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Online journalism

  • Chelsea Manning: WikiLeaks whistleblower to be released in May

    US President Barack Obama has commuted military whistleblower and Wikileaks source Chelsea Manning's prison sentence, marking the most notable commutation of his administration. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after exposing potential war crimes and human rights abuses in the USA's war with Iraq. Arguably the most high-profile leak was 'Collateral Murder', being video footage of US Apache helicopter pilots gunning down war correspondents and other civilians. Manning's appellate lawyers Nancy Hollander and Vince Ward welcomed the news of her commutation. "Ms Manning is the longest serving whistleblower in the history of the United States," the two said in a statement...

  • BS Detector: an add-on to detect fake news websites

    Fake news websites have enjoyed a surge in popularity thanks to social media, but truly exploded thanks to the US election. But how do you avoid being duped by them? Well, aside from following our tips and avoiding these websites, you can try using a browser add-on dubbed BS Detector. The extension, available on Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge, simply alerts users to unreliable news sources. And it works across most webpages, such as Facebook or a general news/opinion article. "A browser extension for both Chrome and Mozilla-based browsers, BS Detector searches links on a given webpage for references...

  • Axl Rose sends legal letter to Memeburn over ‘fat’ pics [Update]

    Update 2: Legal representatives for Memeburn have called on the site's hosting provider, Hetzner, to back down. "Use of the images of Axl Rose in the news article at URL http://memeburn.com/2016/06/axl-rose- tries-remove-unflattering-photo-web/ is considered fair dealing as contemplated in section 12(1)(c) read with section 15(4) of the Copyright Act 98 of 1978 in that the images were reproduced '...for the purpose of reporting current events in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical...'" read an excerpt of the email to Hetzner. "The article in question examined the actions of Axl Rose in attempting to prevent publication of the images in question, with particular...

  • Fake news in South Africa: 5 websites you should definitely avoid

    Whether it's to simply hoodwink people or to generate ad revenue, fake news websites have received mainstream attention in recent months. Now, we've already written a guide to spotting fake news, but what about the websites themselves? Here are five websites you should be avoiding. T1mesLive "Before you read our disclaimer, we wish to state that, we are not connected to or  linked to 'TIMES LIVE' in any way. Take note of the number '1' in our 'T1MESLIVE'. Please do not be deceived! Leave the website immediately if you have found yourself in the wrong place," reads the disclaimer. The website hides behind...

  • Google now lets you ‘Fact Check’ News articles

    Mountain View's Google has announced that its News portal will now include "Fact Check" tags to "help readers find fact checking in large news stories". Joining the other tags which include In-Depth, Opinion, and Wikipedia, the Fact Check tag will be located in the expanded story section of articles in Google News. Stories that "that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks" will be listed under the tag. The tags will effectively reward websites and publications that perform rigorous scrutiny of their sources and claims, based on required markup and their own fact check systems. Google's Fact Check tags could be...

  • BREAKING: Daily Maverick gets R12m funding round

    The holding company for local online news publication the Daily Maverick has announced the conclusion of a R12-million funding round. The round comes in the form of private investments for a minority stake in the business, the company announced in a press release. The funds would be used to support the Daily Maverick's editorial operations and to "spin off businesses and operations in content production, eventing and digital advertising," the company added. More specifically, the round will enable the publication to redesign its website, "bolster" the commercial team and expand into areas such as business, investigations and different languages. The Daily Maverick funding round will see...

  • Update: Gawker.com will shut down next week

    Update 2, 18 August 2016, 10.44pm: Univision plans to integrate Gawker's assets into its own pop culture website platform Fusion, according to a tweet. This leaves the future of the company's other websites, including the likes of Lifehacker, Gizmodo and Kotaku, in doubt. .@Univision to acquire brands from @Gawker Media + integrate into @FusionMedia Group https://t.co/TTfgIYQywJ pic.twitter.com/maLC3nONXe — Fusion Media Group (@FusionMedia) August 18, 2016 Update 1, 18 August 2016, 10.20pm: In light of Univision's purchase of the Gawker network, Gawker.com announced some industry-changing news on its front page this evening. The flagship site announced that it will end operations next week. Nick...

