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Current Topic: Media

Michael Moore and the Media's Job
Topic: Media 12:41 pm EDT, Jul  5, 2004

If it was a disturbingly childish moment for the president to continue reading "My Pet Goat" after learning America was under attack, then it is an equally childish moment for Michael Moore to develop a polemic in response.

But Paul Krugman asks why a polemicist should be held to a higher standard than the president.

The better question is, Who will emerge from the sandbox ready to fight lies, not with polar opposite lies, but with the hard work of sound, moral and well-reasoned arguments -- in a word: truth?

Michael Moore and the Media's Job

Bland Ambition
Topic: Media 12:10 pm EDT, May 23, 2004

It should be noted that becoming a Personality and having a personality are distinct achievements. In fact, those with well-developed personalities often struggle to become Personalities.

A successful Personality attracts a large audience without challenging them. He lulls and coddles and strives not to alienate. He presents himself as likable, nonthreatening and, most important, reachable -- never too handsome or too happening or too sharp.

Our current culture is a petri dish for Personalities. We have, as a country, become suspicious of excellence, wary of the smarty-pants. These days we gravitate toward the uncomplicated, the simple and the negligible goal of keeping it real.

"To me L.A. feels like the center of the universe. There's no ceiling on success here. I would do anything to stay."

Bland Ambition

Japanese Find a Forum to Vent Most-Secret Feelings
Topic: Media 12:24 pm EDT, May  9, 2004

In a society in which subtlety is prized above all, face-to-face confrontation is avoided, insults can be leveled with verbal nuances and hidden meanings are found everywhere, there is one place where the Japanese go to bare their souls and engage in verbal combat: Channel 2.

News media follow it; big companies meticulously monitor it; the police react to it. Language is raw, and comments are blunt, often cruel and hurled with studied cynicism.

Channel 2 is run by a single person and its contents are shaped entirely by the individual users who post comments.

"Channel 2 has become a brand name in this society and has an influence that cannot be measured by numbers."

Founder Hiroyuki Nishimura, 27, said he was bored with his Web site and did not believe it was worth enough to attract buyers.

"Many people who write on Channel 2 are stupid. They cannot change the world by writing about it. If they really want to have an impact, there are other things they could be doing."

Japanese Find a Forum to Vent Most-Secret Feelings

Topic: Media 10:11 am EDT, May  7, 2004

Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator.

A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe.

Newsmap does not pretend to replace the googlenews aggregator. Its objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media.

It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news; on the contrary, it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it.


Circulation of newspapers continues downward trend
Topic: Media 9:55 am EDT, May  7, 2004

Newspaper circulation edged down in the latest six-month reporting period -- a continuation of a decade-long decline.

"It's a result of having multiple media choices these days."

Nationally, several large newspapers enjoyed gains, including USA Today.

"Good morning. I'd like a Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit and a USA Today."

Circulation of newspapers continues downward trend

Is this fair use?
Topic: Media 4:26 pm EDT, May  2, 2004

Beneath the headlines of the Sunday New York Times lies an untold story, patiently waiting to be edited into existence. Welcome to the remix culture.

It wasn't a mistake. That newspaper you received Friday was not some reprint from the late 90's. There was a moment last week when it seemed as if the 2004 presidential campaigns were going to have an actual debate about an important issue. Last weekend's orgy of revenge was only the latest episode in a bloodbath that has been going on for years.

Japanese women prefer a slimmer-fitting jean, and mature American women like pants that sit higher on the waist and are fuller in the hips. About one in 10 American adults are divorced or separated. We must try to achieve a level of public discourse on these issues that is simultaneously energetic and mutually respectful. These trends are just the most visible sign of how much the market ethic has come to dominate. To test this theory, stand at a cocktail party and whisper softly, "I just bought a flat-panel TV," and watch as admirers form a circle of testosterone and demand details.

What is new and troubling is the raw power that money exerts. Most mainstream companies don't like to discuss their lucrative dirty secret. The Google story is a reminder of how a slim technological advantage can reap enormous dividends in the new economy. But slim technological leads can be lost -- with devastating results.

"Everyone wants to believe in the brand." Investors should not be carried away by their nostalgia for the halcyon bubble days. They need regular infusions of managers and thinkers from other, more creative organizational cultures.

"Would you like to buy some Girl Scout crack?" Pressed to explain the changes, he said, "I'm not going to look in the rear-view mirror here." The brand, he said, "still has deep relevancy."

"At least in the sense that if you decide to obliterate it and fall in step with a lot of other people who have obliterated it, you may in fact end up looking like nothing else on earth. You may be blank."

If a crusading government tries to shut down the industry or mandate it, it won't work. The segment of the industry that refuses will simply go underground. A lot of not-so-secret factors are at play in this market. For whatever reason, electronics stores are obsessed with displaying nature shows. "The connections could be tight or loose," he added. The company's potential is enormous, but so are its risks.

Its management is, for the most part, young and inexperienced. "I'm not a Bible thumper. But if it weren't for sex, I wouldn't be in business."

"We put the fun in fundamentalism."

When he arrived, he was roundly criticized for his lack of experience. He is, for the most part, past that now. "You have to give them at least some idea of what your strategic plan is." People who know enough to pose those questions never have to ask this one: What's the ... [ Read More (1.0k in body) ]

Why Books Are the Hot Medium
Topic: Media 10:54 am EDT, Apr 25, 2004

Here's Principal Skinner, channeling McLuhan: "To be honest, I'm surprised and saddened. Eeh -- no, not saddened -- what's the word? Ah, yes, delighted!"

The sudden outpouring of inside details in books about the Bush administration is all the more remarkable because of the administration's previous success at controlling the flow of information to the press about its workings. It is a phenomenon that is creating an unusual reversal in which books -- the musty vessels traditionally used to convey patient reflection into the archives -- are superceding newspapers as the first draft of history, leaving the press corps to cover the books themselves as news.

Books offer greater prestige or more favorable context. Convention accords hardbound volumes a greater authority than even the most meticulously prepared newspaper or magazine articles. And changes in the media landscape enable the contents of a book to reverberate widely and persistently, even if no one reads it.

Your weblog is just another cog in the machine. If LiveJournal and Blogger are the coal mines and steel mills of the 21st century, then what is MemeStreams? The IMI logo is ambiguous, but it's clearly polluting the atmosphere.

Tina's mom: "I love your weblog!"

Why Books Are the Hot Medium

Howard Stern Broadcast Triggers $495,000 FCC Fine
Topic: Media 8:59 pm EDT, Apr 10, 2004

If you're following the FCC's actions against broadcasters of the Howard Stern radio show, you may be interested in a transcript of the broadcast in question, provided courtesy of The Smoking Gun.

Howard Stern Broadcast Triggers $495,000 FCC Fine

Alistair Cooke, Elegant Interpreter of America, Dies at 95
Topic: Media 9:09 am EST, Mar 31, 2004

Alistair Cooke, the urbane and erudite British-born journalist who became a peerless observer of the American scene for more than 70 years, died at his home in Manhattan, the BBC said yesterday. He was 95.

Alistair Cooke, Elegant Interpreter of America, Dies at 95

small world
Topic: Media 12:45 am EST, Mar 31, 2004

Brilliant commentary on configure-your-friends/six-degree style social network sites.

small world

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