The recent sale of Newsweek magazine for $1 (along with much debt) to Sidney Harman certainly does not seem to bode well for the future of the weekly news magazine. The sale of the magazine, along with the painful selecting of an editor and the behind the scene drama between Harman and Barry Diller is the focus of New York Magazine‘s article Newsboy. Writer Steve Fishman does a great job dissecting the deal and leaves us wondering the long term prognosis for the magazine and whether it is to regain its former glory or be a vanity project of a 92 year old tycoon.
The Carly Simon song on secrets played in my head while reading the article in Newsweek titled Privacy is Dead. Yes, we all have heard that an amazing amount of data is available online about individuals, however the extent and how it is being misused is staggering. Writer Jessica Bennett hired the firm Reputation Defender to ‘mine’ information on her. Within 30 minutes they had her Social Security number, within 2 hours they knew her home address, her body type and health status.
What is even more frightening is how the data is interpreted, and what it will mean in the near future. The use of data to create a credit score is really the most disturbing part of the article.
Lost in all the feel good coverage of the amazing rescue of the miners in Chile, is the behavior of the Media at the site. From the excessive coverage to the hair pulling, tent trampling conclusion (I was reminded of the conclusion of Nathanael West’s ‘The Day of the Locust’) to the now cruel post-rescue coverage, the media has not been on its best behavior.
Rory Carroll of the Guardian discusses the media’s behavior in Chile, including the recent tabloid coverage that the 33 now face, in his article “How the media in Chile helped focus the eyes of the world on the miners.”
John Stewart’s Daily Show clip on the Media Coverage is priceless!
The controversy over building a mosque in Lower Manhattan certainly has become Media feeding frenzy. How did this issue develop? Steve Rendall and Alex Kane chart the development of this cyberstorm on FAIR‘s website. The Media’s Construction of the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ is an interesting time line on how news explodes via the Internet.
NBC’s Today has an excellent report covering the Rich Sanchez firing at CNN, including a link to the entire interview. CNN’s coverage is itself short and too the point–“Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company,” according to a statement from CNN. “We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.”
Listening to the interview, one understands that Mr. Sanchez CAN NOT GO OFF SCRIPT. His views are with out a doubt shocking yet sadly not uncommon on today’s airways. What is amazing is the speed in which CNN reacted. Only time will tell if CNN’s decision will haunt them. My question is this: Did CNN stifle free speech or were they trying to contain a loose cannon?