Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Citizen Broadcasters - Thomas Paine and the anonymous authors of the Federalist Papers gained prominence by printing their own publications

LIMON CO (IFS) - I had to go back several years and research the new citizen broadcaster. This new citizen has been around for over 300 years - Thomas Paine and the anonymous authors of the Federalist Papers gained prominence by printing their own publications when the printing press was the latest "thing" in journalism. Now it's the internet with blogs, video blogs, blogtalk radio stations, billions of reader written web pages. CNN's IReport and other copycat ideas have created a new type of news reporting where the writer gets his 15 minutes of fame over and over again. So the issue comes up about "fake news and videos" for news related articles. I had to go all the way back to Thomas Paine and his "Common Sense" pamphlet. So in putting this piece together to answer several question from my girlfriend, this is what I put up as an argument to the defense of the New Citizen Journalist/Broadcaster who does not have to worry about "market shares" or even who pays him or her. One thing is for sure, as with our blogtalk radio shows, our music stations and video outlets, we really generate alot of "noise" and attention, if we wanted it or not. -KHS

Citizen Journalism, or The Decline of Standards, or 15 Minutes of Fame, Instead of Actual Money

At work we have been talking about ways to streamline our processes in an effort to add immediacy to our products. What good is news, if the content is a week old? A day old? Now...my boss and I have had some rather good debate on the issue. (Suck up time!) I like him! He's able to hear my opinion for what it is, and not attack the the person (usually me) delivering it when he disagrees. I also like the fact that this dude is SMART! I can't blow smoke in any direction without him calling my bluff. SO...I've done my research to support my point of view.

Adnan Hajj took this picture. At first glance, it looks harmless. Media giants the world over started running the picture as proof of what was going on in Beirut. Hajj is a free-lance photojournalist. He has submitted some great photos...Not anymore! You see unlike me, Hajj has no QC process. He, like any citizen journalist simply submits, and we the people...ACCEPT! The above picture was "photoshoped!" It is not an accurate representation of what really was happening in Beirut.

Citizen Journalism is not new! According to Dan Gillmor's "We the Media,"(another kiss-up opportunity for my boss who is a huge history buff) The roots of citizen journalism can be traced to the founding of the United States in the 18th century, when pamphleteers such as Thomas Paine and the anonymous authors of the Federalist Papers gained prominence by printing their own publications. Further advances such as the postal system — and its discount rates for newspapers — along with the telegraph and telephone helped people distribute news more widely.

What is new...is the internet! Well relatively new...According to Frank Beacham's article "Corporations Co-opt Citizen Journalism, "Advertising forecasters predict double-digit growth for online media outlets in the new year. Traditional media, including television and newspapers, are slated for flat growth, at best, during 2007.

My boss suggested we don't need to worry about quality so much because our society has accepted a lack in quality in favor of immediate reports. He's right! In "The Customer Is Always Right," Harlan Neugeboren says:During the past year, we have seen many changes in the way that viewers use and consume news. Viewers know that they can search Google Video, YouTube and MySpace and find news content that they want. The key words are "what they want." Many viewers will search and find any type of news content--it does not necessarily have to be from traditional sources.
Viewers are also willing to trade content for quality and don't know or care that it was shot on a Sony XDCAM or Panasonic P2, for example.There are two problems with this...especially for military journalists.
1) According to Neugeboren, To compete with these other sources, broadcasters need to be in the content business and to provide viewers with as rich an experience as possible. We're not in the content business, some would argue, we're not in the news business. We're in the business of changing hearts and minds, by telling the Air Force story. (Side note...we're not doing this so well, and I feel we're trying to grasp at straws and implement change for the sake of change...and for some civilians to keep their kooshie jobs.)

