The O'Reilly Procedure Roger Ebert waxes nostalgic about a calmer, more rational mediasphere and dissects the rhetorical strategies of Bill O'Reilly. [more inside]
“They are brands that may not be considered cool by the often elitist and self-absorbed standards of New York media,” she said. She had taken a car from Manhattan that morning, and wore a pink wool shirt-dress, patent leather Manolo Blahnik heels, and diamond hoop earrings.
Reader's Digest jumps the shark. (NYT)
Reader's Digest jumps the shark. (NYT)
There's been more and more rumblings lately about the inclusiveness (or lack thereof) of diversity in the circles of sci-fi and fantasy. Pam Nole's classic Shame essay hits a lot of points and while the Carl Brandon Society has been fighting the good fight for some time, more and more people are gathering their own projects, such as Transcriptase or Verb Noire to create spaces and publishing arenas less biased. Are these even necessary? It seems the fans think so.
My, how the tables have turned: Many of the same daily newspaper correspondents that not too long ago turned up their noses at us online journalism pioneers, claiming we weren't "real" journalists, now fill my email box daily with their resumes, looking to me and others like me to provide them with work. ... Memo to my remaining daily print colleagues and their nostalgia club: Get over it and get over yourselves. It’s not that the Internet is Mr. Wonderful. Much of it mimics the same bad qualities that drove the public away from daily newspapers. You lost the public to us because - there's no nice or sugar-coated way to say it - you guys really suck at what you do. [more inside]
Writer Dan Baum is twittering the epic saga of being hired at the New Yorker, after 17 years of trying, and then let go. It's an eye-opening and engaging tale for any writer. Baum, who wrote on a myriad of subjects, is perhaps best known for his post-Katrina New Orleans coverage. Told (annoyingly, if innovatively) in 140-character spurts, his tale takes you into the New Yorker offices ("like being in a hospital room where somebody is dying,") reveals that writers at the august mag get $70k and no benefits, and outlines the cumbersome process of story pitches to mercurial editors. In a rare inside look at the biz, he links to the pitches that worked, and those that didn't, on his website.
Twenty years old this year, fifteen-minute long Australian television programme Media Watch criticises television and print journalism. (Previously).
The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
The death of SciAm. It's no secret that print media is getting hit pretty hard, but the butchering of Scientific American seems particularly brutal. [more inside]
"What you're looking for as a retoucher is a broom, something that covers your tracks, some way of obscuring where you've been. The first thing [most] people take out is bloodshot eyes. That's the last thing I take out—the last thing I'd, like, just wipe, because that just makes it look retouched." -- from Jesse Epstein's video op-ed for the NY Times, based on her film Wet Dreams and False Images ("I know that's not airbrushed. I could put a million dollars that's not airbrushed."), one of three related short documentaries on physical perfection. "Each head has to be identical to the other head, so we don't want anybody putting sandpaper to the head." -- from 34 x 25 x 36. Via the latest installment of Shakesville's Impossibly Beautiful series. (Previous posts on retouching.)
The Huffington Post just announced that it is launching a new initiative to produce a wide range of investigative journalism — The Huffington Post Investigative Fund. [more inside]
John Gruber of Daring Fireball:
"My friend Merlin Mann and I had a session at SXSW Interactive about two weeks ago. It certainly wasn’t a panel, and it wasn’t really a presentation. It was more like an hour-long duet rant, the main goal of which was to inspire anyone who wants to publish or write on the web to pursue their obsessions in a serious way. We got the audio recording of the session from SXSW a few days ago, recorded short intro and outro segments, and Merlin spliced it together and has published it on his 43 Folders podcast. I encourage you to go ahead and listen to it."
