Davos Newbies Home

Weblogs in Davos  

During Davos 2000, Dave Winer and I were two lonely voices (but we had a lot of fun). Now it looks like weblogs are being welcomed into the big tent. With Jay Rosen, Joi Ito and Loic Le Meur (who is new to me), I’m confident interesting voices will be heard. But Dave is certainly right that the session title is backwards. But with Jay in the chair, that should be sorted out pretty swiftly.

Airbrushing history  

Larry Lessig finds a revealing elision on the White House website.

“On May 1, 2003, the WhitehouseÂ’s Office of the Press Secretary released this press release, announcing ‘President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended.’ But then, with airbrush magic, now the same press release has been changed to this, which reports ‘President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended.’ No update on the page, no indication of when the change occurred, indeed, no indication that any change occurred at all. Instead, there is robots.txt file disallowing all sorts of activities that might verify the government. (Why does any government agency believe it has the power to post a robots.txt file?)”

Vive la difference  

Jay Rosen has an intriguing interview with Rodney Benson on the differences between French and US journalism. What strikes me is how similar UK and French journalism seems, at least seen through the prism of US commentators.

The Guardian provides an important insight into a different journalistic culture. It’s the norm, apparently, for interviews in German papers to be approved by the subject.

“In a way, the authorised Q&A interview, a popular format among German journalists, reflects the country’s penchant for consensus. It is a format that makes for far less confrontation and that seems to have satisfied both sides. Call them deferential, polite or excessively consensual, German journalists tend to deal differently with those in power.”

Given the terrifying history with which Germany has to cope, the overwhelming desire for consensus is perhaps understandable. But it’s high time the German journalistic culture moved on to a less deferential stance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *