Saturday, April 27, 2013

"House of Cards" Parody at WH Correspondents' Dinner

Boston Police Department Uses Twitter During the Boston Marathan Bombing and Manhunt

An thought-provoking article looking at how the Boston Police Department used Twitter, instead of a press conference or briefing, to announce the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and counteract false claims spread through social media. The Twitter account was also used to shape media coverage of the manhunt. It'll be interesting to see how Twitter and other social media change the relationship between police departments, citizens, and the media in the future.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-26/how-boston-police-won-the-twitter-wars-during-bomber-hunt#r=hp-ls

White House Correspondents' Dinner

Gawker got hold of Politico's memo listing suggested questions for celebrities attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner.  Some samples:
  • Jon Bon Jovi ("What was Air Force One like?")
  • Kerry Washington ("Do you think the Obamas have a strong marriage?")
  • Conan O'Brien ("Are you nervous?")
  • Scarlett Johansson ("Do you ever e-mail with President Obama anymore?")

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jobs

I do not mean to discourage you from a career in journalism, but you should look at this site and see which job category ranks dead last.

Cities, Newspapers, and Ideology


At The Atlantic, Garance Franke-Ruta offers a fresh explanation for the liberal tilt of many American newspapers:
The main reason is that all major U.S. newspapers are based in cities. Cities in America are in the main run by Democrats, because they are populated, by and large, with Democrats, and very often also surrounded by Democratic suburbs. And because cities are run by Democrats, and populated by not only by Democrats but, very often, by liberal, minority, and immigrant Democrats, they tend to have laws on the books that at least formally signal a desire to serve the interests of these voting groups -- their residents, let's call them.

Newspapers, which are businesses, are subject to the employment and other laws of the cities in which they are based. Because they are based in cities, and because cities are often at the forefront of progressive legislating, newspapers tend to work under employment laws and answer to regional communities that have distinctive views about what a just society looks like. Conservatives are right to call these views liberal, but it's just as important to recognize them as the product of representative democracy within defined urban spaces (see Richard Florida for more on what it is that causes cities to vote Democratic). Newspapers, like other businesses, have to follow the local laws -- such as those protecting out gay employees -- or risk getting sued. And, historically, they had to appeal to urban or urbanizing local residents if they wanted any subscribers.
 ...
Also important: Because employment at these city-based newspapers is voluntary, they tend to attract reporters who want to live in cities. The New York Times, for example, gets the Iowans who want to leave Iowa and live in Manhattan or Brooklyn. It does not get as many job applicants who want to live in traditional rural communities, because it is not a rural-community-based employer. Newspapers hire people who can deal with working in cities -- big, major, complicated, diverse, progressive cities -- and who will obey the socially progressive laws of those cities at work, even if they live off in the 'burbs somewhere.
There are successful conservative newspapers in cities, but they are usually the scrappy local underdogs to the big mainstream dailies bought by the plurality of the regional paper-buying population. Think: The Boston Herald (conservative) versus The Boston Globe. The New York Post (conservative) versus the New York Times and Daily News. The Washington Times (conservative) versus the Washington Post.
At Reason, Matt Welch responds:
Well, let's take as a test the largest city in America you might describe as right-of-center: Houston. Fourth-biggest city, 12th-biggest daily, 7th city ranked on the largest-dailies list, politically mixed but a whole lotta conservatism headquartered and represented. Famously hostile to zoning, friendly to business. Are those politics reflected in the Houston Chronicle?
My exposure to the paper is very limited (and very positive, for what it's worth), but I don't recall any particularly conservate or libertarian point of view, or reputation thereof.
Like so many American dailies, including the Los Angeles Times (my former employer, and the plum property in the Tribune roster), the Chronicle was a strongly conservative newspaper as recently as the 1950s, before more a more progressive breed of journalist began gaining a foothold in the 1960s. Crucially, the transformation from right to left, from crassly political to high-mindedly "fair," went hand in hand with the paper benefiting from and engaging in newspaper consolidation. It was the classic deal between mostly liberal newsrooms and mostly conservative boardrooms: Close down the competition and use the profits to professionalize the news divisions, instilling a more liberal ethos even while embracing the advertising-friendly pose of objectivity. Then sit back and enjoy the 20 percent profit margins for four decades.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bias 2

