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Berkman Buzz, week of January 26

A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
Week of January 26, 2007

What's going on... take your pick or browse below.

*Doc Searls searches for "mobility."
*Dan Gillmor addresses PR in the "Digital Age."
*Larry Lessig looks at Fox News and "fair use."
*Ethan Zuckerman discusses the "endangered species," foreign reports.
*John Palfrey points out the reliance on the Internet in '08 campaigning.
*Rebecca MacKinnon talks about the Chinese "netizens."

The full Buzz:

"Questions crowd the front of my mind. "How many mobile phone are we using in the world today? Is any other digital technology more widely used -- or more personal? And how can we use them to assert more capable and powerful roles for ourselves, as customers and as citizens? Can our cell phones carry and present the credentials we need to engage organizations in helpful ways? How can mobile technology help us improve the both the efficiency and humanity of the social spaces we call markets?"
Doc Searls, "Searching for Mobility"

"An honorable tradition among lawyers is representing defendants whom they strongly suspect to be guilty, especially people with little or no ability to pay for their defense. When the overwhelming power of the state is brought to bear against an individual whose freedom or even life may be at stake, we need an adversarial system - however flawed it often can be - to help protect the innocent. The PR profession has its own justification for representing parties whose behavior, by almost any definition, warrants widespread contempt. Everyone has a right to push his or her own story, the logic goes, and expert help is a necessary part of the system. Is this really true anymore, assuming it ever was? Not in the Digital Age."
Dan Gillmor, "Digital Age Gives PR Folks Easier Way to Say No"

"...Well, it seems Fox has now gotten religion. According to this LA Times report, Sean Hannity will air excerpts that had been removed from ABC’s controversial “Path to 9/11.” The excerpts “depict then-national security advisor Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger refusing to approve a CIA request to attack Osama bin Laden” - an event Berger said never happened.
I can understand Fox’s “fair use” argument's though of course its tougher with work that’s not been published..."
Larry Lessig, "Fox News gets 'fair use' religion"

"Foreign reporters are an endangered species in the US today. I got a tangible reminder of the crisis in the profession when I gave a talk at CUNY’s new journalism school, where I was hosted by Lonnie Isabel, who ran Newsday’s Pulitzer-winning foreign bureau. After the Tribune-owned paper decided to cut its foreign bureas, relying on the Chicago Tribune and LA Times for foreign coverage for all Trib papers, Lonnie was laid off and migrated to CUNY, where he’s helping build a very exciting new program. But Newsday, which had unique and exciting Africa coverage under his leadership, now has only four overseas employees and will close all bureaus by the end of this year.
They’re not alone..."
Ethan Zuckerman, "Are foreign correspondents going extinct? Or just changing their stripes?"

"Over the course of the campaign, it will be interesting to see if these same attributes continue to define the web sites, or if strategies shift over time. A second question is whether these differences reflect substantive or tactical differences in the candidates or the campaigns at large. And, most important, whether these differences have any impact on who becomes president..."
John Palfrey, "Comparing early Obama, Clinton, Edwards web presences"

"This morning I was invited to appear on RTHK3's "Backchat" show to comment on the blogger-driven firestorm about whether Starbucks should have been allowed in the Forbidden City and whether it should stay...The story - largely framed as grassroots cyber-nationalism and an example of the newfound power of Chinese "netizens" - has been lapped up by newspapers across the globe..."
Rebecca MacKinnon, "China's Starbucks-blogger-gate: Hype and Reality"