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Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Posted May 17, 2013 10:54 UTC (Fri) by randomguy3 (subscriber, #71063)
In reply to: Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker) by theophrastus
Parent article: Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Because of the incentives involved.

Journalists, as a rule, do not wish to compromise their sources. The reason being that if they do, and if the fact that they have done so gets out, it makes it much harder to acquire such information in the future (and such information is what journalists ultimately want - the scoop). This has been demonstrated several times recently as journalists have resisted revealing their sources until strongarmed by the law.

The NSA (or whatever) would have to be offering a HUGE incentive/threat to the New Yorker in order to convince them to offer a deliberately compromised service. Admittedly, this could have happened, but I don't think any government agencies would be willing or able to offer sufficient incentives for the New Yorker to do that, given that they probably wouldn't get that much out of it.


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Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Posted May 17, 2013 12:44 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

> Journalists, as a rule, do not wish to compromise their sources. The reason being that if they do, and if the fact that they have done so gets out, it makes it much harder to acquire such information in the future (and such information is what journalists ultimately want - the scoop).

Well in reality the Journalist's job is to sell their readers to people that sell lawnmowers, washing machines, pantyhose, fragrances, cars, and anything else like that.

I think that people tend to view media in a backwards manner. They mistakenly think that the printed magazine is the product, or the articles are the product. Same thing with TV and such. It's a mistake to think that news shows or sitcoms or broadcasting is the product they produce. All this stuff is just wrong.

The product that news papers, magazines, news agencies, and other media sells is, in fact, audiences. They sell audiences to the advertisers.

YOU are the product they sell. Your viewership, your attention, etc etc.

Think of it like fishing. If your a fisherman you may spend a lot of time making nets nets and fishing lures, and you may spend a lot of time collecting nets and traps and such things... but that is not how you make your money. Those are not the products you sell. The fish you catch is the product you sell.

It's the same way with news media, and most other media. It's just stuff that is produced to capture the product they sell... which is you and your attention.

All of this is because this is how they make their money. So the perception of integrity from their audience is important to keep their readership so they have a healthy product to sell to the drug companies or purse makers of the world, then that is what they will work hard on creating. Whether or not there is real integrity is something else entirely.

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Posted May 17, 2013 13:16 UTC (Fri) by micka (subscriber, #38720) [Link]

You know, you can find journals without ads, even paper ones.
No ads, no datamining (no data on readers). They just get the sell price.

Each week I read one of those(probably the most financially healthy in my country).

So no, the journalist's job is not to sell their reader share. Some of the journalists jobs is.

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Posted May 21, 2013 7:09 UTC (Tue) by Felix.Braun (subscriber, #3032) [Link]

As already mentioned, your view is a bit one-sided. Yes, certainly, ad-income matters to journalists. But so does a good story. And the readership. And their reputation. To say, that only one of these factors determine the actions of media outlets seems to be a bit too simplistic.

You can observe this on this site. From my impression Jon makes the utmost effort to reduce interference by ads to the absolute minimum necessary for the continued survival of this publication. I trust that this is equally true for other quality media, such as The New Yorker. After all, it is not only the ads that pay for these media, the readers do contribute too.

Lastly, you were missing the point of the grand-parent post: the media have no incentive to include a back-door into their whistleblower platform. This is because they want to build trust with their sources, so as to be able to be trusted with information to uncover the truth, that can be made into better stories, that attract more readership. Your point, that ad-revenue is important for journalists too, does not alter these incentives at all. The advertisers equally have no interest in working together with media outlets that betray their informers, because that would ultimately reduce the publications readership and thus their ad's reach.

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Posted May 21, 2013 8:27 UTC (Tue) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

I don't see ads on LWN. Oh wait, I'm a paying subscriber!

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Posted May 17, 2013 16:05 UTC (Fri) by freemars (subscriber, #4235) [Link]

The NSA (or whatever) would have to be offering a HUGE incentive/threat to the New Yorker in order to convince them to offer a deliberately compromised service.

Documenting the incentive and/or threat would be the scoop of a lifetime. NSA (or whatever) would need to be supremely confident they had something dark enough to thwart every individual at the New Yorker who knew a back door existed. If they guessed wrong the story would lead at every news outlet worldwide a few hours later.

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz (The New Yorker)

Posted May 22, 2013 0:23 UTC (Wed) by gerdesj (subscriber, #5446) [Link]

>The NSA (or whatever) would have to be offering a HUGE incentive/threat to the New Yorker in order to convince them to offer a deliberately compromised service.

>>Documenting the incentive and/or threat would be the scoop of a lifetime.

I don't know if the US has an equivalent to this beast yet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_... but if you do then I would not hold out much hope of reading the scoop.

Cheers
Jon


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