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  • seandodson 1:13 pm on August 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: computer weekly, , matt scott, twitter   

    Great to see Matt Scott, now an alumnus of Leeds Metropolitan, progressing at Computer Weekly . Here’s his 10 milestones in Twitter history

  • seandodson 1:12 pm on May 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bbc radio leeds, superinjunctions, twitter   

    I was back on BBC Radio Leeds this morning: on the breakfast show to talk about superinjunctions and twitter. You can hear it here. I am on at 8.10am

  • seandodson 11:35 am on May 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , freedom of the press, , , , prior restraint, spartacus, sunday herald, super injunctions, twitter   

    Defying the latest superinjunction is an “I am Spartacus” moment for Twitter 

    The right of individuals or organisations to prevent journalists reporting on their activities – the rule of prior restraint – has been around for almost as long as newspapers themselves. Injunctions- often served at the last minute – have been viewed as an oppressive form of censorship from the 18th century at least.

    More recently, like some legal version of the hospital superbug, the rule of prior restraint has mutated into the super injunction, which prevents journalists from not only publishing sensitive details that would otherwise remain hidden, but from even reporting on the fact that an injunction has been served.

    This has led to the alarmingsituation of the Independent newspaper blacking out whole sentences from its front pages (right), creating an image of censorship that reminds starkly of the last years of apartheid South Africa. While the Sunday Herald, and many European papers, have been free to splash the name of the promiscuous athlete without too much fear of retribution. Such a state of affairs makes the law look both clumsy and wrong.

    Of course rich celebrities, footballers, politicians and even prominent journalists deserve the luxury of privacy. The desire for privacy is a basic human need. But for our democracy to function as strongly as it always has done so in the UK, freedom of expression should trump the need for privacy in the eyes of the law.

    It is heartening, therefore, that the social media site Twitter, and its chorus on users, should defy the growth of the super-injunction in such an successful fashion. The latest estimates are that 900 people an hour are currently defying the ban on revealing the name of the footballer who had an affair with Imogen Thomas, an otherwise forgotten “star” of Big Brother. It is an “I am Spartacus” moment that defies authority and shares the blame across tens of thousands of users. In the process the super injunction is rendered an expensive folly.

    It is not our parliament, nor our judges, nor the European courts, nor even journalists, that are currently defending our right to freedom of expression. But hundreds and thousands of internet users who are brave enough to defy the ban.

  • seandodson 2:27 pm on May 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Caitlin Moran, , , hilary alexander, jack schofield, , , linked-in, mike butcher, peer index, rory cellan-jones, top uk journalists, twitter   

    Top 100 journalists in the UK according to online authority 

    Now this is interesting. Peer Index has rated the top 100 UK journalists in terms of their reach on social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In. Top of the pile, surprisingly, is Hilary Alexander, the New Zealand-born fashion “director” of The Daily Telegraph. But before we get too snooty about a fashion journalist having more clout online than any of her peers, it is also reassuring to learn that Ben Goldacre, the scourge of bad science journalism, is number two on the list; Guardian editor Alan “big brain” Rusbridger is number seven and Tim Hartford, the FT’s undercover economist is at 10. It suggests that the public sphere and quality journalism are doing very nicely online, in the UK at least

    As you might expect with such a list, it is the tech journalists that are making the running online: The Guardian’s Jemima Kiss (#3); TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher (#4); The Guardian’s technology editor, Charles “Charlie Charles” Arthur (#5); The Beeb’s Rory Cellan-Jones (#6); online journalism blogger and highest placed hackademic Paul Bradshaw (#8) and great uncle Jack Schofield (#9).

    The highest rated sports reporter is Henry Winter (#10) and the top-rated, behind-the-paywall, Murdoch subaltern is Caitlin Moran of The Times. The tabloids don’t get a look in.

    Incidentally, my Peer Index ( a modest 29) is here, but enough to place me 132nd on the list (four behind the Observer’s political editor no less) You could always help me IMPROVE it by retweeting, linking to, befriending me or doing any other nice thing to me online.

