Quick Hits: Old Media Loses Trust in France, OC Register May Go Tabloid and Google Only Spys On You For Nine Months Now

Posted: September 10th, 2008 under Blogging, Digital Migration, google, journalism, Lemmings, new media, Newspaper Deathwatch, Newspapers.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Still up in lovely Point Reyes, decompessing and re-imagining our web presence, so the output here has been seriously cramped.  However, these three little items just beg for notice.

1. We’ve all seen the “MSM sucks, don’t believe what it says” meme gain strength the last few years, flourishing in the fertile soil of talk hate radio hosts, and migrating over to the Kos/Firedoglake end of the spectrum.  Meanwhile, in the developing world countries that I’ve worked in the last few years, the people react with puzzled frowns to the thought that anyone ever would have any sort of uncritical trust in Big Media.  Well, according to the Highway Africa media conference, the 3rd world on the way up countries are starting to really dig the idea of citizen journalists.  Which makes sense, because they have the sad history of governments/revolutionaries, as their first act, seizing the TV/radio stations and firebombing the presses.

(snip)

the power of citizen journalism, in its objective and independent approach, is not to be underestimated.

“We
need occasions where the actor in society gives us a very good insight
on what is going in communities, where journalists cannot be found. 

2.  Responding to “catastrophic” circulation and ad revenue projections, the OC Register, long known as the dysfunctional family of California journalism (i.e. everyone knows Weird Old Uncle Floyd is not to be trusted around children, but nobody talks about it), is reportedly studying the idea, with intentions of perhaps forming a blue-ribbon committee that will issue non-binding recommendations, of maybe perhaps justalittle changing their format from broadsheet to tabloid.

Will wonders never cease?

Other cost-cutting measure being
considered from the team reviews are Monday and Tuesday papers with
fewer pages and self-service advertising options. Horne also says the
paper may cut back on the number of distribution centers it operates,
noting that it recently reduced the outlets from seven to six.



“Studying it and doing it may be two different
things,” Horne stressed about the tabloid change and other moves.
“Every newspaper needs to study driving down costs

3.  And last, for everyone out there who is concerned over those searches that were done … late at night … after a few beers … y’know, just for a hoot … that could be traced back to their IP address … 

…well, you only have to worry for nine months rather than 18.  As part of their “Pay no attention to the all-seeing man behind the curtain” campaign, Google is reducing the latency of their caches of your searches.  They are also supposedly working to “anonymize” the userinfo, although how that’s supposed to help when all Google search&response data goes thru the big computers at the NSA anyway is beyond me.

(Note to all NSA, FBI, ATF & IRS functionaries now tracking me: Just joking. Heh. Really.  I have nothing to hide.  I’m happy that the government is vigilant against evildoers of all stripes, foreign and domestic. Go Team America!)

Nicole Wong, Google’s deputy general counsel, told a meeting of
computer industry privacy experts at Microsoft Corp’s Silicon Valley
offices that her company planned to “anonymize” the computer addresses
of its users more quickly.

“We’re significantly shortening our previous 18-month retention
policy to address regulatory concerns and to take another step to
improve privacy for our users,” Google officials said in a blog post
released Monday night.

(snip)

….until a year-and-a-half ago, Google had kept personally identifiable
information about its Web users on company computers for an indefinite
amount of time.


No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.