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#32 - An Imperfect Match

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Some users of dating site OkCupid are upset at revelations that it was deliberately experimenting on its users by taking people who were bad matches and telling they were actually good for one another.

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On The Media

Silliness and Moral Indignation

Friday, July 25, 2014

Brooke examines how comedians like Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Stephen Colbert make us laugh by combining silliness and moral indignation.  

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On The Media

Anti-Obamacare Ads (Really) Didn't Work

Friday, July 18, 2014

Spending on negative Obamacare ads eclipsed spending on positive ads by a remarkable 15-1 ratio. Brooke talks with Niam Yaraghi of the Brooking Institution, who says that anti-Obamacare ads actually drove up enrollment.  

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On The Media

Reporting on the "Border Crisis" From El Salvador

Friday, July 18, 2014

The past several weeks have seen a surge in coverage of the crisis on the US-Mexico border, and the media abounds with critics of immigration reform who fault the Obama administration's lax policies. Bob talks with Carlos Dada, co-founder and editor of the El Salvadoran newspaper El Faro, who says that US critics are completely missing the point.

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On The Media

The End of 'Gun Report'

Friday, July 18, 2014

It was a New York Times blog that chronicled daily shootings across the country, in an effort to highlight victims of gun violence between highly-covered mass shootings. Co-author Jennifer Mascia recounts what it was like spending a year writing about every victim.

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On The Media

A Breakthrough HIV Drug, Chronicling Gun Violence, and SIMS

Friday, July 18, 2014

How a pill called Truvada is changing the face of gay sex, reporting on every gun death in America, and why Central Americans continue to make the perilous journey north. 

On The Media

The FTC Is Suing Amazon For In-App Purchases By Children

Friday, July 11, 2014

The FTC wants to make it harder for children to make purchases in tablet and smartphone games.

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On The Media

Behind the Border Crisis

Friday, July 11, 2014

For the past few weeks the media have been reporting on a surge in unaccompanied minors who are crossing the border illegally, bringing attention to the latest immigration crisis. But the reality of the situation is far more complicated. Brooke talks with reporter Bob Ortega about what's really happening on the border.

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On The Media

A FOIA Too Far

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jeff Scudder was working in the CIA's Historical Collections Division when he found a trove of documents that were declassified and ready for release to the public, but hadn't, due to bureaucratic strife. So he filed a FOIA request. Bob talks with Scudder about how this request ultimately resulted in his ousting from the agency.

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On The Media

YouTube is Calling Out ISPs That Are Throttling Traffic

Monday, July 07, 2014

Recently, Netflix royally pissed off Verizon by calling out the ISP for slow streaming video. The two companies went back and forth for a while, with Verizon demanding that Netflix cut it out, and Netflix essentially saying "Ok, fine. But we might bring them back. You should serve your customers better." Now Google is offering an even more granular service called the "Video Quality Report," which will allow users to check out their YouTube streaming quality and compare to other providers in the area.

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On The Media

TLDR #30 - The Russian Troll Army

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Last month, documents surfaced that showed a company called the Internet Research Agency was paying people in Russia to go to an office and post pro-Kremlin comments all day. Alex talks to Buzzfeed's Max Seddon about why they do it, and how successful they actually are at swaying public opinion.

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On The Media

Between Two Poles

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Pew Research Center recently published a study titled “Political Polarization in the American Public,” which prompted a wave of alarmist reporting about how Americans are more ideologically divided than ever before. But, as Stanford political scientist Morris Fiorina explains, that's not what Pew's data actually shows.

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On The Media

Cellphone Searching, Tiny Antennas, and the High Court

Friday, June 27, 2014

This week, the Supreme Court ruled on two media technology cases, one that may save the bacon of Big Broadcast and Cable, and another that privacy advocates are heralding as a win. Bob talks with Slate's Dahlia Lithwick about the impact of these decisions.

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On The Media

This Is About More Than Sects

Friday, June 27, 2014

Since the violent extremist group ISIS began taking control of large parts of Iraq, a common media narrative has emerged: in the absence of a tyrant or occupying force, sectarian hatred is once again tearing the country apart. Brooke talks with history professor Ibrahim al-Marashi about whether that narrative is actually the best way to look at what's going on in Iraq.

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On The Media

Ok, Ok. We'll Talk About "Yo."

Friday, June 20, 2014

This week, the tech press did backflips over an app called "Yo." It's a messaging app that allows users to text the word "Yo." Nothing else. Just the word "Yo." Let that sink in for a second before we move on.

It was heralded as geniusit was derided as stupid. It was the subject of a conversation about meaning and subtext in online communication. It was given the avant garde treatment it deserved. Disregarding what was written about it, yo has cornered the internet's fickle attention long enough to enter the top 10 in the App store. By any metric, that's a victory.

We didn't write about it. Mostly because we thought there wasn't much to say that hadn't already been said. I think I acknowledged its existence on my twitter feed. Yo.

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On The Media

Threats in Cyberspace

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Supreme Court will hear a case involving Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man serving jail time for posting death threats against his wife on Facebook. Elonis says he didn’t mean it literally, and it’s up to the High Court to decide if that distinction matters. Brooke talks with Slate's Dahlia Lithwick about the impact this case could have on how violent speech online is viewed in the eyes of the law.

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On The Media

The End of Tell Me More

Friday, June 20, 2014

NPR recently announced that Tell Me More would be cancelled due to financial constraints. As journalist Veralyn Williams put it, it's "The End of NPR's Blackest Show." Brooke talks with Williams and Keith Woods, NPR's VP of Diversity in News and Operations, about the loss and what it means for diversity at NPR. 

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On The Media

ISIS's Media Offensive, Online Death Threats, and What NPR Is (and Isn't)

Friday, June 20, 2014

ISIS's Twitter and television offensive, the effects of language on your morals, and what NPR is and what it isn't. 

On The Media

The Bergdahl Controversy, The Slenderman Panic, and a Cantor Narrative

Friday, June 13, 2014

This week On the Media analyzes the Bowe Bergdahl controversy - the story of a prisoner exchange that has quickly become a partisan issue. Plus, a conversation with the creator of Slender Man - the online horror meme at the center of at least two deadly assaults. 

On The Media

A Cantor Narrative

Friday, June 13, 2014

The moment it became clear House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would suffer a shocking primary loss to David Brat, reporters began speculating about what the result would mean for Republican candidates across the country. Bob talks with North Star Opinion Research President Whit Ayers who says the media is once again extrapolating too much from too little.  

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