    (via journalism.co.uk)

  • seandodson 11:05 am on March 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: guardian leeds blog, , , leeds met, twitter   

    Nice to see that John Baron writing for Guardian Local’s Leeds blog has linked to my recent thoughts on the Leeds Met News site regarding Twitter’s fifth birthday

  • seandodson 3:08 pm on November 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , twitter   

    Why Twitter matters for media organisations, by Alan Rusbridger, Guardian editor (in 15 tweet-like points)

  • seandodson 1:14 pm on October 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: carter-ruck, , injunction, paul farrelly, trafigura, twitter,   

    Defying yesterday’s ‘super injunction’ is a victory for the twittering classes 

    I’ve always thought that the libel lawyers Carter-Ruck sounded like a euphemism or, perhaps, a piece of forgotten cockney rhyming slang. Anyway, I’m delighted that they have dropped their attempt to prevent the British media from reporting on the proceedings of parliament. It is, in part, a victory for the chorus of twitterers that defied the ban yesterday. Only hours after the ruling was announced the full report as made available on Wikileaks and transmitted across the internet by hundreds of users of the microblogging site Twitter. Carter-Ruck, acting on behalf of the oil firm Trafigura, were attempting to prevent the Guardian reporting on a question tabled on Monday by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly.

    The rule of prior restraint has been gaining ground in recent years, despite misgivings from European Court of Human Rights, as judges seem more willing to allow last moment injunctions against the publication of exposes. But the kind of injunction used on Monday (a so-called super-injunction) not only prevents publication, but also makes the injunction itself secret. It is a type of censorship that recalls Apartheid-era South Africa, when newspaper editors were not allowed to leave pages blank or blacked-out when they had been censored by the government.

    Interviewed in the Guardian, Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye, said:

    “The injunction against the Guardian publishing questions to ministers tabled by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly is an example of a chill wind blowing more widely through the press. In increasing numbers, aggressive lawyers, who used to use libel law to protect their clients, are now using injunctions to secure privacy and confidentiality. They have found it is a legal technique which shuts stories down very quickly so that now it is not a question of publish and be damned, as it used to be: we are now finding that we can’t even publish at all.”

  • seandodson 7:18 pm on August 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , british sea power, , ernest hemingway, , microlit, , pidgeon detectives, review, theatre, twitter   

    Microlit: why less is more 

    London's first micro-critic

    Devon Dudgeon: London's first micro-critic

    I will try to be succinct. Microlit is a new trend for ever shorter pieces of text. Inspired by both the the famous six-word story written by Ernest Hemingway –  For sale, baby shoes, never worn – and the microblogging of Twitter.

    The latest Time Magazine reports on the the way that US publishers are picking up on the trend with books like Not Quite what I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. I’m not sure if less is really more, but their is something witty in the six word music reviews of Paul Ford of the Morning News. He describes British Sea Power as “Quite catchy. But likely precious live,” which is incredibly to the point and the Pidgeon Detectives as “they’re big in Britain of course”.

    The London stage, famous for its verbose reviewing, has its own micro-critic. Devon Dudgeon reviews London theatre to an even tighter wordcount of five words. Here’s what she wrote about last summer’s performance of Grand Theft Impro at the Wheatsheaf:

    “Performers’ laughter exceeded the audience’s.”
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    • Devon Dudgeon 6:27 pm on October 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi – thanks for the mention. (Sorry if this message comes through more than once – I got an error message.)

  • seandodson 2:03 pm on March 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , font, hans blix, , , , , , twitter, typography   

    This week’s recommended links 

    kosmonavt_47e1a1b080b22.jpgReuters: Bearing Witness, five years of the Iraq War / Guardian Comment is Free: Hans Blix on why the War in Iraq was UTTER FOLLY / Guardian Arts Blog: Jonathan Glancey: A £50 hand-powered laptop? Amazing / Ars Technica: Twitter breaks down barriers in the classroom / Atlantic: Michael Beirut on Stanley Kubrick’s favourite font / NY Times: A city that sat on its treasures: the modern tragedy of Le Corbousier’s Chandigarh

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