'The media is a chaotic place. Like an ocean or a weather system, it no longer respects authority. In fact, those who attempt to impose their authority are ridiculed, while brilliant and valuable tidbits emerge from the most remote and seemingly inconsequential sources.... Younger, media-savvy viewers instinctively reject authoritative voices and laugh at commercials in which people try to act "cool."
' That was Douglas Rushkoff's assessment of companies courting the youth demographic as covered in print in 2000
, and the next year in video as the PBS Frontline documentary, Merchants of Cool
(streaming documentary; prev: 1
). Earlier this year, Rushkoff revisited the topic with PBS in Generation Like
(streaming documentary), in a time when young people are generally happy to tell the world what brands they like as a way of identifying who they are. [more inside]
Rape in the Fields
is a Frontline documentary that explores the persistent allegations that female agricultural workers in the U.S. are frequently sexually assaulted and harassed by supervisors who exploit their (often undocumented) immigrant status
. Victims typically do not seek help from US law enforcement, either out of fear that they will be fired, deported or worse, or from a lack of understanding of U.S. law. Reviews: Popmatters
. NY Times [more inside]
The Choice 2012
is a Frontline documentary about the background of the current candidates for President of the United States.
- Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider
) has investigated News Corporation
for PBS Frontline [transcript]
. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered
" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air
But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK
. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive
A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
In Afghanistan, the bacha bereesh
-- "boy without a beard"
-- is dressed in women's clothes and taught to dance like a woman
at weddings or parties. After the dancing is over, the boy is often shared as sexual chattel among his male audience (the bacha bazi
) which is often composed of powerful warloads. The underground practice, though illegal, is widespread despite Taliban homophobia
. The PBS series Frontline went inside the world of the bacha bazi
, who seemed willing enough to talk about the forbidden practice. [54-minute flash video, well worth watching.] [more inside]
Sick Around the World
, the newest documentary piece
produced by PBS's Frontline
asks: "Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system?" Having previously shared a Pulitzer Prize
with The New York Times
, and produced such quality programs as Bush's War
, this should be well worth a mere hour of your time.
The Choice: 2004
. Frontline documentary. First aired on PBS earlier this week, the full two-hours is now available online. Examines the lives of Sen. John Kerry and President Bush -- from their days at Yale through their military experience and the political world. NPR interview
about the show.
Ghosts of Rwanda
10 years later, FRONTLINE delivers one of the most powerful episodes in their excellent series of reports. Also covered in The Economist last week
, and a couple years ago in The Atlantic in a sublime article: "Bystanders to Genocide"
. When you first heard about the tragedy did you wish you could have done something, if you had only known more