Category Archives: press criticism

Sinclair and Bezos: media ownership and media bias

These two stories ran on the same page of the print New York Times on April 2: “Sinclair Videos Renew Debate Over Media Ownership” and “To Trump, It’s the ‘Amazon Washington Post.’ To Its Editor, That’s Baloney.” Both articles are … Continue reading

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how information relates to power, according to C.V. Wedgewood

C.V. (Veronica) Wedgewood’s The Thirty Years War is almost a century old, but it remains an inexhaustible source of insights. TaNahisi Coates loves it, too: “Take this for whatever it’s worth but she writes better than any historian I’ve ever … Continue reading

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media literacy and the social discovery of reality

If you’re concerned about media education in the current fraught moment, you should read danah boyd’s “You Think You Want Media Literacy… Do You?” and Renee Hobbs’ response in Medium. In my crude summary: danah boyd surveys some media literacy programs and sees … Continue reading

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22 million new voters by 2020

With The LAMP, a New York City nonprofit that works on media and digital literacy skills, my colleagues at CIRCLE are launching the 22×20 Campaign, which has the tagline “22 million new voters by the year 2020.” For the night of the … Continue reading

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don’t let the behavioral revolution make you fatalistic

Beginning in the late 1960s, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman shook the prevailing assumption that human beings can plan and make decisions rationally. Their experiments demonstrated that we use “simplifying heuristics rather than extensive algorithmic processing” to make decisions. We err in predictable … Continue reading

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why Trump fans aren’t holding him accountable (yet)

(Washington DC) Kevin Drum imagines how a Trump fan receives the president’s tweets: You’re at home, watching the Factor, and O’Reilly is going on about the crime problem in Chicago. It’s outrageous! The place is a war zone! Somebody should … Continue reading

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prospects for civic media after 2016

Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice is a new book edited by Eric Gordon and Paul Mihailidis. I contributed the introductory chapter, “Democracy in the Digital Age.” On Nov. 16, I joined Eric, Paul, Ethan Zuckerman (MIT), Colin Rhinesmith (Simmons), Beth Coleman (University of Waterloo), … Continue reading

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the Pew climate change survey and the state of science

According to Pew’s new survey, only about one third of Americans care “a great deal” about climate change. That might be a matter of values: some citizens may set a higher priority on liberty or growth than on environmental protection, or they … Continue reading

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the press loses its leverage

(Dayton, OH) Traditionally, politicians have spoken directly to relatively small numbers of people, and the press has reported their speeches to much larger publics. The intermediary role of the press has given it leverage that it can use for good (to enlighten and hold … Continue reading

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what will Snapchat do to politics?

Joanthan Mahler reports that “Snapchat, America’s fastest-growing smartphone app, [has] hired Peter Hamby, a political reporter for CNN, to lead its nascent news division.” Snapchat has more than 1oo million users, including many Americans between the ages of 18 and 31. Mahler … Continue reading

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