Friday, January 30, 2009
- LA Times scraps California section, lays off more workers.
- Washington Post scraps "Book World."
- NY Post gloats over NY Times financial woes
A closer look at audiences forSo what did the media cover and what interested the public?
Back in 1976, Network was satire. Now it is almost a documentary:
There's an interesting nugget in the prepared testimony of Phillip Herr, the Government Accountability Office's director of physical infrastructure. He suggests that an economic recovery may not trigger an increase in mail volume, "due to continuing social and technological trends that have changed the way that people communicate and use the mail."
New Media in the 2008 Election
Sullivan highlighted the importance of new media in the 2008 election, going as far as arguing that without the presence of new media, Obama probably would not have won the election.
Media as a Check
In last week's Iyengar and McGrady reading we learned how one of the roles of media is as a watchdog. Sullivan stressed how much media really does serve as a check on governmental practices. Not only can investigative journalists reveal unknown information to the public, but media has the ability to demand transparency in government. He mentioned that media had a part in the atrocities at Gitmo and in the Iraq War because journalists had not pushed the government harder for answers.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The New York Times published an interesting piece on Monday that caught my eye after our discussion on potential bias in publicly subsidized media.
The BBC's neutrality in the Arab-Israeli conflict has come under increased fire after the corporation refused to air an appeal for humanitarian aid for Gaza:
In more than 80 years as a publicly financed broadcaster with an audience of millions at home and around the world, the BBC has rarely been buffeted as severely as it has in recent days over its decision not to broadcast a television appeal by aid agencies for victims of Israel’s recent military actions in Gaza.
BBC executives made the decision late last week and defiantly reaffirmed it on Monday, citing their concern with protecting the corporation’s impartiality in the Arab-Israeli dispute.
Read the rest of the article here.
Rio raises a good question. Lippman seemed to be proposing that each department at each level of government have an independent group of experts to analyze and provide information to the rest of us. The experts would be pretty darned powerful:
Tenure should be for life, with provision for retirement on a liberal pension, with sabbatical years set aside for advanced study and training, and with dismissal only after a trial by professional colleagues. The conditions which apply to any non-profit-makingintellectual career should apply here. If the work is to be salient, the men who do it must have dignity, security, and, in the upper ranksat least, that freedom of mind which you find only where men are nottoo immediately concerned in practical decision. Access to the materials should be established in the organic act. The bureau should have the right to examine all papers, and to question any official or any outsider. Continuous investigation of this sortwould not at all resemble the sensational legislative inquiry and the spasmodic fishing expedition which are now a common feature of ourgovernment. The bureau should have the right to propose accounting methods to the department, and if the proposal is rejected, or violated after it has been accepted, to appeal under its charter toCongress.
See chapter XXVI of Public Opinion at http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext04/pbpnn10.txt
To parallel the contrast drawn by Iyengar & Grady between European and American government-media relationships, President Sarkozy announced the French solution to the downturn of the newspaper industry: more government support. Specifically, his plan would increase government support from 280 million euros/year to about 480 million euros/year. An interesting twist to the proposal is the inclusion of a measure that would give 18 year-olds free subscriptions to the printed newspaper of their choice. American media specialists feel that such government support would negatively affect newspapers' legitimacy in the eyes of the public, but apparently Sarkozy does not share this concern.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - Errol Morris Blog - NYTimes.com
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Palin and her supporters have continued to slam the media for being unfair to her, even after the end of her campaign. Palin recently claimed Katie Couric and Tina Fey "exploited" her during the campaign. But has the media really been biased against her?
For starters, we can instantaneously dismiss the notion that conservative media outlets - including Fox News, New York Post, Washington Times, National Review and Weekly Standard - have been anything but kind to her. It's also safe to conclude that liberal outlets as the Daily Kos, The Nation and some of the evening commentators on MSNBC haven't been her biggest fans.
But was Katie Couric being unfair when she asked Palin - a journalism major - what newspapers she reads (and Palin couldn't come up with any)? Or whether she could come up with a Supreme Court Case besides Roe v. Wade (she couldn't)? Was Charlie Gibson too mean in asking a vice presidential candidate a question about the Bush Doctrine - the biggest foreign policy shift the US has taken in well over half a century (and she didn't know what it was)?
Even Mike Huckabee said Couric was "extraordinarily gentle" with Palin.
It is true that Palin was often attacked by the media, but it seems that this transpired as it became very clear to a majority of Americans that she was out of her depth and unqualified for the vice presidency. Prominent conservatives and Republicans such as Kathleen Parker and David Frum echoed these sentiments well before November 4.
So my question for the class is: was the mainstream media (forget the ideologues on the fringes) inherently biased against Sarah Palin from the start, or were they simply doing their job and reflecting the sentiments of the country she was running to represent?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
NYTimes: Online Video of Inauguration Sets Records
Also, though this is hardly academic, here's a little comic relief for that beginning of classes slump...
Taken from http://icanhascheezburger.com/2009/01/20/funny-pictures-teh-internets/