On Tuesday, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan took the opportunity to "skewer" Gordon Brown in the kind of biting rhetoric rarely, if ever, seen in UK parliament. Despite having alerted UK press organisations, including his own part-time employer, Hannan's speech was not picked up by the UK press until... it started getting a heavy push from the US punditocracy. [more inside]
Vague Terrain is a web based digital arts publication that showcases the creative practice of a variety of artists, musicians and scholars. Vague Terrain 13: citySCENE is their freshly launched project on urban representation that catalogs how cartography, infrastructure and locative media shape perception in the contemporary city. An example is Joyce Walks, a Google maps mashup which remaps routes from James Joyce's Ulysses to any city in the world, generating walking maps. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
"I now find myself with more than 22,000 16mm educational films in my house." At the site A/V Geeks, you can watch a decent portion of this huge collection online. [more inside]
Newspapers might be dying, but does it matter? Here's what journalism 2.0 looks like: Spot.us is crowd-funded news for the masses, ReportingOn is Twitter for journalists, Everyblock is ultra-hyperlocal and Connectifyed tells us it'll analyze our social networks.
You can sleep better at night knowing that one more Irish GP has sworn off using the medical terms "willy bits" and "rumpy pumpy" with patients. [more inside]
Circuits are flipping on in the nation's attic. A couple of weeks ago, 31 "digerati" -- like Clay Shirky, Chris Anderson, and George Oates -- dropped in to the Smithsonian Institution for the invitation-only conference "Smithsonian 2.0: A Gathering to Re-imagine the Smithsonian in the Digital Age". Dan Cohen of the Center for History and New Media provides a great summary (and continues to pose provocative questions) on his own blog. Those whose invitations were somehow lost in the mail can play fly-on-the-wall by watching the keynotes, paging through the Flickr pool of envymaking glimpses of their behind-the-scenes lab and collections tours, reading the blog (where Bruce Wyman of the Denver Art Museum lays out a succinct road map for museums using social media), and poking around in the SI's website gallery. Want to cheer on the USA's favorite 163-year-old "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge" without taking the trip to DC? Thanks to their recent efforts, you can now follow the SI on Twitter, listen to its podcasts, watch its YouTube channel, visit the Latino Virtual Museum in Second Life, or use the FaceBook gifts page to send your best friends their very own pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers, Hope diamond, Negro Leagues baseball, or coelocanth.
On British TV last night, Gail Trimble, a Classics scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, singlehandedly trounced the opposing team in University Challenge. To some a smug, bluestocking know-it-all, to others a role model. Cue the fightback and lots of questions about whether we, as a society, actually like really clever people and specifically, clever women?.
This site examines the cross-cultural trend of headset-wearing customer support representatives on corporate websites! [more inside]
Simon Johnson on Bill Moyers  (and, prolifically, making the public media rounds on npr ) tackling the bailout of the American Oligarchs, a.k.a. banksters... [more inside]
Politics, the Press, and the Public. Bill Moyers speaks with Glenn Greenwald and Jay Rosen about the role of the establishment press in America’s dysfunctional political system.
A biased shadow of its former self, a waste of money dominated by champagne socialists, a victim of media fragmentation, a political pawn or still the trusted heart of the UK's (and, arguably, the world's) broadcasting world? As scandal after scandal threatens to undermine confidence in the BBC and the voices calling for the dissolution of the licence fee gain a more cohesive platform, can the BBC survive, - is it the solution or the problem, and can the British public really afford to let it die the death of a thousand cuts? On the day after the BBC announces it will put every UK publically owned oil painting online and the Director General talks about the BBC's "special responsibility" to culture in the UK, what should the role of the BBC be and, perhaps more importantly, what should it cost?
In yet another strange marriage of media new and old, The Printed Blog launches next week. The paper will be distributed in Chicago (home of the once-great, now-bankrupt Chigago Tribune) and San Francisco, and it’s free. “Why hasn’t anyone tried to take the best content and bring it offline,” asks founder Josh Karp. What about people who don’t live in Chicago or SF? They can get the PDF … online.
