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July 26 2011

05:55

News of the World: final hours - Paul McNamara, former defense editor

New York Times :: News of the World hacked the phones of a murdered teenager, the victims of the 7/7 London bombings and possibly soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was on a 410-foot-long British Navy warship that was firing missiles into Libya, covering the war for News of the World. I called my boss. “It couldn’t be much worse, son,” he said. “Get home." - I went back.

[Paul McNamara:] News of the World has become an international punch line — but I grew up with it ...

Paul McNamara was formerly the defense editor of News of the World.

Continue to read Paul McNamara, www.nytimes.com

July 20 2011

09:08

Piers Morgan's statements as a staunch defender of Murdoch: "management failings"

AdWeek :: Rupert Murdoch has an increasingly outspoken defender on TV: Piers Morgan. After a week of relative silence on the subject of the ballooning hacking scandal, the CNN primetime host and one-time Murdoch tabloid editor has taken to the airwaves as a staunch champion of the Murdochs and their associates. 

[Piers Morgan:] I don’t think to any neutral observer, that Rupert Murdoch had any personal  knowledge of what was going on with this phone hacking. Or James Murdoch for that matter, or Rebecca Brooks. ... What you have seen are clearly management failings, in how they controlled this story when it first came up….

Rupert Murdoch made Piers Morgan the youngest editor in Fleet Street, when he was 28 years old. As Morgan points out he knows that he owes Murdoch a lot. "I wouldn’t probably be here (at CNN) without his help." Would probably be odd for him not to comment on a story so near to him, even as a CNN host.

Continue to read D.M. Levine, www.adweek.com

July 18 2011

14:32

Guardian Poll: Which questions do Rebekah Brooks, James and Rupert Murdoch need to answer?

Guardian :: Ahead of Tuesday's hearing with the key players in the phone hacking saga, the Guardian want to know which questions you think are the most important for MPs to ask. Nick Davies has his suggested line of questioning here. Sunday's editorial in the Observer posed a number of questions, MP Tom Watson has been crowdsourcing questions from the public via Twitter, and our own readers have been posting questions on our phone hacking live blog, and on our Facebook page this morning.

Continue to read Hannah Waldram, www.guardian.co.uk

06:04

A Scotland Yard commissioner resigned and Rebekah Brooks was arrested - what Murdoch faces now

New Yorker :: Now that a very large apple, Rebekah Brooks, has been arrested, it is clear that it is the entire barrel that is rotten. Since many editors had to have known of the illegal hacking, and many people on the business side would have had to sign off on large, illegal payments to the police for information, more apples will drop in coming days. And not only at News Corp.: Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, resigned Sunday. The best public-relations advice in the world will not help contain what is, for Murdoch, a spreading contagion that is no longer confined to London.

Continue to read Ken Auletta, www.newyorker.com

July 17 2011

16:09

Rebekah Brooks arrested over phone-hacking allegations

Guardian :: Rebekah Brooks has been arrested by police investigating allegations of phone hacking by the News of the World and allegations that police officers were bribed to leak sensitive information. Spokesman for Rebekah Brooks says she did not know she was going to be arrested when she handed in her resignation

Continue to read Vikram Dodd | Juliette Garside, www.guardian.co.uk

July 15 2011

21:16

Les Hinton, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, says he is resigning

New York Times :: Les Hinton, the chairman of Dow Jones, announced his resignation on Friday, joining Rebekah Brooks, the embattled chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper operations, in the exodus of top officials from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Mr. Hinton, a long-time confidant of Mr. Murdoch, ran News International, the British publishing subsidiary of Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation from 1997 to 2005, during the time when the phone hacking that touched off the scandal took place. 

Continue to read blogs.nytimes.com

12:20

Rebekah Brooks's resignation letter: "Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones"

Rebekah Brook resigned over phone-hacking scandal today. The Guardian published the open letter she wrote to inform staff that she was stepping down. This time Rupert and James Murdoch accepted her resignation.

Guardian Rebekah Brooks's resignation letter. How News International's chief executive informed staff she was stepping down

[Rebekah Brooks:] At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones. The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk.

