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The Fourth Estate's Finest

Salon.com's War Room is listing the worst columnists and cable news commentators America has to offer. The Hack 30 presents thirty of the most predictable, dishonest and just plain stupid pundits in the American media. Notables so far include: David Brooks Tucker Carlson Howard Kurtz and Bill Kristol.
posted by T.D. Strange on Nov 23, 2010 - 66 comments

"the public is positive, but they are judgemental."

Why Reality TV works.
posted by Artw on Nov 21, 2010 - 86 comments

Avatar Activism, The Harry Potter Alliance, and Pop Culture Fandom as the gateway to Social Activism

Back in February 2010, Palestinian activists dressed up as Na'vi and Avatars to bring more attention to the weekly protests against the West Bank barrier. Video of the costumed protest was edited to blend with Avatar footage, to emphasize the protesters' message. In another pop-culture world, The Harry Potter Alliance have run campaigns that tie themes from the stories to real-world issues, in an effort to translate the energy of fans into energy to get active in civil engagement, including a a fundraiser in January that raise raised $34,000 to support Haiti relief efforts. These efforts have been labeled "Avatar Activism," as discussed in a a recent Le Monde diplomatique article and a related piece on NPR. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 18, 2010 - 15 comments

Dear Rupert Murdoch, We have cameras.

A charity auction whose grand prize was a business lunch with Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch has been won by David Brock. Brock is the CEO of Media Matters, a group consistently critical of Murdoch.

Auction site Charity Buzz described the auction as a "once in a lifetime chance" to sit with Murdoch "face to face over a friendly lunch and get his feedback firsthand on your proposed business ideas." It said it was valid for a total of six people and would be held in New York at a "mutually convenient" time with Murdoch covering the cost of lunch. "Winner will be subject to security screening and background check," it stipulated.
Media Matters founder and chief executive David Brock expects the lunch to go ahead. "I look forward to this opportunity to have a friendly lunch with Rupert Murdoch, along with five of my invited guests," Brock said in a statement. "I will soon contact Mr. Murdoch's office to determine a mutually convenient time and place in New York," he added.

posted by Jon_Evil on Nov 11, 2010 - 33 comments

Marie Claire keeps it "real"

Last year, Marie Claire magazine made headlines by employing a plus-sized fashion columnist, Ashley Falcon, whose blog “Big Girl In A Skinny World” was proudly advertised as “proof that fashionistas come in all shapes and sizes.” Yesterday, a different Marie Claire blogger attacked the new CBS show “Mike & Molly” for featuring overweight characters. Her post received more than a thousand angry comments and the magazine reportedly received over 28,000 emails, prompting an apology from the blogger and a defensive response from the Editor in Chief. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Oct 27, 2010 - 273 comments

Obama relies on Gibbs to "bring a blue-collar political perspective to issues."

The Barack Whisperer. Robert Draper's in-depth look at Robert Gibbs, senior advisor and press secretary to President Obama, and his sometimes controversial relationship to the media.
posted by availablelight on Oct 26, 2010 - 16 comments

Cancer: A "modern, man-made disease"?

Science meets the news cycle, part n: Researchers look at cancer rates in the ancient world and conclude that cancer is "a modern, man-made disease." The story makes headlines in the UK (and pops up on the political fringe). Meanwhile, New Scientist and others debunk the claim. Will that critical perspective get as much coverage as the original story? [more inside]
posted by twirlip on Oct 15, 2010 - 43 comments

An overflow of good converts to bad

The Chicago Tribune, which has been having a few problems of its own (previously), has a grimly fascinating continuing feature called Mugs in the News in which people’s mug shots are linked to stories describing their alleged crimes. Photos are numbered and accessed from main page (no direct links, alas). Man drunk and texting, four children in car (7). Chicago politician (5). Aggravated child pornography (9). Child molesters (17,18,22). Happy teacher (21). Ninja shoplifter (23). Bad Buddhist (113). Aggravated battery of a police officer, attempted aggravated assault of a police officer, resisting a police officer, driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, failing to reduce speed, improper traffic lane usage, disregarding a traffic control light and disregarding a stop sign (12). Other MetaFilter Mugshots (previously 1 2).
posted by cogneuro on Oct 13, 2010 - 47 comments

That's a Wrap

Today, The New York Times' Idea of the Day Blog announced that is is officially out of ideas.
posted by Scoop on Oct 12, 2010 - 25 comments

“This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment.”