Virtually all the predictions about the death of old media have assumed a comfortingly long time frame for the end of print—the moment when, amid a panoply of flashing lights, press conferences, and elegiac reminiscences, the newspaper presses stop rolling and news goes entirely digital. Most of these scenarios assume a gradual crossing-over, almost like the migration of dunes, as behaviors change, paradigms shift, and the digital future heaves fully into view. But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if The New York Times goes out of business—like, this May? [more inside]
Dear Israel: you picked wrong boat to mess with. Israeli patrol boats have rammed into and nearly capsized a relief vesssel sailing in international waters, bearing humanitarian medical aid to Gaza. Accompanying the international doctors and aid workers who comprised the heart of the mssion were several politicians, including former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, as well as several international journalists, such as Karl Penhaul of CNN and Othman Abu Battiri of Al Jazeera, who have used mobile video reporting to refute Israel's claims that the damage was somehow caused by those leading the relief mission. Shades of the USS Liberty... or Whale Wars?
"Conquer English to Make China Stronger!" is the philosophy of Li Yang, founder of the Crazy English school (and style) of language, described by some as "English as a Shouted Language" for its main method of shouting English words in public to overcome shyness. Li Yang has achieved Elvis-like popularity in China, not just through his public lectures but also through the sales of books, media, teaching materials, and a memoir titled "I am Crazy, I Succeed". Li Yang's unorthodox methods - which include encouraging students to "lose face" and cope with embarrassment on the way to success - have earned him fame and fortune, including headlining the 5th Beijing Foreign Language Festival and being the main English teacher for China's Olympic volunteers. Li Yang's secret to success: "... to have them continuously paying—that’s the conclusion I’ve reached."
Moving Image Source is devoted to the history of film, television, and digital media. It features original articles by leading critics, authors, and scholars; a calendar that highlights major retrospectives, festivals, and gallery exhibitions at venues around the world; and a regularly updated guide to online research resources. [more inside]
In defense of suburbs: "Revolutionary Road," based on Richard Yates's 1961 novel of the same name, is the latest entry in a long stream of art that portrays the American suburbs as the physical correlative to spiritual and mental death.
The recent passing of Studs Terkel sparked a renewed interest in his interview projects, like Working, Race, and Hard Times. But Studs was not just a broadcaster who liked people; he was a practitioner of oral history, a method of gathering information about the past through preserving individual recollections. It's a subfield of history, with its own ethics, techniques, professional literature, uses, and limitations. Learn how to collect and share oral histories yourself, from interviewing to recording and getting clearances to preserving and disseminating. Oral histories have been preserved as text transcripts for decades; now digital media isreinvigorating the form, bringing new ease to recording and wider opportunities for the public to see and hear the content. Explore oral history projects on the web with stories of veterans, suffragists, Tibetans, jazz cats, Nevada nuclear test site witnesses, Basque Americans, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, musicians, Katrina survivors, ACT UP activists, Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge, Native Americans, women whose lives were affected by the Pill, survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire,women in World War II, Hawai'ians, workers in Paterson, NJ....
The disappearance of the pretty, middle-class Madeline McCann saw first an outpouring of sympathy verging on national hysteria and then the press wondering if the couple themselves had something to do with her disappearance. When Shannon Matthews, a nine-year-old from Dewsbury went missing months later, the media coverage centred on her mother Karen's private life and her council estate upbringing; the media was accused of classism because Shannon was less pretty and working class. Unlike Madeleine, Shannon was later found after one of the UK's biggest missing persons searches - inside the double bed of her mother's friend, with instructions to keep quiet and traces of temazepam in her hair. [more inside]
"Scandal is our growth industry. Revelation of wrongdoing leads not to definitive investigation, punishment, and expiation but to more scandal. Permanent scandal. Frozen scandal." [Via]
An experiment published in Biology Letters has been interpretted by the press in different ways. The Daily Mail: "Women over the age of 50 may be less frisky, less nimble and less cute but, as if by way of compensation, they are also a lot less bitchy." The Telegraph: "So today’s research published in Biology Letters, that finds women become less bitchy when they are older, is frankly, unsurprising. The mistake however is that the researchers thought the decline in bitchiness came post-menopause, when they should have set the benchmark as post-puberty." Dr. Petra Boynton's take: "If we don’t take action we’re going to keep on seeing this carnival of poor sex science being promoted. With poor media coverage following as a result."
