Your guide to nearly every audio, video, film, and data media format that's ever existed. Or, browse formats in order of the decade they became "obsolete" - arguably, anyway. [more inside]
Remaking 'Roots' In this version, accuracy is at the forefront, Mr. Wolper said one day last fall, in his production office in New Orleans, where the walls were covered with images of slave ships, plantation houses and African beads. “I’m not being modest here,” he said. “We have to make it better than the first ‘Roots.’ Otherwise, why bother?”
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About How ISIS Uses The Internet by Sheera Frenkel [Buzzfeed] They talk on Telegram and send viruses to their enemies. BuzzFeed News’ Sheera Frenkel looks at how ISIS members and sympathizers around the world use the internet to grow their global network. [more inside]
In a sea of imperfect options, this is the one I feel best about! We made something great for three years, and now we’re going to go do something else. The only regret I have is that Bustle will outlive us and I will never be able to icily reject a million-dollar check from Bryan Goldberg, but that’s pretty much it. - The Toast will be closing on July 1st. [more inside]
Free Basics: Facebook's Biggest Setback From Zuckerberg’s vantage point, high above the connected world he had helped create, India was a largely blank map. [more inside]
Facebook workers say 'trending news' section is manipulated The revelations undermine any presumption of Facebook as a neutral pipeline for news, or the trending news module as an algorithmically-driven list of what people are actually talking about.
David Samuels profiles the White House's deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, Ben Rhodes, and finds "an only slightly updated version of what Holden Caulfield might have been like if he grew up to work in the West Wing." Although the comparison, and the rest of the profile, seem intended to frame Rhodes as a serious thinker and decision-maker, Rhodes's derision toward the press corps ("They literally know nothing"), jaundiced candor about the "spin" used in selling the Iran deal, and statements like “I don’t know anymore where I begin and Obama ends" have set the media establishment afire with hot takes and critiques.
Back to the Future by Tony Tulathimutte [The New Republic] For 45 years, Don DeLillo has been our high priest of the American apocalypse, having tackled just about every man-made disaster: nukes in End Zone, nukes and garbage in Underworld, toxic pollution in White Noise, financial busts in Cosmopolis, terrorism in Falling Man, terrorism and the death of the novel in Mao II, war in Point Omega. His latest novel, Zero K, clears out every end-times scenario left in the bag: climate change, droughts, pandemics, volcanoes, biological warfare, even meteor strikes and solar flares. But these only menace in the background as future probabilities, and the novel’s focus is not human extinction but its inverse: immortality through cryonics. [more inside]
“The rise of the misinformed is now the largest obstacle for success for journalists today (outside the concerns that relate to publishing). If people don't trust the news, you don't have a news business.” Thomas Baekdal writes a strategic analysis for media companies to earn their readers’ trust, looking at data from PolitiFact to understand how misinformation spreads and what journalists can do to stop it.
Elisabeth Moss will star in a 10-episode Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood is a consulting producer; The 100's Bruce Miller wrote the script and is an executive producer along with Daniel Wilson (The Handmaid's Tale feature film), Fran Sears (The Sophisticated Gents) and Warren Littlefield (Fargo). [more inside]
The media frenzies that once surrounded Marcia Clark, Monica Lewinsky, Tonya Harding and Anita Hill all have a pleasant sheen of ‘90s nostalgia about them. Yet their most meaningful lessons remain timeless, as do their most enduring questions—chief among them the mystery of why we are so able, so often, not just to happily watch the story of an abused and marginalized woman unfold in real time, but to see her powerlessness as wicked, shameless strength. The four women whose stories we are reconsidering now—and others still on the horizon—have one thing in common: they indicted America.
Pop culture is filled with brilliant female characters who know everything and can do anything — except save the day.
What did Americans know as the Holocaust unfolded? How did they respond? A new initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, "History Unfolded" is using crowdsourcing to scour newspapers across the country for articles that ran between 1933 and 1945 on the plight of Europe’s Jews. The project focuses on 20 historical events from the time period. [more inside]
"Winston Moseley, who stalked, raped and killed Kitty Genovese in a prolonged knife attack in New York in 1964 while neighbors failed to act on her desperate cries for help — a nightmarish tableau that came to symbolize urban apathy in America — died on March 28, in prison." (NYT link) [more inside]
Last week, freelance reporter Jacques Hyzagi wrote a scathing account of the ethics, talent, and working practices of various media figures in what became a viral post for the New York Observer. Responding to the intrigue, The Guardian interviewed Hyzagi to "learn just who is he and why is his background a mystery?". [more inside]
The Tough Legacy of Ulrike Meinhof
“I think there’s a very common narrative about women being motivated by sexual or emotional dependence on men,” Katharina Karcher, a research associate at the University of Cambridge, told me. She was “shocked” at similarities between media coverage of Meinhof and Beate Zschäpe, a member of the far-right National Socialist Underground that committed a series of murders of immigrants between 2000 and 2007.