2) When I write a story, it goes through a very lengthy qc process...hence the reason for the topic to begin with...how to streamline. Bottom line, like it or not, when my product does hit the web, TV, or radio...it better be accurate. Not the case in Citizen Journalism... There is no QC process. Sometimes this is great. Like when the first photos of the tsunamis emerged and a global outcry for help was answered. However, sometimes this happens: Probably not! Tracy Johnson in "Morning Radio," claims that anyone can be a radio DJ, (or broadcaster for the context of this post) but to be really good, you have to always strive to be the best...that is what will seperate you from everyone else. This will also be true in Citizen Journalism v. Professional Journalism. Dan Gillmor recently predicted in an online blog that:...professional photographers and videographers will soon see their ranks dwindle as the "the ability to make a living at it will crumble soon." He said. "They can't possibly compete in the mediasphere of the future. We're entering a world of ubiquitous media creation and access. When the tools of creation and access are so profoundly democratized, and when updated business models connect the best creators with potential customers, many if not most of the pros will fight a losing battle to save their careers." The good news is according to Gilmore...there will always be in demand by a group of discriminating consumers who will pay for their services.

Social media is rapidly changing the way we discover, consume and share information.
Transforming online monologues into engaging dialogues, social media platforms enable people to connect and communicate in new and innovative ways. Smart companies are joining the discussion and leveraging this emerging and highly-effective channel to grow their businesses. BlogTalkRadio helps the world’s leading brands, such as Ford, PepsiCo, Allstate Insurance, and Wal-Mart, ensure they are a part of the conversation.

Citizens demand end to fake news, FCC responds
Commission tells newscasters they must reveal sources of 'video news releases'

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission called on all television newscasters to clearly disclose the origin of video news releases (VNRs) used on their programs. "Listeners and viewers are entitled to know who seeks to persuade them with the programming offered over broadcast stations and cable systems," the FCC stated in a public notice unanimously approved by all four FCC commissioners.

The FCC issued the public notice in response to a "large number of requests" to investigate the use of VNRs, specifically citing the more than 40,000 concerned citizens who signed a petition circulated by Free Press and the Center for Media and Democracy. On March 21, the two groups filed a complaint (available at http://www.freepress.net/docs/final_vnr_letter_5.pdf) with the FCC, urging Chairman Kevin J. Martin to investigate news fraud and enforce existing laws against payola and the use of federal funds to create "covert propaganda."

"The broadcast industry's use of video news releases and other government- and corporate-funded fake news continues to enrage Americans," said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press. "We welcome the FCC's statement and will continue to monitor local newscasts. Unless broadcasters take immediate action to cease or disclose their use of this material, we will pressure the government to take stronger action."

"Not labeling VNRs constitutes news fraud and violates the most basic ethical standards of journalism," said John Stauber, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. "It's now time for TV news producers to own up their responsibility to the viewing public and fully disclose their use of fake news."

The FCC instructed all newscasters abide FCC sponsorship identification rules when they air "video news releases' (VNRs) and called for comments from license holders and cable operators about their use of VNRs.

"Recently tens of thousands of citizens contacted the FCC demanding an investigation into the failure of broadcasters to disclose their use of government-generated 'news' stories. They were right to do so," said FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps in a statement. "This Commission should investigate each such case. And it should strenuously enforce the rules against inadequate sponsorship identification."

In a separate statement, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said: "Today's Public Notice is in response to these developments, and reminds broadcast stations, cable operators, and others of their disclosure obligations under our rules, if and when they choose to air VNRs, and to reinforce that we will take appropriate enforcement action against stations that do not comply with these rules."

A March 13 article in the New York Times identified 20 federal agencies that used taxpayer funds to produce television news segments promoting Bush administration policies. These VNRs were broadcast on hundreds of local news programs without disclosing their source.

At least three investigations by Congress' Government Accountability Office (GAO) previously concluded that these segments constitute illegal "covert propaganda." Yet the White House recently instructed all executive branch agencies to ignore the GAO findings and continue to produce VNRs. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) are expected to introduce legislation today that would require all government agencies to disclose their role in producing VNRs.

Free Press and the Center for Media and Democracy are also working with local groups to establish "citizen agreements" with local stations, under which broadcasters pledge to clearly identify or label pre-packaged reports produced by the government or corporations.

To learn more about news fraud, payola pundits and government propaganda, read the in-depth report from Free Press at http://www.freepress.net/propaganda.

On FCC's Genachowski’s first year:

“The Commission has appeared active, but very little of this activity has yet to produce actual policy changes that positively affect the public. At the one-year mark, Free Press is giving the chairman a grade of ‘Incomplete, needs improvement’ across the board. Genachowski needs to be willing to pursue critical policies that protect consumers, even if the largest telecommunications companies don’t like those policies.

