DISCLAIMER: None of these links are in the spirit of April Fools, so worry not. You’re not going to click anything that will cause a startling pop-up or download something you don’t want on your computer. We wouldn’t do that to you. (Or would we?) (No, we would not.) -Lauren & Kirsty
By Philip Howard
Political discontent has cascaded across North Africa and the Middle East. Entrenched dictators with decades of experience controlling political life have fallen or had to make major concessions. In the West, some observers discount the role of digital media in political change, others give it too much emphasis.
Digitally enabled protesters in Tunisia and Egypt tossed out their dictator. The protests in Libya have posed the first
By Gayle A. Sulik
Elizabeth Edwards died from stage 4 breast cancer (also known as metastatic breast cancer) on December 7th, 2010 at the age of 61. Ms. Edwards was a well-known public figure, notably the wife of former Senator John Edwards, and an accomplished lawyer, author, and health advocate. Her death inspired new
Following the lead of papers like the Los Angeles Free Press, the East Village Other, and the Berkeley Barb, young Americans in the 1960s launched hundreds of mimeographed pamphlets and flyers, small press magazines, and underground newspapers. New, cheaper printing technologies democratized the publishing process and by the decade’s end the combined circulation of underground papers stretched into the millions. Though not technically illegal, these papers were often genuinely subversive, and many of those who produced and sold them-on street-corners, at poetry readings, gallery openings, and coffeehouses-became targets of
Michael Scheuer was the chief of the CIA’s bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999 and remained a counterterrorism analyst until 2004. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terrorism. His latest book is the biography Osama bin Laden, a much-needed corrective, hard-headed, closely reasoned portrait that tracks the man’s evolution from peaceful Saudi dissident to America’s Most Wanted.
By Dennis Baron
Western observers have been celebrating the role of Twitter, Facebook, smartphones, and the internet in general in facilitating the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt last week. An Egyptian Google employee, imprisoned for rallying the opposition on Facebook, even became for a time a hero of the insurgency. The Twitter Revolution was similarly credited with fostering the earlier ousting of Tunisia’s Ben Ali, and supporting Iran’s green protests
By Simon Chesterman
“This is the paradox of today’s media: investigative journalism is often key to revealing abuses of surveillance powers, yet the commercial reality of today’s market drives unscrupulous journalists themselves towards ever more dubious methods.”
By Simon McKay
In 1928 the iconic United States Supreme Court Justices Holmes and Brandeis dissented in a judgment that ruled the product of telephone conversations derived from “wiretapping” admissible. With characteristic eloquence, Mr Justice Brandeis held that “the confined criminal is as much entitled to redress as his most virtuous fellow citizen; no record of crime, however long, makes one an outlaw”. The judges could be forgiven for thinking that, at least in terms of the English law, eighty years on, things haven’t changed much.
By Dana H. Allin and Steven Simon
The Wikileaks trove of diplomatic documents confirms what many have known for a long time: Israel is not the only Middle Eastern country that fears a nuclear armed Iran and wants Washington to do something about it.
If Tehran was listening, the truth of this fear was apparent last month in Bahrain, where the International Institute for Strategic Studies organized a large meeting of Gulf Arab ministers, King Abdullah of Jordan, Iran’s foreign minister Mottaki, and top officials from outside powers including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The convocation was polite: no one said it was time to “cut off the head of the snake,” as Saudi Arabia’s King was reported, in one of the Wikileaks cables,
By Gayle A. Sulik
Laura Bassett wrote a scathing essay in Huffington Post about Susan G. Komen for the Cure‘s legal dealings to win control over the phrase “for the cure.” According to Bassett, “Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred…charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure – and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.”
Why would the largest, best funded, most visible breast cancer organization put so much energy
By Nigel Bradley
“Knowledge is Power” is a quotation that dates back to 1597 and is attributed to Sir Francis Bacon. And there lies the reason to conduct market and social research. Surveys, focus groups and observation allow us to build gaps in our knowledge, to identify demand and thereby supply what is needed (or wanted). Research information minimises risks in decision making, it saves money, increases productivity and is generally valuable.
Images of people about to die surface repeatedly in the news and their appearance raises questions: What equips an image to deliver the news; how much does the public need to know to make sense of what they see; and what do these images contribute to historical memory? These images call on us to rethink both journalism and its public response, and in so doing they suggest both an alternative voice in the news – a subjunctive voice of the visual that pushes the ‘as if’ of news over its ‘as is’ dimensions – and an alternative mode of public engagement with journalism – an engagement fueled not by reason and understanding but by imagination and emotion.
In About to Die: How News Images Move the Public, Barbie Zelizer suggests that a different kind of news relay, producing a different kind of public response, has settled into our information environment.
Click through to watch a video from the Annenberg School for Communication.
Clayton P. Alderfer
Undercover Boss, one of reality TV’s newest additions, is based on a truth that many thoughtful CEOs grasp: they do not have a thorough understanding of what goes on at the middle and bottom of their organizations. There are multiple reasons why. Immediate subordinates do not know either. Middle and lower ranking managers withhold their understanding from those above them. First level managers cut deals with hourly workers that permit the employees to do well enough financially while not working too hard – lest the employees act disruptively. CEOs hired from outside have even less of an idea about what goes on, as insiders feel resentful about being subject to outsider rule and choose not to tell what they know. The reasons why CEOs face this predicament are thus far reaching. The question for CEOs who grasp this tough reality is whether they can do anything about it.
Tweet By Michael A. Carrier The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has caused concern for many reasons, such as secret negotiations and controversial provisions. Today, more than 70 law professors sent a letter to President Obama asking that he “direct the [U.S. Trade Representative] to halt its public endorsement of ACTA and subject the text to […]
By Elvin Lim
If NPR values public deliberation as the highest virtue of a democratic polity, it did its own ideals a disservice last week when it fired Juan Williams without offering a plausible justification why it did so. On October 20, Williams had uttered these fateful words on the O’ Reilly Factor:
“…when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
Anxiety and worry make for poor public reasons. Quite often discomfort is a façade for prejudice – an emotion that knows no reasonable defense.
By Elvin Lim
President Barack Obama knew that he needed to help his party out as Washington gears up for the November elections. And so, he went on daytime television.
According to Nielsen ratings, Obama had 6.5 million people tuning in to The View last Thursday. In his last Oval Office address on the BP oil spill at primetime on June 16, he enticed only 5.3 million to listen in. As a pure matter of strategy, the decision to go on The View would have been a no-brainer. With a bigger audience in a relaxed atmosphere and soft-ball questions, Obama had little to lose and much to gain by going on daytime TV. In fact, because people are tired of speeches from behind a desk (which is why speeches from the Oval Office garner smaller and smaller audiences the further we are from Inauguration day), people rarely get to see a president taking questions on a couch (which is why The View got .4 million more viewers on July 31, 2010 than on November 5, 2008, the day after Obama was elected).