Alastair Campbell - che è stato director of communications con Tony Blair - ieri, durante la sua prima prolusione da visiting professor of media, a Cambridge, ha dato una bella definizioni di giornalismo. Cercando di spiegare perché è diventato giornalista Campbell ha detto
The first answer is that it seemed like great fun and it was. A big part of the fun is the privilege that being a journalist represents – it is your job to ask questions, and to expect answers. I remember when the Queen, at her golden jubilee, came to Downing St. She and TB faced the cameras together and after, Tony looked troubled. "I couldn't believe it," he said. What? "They shout at her the same way as they shout at everyone … How you feelin' Ma'am?' ..." They know she's not going to answer. But most people do, and on that simple basis, ask a question, get an answer, journalism works.
«Fare delle domande, ottenere delle risposte». Sembra semplice, ma spesso (e non solo con la regina d'Inghilterra) non è così. Anche perché dall'altra parte c'è della gente come Campbell. Tutto il discorso è da leggere, ma se avere tempo date un'occhiata anche ai commenti. L'epiteto più gentile rivolto a Campbell è «criminale di guerra». Per dire che fare lo spin doctor è un mestiere ad altro rischio. Perlomeno per la reputazione.
Seen as one of the toughest press secretaries in Downing Street of the modern era, he [Campbell, ndr] claims "the real evil of narrow concentration of press ownership by a clutch of wealthy rightwing men, most of whom do not pay taxes here, is that it leads to a narrow set of values and interests within the news agenda". He adds: "As the public know more of the way the press operate, so their power weakens, and politicians can represent the public interest, not their own or that of the media". He says the Murdoch-Dacre generation "cannot see, not least since Leveson, their similarity with union leaders in the Thatcher era, desperately clinging on to power and systems being overtaken by people demanding change. The change is happening, and will happen, in part because of public anger, campaigning by victims and activists, and also because a younger generation is better at reading the rhythms of change."
Secondo questo articolo del Guardian il GCHQ (l'agenzia britannica che si occupa di SIGINT, cioè di spionaggio elettronico, in pratica la longa manus della NSA in Europa) collabora con i servizi dei principali paesi europei e, nei suoi rapporti, ha stilato una specie di pagella degli altri 007. Gli italiani, per non smentirsi, sono gli ultimi.
In the score-card of European allies, it appears to be the Italians who come off the worse. GCHQ expresses frustration with the internal friction between Italian agencies and the legal limits on their activities. "GCHQ has had some CT [counter-terrorism] and internet-focused discussions with both the foreign intelligence agency (AISE) and the security service (AISI), but has found the Italian intelligence community to be fractured and unable/unwilling to cooperate with one another," the report said. A follow-up bulletin six months later noted that GCHQ was "awaiting a response from AISI on a recent proposal for cooperation – the Italians had seemed keen, but legal obstacles may have been hindering their ability to commit."
Insomma sembra la barzelletta dell'inferno tedesco/inferno italiano. La cialtronaggine, una volta tanto, forse ci ha salvato dai guai.
Uno studio, pubbicato on line su Nature, dedicato agli elettori USA durante l'election day del 2010 ha dimostrato che le discussioni e la propaganda politica sui social network concorrono alla formazione della decisione di voto. Non è molto, ma non è neppure poco.
The study, published online on Wednesday by the journal Nature, suggests that a special “get out the vote” message, showing each user pictures of friends who said they had already voted, generated 340,000 additional votes nationwide — whether for Democrats or Republicans, the researchers could not determine. The scientists, from Facebook and the University of California, San Diego, said they believed the study was the first to show that social networks could have at least some impact on elections, and they added that the findings could have implications far beyond voting.
[...] It’s as beautifully resistant to the intellect as an Andropov era Pravda editorial. A few more years of this and the Economist won’t have to have any human editing at all. Even today, I imagine that someone with middling coding skills could patch together a passable Economist-editorial generator with a few days work. Mix in names of countries and people scraped from the political stories sections of Google News, with frequent exhortations for “Reform,” “toughminded reform,” “market-led reform,” “painful reform,” “change,” “serious change,” “rupture,” and 12-15 sentences worth of automagically generated word-salad content, and you’d be there. I wonder whether even the writer of this editorial would be able to define ‘reform’ or ‘change’ if he were asked, beyond appealing to some sort of ‘social protection bad, market good’ quasi-autonomic reflex embedded deep in his lizard brain. I also wonder whether the people in there are as cynical about their product as Andropov-era journalists were, or whether they actually believe the pabulum they dish out.