  • Keep up to date with Panama Papers leak through Reddit

    Reddit is a pretty incredible source of cat photos, but it can also be used to keep current with some of the world's biggest stories. And there's no bigger story this week than the Panama Papers. The world's biggest data leak, consisting of over 2.6TB of sensitive legal data, is currently causing massive waves online, but it's fairly esoteric. While we rounded up the top ten things to know about the leak, if you're looking for up to the absolute minute current information, Reddit is your best friend. The message board site boasts a Reddit Live update thread, in which it's using...

  • Panama Papers: 10 things you need to know about the world’s biggest ever leak

    The term "Panama Papers" is about to become a major part of the global lexicon. That's because it represents something very big: the largest data leak in human history. The data comes primarily from a Panamanian law firm and forms the basis of what describes itself as "a global investigation into the sprawling, secretive industry of offshore that the world's rich and powerful use to hide assets and skirt rules by setting up front companies in far-flung jurisdictions". Bigger than both Wikileaks and the Snowden files, the investigation has revealed "a cast of characters who use offshore companies to...

  • News24 falls for fake Malema Twitter account

    This is awkward. News24, South Africa's largest online publisher, has quoted a Julius Malema spoof account as coming from the EFF leader himself. The falsely attributed Tweet was used in the news organisation's ongoing coverage of admissions by senior members of the ANC that the Gupta family had offered them positions in cabinet. The tweet was not only included in an article, but also quoted in a headline posted on the News24 site as these tweets by advertising news site Marklives show: .@news24 just fell for parody @Julias_Malema account on their live #gupta #jonas feed Not...

  • Toby Shapshak hands over Stuff Magazine editorship

    Toby Shapshak has handed over the editorial reins at Stuff Magazine South Africa some eight years after launching the magazine in South Africa. Taking his place at the helm of the tech publication is Craig Wilson, who has been Stuff's deputy editor since November 2014, a position he previously held at Techcentral for two years. At the same time, Brett Venter has been appointed digital editor and will oversee the publication’s website and digital channels. Jon Tullett, formerly of ITWeb, joins the team as associate editor. All three appointments are effective from 1 March 2016. Read more: Andrew Trench...

  • Andrew Trench jumps ship from News24 to Times Media

    A little under a year after joining 24.com, Andrew Trench has announced his resignation from the position of managing editor of News24. Originally brought in to help bolster the Naspers-owned publishers investigative efforts, and to help set up its wire service, Trench is leaving to take up a position at Times Media. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, Trench said his departure "wasn't planned and it wasn't solicited and my leaving is no reflection of my feelings about the 24-family. It's been an amazing and exhilarating year with exciting plans unfolding for the year ahead." Read more: 24.com...

  • impactAFRICA: $500k African data journalism fund launches

    Code for Africa on Monday announced the launch of impactAFRICA, a US$500 000 fund aimed at providing grants and technical support for impactful data journalism projects across the continent. The initiative comes from a partnership between Code for Africa and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and is funded by a consortium of donors led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and including the World Bank and CFI Media Cooperation (CFI). The fund, which is already open for submissions, claims to be the first data-driven investigative journalism on the continent. According to a press release sent to Memeburn,...

  • Times Media bolsters digital division with 3 new appointments

    Times Media on Thursday announced that it had bolstered its digital division with three appointments at the senior executive level. The new hires see Riaan Wolmarans appointed Head of Audience Development, Percy Goetsch Head of Product, and Dan Calderwood Head of Multimedia. They will form part of the team directed by Lisa MacLeod, Head of Digital Publishing at Times Media. Macleod herself was poached from Media 24, where she served as GM for Digital Publishing, in June this year. The team will form a core part of positioning Times Media for an increasingly digital future. Their focus will be on...

  • Are selfie sticks and smartphones the future of TV newsrooms?

    Ask any contemporary journalist what pieces of equipment they couldn't live without and chances are most will immediately mention their smartphone. With it, they can take notes, live-tweet, record interviews and, send through on-the-spot footage. We're all pretty comfortable with that kind of journalism, especially in the online space, but is the smartphone about to have a seriously disruptive effect on TV news? Before you scroll straight to the comments section and type a long essay on the vast amounts of user-generated videos TV news channels ram down our throats on a daily basis, that's not what we're talking...