Continue to read the entire letter here www.guardian.co.uk

July 11 2011

04:38

NOTW staff: final crossword with a message to Rebekah Brooks, but rage is not an option

The Telegraph :: A source at the News of the World told the DailyMail that Rebekah Brooks had ordered two loyal Sun journalists to comb the papers looking for tricks. They said: "Rebekah tried everything to stop the staff having the last word and she utterly failed." She brought in two very senior Sun journalists to go though every line on every page with a fine tooth comb to ensure there were no libels or any hidden mocking messages of the chief executive. They seemed to have failed. Departing staff at the News of the World appear to have sent a parting message of disgust to former editor Rebekah Brooks in the crossword.

Taking revenge has never been a good strategy, although it's understandable. I hope that there will a process of coming to terms with the phone hacking scandal; a further investigation into who was responsible for what and what lead to such a decline that the most important principles of reporting were neglected.

Continue to read Raf Sanchez, www.telegraph.co.uk

July 10 2011

16:03

Phone hacking and News of the World: Rupert Murdoch has taken risks too far

Guardian :: The advertiser boycott of the News of the World grew and grew recently. It wasn't a question of who would be pulling their ads any longer, more of whether anybody would dare to take space. 

[Peter Preston:] Didn't Rupert (Murdoch) traditionally ring up the News of the World editor every Saturday afternoon and ask "What have you got"? Did he never go on to inquire where it came from, then? How could Rebekah Brooks, NOTW chief executive have been unaware of her whole show going off the rails?

There is a risk that the destruction of the News of the World in a mushroom cloud of contrition, doesn't work for the Rupert Murdoch's news empire. Will it ease the pressure and let News Corp get back to making pots of money from movies and television? That's what an increasingly restive board in New York, flanked by an even more restive array of corporate shareholders, will be hoping. But it's very hard to see that happening. 

Continue to read Peter Preston, www.guardian.co.uk

July 08 2011

20:10

On itnnews - James Murdoch "regrets" phone hacking scandal

itnnews:: News Corp boss James Murdoch has said he regrets the phone hacking scandal that has led to the closure of the News of the World. Watch the video below.

Original video published here itnnews channel, www.youtube.com

14:00

This Week in Review: What Google+ could do for news, and Murdoch’s News of the World gets the ax

Every Friday, Mark Coddington sums up the week’s top stories about the future of news.

Google’s biggest social effort yet: This is a two-week edition of This Week in Review, so most of our news comes from last week, rather than this week. The biggest of those stories was the launch of Google+, Google’s latest and most substantial foray into the social media landscape. TechCrunch had one of the first and best explanations of what Google+ is all about, and Wired’s Steven Levy wrote the most comprehensive account of the thinking at Google behind Plus: It’s the product of a fundamental philosophical shift from the web as information to the web as people.

Of course, the force to be reckoned with in any big social media venture is Facebook, and even though Google told Search Engine Land it’s not made to be a Facebook competitor, Google+ was seen by many (including The New York Times) as Google’s most ambitious attempt yet to take on Facebook. The design looks a lot like Facebook, and pages for businesses (like Facebook’s Fan Pages) are on their way.

Longtime tech blogger Dave Winer was unimpressed at the effort to challenge Facebook, and Om Malik of GigaOM said Facebook has nothing to be afraid of in Google+, though All Facebook’s Nick O’Neill said Google+’s ubiquity across the web should present a threat to Facebook.

But the biggest contrast people drew between Google+ and Facebook was the more intuitive privacy controls built into its Circles feature. Ex-Salon editor Scott Rosenberg wrote a particularly thoughtful post arguing that Google+ more accurately reflects social life than Facebook: “In truth, Facebook started out with an oversimplified conception of social life, modeled on the artificial hothouse community of a college campus, and it has never succeeded in providing a usable or convenient method for dividing or organizing your life into its different contexts.” His thought was echoed by j-prof Jeremy Littau (in two posts) and the Guardian’s Dan Gillmor.

Google’s other ventures into social media — Buzz, Wave, Orkut — have fallen flat, so it’s somewhat surprising to see that the initial reviews for Google+ were generally positive. Among those enamored with it were TechCrunch’s MG Siegler, ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick, social media guru Robert Scoble, and the Huffington Post’s Craig Kanalley (though he wondered about Google’s timing). It quickly began sending TechCrunch loads of traffic, and social media marketer Chris Brogan brainstormed 50 ways Google+ could influence the rest of the web.

