Posts Tagged ‘Media’
After British authorities detained the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald for nine hours and forced the Guardian, where Greenwald works, to destroy its computers, The Columbia Journalism Review declared this a “DEFCON 2 journalism event” — a reference to the code used when the country is one step away from nuclear war.
And they weren’t alone. A number of leading journalists have weighed in over the past week arguing that we have reached a crisis moment for global press freedom. Amy Davidson, in The New Yorker, writes that the events of this week remind us that we are “lucky in this country to have a press with a better shot at avoiding prior restraint.”
However, she argues, both the Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden cases raise doubts about that “better shot.” Indeed, many saw Manning’s 35-year sentence, handed down this week, as yet another effort to chill the newsgathering process. All of this comes on the heels of a long string of press suppression and intimidation that came to light in the United States this summer. Taken together, argues Davidson, these cases show “why it’s worth pushing back, and fighting.”
That sentiment was echoed by Philip Bump at the Atlantic Wire: “In the battle with the security state, those who might commit acts of journalism have three choices: acquiesce, push back or step away.”
NPR used to be a morning ritual for me. Wake up, make coffee, turn on NPR. But for the last few months I have vacated that part of the radio dial, tuning in only occasionally, often when I’m alone in my car.
I was at the Boston Children’s Museum with my family on December 14, when I learned about the Sandy Hook shooting. Checking Twitter absent-mindedly while waiting in line, I saw the first tweets and news reports filling my stream. I looked up from my phone to a cacophony of kids laughing and playing around me, many of whom were the same age as the kids who were killed just minutes earlier.
On the drive home that day my wife and I were careful not to turn on NPR in the car with our two boys in the back seat. Since then, we’ve listened to a lot less public radio in our house. The Sandy Hook shooting coincided with my son turning four. While I’m sure he’s been aware of the media and discussions around him up to this point, recently he’s been a sponge for everything he hears.
For a lot of us who have children around the age of the Sandy Hook victims, that tragedy shook us to the core. But the endless media coverage of the event created new challenges as we tried to shield our kids from news of the tragedy.
This morning when I woke up, I made coffee and turned on the radio – it was tuned to NPR. My son was already eating his breakfast in the kitchen and before I could reach the dial words like “explosion” and “dead” came tumbling out. The devastation of Boston was brought into our little house so quickly. I changed the channel, I don’t think he noticed, but I don’t know. When I went to get the newspaper on my front steps images of the Boston marathon tragedy filled the front page. I folded it up and hid it from view. Read the rest of this entry »
The Federal Communications Commission is pushing a plan to gut its 30-year-old newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban. This proposal would allow one company to own a local paper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in a single market. Advocates of more media consolidation argue that allowing TV stations and newspapers to merge is critical to cutting costs and saving local journalism.
This is the same argument the Bush FCC used to try to push through the same bad rules in 2007. Back then, the Senate voted the rules down and the courts later threw them out. It’s time to put this argument to bed for good: More media consolidation won’t save journalism. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m not one to make predictions about the future of our media. I’m much more interested in prescriptions. Rather than talking about what we think might happen, let’s discuss what we agree needs to happen and how we might get there. The media isn’t just something that happens to us — it is something we can and must be part of creating and reshaping ourselves. Here are three critical issues we must tackle in the coming year. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I received the Lew Hill Media Ally award, named for the founder of Pacifica – the first non-commercial community funded radio network. Hill’s pioneering vision for nonprofit, community supported media in America is a constant inspiration in the work I do advocating for the next generation of public and noncommercial media our communities need. The media landscape has shifted radically since Hill founded Pacifica, but the need for fiercely independent journalism remains. Given that fact, what does it mean to be a “media ally” today?
The recent history of journalism in America is full of tectonic shifts, brought on by changes in technology and society. For too long, many of those changes happened outside of newsrooms, but increasingly we are seeing fundamental cultural shifts in news organizations that are changing how, and to sometimes why, journalism is done.
