Berkman Buzz: December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011

A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations

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What's being discussed...take your pick or browse below.

* Tom Stites publishes a three-part series on the future of digital journalism
* Wendy Seltzer critiques SOPA's anti-circumvention measures
* Sasha Costanza-Chock surveys Occupy demonstrators worldwide
* Dan Gillmor explores Big Media and the Occupy movement
* StopBadware opposes SOPA
* Weekly Global Voices: "Kyrgyzstan: 'There Will Be No Winter'"

Note: This Sunday is our deadline for 2012-2013 fellowship applications through our open call! See for information. Additionally, we are now accepting applications for a Clinical Instructional Fellow:

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The full buzz.

"The buzz about how bloggers and citizen journalists will save the day, once almost deafening, has died down to a murmur, although the buzz about Twitter, Facebook, and cellphone video cameras saving the day has picked up thanks to their powerful contributions to coverage of major breaking stories, from the Arab spring to Occupy Wall Street. But the triumphant march to the digital future, at least when measured in terms of original reporting, has yet to lead anywhere near triumph. Yet the picture is not entirely bleak."
From Tom Stites's article for the Nieman Journalism Lab, "Taking stock of the state of web journalism"

"The House’s Stop Online Piracy Act is in Judiciary Committee Markup today. As numerous protests, open letters, and advocacy campaigns across the Web, this is a seriously flawed bill. Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Darrell Issa’s proposed OPEN Act points out, by contrast, some of the procedural problems. Here, I analyze just one of the problematic provisions of SOPA: a new 'anticircumvention' provision (different from the still-problematic anti-circumvention of section1201)."
From Wendy Seltzer's blog post, "Stopping SOPA’s Anti-Circumvention"

"The OccupyResearch network is pleased to launch this exciting survey, which aims to create a better understanding of who engages with the Occupy movement, and how — it includes questions about media, communication, political activities, and more. The survey is open to people living in any country, regardless of their level of involvement with the Occupy movement. The more people we can reach with this survey, the better we can reflect on this exciting time — so we invite you to spread the word."
From Sasha Costanza-Chock's blog post, "Occupy Demographics and Political Participation Survey"

"None raised more eyebrows than the 2006 pick: 'You' – when Time literally put a mirror on its cover and told its readers they were oh-so-special. The point that year was to celebrate the way the public was becoming its own media in the Information Age. This year's pick resonated with the one from half a decade ago, but unlike that one, it was entirely justified."
From Dan Gillmor's post for The Guardian, "Time magazine's Protester cover reminds us of the value of Big Media"

"To claim that the bill will meaningfully improve America's national security posture is preposterous on its face — one must conflate risks to U.S. copyright holders with the national interest writ large — and, with the exception of rogue pharmacies, very few infringing websites facilitate threats to public health. But let's take SOPA’s sponsors at their word for a minute and consider it a given that they want to make a serious attempt to address these important issues. Why wouldn't they target websites distributing badware instead?"
From Isaac Meister's post for StopBadware, "PROTECT-IP, SOPA, and the real threat to national security"

"Governments fall, parliamentary speakers come and go, and as one season fades another always begins. That, at least, was what Kyrgyz Internet users thought prior to former presidential candidate Arstanbek Abdylayev’s startling announcement that 'there will be no winter'."
From Chris Rickleton's post for Global Voices, "Kyrgyzstan: 'There Will Be No Winter'"

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Compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects and sometimes from the Center's wider network.

Suggestions and feedback about the Buzz are always welcome and can be emailed to

Last updated

December 16, 2011