News Corp.’s Phone Hacking Scandal and the Public Interest

The last edition of News of the World on July 10, 2011

I am now writing a weekly blog post on media in the digital age for KCET’s The Public Note and will also be contributing posts on local policy at 1st and Spring in addition to occasional posts for LAist.

The ongoing “phone hacking” scandal in the UK may seem like a distant and isolated issue considering how limited the reporting has been in the U.S. press but it’s possible that the media is shying away because it hits too close to home.

What’s come to light in the past month in Britain may be indicative of unethical — if not unlawful — behavior that’s become pervasive across all Western media in the digital age.

At the center of attention is News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch. News Corp. executives will meet with board members in Los Angeles this week for the first time since the scandal, which had been brewing for years, finally broke.

Please click here to continue reading the full article at KCET.org. The following is a brief excerpt.

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Once-Mighty Myspace Acquired for Measly $35 Million

myspace acquired by specific mediaAfter months in search of a buyer, Myspace has finally been acquired. In an email to employees late Wednesday morning, CEO Mike Jones broke the news to employees in an email late Wednesday morning, according to TechCrunch.

Specific Media will acquire the fledgling social network turned social entertainment site for $35 million according to All Things D.

“Today, we are announcing that Myspace will be acquired by Specific Media, one of the world’s leading online media and advertising platforms,” Jones wrote in the email addressed to Myspacers. “Over the next few days you will be hearing from the team at Specific, including their CEO, Tim Vanderhook, regarding their exciting plans for Myspace and how it fits in with the overall vision of their company.”

Jones indicated in the email that a significant reduction in staff was imminent, adding that he would be stepping down as CEO of Myspace after assisting with the transition to Specific Media over the next two months.

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Tiziano Project Wins Knight News Challenge Grant

tizianoproject.jpg
Photo from an in-class exercise at a Tiziano Project workshop on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona this week.

A Los Angeles-based startup with a mission to enable multimedia storytelling in communities worldwide that otherwise lack necessary resources and training was awarded a $200,000 grant by the Knight Foundation on Wednesday.

The Tiziano Project‘s Tiziano 360 project was one of 16 ideas to win a prestigious Knight News Challenge grant awarded to fund internationally relevant innovative media and digital news concepts.

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Mirror.me Reflects Your Online Social Identity

mirror.me is the latest web app to mash up a user’s Twitter data and spit it back in beautiful tag clouds, graphs, and pie charts. My profile is both a flattering and — I’d say — accurate representation of my various foci and communities based on a sampling of my Twitter friends, followers and the content of my tweets.

Go to Andy Sternberg's Mirror.Me Reflection

Mirror.me is a Champaign, IL-based start up and may be the best looking twitter tag cloud mashup since tweetcloud itself. What do you think?