Bull
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Like I Said, Aggregation is Plagiarism

File this in the “When things are too much alike department”—and I meant to write this post last week. Better late than never, eh? Scrolling through my RSS feeds on Friday I came upon this Gizmodo story which matters to me: “HBO Is ‘Seriously Considering’ Offering HBO Go Without Cable TV“. Pranav Dixit’s piece provides no real reporting but aggregates from Quartz’s “HBO is now ‘seriously considering’ whether to offer HBO Go without cable TV“.

I recognize there are only so many ways to write a headline with quote “seriously considering”, but c`mon. Aren’t bloggers embarrassed puking out someone else’s digested food? There is something like alien culinary abduction here, and the results are disgusting. How hard would it be to get the quote, rather than lift it from someone else? What if Quart’z John McDuling misquoted (he doesn’t) such that Giz and countless other aggregators regurgitated and the social web smeared it all over their Walls? [Read more]

Post Investigative Report
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Should I Thank Jeff Bezos?

Seven years ago next month our family of three left the D.C. area for San Diego, to be close to my wife’s now 92 year-old dad. We miss Washington, and she still reads the Washington Post but complains about monthly story limits placed on non-subscribers. (The newspaper put up a paywall last year.)

About two weeks ago, we both received email from the Post, offering special all-digital access pricing: $29 for a year. That’s for smartphone, tablet, or the web for two accounts. According to the Post’s subscriber site, the regular web plus mobile subscription is $99 year, while Digital Premium, which adds “unlimited access to all tablet + mobile apps”, is $50 more. So, yeah, $29 is helluva deal, and I signed up—not knowing that is a $120 discount. [Read more]

Circus
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Another Apple Media Circus Begins

The Apple media invites are out today, and I am disappointed to see how effectively the company manipulates the Fourth and Fifth Estates and how willing are they to be led. For the record, I got no invite, nor did I expect one.

To the Apple marketing team, I tip my hat in recognition for job well-done. Please enjoy a well-deserved laugh on me. You earned it. The venue choice already has some blogs and news sites a-going. [Read more]

Stormtroopers
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Twitter betrays You

Today, over at BetaNews, my colleague Mark Wilson asks:
Twitter may be within its rights to block ISIS beheading content, but is it right?” The social service did more—suspending accounts for some users who shared the gruesome video depicting the slaughter of front-line journalist James Foley, who was held in captivity for about two years. Mark writes:

Twitter has a responsibility to allow events to unfold without intervention. The sheer number of people using the site means that it is possible to get a fairly balanced view of what is going on in the world—do a little research and you should be able to find supporters of every side of just about any story or argument. But for this to work, censorship just cannot happen.

I agree but see far darker implications with respect to news reporting. [Read more]

News
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The Difference Between Nixon and Obama News Reporting

The Atlantic offers an astute assessment of Richard Nixon’s media machine and how other presidents adopted or adapted the playbook. The story, one of many during the 40th anniversary year of resignation, is a must-read for journalists, particularly those covering politics.

I am a long-standing critic of the current administration’s aggressive, anti-media tactics. The Nixon and Obama White Houses share in common a general disregard for the Fourth Estate. Interference in the newsgathering process is commonplace and extends beyond the White House. [Read more]