Discussion Groups:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cartoonists-create-film-fight-gun-control-sponsored-mayor-illegal-guns-article-1.1324361
  • Natalie Orenstein 
  • Martin Sartorius 
  • Tamara Savage 
  • Andy Goodman 
  • Angela Nah 
  • Katya Abazajian 
  • Jennifer Sitton 
 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/22/gosnell-abortion-trial/2100103/
  • Aidan Fahnestock 
  • Richie Siegel 
  • Janice Han 
  • Courtney Searls 
  • Emma Zang-Schwartz 
  • Maya Reddy 
  • Kayla Benker 
 http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-17/immigration-reform-may-make-your-job-search-much-tougher#r=auth-s
  • Blake Li 
  • Kristie Shu 
  • Jon Rice 
  • Koffi Kouassi 
  • Rachel Hennessey 
  • Nikita Mehandru 

Groseclose website

Original Groseclose-Milyo article

Self-identification data from Gallup:

U.S. Political Ideology -- 1992-2011 Annual Averages

Compare Groseclose PQ by state to self-identification by state

Groseclose (p. 71-72)  case study of an article in the Los Angeles Times.

"God damn America" (79-82)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

AP twitter hacked

This afternoon, the AP's twitter feed was hacked and the tweet said Obama was injured. It shows how much society relies on social media because shortly after the tweet the Dow Jones dropped over 140 points. The article comments on what Twitter can do to heighten its security in attempts to make it more difficult to hack a twitter feed.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/23/technology/security/ap-twitter-hacked/

Perils of Live Coverage

When TV covers live events, reporters have to make extemporaneous comments.  As Jon Stewart points out, the results are not always good.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Take-Home Final


Answer one question from part A and one question from part B:

Part A

1.  How would the Perry campaign have benefited from reading the Iyengar book?  And how would Iyengar benefit from reading the Root book?  That is, how could Root's analysis correct errors or omissions in Media Politics?

2. Evaluate a proposed reform of the mass media. (See, for instance, Iyengar, chapter 11). Drawing on what you have learned in the course, identify both the costs and benefits of this reform. Would you support it? Explain.

Part B

1.  Campbell discusses media myths.  Groseclose discusses media bias. Explain how social media and other aspects of the Internet are affecting both phenomena.  On balance, will new technology produce more or less  myth and bias?  Explain.

2.  Professor Joseph Bessette has defined deliberation as reasoning on the merits of public policy. In recent years, have technological and organizational changes in the mass media improved or diminished the quality of deliberation on national issues?  Your analysis should include chapter 8 of Malecha as well as other class materials.
  • Exams should be typed, stapled, double-spaced, and between six and seven pages long (including both answers). I will not read past the seventh page.
  • Cite your sources. You may use either endnotes or parenthetical references to a reference list. In either case, put your documentation in a standard format (e.g., Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style). The endnotes or reference sheet will not count against the page limit.
  • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you.
  • Return exams to me no later than May 8. Papers will drop a gradepoint for one day’s lateness, a letter grade after that. (The deadline for senior grades is May 10, so two days’ lateness will mean a failing grade for graduating seniors.)

Bias

Some bias is situational, that is, it stems from availability of information or natural affinity for certain sources (e.g., consider embeds and local news)

Liberal Media Bias
Conservative Media Bias?
Business Media Bias

Thursday, April 18, 2013

NBC Shames Senators Who Voted Against Background Checks

I think this video is a great example of how news networks can sway politics.  In this NBC segment, anchors Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough discuss their outrage about the proposal not passing Senate, despite it being supported by 90% of the American public.

6:15 - 8:15 are particularly interesting to me because they talk about shaming the congresspeople who voted against the proposal by displaying their photographs on the screen throughout the day (at the beginning of the segment they showed photographs of the 4 Republicans who voted for the bill, honoring them).

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nbc-news/51583158/#51580729

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NBC Receiving Praise For Not Blowing It. BBC & NPR Too!

The article from mediaite.com goes on to say that FBI has requested that the media exercise caution” when reporting on supposed breakthroughs in the Boston case, and to check with “appropriate channels” on their leads if they are unclear whether they are true.  

A politico article  claims that CNN reported having "three credible sources on both local and federal levels."

It looks like three sources just lost their credibility.... good day for the media!

