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The Apocalypsticle: Better-Than-Nothing Tabloid Journalism or the Plague of New Media?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 25 2014

Kiev, February 18, 2014 (Аимаина хикари/Wikipedia)

The age old truism “A picture is worth a thousand words” is once again up for debate. Sarah Kendzior, writing for Politico, threw down the gauntlet in the article “The Day We Pretended to Care About Ukraine,” in which she criticizes the use of “apocalypsticles” to cover events in Ukraine as mere clickbait. Emily Bell responded in The Guardian, writing that listicles are valuable precisely because they are accessible, and to criticize a media form for catering to non-elites is “perverse.”

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[BackChannel] Why "Viral" Is a Dirty, Dirty Word

BY Allyson Kapin | Wednesday, November 6 2013

There are seven dirty words you can never say on publicly owned TV and airwaves. Every industry has its own taboo words. For Rad Campaign's Allyson Kapin, “let’s make it go viral” will always top the list of the dirtiest words in marketing. Here's why.

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Pranksters Paper the NRCC's Latest New Media Drive

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 8 2012

The National Republican Congressional Committee's latest gambit for media attention involved a live feed of a printer as it churned out paper with the names of people who signed an online petition to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Looks like it may have worked too well. Over at Threat Level, David Kravets writes that pranksters started submitting bogus names ranging from "hello twitter" and "HelpI'mStuckInthisPrinter" to names less printable in family-friendly quarters of the Internet. Read More

Letting You Watch Ink Dry, Latest GOP New Media Strategy, Is Working, Says NRCC

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 7 2012

The National Republican Congressional Committee went live this morning with a video feed of a printer churning out paper copies of petitions signed online in opposition to the Affordable Care Act. As the printer spits out each piece of paper, its own Twitter feed announces when it runs out of toner and mentions signers who have a high Klout score. The whole new-media blitz meant to make the NRCC "first off the block" in the messaging wars over an expected Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care legislation. Read More

In Latest Foray Online, President Obama Will Take Questions From Twitter [UPDATED]

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

Source: askobama.twitter.com On July 6, the President of the United States will answer questions about jobs and the economy selected from those submitted via a Twitter hashtag, the White House announced on Twitter. On a ... Read More

Is Faking a Retweet Parody, or Beyond the Pale?

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 20 2011

The Onion's Baratunde Thurston, a co-founder of Jack & Jill Politics, thinks the Republican Senatorial Committee jumped the shark with a recent Twitter prank. The NRSC's official account posted what looked like a ... Read More

A Good Story Well Told Is a Powerful Thing: Cities and Social Media Edition

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 20 2011

Late last month, some folks in Grand Rapids, Mich. — a city of less than 1 million people — used a well-made viral video to completely change the way the world views their city. Theirs was just one of many ... Read More

Jim Gilliam Explains: 'The Internet is My Religion'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 7 2011

A few minutes ago, Jim Gilliam stood up in front of the crowd of about 900 800 people here at Personal Democracy Forum 2011 and shared a personal story about how the Internet helped him restore his faith — and his ... Read More

Rospars and Slaby Rejoin Obama, But in New Roles for New Media '12

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 29 2011

Note: This post has been updated with details on Rospars and Slaby's roles on the campaign. Joe Rospars in a 2009 photo; photo credit: gooliver The Obama campaign staffed up its new media operation today by hiring on two ... Read More

A Keeper of the List

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, December 17 2010

Here's a bit more on that Sam Graham-Felsen op-ed in the Washington Post, the one on the relationship between Obama and his grassroots base. A Democrat with deep roots in new media suggests that a few lines near the end ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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