Making Sense of the Media

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

Associated Press

One of the more interesting trials to make its way to St. Petersburg pits wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan against Gawker Media. The company is being sued by Hogan because they published a sex tape with his estranged friend's wife. That ex-friend is Bubba the Love Sponge. who filmed the whole scene without him know about it.

Journalists have been depicted in the movies since back in the days of The Front Page and Citizen Kane. But the grittiness of the profession may not have hit home for most people until the movie Spotlight, which  just won the Oscar for Best Picture. It portrays the Boston Globe’s investigation into widespread child sex abuse around Boston by numerous Roman Catholic priests.

Wikipedia.org

The biggest news of what had been quite a news-filled week was the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In 2013, the U.S. TV news market witnessed the debut of Al Jazeera America. The network, based in Qatar and funded by that nation's royal family, was considered to be the crowning touch of their  web of TV networks.
 

Chris Pizzello / AP Photo

There's nothing like a little celebrity gloss to fire up the ratings of any news story. So when Sean Penn made headlines for his role in the interview - and eventual capture of Joaquin Guzman, also known as "El Chapo," probably the biggest drug lord in the world - it set off ripples throughout the news world.

But what really made members of the media all atwitter was his comments about the profession to Charlie Rose of 60 Minutes:

Ammon Bundy, the leader of the armed occupation of an Oregon U.S. Fish and Wildlife Building
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon has been all over the news, as a group of armed ranchers are demanding the government give back the federal land to "the local people." They said they're doing it to protest the prosecution of father-and-son ranchers who were convicted of setting government-owned land on fire.

You Tube

If there's any one person who has dominated the airwaves this week, it's - yes, you guessed it - Donald Trump.

His proposal to ban any Muslim from entering the U.S. sparked a firestorm of criticism. But it also has him just where he wants to be - in the center of the media universe.

 

You Tube/Mark Shierbecker

Media coverage of the protests over racial policies at the University of Missouri included one particular video that went viral, of a professor trying to kick a reporter out of a public space as he recorded the student protests.

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