Political reporting and the statehouse: a disturbing report from Pew Research
Jul22

Political reporting and the statehouse: a disturbing report from Pew Research

It’s well-known that digital disruption has wrecked havoc on the nation’s newsrooms. What’s less documented is how that disruption has played out on specific types of news and in specific geographic areas. Pew Research Center has analyzed number of full-time reporters covering state politics in every state. Using population as the relational variable, they’ve identified which states have a high...

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White House press secretary criticizes anonymous sources, yet scheduled anonymous chat
Jul21

White House press secretary criticizes anonymous sources, yet scheduled anonymous chat

If you live in a glass house … be careful of the stones you throw .@PressSec condemns anonymous sources. Just arriving in email: White House invitation to reporters for call with anonymous admin officials. — Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) July 21, 2014 In the daily briefing Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest criticized a story that relied on anonymous critics of the Administration. An unnamed female reporter...

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Microsoft layoffs extend to vendors
Jul19

Microsoft layoffs extend to vendors

Updated and re-ordered, Saturday 2:00 p.m. Pacific Blood-letting in Redmond On Thursday, Microsoft told us they were laying off 14% of their full-time (blue badge) global workforce. Then Friday, an oh-by-the-way. Our contractors and vendors? Effective July 1, those folks are  limited to 18 months of access to Microsoft buildings and network. Then they have to take a six month minimum break. Wouldn’t you like to be a vendor...

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The reality of sudden poverty
Jul09

The reality of sudden poverty

My boyfriend proposed, and we bought a house. Then, just three weeks after we closed, the market crashed. The house we’d paid $240,000 for was suddenly worth $150,000. It was okay, though — we were still making enough money to cover the exorbitant mortgage payments. Then we weren’t. This is the story of an educated, white, middle-class couple (both employed in journalism, but that’s a different story) and what happened to them...

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The BBC and science reporting: avoid “false balance”
Jul08

The BBC and science reporting: avoid “false balance”

Update 2: 10:55 am Pacific, 8 July 2014 BBC admonished for giving climate change deniers equal air time BBC staff told to stop inviting cranks on to science programmes Stop Giving Airtime to Crackpots BBC to Censor Scientists that Question Global Warming BBC’s “Crank-less” Science Policies May Lead To Censorship BBC strives for better science reporting by refusing airtime to climate deniers Monday’s headlines...

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A counter to scientific denialism: ASAP Science videos
Jun14

A counter to scientific denialism: ASAP Science videos

Science, technology, engineering and math, aka STEM, are key areas of knowledge for the 21st century. Heck, they were key in the 20th century, too! Remember JFK and the moon challenge as well as his tribute to science on the 100th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences? Recent scientific advances have not only made international cooperation desirable, but they have made it essential. The ocean, the atmosphere, outer space,...

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Washington Post gives op-ed soap box to pseudo-academic rant
Jun11

Washington Post gives op-ed soap box to pseudo-academic rant

Call it the “Buzzfeed-ization” of headline writing, but this one from Tuesday’s Washington Post op-ed section is a doozy: One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married. The data shows that #yessallwomen would be safer hitched to their baby daddies. WaPost – "One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married" http://t.co/qQpEkVxrRt #shame...

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Then and now: the NSA on Snowden
May30

Then and now: the NSA on Snowden

I’m not going to try to persuade you of who is fibbing in this week’s skirmish between the establishment (represented by Sen. Diane Feinstein) and the upstart (Edward Snowden). Just two quotes: Asked about those conversations, NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines sent a prepared statement to The Post: “After extensive investigation, including interviews with his former NSA supervisors and co-workers, we have not found any evidence...

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“Open Internet” versus “Network Discrimination”: how the FCC could be like TSA
Apr25

“Open Internet” versus “Network Discrimination”: how the FCC could be like TSA

Using money to privilege convenience may be the American ethic. And it’s a far cry from the egalitarianism exemplified in “all men are created equal.” Look at the TSA and its “precheck” program, for example. With TSA precheck, you pay $85 and cough up your biometrics and an application for government review. If you don’t have a prison record, you can probably get your own ID, a Known Traveler Number...

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Android vulnerability: what you need to know about the Heartbleed bug
Apr11

Android vulnerability: what you need to know about the Heartbleed bug

The latest #Heartbleed news is that Android devices running version 4.1.1 – phones and tablets – are at risk. Google has sent the patch to partners (you know, the teleco you bought your phone from) … and customers wait for them to act. How to tell if your Android device is vulnerable to Heartbleed: @MrCippy shows you what you need to do http://t.co/SueWARezVF — CNET (@CNET) April 11, 2014 This is the latest...

