Lessons learned from Al Jazeera America’s closing, Facebook's Instant Articles expansion and more in this week's Digital Media Mash Up, produced by the Center for International Media Assistance.
Why America turned off Al Jazeera
The closing of Al Jazeera America, expected in April, is a sad conclusion to a project that was by turns uplifting and inspiring as well as troubling and depressing. Its demise offers a lesson in both the limitations of public diplomacy and the obstacles to providing high-quality television journalism. (The New York Times, 2/17)
Facebook is opening up Instant Articles to newsrooms everywhere. Will a flood of distributed content follow?
In a long-awaited move, Facebook announced this afternoon that it plans to open up access to its Instant Articles program to publishers around the world, giving every news organization the capability to publish their content on the social network. (Poynter, 2/17)
What being a journalist in the Middle East taught me about how censorship really works
I know exactly how many inches over the knee you have to photoshop a woman's shorts to get a photo on the cover of a magazine in the Persian Gulf. For five years, I wrote in code. A Harley Davidson was never a "hog." Sex and the City became a string of letters, SATC. And when I interviewed Antonio Banderas, I had to explain why his movie about a swashbuckling feline would now be called Cat in Boots. I wrote "hops" or "malt beverage" instead of beer and, in one shining moment, "pitchers of traditional Spanish fruit beverage" instead of sangria. (Vox, 2/18)
Rethinking public service broadcasting's place in international media development
In today’s media world of almost limitless channels of information and avenues for citizens to express themselves online, the idea of publicly funded, independently operated radio and television might seem to belong in a bygone era. Yet international donors who support the development of free and independent media would be well-served to pay attention to the potential role of public service broadcasting in strengthening information systems around the world. (Center for International Media Assistance, 2/16)
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Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Toby Bradbury.