AP vs. Internet

28 07 2009

Something else I missed while on vacation: The Associated Press is taking a new hard line against unlicensed use of its stories on search engines and Web sites.

Reaction was swift from bloggers, of course. Then the AP granted an interview to CJR business writer Ryan Chittam, who concludes that bloggers are overreacting and that individual bloggers have nothing to worry about.

Danny Sullivan at Daggle, however, points out many unanswered questions, and the AP is not going to answer them for now.

I think the AP is trying to stand on principle while tacitly acknowledging reality. I agree that the Google news page and other giants should pay for news content. I also agree that neither the AP nor other content providers are going to waste legal fees chasing down the millions of individual bloggers who link to their work. I’m not worried for now.  

I would, however, like to see Google, along with major bloggers, work on a solution rather than always opposing AP. Somebody has got to pay for news gathering else we lose it.

Glenn Greenwald, Jay Rosen dig into Froomkin firing

19 06 2009

The Washington Post‘s firing of blogger Dan Froomkin raises very interesting questions of

  • the relationship of traditional media to digital journalism
  • whether they can co-exist
  • the inherent pro-establishment bias of traditional media and the opposite point of view from bloggers 
  • how the Bush administration corrupted and co-opted traditional journalism

This transcript of a conversation between Salon’s Glennn Greenwald and Jay Rosen of NYU’s journalism school, though rambling, digs into the many implications of the Post’s dismissal of the author of washingtonpost.com’s White House Watch blog. (The conversation makes better listening than reading; use the audio link at the upper right.)

Rosen makes clear that this  is not to be understood as a liberal vs. conservative issue. Froomkin has held Obama to the  same standards of accountability that he applied to the  Bush administration. Nor is it about Froomkin’s popularity, as the Post would like to spin it. It’s about the newspaper’s distaste for the look of its own reflection in the mirror Froomkin held up to the Washington establishment. On Bush and so many other matters, Froomkin was right when the Post and all its ballyhooed reporters and columnists were wrong, and the bosses could no longer stand the contrast.