CNN & AP Blow It

























Campaigns the Media 4


We’re all friends— all part of the same tribe— and we cooperate on the trail. You help your fellow reporters get accurate quotes, spellings, names of the locations visited. You back one another up against the campaign flacks. You share rental cars and power chargers. You drink together. But a scoop is a scoop.

Root, Jay (2012-09-20). Oops! (A Diary from the 2012 Campaign Trail) (Kindle Locations 1862-1865). Byliner Digital Services. Kindle Edition.




The "heart" comment:


As Jay Root points out, oppo guys were very active:

OOPS:

A Pulitzer Prize, but Without a Newsroom to Put It In

A Pulitzer for @InsideClimate, but no newsroom to put it in... yet

Boston Marathon Misreporting

More and more reports of blood and gore are continually coming out of Boston in the aftermath of the bombings. Both The New York Post and the Daily News have been so excited about the bombings that they have fallen into the trap of reporting inaccuracies  Both papers demonstrate the impact the news cycle has on news outlets and the rush to get out as much information faster than competitors. The Daily News doctored a photo of a woman lying in a pool of blood by censoring the wound on her leg. While the intent behind the manipulation was to prevent readers from being too stunned by the gore, the  fact that the photo was manipulated has been criticized especially since the same picture, un-doctored, was published in the Star Ledger.

http://news.yahoo.com/daily-news-doctored-front-page-photo-boston-bombing-135840069--finance.html

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BBC Footage From North Korea

Here is a report from one of the BBC reporters that was undercover with the LSE student tour group in North Korea. The report shows footage from stops on the tour, such as a hospital with no patients, and catches some images of daily life in North Korea.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22161792

Monday, April 15, 2013

Here's NPR's updating news feed about the explosions in Boston today. We were discussing how a lot of the information we get in the next day could be incorrect, and I thought it was interesting that the article mentioned this, as well as trying to get credible sources.

"Note that this is still a fluid situation. Information is bound to change. We'll our best to point just to credible sources. We'll update this post as we learn more."

I remember reading this feed probably less than an hour after the explosions went off, and the injury count was somewhere around 20, now it is climbing towards 100, although this may or may not be a reliable number yet.

Here is the link to the feed, if you're interested: 
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/15/177349725/two-explosions-rock-boston-marathon-finish-line-at-least-3-dead-dozens-injured

Media, political responses to Boston explosions

New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter has tweeted/retweeted some media-focused observations from today's events and breaking news events more generally. Here's one that's particularly interesting/relevant given class discussions:
A tweet from a MA senate campaign also illustrates some political decisions campaigns make in response to news like this:

Finally, Slate posted an article on what journalists and politicians should avoid when tweeting about a crisis.

BuzzFeed piece in New York Magazine

Here's an interesting, albeit quite long, New York Magazine feature on BuzzFeed and its founder, Jonah Peretti (fun fact for comedy nerds like me: he is the brother of comedian/former Parks & Recreation writer Chelsea Peretti). It explains how the unconventional media outlet makes money with an advertising strategy based not on traditional banner ads, but by "treat[ing] the traffic as its own advertisement." Their unique approach to marketing and obsession with virality is surely one other organizations can and should study.

Campaigns and the Media 3

A governor of a big state has a very important advantage. In 2011, Rich Galen quoted a source:
We are a Texas business. Perry is either going to be President of the United States or he's going to be Governor of Texas for the next three years. In either case, our name is going to be on that first finance report.
Even though the state reporters know their politicians and their politicians’ aides better than the national media, we get jilted for the bigger, better deal when they start trying to move up the political food chain. “I could probably get George Stephanopoulos to mow my yard right now,” one senior Perry aide told me a few days ago. Jay Root Oops! (A Diary from the 2012 Campaign Trail) (Kindle Locations 365-368). Byliner Digital Services. Kindle Edition.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Journalism and Ethics--BBC journalists sneak in North Korea as LSE students

Three BBC journalists, including panorama reporter John Sweeney, spent 8 days in North Korea, pretending to be LSE (London School of Economics) students.

The LSE students' union is protesting that the BBC has put the students in a dangerous position, as North Korea could have detained them had the (N.Korea) government found out.

This incident illustrates an example of journalism and ethics.

#Is it okay to film a country for a broadcasting purpose even if the country is an interesting "rogue regime?"
#Using LSE students as "human shield"?