“Thus far, the agency has largely failed to adopt policy changes that are not widely supported by the industries it oversees. There have been no efforts to address the real problems of our broadband market -- high prices and slow service due to a lack of meaningful competition -- and instead the Commission has seemed preoccupied with focusing on policies that will benefit the major wired and wireless companies. The public needs a champion willing to challenge those entrenched interests.”

On comparing Genachowski to his predecessors:

“The first-year contrast between Genachowski and his two Republican predecessors is stark. Former Chairmen Kevin Martin and Michael Powell quickly pursued the Bush administration’s policy agendas during their first year in office. In Martin’s first few months, he deregulated wireline broadband by classifying it as an information service, resulting in the FCC’s current existential crisis, and approved the massive Verizon-MCI and SBC-AT&T mergers.

Those misguided actions forever closed the door on the last vestige of the 1996 Telecommunications Act’s promise of competition and changed the political dynamic in a way that has entrenched the cable and telecom industry’s dominance over our broadband marketplace, leaving consumers with few choices, poor service and high prices.

“It’s not too late to turn things around. Chairman Martin eventually pursued a few public interest strategies at the end of his term, including the white spaces order and the enforcement against Comcast's Internet blocking practices. To his credit, Genachowski has laid some of the groundwork needed to enact meaningful change, but now he must follow through with decisive action.”

On next steps for the chairman:

“In the short term, Chairman Genachowski must make what will likely be the toughest call of his tenure and move forward with his plan to reverse the Bush-era mistakes that put the FCC’s ability to protect consumers in jeopardy. He must restore the agency’s authority to protect the open Internet and implement the National Broadband Plan. History will show that this is the right action to take, and pursuing this path in the face of intense industry pressure will earn Genachowski a place in history as a chairman who did what he had to do to promote the public interest.”

What is the Impact on Broadcasters of Supreme Court Decision that Corporations Can Buy Political Ads? More Money, More Ad Challenges and the Return of the Zapple DoctrineThe Supreme Court Decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, freeing corporations to use their corporate funds to take explicit positions on political campaigns, has been mostly analyzed by broadcast trade publications as a good thing - creating one more class of potential buyers for broadcaster's advertising time during the political season - which seems to almost be nonstop in these days of intense partisan battles in Washington and in the statehouses throughout the country. What has not been addressed are the potential legal issues that this "third party" money may pose for broadcasters during the course of political campaigns. Not only will an influx of money from non-candidate groups require that broadcasters review the contents of more commercials to determine if the claims that they make are true, but it may also give rise to the return of the Zapple doctrine, one of the few remnants of the Fairness Doctrine never specifically repudiated by the FCC, but one which has not been actually applied in over a quarter of a century. Public file obligations triggered by these ads also can not be overlooked.

First, the need for broadcasters to vet the truth of allegations made in political ads sponsored by non-candidate advertisers. As we have written before(see our post here), the political broadcasting rules enforced by the FCC allow broadcasters to run ads sponsored by the candidates themselves without fear of any liability for the claims made in those ads.

In fact, the Communications Act forbids a station from censoring a candidate ad. Because the station cannot censor the candidate ad (except in the exceptionally rare situation where the airing of the ad might violate a Federal felony statute), the broadcaster has no liability for the contents of the ad. So candidates can say whatever they want about each other - they can even lie through their teeth - and the broadcaster need not fear any liability for defamation based on the contents of those ads. This is not so for ads run by third parties - like PACs, Right to Life groups, labor unions, unincorporated associations like MoveOn.org and, after the Citizens United case, corporations.

