Making Sense of the Media

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.

Tested

There's a new piece of technology that looks deceptively simple. It's called Google Cardboard - the company's vision for low-cost virtual reality. It kind of looks like a pizza box that wraps around your smart phone.

Google’s Cardboard virtual reality is going to be shipped out to a million homes in the November 7 issue of the “New York Times.”

The cardboard headsets will go out with the physical copy of the “Times,” while established digital subscribers and Times Insiders will also get copies.

We in the media can't seem to get enough of Donald Trump, but there was one recent exchange at a bipartisan convention in New Hampshire, that, well, raised a few eyebrows.

One of the most memorable questions that Donald Trump took during the No Labels Problem Solver convention on Monday came from a college student.

"So, maybe I'm wrong, maybe you can prove me wrong," said Lauren Batchelder, a student at St. Anselm College in Manchester. "But I don't think you're a friend to women."

You Tube

Philadelphia’s mayor was critical of how the media covered Pope Francis’ trip to his city, saying the media scared people away by talking about the crowds. We ask Poynter’s Kelly McBride if this is another case of "shooting the messenger."

The big news recently was His Holiness, the Pope, making a grand tour of the U.S. His final stop was in Philadelphia, where huge crowds greeted the pontiff. But apparently that wasn't enough for The City of Brotherly Love's Mayor, Michael Nutter, who took a shot at the news media:

Digital journalists at Al Jazeera America are the latest to move toward unionization. In the past few months, writers at  Gawker, Salon, Vice Media have all organized.

This week, memorial services were held for two television reporters from Virginia who were shot and killed during a live broadcast. We talk with Kelly McBride from The Poynter Institute For Media Studies to get an understanding of how news outlets approached their coverage and how news organizations should proceed in handling crises and the broadcast of graphic material.

Making Sense of Ad Blockers

Aug 28, 2015

More people are using ad blocking software, but internet sites depend on advertisements to stay afloat. We talk with The Poynter Institute's Kelly McBride about how ad blockers work and what the mediascape might be like if it were ad-free.

 

Making Sense of Tinder and the Dating Apocalypse

Aug 20, 2015

The September issue of Vanity Fair magazine includes a story called “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse.”
It suggests the popular dating app Tinder is little more than a facilitator for casual sex.

Making Sense of Ferguson A Year Later

Aug 13, 2015

It’s been a year since white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18 year-old Michael Brown following a robbery in Ferguson, Missouri. Media coverage of the  protests that followed have contributed to a new conversation and coverage about social justice. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about what’s happened in the year since we first heard about Ferguson. We air an audio clip from a short film called "This Is Home", and you can see the full (4:43) film HERE

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