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發報時間: 2017-02-24 16:00:00 / 報主:傳媒與教育
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The tech/editorial culture clash
At this year’s annual meeting of the Online News Association in Denver, many of the 2,000 attendees and delegates crowded into the opening keynote address. In the middle of the most charged US election in living memory, at a time when the relevance and role of the news media were under intense scrutiny, the assembled newsroom operatives were not coming to hear a leading editor or garlanded correspondent give insights on the upcoming election or the state of the world. Instead, they listened intently to Fidji Simo, Facebook’s director of product, talk about how the future is all about giving users more of what they want.
  在美國丹佛舉辦的網路新聞協會(Online News Association,ONA)年會上,現場2000名與會者和代表大多是衝著這次的開幕演講而來。在充滿高張力的美國總統大選期間,也是新聞媒體受到嚴格管控的時期,齊聚一堂的新聞工作者,並不是來聽某位總編輯或記者,對即將到來的選舉或國際情勢發表高見。相反的,臉書產品總監Fidji Simo有關未來如何滿足用戶更多需求的演講,更令他們感到興趣。
The intertwining of interests between enormously powerful technology companies and every news organization on the planet has troubled both sides. Mark Zuckerberg has firmly stated he does not see Facebook as a media company, but as a technology company. Journalists at the Online News Association, known as ONA, were skeptical about the influence of technology companies, though aware of the interdependence. “To tell the truth, they are keeping us alive at the moment,” said the founder of a small news startup. “If it wasn’t for advertising from Facebook pages, we might not be here.”
  這些科技公司和地球上的每一個新聞機構之間的利益交織,也同時困擾著雙方。Mark Zuckerberg曾堅決地表示,他不認為臉書是一家媒體公司,而是一家科技公司。網路新聞協會的記者則對科技公司的影響持懷疑態度,儘管了解到這是個相互依存情況。「老實說,他們讓我們得以生存,此時此刻」,一個小型新聞組織的創辦人說。「若不是臉書的網頁廣告,我們可能不會聚在這裡」。
Another technologist working with international newsrooms was far more dogmatic in questioning the motives and values of the Silicon Valley interlopers: “They are not your friends. They are interested only in growth and money, and once news is dependent on them, they will turn off the traffic tap and start charging.”
The mutual unease in this new pact is symptomatic of a deeper, systemic dysfunction in the relationship between journalism and production technologies. The cultures of journalism and software development are ostensibly working toward the same goal—organizing information, informing the public, generating money from advertising—but in most respects, they are very different. In 1959, the British public intellectual C. P. Snow famously identified what he called the “two cultures” into which society was divided: “literary intellectuals at one pole—at the other, scientists,” he wrote. “Between the two a gulf of incomprehension—sometimes…hostility and dislike, but most of all a lack of understanding.”
  這一新協議所造成的不安,突顯的是新聞業和生產科技之間,存在著更深層的系統性問題。新聞業和軟體開發者的組織文化,表面上雖有共同的目標,像是整合資訊、通知公眾和透過廣告賺錢,但在其他方面,他們是非常不同的。在1959年,英國公共知識分子C.P. Snow曾提出所謂的「兩種文化」(two cultures)觀點,說明了社會被分為兩個極端:「文學知識分子在一個極端,而科學家則在另一個極端」,他寫道。「在兩者之間有一個難以理解的分歧,有時敵對和不喜歡,但最重要的是缺乏理解」。
The concepts and dissonance Snow described will be familiar to anyone who has worked to assimilate legacy media companies into the digital environment. While many fields have been disrupted by automation and computation, few have converged as abruptly and as publicly as software engineering and journalism. The news media is witnessing its business models and production processes being remade by Web publishers and search engines. Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have replaced media companies as the most important information delivery mechanisms within the space of a decade. Every major news event in the world, from bombs raining down on Aleppo to the late night tweeting of presidential candidates, is broken through social media and seen through our luminous mobile phone screens. Facebook’s value is now over $360 billion, twice as much as that of The Walt Disney Co., its nearest traditional media rival.
