“Why does Twitter get involved in so many interesting lawsuits? In its short life, the company has kicked up legal hornet nests involving everything from stalking to satire.
While technology companies always outgrow the laws that govern them, Twitter’s 140-character message system is proving to be particularly disruptive. At the same time, the microblog has been more aggressive in defending free speech than established companies like Facebook and Google.
Here are five examples that show how Twitter’s unique platform is creating a new set of media rules that are forcing the law to play catch up.” …
Dr. Erik Collins is the Associate Director for Graduate Studies and Research at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. A native of New York, Collins previously served as a senior public relations manager for major corporations including Miller Brewing Company and Philip Morris and taught at Syracuse and Ohio State universities.
How do you define mass communication?
One might, I suppose, define the term by focusing on technology. Let me define it in terms of my idea of its function. Mass Communication is the purposeful intent to communicate information that aids the functioning of individuals in a capitalistic, democratic society through multiple communication channels. [Read more...]
Charles N. Davis is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and the executive director for the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), headquartered at the School.
Davis’ scholarly research focuses on access to governmental information and media law. He has published in law reviews and scholarly journals on issues ranging from federal and state freedom of information laws to libel law, privacy and broadcast regulation. He has earned a Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his work in furthering freedom of information and the University of Missouri-Columbia Provost’s Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching, as well as the Faculty-Alumni Award. In 2009, Davis was named the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year.
Davis has been a primary investigator for a research grant from the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation for NFOIC and another from the Rockefeller Family Fund for the study of homeland security and freedom of information issues. He was a co-investigator for an award from the U.S. Department of State for a curriculum reform project for Moscow State University in Russia.
Davis worked for newspapers and as a national correspondent for Lafferty Publications, a Dublin-based news wire service for financial publications, Davis reported on banking, e-commerce and regulatory issues for seven years before leaving full-time journalism in 1993.
How do you define mass communication?
Hmmm…..I wonder whether the question is whether the very nature of mass communication is changing in real time, with emphasis on the “mass.” Blogs, listservs, Twitter feeds – all can achieve what a decade ago required mass distribution. What that does to the relationship between the audience and the content mean these days, and how it works with and without interpersonal media – those are real questions worth pursuing. [Read more...]
By Brad King, Assistant Professor, Ball State University
Within the last year, large and small newspaper organizations have moved previously free content behind subscription walls that require readers to pay for access. The new model is fraught with peril, mostly notably the drop in online circulation as content becomes inaccessible through traditional search.
More concerning, though, may be the Associated Press’ decision to create a News Registry, which is a fancy name for a digital rights management (DRM) wrapper around its stories, which would allow content publishers the ability to determine how, when and where those stories — or parts of those stories — are replicated across the Web.
Which seems like a noble cause.
There is just one problem: DRM wrappers have, by and large, failed in the digital age because they create an “ease-of-use” problem for consumers. In order to work, DRM restricts different activities. It may, for example, prevent you from playing a CD on certain types of computers. Which is fine if you are technologically savvy enough to figure out which devices. Most people aren’t. [Read more...]