Stations are not required to accept third party ads and, even where these ads address a candidate, the station has full rights to accept or reject the ads based on the ad's content (perhaps subject to Zapple discussed below). However, because the station can choose whether or not to run the ad, the station can also be held liable for the content of those ads. While the standard for liability under the rules of defamation are very high for public figures such as a political candidate, there still can be liability if the station runs an ad with "malice", meaning that they either know that the content of the ad is false, or run it with reckless disregard of the truth of the claims made (where those claims later prove to be false). That malice standard is what forces stations to become political researchers - tasked with determining if there is a reasonable basis for a claim made in an ad so that the candidate being attacked cannot later come back against the station and accuse the station of recklessly running a false ad. We've written before (here and here) about the typical scenario that arises - a third party group buys an attack ad against a political candidate, the candidate or his or her lawyer sends the station a letter saying that claims made in the attack ad are false and the station will be liable if the station continues to run the ad. At that point, the station has an obligation to investigate the truth of the statements made in the ad. If the station just continues to run the ad with no investigation, and the ad proves to be false and the candidate that is attacked can prove injury, the station can be held liable. How much investigation is necessary? That is a question that cannot be answered in a few paragraphs on this blog. But suffice it to say that stations need to be prepared to call their attorneys and discuss the issue with their owners in making these assessments - as each station may have a different tolerance for risk, and a different willingness to allow questionable third party ads to run.

The other potential issue that this decision may bring to the fore is the status of the Zapple Doctrine. Section 315 of the Communications Act imposes the Equal Opportunities doctrine (otherwise known as "Equal Time") on stations, which the FCC has interpreted to mean that stations need to treat all candidates running for the same office in the same way - allowing them to buy equal amounts of advertising time on a station, and giving them equal amounts of free time on a station if the candidate appears outside of an exempt program (e.g. news or news interview programs, or on-the-spot coverage of a news event, including most debates). But the Equal Opportunities Doctrine applies only to candidates and their appearances on stations (or "uses", in the language of the FCC).

What about the purchase of time by third party groups, which are technically not subject to the Equal Time rule? Well, more than 30 years ago, the FCC adopted the Zapple Doctrine, or "quasi-equal opportunities" as an outgrowth of the Fairness Doctrine. The Zapple case, as we wrote here and here, held that where supporters of a candidate are allowed to buy time on a station, supporters of the opposing candidate should also be allowed to buy roughly equivalent amounts of time. While the remainder of the Fairness Doctrine has been declared by the FCC or by the Courts to be unconstitutional over the last 25 years, Zapple has never been
officially overturned. When the Swift Boat documentary was about to be run on some television stations during the Kerry-Bush campaign, the Kerry campaign invoked Zapple in claiming that all stations that ran that documentary would need to air equal amounts of time from pro-Kerry groups. While that matter was settled before the FCC ruled, some FCC officials have from time to time implied that they would have invoked Zapple had it gone to a decision. With an influx of corporate money into political campaigns, Zapple issues are more likely to find their way to the FCC in coming elections.

Finally, the Citizens United case did not upset the record-keeping and disclosure requirements of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act ("BCRA"). BCRA imposed many such obligations on broadcasters. Thus, the sale of time to corporate groups, just like the sale of time to any other third-party group, requires a full public file disclose when such purchases are made to address a Federal issue or election. We wrote about those obligations here and here. Essentially, all the same information about the purchase that would be kept for a candidate buy must be kept for a third-party buy - including the class of spots purchased, the schedule run, the price paid, and the identity of the purchaser.

Even advertising buys dealing with state and local elections require an identification of the buyer and its principal officers or directors. Thus, while more money may flow into broadcast stations as a result of the Citizens United decision, that money may come with some additional headaches for broadcasters. All of these issues and more are addressed in the Davis Wright Tremaine Political Broadcasting Guide, available here.

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Radio legislation ignites royalties battle

This debate has one side seeing green and the other singing the blues.On one side stand the Christian Music Trade Association and such superstars as Bruce Springsteen, Chaka Khan, Tony Bennett, Bono, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Miley Cyrus, Kenny Rogers and Martha Reeves. On the other side stand the National Religious Broadcasters, Christian Broadcasting System Ltd., National Public Radio, CBS Radio, College Broadcasters Inc., National Association of Broadcasters, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters and several Hispanic groups, including the Latino Coalition and the Hispanic Alliance for Progress. In the middle perches the Performance Rights Act, legislation that one side calls royalties and the other calls a tax.

Gospelmusicchannel.com said the "debate is shaping up as a battle royale."
The Performance Rights Act is bipartisan legislation that was introduced in the House in February by Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California and in the Senate by Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Republican Orrin G. Hatch of Utah. It calls for AM and FM radio stations to pay to play, as their satellite, Internet and cable counterparts already do.

The House Judiciary Committee, whose chairman is Mr. Conyers, voted 21-9 on the measure last month.

