Friday, December 14, 2012

The Internet, Journalism and the Newtown Tragedy

There was some media head scratching in Hoboken Friday afternoon after a police source on the scene of the Newtown tragedy identified the shooter as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza. 

A Facebook search identified Lanza as a resident of Hoboken, which sent local and national news crews and helicopters scrambling to his 1313 Grand Street address. At the scene were Hoboken police and FBI who had roped off surrounding streets. 

I counted some 80 journalists and crew members across the police line before new information had the assailant as Ryan's younger brother Adam. But by that time the damage had been done with many mainstream outlets having to correct earlier reports.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Masters of the Internet

Who controls the Internet?

That question rests uneasily at the center of debates this week at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai.

The 12-day wonkfest has brought together representatives from more than 150 U.N. member states to craft global rules for the Internet. And that's where the trouble begins.

For many at the conference, the working assumption is that governments should control the digital network. They've reached this conclusion without asking any of the billions of Internet users who might think otherwise. Nor have they sought the advice of the many civil society groups that are helping to building a grassroots Internet freedom movement with global reach.