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Change your passwords: the Heartbleed bug
Apr09

Change your passwords: the Heartbleed bug

UPDATED: About two-thirds of the Internet’s web servers are running software which may have exposed your passwords or other sensitive (read, encrypted) information. Make no mistake about it. The OpenSSL Heartbleed security hole is as serious for Internet security as a stage four cancer diagnosis would be for you. - Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols UPDATE 8:40 am Pacific “Catastrophic” is the right word [for Heartbleed]. On...

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Chart junk at its finest: Fox on ACA
Mar31

Chart junk at its finest: Fox on ACA

  I rarely give MediaMatters a first look, much less a second one. But today? Today’s different. This came across my Facebook news feed from an east coast journo. It is one of the most egregious pieces of chart junk — in this case, propaganda as well — that I have seen coming from a “news” organization. I know, I know. The folks here on the left are gonna scream one way and those on the right...

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Washington mudslide death toll at 25; how you can help
Mar31

Washington mudslide death toll at 25; how you can help

  The deadly mudslide that brought destruction to the community of Oso, WA, last weekend has now officially claimed 21 lives (15 identified, 6 unidentified). An additional four victims have been found in the slide, but are not yet recovered, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s (ME’s) office. Scores remain unaccounted for, but the stories of rescue and compassion will inspire you. According to KIRO news,...

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Tar babies and slurs: Virginia state senator apologizes
Mar20

Tar babies and slurs: Virginia state senator apologizes

Context is everything. Virginia state Sen. Frank Ruff (R) had to apologize for painting Obamacare with a “tar baby” brush. Ruff opposes using federal money to extending the state portion of the Affordable Care Act. And he said so publicly this week. Ruff reputedly compared reliance on promised funds to provide health insurance for thousands of low-income Virginians to a “tar baby.” He said doing so would leave...

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Incredible street performance (and a word about sharing)
Mar18

Incredible street performance (and a word about sharing)

A friend shared the Thai clip on Facebook. I failed to “like” it, so when I wanted to show it to my husband, I couldn’t find it. Thus began the journey that led to my discovering this video. I channeled my inner terrier, but it was “search” that I had my teeth sunk into, not a squirrel or a rat or a bone. “Asian Vitruvian Man” was shot in Taipei and uploaded October 28, 2011. Knock-offs are...

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US Lifts Ban On BP Contracts On Eve Of Gulf Auction
Mar15

US Lifts Ban On BP Contracts On Eve Of Gulf Auction

Deepwater Horizon, April 21, 2010 – Flickr CC License Claiming it was being treated unfairly due to its 2010 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, BP sued the United States for banning the global petroleum company from bidding on government contracts. The two parties settled this week, just in time to let BP bid on rights to new oil drilling sites in the Gulf of Mexico. The 2012 ban was imposed in part due to BP lying to Congress about...

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Tragedy strikes SxSW as car plows through crowd, killing 2
Mar13

Tragedy strikes SxSW as car plows through crowd, killing 2

The original post of this story contained a typo in the headline, relating that 5 persons were killed. It is two persons who were killed in this tragic accident. The headline has been corrected to reflect those facts. Thank you. Eds. [Update 9: 4:35 am Friday, Pacific] At about 12:30 am Thursday, a stolen car traveling at a high rate of speed killed two people and injured dozens in a crowd of pedestrians at the South By Southwest...

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Cameras, guns and Israel
Mar02

Cameras, guns and Israel

I’m not going to pretend to understand what was really going on here Friday, but I count a LOT more cameras than guns pointed at the Israeli policeman. Israeli policeman threatens reporters in Jerusalem. Later, he threw stun grenade at nearby photographers @FPAIsPal pic.twitter.com/bE78FwOKEq — crispian balmer (@crispiandjb) February 28, 2014 @crispiandjb @BarakRavid @FPAIsPal you need to take for account that when the...

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Reactions to Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger
Feb13

Reactions to Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger

Comcast confirmed this morning that it wants to buy (merge with) Time Warner Cable. Analysis has been light, but expect that to change throughout the day. In the meantime, check out my Storify. The plan is to update it throughout the day. [View the story "Comcast and Time Warner Cable: Nope" on...

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Comcast wants to swallow Time Warner; let’s make ‘em choke
Feb13

Comcast wants to swallow Time Warner; let’s make ‘em choke

The news gossips are tittering and tweeting: on Thursday, Comcast will, they say, announce it is buying Time Warner. [Update 3:55 am Pacific: Comcast confirms merger] Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S., wants to buy merge with Time Warner Cable, the second largest cable company in the U.S. Ah, yes. American capitalism at work: how many monopolies (or duopolies) can we create? And here’s the argument: they don’t...

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