At the same time, there was some skepticism about its Circles function: TechCrunch’s Siegler wondered whether people would use it as intended, and ReadWriteWeb’s Sarah Perez said they might not be equipped to handle complicated, changing relationships. In a smart piece, marketing exec A.J. Kohn said Circles marks an old-fashioned form of sharing. GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram, meanwhile, said Circles look great, but they aren’t going to be much use until there’s a critical mass of people to put in them.

Google+ and the news: This being a journalism blog, we’re most interested in Google+ for what it means for news. As Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman pointed out, the aspect of Google+ that seems to have the most potential is its Sparks feature, which allows users to collect recommended news around a specific term or phrase. Former New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee said Sparks could fill a valuable niche for news organizations in between Facebook and Twitter — sort of a more customizable, less awkward RSS. The University of Missouri’s KOMU-TV has already used it in a live broadcast, and Breaking News’ Cory Bergman gave a few valuable lessons from that organization’s first week on Google+.

CUNY j-prof Jeff Jarvis gave his thoughts on a few potential uses for news: It could be very useful for collaboration and promotion, but not so much for live coverage. Journalism.co.uk’s Sarah Marshall listed several of the same uses, plus interviewing and “as a Facebook for your tweeps.” Sonderman suggested a few changes to Google+ to make it even more news-friendly, including allowing news org pages and improving the Sparks search and filtering. Still, he saw it as a valuable addition to the online news consumption landscape: “It’s a serendipity engine, and if executed well it could make Google+ an addictive source of news discovery.”

A bit of Google+-related miscellany before we move on: Social media marketer Christopher Penn gave some tips on measuring Google+, author Neil Strauss condemned the growing culture of Facebook “Likes” (and now Google +1s), and GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram offered a rebuttal.

Murdoch kills News of the World: In one of the most surprising media-related moves of the year, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. suddenly shut down one of its most prominent properties, the 168-year-old British tabloid News of the World, on Thursday. The decision stemmed from a long-running scandal involving NotW investigators who illegally hacked into the phones of celebrities. This week, the Guardian reported that the hacking extended to the voicemail of a murdered 13-year-old girl and possibly the families of dead soldiers, and that the paper’s editor, Rebekah Brooks (now the head of News Corp. in Britain) was informed of some of the hacking.

Facing an advertising boycott and Parliamentary opposition, Murdoch’s son, James, announced News of the World will close this weekend. (The Guardian has the definitive blow-by-blow of Thursday’s events.) It was a desperate move, and as the New York Times, paidContent, and many on Twitter noted, it was almost certainly an attempt to keep the scandal’s collateral damage away from Murdoch’s proposed BSkyB merger, which was put on hold and possible in jeopardy this week.

Though the closing left hundreds of suddenly out-of-work employees, it may prove less damaging in the big picture for News Corp. than you might expect. NotW only published on Sundays, and it’s widely suspected that its sister tabloid, the Sun, will simply expand to include a Sunday edition to cover for its absence. As one Guardian editor stated, the move may simply allow News Corp. to streamline its operation and save cash, and Poynter’s Rick Edmonds called it a smart business move. (Its stock rose after the announcement.)

There’s plenty that has yet to play out, as media analyst Ken Doctor noted: The Guardian pointed out how evasive James Murdoch’s closing letter was, and Slate’s Jack Shafer said the move was intended to “scatter and confuse the audience.” Brooks, the one that many thought would take the fall for the scandal, is still around, and the investigation is ongoing, with more arrests being made today. According to The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta and CUNY’s Jeff Jarvis, though, the buck stops with Rupert himself and the culture he created, and the Columbia Journalism Review’s Ryan Chittum said the story has revealed just how cozy Murdoch is with the powerful in the U.K.

Making journalism easier on Twitter: Twitter has been reaching out to journalists for quite some time now through a media blog, but last week it took things a step further and launched Twitter for Newsrooms, a journalist’s guide to using Twitter, with tips on reporting, making conversation, and promoting content. The Lab’s Justin Ellis gave a quick glimpse into the rationale behind the project.

A few people were skeptical: TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis suspected that Twitter’s preaching to the choir, arguing that for the journalists who come across Twitter for Newsrooms, Twitter already is a newsroom. The Journal Register’s Steve Buttry called it “more promotional than helpful,” and suggested some other Twitter primers for journalists. Ad Age’s Matthew Creamer added a tongue-in-cheek guide to releasing your anger on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Lab’s Megan Garber reported on the ideas of NPR and Andy Carvin for improving Twitter’s functionality for reporting, including a kind of real-time influence and credibility score for Twitter sources, and a journalism-oriented meme-tracking tool for developing stories.

