Friday, August 7, 2009

Say Anything

Standing drinking a Diet Coke I gazed at an advertisement for the Guardian outside the Spar on the campus of Dublin City University.

The advertisement stated, "Owned by no one, free to say anything." I paused. My paper of choice is associated with the motto "All the news that's fit to print." Never worried about it before, but in comparison, it suddenly seemed a bit dated.

It's relatively uncontroversial to consider source when assessing the credibility of media. In our work on the PodCred Framework we cite Rubin and Liddy (2006) as a source for the notion that user generated media builds credibility by avoiding hidden bias. I smiled at the idea of The Guardian as a huge blog; and then again at myself for finding that funny.

The PodCred Framework includes an indicator meant to capture the source of the income of the podcaster: stores, sponsors, advertisers. The idea that transparency of funding does indeed impact listener satisfaction with podcasts hasn't been test driven yet, too my knowledge. But seeing the Guardian sign made my thoughts return to consideration of its potential.

Then I finished my break and went back inside to continue working on VideoCLEF assessment management tasks, which is why I am currently in Dublin, and my mind turned to other things.

I've found the image to accompany this post at If this is indeed a scary idea, I wonder if it indeed sells papers. But if it's really owned by no one, perhaps they need to make the link up to who is actually doing the writing. (Note to self: I do, too.)