  Snow所提到的不和諧概念,對於曾經試圖將傳統媒體和現今數位生態連結的人來說並不陌生;雖然在許多層面已經被自動化的計算干擾,但也有少部份就自然地融合在一起,像是軟體工程和新聞業的合作。新聞媒體正見證的,是其商業模式和生產過程被網頁出版商和搜尋引擎重塑的過程,谷歌、蘋果、臉書和亞馬遜在過去10年已經取代了媒體公司作為重要的資訊傳遞機構。 世界上每一個重大新聞事件,無論敘利亞的炸彈襲擊事件,還是總統候選人深夜所發的推特訊息,都透過社交媒體傳送到我們的手機上。臉書的市值超過3600億美元,足足是與它市場規模相近的迪士尼(The Walt Disney)的兩倍。
The wealth and influence generated by Silicon Valley has devalued media owners’ and news executives’ political capital, and increasingly replaced them completely. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013, when its former owner, Don Graham, acknowledged that his family no longer had the resources to keep the Post relevant in the digital era. With Bezos’s investment and under the editorship of Martin Baron, the Post is a resurgent and innovative force. Pierre Omidyar, who made a fortune as the founder of eBay, has invested in both a local news initiative in his home state of Hawaii, and in First Look Media, which owns The Intercept and invests in documentaries and films with a journalistic focus, including the Academy Award-winning Spotlight. (Omidyar’s Democracy Fund also supports CJR’s local news coverage.) Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes had a brief and less happy association with media when he bought the New Republic, triggering mass staff resignations and selling the title to publisher Win McCormack after only four years.
  矽谷所生產的財富和影響力,使得媒體所有者和新聞高階主管的政治資本貶值,並有取而代之的趨勢。亞馬遜的創辦人Bezos在2013年以2.5億美元收購了華盛頓郵報,因為華郵的前任經營者Don Graham和其家族已經沒有足夠資源來保持華郵在數位時代的競爭力。有了Bezos的投資,和Martin Baron在編輯工作上的協助,華郵代表一個復甦和創新的力量。因創立eBay而致富的Pierre Omidyar,投資了他家鄉夏威夷的一個地方新聞節目,以及建立擁有網路媒體「攔截」(The Intercept)的First Look Media,也資助了一些新聞專業的紀錄片和電影,像是奪得奧斯卡獎的電影驚爆焦點(Spotlight)。臉書的共同創辦人Chris Hughes在買下美國百年老牌雜誌「新共和」(The New Republic)時,也有過一段短暫又不愉快的經驗,曾造成該媒體大量的離職潮,4年不到就轉售給媒體人Win McCormack。
The difference between the Silicon Valley and East Coast publishing mindsets was most dramatically illustrated during the Gawker lawsuit, whereby the media news and gossip website founded by British journalist Nick Denton was bankrupted in a privacy suit brought by wrestler Hulk Hogan and covertly funded by Silicon Valley investor and billionaire Peter Thiel. Thiel’s single-minded pursuit of Gawker was sparked by a 2007 story outing Thiel as gay. Thiel, often a supporter of free speech and the Committee to Protect Journalists, saw no inconsistency in successfully closing down Gawker. “I refuse to believe that journalism means massive privacy violations….I think much more highly of journalists than that,” Thiel told The New York Times. “It’s precisely because I respect journalists that I do not believe they are endangered by fighting back against Gawker.”