“They threw out what Tribune had stood for, quality journalism and a real brand integrity, and in just a year, pushed it down into mud and bankruptcy,”. Tribune Company - Tales of a Bankrupt Culture: 'Based on interviews with more than 20 employees and former employees of Tribune, Mr. Michaels’s and his executives’ use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective shocked and offended people throughout the company. Tribune Tower, the architectural symbol of the staid company, came to resemble a frat house, complete with poker parties, juke boxes and pervasive sex talk.''“They threw out what Tribune had stood for, quality journalism and a real brand integrity, and in just a year, pushed it down into mud and bankruptcy,” said Ken Doctor, a newspaper analyst with Outsell Inc., a consulting firm. “And it’s been wallowing there for the last 20 months with no end in sight.”'But even as the company foundered, the tight circle of executives, many with longtime ties to Mr. Michaels, received tens of millions of dollars in bonuses.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Oct 7, 2010 - 44 comments

Needle program exchange

The Haystack application aims to use steganography to hide samizdat-type data within a larger stream of innocuous network traffic. Thus, civilians in Iran, for example, could more easily evade Iranian censors and provide the world with an unfiltered report on events within the country. Haystack earned its creator Austin Heap a great deal of positive coverage from the media during the 2009 Iranian election protests. The BBC described Heap as "on the front lines" of the protesters' "Twitter revolution", while The Guardian called him an Innovator of the Year. Despite the laudatory coverage, however, the media were never given a copy of the software to examine. Indeed, not much is known about the software or its inner workings. Specialists in network encryption security were not allowed to perform an independent evaluation of Haystack, despite its distribution to and use by a small number of Iranians, possibly at some risk. As interest in the project widens and criticisms of the media coverage and software continue to mount, Heap has currently asked users to cease using Haystack until a security review can be performed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 13, 2010 - 31 comments

News of the ... Screwed?

Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
posted by Len on Sep 9, 2010 - 46 comments

User-driven discontent

Yesterday morning, social news juggernaut Digg.com finally unveiled its much-ballyhooed redesign: Digg 4.0. More than a simple cosmetic makeover, the new edition of the popular link-sharing platform fundamentally alters the underlying mechanics of the site. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 26, 2010 - 135 comments

Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh

This is CTRL+W33D it is a gay weirdness tumblr blog. It is NSFW.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 18, 2010 - 40 comments

"Israel is our only hope as the post-American president is aiding and abetting a nuclear Iran. Barack Obama is enabling Iran’s Islamic bomb" - Pamela Geller

As the "ground zero mosque" story approaches bipartisan consensus, thanks to unexpected statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition), several journalists trace the origins of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject. What they found was Pamela Geller, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs, who has some very interesting vlogs. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton.
posted by mek on Aug 18, 2010 - 439 comments

What a save!

When greedy sports team ban press photographers, cartoonist saves the day. Southampton Football Club decided to ban press photographers from their home matches, and sell their own photos to the press. Plymouth Herald hires a cartoonist instead. [more inside]
posted by iviken on Aug 13, 2010 - 31 comments

Live again the days gone by

Retrospace will bring back all those memories. '70s home decor. '80s teen comedies. Lifestyle magazines from 1977. And so much more. So very very much more. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Aug 11, 2010 - 60 comments

Internet as Social Movement: A Brief History of Webism

Internet as Social Movement: A Brief History of Webism. An editorial from N+1 magazine.
posted by chunking express on Aug 5, 2010 - 42 comments

Ultrasounds cause autism? Probably not... but let's freak out about it.

Local TV news says: Based on his daughter having an ultrasound and grandson being autistic, doctor concludes that ultrasounds cause autism. This news story headline is: "Could autism be linked to ultrasounds?," fueling freak out fire. This is another example of correlation versus causation in the media, and in this story, based on speculation and no evidence. But what does the journal article say? [more inside]
posted by k8t on Jul 28, 2010 - 138 comments

Daily Paper for Children Defies the Craze for Digital

Kids in Paris are reading Mon Quotidien, with a devotion that surprises people in this age of everything digital. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jul 27, 2010 - 19 comments

Probe Into Shock Tabloid Rumpus

Tabloid Watch and Daily Mail Watch (previously) keep a beady eye on what Nick Davies' Flat Earth News calls "churnalism" in British media. So, you can find out if PC Officials Tone Down Punch and Judy, if Councils Install Muslim-only Toilets or if Muslim Bus Drivers Turf Guide Dogs off the Bus.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jul 27, 2010 - 24 comments

Long Division.

Black people are coming for you white people. Rachel Maddow argues that is the underlying theme of the four major Fox News-only stories of the Obama administration: Van Jones, ACORN, the New Black Panther Party, and now Shirley Sherrod. These stories are largely ignored by the mainstream media, but are being relentlessly pushed by Fox News in an effort to stoke white resentment towards the nation's first African American president.
posted by ND¢ on Jul 21, 2010 - 160 comments

Ending the Hurf Durf

About-Face aims to provide women and girls with skills to critically examine media messages that affect their positive self-image. Their website is a one-stop shop for simple, direct, teen-friendly educational materials about female self-esteem and body image. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jul 20, 2010 - 65 comments

Because at least 64 people died?