"Savage has this down to a kind of science. And it works. His fans treat him like a philosopher-king. The Amazon reviews for his books are brimming with regular people hungry for a straight shooter who calls it like he sees it. It’s an easy performance to fall for." - Kaleb Horton on Michael Savage. The Trump appeal, and reaping what ring-wing media sows
“Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?” asked the lawyer, Douglas E. Mirell.
“If they were a child,” Mr. Daulerio replied.
“Under what age?” the lawyer pressed.
Gawker founder Nick Denton and former editor Albert J. Daulerio take the stand.
“If they were a child,” Mr. Daulerio replied.
“Under what age?” the lawyer pressed.
Gawker founder Nick Denton and former editor Albert J. Daulerio take the stand.
As newsrooms disappear, veteran reporters are being forced from the profession. They dedicated their lives to telling other people’s stories. What happens when no one wants to print their words anymore?
Vox, buzzfeed, Vice, even Cracked are part of a new ka-tet of internet journalism. Some showing success by doing both click-bait listicles and actual investigative journalism WashPost talks about problems between advertisers and what stories get covered at Vice (SlWashPo)
How do you quantify the effects of things that don't happen to you? "The whole point of living in a culture is that much of the labor of perception and judgment is done for you, spread through media, and absorbed through an imperceptible process that has no single author." (previously; via)
Selfies, Dating, and the American 14-Year-Old. "As crushes go from real-life likes to digital “likes,” the typical American teenage girl is confronted with a set of social anxieties never before seen in human history. Nancy Jo Sales observes one 14-year-old as she gets ready to embark on her first I.R.L. date."
Web pages are ghosts: they’re like images projected onto a wall. They aren’t durable. Contrast this with hard-copies—things written on paper or printed in books. We can still read books and pamphlets printed five hundred years ago, even though the presses that made them have long since been destroyed. How can we give the average independent web writer that kind of permanence? Joel Dueck on building a website with Matthew Butterick's Pollen, allowing it to also be published as a printed book.
"Until last year, I was considered something of a champion of social conservatism in Canada and was well known among politically active Christians. I hosted a nightly show on Crossroads Television for twelve years, was a syndicated Sun columnist, and wrote briskly selling books with such titles as Why Catholics Are Right. Today, as a decade of same-sex marriage waves its arms at Pride parades, I am working away at a new book, Coming Out: A Christian’s Change of Heart and Mind over Gay Marriage. Oh, dear. How and why did it go so terribly wrong?" Michael Coren discusses how he changed his mind about same-sex marriage.
Russian Purge Part 1: Putin Doesn't Need to Censor Books. Publishers Do It For Him. by Masha Gessen [The Intercept_] [more inside]
109-year old Flossie Dickey celebrates her upcoming 110th birthday with Good Day Spokane! anchorwoman Nichole Mischke.
The New Yorker unfurls a longform expose on Harvey Levin's gossip empire, TMZ, in The Digital Dirt - How TMZ gets the videos and photos that celebrities want to hide.
"It Started Here." With great excitement, living history attraction Colonial Williamsburg spent more than a million dollars to put out its first-ever TV ad during the Super Bowl. The splurge may have backfired, as its use of footage of the World Trade Center towers falling on 9/11 to a Tom Brokaw voice-over angered and upset many in its target markets and puzzled plenty of others. Takes from Daily News, Esquire, Gothamist, USA Today, NY Post, Slate, HuffPo. [more inside]
"Every day during Black History Month, we will publish at least one of these photographs online, illuminating stories that were never told in our pages and others that have been mostly forgotten.... other holes in coverage probably reflect the biases of some earlier editors at our news organization, long known as the newspaper of record. They and they alone determined who was newsworthy and who was not, at a time when black people were marginalized in society and in the media."
Beneath glimmering chandeliers at an Art Deco movie house built into the side of a mountain, 150 silent-movie buffs sat wide-eyed as snippets from films lost decades ago lighted up the screen. Their quest: Name the film, or at least spot details that will advance the cause. The fans shouted clues as a piano player wearing an old-time parlor vest and a thick period mustache improvised jaunty scores. They scoured vintage magazines on their laptops, checked film databases on their tablets, and scrubbed their brains for odd bits of early 20th century cultural history. Every frame had the potential to unlock a secret.
