Monday, October 07, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, No40): Open Access Publishing Scam?, US Panorama, Political Biographies, Expensive Journalism, 50 Shades +More

Lots of discussion has been generated by the publication in Science magazine about journalist John Bohannon expose about open access journal publishing.  Here commentary from The Chronicle:
“The data from this sting operation reveal the contours of an emerging Wild West in academic publishing,” Mr. Bohannon wrote in Friday’s issue of Science.
For now, however, allegations of flaws—at least in the way the magazine promoted the piece, if not how the study was constructed from the start—are commanding the bulk of the attention.
Mr. Bohannon offered his fake science submission only to open-access journals, a growing model in which published articles are made freely available rather than restricted to readers with a paid subscription.  More than a dozen critiques have been posted to various news sites and blogs, some of them suggesting a bias by Science, which charges for subscriptions, against the open-access model.
The pique is less about Mr. Bohannon’s 4,200-word article, which suggests he confirmed a problem throughout academic publishing, than his magazine’s 200-word press release (read it here; scroll down to see it), which repeatedly emphasized his findings as an indictment of the open-access model. The sting operation, Science said in its promotion, “exposes the dark side of open-access publishing.”
What the magazine got wrong: Guardian

Favorite fonts from the Observer a pictorial:
Three weeks ago, Domenic Lippa, a partner at Pentagram Design Consultancy, selected his favourite 10 fonts. His list inspired hundreds of readers to pick their preferred typeface. He says: 'Nowadays we all use fonts: the digital revolution has meant that we can choose from thousands every day. Only 20 years ago, most people wrote correspondence by hand, or used a typewriter, using a font called "typewriter". Typography, once the domain of an elite minority, has now become democratic, and with that comes a voice. The hundreds of examples posted here all have something to inspire. If you want to know which type you are, check out this little game my company created a couple of years ago – it might change your view of fonts…'
Why do politicians like writing political biographies so much? New Statesman:
It made for a fine silly-season story to read that Boris Johnson was writing a book about Winston Churchill. Here we see a man, instantly recognisable and quite irrepressible, a master of wit and wordplay, from a privileged background yet with the common touch, always ready to parade his own vices to mock political correctness, and above all a bad party man with ill-concealed ambitions to get to the top. But which man?
The question is hardly new. When a living politician is drawn to be the biographer of a great statesman – that is, a dead politician – we are bound to wonder about the motivation. In the past, the usual reason was piety. An eminent former colleague or political disciple, preferably one with some literary bent, had to be recruited as the keeper of the bones of the saint. John Morley’s life of his hero Gladstone is a classic example. What was expected was a work in at least two volumes, as the conventional “tombstone” biography. De mortuis nil nisi bunkum.
Saturday Night Live - Screen tests for Fifty Shades of Grey: pairings from Seth Rogen (Bobby Moynihan) and Emma Stone (Noël Wells) to Tracy Morgan (Jay Pharoah) and Tilda Swinton (Kate McKinnon) try out for the coveted roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. (The sketch's casting of Nasim Pedrad as Aziz Ansari serves as a reminder of the ensemble's overall homogeneity). 

Why investigative journalism is still necessary but also very expensive.  A case study in The Atlantic (Peter Osnos) of Propublica.
Clearly, $750,000 is a very expensive story. On the other hand, what price do you suppose a parent with a young, feverish child might put on these disclosures? As a society we have to find the means to underwrite reporting of this magnitude. Of all the funding ideas that are mainly predictable—foundations, sponsored conferences (a particular specialty of the Texas Tribune), annual appeals, donor buttons on the sites--one notion that deserves far more attention than it has received so far came from Steven Waldman, the author of the Federal Communication Commission's massive 2011 study of the country's news media in the broadband era, including "shortfalls in robust accountability journalism." According to a report by Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute, Waldman told the conference that he believes that the tech companies that have grown in scale and revenues to a considerable degree from their distribution of news—Apple, Google, Verizon, AT&T—owe these nonprofit content providers a portion of their massive proceeds. "The winners of the new economy. . . . If they would put just a tiny bit of their wealth into this," Waldman said, serious journalism could thrive.
From twitter;
In Maui’s Upcountry, Where the Paniolo Roam My old neighborhood.

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