Media Matters

WILL - Media Matters - March 25, 2012

Rebecca MacKinnon discusses Consent of the Networked

Rebecca MacKinnon discusses Consent of the Networked

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Drawing upon two decades of experience as an international journalist, co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices, Chinese Internet censorship expert, and Internet freedom activist, Rebecca MacKinnon's new book, Consent of the Networked, offers a framework for concerned citizens to understand the complex and often hidden power dynamics amongst governments, corporations, and citizens in cyberspace. She warns that a convergence of unchecked government actions and unaccountable company practices threatens the future of democracy and human rights around the world.

Rebecca MacKinnon is a journalist and activist whose work focuses on the intersection of the Internet, human rights, and foreign policy. As a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Ms. MacKinnon is examining U.S. policies related to the Internet, human rights, and "global Internet freedom." This is her first book, published in January 2012 by Basic Books.
 

Consent of the Networked is a call to action: Our freedom in the Internet age depends on whether we defend our rights on digital platforms and networks in the same way that people fight for their rights and accountable governance in physical communities and nations. It is time to stop thinking of ourselves as passive "users" of technology and instead act like citizens of the Internet - as netizens - and take ownership and responsibility for our digital future.


WILL - Media Matters - March 18, 2012

Joseph Turow, Prof. of Communication, Univ. of Pennsylvania

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Professor Turow is an elected Fellow of the International Communication Assn and was presented with a Distinguished Scholar Award by the National Communication Assn. A 2005 New York Times Magazine article referred to Professor Turow as "probably the reigning academic expert on media fragmentation."

Professor Turow's continuing national surveys of the American public on issues relating to marketing, new media, and society have received a great deal of attention in the popular press as well as in the research community. He has written about media and advertising for the popular press, including American Demographics magazine, The Washington Post, Boston Globe and The Los Angeles Times. His research has received financial support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

Professor Turow was awarded a Lady Astor Lectureship by Oxford University. He has received a number of conference paper and book awards, has lectured widely and been invited to give the Pockrass Distinguished lecture at Penn State University and to be a Chancellor's Distinguished Lecturer at LSU. He has served as the elected chair of the Mass Communication Division of the International Communication Association. Professor Turow currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Poetics, and New Media & Society.

Professor Turow's new book, The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth, where he discusses how the Internet is often hyped as a means to enhanced consumer power: a hypercustomized media world where individuals exercise unprecedented control over what they see and do. That is the scenario media guru Nicholas Negroponte predicted in the 1990s, with his hypothetical online newspaper The Daily Me-and it is one we experience now in daily ways. But, as media expert Joseph Turow shows, the customized media environment we inhabit today reflects diminished consumer power. Not only ads and discounts but even news and entertainment are being customized by newly powerful media agencies on the basis of data we don't know they are collecting and individualized profiles we don't know we have. Little is known about this new industry: how is this data being collected and analyzed? And how are our profiles created and used? How do you know if you have been identified as a "target" or "waste" or placed in one of the industry's finer-grained marketing niches? Are you, for example, a Socially Liberal Organic Eater, a Diabetic Individual in the Household, or Single City Struggler? And, if so, how does that affect what you see and do online?

Drawing on groundbreaking research, including interviews with industry insiders, this important book shows how advertisers have come to wield such power over individuals and media outlets-and what can be done to stop it.


WILL - Media Matters - March 11, 2012

ACLU President Susan Herman

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Susan Herman was elected President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in October 2008, after having served on the ACLU National Board of Directors for twenty years, as a member of the Executive Committee for sixteen years, and as General Counsel for ten years.

Herman holds a chair as Centennial Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she currently teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure, and seminars on Law and Literature, and Terrorism and Civil Liberties. She writes extensively on constitutional and criminal procedure topics for scholarly and other publications, ranging from law reviews and books to periodicals and on-line publications. Herman has discussed constitutional law issues on radio, including a variety of NPR shows; on television, including programs on PBS, CSPAN, NBC, MSNBC and a series of appearances on the Today in New York show; and in print media including Newsday and the New York Times. In addition, she has been a frequent speaker at academic conferences and continuing legal education events organized by groups such as the Federal Judicial Center, and the American Bar Association, lecturing and conducting workshops for various groups of judges and lawyers, and at non-legal events, including speeches at the U.S. Army War College and many other schools. She has also participated in Supreme Court litigation, writing and collaborating on amicus curiae briefs for the ACLU on a range of constitutional criminal procedure issues, and conducting Supreme Court moot courts, and in some federal lobbying efforts.

In her most recent book, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy, Herman takes a hard look at the human and social costs of the War on Terror. A decade after 9/11, it is far from clear that the government's hastily adopted anti-terrorist tactics--such as the Patriot Act--are keeping us safe, but it is increasingly clear that these emergency measures in fact have the potential to ravage our lives--and have already done just that to countless Americans. Previous publications include Terrorism, Government, and Law: National Authority and Local Autonomy in the War on Terror, The Right to a Speedy and Public Trial, and The USA Patriot Act and the Submajoritarian Fourth Amendment.


WILL - Media Matters - March 04, 2012

Journalist Michael Hastings, author of The Operators

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General Stanley McChrystal, the innovative, forward-thinking commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was living large. He was better known to some as Big Stan, M4, Stan, and his loyal staff liked to call him a "rock star." During a spring 2010 trip across Europe to garner additional allied help for the war effort, McChrystal was accompanied by journalist Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone. For days, Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration for what they saw as a lack of leadership. When Hastings's piece, The Runaway General, appeared a few months later, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was ordered to Washington, where he was fired unceremoniously.

In The Operators, Hastings picks up where his Rolling Stone coup ended. He gives us a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of our military commanders, their high-stakes maneuvers and often bitter bureaucratic infighting. Hastings takes us on patrol missions in the Afghan hinterlands, to late-night bull sessions of senior military advisors, to hotel bars where spies and expensive hookers participate in nation-building gone awry. And as he weighs the merits and failings of old-school generals and the so-called COINdinistas-the counterinsurgency experts-Hastings draws back the curtain on a hellish complexity and, he fears, an unwinnable war.

Michael Hastings is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. He regularly covers politics and international affairs for the magazine, including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. In 2011, he received the George Polk Award in journalism for his Rolling Stone story "The Runaway General." His work has appeared in Newsweek, GQ, Men's Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Salon, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. In 2010, Hastings was named one of The Huffington Post's Game Changers of the year. His GQ story "Obama's War" was selected for Best American Political Writing 2009. The author also of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, Hastings lives in Vermont.