Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
1. Pick one of the president’s initiatives from the 2011 State of the Union address. Explain the White House communication strategy to promote the initiative. That is, how is the administration framing the initiative? By what means is it pitching the initiative and to which audiences? Do you think that the strategy is effective? In your analysis, you should take a careful look at the White House website (www.whitehouse.gov) as well as the sites of any relevant federal agencies. Remember that the White House website does not include all of the president’s public utterances, so you should also use Nexis and Google.
2. Devise a strategy for promoting a bill or other specific policy decision currently pending in Congress, a state legislature, or a local government. The strategy may either involve working with an existing group or acting on your own. Be specific: explain what message you would send to which professional media outlets, and how you would use blogs and social media. Tell how this approach would influence which specific decisionmakers. (If you really want to promote the cause in question, feel free to implement some of all of your plan, for instance, by starting a Facebook page.) For an example of a cause, see: Autism Votes
4. Graber writes of the “CSI effect.” Watch an episode of any of the CSI shows. Explain how it could affect a jury’s expectation about evidence. Evaluate the episode’s accuracy in its portrayal of forensic science.
- Essays should be typed (12-point) stapled, double-spaced, and no more than three pages long. I will not read past the third page.
- Put your name on a cover sheet. Do not identify yourself on the text pages.
- Cite your sources. You may use either endnotes or parenthetical references to a bibliography. In either case, put documentation in a standard format (e.g., Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style).
- Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you.
- Return essays by the start of class on Wednesday, March 9. Essays will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness and a full grade after that. I will grant no extensions except for illness or emergency.
The Fox effect:
The NewsHour as (relatively) unmediated coverage:
Unmediated coverage on C-SPAN:
How would you answer?
Farnsworth & Lichter (p. 156) say that 1992 marked the start of late-night shows as an alternative information source. not quite true:
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
By the time our class resumes tomorrow, Rahm Emanuel will have either won the Chicago mayoral election or face a runoff election. The future of MayorEmanuel is not so clear, but the author of the account seems to acknowledge the blurring of fiction and reality in his latest adventure with Mayor Daley:
"The mayor doesn't just run Chicago," Daley says, walking over to the grill. "You need to understand what's really at stake here."Daley lifts the lid of the grill, his body straining under the weight. And suddenly I don't want to f---- know what's inside."There's not just one Chicago. There's not just one you. It's infinite. And we keep the portal," and he gestures for me to f------ look in. And I look and... and it's Chicago--again and again. And tiny, in the corner, peering up at me, is... me. Thousands. Millions.Except. Except something feels f------ wrong. "You notice it too," says Daley. "There's one you missing." And Daley looks at me deadly f------ serious and says, "Which means there are two of you here, in this world, in this time."Which means," and he looks at me now there are f------ tears on his face, "that one of you won't survive this election."And, before I can try to figure out what the f--- Daley's on about, the bag is back on my head, and everything goes black.
Interesting article about potential GOP candidates being on Fox's payroll. Also, a general question that I don't know the answer to: why hasn't anybody declared and why does it seem like nobody wants to be the first? There is a whole "we'll see what happens" and "it's up to the people" vibe being put out and I don't understand.
In the world of press politics, "pushback" refers to the effort by political figures to change media frames that they dislike. An example from today's Politico "Playbook" by Mike Allen:
WHITE HOUSE PUSHES BACK ON WISCONSIN REPORTS:
--Feb. 18, WP, top of A1, “Obama joins Wisconsin budget battle,” by Brady Dennis and Peter Wallsten: “The president's political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals. … By the end of the day, Democratic Party officials were organizing additional demonstrations in Ohio and Indiana.”
--Feb. 19, @OFA_WI (official Twitter account of the DNC’s Organizing for America Wisconsin): “What’s going on in WI is a grassroots story, not a Washington one. Workers are fighting for their rights and we support their effort.”
--Feb. 21, NYT A11, “Wisconsin Battle Puts President Between Competing Political Desires,” by Jackie Calmes: “‘This is a Wisconsin story, not a Washington one,’ said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. ‘False claims of White House involvement are attempts to distract from the organic grass-roots opposition that is happening in Wisconsin.’”
