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  • Aug 05, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    Both sides are guilty and correct

    The Shapira column in the Post actually makes a few interesting points. One, it notes that the Gawker story does a poorer job attributing the original that it should. Second, he correctly observes that the Gawker story pulls more quotes out of the original story than the normal commentary blog post. That being said, Shapira, clearly a conflicted journalist, blames Gawker not so much for stealing eyeballs from his story (he admits that his story got more hits because of the Gawker post), but for not producing enough eyeballs to save an otherwise dying industry. He also blames Gawker and its ilk for diluting the online ad market, which is an argument that holds no water. The argument here isn't who's stealing from whom (no one is shocked at this point that newspaper journalists take stories from online and vice-versa), it's the "ethics" of stealing. How much attribution is necessary? How many quotes are too many quotes to pull from the original story? As blogging becomes, for lack of a better word, more "professional," I suspect that this ethic will harden into a firmer code. Of course, newspapers would love to go back to the days when the only place to receive their content was via their newspaper. That's clearly not going to happen. At the same time, however, bloggers, especially those hoping to elevate the craft, should be weary of this foolish us-versus-them mentality.

  • May 21, 2009 @ 08:17am

    Agreed. Little doubt that this too will prove a failure. The question then is whether there is any mobile TV model that will provide customers what they want - I say mobile in the sense that you can access new content while on the move, not the ability, noted above, to transfer content to a mobile device. A compelling mobile video experience requires three things - decent quality (close to what you can get now via an iTunes download), ability to access content on-demand, and a large amount of available quality programming (i.e., not just two minute throw-away add-ons from the Office).

    I have real doubts that today's current wireless technology can supply all three - at least enough to make it appealing to the masses. Video quality via 3G is fine, but nothing compared to an iTunes download. Video quality is better via Media FLO, but that lacks good on demand capability and it's too expensive. Broadcasters will be offering free mobile TV soon (with better quality), but will the old school linear broadcasting model work in the mobile TV environment?

    I think all of these companies have grossly overestimated the desire for a mobile TV, and lots of companies like AT&T are going to lose millions because of that pie-in-the-sky thinking.

  • Feb 20, 2009 @ 06:46am


    Do they release/leak the shows with embedded commercials? If I were running a TV network, that's how I would work the system. High quality (even HD-quality downloads) with three-four minutes of commercials. I know that will make a lot of folks cringe, but that's a business model networks already stand behind. I'm surprised one of the American networks haven't tried this already.

  • Aug 20, 2008 @ 06:33am

    Settle down kids

    Aren't we overreacting a little bit to a delayed broadcast? While you could question NBC's decision to withhold certain events until primetime, for them, the numbers have worked out spectacularly. In this age of media overabundance, it's remarkable how much unifying attention NBC and the Olympics have gathered. Credit Michael Phelps and the American gymnasts, but you can also credit NBC for ensuring that many of the most anticipated sporting events happened live in American primetime. I'm not sure what this last character is talking about with "spotting spin." NBC has made a killing on these Olympics. If you expect them to change their strategy after Beijing, you will almost certainly be disappointed.

  • Jun 26, 2008 @ 02:24pm

    Two things:

    (1) The new leader of the Democratic party, and possibly our next President, Barack Obama, yesterday announced that he does not support the return of the fairness doctrine: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6573406.html

    (2) In addition to the key points you make, it should also be noted that the Fairness Doctrine simply prevented most broadcasters from ever discussing a controversial subject on the airwaves. Rather than deal with the hassle of finding an "opposing viewpoint," which, as you note, requires a ridiculously simple view of how the world works, most broadcasters just avoided the subjects altogether. It didn't balance the debate. It killed it.

  • May 21, 2008 @ 12:24pm

    Ah, Zota. You were hanging in there for a while.

  • May 21, 2008 @ 12:01pm


    "A greater overall quantity of noise does not equal a more even distribution of information."

    What does this mean? Please expand with specific examples.

    Are you suggesting that our governing bodies do have a firm handle on Internet technology?

  • May 21, 2008 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: clueless in cyberspace

    Wow. The Cock of Lies?

