Welcome to the 37th episode of “The Mediatwits,” the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift’s Mark Glaser and Jillian York, who is filling in for Rafat Ali. It’s been a crazy week in media + tech, with important mergers abounding! First up is the Center for Investigative Reporting announcing that it will try to merge with another non-profit, the Bay Citizen, making a powerhouse investigative team to cover local, state and national issues. We get all the key players in that deal as guests on the show: CIR chairman Phil Bronstein, CIR executive director Robert Rosenthal and Bay Citizen interim CEO Brian Kelley.
Next up, there’s a merger of key tech sites, both started by Indian-born bloggers who turned them into startup businesses. GigaOm announced it was buying PaidContent from the Guardian for an undisclosed sum. The Guardian will get stock in GigaOm’s parent company and get a seat on the board. Special guests OM Malik, founder of GigaOm and Staci Kramer, SVP at ContentNext (and sometimes co-host of Mediatwits), talked about the deal and how the “synergy” in this case didn’t mean layoffs. And finally, we discussed the recent move by Twitter to censor some tweets in countries that had more stringent free speech controls. Was Twitter right to implement these rules?
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Here are some highlighted topics from the show:
1:00: Jillian York explains her work at the EFF
2:20: Blogs, online forums, social media only places for free expression in many countries
3:35: Rundown of topics for the podcast
CIR and Bay Citizen
4:30: Special guests Phil Bronstein, Robert Rosenthal, Brian Kelley
8:00: Rosenthal: Want to create engaged audience in Bay Area and globally
11:10: Kelley: Should be excellent synergy between organizations
12:45: Kelley: Striking about timing of executive departures, but not connected
17:20: Bronstein: Sustainability is something we talk about every day
GigaOm buys PaidContent
20:00: Special guests Om Malik and Staci Kramer
22:30: Malik: We can now cover a broader spectrum of topics
22:40: Kramer: In this case, synergy won’t mean layoffs, cost-cutting
26:30: Kramer: We’re not new media, we’re media
28:50: How is Om any different than Michael Arrington as VC?
Twitter censoring tweets
32:30: Micro-blog service will comply with rules in other countries
33:45: Is the #TwitterBlackout a good idea?
35:50: York: The laws in the countries are the problem, not the companies’ policies
38:10: York: I don’t think these companies should be in China
Bay Citizen in Merger Talks With Another Nonprofit at Wall Street Journal
The Bay Citizen’s short, strange saga in nonprofit news could be coming to an end at SF Business Times
GigaOm + PaidContent = Perfect Sense at MediaShift
Is GigaOm Buying paidContent? at AllThingsD
Why We Are Buying PaidContent at GigaOm
GigaOm And paidContent Join Forces at PaidContent
Twitter Censorship: Outkast’s Big Boi Involved In Beyonce Tweet Takedown at Huffington Post
Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about Twitter censoring tweets:
Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+Related