Cory Leonard

Archive for the ‘media’ Category

Truthiness in Media

In media on January 21, 2014 at 4:33 am

I’ll tell you why we still need “traditional media” like Reuters, FT, WSJ, WaPo, NYT, and other newbies who aspire to serious journalistic standards. The system that we currently have allowed within the web we all love is misguided.

Luke O’Neill who wrote an article cum bombshell saying as much,  says it best here: “Readers are gullible.  The media is feckless. Garbage is circulated around.  And everyone goes to be happy and fed.”  In other words, the web rewards eyeballs over truth, sensation over meaning, excitement over importance.

And praise be to NPR’s On the Media for another revealing interview:

BOB GARFIELD:  So what you’re describing, Luke, is the quintessential perfect storm. The writers need to post a crazy lot just to make a living. The publications need to generate clicks. That’s where its revenue comes from. You throw in plain journalistic laziness and human nature, an undiscriminating audience that just wants to be titillated or whatever. The convergence of these elements, clearly, if your story is right, overwhelms any commitment to truth.

LUKE O’NEILL:  I think that’s exactly what happens. And as someone who’s written for newspapers for many years, I know that if you make a small mistake in a printed newspaper, like the Boston Globe, where I’ve contributed for a long time, they are not happy about that, even if it’s something that doesn’t matter.

And I think that these big viral sites, they don’t have that sort of standards in place. Like consider the headline style that has become so prevalent this year, like this one cat that will restore your faith in humanity or, you know, these 10 ice cream cones that’ll make you want to believe in God. It’s all based on hyperbole and exaggeration. The entire interaction is starting off on a falsehood.

via The Best Piece of Radio You’ll Hear In Your Life Transcript – On The Media.



Holiday 2013 Reading List for Young Creatives

In career, media, tech on December 13, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Tis the season for booklists, and reading is a wonderful thing.  Books make great gifts–and without weighing into the delivery mechanism (False dichotomy? Buy ebooks from independents and everyone wins who matters?)

This is my favorite list for students and seekers of an intellectual bent–with The Circle for the Google/Facebook fans, The Flamethrowers for creatives, Americanah for bloggers, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (post-Gatsby viewing because Baz Luhrman is irresistible), and Tenth of December because everyone says you should (and its good.)  Finally, if you are thinking about studying abroad, consider Necessary Errors.

via 2013’s 20 Best Books for Every Kind Of 20-Something – PolicyMic.


The Mystique of Lourdes

In media on December 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Making the case that a teen ingenue singer is the new Nirvana, from Ann Powers:

Finally, there’s the hit itself: a no that blossoms into a yes. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was an emerging generation’s frustrated battle cry, and like “Royals,” it decried the pop industry of which it became a part. Hitting hard, “Teen Spirit” revitalized the idea of what rock could be. Sneaking in, “Royals” suggests that pop can have deeper layers. Nirvana lobbed a Molotov into the charts. Lorde released a virus. Each weapon suited its time. Via NPR

RIP Lou Reed

In media on October 30, 2013 at 3:15 am

For the gearheads, losers, rockers, poets, New Yorkers–RIP, Lou Reed.

 And, everyone who ever had a heart

They wouldn’t turn around and break it

And anyone who ever played a part

Oh wouldn’t turn around and hate it!

“Sweet Jane” (1970)



Pignanelli & Webb: We Know How You Think – By What You Read

In media, politics on October 4, 2013 at 1:46 am

What media offerings in Utah tell about you–a little state of play:

The Salt Lake Tribune attracts progressive Mormons who believe reading Robert Kirby and Paul Rolly lets them “live on the edge” without confessing to the bishop that would be LaVarr. Non-Mormon readers still fantasize that the Trib is Utah’s “independent” paper, despite being owned by a national chain that slam-dunked with help from the Deseret News the previous owners who really were independent.

The Deseret News is read by Mormons most of them close to death who scrutinize the paper’s editorials for signs of First Presidency endorsement in LDS secret code phrases like, “Please signify it by the uplifted hand.” Non-Mormon readers hide their copies from their fellow wine-and-cheesers, but peruse it regularly to spy on what’s happening inside the “kingdom.”

via Pignanelli & Webb: We Know How You Think – By What You Read.

I do disagree a wee bit on this one.  (Nobody reads the Deseret News.)

TED Haters?

