February 3, 2001

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Saturday, February 03, 2001

This week on On the Media: the new face of CNN, China's campaign against Falun Gong, and Oedipus told through vanity plates.


The internet news industry is not the only sector of the news economy experiencing a shakeout, cable news CNN is undergoing what its chiefs call a “radical transformation,” and what industry watchers are calling major surgery. From Atlanta, reporter Melinda Penkava has the story.


Falun Gong

This week, the Chinese government launched a new media campaign against the banned Falun Gong movement. The most powerful weapon in its arsenal is a video of five people who set themselves ablaze last week in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Host Brooke Gladstone speaks to New York Times Beijing Correspondent Erik ...


Word Watch: Urban

In the latest installment of On the Media’s Word Watch series, reporter Tony Maciulis investigates the contemporary uses and abuses of the word urban.


Minorities and Radio Advertising

In an industry that is paid to discriminate, racial bias is a complex issue. Host Bob Garfield talks to Kofi Ofori, author of two reports on racial discrimination in advertising, and Heide Gardner, Vice President of Diversity at the American Advertising Federation, about disparities and discrimination in radio advertising. Kofi ...


Vanity Plates

Before the internet and e-mail, there were interstate and vanity plates. Vanity plates have been used not only a personal expression of individuality but a bizarre means of interstate communication. Bob looks into the evolution of this “mass medium.”



Vanity Plates were the inspiration behind writer Daniel Nussbaum’s book Platespeak: Vanity Plates Retell the Classics, published by HarperCollins West. On The Media airs his rendition of Oedipus, as told through the license plates of California.


Beat Sweetners

Even though some of President Bush's nominations for the cabinet - in fact most of them - have long congressional records and complex political histories, newspaper columns are filled with praise and positivity. Brooke talks to Slate.com’s Scott Shuger and Washington Post’s Dana Milbank about how White House reporters “sweeten” ...


Letters to Ted

In order to get an interview, reporters may misrepresent their true feelings just a tad. They praise some dreary writer, glad-hand some unsavory politician…or extol some mass murderer.


Painters in Film

Films about artists that try to dramatize the creative process often fail because creation is largely internal - and by definition - uncinematic. But two new films seem to buck that trend. From WNYC in New York, Sara Fishko reports.


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