Archive for January, 2010

Google threat genuine move

Posted on January 23, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has been the latest to support Google’s threat to pull out of China, sparking anger in Chinese state-run media.

I asked social media commentator and Birmingham City University journalism lecturer, Paul Bradshaw how genuine he thought Google’s move was.

“I think it’s a genuine move, that’s quite obvious by now,” he said.

” If it was a PR move, they would have talked about it and might not have done anything, but they acted very quickly. They’ve  been very clear that they feel quite strongly about this, which is quite surprising, considering some of the things they’ve done before.”

Paul said the company was being brave by serving unfiltered search options, which directly challenge its agreement with China. He said Google is, in some ways, honouring on its original aim in China, to unlock information.

“Effectively they’ve got themselves in a position where they can do this, and make more of an impact than if they had of just refused to go into china in the first place,” he said.

“That’s probably a happy result that wasn’t planned in the first palce, but it is certainly convenient now.”

Paul said Chinese internet users may now be more aware of the extent of internet censorship in their country as a result of Google’s protests.

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Google to leave China?

Posted on January 16, 2010. Filed under: Freedom of information, Google, media |

Google’s recent threat to withdraw from China over the alleged hacking of human rights activists’ emails raises many questions about the role of the search engine giant in the free flow of information.

The company was accused of abandoning it’s ethical ethos in 2006 when it agreed to operate a censored service in China. However it did state it would reassess its policy if it couldn’t meet its objectives  of broadening the freedom of information for Chinese citizens:

“We will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services,” it said.

If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China.”

Google now states it will not continue to operate a censored service in China, and if it cannot operate an uncensored service, it will withdraw its business.

Is this proof of the company’s commitment to the freedom of speech or part of a wider business plan?

Where will Google’s withdrawal leave its Chinese users, and what will it mean for the future of information accessibility in China?

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New Media in 2010

Posted on January 11, 2010. Filed under: media, Twitter |

While journalists’ use of social and new media is now little more than standard, it is interesting to remember that at the beginning of last century, even email was  relatively cutting edge.

Can we predict how the media will change this decade or have we already seen the most significant changes?

According to Jeff Jarvis 2010 will be the year that new media finally eclipses the old. asked some of the experts in the field for their predictions on how new media will change in 2010. While Gary Hayes has made a useful widget with a similar theme.

These are probably some of the more significant events in the growth of social and new media over the last decade:

  • The growth of mobile phones as cameras. In 2003 the media published some of the first pictures taken on mobile phones submitted by the public at the mass anti-Iraq war demonstrations. In 2004, some of the most vivid and haunting images of the devastating 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami were taken on mobile phone cameras and in 2005 pictures eye-witness photographs of the London bombings were captured with the same tool. With almost all mobiles now equipped with cameras a large number of the world’s population is a possible citizen journalist.
  • Facebook – launched in 2006 by then Havard student Mark Zuckerberg, it now has more than 350 million worldwide users and has been the subject of more than a little controversy. Recently a Dutch media group has launched a social media suicide application to allow people to ride themselves of their parasitic addictions and young people are being increasingly warned of the potential dangers of social media. Zuckerberg spoke to the people at Mashable about his site and privacy.
  • Twitter – launched in 2006 and now has over 44 million users, with favourite twitters from celebrities to presidents and certain Prime Minister’s wives. The micro-blogging tool is now considered a must for many businesses, journalists and politicos.

How do you think the media will change this year?

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