As Uganda reels following a bombing that killed at least 64 people in Kampala watching the World Cup final, CNN tells us "why the world should care." [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Jul 12, 2010 - 36 comments

CNN's Chief Middle East correspondent fired for a tweet

Octavia Nasr Canned at CNN. CNN's Chief Middle East correspondent for 20 years, Octavia Nasr tweeted “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah... One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” She was fired by CNN shortly afterward because they believed "her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward".
posted by falameufilho on Jul 7, 2010 - 130 comments

The Hidden World of Girls

Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 2, 2010 - 16 comments

Newsweek is dying, long live Newsweek

Newsweek was put up for sale in May due to multi-year losses. Last week, China’s Southern Daily Group made an unsuccessful bid to buy it. It was the first Chinese bid for a Western publication, and the Group expects to make similar purchases in the future. "It is like dating… it doesn't matter if one date does not like you. You grow from it." [more inside]
posted by mondaygreens on Jun 21, 2010 - 33 comments

kind of meandering

Restoring Journalism Maureen Tkacik talks about her life as a journalist, the nothing-based economy, and the future of journalism. She suggests abandoning authority and productively channeling narcissism. (via 2p & dd) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 12, 2010 - 18 comments

Misreading Tehran

Misreading Tehran: Leading Iranian-American writers revisit a year of dreams and discouragement. "With a full 12 months now between us and the election, the time is ripe to start revisiting the hype and hope in a year of writing: which stories were overblown, what stories were missed entirely, and what can be gleaned about Iran's annus horribilis from a more thorough understanding. FP asked seven prominent Iranian-Americans, deeply immersed in both the English- and Persian-language media, to look through the fog of journalism at what actually happened in Tehran -- and why so many of us got it so wrong." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 8, 2010 - 29 comments

How to Save the News

How to Save the News. "Everyone knows that Google is killing the news business. Few people know how hard Google is trying to bring it back to life, or why the company now considers journalism’s survival crucial to its own prospects."
posted by chunking express on Jun 1, 2010 - 64 comments

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

No Secrets: Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency. A New Yorker profile of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his "media insurgency."
posted by homunculus on May 31, 2010 - 43 comments

None of them ever came home.

In 2008, The Nation Institute published a lengthy expose (single page) by Sydney H. Schanberg about the role of John McCain in supressing evidence of American prisoners of war who never left Vietnam.

Despite the fact that John McCain based a significant part of his campaign on his military service, the story never attracted any significant media attention. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on May 28, 2010 - 60 comments

Wear Sunscreen.

Ann Curry dispenses graduation advice to the wrong student body. Close but no cigar.
posted by fixedgear on May 25, 2010 - 35 comments

Programmers? Hackers? Journalists.

"The Journalist as Programmer" is an academic, ethnographic case study (pdf), which considers whether the New York Times' Interactive Newsroom Technologies unit, source of the paper's Open Source Developer Network, should be thought of as a template for the future of Web Journalism. Slide Deck. (Previously on MeFi.) NYMag profile of the INT team from '09: The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady. ("What are these renegade cybergeeks doing at the New York Times? Maybe saving it.")
posted by zarq on May 24, 2010 - 5 comments

Unctuous Gunk in the Bayous

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill hits the Louisiana wetlands. More photos here. Meanwhile, the state department confirms US officials have begun talks with Cuba about how to help the small island nation deal with the environmental impacts of the disaster. And as McClatchy and other news agencies are now reporting, the latest independent scientific estimates appear to confirm a rate of flow much higher than BP has previously been willing to acknowledge, in the likely range of 95,000 barrels a day, amounting to roughly an Exxon Valdez size spill every three days. Meanwhile, ProPublica reports that the industry seems intent on keeping the lid on just how bad things really are in the Gulf, and quotes company spokesmen as saying that the actual rate and amount of flow is “not relevant to the response effort.”
posted by saulgoodman on May 20, 2010 - 244 comments

48 Hour Magazine

Can thousands of contributors have a baby in a month make a magazine in 2 days? 48 Hours Magazine will announce a topic and start accepting submissions on Friday, and will ship to the printer on Sunday. Joel Johnson interviewed the crack editorial staff.
posted by domnit on May 5, 2010 - 56 comments

Common Misconceptions About Publishing

Charles Stross exposes some common misconceptions about publishing. How Charles Stross got into the writing game.
posted by Artw on May 2, 2010 - 48 comments