The legislation, among other things, would amend federal copyright law to remove a compensation exemption for AM and FM stations and establish fees that would be paid by commercial stations and noncommercial outlets such as religious, college and public radio.

The purpose of the bill is to provide parity for performers whose music is and has been heard on the radio for decades without compensation, supporters say. Proponents often cite the fact that satellite, Internet and cable broadcasters already pay performance royalties. Performers as disparate as Dionne Warwick, Sheryl Crow and will.i.am back the legislation as individual performers and as members of the group musicFirst.

Some performers point out that in other nations, including England, France, Poland and America's neighbors to the north and south, Canada and Mexico, performers are paid for airplay. "Every time I hear one of my recordings played on the radio, it breaks my heart to know that I will not get any compensation," Miss Reeves told The Washington Times. "The man who sweeps the floor, radio station owners and advertisers are all compensated. Our music is being used for revenue, yet I don't get one penny. When our records were selling, we got a third of a penny. Now everybody is listening from home [and] we are still not compensated.

"It is important that some of us get paid because some of us don't have any other income," said Miss Reeves, who, as the headliner on Motown's Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, recorded such hits as "Heat Wave," Dancing in the Street" and "Jimmy Mack." Opponents say the Performance Rights Act would hurt religious programming, minority-owned stations and noncommercial stations.

From Citizen Journalism To User-Generated Content

Establishment media organizations with user-generated content

A media revolution occurred on July 7, 2005, though not many realized it at the time.

That was the day when terrorist bombings struck the London Underground. Citizens on the scene flooded newspapers and broadcasters with pictures, recordings, and reports of what had happened. Many media outlets were quick to use the consumer-generated content.

But perhaps an even greater watershed occurred on December 11, 2005, when the Buncefield oil depot explosion in the United Kingdom prompted an unprecedented response from citizen journalists who sent thousands of e-mails, photographs, and video clips of the disaster to
news Web sites long before professional journalists reached the scene of the early morning blast about 43 kilometers from London.

The BBC, for example, received more than 6,500 e-mails with videos and photographic coverage of the explosion and the oil fires, compared with 1,000 in the aftermath of the London train bombings. The first pictures and video footage came in minutes after the explosion.

The head of BBC News Interactive, Pete Clifton, had this to say to the news Web site MediaGuardian about the impact of the citizen-produced content: "The range of material we received from our readers was absolutely extraordinary. Videos, still pictures, and e-mails poured in from the moment the blast happened, and it played a central part in the way we reported the unfolding events."

On the day of the explosion, half a million users logged on to the BBC Web site to view the pictures and videos. Citizen media had become a permanent and essential part of the mix.

Democratizing the Media

Today, rare is the media outlet that is not in the process of expanding the two-way street that digital media have created between news outlets and their users. The multitude of new electronic distribution channels has put everybody just a keyboard away from producing news content themselves — true in the developed world and growing in the developing world as well.

Or, as citizen journalism pioneer Dan Gillmor puts it, "in a world of ubiquitous media tools, which is almost here, someone will be on the spot every time." Year by year, the growth of digital media has democratized the publication of words and pictures of all kinds, once the monopoly of the printed press and the broadcasters.
Consider:

• During a rampage by an armed student at Virginia Tech University in the United States, major broadcasters, including CNN, frequently opened the airwaves directly to student blogs and other eye-witness accounts, producing an immediacy in coverage impossible through other sources.

• More and more bloggers are invited to sit in media-reserved seats at a variety of news events. About 10 percent of people on the media list for New York Fashion Week this year were bloggers.

• The developer of the Big Brother reality TV series, Endemol, has started producing daily, user-generated, TV news shows in the Netherlands. Citizen reporters submit news videos that are compiled into a news report on IK OP TV (Me on TV).

• In Pune, India, the Sakaal Group of newspapers has created a weekly "citizen supplement" that is entirely written by readers. "People want positive news and positive things to read about," says sub-editor Deendayal Vaidya. "They are already mired in their own lives and crises. They want to be inspired." Nearly a thousand readers, the majority of whom were never published before, have written for the supplement.

• The influential French daily Le Monde is providing blogs to its subscribers. Among other things, the paper encourages readers to keep electronic journals on their travels, the best of which can be accessed through the travel pages of the newspaper Web site.

