Citizen Media Watch

januari 7th, 2007

Blogger urges Swedish police to go 2.0

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

StationsvaktSwedish blogger Johnny at Stationsvakt has an idea for how the Swedish polce could use web2.0 to catch more criminals.
Johnny brings up the example of a recent news story about a youth assaulting a middle-aged man. The event was filmed by a cellphone, and the video clip ended up on YouTube, possibly posted by the perpretrator himself, according to Expressen.
The youth is still on the run, and the police asks for the help of the general public to catch him. YouTube is becoming a source for the police to solve crime, according to the article.
Here’s where Johnny’s suggestion comes in. He wants a web page where people can collaborate to help solve crime. A page where the police can post descriptions of wanted people, of crimes, and add contact details of which police office to contact. He also thinks it would be good to have a section where ordinary people could describe crimes they had been victims of, how the perpetrators looked, and who to contact. My translation:

I don’t know how to make a web page. But there are many who do. You can see that not least looking at the many web 2.0 sites popping up. It could be financed by ads. I think that such a page would be both useful and successful.


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januari 7th, 2007

Yet another YouTube clone in Sweden

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Ladda upp tvThey are popping up with increasing frequenzy, the Swedish answers to YouTube. Not long after FejmTv, which quickly became a success, and Aftonbladet’s Klipptoppen, MTG-owned ZTV joins the trend with ”Ladda upp tv” (upload tv). The difference between ”Ladda upp tv” and for instance FejmTv will be the focus on young talent, says ZTV CEO Caroline Karlsson to Dagens Media (my translation).

Uploaded clips that are good enough will be shown on tv.
[…]
Web and tv becomes one, that’s the future and the question is more about which medium fits which material the best. For our target audience, the internet is an important medium.

Ladda upp tv is pretty much all over the beta version of ZTV’s new site, the full version of which will launch in 38 days.
ZTV also has a video casting for people who want a job at the tv channel. They encourage you to send in your video clip applying for the job. Notably, one of the competitors, Ola Lustig, is also one of the finalists for Aftonbladet TV7‘s weather presenter job. Yep, there’s definitely a future in tv for this guy, somewhere or other.


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januari 7th, 2007

"Gatekeeping is over" – new wiki enables anonymous leaks

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

WikiLeaks websiteA new wiki is being set up by Chinese dissidents in collaboration with mathematicians and startup company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa. WikiLeaks will become ”an uncensorable version of wikipedia”, according to the site.
The objective is to provide a place where people in oppressed regimes can leak documents without getting caught, thus promoting democracy. This will be accomplished by the use of anonymity and encryption.

The power of principled leaking to embarrass governments, corporations and institutions is amply demonstrated through recent history. Public scrutiny of otherwise unaccountable and secretive institutions pressures them to act ethically. What official will chance a secret, corrupt transaction when the public is likely to find out? What repressive plan will be carried out when it is revealed to the citizenry, not just of its own country, but the world? When the risks of embarrassment through openness and honesty increase, the tables are turned against conspiracy, corruption, exploitation and oppression.

But WikiLeaks isn’t restricted to leaks about oppressive regimes.

WikiLeaks will be the outlet for every government official, every bureaucrat, every corporate worker, who becomes privy to embarrassing information which the institution wants to hide but the public needs to know. What conscience cannot contain, and institutional secrecy unjustly conceals, WikiLeaks can broadcast to the world.

But how could it possibly be used as a journalistic tool? How does a journalist verify that the information is correct, that the documents come from where it’s said they are from? This could indeed become an efficient tool – for spreading misinformation and rumours. Though the documents are supposed to be scrutinized by the public, it is not necessarily so that the public knows much about the exact things being leaked – if they did, there would be little point leaking them.
Here’s what the site FAQ has to say on the issue.

WikiLeaks opens leaked documents up to a much more exacting scrutiny than any media organization or intelligence agency could provide: the scrutiny of a worldwide community of informed wiki editors.
[…]
If a document is leaked from the Chinese government, the entire Chinese dissident community can freely scrutinize and discuss it; if a document is leaked from Somalia, the entire Somali refugee community can analyze it and put it in context. And so on.

Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy has some objections against the project:

In the absence of accountable editorial oversight, publication can more easily become an act of aggression or an incitement to violence, not to mention an invasion of privacy or an offense against good taste.

”As we saw with the Saddam hanging video this week, gatekeeping is over”, responds Martin Stabe, and continues:

There is no way to require “accountable editorial oversight” as a barrier to entry to the public sphere anymore — a determined leaker will find a way to publicise their material online. But that doesn’t mean a responsible journalist has to cooperate with a project that carries a high risk of being used irresponsibly and seems to abdicate all responsibility for the actions of its users.


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januari 7th, 2007

Newsrooms posing the wrong question?

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

An interesting post by Steve Yelvington highlights some of the questions newsrooms are posing – and should be posing – today. In a discussion about, among other things, open and closed systems and journalism for a new generation of non-seekers, Yelvington lands at:

Thanks to investor Bruce Sherman’s meddling in the newspaper business, suddenly America’s newsrooms are acutely aware that the world has changed, and there’s a broad debate about what it all means.

One of the recurring themes: What will be the economic foundation that will support serious professional journalism in the future?

What if that’s the wrong question?

What if the right question is: What does an open journalism company look like? How does it work? Because if traditional journalism is a closed system, it’s going to be clobbered by an ”OK” open system. How can we make that open system ”good enough?”

Check out the full story for the reference for ”OK open systems”.


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