National News

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.

Comments [19]

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.

Read More

Comment

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.

Read More

Comment

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.

Comments [4]

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.

Comment

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.

Comments [6]

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.

Read More

Comments [2]

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.

Comments [3]

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. 

Comments [36]

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 Prisoner Dilemma

Friday, June 13, 2014

The exchange of American POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners in Guantanamo has set off a political firestorm whose flames have been fanned by wild speculation in the absence of clear facts. Brooke wades through the breathless conjecture to ponder what's really behind this controversy.

Comments [5]

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.  

Comments [3]

On The Media

The Privilege to Stay Silent

Friday, June 06, 2014

New York Times reporter James Risen is facing potential jail time for refusing orders from the government to divulge a confidential source, and the Supreme Court won’t intervene on his behalf. Bob talks with University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone about what the situation means for the Obama administration and the press.

Comments [3]

On The Media

The Internet Responds To Net Neutrality in a Big Way

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Last Sunday, John Oliver gave a 13-minute soliloquy about the fragile state of net neutrality, and ended with a plea exhorting the trolls of the internet to contact the FCC and let it know just how they felt. Looks like it worked.

Read More

Comments [4]

On The Media

Everything You Need For a Narrative

Friday, May 30, 2014

Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who murdered 6 people in Isla Vista, California last week, left an enormous digital footprint - blog comments, YouTube videos and an online manifesto. Bob talks with Forbes staff writer Kashmir Hill about how all that information fed different narratives about what motivated Rodger.

Comments [11]

On The Media

Reflecting on Nerd Culture

Friday, May 30, 2014

Is discussing a persistent global horror, violence against women, appropriate in the wake of one angry lunatic’s rampage? Absolutely, argues actor, writer and former Jeopardy champion Arthur Chu, in the Daily Beast. Chu speaks with Brooke about how this tragedy offers a critical opportunity to reflect on the wider culture in which we all live.

 

Comments [6]

On The Media

Experiencing Tragedy at the 9/11 Museum

Friday, May 23, 2014

Balancing visitor experience and harrowing tragedy at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, how the Chinese media are reacting to the Justice Department's hacker indictment, and the often head-spinning reporting of health news.

On The Media

Should We Reset Every Password Every Three Months?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

So WNYC, our parent company and benevolent overlords, has set its IT policy such that we are required to change our passwords every three months. and it drives us nuts. It feels like our internal communications are low-stakes enough and WNYC is a not particularly valuable target. But considering how frequently passwords are compromised these days, maybe this should be applied to all my online accounts, not just my work account.

Read More

Comments [3]

On The Media

A Cinematic Release

Friday, May 16, 2014

When a funeral director named Bernie Tiede shot and killed a wealthy widow in Carthage, Texas, townspeople were sympathetic toward the widely loved Bernie and indifferent toward the murder victim. The twisted tale became the subject of a Richard Linklater film, which played a part in Bernie's recent release from prison. Bob talks with Texas Monthly's Skip Hollandsworth, whose 1998 story about Bernie Tiede inspired the movie.

Comment