Braindump -owning up to ownership

Marking has done a good job of getting in the way of things – shows up my inability to multi task doesn’t it – but i’ve been storing up one or two bits to go at thanks to Taboo. So here goes a brain dump on the theme of ownership- sorry

In a kind of last-in-last-out thing taboo served up a story I had tabbed about the process of recovering a stolen laptop. One Joey Carenza III has been remote accessing a friends laptop that was stolen and used it to harvest a large amount of data (including screenshots) before the guy worked out how to stop (most of) it. It’s a great story which reminds me of the infamous stolen sidekick story. My favourite part:

That being said, today I found out this guy is: 27, an ex-con, i know his DOB, his mom’s maiden name (thanks e-bay!! – he has been shopping ebay for a police scanner…i wonder why?), he belongs to local sex/date hook up site , his email address, and today i snapped a screen shot so clear, that you can read the lettering on his ink.

Scary, hey!

Whats yours is mine

Perhaps the techno-donkey thief could argue that possession is 9/10th’s of the law. If he was a journalism manager he could be right.  Over at Poynter Christopher ‘Chip’ Scanlan uses his Chip on the shoulder column (see what he did there) to ask who owns the stories that reporters write. Or rather, he asks who should own them: the journalists who produce it or the companies that publish it? So is it what you write or the means for people to access it?

Interesting question. For what it’s worth (insert magical prediction music here) I predict a state of play where journalists are employed on a profit share basis and editors become content agents. Think football without the salaries and a transfer window rather than silly season.

And on the subject of ownership, the idea of who owns local raises it’s ugly head again. The Newspaper Society has announced the imminent publication of its ‘six-figure’ called Local Matters, that will prove that newspapers are the only ones allowed to exploit local audiences, sorry,  help “isolate the real differences in needs, activities and attitudes across the UK, and how local media continues to play a vital role in people’s lives.”

How much of this is about users/audience/local people? Didn’t see any ‘community’ on the list of their recent, by strick invite only, Local matters conference. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of livings at stake here and I realise the Newspaper society is there to help the industry but here is a little hint. Serve the local community properly rather than trying to keep the compatiton out and you may get a bit more loyalty (and business).

Under-fire

Still, perhaps you can’t blame the trad-media (and that is pretty much newspapers these days isn’t it) for being a little defensive.  They’ve been playing by the rules – all be it ones they made up – for years and then others just ignore them, right? Take this from firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher:

“It’s hurting America that journalists consider their first loyalty to be to their subjects, and not to the people they’re reporting for,” she said. Told, for example, that the Times ethics policy states that “staff members should disclose their identity to people they cover (whether face to face or otherwise),” Ms. Hamsher was dismissive. In the context of political reporting, she said, such guidelines are intended to “protect this clubby group of journalists and their high-ranking political subjects, and keep access to themselves.

Ouch! She was responding to the actions of Huffington post journalist Mayhill Fowler in a  NY Times story earlier in the week.

Eyebrows where at full raise over Fowler’s antics at the front of a press scrum which elicited some off colour comments by Bill Clinton. The big problem – she didn’t say she was a journalist – as she told the LATimes:

“Of course he had no idea I was a journalist,” Fowler said by phone from her Oakland home, recalling her close encounter with Clinton for “Off the Bus,” a citizen journalism project hosted by the Huffington Post website. “He just thought we were all average, ordinary Americans who had come out to see him. And, of course, in one sense, that is what I am.

The death of the gentleman

Phrases like deception and dishonesty have crept in to the debate around Fowler’s actions. I think that’s strong. We have a saying in the UK for someone not playing by the rules – it’s just no cricket. It belongs to a time past when only a gentleman had the time to learn and play cricket. So to not follow the rules, well you weren’t being a gentleman.

In so many ways the trad-media is a gentleman’s club playing cricket. But why are they so surprised when no-one else plays by the rules.

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