One of those shifts has been the emphasis on community engagement. The media landscape is shifting and becoming more participatory, and our communities want to do more than just read the news. They want to be co-creators, collaborators, distributors and they want to put the news to work, to improve their lives and communities. At the same time, financial challenges have forced news organizations to build new networks of support with their audience and community.
While newsrooms have invested in various forms of community engagement – from mobilizing local bloggers into coordinated networks, to robust social media strategies and community events – there is still a lot we don’t know about how to assess and measure the impact of community engagement. Read the rest of this entry »
This weekend Ted Koppel, longtime host of Nightline, gave the commencement address to UMass Amherst, where I did my graduate work. His full remarks are copied below, but here are my thoughts on a few key passages on the state of journalism, politics and social media.
He opened his remarks with a familiar critique of social media: the requisite nod to the Arab Spring followed by a dismissal of Twitter and Facebook as too fast, too shallow, and full of too much noise.
If sclerotic dictators can be overthrown by messages of 140 characters or fewer, surely I should have been able to Tweet something adequate your way. But I won’t. It will surprise few if any of you to learn that I don’t Tweet and that I have, thus far, resisted all efforts to “friend” or be “friended.”
Billions upon billions of Tweets and text messages, most so lacking in substance that it is difficult to imagine any impact if they were all vaporized tomorrow. The new media clearly enable information to be transmitted more widely and efficiently than ever before.
Koppel links the speed of social media (and news media) today to a larger erosion in our ability to engage in constructive dialogue. This is born out, for him, most clearly in our political discourse. Read the rest of this entry »
As more and more content has moved online, and the sources for news and information expand and multiply, many have wondered if it matters who owns our media anymore. Pew’s 2010 report is a startling reminder of just how much sway Big Media has over just about everything we watch, read and hear – even in the digital age. Read the rest of this entry »
Comcast just filed its merger paperwork with the FCC. As part of its takeover, Comcast wants to get its hands on local NBC and Telemundo stations owned and operated by NBC across the nation. More media consolidation in local news is never a good thing, but this deal is particularly bad for certain communities.
NBC owns local stations in eleven communities that are already have Comcast cable and Internet service. If this merger goes through, in each community one company will control content online, on cable and over the airwaves.
Here are the stations that are in Comcast’s crosshairs: Read the rest of this entry »
Co-authored by Josh Stearns and Tracy VanSlyke
If 2009 was a year of study and debate about the future of journalism, 2010 must be a year of action. We must come together around a core set of ideas to create a better ecosystem for sustainable and high-impact journalism. Based on the various reports and conferences from the past year, we’ve compiled the five most important areas that journalism organizations (and those invested in the future of journalism) must tackle in 2010—and suggest some initial steps to begin moving forward. Read the rest of this entry »
We at SaveTheNews.org and Free Press learned today that the eminent communications law scholar C. Edwin Baker died this week at the age of 62. Baker was a passionate defender of the First Amendment and a longtime advocate for media and democracy.
Baker took part in the early planning meetings before SaveTheNews.org was launched, and his ideas have helped to shape much of our work. Robert McChesney and John Nichols, the co-founders of Free Press, offered remembrances of Baker. Read the rest of this entry »
I just returned from the Future of News conference in St. Paul, Minn. Although the conference inspired Richard Gingras to cheekily tweet, “The future of news is a future of conferences about the future of news,” there were some interesting threads worth noting.
One presenter who stood out to me was Tom Rosenstiel, from the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism, who proposed eight values he believed were core to the future of news. Some, he noted, were long-held values of legacy media organizations that we should carry over to new models. Others were values rooted in the changing media system and people’s responses to it. Read the rest of this entry »
The editors of the Columbia Journalism Review published an important editorial this week outlining why they feel public policy must be a central part of the discussion about the future of news in America.
They wrote: “The idea that a purely commercial media alone can continue to deliver the journalism we need is becoming difficult to swallow. If we don’t get beyond the rational but outdated fear of government help for accountability journalism—if we just let the market sort it out—this vital public good will continue to decline.” Read the rest of this entry »