    Have you been talking with my ex-girlfriends?

  • May 21, 2008 @ 11:03am


    Information or data. Either one. When, exactly, do you feel the nation's news and information consumers had it better than they do today?

    Net Neutrality? At this point, I'm agnostic. While I share the concern of proponents who say the last mile holders could use their advantage over access to benefit themselves, I have yet to see any serious moves by those holders (i.e., cable companies and telcos) to cut off end-to-end innovations. Too much Chicken Little talk has clouded the debate. Those companies have a legitimate fear that abusive control will trigger harsh regulation. So for now, they have been mostly hands off.

    On the other side, I am equally fearful that a government unfamiliar with Internet technology will craft rules that do far more harm than good. Draft examples of Net Neutrality bills that have been floated in Congress are dangerously vague. Regulation of this sort is like chemotherapy. You better be damn sure you have cancer before you start the treatment.

    I'd ask you what you think about NN, but I'm pretty sure i can guess.

  • May 21, 2008 @ 10:38am



    At what point in American history do you feel citizens had access to more information than they do today?

  • May 21, 2008 @ 10:34am

    Re: clueless in cyberspace

    This comment is comically paranoid. I can almost see the angst-driven spittle dripping down my screen.

  • May 21, 2008 @ 10:02am



    Well done. And how did you find this information so quickly?

  • May 21, 2008 @ 09:11am

    Re: Expert?

    And here come the knives.

    Let's deconstruct DaveW's comment quickly.

    First, the Web is just a "bunch of opinionators." Nevermind that DaveW has more of an ability to contribute to the debate about media ownership now than he has at any point in American history. In the past, DaveW would have had to read a column by someone like Tim in the newspaper, or a magazine, or watched it on one of his three local channels, and then would have to craft a response, either via pen or his typewriter, and then mail in his letter, hope it doesn't get dismissed by some intern, and possibly make it to air or into print, in order to help influence the debate. Today, DaveW can do all that instantly, from his desk at work between bites of his 11 a.m. peanut butter sandwich. Yes, the Web is a "bunch of opinionators" DaveW. And for once, you can be one of them.

    Second, "actual journalism" comes from "Big Media." Yikes. That's not in the media critic handbook. I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be the opposite, right?

    Third, "media ownership is about local markets, not national statistics." That is, of course, true to a degree. Tim, though, was responding to the "six media companies control your mind" argument, which references the national media marketplace. If it's only about local markets, does that mean if you live in a city that has two daily newspapers, three or four local broadcast stations, and a few Web sites, you needn't worry about the influence of "Big Media?" And which local market exactly are you talking about?

    Finally, Web enterprises don't have the money to commit to large investigative journalism. It's true that news organizations have yet to tip in favor of Web production, and they may not for several years. But it brings up a more important point about investigative journalism. It costs money. It's generally the most expensive kind of reporting. How do regulations that prevent struggling newspapers from purchasing a television station help the quality of investigative journalism? With ad revenue, readership and influence dropping, how are newspapers supposed to fund more investigative journalism? And before you say "produce a better product and I'll read it," note that even the best newspapers in the country are suffering from similar losses. In this age of media overload, quality only gets you so far.

  • May 21, 2008 @ 07:51am

    Look out behind you!

    Uh oh. You can't attack the go-to messaging point of the public interest groups with logic Tim. That just makes too much sense. I love the "six companies own the world" line. It's the first rabbit out of the hat anytime the media critics get onto their soapbox. Ironically, the number one target of those critics, Clear Channel, is nowhere to be found on that list (by some measures, it ranks 16th in largest media companies). Media critics also like to ignore the rampant deconsolidation that continues to take place in the business as companies quickly realize that big isn't always better. The news that Time Warner is spinning off its cable division is just the latest in a series of such stories. But take heed my friend. Logic has never been a proper shield against the thundering horde of hyperbole and bluster.

