Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

making journalists pay for editorial space?

Club-Mate: drink of hackersI’m with Tyler Brule here on the Eurostar – it is the Right Time to Change Track. What’s more interesting is a comment from Boswell:

Here’s another, shameless open ended business pitch Mr. Brûlé’s main business, Winkreative — it will be interesting to see which of the companies referenced here becomes his next client. Note to FT: I hope you are not actually paying this guy for his column given that he derives millions in new business from it all day long. Perhap’s he should be paying you — a wonderful new metric for the publishing industry whereby the “journalists” pay the newspaper for editorial space so that they may attract new business for their consulting firms, etc.

There are many journalists that become names themselves. This must be true since Google’s also launched an Author Rank. Its true for Tyler Brule. Its true for Paul Carr (nsfwcorp). Its true for Sarah Lacy (pandodaily). The list can go on.

I don’t know how many journalists also have consulting firms or do other things besides just writing/freelancing.

What about pundits? I know many pundits in the tech space that act as advisors, board members, etc. thanks to their published writing in tech press. They gain monetarily out of their writing, so why not make them pay to get published?

It is definitely a novel idea for the fledgling media industry to get paid by journalists who also get a regular soapbox.

Faith in Bernama the national news agency wanes

I just read that Bernama has admitted to doctoring a photo with the Prime Minister. Of course they are crying sabotage and denying any previous edits. Stop and read that, its well worth it.

I’m not surprised. Neither should you be. Anything that comes from Bernama tends to be pro-government. I gave up trust in them since 2006, when I had a little issue with them stealing my photo without attribution which I’ll talk about in a bit.

Bernama is an independent body placed under the Ministry of Information, Culture & Communication, started by an act of parliament. Wikipedia’s Bernama entry isn’t half bad, and if you’re inclined, you can read the Bernama Act 1967. Its quite clear that beyond subscription income, they’re probably funded by the ministry (this isn’t a fact but a presumption – I have no time to dig this up).

So from a Nineteen Eighty-Four perspective, these folk are akin to the Ministry of Truth

What’s my beef with Bernama? They have no issue with using what’s not theirs, i.e. they don’t believe in proper attribution. They do not respect the Creative Commons licenses either. They didn’t in 2006, and they probably don’t in 2012.

Imagine my shock when a photo of mine was attributed to be a Bernamapic in an article? Besides a tighter crop, the news agency didn’t respect the attribution, non-commercial aspect of the CC license. Bernama charges up to RM500/month to access its newswire for blogs, and this cost is bound to go up for other print publications. Can’t afford a photographer?

Speaking to them, they claimed that they would investigate but naturally, nothing came of it. I had thought of taking legal action but decided against it as my life wasn’t in Malaysia.

Alas, I have never had much faith in them, and neither should you.

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Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 18:40:46 +1100

From: Colin Charles <>

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Subject: Using pictures without attribution

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We spoke on the phone recently


Here are the photos (sources):


It was used in the star:


And in the NST in a article titled “A taste of Malaysia in Melbourne”


Now, I don’t mind you using the photos, but you have to accept copyright 

and attribute it to where you got it from. Saying it came from Colin 

Charles, will be a start. (i.e. I’m not even asking for payment)


This is a sample of more pictures to come, from the event at:

(there’ll be a fiestamalaysia group on Flickr, if you’ve noticed from 

the above picture)


kind regards


Colin Charles,