WEST WING MINDMELD: The Washington Post way oversold the story, Drudge picked it up and it was quickly being used as a GOP talking point to distort the situation.
Monday, February 21, 2011
As was the case in 2004, majorities of the national and local journalists surveyed describe themselves as political moderates; 53% of national journalists and 58% of local journalists say they are moderates. About a third of national journalists (32%), and 23% of local journalists, describe themselves as liberals. Relatively small minorities of national and local journalists call themselves conservatives (8% national, 14% local).Internet journalists as a group tend to be more liberal than either national or localjournalists. Fewer than half (46%) call themselves moderates, while 39% are self-described liberals and just 9% are conservatives.Among the population as a whole, 36% call themselves conservatives – more than triple the percentage of national and internet journalists, and more than double the percentage of local journalists. About four-in-ten (39%) characterize their political views as moderate, while 19% are self-described liberals, based on surveys conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
An important lesson (post-election): be careful what is in the background of the photo op:
A much more successful visual:
The reporter put together a list of often-repeating headlines that he compares to reporting that the "Sun Rises in the East".
Apple To Announce New, Secret Product
Social Media in [Country X] Faces Crackdown
Middle East Peace Process Restarted
Security Lapse Exposes Private Data of Millions
Market Falls on Fear of Inflation
Market Rises on Hope for Inflation
Long-Shot Candidate Challenges Status Quo
Inside the White House: Aides Disagree on Policy
Partisanship on Rise in Congress
Lobbyists Exert Influence Over Legislative Process
Congress Recesses With Unfinished Business
Leading Corporations Pay No Taxes
Standardized Test Scores Rise, Racial Gap Remains
Despite Gains, Women's Pay Lags
Day Care Found To Advance Children's Social Skills
Day Care Found To Delay Children's Social Skills
Americans Heavier Than Ever
Heart Drug Found To Cause Heart Attacks
Election Shatters Campaign-Spending Records
Additive Linked to Cancer
Broadcaster Fired Over Offensive Remarks
Interest Rate Jitters Drive Dow Down
Markets Rise on New Unemployment Numbers
Mixed Signals From Fed Send Stocks Lower
President Extends Olive Branch to Washington Insiders
Irregularities Found in Pension Fund
Civil Rights Leaders Embrace Personal-Responsibility Message
Lindsay Lohan Violates Parole
Brett Favre Mulls Retirement
CSI Launches Spinoff
New Job for Kinsley
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Though I've had the privilege of listening to Zach's rhetoric since childhood, the only reason he is now reaching a national audience is due to the powerful forces of social media, supportive bloggers, and YouTube.
National TV networks and major online newspapers like the Economist, the Huffington Post, and AOL picked up the video of his speech and the rest was history.
His testimony to the legislature might not have been able to instantly convince the politicians to vote against the bill to revoke the legality of gay marriage in Iowa, but the media ripple effect his speech, and others like it, have had since the vote might influence how such bills are approached in the future in my home state.
He now has a book deal and came to L.A. to do more talk-show interviews last week.
He stayed with me, though, while he was here; It's nice he remembers the little people. :)
Friday, February 18, 2011
I do not speak for Ms. Logan or any other reporter who has worked in conflict zones or amid scenes of great upheaval. But I will take the liberty of answering the basic question of why Logan was there in the first place.
Because it is her job. Because she is good at it. And because it is what she does.
War reporters are often seen as a wild bunch of thrill-seekers who wade into danger zones simply for the sake of the adrenalin high the settings inevitably provide. But this one-dimensional explanation leaves out the core of the story, which is that reporters go to these places because they feel the tug of responsibility. The responsibility to tell stories in parts of the world that most of their readers will never see or know, despite the fact that their countries play a leading role in the imaginations of the men and women in countries like Egypt, and Afghanistan and Iraq.