  • May 21, 2008 @ 07:40am

    Conspiracy theorists unite! BluRay will be "forced" on you? Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration? Already I can purchase HD quality movies via the XBox and AppleTV. I imagine soon enough Amazon's Unbox program will start offering the same (it's only more bits afterall). I watched an Unbox movie on my 47-inch LCD the other day streamed through my Xbox, and it looked great. Not as good as movies played through the BluRay player, but quite good. Hollywood, whoever that term may refer to, should get some credit here for learning from the mistakes of the music industry. While many movies are still not available (it would be great to access episodes of Battlestar, Seasons 2 and 3, online), the Netflix/Amazon/Xbox/AppleTV/Cable On Demand system has come a long way in just the last few years. As those models prove successful, and a better counterpart to P2P downloads, the movie studios will migrate accordingly.

  • May 22, 2007 @ 11:37am


    Like the Fairness Doctrine, this is a call for broadcasting of old -- basically a more direct version of the defunct Financial Interest and Syndication rules that Judge Posner disposed of in 1992. The FCC argued then that the FinSyn rules were necessary to ensure program diversity (basically the same argument independent producers are making today). But Posner, looking at the increasing power of cable as a content producer, dismissed the FCC's argument by noting that for all the significance that the FCC put in the concept of "diversity," it never even took the time to define it. "Stripped of verbiage," Posner said, "the [FCC's] opinion, like a Persian cat with its fur shaved, is alarmingly pale and thin." As a result of that decision, UPN and WB came into being, and Fox significantly increased its programming lineup.

    Make no mistake, this isn't about diversity, no more than it was in 1992. It's about money. Independent producers want unfettered access to the treasure of syndication. But as they did in 1992, they fail to see that times have changed. With the Internet, and the advent of IPTV, their argument is less plausible today than it was in 1992. The persian cat has lost some weight.

  • May 02, 2007 @ 11:01am

    Turning it around

    If XM/Sirius are allowed to merge, should all media ownership rules be thrown out as well?

    Curious about some thoughts.

  • Feb 01, 2007 @ 12:28pm

    Misguided jelousy

    Should we really be criticizing a tax regime that encourages charity? Isn't that the point? Are we concerned that the US goverment is getting enough tax money? Bill Gates, love him or hate him, has now done more to solve world problems than anyone who is complaining on this board. He has also done a remarkable job -- with the help of his wife -- to reinvent the charitable donation process. His contributions, along with those of Buffet and Branson, should be wildly applauded. But someone, namely Ivory Tower professors, will always find a way to nitpick. Bill Gates could throw himself on a grenade to save children in Darfur and someone would accuse him of profiteering. I agree with Carlo. There is no way to properly discount the positive effects of charitable giving.

  • Jan 17, 2007 @ 08:00am

    Fairness Doctrine not Political Advertising

    Just to clarify some misconceptions from earlier comments: The Fairness Doctrine, at least as it existed pre-1987, had nothing to do with providing political candidates equal time to advertise on broadcast television or radio. Those "equal opportunity" laws still exist and are fiercly enforced. It's interesting to see people advocate for a Fairness Doctine as a measure to mitigate "Corporate" influence, but give little or no consideration for its effect on the First Amendment. As much as Kucinich likes to spout off about "conservative" talk radio and its effect on the populace, there is no chance the Fairness Doctrine would stand up in court. I don't like to listen to Sean Hannity either. But the key is, I don't have to. And neither do you.

  • Aug 31, 2006 @ 12:11pm

    Not a cable network

    Although I am usually impressed with the insight of Techdirt comments, this one is inaccurate. MyNetworkTV is not a cable channel. It will reside on several of the broadcast affiliates abandoned by the recent UPN-WB merger of sorts that resulted in the new CW network. The shows "on the cheap" produced for MyNetworkTV are modeled on the wildly popular telenovela style. In fact, the first story on the two shows being broadcast are repeats of stories that were among the most popular in Latin America and elsewhere. Early word is that these shows are being very well received by media buyers and critics. It remains to be seen whether Americans will be willing to keep pace with a primetime show that provides new episodes every night. If one show fails, that's half of the MyNetworkTV lineup. It's a pretty big gamble. Note that because it is on broadcast TV, and not cable, they will be resticted by indecency laws and the sexual content will be relatively tamed.