Mediatwits #37: Merger Mania: CIR-Bay Citizen; GigaOm-PaidContent; Twitter Censorship

    by Mark Glaser
    February 10, 2012
    Om Malik (left) and Rafat Ali back in early blogging years, circa 2004. Now the blogs they founded are merging. (Photo by "JD Lasica":http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/ via Flickr)
    i-413ff2aae583d6e16240417640cfad22-robert rosenthal headshot.JPG

    Robert Rosenthal

    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.

    "This is about synergy in the purest sense of the word. What do we bring together that makes what we all do better?" -Staci Kramer, PaidContent

    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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    Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

    Here are some highlighted topics from the show:


    Phil Bronstein


    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

    More Reading

    Bay Citizen, Center for Investigative Reporting Plan to Merge. Now What? at MediaShift

    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

    Bay Citizen, Center for Investigative Reporting Announce Intent to Merge at Bay Citizen

    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 Move Sparks Backlash: Is It Justified? at Wired

    Twitter’s censorship is a gray box of shame, but not for Twitter at Reuters

    Twitter Censorship: Outkast’s Big Boi Involved In Beyonce Tweet Takedown at Huffington Post

    South Korean Indicted Over Twitter Posts From North at NY Times

    Weekly Poll

    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+

    Tagged: bay citizen censorship center for investigative reporting cir gigaom merger om malik paidcontent phil bronstein robert rosenthal twitter

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