Balance v. Advocacy

At The New York Times, Ross Douthat argues that journalists often pursue inconsistent goals of fairness and advocacy.  Below is an excerpt.  The entire article is worth a look.  What do you think?
Consider, for instance, the Washington press’s tendency toward what critics have dubbed “bipartisanthink” — in which journalists fetishize centrism and deal making, and assume that the best of all possible legislation, regardless of its actual content, is the kind that has both parties’ fingerprints on it. By conflating the march of progress with the march of legislation through Congress, bipartisanthink allows journalists to take sides and root for particular outcomes without having to explicitly choose sides.
Usually this happens on fiscal issues, where the mainstream press’s attitude for the last few years has often been: “We need a grand bargain and we don’t care what is in it!” And usually bipartisanthink irritates liberals more than conservatives, because liberals sense — accurately enough — that many of the media personalities talking up, say, the Simpson-Bowles deficit plan would actually be perfectly happy with President Obama’s deficit plan, but feel a professional obligation not to admit it. Conservatives, meanwhile, tend to be more frustrated by bipartisanthink’s cousin, “leading the conversation.” This is how the mainstream media tend to cover social issues, and it involves acting as a crusading vanguard while denying, often self-righteously, that anything of the sort is happening.
I’m borrowing the term from The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz, who used it to describe how the press (while also “being fair to all sides”) should handle the aftermath of the Newtown shootings. The trouble is that when you set out to “lead” a conversation, you often end up deciding where it goes, which side wins the arguments and even who gets to participate. This was clear enough in Kurtz’s own piece, which assumed that stricter gun control was the only rational policy response to Newtown. And it’s been clear enough in all of the culturally charged debates — over guns and gay marriage, immigration and abortion — that have attracted media attention of late.
Time reports:
Some journalists are asking why the murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion doctor isn’t receiving more coverage. 
In 2010, police raided Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic, called the Women’s Medical Society, in a low-income neighborhood of West Philadelphia and found what a grand jury report called a “baby charnel house” where illegal and late term abortions were performed under dangerous conditions. Now on trial, Gosnell is charged with the deaths of one patient and seven babies allegedly born alive during abortion procedures; eight former employees–none of whom were certified doctors–may also face prison time.
,...
While Gosnell’s trial began on March 18, media controversy is now mounting after USA Today contributor Kirsten Powers wrote a column chastising the media for the lack of trial coverage, arguing that bias obstructed the story from making headlines.

...
Other outlets and columnists have since weighed in as well. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf [Pomona alum] called the news value of the story “undeniable,” and Megan McArdle, a special correspondent for The Daily Beast wrote a commentary, “Why I Didn’t Write About Gosnell’s Trial–And Why I Should Have,” saying, “I wish I had followed it more closely, even though I’d rather not.”


Friday, April 12, 2013

Russian Television Takes a Very Harsh Look at the 2012 GOP Candidates

RT-- Russia Today-- ran this piece in February 2012:

 

By the way, an alumnus of this class briefly had his own show on RT.  Adam Kokesh starred in "Adam vs. The Man."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Campaigns and the Media 2


Gender politics  and "running as a woman"

Opposition Research


Designated Market Area (DMA) is a media market, a group of counties that account for the major viewing audience for television stations located in a metropolitan area.

California's DMAs (left) v. US House districts (right)























"Owned Issues"

Media Myths and the 2012 Election

Campaign Spending in 2012

The Media Campaign in 2012


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Some humorous media blunders made after Thatcher's death

As we discussed earlier this semester, some news outlets make a few mistakes when they try to rush a story. This Yahoo! UK News article covers some of the more humorous mistakes, such as a Taiwanese station airing footage of the Queen while covering Thatcher's death and a Thai station showing a picture of Meryl Streep in their tribute to Thatcher.


We just touched on this topic at the very end of class, but here's a story that has people understandably riled...40 Hottest Women in Tech. You can Google that phrase for some reactions.

Korean Media's Coverage on the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election


Korean media's focus on US election coverage is mainly foreign policy.
(candidates' foreign policy towards the Korean Peninsula, esp. relations with North Korea)


Major Issues of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election [Korea Today]--> Korea's Arirang TV talks about the election.



How will U.S. election affect Korea?
--> The Korea Herald's coverage.


Obama’s challenges

--> After the election: U.S. diplomacy 

Obama’s re-election and Asia


--> After the election: Again, Korea is interested in the president-elect's foreign policy (in Asia) 




Mitt Romney Style (Gangnam Style Parody)

--> How Americans applied Korean pop music to spread their message (kind of...) 









