Digital Media & Ethics : Cases

Notes for discussion – ethics in digital/social media. PPT

Continue reading


Seattle Times To Erect Paywall

Seattle Times executive editor David Boardman has announced that the paper will erect a paywall for non-print subscribers but provided no details. Part of the rationale:

Since The New York Times began charging for full access to its website two years ago, more than 400 daily newspapers across the country — including most in this state — now have digital subscriptions. Full, unrestricted access to their websites is no longer free.

The other part:

Continue reading

More Federally Funded Research To Be Made Freely Accessible

open accessIn response to a We The People petition, the Obama White House has taken another step in the journey to provide open access to publicly-funded research.

Today the Office of Science and Technology directed all federal agencies that manage “more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publically available free of charge within 12 months after original publication.”

The open-access movement is not restricted to the United States, but you could argue that we are not moving as quickly or as radically as other nations. For example, last summer United Kingdom Science Minister David Willetts accepted the recommendations of a task force on open access. The first recommendation (pdf)Continue reading

How Buzzfeed infringes on copyright and TOS

BuzzFeed is (in)famous for its photo gallery stories. A guaranteed click-through engine, but what about the ethics (and legality) of the practice?

Last month, in an article about copyright and photos for PBS MediaShift, I wrote:

In a sponsored post from 2010, BuzzFeed appropriated a copyrighted photo published first on The Daily Mail. The photo on BuzzFeed was cropped to remove the photographer’s ID and copyright line. And someone slightly modified the color of the sky.

Last year, Alexis Madrigal delved into BuzzFeed’s practice of lifting photos from the web. BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti argued “fair use”:

But it’s not just sponsored posts (aka ads). It’s regular “stories” too, as this deconstruction shows.

Just say no to Buzzfeed. And for the sake of all that is holy, don’t share posts like these. It’s a corrupt business model. (We can talk about the Imgur and Tumblr business models another day.)

Continue reading

Atlantic president Scott Havens memo on Scientology advertorial “screw-up”

atlantic scientology memoJim Romensko published an internal memo from The Atlantic regarding the publishing — then retraction — of “sponsored content” from The Church of Scientology.

The link to that memo on is currently 404 (file not found). Here is a screen capture from Jim’s home page and a copy/paste of the memo after the jump.

Continue reading