WSJ Needs to See Opportunity, Not Loss

In a Bloomberg article, we find out that Wall Street Journal is angry with Google for dropping them from the Google search after creating a permanent paywall. They haven’t noticed that people do this because paying $425 per year for four or five articles a month doesn’t make sense. It also is a huge pain to pull out a credit card to pay for one article.

We at Phittle try to help organizations like Wall Street Journal because we believe in what they do, we believe that people need the information they find and we are committed to them. Google is not. Google’s customers are not readers but advertisers. It doesn’t make sense for them to list links that will make people upset and search for something else.

Wall Street Journal needs to see that people clearing cookies and searching for the headline is a sign that people don’t want to read from a different source and that the problem is in the cost or the way to pay for that article. The problem is not the customer, or Google, or their offering but the price and how that payment is made.

New companies similar to Phittle like Discors and Blendle  are trying with a lot of effort and sometimes a lot of funding to provide the right way to give readers an easy choice to read news, but as long as news organizations see their customers as the enemy instead of listening to what they say, nothing will change.


In other sad news, CoinTent died. They had a great product but too few organizations asking for a new model and help gave them a try. We will keep trying though.

Support journalism, through Phittle, Blendle, Patreon or Discors. We don’t care how you do it so long as you support honest and accurate reporting.


Privacy Guide for Journalists

I was recently contacted by VPN Mentor about Michael Dagan’s Privacy Guide for journalists. Michael Dagan was an editor and journalist at the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. His guide for anyone who expects to have information that needs to be kept confidential.  Most people feel that they don’t care about their information. However, whistleblowers and journalists who are publishing important information about the misdeeds of those in power have a lot to loose when being careless with the names and information entrusted to them.

I recommend to any and all journalists to read through this very important guide and to remember, that carelessness can cost your source their life and freedom, your reputation and future story and perhaps, your own life.

Online Privacy Guide


Balance, Journalism and Bias

What happens when ideology trumps journalistic ethics? We start to have channels like Fox News and the Sinclair Group. The problem that Republicans and Fox has with journalism is not that the news on other channels isn’t balanced, but that it isn’t ideological. Their assumption that liberalism is an ideology just as conservatism. They fail to see the difference between facts and journalism and blind ideology. As a result, their requirement of “balanced” is not a desire to see both sides, but to ignore opposing facts and present only ideology in positive light. Specifically, their ideology, because ideologies cannot stand oppising ideologies.

Journalistic principles have biases, they are biased towards facts. Sometimes those facts are pro Obama, sometimes against. Sometimes they are pro Republican, sometimes against. In an ideological view point, there is no room facts against. Ideology is a type of religion, where one cannot question concepts and central tenants. Pro-life is alwasy pro life or you are not a Republican. You are always free market and anti-regulation or you are not a Republican just as you are always pro Jesus and pro virgin birth or you are not a Christian. As with religions where the most important thing is to be a good Christian, it is important to be a good Republican, and to sway from the ideology is to become an outcast. This is why the view point of people who are Republicans but disagree with the party on Trump or economics, often means to be labeled liberal. Why being liberal is the worst thing one can be labeled? Because it implies that you are an enemy because you are a doubter, a heretic, a person who undermines the ideology. This is why any liberal slant on a news station is display of a lack of alegiance to the Republican cause.

This is why it is important for news organization to stand strong and stand for ideology of journalism; of reporting facts as facts regardless of which party or ideology they support. To show the truth as it is and not as some people want it to be.

That said, something very dangerous is happening in United States over the past few weeks. In Russia, Putin took over the airwaves of all news organizations. To do so, Putin sent in troops and took over companies and installed his operatives and propagandists. Something similar happened in US over the past few weeks but instead of green men, it is happening with green bills. The Sinclair Group took over stations across the country and is forcing the stations to “tilt right”. This isn’t some kind of balancing of the truth, this is taking away truth and introduccing ideological propaganda that takes away facts that reflect poorly on the Right. This is a giant leap back for democracy that is happening at an accelerating rate as most people are distracted by other events. This is something that took Putin years to create in Russia and here it is happening in a matter of months.

This is a democratic five alarm fire, our independent press institutions, our ability to freely express and communicate are being taken over by ideological elements which are requiring a specific point of view on specific politicians and business men. This is definition of fascism.

These actions corroborate all who said that we have fascism in this country as of January 21st and should spur people to act, while they can. Because once the propagandist system takes over the masses, the fear aparatus sets in, there is nothing that the free thinking people will be able to do, besides try and leave. Once the brain drain becomes detrimental to the regime, even that option, will dissapear.

In Memoriam of Journalists killed in 2016

Over sixty journalists gave their lives last year as a result of their reporting. Their words were uncovering violence and corruption which lead to those who they reported about, those who perpetrated violence and fraud against society, chose to take the lives of these men and women in order to stop them from bringing the story to light. These people did their jobs and they died for it. This isn’t fake news. Their families will no longer have them, their kids will not see them, society will not see their reporting and as a result, fraud and corruption and murder will continue. If we don’t stand up for those who put their lives on the line to protect ours and protect our democracies then who will. This is a post for 2016 and for all those journalists who gave their lives in the name of society and truth.

