tagged with: , , , ,

Google’s (Partial) Retreat from Open Systems

Google’s “open source” promises regarding its Android mobile operating system have always been a bit exaggerated. Yes, anyone can download and use that software, but to get Google’s official stamp of approval for using it in a mobile device, you

Posted in Tools, Transparency Tagged with: , , , ,

Washington Post’s Transparency Experiment: Labeling Columnists

Give the Washington Post editorial page some credit for labeling its columnists as “left-leaning” and “right-leaning” — it’s an attempt to offer a little truth in labeling. The exercise makes the paper look more silly than transparent, though it nicely

Posted in Transparency

Washington Post Ombudsman Signs Off

Andrew Alexander, the Washington Post’s ombudsman for the past two years, signs off today in a column that expresses great admiration for the institution he has served—and frustration at its failures, which add up to what readers and he agreed

Posted in Transparency

Arizona shootings: Take a slow-news approach

UPDATE Jan. 22, 2012 (Much of this article was originally published on on January 8, 2011, and that article was modified from this section in Mediactive.). Joe Paterno died. No, he didn’t. (Ultimately, yes he did.) The false reports

Posted in Bad journalism, Principles

Fix for anonymous sleaze is in our attitudes, not laws

This article was originally published on on January 5, 2011. It’s vital to protect anonymous speech; start by cleaning up the online cesspools The people who want to control online speech have won some influential allies. New York Times

Posted in Law, Principles

Politicians lie: We know it and we don’t care

This article was originally published on on December 17, 2010. Survey: The public gets that most political ads are bogus, but people still believe things that are false A new study about media misinformation and media users’ ignorance is

Posted in Bad journalism, Principles, Trust

Data Point: Lots of Book Downloads

In the three days since Mediactive was published here in PDF format, about 1,500 visitors here have downloaded the book, and many more have visited the Table of Contents, which connects to the HTML version. Far fewer have purchased the

Posted in Mediactive Book, Mediactive Project, Transparency

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