Monday, April 8, 2013

China CCTV coverage on 2012 US presidential election

This is a video from the China CCTV News channel on the 2012 US presidential election. CCTV is the predominate state television broadcaster for mainland China with over 20 channels. CCTV News is the English international news channel.

More Thoughts on Harris

At the end of class we touched on Obama's comment on Kamala Harris's appearance. Here's a good, if brief, piece from Mother Jones on the catch-22 women in politics face. If a female politician is considered attractive, people will think she's too feminine to be agressive and assertive. And if she isn't made-up or conventionally attractive, the media will berate her for looking masculine or ugly (see: Hillary Clinton).

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/04/heres-why-good-looking-wrong-and-damaging

McCain's Opposition Research on Romney

For those who may be interested, here is the McCain campaign's entire 200-page opposition research book on Mitt Romney during the 2008 campaign. I believe this was first discovered by Buzzfeed back in January of 2012.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/78582788/McCain-2008-Oppo-File

Campaigns and the Media 1

Campaign media concepts, from the journalists' perspective
  • Horserace coverage (Iyengar, 73-75, 153)
  • Pack journalism (Iyengar 83)
  • Feeding frenzy (Iyengar 151-152)
Strategic Grid


Gaffes



Designated Market Area (DMA) is a media market, a group of counties that account for the major viewing audience for television stations located in a metropolitan area.

California's DMAs (left) v. US House districts (right)























Saturday, April 6, 2013

Niche News Sites

A follow-up of our Wednesday class on niche news sites.

Umair Haque, a blogger at the Harvard Business Review, compares nichepapers with mainstream news outlets. In the article, he writes
"Nichepapers aren't a new product, service, or business model. They are a new institution.They're a living example of the institutional innovation that is the key to 21st century business. They're not the same old newspaper, sold a different way. They are 21st century newspapers, built on new rules, that are letting radical innovators reinvent what "news" is."

Web-based Niche News Sites and Networks

A conglomerate of influential niche news sites within major sectors, such as business, crime and local government. 

Can Online Activism Make a Difference?

This is a video from the BBC that talks about campaigning through social media and the impact that it can have.  They use the example of the equality for gay marriage red equal sign that has gone viral on Facebook.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21998353

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"That's How Sacramento Works"

Chris Megerian writes at The Los Angeles Times:
When news hit Monday that the California Supreme Court had created political turmoil by throwing out the state's new voting maps, the phone lines and email in-boxes of Sacramento operatives quickly whirred to life 
It was indicative of the hair-trigger speed with which politics moves these days. So quickly, in fact, that the panicked politicos who immediately reached for their smartphones didn't realize they were the victims of an April Fool’s Day joke. 
Longtime lobbyist and political observer Scott Lay included the fictional piece in his popular email newsletter, the Nooner. 
The article was full of hints that it was a fabrication: The name of the court case was made up. The first letter of each paragraph spelled April Fool’s. There was even a disclaimer at the end admitting the whole thing was supposed to be a joke. But in a town where lawmakers don't even read many of the bills they vote on, close reading is not a strong suit.
...
It was the perfect trick, combining a trusted source for news, an opaque topic and a political environment that demands rapid reactions. And like the best jokes, it revealed something deeper about its subject -- Sacramento is a place where much information is traded without being truly understood. 
"Not a lot of people want to read specifics about redistricting," said Paul Mitchell, a Democratic consultant who has worked on the topic. "People have been trained to read the headlines and react." He added, "That's how Sacramento works."

Various Items

AP reports on the president's media strategy.

Britain's Channel 4 reports on fake pirates:



Tips on using the "Web News" tab in Nexis -- very relevant for our writing assignment!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Congress and the Presidency


"Branding" and parties in Congress
"Outreach" and the limits of branding




A 2009 controversy:

video


White House communications operation pushes back on criticism:




Pushback to the pushback:




Boehner bloodhound:


 Remember the McConnell 1984 bloodhounds?

New & Old Journalism

The Bad Boy Brand

Looking at the success and story behind Vice, and how they mix journalism with sponsored content.

Columbia Looks Ahead in an Age of Disruption

This piece by David Carr looks at the new Columbia J-School dean and investigates claims that he isn't fit to do his job because he doesn't tweet.