• In Chile, the national tabloid Las Ultimas Noticias (the Latest News) saw a 30 percent growth in circulation after its editors began checking which stories were most read on their Web site and then used the information, in part, to determine what stories appeared in print. Although this isn't user-generated content, it shows how users are increasingly influencing media's editorial choices of content.

The notion of "citizen journalism" was first proposed in Dan Gillmor's book in 2003, We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People, with this now well-known assertion: "News is no longer a lecture, it's a conversation." Gillmor's argument, similar to the philosophy of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, was that "collective knowledge and wisdom greatly exceeds any one person's grasp of almost any subject."

During this period, start-up grassroots projects were gaining momentum and credibility. It was said that if newspapers ignored them, they risked alienating some of their established — and a large part of their future — readership.

Whom Do You Trust?

Nowadays though, the appellation "citizen journalism" is increasingly disappearing, to be replaced by the more comprehensive notion of user-generated content. There is no more reference to "journalism," a specialized profession with a unique set of rules and ethics, different from those of bloggers, who are no longer competing journalists but complementary content producers.

The wording "user-generated" also casts off the notion of citizenry and civic engagement. Content can be produced by consumers, readers, and commentators alike, but professional editors are needed to turn the content into "journalism."

The resulting magnitude of sources presents a challenge dating from the dawn of journalism: deciding which source is trustworthy. According to the Saturday editor of The Times of London, George Brock, "The most important question the consumer of news and opinion will ask herself or himself is the question they have always asked: Do I trust this source? Some [sources] will pass that test; some will fail. Open societies that want to stay open should
keep setting that test." The emergence of user-generated content, a true cultural revolution, brings both opportunities and also considerable dangers that require society's vigilance.

On the plus side, citizens now have much greater control over how and when they receive information. They can react to it and participate in it if they choose.
The news business is becoming more of a dialogue between the providers and receivers of information, rather than an imposition of opinions and perspectives by an elite caste. On the negative side, the Internet has opened up extraordinary new possibilities for the widespread and sometimes dangerous manipulation of information, which is difficult, if not impossible, to stem.

This phenomenon will increasingly place a heavy responsibility on professional journalists to maintain high standards of fact-checking, honesty, and objectivity. Editors are already spending enormous amounts of time verifying and authenticating user-generated pictures and text, and this will only become a more time-consuming part of their jobs. Blog posts and comments require careful and regular scrutiny.

If bloggers may not be bound to strict ethical codes, at the level of "professional blogs, ” there is a good deal of community-induced regulation. The Huffington Post scandal involving American actor George Clooney in March 2006 illustrated the vigorous checks and balances of the blogging community. When Ariana Huffington's crew posted an article based on a mishmash of Clooney's television interviews and passed them off as his writings, the actor did not hide his disapproval. Although site founder and author Arianna Huffington originally downplayed the affair, she was ultimately obliged to apologize, due to the overwhelming disdain arising from the blogosphere.

The very fundamentals of our democratic societies and the credibility of established media will be lost if we are unable to distinguish between true and false information.

The responsibility of news businesses is thus considerable. For the moment, there remains a significant preference of the majority of readers to access their information through traditional print products, with 1.6 billion readers of daily newspapers worldwide. Public opinion polls consistently show that news consumers are more likely to trust well-known and established news brands and to treat blogs and citizen-generated materials with more skepticism.

For example, a study of news consumers by the French free newspaper 20 minutes found that two-thirds of respondents consider news published in online participatory outlets "can't be considered as news" and they doubt the "veracity of their (the outlets') news."

It is essential to increase the media literacy of journalists, in particular, and citizens, in general, to help them assess the value and truthfulness of the information they receive.

At the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and World Editors Forum (WEF), we strive to keep our industry apprised of these developments and how they will affect our businesses and society at large.

We periodically run campaigns to remind the public about the fundamental issue at stake when we talk about media freedom. One of the campaign slogans, "Freedom of the Press is Freedom of the Citizen," was never truer than it is today.

The WAN and WEF represent publishers and editors in more than 100 countries, working for 18,000 publications, including thousands of Internet news and information sites and blogs — editorsweblog.org, sfnblog.org, trends-in-newsrooms.org — that are now an integral part of the news business.

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