Media Matters

WILL - Media Matters - April 08, 2012

Media Matters Celebrates Ten Years

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Long time friend and colleague of Bob, John Nichols joins us in commemorating ten years of being on the air.

His most recent book, Uprising, captures the protest movement that captivated the nation and paved the path for Occupy Wall Street. More than 100,000 public employees, teachers, students, and their allies descended on the capital in Madison, Wisconsin after Governor Scott Walker announced his plan to eliminate the right of public sector employees to unionize. Uprising provides an anatomy of the event and its implications for the political future of the nation. As state legislatures across the US (in Ohio and New Hampshire, to name a few) take up union busting measures, Nichols shows how the Wisconsin case is a blueprint for progressives around America who've had enough. Uprising will be on of the thank you gifts to Media Matters supporters who contribute in the upcoming pledge drive.

Over the past decade, he has co-authored with Bob It's the Media, Stupid!, Our Media, Not Theirs, Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy and, most recently, The Death and Life of American Journalism. McChesney and Nichols are the co-founders of Free Press, the nation's media-reform network, which organizes the biennial National Conferences on Media Reform.


WILL - Media Matters - April 01, 2012

Diane Ravitch discusses the turmoils of the America public education system.

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In The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, Diane Ravitch-former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum-examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today's most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the feckless multiplication of charter schools. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril.

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. In addition, she is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She shares a blog called Bridging Differences with Deborah Meier, hosted by Education Week. She also blogs for Politico.com/arena and the Huffington Post. Her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. Most recently her opinion piece, "Another Battle in the War Against Public Schools," ran in The New York Times.

Join the conversation this Sunday at 1pm by calling (217) 333-9455 or (800) 222-9455.


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.


WILL - Media Matters - February 26, 2012

Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism.

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Gar Alperovitz's America Beyond Capitalism chronicles the discontent with the economic and political status quo in the wake of the "great recession." His expert diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system is accompanied by detailed, practical answers to the problems we face as a society. Unlike many books that reserve a few pages of a concluding chapter to offer generalized, tentative solutions, Alperovitz marshals years of research into emerging "new economy" strategies to present a comprehensive picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States. All democratize wealth and empower communities, not corporations: worker-ownership, cooperatives, community land trusts, social enterprises, along with many supporting municipal, state and longer term federal strategies as well. America Beyond Capitalism is a call to arms, an eminently practical roadmap for laying foundations to change a faltering system that increasingly fails to sustain the great American values of equality, liberty and meaningful democracy.

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist and government official. He is currently the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland. He grew up in America's heartland in Racine, Wisconsin, in the 1940s, and received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin; a masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley; and his Ph.D. in political economy as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University. After completing his studies he served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the State Department. Among his many achievements is having been the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to America Beyond Capitalism, he has authored Unjust Deserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance, and The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Nation. He is a founding principal of the University of Maryland-based Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.


WILL - Media Matters - February 19, 2012

Bruce Williams and Michael X. Delli Carpini discuss the future of news and journalism

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The new media environment has challenged the role of professional journalists as the primary source of politically relevant information. After Broadcast News puts this challenge into historical context, arguing that it is the latest of several critical moments, driven by economic, political, cultural and technological changes, in which the relationship among citizens, political elites and the media has been contested. Out of these past moments, distinct 'media regimes' eventually emerged, each with its own seemingly natural rules and norms, and each the result of political struggle with clear winners and losers. The media regime in place for the latter half of the twentieth century has been dismantled, but a new regime has yet to emerge. Assuring this regime is a democratic one requires serious consideration of what was most beneficial and most problematic about past regimes and what is potentially most beneficial and most problematic about today's new information environment. -from Cambridge University Press. Available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook.

Bruce A. Williams received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota and has taught at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, and the London School of Economics. His current research interest focuses on the role of a changing media environment in shaping citizenship in the United States. He has published five books and more than forty scholarly journal articles and book chapters. His two most recent books are The New Media Environment: An Introduction (with Andrea Press), published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2010 and After Broadcast News: Media Regimes, Democracy, and the New Information Environment. He is the editor (with Andrea Press) of The Communication Review. He is starting a new research project examining the influence of media on understanding the role of American military force in the world.

Michael X. Delli Carpini, Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in July of 2003, Professor Delli Carpini was Director of the Public Policy program of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and member of the Political Science Department at Barnard College and graduate faculty of Columbia University, serving as chair of the Barnard department. Delli Carpini began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University. His research explores the role of the citizen in American politics, with particular emphasis on the impact of the mass media on public opinion, political knowledge and political participation.


WILL - Media Matters - February 12, 2012

Author Richard Arum discuss higher education

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In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. A bachelor's degree is now required for entry into a growing number of professions. And some parents begin planning for the expense of sending their kids to college when they're born. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question posed by Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on Higher Education: are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there?

For a large proportion of students, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's answer to that question is a definitive no. Their extensive research draws on survey responses, transcript data, and, for the first time, the state-of-the-art Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test administered to students in their first semester and then again at the end of their second year. According to their analysis of more than 2,300 undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills-including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing-during their first two years of college. As troubling as their findings are, Arum and Roksa argue that for many faculty and administrators they will come as no surprise-instead, they are the expected result of a student body distracted by socializing or working and an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning close to the bottom of the priority list.

Richard Arum is professor of sociology in New York University's Department of Sociology and professor of education at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. In January 2011 his book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, was published by the University of Chicago Press. The book received national media attention for its findings that, after the first two years of college, a significant number of students demonstrate no improvement in a range of skills including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing.

Professor Arum is also Program Director of Educational Research at the Social Science Research Council, where he has directed the CLA Longitudinal Project and successfully led efforts to organize educational stakeholders in New York City to create the Research Alliance for New York City Schools (an entity loosely modeled after the Consortium on Chicago School Research) that focuses on ongoing evaluation and assessment research to support public school improvement efforts.


WILL - Media Matters - February 05, 2012

Craig Aaron of Free Press

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Craig Aaron took leadership of Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund in April 2011. Craig joined Free Press in 2004 and previously served as managing director, senior program director and communications director. He works in the Washington office and speaks across the country on media, Internet and journalism issues. Craig is a frequent guest on talk radio and is quoted often in the national press. His commentaries also appear regularly in the Guardian and the Huffington Post. Before joining Free Press, he was an investigative reporter for Public Citizen's Congress Watch and the managing editor of In These Times magazine. He is the editor of two books, Appeal to Reason: 25 Years In These Times and Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Craig Aaron has most recently spoken out about the SOPA bill (Stop Online Privacy Act) and the financial impact of campaign advertising on media coverage during the 2012 presidential elections.


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