  美國矽谷和東岸出版思維最大的區別,可從八卦網站Gawker的訴訟官司中得到答案。這個由英國記者Nick Denton創立的八卦新聞網站,因為和摔跤明星Hulk Hogan隱私訴訟官司而破產,而矽谷億萬富翁Thiel在其中扮演重要角色。Thiel一心針對Gawker而來,是因為2007年Gawker的一篇報導揭露了Thiel的同性戀傾向;Thiel捍衛言論自由,同時也是保護記者委員會(Committee to Protect Journalists)的支持者,但卻毫不猶豫的讓Gawker倒閉。「我不相信新聞業就應該和大規模的侵犯隱私畫上等號,我認為記者遠比這更加重要」Thiel告訴紐約時報,「正因為我尊重記者,所以我認為他們不該因這件事而受到傷害」。
Thiel could not see what made many journalists uneasy: that the operation of a free press is not a case of picking the people whose journalism you approve of, and closing those you don’t. In the world of billionaire technologists, the prize lies in creating the most efficient and logical systems possible, cutting the “best” path for users or customers. Anything that stops the progression to seamless scale must be eliminated or “debugged.” In engineering, there is always a right answer, whereas in journalism, there are only more questions.
Shortly after Omidyar established First Look Media, he held a series of meetings with journalists, academics, and technologists to think about what a new model news organization ought to look like. During one session in the basement of his Laguna Beach resort hotel, the exchanges became heated around how and where the technologists ought to work. Surely in the heart of the newsroom, a number of us argued, as the ideal would be a journalistic process rethought and designed to benefit from a deep knowledge of the technology behind it. “But engineers and journalists are so different, surely that is not going to work?” came the response.
  在Omidyar成立First Look Media不久後,他舉行了一系列與記者、學術界和科技人的會談,希望了解未來新聞機構的經營模式。在Omidyar位於拉古納海灘度假酒店地下室的一次會議中,「科技人的未來該何去何從」此議題讓現場交流頓時變得熱絡起來;當然,身為新聞編輯室的核心,在現場的我們以及一些出席者,將新聞過程重新思考,並輔以一個受益於科技知識的架構是最理想的辦法,只是仍有人回應「工程師和記者是如此不同,這方法肯定是行不通的」。
There are many different kinds of technologists and many different kinds of journalists, and a large number of them intersect. The best data journalists are often gifted technologists, and the most creative developers can make far more progress in building future applications for news than someone whose main skills are writing or making videos. In most newsrooms, what was once a hostility by journalists toward “the techies” has become an admiration and understanding that journalists with the right technical skills hold the keys to the survival and health of the field. Diversity in thinking about how to tackle stories or harder problems in the organization of our reporting and information has undoubtedly made journalism better.
作者:Emily Bell
原文網址: http://www.cjr.org/analysis/tech_editorial_facebook.php


The tech/editorial culture clash
I was once wandering round The Guardian’s digital floor, where I was, at the time, a senior editor, when I saw a group of technologists from an engineering firm arranged in a circle, passing a rubber chicken between them. The engineers were helping with a large project, but the chicken ritual was baffling. I asked a colleague about it. “The chicken is like a talking stick,” she explained. “The developers need to know that when the chicken gets to them, they have to describe their work for the day and offer comments on anyone else’s work….otherwise they might just not be able to tell us something important.”
In a news organization, the idea that a group of colleagues would need a rubber chicken as an aid to self-expression was anathema. Journalists offered opinions freely, particularly on the subject of the digital landscape, often with little or no evidentiary basis. Working between teams of developers and journalists, it was easy to discern where the differences in culture and understanding lay. Technologists necessarily needed precision and certainty, while journalists frolicked amid ambiguity and uncertainty. What I regarded as a complete coup as an editor—launching a site in a very short time on third-party technology—made the tech team wince and say, “We should never ever do that again.” What I saw as a tactical triumph, they interpreted as a strategic disaster. While their route would have cost much less long-term “technical debt,” my route took two and a half years less to complete.
