Making Sense of the Media

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As of today, there’s a new President of the United States. And the new Commander in Chief’s already testy relationship with the news media means it’s pretty clear that the press will never be the same.

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The hottest gadget this holiday season is getting attention it may not want.

Amazon's Echo is a voice- activated smart speaker that in a soothing – yet somewhat robotic way - plays music, shares the news and weather and answers even the most inane questions when anyone near the device says a key word - usually the name 'Alexa.'

Diane Rehm is wrapping up a public radio career spanning more than four decades and thousands of episodes. Her talk show has originated at Washington, D.C.'s WAMU and is heard by nearly 3 million people across the country weekly on NPR stations.

Yet The Diane Rehm Show almost didn't get off the ground.

In 1979, Rehm started as a host with a program aimed at homemakers. Several years later, she informed her boss that she had other plans.

Twitter

When news broke a few days ago about the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey at photo exhibit in Ankara, a handful of journalists who happened to be there captured the shooting with graphic photos and video.

And within hours, images of that shooting were leading newscasts and filling social media feeds around the world.

Pixabay

There’s an interesting term popping up in media reports lately: dog whistle.

It's a metaphor for talking in a way that a small group of people hear one that is hidden below the surface message, said Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

New words and phrases are forever showing up in our conversations – and in our media. And when it comes to politics, the word choice journalists make can be overly generalized, polarizing or just plain wrong.

Albuminarium

If you've been paying attention lately, there's been a lot of talk about how many media organizations relied a little too much on flawed polling and survey data in predicting outcomes.

With that in mind, we're still going to throw caution to the wind and look at some new data that helps break down how Americans seem so divided.

Daylina Miller/WUSF / WUSF Public Media

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign may consider Hillary Clinton to be public enemy number one. But the media – and the reporters covering the GOP candidate – are close behind. Take for example, his description of journalists just a few days ago in Tampa.  

“These people are among the most dishonest in the world – the media,” Trump said to a roaring crowd. “They are the worst. They’re trying to fix the election for crooked Hillary.”

Laura Poitras / Praxis Films, / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been about three years since Edward Snowden became a household name, when the National Security Agency contractor leaked 1.5 million classified documents to journalists and news organizations.

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Yet again, news organizations around the globe are reporting on computer hackers illegally obtaining – and releasing - private information.

This summer – the Democratic Party and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were targets. Now the hackers have taken aim at American Olympic athletes and their medical records.

NPR

Recently NPR decided to tweak something on its website.

It wasn’t the look. Instead, the national news organization of which WUSF is a member station, decided to eliminate listeners' comments on stories.

Twitter

Every four years, we watch the world’s best athletes on the Olympic Stage.  And the massive athletic competition is being covered by an equally grand number of journalists.

This year, the Olympic Games in Rio are garnering complaints about media coverage that appears to diminish what female athletes are doing.

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“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

These words from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities could sum up the state of many media companies today. There's no shortage of news or people seeking out information. But newspapers and book publishers are both struggling to survive in our increasingly digital media landscape.

In the past couple of decades, "unions" has become a dirty word in Florida. This is a right to work state, and it seems even mentioning the word has become kind of a political dagger - just think of teacher's unions.  Most of the remaining unions are focused on trades, so when news came about newspaper reporters at The Ledger in Lakeland wanting to unionize, that made headlines.  

Tampa Aviation Authority

 Since small recreational drones came onto the market a few years ago, journalists have been using them for news gathering.

Problem is - many of them may have been doing so without clear legal guidelines.

NPR

A few days ago, a group of Democrats in Congress began a sit-in on the chamber floor, protesting the end of the House session without a vote on gun control measures.

Washington Post

Journalism isn't about popularity. Reporters investigate and prepare stories independent of the people they interview, and sometimes, the targets of a story or the public are unhappy with the result.

facebook.com

Facebook is a massive social media heavyweight. Media organizations and Facebook realize the site has a lot of influence in shaping the news people see, react to and share every day.

One particular Facebook feature called "trending topics" is now coming under fire. The technology blog Gizmodo reports that a robotic algorithm isn't responsible for the list you see on the right hand rail of your Facebook homepage.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

There's been buzz for months around Beyonce's new "Formation" tour.

In Tampa, fans are especially excited, as Beyonce's been spotted rehearsing for Friday night's show at Raymond James Stadium.

But the singer took the hype to another level when she recently surprised fans by dropping a new album. Called "Lemonade," it came with a lush hour-long video -- and is full of hints of infidelity and relationship crisis. The album was released the same night as the video appeared on HBO.

The Boston Globe

Businessman Donald Trump and the media have had a rocky relationship since he jumped into the presidential race nearly a year ago.

It reached a new level this week, when The Boston Globe's editorial page created a four-page fake newspaper based on his current political stances.

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