Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Governor Christie's Fleece

Speaking of close relationships between the media, hollywood, and politics...

An MSNBC Discussion of a South Carolina Gaffe

Monday, May 6, 2013

Helena Bottemiller on CNBC!

Class alum Helena Bottemiller (see our syllabus for her article on media coverage of food safety) was just on CNBC:

Bias 5

Kathleen Miles writes at The Huffington Post:
At a Los Angeles Times in-house awards ceremony a week ago, columnist Steve Lopez addressed the elephant in the room.
Speaking to the entire staff, he said, "Raise your hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by Austin Beutner's group." No one raised their hands.
"Raise you hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by Rupert Murdoch." A few people raised their hands.
Facing the elephant trunk-on, "Raise your hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by the Koch brothers." About half the staff raised their hands.
As Tribune Co. emerges from a four-year bankruptcy, the predominantly Democratic city is quivering at the rumor that libertarian billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch may be interested in buying the LA Times. The brothers are believed to be the only group prepared to buy all eight Tribune papers, including the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant, as a package -- how Tribune would like to sell them.
The ownership that most Angelenos seem to favor is a coalition of LA billionaires who have expressed interest in running the paper as a nonprofit, led by former Democratic mayoral candidate Austin Beutner and including prominent Democratic donor Eli Broad.
Beutner and Broad have friends, political interests, and business and philanthropic investments across the city. And it's hard to imagine that this wouldn't influence the paper's editorial content.
Three Los Angeles City Council members -- including a candidate for mayor -- asked their colleagues Tuesday to consider pulling city pension money from the investment firms that own the Los Angeles Times if they sell the publication to buyers who do not support “professional and objective journalism.”

Since emerging from bankruptcy last year, Tribune Co. -- which owns eight newspapers including The Times and 23 television stations -- has been guided by a board of directors that include its largest creditors. It has been widely reported that the directors are interested in selling the newspapers, preferably all together.
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who called for the council to act, said he was motivated by recent news reports that billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are among those interested in buying the newspapers. The Kochs in recent national elections have provided major financial support to libertarian candidates and causes.
DOCUMENT: Read the full City Council motion
More details on the Media Lambda

Remember that it is not just the media...

 Opinion journalism on Cable

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why does crime dominate American media? $$$

I heard a story on NPR's Marketplace on Thursday that related to Koffi's observation that the American media devotes an inordinate amount of time covering crime. Looking at the "if it bleeds, it leads," phenomenon through the lens of the ongoing trial of alleged murderer Jodi Arias, the report concluded that it's all about eyeballs to advertisers—something we've discussed in class before:
“If you deliver more eyeballs, the value of that time goes up. That’s one of the reason a lot of these cable channels, for example -- you know, in many cases if they can latch onto a case like this, people get hooked, they get addicted to it,” Sheehan said. “It’s kind of like this is the Phoenix version of the O.J. Simpson case.”
And according to one local reporter, the trend isn't going to end anytime soon:
For Chris Kline at the local ABC station, the trial shows him that there are huge revenue opportunities in airing future high-profile cases. 
“If our audience is hungry for this and we can offer them that overage, that’s going to help our overall business as we push forward in a really tough economy,” Kline says. 
I haven't been following this case closely, but the one clip I have seen seems to justify some of the media hubbub—this trial really is ridiculous:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Clinton Does Comedy! Putin Sings!

Here is the video that I mentioned in class. It features a number of famous reporters. How many can you  name?

Putin sings! For no particular reason other that its absolute weirdness, here is actual video of Vladimir Putin singing and playing the piano


Bias 4

A press conference:

Data on journalists' backgrounds
More recent study of attitudes

Comparisons with general public:

The Murray Quiz

Abortion: an early Los Angeles Times treatment

Think tanks:  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and an example from today's news

Tax Facts