  在一個新聞機構中,一組同事需要使用一個橡皮雞來自我表達是令人難受的。 記者往往能自由地提出看法,特別是在那些不太需要任何證據基礎的數位內容主題上。從開發團隊和記者團隊之間,我們很容易辨別彼此文化之間的落差;技術人員講求精確度和確定性,而記者則在模糊和不確定性之間遊離。作為一個編輯,我突然靈機一動,短時間內在第三方科技上設立一個網站,迫使科技團隊退縮和表態:「我們永遠不該再這麼做」。我所看到的是策略上的勝利,他們卻認為是戰略上的災難。雖然他們路線的成本遠遠低於長期的「技術債務」,但我的路線花了兩年半的時間才完成。
This cultural difference was written through every page of the now famous leaked New York Times innovation report of 2014, often in a tone of primal frustration. One anonymous newsroom contributor to the report put it thus: “We have a tendency to pour resources into big one-time projects and work through the one-time fixes needed to create them and overlook the less glamorous work of creating tools, templates and permanent fixes that cumulatively can have a bigger impact by saving our digital journalists time and elevating the whole report. We greatly undervalue replicability.”
Mark Hansen, who leads the Brown Institute for Media Innovation co-located at the Columbia Journalism School and the Stanford Engineering School, sees enormous opportunity in making journalism a truly interdisciplinary field. “It is a lazy line of thinking to say that journalists and technologists occupy different spaces and always will,” he says. “Those caricatures are really not useful. Engineers are incentivized to think differently, as are journalists. But plenty of engineers think like journalists, and vice versa.”
  布朗媒體創新學院(Brown Institute for Media Innovation)主任Mark Hansen認為,現在是新聞學成為跨學科領域的絕佳機會,他說:「刻意區分記者和技術人員的分別是懶惰的想法」,也提及「這些嘲諷沒有多大的幫助,工程師被鼓勵以不同的角度思考,記者同樣也是。但許多工程師卻被認為像記者,反之亦然」。
Journalistic innovation now often means keeping pace with the largest and most agile of the social media companies. New entrants into the journalism market, like BuzzFeed, have made a point and a business of staying as close to the development of companies like Facebook as possible. Others, like Vox, have focused on making their own in-house technologies that are as good as anything Silicon Valley might produce. A new classification of newsroom jobs in “product teams” has been part of the response to this cultural friction. (Journalists of a particular generation detest the word “product,” with its nakedly commercial overtones, or the idea that news is ever a product rather than a process; but in these culture wars, it seems, technology wins even when it comes to language.)
  新聞上的創新,通常意味著得跟上社交媒體公司的步調,新聞市場的新進入者,如BuzzFeed已有相當的成果,並盡可能和臉書所發展的業務保持同步;像Vox這樣的公司則專注於提升自己的內部技術,這些技術與矽谷相比也不遑多讓。新聞編輯室的新部門「產品團隊」(product team),便是這種文化摩擦下的產物,特定世代的記者以「裸露的商業色彩」或「新聞被視為產品而不是個過程」的觀點來譴責「產品」一詞,但是在這場文化戰爭中,科技似乎總是佔了上風。
Product teams, social media editors, and curation desks are becoming increasingly present in all newsrooms; the cultural friction between these entities and traditional editorial roles might remain, but it is no longer where the key tension lies. The rise of platform companies is having a particularly strong impact on the news app and product teams of news organizations. Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and Apple have all built impressive new ways for news organizations to distribute their journalism, and in the case of Facebook, new ways to actually assemble and tell stories. Huge teams of developers work on video and photographic applications that would be difficult for individual news organizations to develop even if they wanted to. Facebook Live, which Mark Zuckerberg described as “a TV camera in your pocket,” can stream simultaneous live videos from anyone with a Facebook account and a fast enough internet connection.
  產品團隊、社交媒體編輯和策展部門,已逐漸出現在新聞編輯室中,這些部門和傳統編輯之間的文化摩擦仍可能存在,但不再是緊張的局面。平台公司的興起,對於新聞組織中新聞的應用和產品團隊產生了強烈的影響;臉書、谷歌、Snapchat和蘋果都為新聞組織創造了令人印象深刻的新聞傳遞模式。以臉書的例子來說,新的模式更能準確的說故事,大型的開發團隊相較於個別新聞機構,更能開發影像和攝影相關的技術;像是被Zuckerberg稱做「口袋裡的攝影機」的臉書直播(Facebook Live),只要透過臉書帳戶和足夠的頻寬,便能傳輸即時影像。
When Simo was asked at ONA whether Facebook is in fact a media company, she was more measured than her boss. “We play a big role in the media industry and we take that responsibility very seriously,” she said. “The reason we primarily consider ourselves a technology company is because we don’t create content, and we are not in the business of picking which topic the world should care about. What we really care about is making everyone have an experience in News Feed where they see what they want to see.”
