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Gawker Media Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

This is fallout from losing an invasion of privacy lawsuit, filed in the name of wrestler Hulk Hogan and backed by tech investor Peter Thiel (co-founder of Paypal and an early investor and current board member for Facebook, and in his younger days also co-founder of the Stanford Review). Gawker slogan: “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news.” That’s from the <title> tag on the website — I’m not making some kind of…

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Katie Couric Gun Documentary Undermined By Manipulative Editing : NPR

Interviewer Katie Couric asks a group of gun owners the question: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” The gun owners respond right away, according to audio recorded by one of the participants. But in the documentary Under the Gun, footage taken from elsewhere in the interview shows members of a gun advocacy group looking down, not answering, for…

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Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed [a Certain Political Slant] News

One day when I was an undergraduate working for one of two competing student papers, two rallies were held on opposite sides of the downtown mall. One group held signs like “Keep your laws off my body,” and “Keep abortion safe and legal,” and the other group held signs like “It’s a child, not a choice” and “Abortion stops a beating heart.” The student paper I did not work for ran…

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Facebook Hired Journalists to Train Its Trending Topics Algorithm

Recently I noticed an unusually incendiary phrase in the Facebook “trending” list, and noticed that several people in my feed were reacting strongly to that language. When I clicked the link, I was taken to a page that did not actually contain that phrase. When I searched news.google.com for the source of that phrase, the results came up nil. A few hours later, searched turned up bloggers who were angrily…

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Journalism isn’t dying. But it’s changing WAY faster than most people understand.

Think of journalism as falling into three basic baskets: The “what” basket, the “so what” basket and the “now what” basket. The “what” basket is filled with reporting in a straightforward manner on things that happened. “There was a fire at 8th and Elm Street today. No one was injured,” and all that. The “so what” basket is the why it happened and/or why it mattered arm of journalism. It’s…

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For News Outlets Squeezed From the Middle, It’s Bend or Bust

Hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook followed BuzzFeed’s live video of two people putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it burst. We should all reflect on how journalism can make the news that is truly important interesting enough to compete with exploding fruit. Traditional media companies face the increasingly daunting task of hooking already-inundated audiences, but they also have more tools than ever to lure them. Videos, podcasts,…