It is possible I take the media attacks on Logan personally because, though we have never met, we share friends and colleagues in Afghanistan, where, since 2005, I have reported on the women whose strength and ingenuity saved their families during the Taliban years and the businesswomen who are boldy rebuilding their country today. In December I traveled to Afghanistan while nearly seven months pregnant to report on efforts to fight the scourge of maternal mortality in the country, one of the deadliest places in the world to be an expectant mother. My family and I told few people of the trip because we knew they would inevitably question the decision to go, despite the fact that I had done all possible to limit the risks. For me, it was about giving voice to those who would not otherwise have one and about telling stories I believe matter deeply. And it was about the sense of service and responsibility that calls you to journalism in the first place.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
By the way, if you want to know what kind of photos you can safely post on Facebook, here are examples: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=13307322&aid=2096367
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Notice at the bottom at about :05 that the ad cites the Christian Science Monitor on 7/10/08 as the source that Perriello supports same sex marriage. The paper did run that story on 7/10/08; however, on 7/11/08 it ran a correction saying that Perriello did not in fact support same sex marriage. The ad went live, and many Perriello supporters were furious and demanded that it be taken down. The controversy that the ad created won the ad additional free media and caused many more people to watch the ad. The ad was eventually suspended, but not until many more people had already seen it.
Campaign media concepts:
- Pack journalism
- Feeding frenzy
- Horserace coverage
A prime example of horserace coverage.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Why did Republicans catch up?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
United States Representative David Dreier '75 (R-CA) told him in an interview that he had heard confirmation Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert '77 intended to run for a Texas Senate seat. Blumenthal, following reporting standards, was careful to specify Leppert would "likely" enter the race in light of Kay Bailey Hutchinson's recent retirement. Leppert himself would not confirm these facts to the Forum, only hinting that he has been encouraged to run and was "exploring opportunities."
WaPo's The Fix and a National Journal blog referenced Dreier's "cryptic hint" by this morning.
Michael Wilner contributed to this blog post.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
AOL's $315 million acquisition of the Huffington Post may be great news for Arianna Huffington, but will it be any help to the legions of writers that currently give her content for free?
If she scales her freelancer payment habits—continuing to offer exposure in lieu of actual money—it could be terrible for journalists, further driving down the pay rates for online reporting.
So naturally the response from freelancers to Arianna's windfall is to, once again, call on her to pay a living wage for journalists. The California Freelancers Workers Guild is taking the opportunity to point out Arianna's passionate defense of the middle class in her recent book, Third World America, where Huffington wrote "It's no longer an exaggeration to say that middle-class Americans are an endangered species."
Top House Republicans insist they did not force out Rep. Christopher Lee, whose sudden resignation on Wednesday night after an extraordinarily brief Internet sex scandal set off a scramble among potential candidates who want to take over his western New York seat.
Lee announced his immediate departure from Congress just hours after the website Gawker posted a story saying he had e-mailed a topless photo of himself to a woman he contacted through Craigslist. Lee is married with one child.
Lee was apparently attending a House GOP policy retreat in Baltimore when he sent the late-night photo, according to e-mail records released by Gawker.
The stunning fall from grace for the junior New York Republican was a lesson in the power of the Internet scandal. A controversy can turn into a frenzy in minutes or hours, and some pols — such as Lee and former Republican Reps. Mark Souder of Indiana and Mark Foley of Florida — choose to bail out immediately rather than stand and fight.
There is a puzzle here. Lee's actions were embarrassing to his party and hurtful to his family -- but they were not illegal. There are more than a few sitting lawmakers who have done worse things in their private lives. So why did he quit so fast? The recipient of his emails has a reasonable speculation:
I wouldn't have thought he'd resign, over a few pictures and a few emails. I think maybe there's a bigger story behind his resignation. I'm sure there are other women out there he's met. My theory is, you don't get caught your first time out.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Geraldo Rivera made his name with a NYC TV report on Willowbrook:
In 2007, a Fort Worth station reports on "To Catch a Predator" (see Graber, p. 153).
