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Truthdig Launches ‘Global Voices’ To Showcase International, Female Journos

truthdig2This week, Truthdig launched an initiative to showcase international female journalists. Global Voices will allow the selected journalists to regularly report on breaking news and issues from their country, filling both the gender gap and the kinds of international news missing from some mainstream news sites.

The project is in collaboration with the International Women’s Media Foundation and funded in part by the NoVo Foundation Fund at Tides Foundation. If you’re feeling generous, you can also make a tax deductible donation to support them at the Truthdig Fund at Tides. The journalists currently featured have all been recognized by the IWMF with awards in the past, and they are all a dedicated, pretty hardcore crew; they’ve all been shot at, jailed, or persecuted in the name of journalism.

Truthdig publisher Zuade Kaufman has said that they envision Global Voices as a forum to gain perspective. From the release:

We envision a wide range of reporting through this project. We may choose an issue that affects many countries and ask reporters to provide a view from their region. For example, today’s major economic transformation fueled primarily by a female labor force is causing radical societal changes in many countries, rewriting thousands of years of family and village histories. This is a great human rights story and one that has barely been reported. We also expect to publish highly individual stories in which a reporter will write about an issue that particularly affects her country or a commentary on a subject in which she has expertise or a particular interest.

The vertical will also act as a mentoring program “in which the selected journalists will guide younger reporters in their countries.”

You can find a list of the current Global Voices writers here and follow them @Truthdig.

Tow Center Gets Knight Support For ‘Journalism After Snowden’ Initiative

02a02a5a-c755-4650-a2b8-47fffbc0af8b_170x255Mass surveillance is a big deal, and Columbia’s Tow Center wants to ensure the issue gets the attention it deserves. The Journalism After Snowden project just got a boost worth $150,000 from the Knight Foundation, which will allow the Tow Center to explore how journalism will function in the age of surveillance.

The initiative supports a yearlong series of events and research articles in conjunction with the Columbia Journalism Review.

An #AfterSnowden event will convene in San Francisco on June 18, complete with solutions and best practices for addressing source protection and other issues in the current surveillance state. Plus, Edward Snowden colleague and The Intercept journalism Glenn Greenwald will round out the event with a presentation on his NSA surveillance reporting (consider brushing up on your Greenwald knowledge with an extensive piece I wrote after his SXSW talk earlier this year).

In a blog post for the Knight Foundation, Tow Center Research Fellow Jennifer Henrichsen and Research Director Taylor Owen wrote a fascinating explanation of the challenges set before us:

“Metadata can reveal journalists’ sources without requiring officials to obtain a subpoena. Intelligence agencies can tap into undersea cables to capture encrypted traffic. Mobile devices, even when powered off, can be remotely accessed to record conversations,” the two wrote.

Read more

New Study Finds That the Internet Didn’t Kill Newspapers

moneyvortex.jpgA new study done by University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business professor Matthew Gentzkow finds that the Internet did not kill the newspaper industry. It was cellphones.

I jest. Even though it sounds like the (very) first draft of an Onion article,  it’s apparently real.  Here’s the deal: we usually say that the internet killed our old business model because of advertising revenue. Gentzkow shows that it’s a bit of a fallacy — people spend more time looking at advertisements online, too. From Booth’s release on his study:

“This perception that online ads are cheaper to buy is all about people quoting things in units that are not comparable to each other—doing apples-to-oranges comparisons,” Gentzkow says. Online ad rates are typically discussed in terms of “number of unique monthly visitors” the ad receives, while circulation numbers determine newspaper rates… By comparing the amount of time people actually see an ad, Gentzkow finds that the price of attention for similar consumers is actually higher online. In 2008, he calculates, newspapers earned $2.78 per hour of attention in print, and $3.79 per hour of attention online. By 2012, the price of attention in print had fallen to $1.57, while the price for attention online had increased to $4.24.

There’s also his findings that people were actually starting to lose interest in newspapers in the 1980′s, long before signing into AOL’s walled garden of news was a consumer habit. You can read his published paper “Trading Dollars for Dollars: The Price of Attention Online and Offline.” at the American Economic Review. Pay per view options are available for non-subscribers.

Consider my mind blown.

Seize Your Moment, Trolls: It’s Time to Pay Attention to Net Neutrality

I would have bet that John Oliver could make net neutrality interesting (the bit with OITNB and the mob shakedown might be my favorite part), but I was surprised that his monologue resulted in a temporary breakdown of the comment system over at the FCC by the internet commenting “monsters.”

And thank goodness for those monsters — they’re loud, annoying, and have more than enough time to watch CSPAN and read transcripts of FCC hearings on the open internet. They’re piggish, perhaps, but they are (sometimes, always when it comes to their internet connection) informed. Read more

Vice and Gawker Play Dirty, But Reveal A Lot About Today’s Media

gawkers-latest-trendy-web-metric-branded-trafficYou’ve probably already seen the piece Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan wrote last Friday, “Working at Vice Media Is Not As Cool As It Seems,” a report riddled with accusations of dismal (really, just insulting) staff salaries and allegations of shady business practices at the new media company, based on dozens of anonymous interview sources claiming to be current or former Vice employees.

Nolan laid out points like this:

One intern two years ago was excited to receive a full time position—until the company offered him a salary of $20K. Employees who have worked there full time within the past two years say that salaries well under $30K are routine for “producers.”

And this:

Quite a few [employees] scoffed at Shane Smith’s assertions in an interview earlier this year that “we don’t do branded content, we do content sponsored by brands,” and that “No programming has ever been edited for a sponsor.”

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