Mobile media and tablet users, profiled: There were several studies released in the past two weeks that are worth noting, starting with Pew’s report on e-reader and tablet users. Pew found that e-reader ownership is booming, having doubled in six months. The Knight Digital Media Center’s Amy Gahran reasoned that e-readers are ahead of tablets right now primarily because they’re so much cheaper, and offered ideas for news organizations to take advantage of the explosion of e-reader users.

Three other studies related to tablets and mobile media: One study found that a third of tablet users said it’s leading them to read print newspapers and magazines less often; another showed that people are reading more on digital media than we think, and mostly in browsers; and a third gave us more evidence that games are still king among mobile apps.

Reading roundup: Bunches of good stuff to look through from the past two weeks. I’ll go through it quickly:

— Turns out the “digital first” move announced last month by the Guardian also includes the closing of the international editions of the Guardian and Observer. Jeff Jarvis explained what digital first means, but Suw Charman-Anderson questioned the wisdom the Guardian’s strategy. The Lab’s Ken Doctor analyzed the economics of the Guardian’s situation, as well as the Mail and the BBC’s.

— This week in AOL/Huffington Post news: Business Insider revealed some leaked lackluster traffic numbers for Patch sites, and reported that Patch is undergoing a HuffPo-ization. That prompted Judy Sims and Slate’s Jack Shafer to be the latest to rip into Patch’s business model, and Shafer followed up to address rebuttals about non-Patch hyperlocal news.

— Google+ was the only interesting Google-related news over the past two weeks: The Lab’s Megan Garber wrote about Google’s bid to transform mobile ads, potential new directions for Google News, and Google highlighting individual authors in search returns. The New York Times’ Virginia Heffernan also wrote on Google’s ongoing war on “nonsense” content.

— A couple of paywall notes: The Times of London reported that it has 100,000 subscribers a year after its paywall went up, and Dorian Benkoil said the New York Times’ plan is working well, the Lab’s Megan Garber wrote about the Times adding a “share your access” offer to print subscribers.

— Three practical posts for journalists: Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman has tips for successful news aggregation and personalized news delivery, and British j-prof Paul Bradshaw reported on his experience running his blog through a Facebook Page for a month.

— And three bigger-picture pieces to think on: Wetpaint’s Ben Elowitz on the shrinking of the non-Facebook web, former Guardian digital editor Emily Bell on the U.S.’ place within the global media ecosystem, and Paul Bradshaw on the new inverted pyramid of data journalism.

10:45

After the end of News of the World: who will pay the bill? - Shocked, angry, the employees

New York Times When the chief executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks, walked onto the floor of the News of the World newsroom on Thursday afternoon and began speaking, many of the paper’s 200 or so employees thought she would be announcing her resignation after scrutiny of her role in the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked Britain this week.

But instead, according to reporters present at the speech, Ms. Brooks told the gathered crowd that she and others at News International, part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, “had considered every option” before deciding that the public would “never forgive us”... . But The News of the World would be closed down. ... 

Continue to read Ravi Somaiya, www.nytimes.com

July 07 2011

19:53

Nick Davies on phone hacking, Murdoch and News of the World: it is a story about the power elite

Guardian :: The News of the World, or NOTW, is to close, James Murdoch has announced.  It follows a series of revelations that the paper illegally hacked into phones, and amid calls for Rebekah Brooks to resign. In this video from The Guardian the investigative journalist Nick Davies talks on how the phone-hacking scandal has escalated, leading to News of the World's announced closure.

[Nick Davies at 09:19, video below] To me it is not a story about a journalist behaving badly. It is a story about the power elite. It is about the most powerful news organization in the world. It is about the most powerful police force in the country. It is about the most powerful party in the country and for good measure it is about the press complaints commission. And about they all spontaneously colluded together, to make everybody's life easier. About the way the casually assumed that the law didn't apply to them ...

Nick Davies is a British investigative journalist, writer and documentary maker. He has written extensively as a freelancer, as well as for The Guardian and The Observer, and been named Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards.[Source: Wikipedia]

Published on Thursday 7 July 2011

Original post - video here Cameron Robertson and Anne Backhaus, www.guardian.co.uk

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