Making Sense of the 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.

npr.org

The next evolution of Facebook allows media organizations such as the New York Times, The Atlantic and the BBC to publish articles directly to its mobile users.

Facebook says it can deliver the content up to 10 times more quickly than the mobile web.

Kelly McBride from the Poynter Institute’s “Sense-Making Project” helps us understand the impact of access to more-faster media.

 

“We spent hours and hours talking about the ethics of this,” said reporter Ben Montgomery, who first encountered Hughes when the postal worker called him at work and told him his plans. “Ultimately, we felt comfortable that he was on the authorities’ radar and that he was not homicidal or suicidal. He had his plan down to a T. Is it our job to call attention to it?” Actually, yes, say media ethicists. “A news organization should be extremely knowledgeable of the potential harm” a stunt like this could cause, said Edward Wasserman, dean of the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. “I really question their judgment. There is no end of the ways this could have gone wrong.”

Making Sense of Brian Williams and Jon Stewart

Feb 14, 2015
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The world of TV news, and TV fake news, was shaken this week.  

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was suspended without pay for six months after his embellishment of his Iraq war coverage experience was exposed.

And then The Daily Show's Jon Stewart announced that he's leaving the fake news anchor desk by the end of the year.

Making Sense of Internet Trolls

Feb 7, 2015
npr.org

Trolls aren't just those mythical uglies who live underneath a bridge and tend toward harassing travelers with impossible riddles.

Internet trolls are mean-spirited -- no -- hateful people who incessantly harass others on Twitter -- especially women.

One of those women is Lindy West -- a writer and frequent target of Twitter harassment.

Making Sense of the Superbowl and Facebook

Jan 31, 2015
npr.org

Super Bowl XLIX doesn't just feature The Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots.

It also features lots and lots of commercials selling for four-and-a-half million dollars for 30 seconds.

And Facebook wants a piece of the Super Bowl advertising action.

If you post anything on Facebook about the Super Bowl, ads will show in in your feed tailored to your particular interests.

Making Sense of Digital Stress

Jan 25, 2015
npr.org

Cell phone calls, texting, Facebook, Twitter and email are really adding to our daily stress, right?

Not necessarily.

There's a new study that says we aren't as stressed out by our digital lives as we think we are.

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