Making Sense of the Media

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.

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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."

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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

Making Sense of Mass Killings

Aug 6, 2015

A new report by USA Today  gives a 10-year overview of Mass Killings in the country. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about why the company embarked on the project, Florida’s contribution to it, and how people can use the report.

Making Sense of Victim Portrayals

Jul 30, 2015

The cover of the current issue of New York Magazine is a composite shot of photographs of 35 of the women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby. The corresponding feature includes highly stylized portraits of the women wearing shades of white and silver as well as the women’s individual stories, including video testimony. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about why the magazine chose to tell the story this way and how it’s being received.

The process of producing news stories can be complicated.  And after all the research, interviewing, writing and editing is done and a piece is sent out into the world; newsrooms don’t always know how their work is being received.  A new tool called NewsLynx helps journalists measure the impact of their stories in the “real world”.  We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about the tool and how it works.

Making Sense of Donald Trump

Jul 16, 2015

Donald Trump is leading the latest national poll done by USA Today/Suffolk University. He’s got a lead over GOP candidate Jeb Bush but trailing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Although, Trump is within the margin of error.  How reliable are these polls? Can we trust them all? We’ll discuss it with Poynter’s Kelly McBride.

 

One stunning image in the media recently was of members of Hilary Clinton’s campaign roping off and sequestering reporters in the middle of the street during a 4th of July stop in NH. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about how on earth the Clinton campaign thought that was a good idea.

Recently, talk show host Diane Rehm apologized to Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for incorrectly stating he has dual citizenship with Israel. Her misinformation came from a Facebook post. 

Making Sense of the FIFA Scandal

Jun 11, 2015

The past several weeks we’ve seen revelations of deep corruption inside FIFA,  the worldwide governing body for professional soccer. There’ve been allegations of extortion, racketeering and fraud that have been likened to the operations of organized crime. A story this big and complicated didn’t just happen overnight. We talk with The Pynter Institute's Kelly McBride about reporter Andrew Jennings’ book “Omertà: Sepp Blatter's FIFA Organised Crime Family” and how a dogged journalistic approach resulted in legal action.

Bruce Jenner dominated the mediascape this week for emerging as Caitlyn Jenner – in lingerie from a Beverly Hills boutique that evokes 1940s Hollywood - on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about Jenner’s skill as a media manipulator, and the evolution of how people talk about transgendered people.

Last month, This American Life did a story about canvassers who identified a way to go door to door and change people’s minds on issues such as same sex marriage and abortion rights. The story cited data that had been published in the journal Science. It proved that the canvassers could influence peoples’ views. In a big way. An author of the study asked Science to retract it because he believed some of the data gathered by his co-author was faked, so TAL had to issue a retraction.

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