Rape coverage after Steubenville, the false promise of the personal finance industry and more.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

How the media is covering yet another high school rape case after Steubenville, how personal finance luminaries lead the public astray, and an infamous hacker threatens to tarnish the public image of all hackers.


Rape Culture and the Steubenville Trial

Last Sunday saw a guilty verdict in the case of two high-school football stars, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, who were accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. For six hours, the severely intoxicated victim was dragged from party to party by a number of her peers, a humiliating journey photographed and joked about by the accused and others on sites such as Instagram and Twitter. The ensuing coverage of the verdict revealed a culture still deeply conflicted about rape. Bob talks to Slate's Amanda Marcotte about rape culture and the media. 

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The Identity of Minors

Even as the media and public fitfully reckoned with the Steubenville verdict, a similar case is playing out in Torrington, Connecticut. Like Steubenville case, a lot of bullying and ridicule of the victims has taken place on social media. Unlike the Steubenville case, the local paper, the Connecticut Register Citizen, chose to publish the bullying tweets from high school students, with their twitter handles and images unredacted. The editor of the newspaper, Matt DeRienzo talks to Bob about his decision to print that information


Four Tet - 0181-01

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The State of the News Media

This week, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism released its annual “State of the News Media” report, detailing the health, or in this case the frailty, of mainstream US media online and off. The report contained a litany of grim statistics about the consumption and economics of news. Bob talks to Pew Associate Director Mark Jurkowitz, who says the situation isn’t is bleak as it could be.

Beastie Boys - Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament

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Behind a Big Supreme Court Case

In the next couple of months the Supreme Court will issue a decision in the case of Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin. The case may determine the future of Affirmative Action, but news coverage that centers on the sympathetic plaintiff in the case misses a fascinating back story. Bob talks with ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones about the case.

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Infamous Internet Troll "Weev" Goes to Jail

Infamous internet troll Andrew “weev” Auernheimer was sentenced to three and a half years in prison this week. He was prosecuted under the controversial Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which critics call too stringent and punitive. Bob talks to Gawker writer Adrian Chen about whether Weev's prosecution will undermine attempts to reform the CFAA. 


Plan B - Ill Manors

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Cracking Chinese Skype's Surveillance Code

We have known for years that certain words and phrases can get Chinese internet users flagged for surveillance by the Chinese government. Now a computer science graduate student at the University of New Mexico has compiled an extensive list of the sometimes surprising words and phrases that put Chinese internet censors on alert. Bob talks to Jeffrey Knockel about how he cracked the code of the Chinese version of Skype to compile the list.

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Microsoft and the Global Network Initiative

China's surveillance of Skype is not particularly surprising. What is surprising is that Skype owner Microsoft is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, an anti-internet censorship and pro-privacy organization. Bob speaks to Ethan Zuckerman, director of MIT's Center for Civic Media, about the Global Network Initiative and its apparent shortcomings.


Four Tet - Pinnacles


How Personal Finance Led Us Astray

For over 20 years a voracious personal finance industry has tried to help us make smarter investments and sound financial choices. And it's created a number of stars in the process, t...

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