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Re: Media Access (ACTION-197)

From: Vinay Goel <vigoel@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2012 14:37:30 -0700
To: "Amy Colando (LCA)" <acolando@microsoft.com>, Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu>, Sean Harvey <sharvey@google.com>
CC: "ifette@google.com" <ifette@google.com>, JC Cannon <jccannon@microsoft.com>, Craig Spiezle <craigs@otalliance.org>, Heather West <heatherwest@google.com>, "SULLIVAN, BRYAN L" <bs3131@att.com>, Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CBD738B1.9331%vigoel@adobe.com>
I have to agree with Amy on this.  As a member who joined the Working Group in February, it took attending many sessions as well as reviewing the archives/mailing lists to come up to speed.  And, I was following DNT before February (but not at the WG level).  I think its nearly impossible for a journalist to attend one meeting (that isn't designed to bring him/her up to speed) and write a comprehensive, fair view of the dialogue.


From: "Amy Colando (LCA)" <acolando@microsoft.com<mailto:acolando@microsoft.com>>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2012 13:34:43 -0700
To: Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu<mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu>>, Sean Harvey <sharvey@google.com<mailto:sharvey@google.com>>
Cc: "ifette@google.com<mailto:ifette@google.com>" <ifette@google.com<mailto:ifette@google.com>>, JC Cannon <jccannon@microsoft.com<mailto:jccannon@microsoft.com>>, Craig Spiezle <craigs@otalliance.org<mailto:craigs@otalliance.org>>, Heather West <heatherwest@google.com<mailto:heatherwest@google.com>>, "SULLIVAN, BRYAN L" <bs3131@att.com<mailto:bs3131@att.com>>, Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com<mailto:wileys@yahoo-inc.com>>, "public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>" <public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>>
Subject: RE: Media Access (ACTION-197)

Unhelpful adjectives aside, I don’t understand how participating in our weekly working calls would be any more helpful than reviewing the archives and minutes.  From the gaps that you are pointing out, a managed briefing process may to help provide context.

There have been multiple times during our working sessions when actual participants who are new to the group are directed back to the archives/mailing lists when they are asking questions that have previously been addressed.

From: Jonathan Mayer [mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu]
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 1:30 PM
To: Sean Harvey
Cc: ifette@google.com<mailto:ifette@google.com>; JC Cannon; Craig Spiezle; Heather West; SULLIVAN, BRYAN L; Shane Wiley; public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Media Access (ACTION-197)


The status quo imposes an awfully weighty burden in time, patience, and technical expertise on non-participants who want to learn about the group's deliberations.  The mailing list archives and minutes record lengthy, hyper-specific discussions; they're rife with jargon and often indecipherable or incomplete without context.  I don't take any comfort in the view that "if a journalist wants to write an article . . . they [should] be willing to do the research."  The argument smacks of the same vacuous quality as "if a user cares about privacy, they'll read the privacy policy."


On Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM, Sean Harvey wrote:
It seems reasonable from my perspective that if a journalist wants to write an article on the Do Not Track process that they be willing to do the research. The W3C is an extremely open organization and provides them with a wealth of source data. If I can't navigate and comprehend email threads in the W3C, how capable am I to write a strong article on the work of this working group? And how well would I understand what I was hearing in an in-person meeting?

On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM, Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu<mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu>> wrote:


The email archive and minutes may seem accessible to us.  But we've been steeped in Do Not Track for nearly a year.  We can't—and shouldn't—expect a non-participant to wade through the thousands of indecipherable emails we've sent and try to make sense of our half-baked minutes.  Recent additions to the group can attest: the only way to get up to speed is to be in the room.


On Monday, May 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM, Ian Fette (イアンフェッティ) wrote:
Also, not meaning any disrespect to the press, but there's a lot of info out there that has not been utilized by the press at all. E.g. a glance at the email list or the meeting notes would have allowed ample characterization of the DC f2f as a venue where we had a list of issues to get through, and people being assigned actions to bring text as starting points for these issues so that we could walk through them. This somehow got missed in some of the press articles I read after the event. It's not clear to me that, given the already publicly accessible information is not being well utilized, that further opening it up and expecting that somehow people are going to sit through weekly meetings and multi-day face-to-face meetings is going to lead to more informed articles in the future, all of our best wishes for that notwithstanding.

I think bringing structure to press interactions is the more helpful way to go than making it a free-for-all.
On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 8:04 AM, JC Cannon <jccannon@microsoft.com<mailto:jccannon@microsoft.com>> wrote:

I feel the press gets enough transparency via the public notes and discussions with participants. In addition, with over 60 people in the room from various backgrounds, that should be enough transparency for the general public.

I don’t feel guidelines will have that much sway over the press and their presence will overshadow what we are trying to accomplish.


From: Jonathan Mayer [mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu<mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu>]
Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:56 PM
To: Craig Spiezle
Cc: JC Cannon; Heather West; SULLIVAN, BRYAN L; Shane Wiley; public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>

Subject: Re: Media Access (ACTION-197)

Yes, that's how the balance works.  We have to weigh the benefits of transparency against the impacts on discourse.  It seems to me that, by carefully establishing press guidelines, we can gain a lot of transparency for a little risk of chill and grandstanding.


On Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM, Craig Spiezle wrote:

This strikes a balance, but the reality is whenever press attends working meetings, it has the risk of changing the tone, posturing and openness of attendees.

From: JC Cannon [mailto:jccannon@microsoft.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:11 PM
To: Jonathan Mayer; Heather West
Cc: SULLIVAN, BRYAN L; Shane Wiley; public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>
Subject: RE: Media Access (ACTION-197)

I say no. If they are not permitted to take quotes what’s the point? I would not be comfortable with press participation.


From: Jonathan Mayer [mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu]<mailto:[mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu]>
Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2012 9:31 PM
To: Heather West
Cc: SULLIVAN, BRYAN L; Shane Wiley; public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Media Access (ACTION-197)

I don't believe the mere addition of press briefings would do much to advance the group's transparency.  We've all been to press conferences.  They're about regurgitating talking points and jockeying for positive spin.  If we want accurate, detailed coverage and a heightened imprimatur of legitimacy, we need to allow media into the room.  There is no substitute for first-hand impressions.

That said, I'm very sensitive to the concerns Shane, Bryan, and Heather have raised about the chilling effects associated with a press policy of direct quotation and identifying attribution.  Industry participants should not be compelled to negotiate in the shadow of a misspoken sentence potentially making headlines verbatim.  My aim in breaking out our options on quotation, attribution, and other media matters was to start a conversation about how we can balance the tremendous transparency advantages of having the press in the room against the potential for chilling our discussions.  Perhaps there is no balance to be struck.  But before leaping to that conclusion, we should give compromise solutions some real thought.

To make things more concrete, here's a proposal: What would participants think of a policy where press are allowed in, but they cannot use direct quotes?  Are there conversations we've had that wouldn't have happened if press were in the room with this policy?


On Friday, May 11, 2012 at 8:11 AM, Heather West wrote:

I think that using this working group as a platform for press is harmful to the goal of the group: coming to consensus within the group. While we all want our end product to have a transparent process, the more that folks direct their remarks towards reporters instead of the group, the less will get done.

I'd be very surprised if a reporter with tons of stories to write had the time to actually sit through all these calls to glean context, so structuring sessions for press makes sense. I support Shane's compromise of actively engaging the press, in a structured way, and continuing to have a relatively well-defined group on the calls and in the meetings. I think Bryan's idea is similar, and also makes sense.

On Fri, May 11, 2012 at 2:25 PM, SULLIVAN, BRYAN L <bs3131@att.com<mailto:bs3131@att.com>> wrote:

We could support specific sessions in which non-members are invited for outreach, but not in the context of normal working sessions and certainly not the presence of press in normal working sessions. If the group is to effectively progress on the complex issues at hand, we must have ability to discuss freely the ideas and positions intended to lead us to consensus.

Bryan Sullivan

On May 9, 2012, at 8:24 PM, Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com<mailto:wileys@yahoo-inc.com><mailto:wileys@yahoo-inc.com<mailto:wileys@yahoo-inc.com>>> wrote:

Well done Jonathan – thank you for doing this (nicely parsed).

I’m not sure how best to approach the debate, but I’m hopeful we continue to NOT allow press “in the room” for active working sessions and instead shift our efforts to proactive press outreach sessions, with training and prepared statements, and access to those available to speak to the press directly for quotes.  I believe this more controlled approach to press interactions gives us the best of both worlds:  interactive (removes reliance on meeting notes or 2nd hand descriptions) and contained (allows continued free discussion during working sessions).

- Shane

From: Jonathan Mayer [mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu<mailto:jmayer@stanford.edu>]
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 4:00 PM

To: public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org><mailto:public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>>

Subject: Media Access (ACTION-197)

I was tasked on today's call with thinking through alternative media access policies.  Here's a rough outline of design points:

 *   Are media allowed to listen to calls and meetings?
 *   If yes, may they reference their first-hand experience in their reporting?  (If not, they'll have to cite our oh-so-reliable minutes and second-hand descriptions.)
 *   If yes, what degree of first-hand reporting will be permissible?

    *   Quotation

       *   Direct quotes (e.g. "I want a lunch break")
       *   Paraphrasing (e.g. noted that he wanted a lunch break)
       *   Collective sentiment (e.g. several wanted to break for lunch)

    *   Attribution

       *   Identification (e.g. Jonathan Mayer from Stanford said)
       *   Background (e.g. a researcher said)
       *   None (e.g. a participant in the working group said)

    *   Impressions (e.g. he looked hungry)
    *   Procedure (e.g. there was a vote to break for lunch)
    *   Conduct (e.g. he left to get lunch)

 *   Will we provide media briefings?

In selecting which policy we adopt, we have to weigh the concerns of certain industry participants—erroneously negative publicity, corporate media policy, and the attendant chilling effects of both—against the importance of transparency in this process.  Given the broad spectrum of design points, there seems to me a lot of scope for compromise.



Heather West | Google Policy | heatherwest@google.com<mailto:heatherwest@google.com> | 202-643-6381<tel:202-643-6381>

Sean Harvey
Business Product Manager
Google, Inc.

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Received on Monday, 14 May 2012 21:38:32 UTC

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