Friday, January 30, 2015

"Oops" Moments in Campaign Coverage

If you saw The Daily Beast early this morning, this"exclusive" would have popped up:

AdWeek has the story of the premature (and incorrect) story

It was hardly the first time that a scoop went south.  (As you may know, Richard Gephardt was not Kerry's running mate.  John Edwards was.)

And then there is the mother of all headline screwups:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ownership and Regulation

Agent Coulson explains it all for you:

The Media:  The Tale of the Tape
The FCC:

The First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Opinion on the First Amendment

Monday, January 26, 2015

China demonstrates its authoritarian control system

The New York Times is reporting that China is increasing its efforts to regulate online media by requiring online writers to register their real names before publishing to the internet, which would allow the government to trace all pen names to the real author. While the Chinese government portrays this change as an attempt to promote "healthy" literature and moral journalism standards, this action hurts freedom of expression and the ability of writers to dissent from government policies. In the past, online media in China has not been heavily regulated relative to print media.

Incorrect transgender copy in Graber

Found it interestingly meta that Box 3-2 in the Graber text (page 65), "WikiLeaks: A tool for heroes or villains?", fails spectacularly to get Chelsea Manning's pronouns right. The textbook on journalism can't even manage correct journalistic standards for reporting on transgender people. Sad.

From the Associated Press, Aug. 26, 2013:
The Associated Press will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning and female pronouns for the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman.
Manning announced her wishes last Thursday after being sentenced to 35 years in Fort Leavenworth military prison and a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Army for revealing U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks, the anti-establishment website.
Manning’s statement was reiterated, with additional detail, in a blog posting ( and an interview with The Associated Press on Monday by defense attorney David E. Coombs.
The use of the first name Chelsea and feminine pronouns in Manning’s case is in conformity with the transgender guidance in the AP Stylebook. The guidance calls for using the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
Compare to Graber/Dunaway, p. 65:
"U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning—now Chelsea Manning" -- incorrectly uses former name "Bradley" as primary name 
"...there are diverging views of the actions of both men [Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning]" -- incorrectly refers to Chelsea Manning as a "man" despite her clear identification as a woman
"Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning's defense of his (her) own actions center on the argument that he (she) released the documents knowing they would embarrass the U.S. government, but he (she) did not think they would cause harm. Some view Manning as a hero and others view him (her) as a traitor." -- incorrectly uses former name "Bradley" and incorrect male pronouns as first references, referring only parenthetically to her correct name and pronouns
"Manning was convicted on 20 of 22 charges and sentenced to 35 years in prison. His convictions included six counts of espionage, but he was not convicted on the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, which could have carried a life sentence. He could be eligible for release in as few as seven years." -- incorrectly refers to Chelsea manning exclusively with male pronouns

You would think that authors who study journalism for a living would have a better grasp on this. Frustrating.


Ownership, Control, and a Brief History of the Media

As you watch coverage of the blizzard in the East, remember:

Daily Newspaper Circulation in the United States:


Source: Historical Statistics of the United States, 810.

Households with Radio Sets:


Source: Historical Statistics of the United States, 796.

Households with Television Sets:


Source: Historical Statistics of the United States, 796

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cruz Do-Over

At Mediaite, class alum Tina Nguyen reports:
Unlike many of his colleagues, who gave pre-written speeches and taped them on sets, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) decided to record his response to Obama’s State of the Union Address outside the House Chamber, next to a statue of Texas hero Stephen Austin, using the iPhone of some staffer who forgot to edit the video before posting it on YouTube.

The original video was quickly deleted because it showed Cruz, the former Solicitor General of Texas and champion college debater, successfully improvising an eloquent response, seamlessly hitting a series of prepared talking points criticizing the Obama administration…for about forty seconds.

And then he needed a redo.

Ah, the perils of politicians going without a script.

Watch here

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Media and the State of the Union

MSNBC on social media and #SOTU

At The Wall Street Journal, former Obama campaign spokesperson Stephanie Cutter writes:
In 2010, more than 48 million people watched the State of the Union address. But Americans increasingly get their content online, not on television. The average American watched six fewer hours of live TV per month in 2014 than he or she did in 2013—and twice as many households are now “broadband only,” meaning they don’t subscribe to cable.
Rather than fight the inevitable, the Obama administration has adapted–and used a variety of social media platforms to outline the president’s major State of the Union proposals in advance.
It was a shrewd way to take the president’s agenda directly to the platforms where people get their information, unfiltered, and reach the communities that care the most about specific issues.
That’s why senior adviser Valerie Jarrett took to LinkedIn to announce the president’s renewed push for paid sick days and family leave—directly reaching affected employees and telling employers that the administration means business.
To explain the administration’s proposal to improve and expand access to broadband, President Barack Obama taped a video on an iPad from the Oval Office and posted it Upworthy, the Web site popular with millennials.
The White House put out an "enhanced" version of the State of the Union.  Philip Bump appraises it in comparison with GOP messages.

At The Washington Post, Caitlin Dewey offers a brief history of the president's use of online media.