In media, tech on March 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I like TED, but am intersted to consider the critics viewpoint.  They boil down to charges of elitism, Silicon Valley-buzzword talk, and a sense of positive psychology.  And then:

The biggest charge critics level at TED is that it glorifies “ideas” for their own sake, and rewards snappy presentation over rigorous thought or intellectual debate.

via Why do people hate TED so much? | FP Passport.


The Guardian Begins American Ad Campaign –

In media, politics on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Debates can be framed to produce civic engagement, understanding, and the common good.  It is hard to do, and not everyone sees this as the best approach for the smart cognoscenti readership that the Guardian is hunting:

The ads are meant to evoke a response from people who choose to take a side on the issues. “For us it’s about telling the story through the editorial lens,” Jennifer Lindenauer, director of marketing and communications at Guardian US, said in an interview at the publication’s New York office.

“When you look at the debate in this country, at the core of it tends to be the government in our lives versus personal freedoms,” Ms. Lindenauer said. “It’s culture, it’s news, it’s technology. It allowed us to show the multifaceted areas of coverage that we provide for our readers.”

via The Guardian Begins American Ad Campaign –


What Happened Last Night | Via Meadia

In media on October 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Best summary yet on the first Presidential Debate of 2012 and a primer on how Conservatives ought to complain about the media.  (Hint: no whining, be specific.)

This was not just about optics. Romney chose last night as his moment to shift toward this high center ground in American politics. He is not an austerity president or a penny pincher where causes dear to Jacksonian hearts are involved. He wants to be an education president and hopes we hire lots of new teachers, he incorporated his Massachusetts health care plan into his narrative and attacked Dodd-Frank from the left as a sell-out to big banks — and an assault on the right of Americans to get cheap mortgages.

He pledged to make sure the share of the tax load paid by the rich would not decrease on his watch and he promised no tax cuts that would increase the deficit. This may not be libertarian, small government orthodoxy, but it is mainstream Jacksonianism. Romney is attempting to brand himself as a red-blooded American rather than as a doctrinaire conservative in the race. He wants to run against Barack Obama like John Wayne versus Barney Fife — or Ronald Reagan versus Jimmy Carter.

via What Happened Last Night | Via Meadia.


Challenging the Claims of Media Bias – the Media Equation –

In media on October 2, 2012 at 3:15 am

David Carr’s take on the diminishingly-claimed-Romney-claim of media bias:

Even if legacy media still maintained some kind of death grip on American consciousness, it would be hard to claim that the biggest players in those industries are peddling liberal theology.

Think about it. What is the No. 1 newspaper in America by circulation? Why, that would be The Wall Street Journal, a bastion of conservative values on its editorial pages and hardly a suspect when it comes to lefty news coverage. (Though it’s worth pointing out that the paper has published some very tough coverage of Mr. Romney.)

What about radio? Three of the top five radio broadcasters — Mr. Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the recently departed Michael Savage — have outdrawn NPR’s morning and evening programs by a wide margin. In cable television, Fox News continues to pummel the competition.

Many Republicans see bias lurking in every live shot, but the growing hegemony of conservative voices makes manufacturing a partisan conspiracy a practical impossibility.

via Challenging the Claims of Media Bias – the Media Equation –


Content = King

In media, tech on September 25, 2012 at 5:23 am

Can magazines, the good old fashioned print dinosaurs turn a profit?  A spotlight by David Carr at NYT on the owner of Atlantic Media seems to indicate tough times for the print world.  David G. Bradley apparently lost “$8 to 10 million a year” getting The Atlantic seaworthy, to no avail.

Blogging for the firm exitcreative, two bright spots appear:

“The Economist” is a trite answer to a separate question – “Who’s killing it with content?” – but it’s worth noting that their $130 annual subscription ends up in the hands of only around 1.5 million people. In spite of that relatively small number, the magazine makes money. £60MM every year. And that figure is growing.

Cook’s Illustrated is a less-cited example, but they continue to impress. They’re private, so they’re not quite as easy to assess as a business, but they seem to be growing, making money off a model that doesn’t include advertising, and experimenting effectively in the digital space. They publish 6 issues each year, do not discount their subscription rates, and charge for the digital version even if you get the magazine in the mail. And remarkably, somewhere near 80% of their one million subscribers re-up annually. Gangster.

via exitcreative | exitcreative is a blog about digital things, brand things, and real things..