  當Simo在ONA年會上被問到臉書是否為一個媒體公司時,她比她的老闆有更多的思量:「我們在媒體產業發揮了重要的作用,我們非常重視此一責任,」、「我們認為臉書是一家科技公司的原因是因為我們不生產內容,我們不為世界挑選應該關心的話題;我們真正關心的是動態消息(News Feed)的使用經驗,以及讓人們看到他們想看到的」。
The looming question for many newsrooms is how much to invest in their own technology teams versus using the tools and techniques being developed for them by Facebook or Google? It is almost impossible to get news executives to speak on the record about this, as many are already involved in deals with social media or search companies, but the views of those who are most alarmed by this could not be clearer: “What will happen, if we are not careful, is that the only technologists we will continue to employ will be those who can work on integrating whatever the news organization is doing into their platform,” one executive told me. “Independent thought and independent development will be at an end.”
Another was even more forthright: “What have technology companies done, really, apart from make journalism worse? A couple of years ago, amazingly inventive interactives and graphics were [at the] top of the most-viewed lists at news sites. You wouldn’t get that kind of creativity today because they don’t work with Facebook Instant Articles.” 
  另一個回應更直截了當:「除了使新聞更糟糕,科技公司到底做了什麼?幾年前,新聞網站上最受歡迎的,是令人讚嘆的創新互動模式和圖像,但你今天不會視那樣的表現為創意,因為他們無法和臉書的即時新聞(Instant Article)連結」。
Without an informed and independent lens on the work of large technology companies, news organizations could easily surrender to the idea that they no longer belong in the business of shaping their own formats and production tools. But independent and creative advocacy for its own technologies is one of the most powerful ways journalism can retain its relevance.
It was once the case that more technology-focused resources potentially meant fewer reporters in the newsroom. That choice can now be seen for what it always was: a false bargain. As reporting and technology converge, it is not a matter of journalists learning code, but of journalism becoming code.
Twitter is, I still believe, the most important innovation for journalists since the telephone. I use it to find stories, keep track of sources, and find out what is being said. I think all journalists do, which is why I encourage students to build a profile there. Being a bad journalist but being good on Twitter will not help your career, but being a good journalist and knowing how to use Twitter effectively for news sourcing and reporting is now a core requirement for reporters. I use it all the time, though post less and less, mainly because I don’t have time, but also partly because being “good on Twitter” is like everything else: You have to keep doing it or lose the knack. Also, I’m married to a journalist, and if you are not on Twitter you end up having nothing to talk about apart from the children.
作者:Emily Bell
原文網址: http://www.cjr.org/analysis/tech_editorial_facebook.php




    「在Facebook、微信、微博、Twitter上,你可以擁有數千名好友,然而大量研究結果說明,其中大多數都是weak ties(弱關係),你擁有的穩定社交網絡人數存在上限。」宋韵雅以英國牛津大學的人類學家羅賓 • 鄧巴(Robin Dunbar)提出「150定律(Rule Of 150)」說明,該定律又稱「鄧巴數字」,是根據猿猴的智力與社交網絡推斷,人類智力允許人類擁有穩定社交網絡的人數大約是150人。
從屬性轉向行為  個體是基於相同結構位置組成群體

    宋韵雅說,在社會網絡分析中,可深入探討的要素包括行動者、關係、節點(nodes)、邊(lines, edges)、結構(structures)、動態(dynamics)等,這些構成網絡研究的不同層級,也可依此提出社會網絡研究的不同議題領域。


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