🎉ACJR Members Are Now Getting Free Stuff 🎉
The best blockchain and crypto industry coverage in April 2021
Hello again, from the Association of Cryptocurrency Journalists and Researchers! 👋
Since ACJR is now open to membership applications, new members are finally getting to enjoy their perks. (If you want to join, you can fill out a quick application form here.)
These goodies include a free subscription to The Street’s Crypto Investor newsletter (launched with help from ACJR co-founder Pete Rizzo) and free enrollment for the Certificate in Blockchain and Digital Assets® from the RIA Digital Assets Council and New York Institute of Finance. It’s a self-paced course with 10 modules, guided by technology experts like Scott Stornetta. To enroll for free, contact Don Friedman at email@example.com or (646) 321-1785.
This month we also debuted exclusive “Off the Record” events for journalists, underwritten by institutional ACJR member YAP Global. These sessions are perfect for reporters that cover topics related to cryptocurrency. (Sign up for the next two in April!)
Plus, yet another fun thing members get to do is cast votes for the first (but definitely not the last) ACJR awards! This spring, reporters and researchers in the blockchain space will have the chance to win awards in three categories: Reporter of the Year, Researcher of the Year, and Story of the Year. You can vote for your favorite articles and reports here — but you need to be an ACJR member first. Apply right here to enjoy the full variety of membership benefits, including a members-only chat group.
We’ll get back to applicants on a rolling basis, as soon as the raging bull market allows us. There’s so much demand for blockchain expertise these days that Time Magazine is looking for an executive who understands bitcoin, because the company itself appears to hold bitcoin and accepts bitcoin payments for branded content.
In addition to the awesome articles we’ll discuss below, we also wanted to highlight the CoinShares research report about regulations across Europe and the Forbes report on Coinbase earnings in Q1 2021. We loved that report as well as the Messari report called “The Social Token Bible.” Here are some of the other outstanding articles that we enjoyed since last month:
“China Creates Its Own Digital Currency, a First for Major Economy” by James Areddy, Wall Street Journal
This piece dives into one of the most important geopolitical topics of our generation. The Chinese government’s approach to digital currency management will change the world, regardless of how it plays out. Kudos to the reporter for explaining these details simply and effectively.
“Singapore PM Says Name, Photo Were Used to Sell Cryptocurrency” by Jim Silver, Bloomberg
The token startup BitClout is using public figures’ images and information, without consent, to promote a proprietary currency. This article notes the political challenges created by this crypto company’s business model, especially with regards to social media verification and misinformation. It is short and clear. We love that.
“The Mysterious Influencer Stock Market Worth $1 Billion” by Jen Wieczner, New York Magazine
This old school feature takes a much deeper look at BitClout, including information about the investors and the founder behind the platform. All the nitty gritty details. We love how comprehensive and nuanced it is.
“MicroStrategy Is Winning With Bitcoin. Software Is a Side Business Now” by Eric Savitz, Barron’s
Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor is the latest celebrity bitcoin bull to capture the public’s attention. This piece shows how the executive’s bitcoin advocacy impacts his company’s business model.
“What Critics Don’t Understand About NFTs” by Jonthan Zittrain and Will Marks, The Atlantic
Even though our last newsletter was very NFT-heavy, the melodious comparisons between the demand for NFTs with real-world examples is too poetic not to highlight. If we ignore the singular trite tulip reference, we get powerful opinions like “the internet itself similarly functions as a collective hallucination, owned by no one.”
Plus, for funsies, here is an example of a story we wish did just one thing differently:
“The Bitcoin Terrorists of Idlib are Learning New Tricks” by Rachel Rose-O’Leary, Wired
We hate this headline. (Is there such a thing as a “dollar terrorist” or an “iPhone terrorist”?” What is that combination of nouns?!) “Idlib Terrorists Are Learning New Bitcoin Tricks” would have been more accurate. Technically, this piece was published in late March. We made an exception, and included it in this April newsletter, because we agree with the CoinDesk column saying there is social value in crime reporting. Bitcoin is just a tool. Reporters may describe how criminals and terrorists use tools, whether that tool is Telegram or Bitcoin. Yet we wish this piece put more emphasis on broader bitcoin volumes in the Levant region. Without that context, it seems as if bitcoin users in Idilb (Syria) have a propensity for criminal activity. To the contrary, saying terrorists raised more than $117,717 in bitcoin is to say they are infrequent and inefficient users. Many civilian users in the Levant may trade larger volumes than that every month. It is the editor’s responsibility to make sure an article provides such nuanced context.
Remember, ACJR has a lot more going on than just this (fabulous) newsletter. You can suggest topics for our future online meetups and participate in our book club via Telegram. If you want to help us with upcoming programs, please contact us via social media or our website.
Next, we’ll turn to a guest column from Cointelegraph editor Jon Rice, about the importance of journalistic corrections and updates:
One of the toughest words for a journalist to master is “sorry.”
If you make an honest mistake in an article, a retraction or correction is the appropriate way to handle the situation — no need for extensive mea culpas and public hand-wringing. Correcting the content is the accepted mechanism for righting a journalistic wrong.
Sometimes, in addition to an update in the content itself, a simple apology is also necessary. This is especially true in situations where the mistake was not factual or grammatical, but an error of judgement. Part of our job as journalists is to ensure that we represent our readers, subjects, and constituents with respect and empathy. We should make every effort to avoid using language or terminology that minimizes or harms our audience. We must also acknowledge that language evolves and meanings change.
For example, in 2010 President Obama signed Rosa’s Law, a bill that replaced the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in educational and government documents. The National Center on Disability and Journalism subsequently addressed the use of such language in order to avoid “monolithic” descriptions of people with disabilities. This journalistic organization determined reporters should “use language that refers to the person first and the disability second. For example: ‘the writer, who has a disability’ instead of ‘the disabled writer.’”
As reporters within an industry that has well-documented issues with diversity and inclusion, it is particularly incumbent upon us to use language carefully, to provide a welcome to all potential participants in our space, and to avoid terms that are divisive or demeaning. After all, Bitcoin is for everyone.
That’s it for April! Please keep sending us all the memes, and of course, follow us on Twitter, join our Telegram group and check out our website. We can’t wait to see what the market has in store for us in May!
Don’t think, just click! 😉
Thanks to Milos Subotic for this awesome meme!