April 13, 2017 Last Updated 8:28 am

Twitter alert from North Korea proves to be no big deal, but reporters still keep an eye on the social network for tips

Morning Brief: Big techs are not embracing the new Federal Communications Commission chairman’s efforts to make net neutrality voluntary, fearing that ISPs will begin charging their companies for prioritized access

Twitter is great for quickly spreading news – both confirmed news and unconfirmed news, as we all know. But it is proving a great tool to give reporters and editors a heads-up about potential news.

Yesterday evening western time, early in the morning in North Korea, CNN correspondent Will Ripley was awakened and told to put on his suit for a special event. He and other reporters were then herded on to buses and driven off. Ripley was also told he had to leave his phone behind, so he quickly dashed off a tweet to alert not only his editors, but the world that something big might be about to happen.

With tensions high on the Korean peninsula, and the North Koreans threatening nuclear war should they feel threatened, the correspondent wanted everyone ready. But, in the end, the whole thing was about
Kim Jong Un opening up a new apartment complex. Much ado about nothing, it may be – but Ripley was taking no chances.

The Washington Post, Joby Warrick:

Kim Jong Un’s rockets are getting an important boost — from China

When North Korea launched its Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite into space last February, officials heralded the event as a birthday gift for dead leader Kim Jong Il. But the day also brought an unexpected prize for the country’s adversaries: priceless intelligence in the form of rocket parts that fell into the Yellow Sea.

Entire sections of booster rocket were snagged by South Korea’s navy and then scrutinized by international weapons experts for clues about the state of North Korea’s missile program. Along with motor parts and wiring, investigators discerned a pattern. Many key components were foreign-made, acquired from businesses based in China.

Associated Press, Joe McDonald:

Global stocks drop after Trump talks down dollar

Global stock markets turned lower and the dollar was volatile Thursday after President Donald Trump withdrew a threat to declare China a currency manipulator and said the U.S. currency was “getting too strong.” Tensions over North Korea also weighed on investors ahead of a long weekend in many markets…

…On the dollar’s exchange rate against those of major trading partners, Trump said: “I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me.” He added that “It’s very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries are devaluing their currency.” Those remarks helped push the yen to its highest level since mid-November, just after the presidential election.



Ars Technica, Jon Brodkin:

Ajit Pai can’t convince websites that killing net neutrality is a good idea

The plan to eliminate net neutrality rules and replace them with voluntary commitments is not winning over lobbyists for major Internet companies.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and his staff met yesterday with the Internet Association, a trade group whose members include Amazon, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, Reddit, Spotify, Twitter, and about 30 other Web companies. The meeting occurred about a week after Pai reportedly met with broadband industry lobby groups to discuss his plans for eliminating net neutrality rules…

…Pai hasn’t made his plan public, and the filing does not say whether Pai briefed the Internet Association on his plan. But the group was well aware of press reports summarizing the key parts of Pai’s plan. The chairman reportedly wants to eliminate the common carrier classification of ISPs and shift net neutrality enforcement to the Federal Trade Commission. But instead of having actual net neutrality rules, Pai reportedly wants the companies to agree to basic net neutrality principles in their terms of service.



TNM does not write about awards. It is a simple policy, created simply because award events have turned to a scam business for far too many B2Bs, with those that cover the media being the worst offenders.

I get it, journalists love recognition, and often deserve it. But I won’t reinforce the unseemly trait, even by talking about the Pulitzers.

But there has been a theme around here lately centered on the dangers smaller newspapers are facing. Just yesterday TNM reported on the shuttering of The Observer Newspaper Group in Northern Ireland.

So, we shouldn’t let the news go by of the twice-weekly newspaper the serves Storm Lake, Iowa that won a Pulitzer for editorial writing. The editorial that won them the prize for the 3,000 circulation newspaper, Who pays the wizard?, is a classic case of a small newspaper shining a light on a big corporation. Congratulations to Art Cullen, the nwespaper’s owner and editor. (Art Cullen is seen at right, with his brother John, in a photo that appear’s on the newspaper’s About page. Art’s son Tom, also works for the paper.)

The Guardian, Esther Addley:

Tiny newspaper in US wins Pulitzer prize for taking on big business

A number of important local stories were leading the website of the Storm Lake Times, circulation 3,000, on Tuesday morning. Second-grader Alejandra Gonzales found a four-leaf clover in the field behind her school. A local woman had bought and renovated a building to house 25 elderly cats.

And in a modest announcement of just a sentence, another notable local happening: on Monday, Art Cullen, the paper’s owner and editor, was awarded a Pulitzer prize, the most prestigious award in global journalism, for his editorial writing. Fellow honorees for 2017 include the rather better read New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Miami Herald.

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