On January 20th Medium received a takedown request from the Malaysian Government over a supposedly false report on the Malaysian Prime Minister and corruption by the Sarawak Report, a whistleblowing news organization whose main site was banned in Malaysia. When Medium Legal requested clarification, such as official court documents and proof of the report's falsehoods, instead of providing such documentation, Malaysia blocked Medium.
Iowa's caucus system, explained. [YouTube] [Vox] Each US primary election season kicks off in Iowa. Learn the process behind one of the pivotal events of the general election. [more inside]
Netflix and Thrill - does the streaming TV company face a rocky future, or are its traditional competitors, desperatly trying to pin down its ratings, just suffering from jealously?
Academic press offices are known to overhype their own research. But the University of Maryland recently took this to appalling new heights — trumpeting an incredibly shoddy study on chocolate milk and concussions that happened to benefit a corporate partner. It's a cautionary tale of just how badly science can go awry as universities increasingly partner with corporations to conduct research. [more inside]
French journalist accuses China of intimidating foreign press. by Tom Phillips [The Guardian]
China is facing accusations of attempting to muzzle and intimidate foreign press after it said it would expel a French journalist who refused to apologise for an article criticising government policy. Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China’s ministry of foreign affairs, claimed Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing correspondent for French magazine L’Obs, had offended the Chinese people with a recent column about terrorism and the violence-hit region of Xinjiang. “Gauthier failed to apologise to the Chinese people for her wrong words and it is no longer suitable for her to work in China,” Lu said in a statement, according to Xinhua, Beijing’s official news agency.[more inside]
An unexpected revival for the ‘bard of empire’. [The Guardian] ‘Vulgar rabble-rouser’, ‘rootless cosmopolitan’, ‘mouthpiece of the empire’ Rudyard Kipling has had his share of detractors. But, 150 years after his birth, interest in India’s greatest English-language writer is growing.
They are not alone. Kipling, the “bard of empire”, has always been difficult to place in the cultural pantheon. Britain, too, has done remarkably little to officially mark the sesquicentenary of its first winner (in 1907) of the Nobel prize for literature (and still the youngest ever from anywhere). Indian-born, yet British? We are already entering the muddy field of contradictions that sometimes bog down the reputation of this mild-mannered man. Yet it is these that make him uniquely appealing and that, belying top-level institutional indifference, are sparking an unexpected revival of interest in him, and in particular in his role as a commentator on the origins of an integrated global culture.[more inside]
The Danish Girl [YouTube] [Trailer]
The Danish Girl is a 2015 British-American pseudo-biographical drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener, Matthias Schoenaerts as Hans Axgil and Ben Whishaw as Henrik.[more inside]
Dead Air: The Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, especially if you’re in talk radio. [The California Sunday Magazine] By Saul Elbein Photographs by Jes Aznar
When Elgin Damasco’s radio talk show was over, his bodyguards would hustle him out of his fortified studio and into his car. They would drive him through the leafy streets of Puerto Princesa, capital of the western Philippine province of Palawan, and bring him home. There he would hunker down until morning. Police had warned him that men had been casing his house. “I don’t even have the freedom to go to the mall,” Damasco told me. Inside the cinder-block walls of his studio, the cherubic 32-year-old felt safe. His sonorous voice was hooked into the most powerful transmitter on Palawan island. He was charging forth, as his station ID went, “to defend the weak and criticize the corrupt.” From 4:00 to 5:30 weekday afternoons, no one could shut him up.
Global supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves. by Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza and Esther Htusan [Associated Press] [more inside]
An all-white jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw of rape. It's almost enough. [The Guardian]
It took 45 hours over the course of four days for an all-white jury in Oklahoma City to decide whether or not they should convict former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of sexual assault on the word of 13 black women. On Thursday night, the jury opted to believe (most of) them. There is perhaps no bigger test of how blind justice could possibly be than asking any American jury – especially one that is all white and includes eight men – to believe 13 black women over a former police officer and supposed hero football player. It’s easy enough to point to cases where the police were acquitted. And yet, against all expectations this time, justice was blind.[more inside]
A new Pew survey looks at attitudes towards free speech from around the world. It explores how different nations think about free speech and government, the press, religion, minorities, the internet. Also in the report: attitudes towards democracy, religion, and gender. (SLP)
Photojournalists put their lives on the line every day, after all, and a photograph is less likely to contain bias, right? "With his new photobook War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict, David Shields is taking aim at what he characterizes as the “war porn” routinely seen on the front page of America’s most respected paper of record." [more inside]
On Gawker's Problem with Women. A former staff writer describes how a media company founded on whistleblowing and radical transparency failed its female employees.