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my bbc radio jersey appearance: citizen journalism

By on Sep 2, 2009 in BBC, blogging, blogging techniques, citizen journalism, internet libel, journalism, law |

I was on BBC Radio Jersey a couple weeks ago discussing citizen journalism and, in particular, whether bloggers should be allowed to cover government reviews and inquiries. Here's the audio of the interview as it was aired: Download and Listen to mp3

forum for debate on the road to media freedom

By on Apr 29, 2009 in activism, blogging, citizen journalism, conferences/events, headshift, journalism, law | 2 comments

Last week I spoke at the Eurasian Media Forum in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The conference brings together journalists, business leaders, academics and politicians for two days of discussion ranging from news coverage of global events such as the current economic crisis to the implications of the Obama Presidency on East-West relations. It’s a pretty far flung place, but one with a fascinating mix of influences – cultural, economic, political, historical, religious. The conference is hosted by none other than the Daughter of the President, so the security bubble it (rightly) exists within also makes it quite different from most of the conferences I’ve been invited to. I went, at least in part, in the hope that by talking about the tools and techniques of blogging and social media, I could encourage delegates to think about being more open, transparent and direct in their dealings with audiences, consumers and, for the politicians in attendance, the populaces they govern. It was my usual sort of presentation but attendance at my talk was a bit disappointing which I later discovered was because a small scale protest was going on outside the building. Dan Kennedy blogged about that and what happened in the subsequent panel which we both participated in, on his blog Media Nation. Obviously, I can’t profess to have been aware of the protest at the time I was on stage nor could I, as an outsider, ever expect to fully understand it – Central Asia has cultural and contextual differences that can, without a proper analysis, make it hard for Westerners to fully unpick things. What I can say is that the purpose of the conference – creating a broad forum for debate about media, politics, society and business- made it absolutely worth attending. It’s an even more important debate in this region, where many are still trying to figure out exactly where they fit into a world that has changed dramatically around and within them over the past...

privacy alert: google steet view cars in london

By on Aug 1, 2008 in citizen journalism, law, location based services | 2 comments

Following a meeting at the Cabinet Office earlier today, a colleague and I spotted the Google Street View car filming in Whitehall. Google Street View is an extension of the functionality of google maps that lets users see the view they’d get if they were actually walking down a street. Spotting sunbathers, crimes in progress and other goings on within Street View has become a bit of a cult activity. In the UK there’s been a bit of a backlash against Google Street View but, just yesterday, it was given the go-ahead by the Information Commissioner, who had been reviewing the service in light of UK privacy laws and a complaint from Privacy International. In the US, court papers have been released which, critics say, demonstrate "Google’s hypocrisy" after the company claimed that "complete privacy doesn’t exist" – quite the opposite to it’s normal statements that Google "takes privacy very seriously". As for the guy in the Google Street View car, I reckon he’s been photographed before – he didn’t seem to take any notice at all of me standing there snapping...

my slideshow from the press gazette media law conference

By on Jun 25, 2008 in BBC, citizen journalism, conferences/events, internet libel, journalism, law, online community, social software | 1 comment

I’ve uploaded my brief, scene setting presentation from the Press Gazette’s Media Law Conference held today in London: | View | Upload your...

video: behind the scenes at a leading moderation provider

By on Jun 25, 2008 in conferences/events, Data Protection Act, internet libel, journalism, law, online community, social software | 1 comment

This morning I had the pleasure of interviewing Dominic Sparkes*, Managing Director of Tempero, one of the leading online content and community moderation providers. Other UK based moderation providers include ChatModerators and eModeration Ltd. In the video, Dom provides insight into a rarely seen side of community moderation – what sorts of issues potential clients are worried about when they approach Tempero, the training provided to moderators, and things that site owners can do to make the lives of moderators easier: *Disclaimer: Dom and Jasmine Malik, the co-founders of Tempero, were colleagues of mine at Granada (now ITV). I consider them, as well as several of their employees, to be friends. I’ve also had a professional relationship with Tempero as well as ChatModerators and am friends with several people at eModeration Ltd. It’s a small...

press gazette media law conference

By on Jun 24, 2008 in BBC, conferences/events, internet libel, journalism, law, newspapers, online community, social software |

On Wednesday (25 June) I’ll be at the Press Gazette Media Law conference in London, delivering what will be my last conference presentation as a BBC person before I leave (on Friday) to join Headshift. I’m going to be speaking about the sort of risks – primarily, in this instance, legal risks – which arise when news and media organisations encourage or host audience discussion, content submissions and community. You may be surprised: I’ve come up with at least eleven different legal issues that online community managers and social media providers need to be aware of. I’m also going to discuss the different between moderation (policing) and hosting (facilitating), both of which, some solicitors believe, actually increase a website publisher’s exposure to liability for libel. I’ll get my slides up on slideshare as soon as I’ve got better bandwidth than I’m currently getting using a nokia n95 as a bluetooth modem whilst on a train in a 3g wilderness somewhere south of...