Friday, 25 March 2011 | By: Julie

Keep your fiends close and your enemies...shut down

What does The Odyssey has to do with Libya?
Why, then the military intervention of the Alliance in the Arab country has received that name? Maybe the absolutely  illogical procedure that The Pentagon has for operation names is to be blamed. But does a name really matter? Of course it does! Not more than the action itself, but as a reference to a serious conflict, we cannot just use a word combination that “means nothing”. And although there are much more serious problems to worry about now, people are amusing themselves analyzing the name:
I guess this could be quite funny for us as well. But one thing that we pay a bit more attention to is the relationship Libya-Internet. Or maybe I can generalize here and say repressed countries-Internet. Seems that shutting down the Internet is becoming the latest trend in revolutionary countries. Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya, everyone is doing it! Why leaders fear the power of the web? Rebellions do not start online, but obviously what people may say and see on webpages, social networks and global sharing communities is of vital importance. At least for the dictators, who in order to prevent any trouble (on the Internet as well) just prefer to cut the cable.
Col Gaddafi has a history of systematically repressing all kind of media freedom, starting from the closing of his own son’s newspapers, through the arrest of various journalists, to the blocked access to YouTube and other independent sites
Source: Google Transparency report

From the beginning of the unrest of the Arab countries and especially seeing what role did social networks and blogs played in the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, Libyan leader became aware of what might the consequences be for him and hurried up with action.
The uprising in Libya began on the February 16th and after trying to completely ban all the foreign journalists, authorities tried to prevent locals to report the events on the Internet by cutting it off. February 18th is when they literally repeated Egyptian history, shutting down all the servers. Since the country is part of Reporters Without Borders’ list of Internet Enemies 2011: Countries under surveillance, everyone was keeping watch over Gaddafi’s every move. Renesys were the first to confirm the official disconnect and to report live action.
Source:Foreign Policy

Source: Foreign Policy

The desperate situation led hundreds of thousands of people to leave Libya and to try to find refuge in Tunisia or Egypt. There they could tweet their current situation or at least to post some videos of the revolution.
But Internet access was soon improved, traffic resumed to normal and reports showed that the cut-off in question was just a kind of a curfew that wouldn’t harm the domains. Nevertheless social websites as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube remain shut down.
What we should worry about? Stupid names, access to Twitter? Taking into consideration what is happening now in Libya the thing that least matters is Gaddafi’s decision whether or not to block Internet. Yes, world has to know what is going on. But world also has to know there is a war down there. Seeing everyone’s intentions it’s not going to be a short one. Get ready for the Odyssey. 
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 | By: Julie

To buy or not to buy?


I just want to know your opinion on this image.
As you may know, it is the logo of the homonymous campaign.
Monday, 21 March 2011 | By: Julie