- The pre-problem stage. Some undesirable social condition exists but has not yet caught much public attention.
- Alarmed discovery and euphoric enthusiasm. As a result of dramatic events or for other reasons, the public suddenly becomes both aware of and alarmed about a particular problem. There is euphoric enthusiasm about society's ability to "solve this problem."
- Realizing the cost of significant progress. The third stage consists of a gradually spreading realization that the cost of "solving" the problem is very high.
- Gradual decline of intense public interest. The previous stage shades into the fourth stage: a gradual drop in the intensity of public interest.
- The post-problem stage. The public moves on, but new institutions, programs, and policies may be in place.
Additionally, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) was anticipating the announcement and is already attacking the Democrats' strongest replacement candidate:
Over the last four years, POLITICO has navigated some of journalism’s most difficult days by showing that money could be made from a free website with a niche – albeit one with a print sidekick that did a lot of the heavy ad-sales lifting.
Now, as Washington seems to be waking up to the renewed promise of subscription models, POLITICO is setting out to show that people who really need to know what’s going on in the corridors of policy-making power will pay for the privilege.
POLITICO Pro, the tech, energy and health care policy subscription service that POLITICO is launching Wednesday, is entering a competitive playing field now populated by longstanding trade publications, veteran subscription players like CQ and National Journal and well-funded newcomers like Bloomberg Government.
And it’s betting that it can do to them what POLITICO did to political journalism when it entered the scene four years ago.
“We’re faster,” said Tim Grieve, POLITICO Pro’s editor-in-chief. “We focus more on the inside game. I think our writing is sharper. I think we do not feel obligated to be the paper of record. We choose stories that we think are interesting and we tell those stories. POLITICO Pro is different from the other policy products out there in the same way that POLITICO is different from the other political publications out there.”
This week, [John] Harris and his Politico cofounder, former Post reporter Jim VandeHei, are launching their nichiest venture yet. It’s called Politico Pro. And while the name awkwardly suggests that the original product was some kind of amateur operation, it fits. “Pro” is a fateful step in Politico’s evolution, from a scrappy start-up initially dismissed as folly by the established Beltway media players into the most ambitious and arguably most important political news organization in Washington. Politico Pro is actually a collection of three news organizations, each devoted to covering the “politics behind policymaking,” as Harris and VandeHei put it, on health care, energy, and technology. Politico’s founders are betting that their rapid-fire, buzzy approach to news reporting can rev up the metabolism of the historically studious game of trade reporting and make in-depth looks at key policy fields an essential read. It’s a gamble, but one they’re willing to take in order to grow their brainchild and make the Politico enterprise more competitive beyond its traditional base of politics-and-campaigns coverage.
This reminded me of a report that I heard on NPR the other day that addresses how statistics relating to our economy and stock market are relayed to the public through news reports. Basically, the take home point is that the dialogue surrounding the stock market is too abstract for the general public.
Full transcript here: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/28/133293515/What-Does-Dow-12-000-Mean-For-The-Economy
Chris Arnold: If you'd turned on the financial news channel CNBC this week, you might have found yourself wishing that you had a translator. Most people can wrap their head around the Dow Industrials Average, but after that, things can get a lot more complicated pretty fast.
Unidentified woman: What would you advise to do right now, Dave?
Dave: I'm seeing a lot of volume picking up in the VSX, which is the Vick's short-term ETF. But I would also recommend playing some reversion to the mean.
Arnold: This is really confusing.
Dave: Maybe start taking some money out of the queues. You know, but why don't we rotate maybe into the KB, to the money center banks or the IYR, the wreaths. We're starting to see renewed confidence in the CNBS market...
Planned Parenthood has long been criticized by abortion rights opponents. The organization has 800 clinics across the United States. Recently a handful of them were targeted by a video sting.Video here (not embeddable)
CBS News chief legal correspondent reports the FBI is investigating. The videos are troubling with actors portraying a pimp and a prostitute seeking abortions for young sex workers. The target: Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading provider of reproductive services, counseling, contraception and abortion.