Director Peter Watkins' web site describes the filming, distribution and critical reaction to each of his controversial films, including Punishment Park, the rock star satire Privilege, The War Game, La Commune and more. He also offers a 10-part critique of "the media crisis" that marginalizes non-mainstream ideas via the Hollywood monoform and the Universal Clock, a style he claims structures almost all of the messages delivered to the public, but which sharply limits the range of relationships possible between media producers and audiences. [more inside]
Generation WE: How Millennial Youth Are Taking Over America And Changing Our World Forever (via) [more inside]
"Torturing Democracy" is a new documentary which details how the government set aside the rule of law in its pursuit of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists. You can watch it online or on some PBS affiliates, but PBS won't run it nationally until January 21, 2009. Scott Horton suspects that may be because PBS is afraid of political retaliation. [Via]
As of today, the truly excellent media filter & news digest Cursor.org is suspending publication. [more inside]
Sometimes with Youtube, there's a specific part of a video you want people to see. Splicd generates a url to send people that clip. For instance: cooking a rat or an interesting part of a lecture. (On load, a small amount of each clip's beginning is played.) [more inside]
Has there been a media blackout in the wake of Hurricane Ike? The following remarkable exchange between a local reporter and TX Governor Rick Perry (during a press conference) regarding the restricted access to the Bolivar Peninsula suggests Federal officials have still not allowed news helicopters to view the devastation in that area. That the peninsula remains restricted for returning residents is perhaps understandable, given the destruction, but it is less clear why media access to the area should remain restricted.
Have the wheels come off the straight talk express? At least one sleeping giant woke up today: the NYT finally gives Sarah Palin a thorough vetting and the results aren't pretty. The McCain campaign's aggressive - and many say dishonest - tactics in promoting Palin may have sparked the beginnings of a media backlash. Camp McCain's reaction: We don't care and intend to stay on offense. And about that offense, they will soon have some help: Group With Swift Boat Alumni Readies Ads Attacking Obama. How low will things go? At this week's Values Voters Summit, 'Obama Waffles' with racial stereotypes were all the rage.
Omeka is a newly available, open-source web platform, bringing good-looking, functional online exhibitry within reach of smaller museums, libraries, and arts groups. From the Center for History and New Media.
The Early Television Foundation and Museum Website covers the nascent days of the nation's pastime, with interesting items like mechanical TVs and programming schedules from 1939.
MSNBC is removing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as the anchors of live political events, bowing to growing criticism that they are too opinionated to be seen as neutral in the heat of the presidential campaign.
The evolution of the US presidential campaign ad, 1952 to 1996... 1952: Eisenhower-Nixon (We Like Ike, The Man from Abilene) vs Stevenson-Sparkman (I Love the Gov [apologies for the intro], Ike... Bob..., Vote Stevenson/The Music Man, (Remember the Farmer, Back to the Days of '31). Bonus: Newsreels dealing with the campaigns. 1956: Eisenhower-Nixon (Eisenhower Answers America: The Cost of Living [excerpt], Corruption (california spot)) vs Stevenson-Kefauver (How's that again, General?, The Man from Libertyville [same annoying intro], Ad-lee, Ad-lie). Bonus: Election Day newsreel, including a santa Claus arriving in a flying saucer; Eisenhower, Suez, and hungary in 1956. [more inside]
2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
There There Square: The desire to own and name land and the pleasures of seeing from a distance color this personal survey of the history of mapmaking in the New World. There There Square takes a close look at the gestures of travelers, mapmakers, and saboteurs that determine how we read - and live within - the lines that define the United States. Jacqueline Goss is a videomaker and new media artist whose work explores muted personal and historical narratives and negotiates the slides and snags one encounters while moving between written and spoken communication. She currently teaches in the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College. Winner of the 2007 Alpert Award for Film/Video from the Herb Alpert Foundation
NPR's On The Media presents a short set of pieces about comments on news websites and the challenges of "digital democracy," with discussion from Ira Glass about responses to a show about teenage runaways, and New Republic editor and critic Lee Siegel, who posted anonymously to respond insultingly to comments on his own blog. And a Roanoke newspaper editor discusses how one paper sees the integration of comments into online news sites and whether it's a valuable reader service. [more inside]