48 Journalists Killed in 2016/Motive Confirmed

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Hillary deleted 30,000 emails. That action is shady and makes us all, Democract, Independent and Republican wonder what was in those emails. But the important thing is that we know about that, we know because major news media reported it. It is a fact that many choose to forget that everything we know, we know for the most part because it was picked up by major news sources and told to us. They don’t have to make time for it, there are a lot of things to report but they spent time and energy and thus money to tell us, inform us, makes us better aware of the choice at hand. This is why the first amendment is so important. The freedom of speech is ability to think and speak. Freedom of press is ability for us to see and hear and thus to know which is necessary for speech. The prohibition of the government from stopping the press from telling us what is happening is at the heart of democracy to make the right decisions. To stop us from hearing what is happening is to prevent us from having the freedom to know and thus from being able to decide. It prevents us from voting as an informed public and that prevents us from being free. It destroys the democracy and democratic process at its core.

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Last to Know, First to Lose.

The idea that knowledge is power is not a new one. It is as old as thought. Chimps will lead the band away from places with plenty of food so they can come back and feast, dogs will hide a bone while other dogs will spy on them to steal it and humans who developed military knowledge and expertise, guard secrets with their lives. In fact in war and business, giving away tactics and numbers can be the difference between staying alive and in business and watching the competitor pass you by and defeat in the battlefield.

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In Love With The Process, Not The Customer.

Last year on the picturesque Finger Lakes, as the authorities were franticly looking for the prison escapees of upstate New York, I was having a conversation with Todd, a manager of circulation at Times Union. He’s a young guy in his thirties; very smart and ahead of the times. He knows what drive profits, he knows everything about his business, but he doesn’t understand his customers. That is, he like many other publishers and managers of news publications are guilty of assuming his customers are the advertisers, instead of the readers. A distinction hard to make out in the news space. It is hard to understand sometimes if news acts any differently from Facebook, where they see their customers are the advertisers and what they sell are your eyes which they hook with stories and entertainment.

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Driving for Journalism

#DrivingForYourStory is a road trip across country to visit nearly fifty publishers around US to introduce them to the Phittle payments. To join us on the journey, follow  me on Twitter @ThePhittle and Instagram @ThePhittle

PS-Big thank you to Ira and John of the Phoenix AutoDriveAway   as well as the Turleys and Newbroughs for helping with this project.  AutoDriveAway connects good drivers with great people who need their car transported helping people like me get to far away places and bring cars across great distances for people like you.

Begin the journey by scrolling to the bottom and read to the top!

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journalists killed map

In Memoriam 2015

The knowledge about our world and society doesn’t suddenly appear, it doesn’t come out of thin air and it is not created by someone on Facebook or Twitter. Those people do not expose corruption that wastes tax dollars or cover up and damages done by corporations or the war crimes by countries and dictatorships. These things are uncovered by brave men and women who run towards danger not for a paycheck or glory and without a war machine to back them up and without a thank you or a veterans pay for injury or death, they do it for the sake of truth and democracy. Because without them and the information they procure, we as a nation cannot make the right decision we must make to survive as a democracy, to survive as human beings. They stay behind in earthquakes and fires, they report when everyone else leaves, putting their lives at risk and all too often, loosing their lives. Here are the names of those killed in 2015. Most of them, directly targeted for murder. Only 4% of these murders were followed with any kind of justice. A total of 1749 men and women since 1992. They are volunteers, they served society. There is no monument to them, no day of mourning or national day of remembrance. They do their job and we are free not because of the wars we fight, but because of the wars they prevent and the wars they help end.

Click here to see the list of journalists killed in United States.

100 Journalists were killed for reporting misconduct in 2015. Here are their names as reported by Committee To Protect Journalists.

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Good Ads/Bad Ads

What is a good ad? It can be hard to believe, but there are good ads. We’ve seen them on TV during the SuperBowl and sometimes even on-line. Ads can be great and give value when done right. Ads can beautify a site, they can finance content  and they can let us know about products or brands which help add value to our lives. Good ads never interrupt and they do not harm our experience. Websites which  provide space on their site and are truly in line with the customer’s needs and wants will never place an ad which will advertise inferior product or harm the customer experience on their site.


Sadly bad ads have become all too common on-line. These ads which mislead us, waste our time and data quota on phones, promise products which don’t deliver and ruin overall experience on a website. This can be an advertisement for a website itself like the many blogs and news sites  with annoying pop-ups for newsletter sign-ups, or promote outside advertisers which encapsulate video or GIFs breaking our concentration while we are attempting to read on the site where the ad was placed. These actions monopolizing our time and attention on a product we do not need or care for ruin our browsing experience on the very site that seeks our attention.

When this happens over and over again, readers begin to react in two ways: they stop frequenting the site which does not show respect for them as the reader or for the a creator of content.  Or, the readers install ad-block software like those of who replace ads with inspirational messages. However, Ad-Blocks harms us,  because we as consumers miss out on advertisements which may actually add to our experience and provide needed information.

This is why we at Phittle curate our Phittle NewsMuse Ap to help you as a reader avoid the type of ads which do not respect you as the reader. We also promote news websites who respect your time and provide readers like you with quality content and quality ads enhancing the reading experience.

To the other websites which continue to show disruptive ads, we say good luck. However, our community is not for you. Although should you decide to begin providing our readers with well-behaving ads which do not distract readers who are attempting to concentrate and read important news, then we will be happy to welcome you back with open arms.

Be a good website, have good ads, let’s end internet ad-pollution. Let’s  make the Internet better than when you found it.

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