Pimp in video: "We're involved in sex work."
Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "Mm hmm."
Pimp: "We have some girls that are kind of young like, 14, 15, that they might need an abortion."
Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "Mm hmm."
Pimp: "And, how is the best way should they could go about it?"
Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "They just show up."
In the past week anti-abortion group Live Action has released undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers all too eager to help purported teenage sex workers get abortions and contraception.
Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "Here's the thing. If they're minors, just tell them to put down that they're students."
Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "Yeah, just kind of play along that they're students. We want to make it look as legit as possible."
As Graber points out, the impact of the media on adult and child behavior is, though certainly existent, oddly vague. In his Ten Things Wrong with the Media Effects Model, David Gauntlett here describes his reasoning behind why this is the case. Though this is not his first theory on the issue – before this article he published an argument that there is simply no effect to be found – Gauntlett here suggests that researchers are just doing things wrong. Though Gauntlett is a British professor (of media and communications) and therefore is probably most closely addressing British media, his argument may be a fair explanation (or at least theory) for Graber’s issue of elusiveness in what Gauntlett is calling the “effects method.”
Briefly summarized, Gauntlett’s ten major points suggest that:
1) Researchers are studying backwards; instead of looking to the media first and seeing how it impacts people (most notably children), they ought to look to people who have acted out and study their media-influenced backgrounds. He uses the example of violent teens to drive home the point that this is a more effective method of research.
2) Children and adults ought to be tested similarly so as to prove or disprove similarities in test results; regardless of developmental stages, children can be used as a tool to better measure media impact.
3) A conservative tone is being cast over “the more contemporary and challenging aspects of the mass media” as the sources of negative media influence.
4) Effects model has allowed itself to define its own terms and, in doing so has created guidelines that lead to easily misinterpreted or understated data.
5) Real, in-depth studies are expensive and time consuming. As a result, researchers have taken shortcuts in their studies so much that the results are now difficult to trust.
6) Methodology in this field has been known to be faulty or inaccurately interpreted. Oftentimes steps are performed but difficult to prove and thus suggest that something important has been skipped or overlooked.
7) Violence is generally only criticized when posed in a fictional setting. For some reason, real violence shown in news broadcast is not included in study evaluation and criticism.
8) Those conducting effects method research tend to deny that they, like their study participants, have been impacted by the media. This is ironic because these researchers are exposed to the media more than most.
9) The effects model suggests that the media has one singular message and that, judging from their data, researchers can identify this message clearly.
10) “The effects model is not grounded in theory.” No one has ever tried to answer the question of “why” the media influences us; instead the focus has always been on “how.”
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Just a few weeks ago California Watch launched a media network which will be able to supply investigative journalism content to major California news sources and work with the news sources to create their own original investigative content:
BERKELEY, CA –– California Watch, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, today launched the California Watch Media Network and announced its first members, which include some of the state’s largest and most reputable news organizations.
Joining the network are the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union Tribune, Orange County Register, Bakersfield Californian, and the Fresno Bee.
The news organizations that are part of the California Watch Media Network will receive stories and daily news posts from California Watch, the state’s largest investigative reporting team. The new group also will work to find ways to collaborate together on investigative reporting projects.
Monday, February 7, 2011
That critique is incomplete. As Justice John Paul Stevensacknowledged in his dissent, the court had long recognized that “corporations are covered by the First Amendment.” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, listed more than 20 precedents saying that.
But an old and established rule can still be wrong, and it may be that the liberal critique is correct. If it is, though, it must confront a very hard question. If corporations have no First Amendment rights, what about newspapers and other news organizations, almost all of which are organized as corporations?
The usual response is that the press is different. The First Amendment, after all, protects “the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Since “the press” is singled out for protection, the argument goes, media corporations enjoy First Amendment rights while other corporations do not.
But the argument is weak. There is a little evidence that the drafters of the First Amendment meant to single out a set of businesses for special protection. Nor is there much support for that idea in the Supreme Court’s decisions, which have rejected the argument that the institutional press has rights beyond those of the other speakers."