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Boston bombings: Social media spirals out of control

A thoughtful analysis. Problem-solvers in the Information Age must train themselves to ignore floods of true-but-trivial and unreliable-but-accessible information. I see this all the time with students who Facebook their way through my class presentations on the function of scholarly peer review, but then submit pages from content farms in their term paper drafts. According to Murray Jennex, a crisis management expert at San Diego State University, the huge influx…

4

little drops — Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry

Very insightful…. A reminder that even the much-praised Dove “we are exposing their advertising techniques” campaigns are just that — campaigns, designed to sell a product. (The parent company of Dove also owns Axe, which is blatant in its use of demeaning sexual stereotypes.) Brave, strong, smart? Not enough. You have to be beautiful. And “beautiful” means something very specific, and very physical. Essentially every movie and tv show and…

2

FBI: ‘Exercise Caution and Attempt to Verify Information Through Appropriate Official Channels Before Reporting’

The FBI reminds journalists about a few things they should have learned in News Reporting 101. After multiple media outlets (especially CNN) wrongly reported that an arrest had been made in Boston, the FBI is urging media to “exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.” “Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past…

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Boston marathon bombing: All the mistakes journalists make during a crisis like the Boston attacks.

First, do not pass on speculation. For much of the day, the New York Post was sharing unconfirmed reports, which were later proven erroneous, that 12 people had been killed in the attack. I actually retweeted BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, one of the smartest and most conscientious journalists on Twitter, and repeated this tidbit on the official Slate account. In hindsight, it would have been wiser for both of us to broadcast that news in more…

3

Frodo Baggins, A.B.D.

When I had pneumonia a few years into my current job, I spent 10 days bedridden (or, having been banished to the basement, futon-ridden), and watched the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy over and over, since I needed something that would occupy my mind enough to distract me from my suffering, but I couldn’t do any of the things I usually do (read, write, think, etc.). I spent a…