I watched the Congressional Hearing over misinformation from last week - 5 hours and 40 minutes, the whole damned thing. Here is what I’ve learned.

These types of hearings (there were a few in the past) are not being held to gain knowledge or to regulate Big Tech. These hearings serve mostly as a shouting match and an opportunity for politicians to show off, to demonstrate to the public that they are in control, when in fact they are not.

The tech CEOs seem to be getting more and more annoyed with every hearing while mastering the art of dodging…

30 years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the introduction of the World Wide Web changed our world forever. While most media industries have successfully transformed their businesses into digital services, many news outlets are struggling. What happened in this transformational process? And where did publishers go astray?

Do you remember the time when we used to actually own things?

I’m not talking about cars or real estate. I mean regular, day-to-day stuff. Like music, for example. “True Blue” by Madonna, the first CD I ever owned, cost US$30. I listened to it until my ears bled, because…

My view of Journalism 2020 and why I think we must move faster - 5G faster

A few years ago, a barber asked me what my profession was. I replied I was a journalist. “What for?” he asked. Me: “That’s what I keep wondering myself.”

So what are we doing all this for? This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately. This is not the midlife crisis of a former journalism student who hasn’t noticed there was such a thing as growing up, that would be much too easy. Because it isn’t me, who is in…

Nach dem Terroranschlag in Nizza waren meine Familie und ich fast 3 Jahre lang Zielscheibe von Hasspredigern und Verschwörungstheoretikern im Netz. So sehr ich mir gewünscht hätte, dass Google und Facebook gegen diese Hetzschriften und -Videos auf ihren Plattformen vorgehen, ein Upload-Filter wäre für uns nie in Frage gekommen. Die Annahme, Hass und Antisemitismus in der Gesellschaft durch eine solche Maßnahme stoppen zu können, ist töricht.

Genauso töricht wäre es zu glauben, dass man durch die geplante Urheberrechtsreform Geschäftsmodelle aus der Gutenberg-Ära in das Internet-Zeitalter retten kann. Was bei der Abstimmung morgen auf dem Spiel steht, ist größer als wir…

Facebook at SXSW

There are quite a few things I have done in my life that I’m not too proud of, but what happened today might have been one of the worst. I made a complete fool of myself in front of hundreds of people who had come to South-by-Southwest to have a good time, to hang out with likeminded folks and to celebrate tech. People assembled for the session “Can We Fight Fake News Without Killing the Truth?”

The Truth is out there, somewhere — but so are the Lies

The doubts first sneaked in with the internet. And now mistrust towards the media has hit rock bottom. As if people had been venturing out of Plato’s cave for the first time and found that the flickering shadows they had seen cavorting on their TV screens were only reflections of a larger, much more complex world.

Plato’s parable about the cave dwellers — prisoners staring at a wall for all their lives. And on that wall they see the shadows of the real world dancing back and forth. A modern variant of that cave wall were the Evening News. …

Die Wahrheit ist irgendwo da draussen — die Lügen auch.

>>> English text version

Mit dem Internet kamen die Zweifel. Selten war das Misstrauen gegenüber den Medien größer. Es ist, als würden sich die Menschen zum ersten Mal aus Platons Höhle bewegen und feststellen, dass die Schattenspiele auf dem Fernsehbildschirm lediglich Abbild einer größeren, weitaus komplexeren Welt sind.

Platons Höhlengleichnis — Gefangene, die Zeit ihres Lebens auf eine Wand starren, auf der die Schatten der realen Welt auf- und abtanzen. Als moderne Variante jener Höhlenwand müsste man heute wohl so etwas wie die Tagesschau bezeichnen. …

rootclaim — the antidote to fake news?

Was Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 really shot down by pro-Russian Militias? Who was behind the poison gas attacks in Syria? A startup from Israel worked out a methodology to help bringing the truth to light even from the murkiest of situations. Rootclaim’s approach is based on crowdsourcing and on the infallibility of mathematics.

rootclaim — calculating reality

An antidote for the post-truth era?

The truth is somewhere out there. The problem is: so are the lies. The internet and web 2.0 have challenged the media’s prerogative to explain the world. Legacy media outlets are being badmouthed as the “lying press”…

The Web Re:volutionaries of Havana

Harold Cárdenas Lema from Havanna is 30 years old. He is in the process of writing his doctoral thesis. Together with a handful of likeminded friends he wants to reform Cuba. Here is a conversation about blogging, about Barack Obama and about the future of Cuba.

Picture: istockphoto.com

2015, I’m not quite done with you yet! What an exciting year you were after all. For me you were one of the most crucial media years of all time. 10 Insights from last year and a survival lesson for broadcasters and publishers.

We were at a crossroads in 2015. It was the year when tech companies such as Facebook created faits accomplies by introducing their Instant Articles function and assumed the role of broadcasters and publishers once and for all.

So before I make a nose-dive into 2016, here are a few thoughts about what I take away from…

Richard Gutjahr

Journalist, TV-Anchor, Time-Traveler

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