Yesterday I read a bunch of letters sent to The Guardian regarding Rupert Murdoch, when I came across this peculiar word. It seems that everybody loves to hate Julian Assange and Rupert Murdoch!
There have been so many talks about Wikileaks, that I consider the topic quite exhausted or at least a bit trite by now. My interest is drawn by the Australian media mogul, who just recently celebrated his 80th birthday.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Murdoch!
Better than ever, that’s how I would describe Murdoch’s current situation in the communication business world. He is close to score the most expensive deal in his career, buying BSkyB network, now officially having the support of Culture Secretary in Britain, Jeremy Hunt. That way not only the presence of News Corp in the British media market will be definitive, but also his political influence in the UK is considered to be alarming. (The Guardian)
Rupert Murdoch knows a lot about newspapers, but he is totally at odds with digital devices. Well known for not using a computer. Nevertheless, he doesn’t want to give up the traditional idea for journalism and applies a new subscription model to his corporation’s online editions of newspapers, in other words – makes people pay for online content. Are we ready for that?
In my opinion, we have to realize something and this is Internet has never been free. That’s to begin with. Despite of the broadband, despite of the growing efforts of numerous people, we still have to pay for Internet access. And if everything is getting digital, well, soon we won’t need to go to the kiosk and buy the news on paper; we are all going to have it on our iPads.
No place for doubts, I totally support the subscription system. In fact, I admire Rupert Murdoch’s efforts. He fights for journalism, he fights for principles and he actually does something about it. Many people say that his only goal is making money and, certainly, he has a pretty big revenue from his television network broadcasting. I don't see anything bad in that. How about the newspapers?
The Wall Street Journal has started their tablet edition subscription in 2009, initially for users of kindles and claimed people actually are interested to pay for content. For the last year, however, their number has increased rapidly to reach 200 000 subscribers, sais publisher Les Hinton. The subscribers pay a $3,99 per week in order to have Journal's iPad app. So yes, it works.
An amusing thing about Australians seems to be they are not very well received whenever around the world they go, but they seem to feel perfectly happy outside their own country. Assange still seeks refuge; Murdoch, after trying to remain in Britain, finds his paradise in the US, where Fox is brought into the world and now conquers it. Another figure that I find really inspiring is the Editor-in-Chief of Dow Jones, Robert J. Thomson, Australian. He revolutionized the online edition of the British Times and also worked in the American Financial Times. Doing a homework, I recently watched a conference he talked on and saying that I was impressed will not be enough. Honestly, he may be working for News Corp, but I doubt that his words are of a man that blindly praises his boss. I leave a couple of videos for you to see.

P.S. While writing this post I wanted to get some more information on Politics on the Internet.
The economist’s article that would have been a great source of analysis is only available for subscribers. Funny, isn’t it? 
Saturday, 12 March 2011 | By: Julie

The Unemployed Factory

A good way to start a blog is to put together some very nice pictures, a video with an amazing experiment that shows future is bright and shiny and that we are the ones to build it. Fantastic!
Journalism students are required to start a weblog in order to practice their skills and what they have learnt in class and to participate in some way in the network of what is now called “citizen” or “participatory” journalism. That is the way to get involved bit by bit in their future profession. Even better!
Now, how about a darker perspective?
I’ve recently visited two conferences that offered an interesting insight on the future of journalism. In the beginning, what experts say is that they are positive about it, regardless to the general public’s claims that the digital era draws aside traditional journalism techniques and professionals.
"El futuro del Periodismo" was a huge bustle, because of the presence of five famous directors. I liked being there, but I cannot say it deserves praising.
Nevertheless, those great people said some things that are worthy of being remembered. For people like us, how want to be journalists.
The development of digital devices is one thing that beyond all question affects the future of journalistic profession, but what really measures the progress of this field is the growth of democracy. This relationship between press and democracy has started long ago and will continue shaping the future understanding of these concepts. The wider the expansion of the borders of democracy, the greater number of people gets to participate in the news making, news reporting and news sharing, an activity that used to be reserved for the professionals in communication. Every time public opinion gets formed further from traditional media sources. Journalists lose power. As simple as that.
The second conference was a part of APM's Laboratorio de Periodismo. It was devastating.
Along with my friend we were probably the only students that assisted this event. The rest of the people were either media and communications professionals, or professors in universities. Their conclusion – it is no use preparing students in universities to be journalists. This profession has no future and the crisis it is experiencing now is far more profound and threatening than the financial crisis we are living in. There are no perspectives for journalism, as we know it. There has to be a new business invented for the new devices, but what is more important, the Faculties of Journalism not only in Spain, but all over the world have to be reduced to the minimum. There is no work in the future for those students and they are ought to have no illusions about becoming journalists or at least to have a work in this field that they will be paid for.
Is this supposed to cheer us up or to give us some motivation?
Are we supposed just to cease our education and go learn how to win money for real?
Personally, I am not a big fan of business and management, so I’m going to go on with my News reporting homework for next week.
How about you?