Oct 10

Lessig, El Pais, science reporting and Filloux

Occasionally I have to collect a series of bits and pieces into a roundup/catchup because I can’t find a thematic string on which I can thread the beads I’ve collected. This is one of those posts.

  • Of all the media stories across the globe in the past week, the hedge-fund pair who have taken a rescuing and controlling stake in the debt-crippled Prisa group, whose flagship is the Madrid daily El Pais and which operates throughout the Spanish-speaking world, look like the most important. The background history is here and a look at the new owners is here. “Industry agnostic” owners who don’t want to be media moguls have a mixed history with news media. They can be hands-off and allow the talent to flourish. But, because news media isn’t just another business like soap manufacture or semiconductors, hands-off can mean disconnected and under-informed. We’ll see.
  • Whether or not you see “The Social Network”, the movie about the creation (and subsequent lawsuits) of Facebook, read Lawrence Lessig’s reflection on the film.
  • I was on a panel a few months back with the science blogger Martin Robbins. Most of what he said seemed to make sense to me. The other day he wrote a blog post spoofing science reporting which deservedly went viral. This is his more serious – and more useful – follow-up.
  • There was a neatly-angled Monday Note this week from Frederic Filloux comparing the recent dealings of two papers, Le Monde and the Daily Telegraph, with their respective governments over leaks.
  • Lastly, a short shameless blast of the trumpet for my City University colleague Ann McFerran, who last night organised a panel discussion on the lessons of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. If you enjoy reading discussions reported in Twitter fragments, it’s here. Roy Greenslade has summarised the debate here. (Disclosure: both Greenslade and I teach at City).