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What Martial Law in Thailand Means For Freedom of Speech

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 21 2014

Some of the "cute soldiers" on Twitter (Screenshot)

Thailand's military chief declared martial law across the country at 3 a.m. Tuesday, just two weeks after the Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was ousted from her post. Citizens seem to be taking the news in stride, taking pictures of and with the soldiers; there is even a Twitter hashtag that encourages people to post pictures of cute soldiers. However, soldiers have taken over TV and radio stations, and have asked social media sites for assistance censoring inflammatory posts.

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WeGov

Tracking World Leaders' Fluctuating Popularity With Big Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, March 25 2014

Screenshot of GDELT World Leaders Index, March 25, 2014

Every morning, if you so choose, you can wake up to a global world leaders popularity report delivered straight to your inbox, courtesy of the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT). The GDELT World Leaders Index ranks world leaders based on the tone (positive or negative) of global news coverage.

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German Parliament Passes News Licensing Law, but Its Future is Unclear

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, March 1 2013

Protest against licensing law in Berlin (Flickr)

The German Parliament has passed a watered-down version of a government-sponsored proposal that could require some search engines and news aggregators to pay a license fee to republish news content. The bill now goes to the upper house of parliament. And even if it takes effect, it remains unclear how much power and meaning such a law aimed at applying German copyright law to Germany-based websites and services can have given the global nature of the World Wide Web. Read More

[EDITORIAL] How to Understand What the Aurora Shooting Aftermath Says About the News

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 25 2012

On Reddit, eyewitnesses prove they were where they said they were, saw what they said they saw.

It's time to quit all of this wringing of the hands about the "future of news." We're in the damn future of news. People genuinely concerned about its direction ought to cancel their next speaking gig pontificating about that future, whether dystopian or bright, and put their hands instead to shaping it.

There's no better example of the problem and its solutions than the latest round of navel-gazing in the wake of the shootings in Aurora, Colo., late into the night of July 19. What began as an earnest attempt to understand a tragedy and then to parse this country's collective response to it has devolved into just another "journalists vs. bloggers" bull session. It's a false dichotomy, as almost everyone in that argument has already conceded.

Citizen media and "mainstream" media aren't even two sides of the same coin. There is no longer such a thing as "citizen media" or "'mainstream' media," as far as I'm concerned, because each is now such an integral part of the other.

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Another Notch in the Twitter-Breaks-News Belt: Obama's Announcement On Same-Sex Marriage

BY TechPresident Staff | Wednesday, May 9 2012

News travels fast these days. Not only did President Barack Obama's exclusive-to-ABC-News announcement about his, um, evolved position on gay marriage leak ahead of time on Twitter — a sharp-eyed deputy social media editor at Reuters noticed a telling slug in a URL on ABC's website — but the snark cannons had been unloading, full-bore, well ahead of the moment when ABC aired Obama's sit-down interview with Robin Roberts. Read More

What Twitter Won't Tell You About the Election

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 8 2012

A new study released on Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press on Tuesday offers the opportunity to get real about what the political conversation on Twitter and Facebook can — or can't — tell you about the progression of the 2012 political campaign. Pew has found that even among users of Twitter and Facebook, a paltry percentage of people use social networks to get news about politics: Only 24 percent of Twitter users in the sample and 25 percent of Facebook users said they "sometimes" got campaign news through that network, while a full 40 percent of Twitter users in the sample and 46 percent of other social media users reported "never" getting campaign news through either Twitter or Facebook. Read More

Understanding the Staggering Spread of Keith Urbahn's bin Laden Tweet

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 6 2011

SocialFlow's mapping showing the spread of Keith Urbahn's tweet on the killing of Osama bin Laden Keith Urbahn's source tweet on the killing of bin Laden By a quarter to ten last Sunday night, word had gotten out that ... Read More

The State of the News, and News Funding

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 14 2011

The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism finds two major milestones happened in 2010: online beat print as a source for news, and online advertising revenue surpassed print ad revenue. Only thing is, the biggest ... Read More

Real-Time Search and the Glenn Beck News Effect

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, August 30 2010

As I slowly wended my way back from vacation in yesterday, I was struck by the knowledge that while I was relaxing in the regions of Cape Cod where, blissfully, AT&T's cell networks don't reach, Glenn Beck had just ... Read More

WaPo: We're Losing the Brand Wars to Transparency

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 15 2010

The Washington Post's ombudsperson Andrew Alexander has an apology to make. He's super sorry that the Post doesn't do a better job exposing its readers to government data: Read More

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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