Beloved Herring Maven, RIP

Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Mr. Ira Stadlen (Stage name: "Captain" Allen Swift) has passed away at the age of 87. Throughout his career, Mr. Stadler voiced characters in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, as well as cartoons such as Underdog, Tom and Jerry and Diver Dan, but some might remember him most as the man who saved Howdy Doody. His nephew has posted a remembrance on his blog, which includes a link to a "novelty 45" mp3 recording of Swift's "Are You Lonesome Tonight." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 28, 2010 - 13 comments

Gendered use of social media

"The social world is led by women," states Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Jenna Goudreau for Forbes reports on recent studies and data which suggest that men and women are motivated to use social media for different purposes. According to experts, women use social media to connect and share, while men are interested in gathering information and "increasing their status." via Jezebel
posted by la_scribbler on Apr 28, 2010 - 85 comments

Mean World Syndrome

George Gerbner, a pioneer in the research of TV's effects on society, advocated a theory called Mean World Syndrome. According to this theory, exposure to the media leads people to believe the world is more dangerous than it actually is, because of violent programming and terrifying news programs. This is part of cultivation theory, the idea that humans are brought up in a culture of stories, reflect those stories, and that TV is now our main storyteller.
posted by mccarty.tim on Apr 25, 2010 - 86 comments

I am the son and the heir of nothing in particular.

"What are you f**king playing at?” Mr Murdoch asked Mr Kelner in a loud voice and in front of dozens of bemused journalists."
This week, 300,000 copies of the UK's Independent newspaper were distributed for free advertising the paper's claim to editorial independence stating, "Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election – you will".

According to the Financial Times, Murdoch's son James subsequently stormed into the Independent's newsroom brandishing a copy of the edition, protesting it besmirched his father’s reputation. "Lively times," the Guardian observes.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 22, 2010 - 62 comments

I agree with Nick: you're no Jack Kennedy.

Yesterday, the leaders of the three largest political parties in the UK engaged in a live televised election debate for the first time in history. Most commentators seem to agree that Nick Clegg, the leader of Britain's perennial third party the Liberal Democrats, made the best impression in yesterday's first of three weekly debates leading up to the general election on May 6. The progressive-leaning Guardian even goes so far as to claim that he is now prime ministerial material.

This being Metafilter you will undoubtedly ask, "how does Cory Doctorow figure into all of this?" Well, he agrees with Nick on the Digital Economy Act. Then again, Nick is agreed with quite a lot.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 16, 2010 - 54 comments

"Enhance 15 to 23. Give me a hard copy right there."

Image Error Level Analyser [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 5, 2010 - 30 comments

The Revolution Will Now Be Available in PDF

"Broadside was a small underground magazine smuggled out of a New York City housing project in a baby carriage, filled with new songs by artists who were too creative for the folkies and too radical for the establishment." The entire back catalog of this influential magazine - which helped set the visual standard for underground zines until desktop publishing - is now avalable online, in PDF.
posted by Miko on Apr 2, 2010 - 9 comments

Times and Sunday Times websites to charge from June

"The Times and Sunday Times newspapers will start charging to access their websites in June, owner News International (NI) has announced. Users will pay £1 for a day's access and £2 for a week's subscription. The move opens a new front in the battle for readership and will be watched closely by the industry."(BBC) Some early reactions from other newspapers. Interview with Times editor about the charges. Previously
posted by blue funk on Mar 27, 2010 - 87 comments

User Experience Is Everything

UX Magazine — design, strategy, technology, and common sense. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Mar 26, 2010 - 21 comments

Musing Around the Web

Museums build some pretty cool websites. To help people find them, use them, and give them props, the Museums and the Web conference has held an annual Best of the Web contest since 1997. This year's nominees are here. Just a sample: the MOMA on Bauhaus, the Center for New Media's Bracero History Archive, the Textile Museum of Canada's In Touch:Connecting Cloth, Culture, and Art, Perception Deception from The National Science and Technology Center of Australia, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh from the Van Gogh Museum, the Smithsonian's Prehistoric Climate Change and Why it Matters Today, and more . If that doesn't wash out the remainder of your Friday, you can always dig into the past nominees.
posted by Miko on Mar 26, 2010 - 8 comments

NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines

The NHS Behind the Headlines site gives the scientific facts behind the medical stories making the news.
posted by chorltonmeateater on Mar 22, 2010 - 24 comments

you forgot the parsi bawas, you madman

Jug Suraiya, famed middle of the editorial ha ha heh man of india's ridiculous prolific and noisy media takes a poke at stereotypes. All ring true of course.
posted by infini on Mar 21, 2010 - 18 comments

The Great West Coast Newspaper War

The alt-weekly newspaper war in San Francisco - The titanic struggle between The Bay Guardian and SF Weekly (owned by Village Voice Media), as told by Eli Sanders of Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger.
posted by Artw on Mar 20, 2010 - 23 comments

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