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安替:新闻已死

安替先生在ICU的分享。说的是微博对传统新闻报道的冲击,兼谈微博对政治的影响——这部分尤其有见地。

为什么说传统新闻已死?安替罗列了新闻报道的几大要素,然后逐一分析微博对诸要素的冲击。

新闻报道的几个要素——

1)Access:最快知道突发事件或重大信息 (Breaking News);

2)Professional Witness:派记者到现场作专业采访;

3)Daily:以一定的频率发布新闻,频率最快以天计;

4)Quote:引述多方(通常四方)观点,做到不偏不倚( Impartiality);

5)Objectivity:摈除情绪、价值观的影响,做到客观;

6)获得市场美誉度,得到收益,且增强记者职业感。

传统媒体在微博时代遭遇挑战——

1)丧失Access,得跟随微博信息;Breaking news在微博;

2)来不及派记者到现场(除非有后续效应,否则不用去了);

3)Daily频率太低了,微博以秒为频率;

4)四方论述以保持不偏不倚已经不够,微博信息与观点更多元;

5)当言论情绪本身也是事件的时候,不带情绪的报道,已经显得疏远。微博鼓励自我表达;

6)微博搜索把传统媒体辛苦建立起来的独立品牌给消解了。

虽然微博对新闻造成了很大的影响,微博也有不如新闻的地方——

1)缺乏最基本的事实框架陈述;

2)缺乏消息的确认;

3)缺乏观点多元化图景;

4)发言的立场(这点没记清楚)。

如何做到微博所不能——

Storify、Stream 用新媒体的方式实现了传统媒体的框架。

这就是未来。

取代新闻报道的职业——

1)信息DJ(but Who pay?);

2)数据可视化专家;

3)数据挖掘专家;

4)专业分析。

未来的记者只能占有“剩余Access”(到微博所不能到的地方),对记者要求更高(王牌记者、政治记者)(新闻学毕业生麻烦了)。

最后,微博对政治的影响——

1)去中心化的内容;

2)中心化的服务器(中国特有);

3)=Web1.5;

4)公民意识觉醒;

5)中央政府控制能力加强(因为它控制服务器。地方政府是大loser。因为手够不着服务器,地方政府才需要五毛党。中央政府越来越不愿意帮地方政府擦屁股。微博让信息集权化,中央政府甚至可以打“言论自由牌”。)

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China’s censorship battle between the cats and the mice: Michael Anti at TEDGlobal 2012

A sick brick

“I want to make my friends understand: China is too complicated,” begins Michael Anti. “You can’t tell a one-size story.” According to some, China is a brick, helping the world economy. According to others, it’s a sick country, with no access to Facebook. (The second phrase was as claimed in the Facebook IPO papers.)
“If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you know how important a wall is for an old kingdom. It prevents the weird things from the north,” says Anti. China also had a wall to prevent invaders. But now, he says, it has a great firewall, the biggest in the world. That wall works to separate China from the world, and also separates Chinese internally, into sections.
In the past 15 years, Anti says, there have been non-stop cat and mouse games between authorities and the netizens. There are 500 million internet users in China. Even if it were totally isolated from the world, the internet there is still booming. He shows how there are versions of every service Westerners are familiar with: Google, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are all replaced by equivalents. The government blocks all the international services, and clones spring up inside. The policy is simple: clone and block. This fulfills two needs: to satisfy people’s need for social media, but also the need to keep the server in Beijing.
Some leaders, says Anti, haven’t understood this. Mubarak shut down the internet, so people had no choice but to go to the street. In Tunisia, the government allowed Facebook, and didn’t keep control of the servers.

Booming even with censorship

But the firewall and control of the servers doesn’t mean that social media isn’t powerful within China. In July 2011, there was a train wreck in the city of Wenzhou. Immediately afterward, authorities tried to keep quiet, “to literally bury the train.” In response, there were 10 million criticisms on social media platforms. The minister was fired and jailed.
One of the reasons that Chinese tweets have so much power, says Anti, is that they have three times the information volume as English tweets — 140 characters is a paragraph in Chinese. Furthermore, Weibo, the Twitter equivalent, is actually more like Facebook than Twitter, allowing comments and other ways of interacting. With 300 million users, it’s the biggest media platform in China. According to Anti, “It has become the media platform. Anything not mentioned in Weibo does not appear to have occurred for the Chinese public.”
Anti says that this is enabling the people to have strong voices, because they are able to tweet their stories. Call it “a Weibo petition.” Some stories are picked up and re-tweeted by popular online personalities — reporters, lawyers, actors — while others put pressure on local government. It’s becoming a real public sphere.
But there is a flip side. Weibo has a sophisticated censorship system. You can’t post the name of the president of the country, or even search for the surname of the top leaders. If you mention words like “get together” or “meet up” in a post, it might be automatically data-mined, recorded or sent to a pool for analyzing. So why is it sometimes successful?

A complicated picture

Something important is happening in the cat and mouse game, says Anti. There is the big cat — the central government — but also local cats, the local government. The central government tries very hard to control the local governments, which have no access to the data. Again, the servers are all in Beijing.
The most interesting question about the train crash is not why there were 10 million critical posts, but why in the first five days the central government allowed a window of free speech. Simple, says Anti, it was “because even the top leaders were fed up with this guy. They wanted an excuse to punish him. This kind of freedom is targeted.”
Social media has become a political tool of the governing party. This is new technology, but is culturally an update of the cultural revolution, which destroyed every local government.
We are the mouse, says Anti, and the mouse should always fight with the cats. And this fight isn’t restricted to China. In the West there were attempts to restrict internet freedoms, cats with names like SOPA and PIPA. Anti reminds us that “Facebook and Google claim they are friends of the mouse, but sometimes we see they are dating the cats.”

Photos: James Duncan Davidson

TED Blog

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