“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.
Almost a quarter of the votes in the last US presidential election were cast by women without spouses, up three points from just four years earlier. They are almost 40% of the African-American population, close to 30% of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters. The most powerful voter this year is The Single American Woman.
After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
Gun Wars: the struggle over gun rights and regulation in America, in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings and the ongoing congressional stalemate over federal gun legislation. An investigative report from "29 students from 16 journalism schools, as well as an experienced staff of editors" for Carnegie-Knight News21. [more inside]
Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
A Vast Left-Wing Competency: "How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning — and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon." Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab, has been writing a series of posts on Slate that focus on different aspects of "the new science of winning campaigns". [more inside]
In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
The Rise of the Pseudo-Conservative. Out of context, one could be forgiven for reading the following words as a critique of the political philosophy embraced by the modern-day Republican party and the various Tea Party groups organized around it: "It can most accurately be called pseudo-conservative. . . because its exponents, although they believe themselves to be conservatives and usually employ the rhetoric of conservatism, show signs of a serious and restless dissatisfaction with American life, traditions and institutions. . . Their political reactions express rather a profound if largely unconscious hatred of our society and its ways — a hatred which one would hesitate to impute to them if one did not have suggestive clinical evidence." [more inside]
Life imitates parody of life. Much like last night's Daily Show segment mocking the idea of pre-written post-debate analysis, here's the Associated Press' post-debate summary. And not a second too soon, what with the debate not starting for another five hours or so.
Conservatism: resistance to change, simplistic black and white ethics, and the acceptance of inequality
Conservatism: resistance to change, simplistic black and white ethics, and the acceptance of inequality. In what's sure to be considered a controversial paper by many, Berkeley psychologists analyze conservatives to see what makes them tick. The criticisms have already begun. [official press release here]
Propaganda analysis: A very interesting page on how to recognize and avoid emotionally-charged propaganda and political rhetoric. A broader question would be, how do you go about analyzing competing truth-claims made by environmentalists and anti-environmentalists, pro- and anti-gun control activists, Moonies, socialists, libertarians and capitalists? Are there any hard and fast rules you use to choose who and what to believe in a world of name calling and information glut?