Sunday, 28 November 2010

WikiLeaks US Embassy Cables and democracy

Everyone needs to be following the Guardian's rolling blog of the WikiLeaks US Embassy Cables

It's going to take hours to digest the information but what's clear from initial responses from the US Secretary of State is that WikiLeaks will be condemned by officials around the glove for what it has done; as will the media who report the stories.

My first question is, why? Surely states will already know most of the details from their own intelligence? I think it's more of a case that is alters the position of the world the US has tried to give people through its own propaganda and media operation.

What this story gives people, because it has been syndicated throughout the globe using the internet, is a genuine insight into the real relationship between the world's leading superpower and other states and this is a game changer, make no mistake.

How it impacts on investigative reporting and journalism should also be fascinating - will it redefine the rules of engagement? WikiLeaks has already reported it is under denial of service attack today.

Ultimately the most important question is whether the leak is positive for democracy or damaging to it? I don't think we will truly be able to assess this until it plays out but what's clear is that this is the most controversial leak in history and a day we will never forget.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Rupert Murdoch creating digital newspaper for iPad

Rupert Murdoch has been absolute in his determination that online journalism should be payed for and now CNN reports, via WDD, that he's taking this to the next level with a bespoke digital newspaper for iPad:

The news is no surprise as Mr Murdoch indicated back in August that he saw Apple's latest invention as a 'game changer' and a device which had the potential to rejuvenate journalism:

If the story is correct then I think that it is a positive move for the future of journalism as it could undoubtedly help the transition from print to digital news which has so far seen traditional media try to stem the flow and catch up, but not create or innovate - leaving journalism under threat in the age of Google and Facebook.

And, of course, rather like the launch of the Independent's 'I', it leads to accusations that could the new format cannibalise its print brethren; yet no one knows at this juncture and with advertising revenues continuing to falter around the word then there's no reason not to try and forge a viable economic model for the industry from new technology like the iPad.

Murdoch's detractors may not like it but yet again the mogul seems to be one step ahead.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

New York, New York

I'm here in the Big Apple working with the fabulous Euro RSCG Worldwide PR team.

It's great to be able to spend time with Marian Salzman and her colleagues - it's an honour, in fact. During my time here I am looking at traditional and social media conversations in the US and how they compare and contrast to the UK. It's been a fascinating couple of days and I'll make sure I blog my findings.

I've also found time to take in a trip to the theater and I saw Al Pacino in the Merchant of Venice. Never the easiest play to perform, I have to say it was brilliant. Pacino's Shylock struck the right balance between humour, bitterness and did what the character is meant to in my humble opinion - leave you questioning whether you sympathise with him or whether you applaud his downfall. Not something to debate here given the anti-Semite themes there may or may not be, depending on how one critiques the play.

Anyhow, just a quick update from me, I'll be sure to report back soon.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Minister Jeremy Browne branded racist on Question Time

Just watched Foreign Office Minister, Jeremy Browne be branded racist by a heckler on Question Times because of a comment he made about the French.

I don't think Mr Browne intended it to come across as anything but a satirical joke - but instead the awkward delivery just sounded vaguely racist.

When briefing public figures on unscripted interviews or panels you simply must ensure they don't ad lib jokes - it never works.

Just ask President Obama: