Internet technologist Bruce Schneier argues that there's been no epidemic of hacking in the last few months, only an epidemic of hacking coverage. The media have gone looking for a pattern, he says, in just the same way they do with shark attacks every summer and are distracting us from the real issues of cyber-security.
When popular anger bubbled over in Libya in February, the media described it as a series of protests not unlike those seen in Egypt and Tunisia. But as the conflict escalated, the terminology shifted to "uprising" or "rebellion." This week, the Associated Press told its reporters to now refer to the fighting in Libya as a "civil war." AP Deputy Managing Editor and Standards Editor Tom Kent says the AP is constantly discussing the best terminology to use when reporting the news.
Last week the FCC released a report which, at 360 pages, is one of the most comprehensive overviews of the US media ever produced. One key finding is that while media in general are diverse and vigorous, local reporting has taken a significant hit. Worst of all, neither old nor new media seem to have the resources to hold government accountable. Steve Waldman, who headed the project, explains.
FCC Commissioner Micahel Copps says the recommendations proposed in the FCC report are far too narrow, and that while the FCC can enact and enforce solutions to the numerous problems highlighted, it is currently not acting on the authority it has.
In 2004, we spoke with law professor Cass Sunstein about the echo chamber effect, the phenomenon by which the explosion of information streams allows us to cherry-pick our media diet so we encounter only news that reinforces our worldview (while evading facts and opinions that contradict it). And so, seven years later are we on a path to ever more intellectual isolation? Eli Pariser, Lee Rainie, Clay Shirky, Joseph Turow and Ethan Zuckerman weigh in.