Please stop using the term “The Media.”
There are millions of different media outlets across the globe that publish in print, air on television, and broadcast on the radio.
People seem to think every single one of those mediums – and then some – are all working together in a plot that centres around world domination.
Whenever someone complains about “The Media,” my brain instantly imagines some dark chamber with robe-wearing billionaires trying to figure out how to sway the masses with some sort of domineering agenda.
I can’t confirm this doesn’t exist – but I’ve been in and out of the industry for a decade now and have yet to be invited to one of these meetings. I’d like to think it’s a potluck where Rupert Murdock brings potato salad and Ted Turner cheaps out and only brings plastic cutlery.
So why all of this distrust that makes the media into one lumped together entity of evil?
I think the mid-twentieth century had a fairly slim but straightforward ratio of nightly news programs and publications on news stands.
The ingestion of news was far from being the all-encompassing pastime it is now; it simply made up a brief sliver of the day.
With cell phones and social media (which is causing so much harm simply by having the word media in its title), you can’t help but learn information at every waking hour, whether that info is true or not.
Many have become exhausted and distrustful because of the non-stop bombardment that, I will agree, can have an agenda that either makes you suspiciously bitter or reassured in whatever ultra-specific theory you believe.
But I never thought attending journalism school would give me such a leg up in being able to sort through the tangled media web, but yet, here I am with a tried and true solution to help everyone navigate through it.
Are you ready? You want to hear my secret?
Turn off the news!
Seriously! Shut off CNN. Don’t have cable news constantly playing in the background.
Or perhaps instead of think-piece podcasts and talk-radio, listen to music while you pop earbuds in!
Oh, and SIGNIFICANTLY limit your social media intake.
Get world news from established sources and don’t forget to check in what’s happening in your own backyard from time to time.
Believe me, you don’t have to read every single story. Most stories are opinions nitpicking current events anyway.
Wait, did I just talk myself out of a column…?
Anyhow, it’s creating unnecessary anxiety and headaches in so many who want to constantly debate and dispute and come across as the most informed person in the room.
And it’s not just the stories – many of them tear-inducing downers – that are causing anguish. It’s the ability to instantly comment.
Reading the comments is like watching the Jerry Springer show on steroids. I feel as though I need a long shower after witnesses come fights that start with death threats and go downhill from there.
Would you craft letters and engage on a chain – back and forth – for months on a topic if the ability to instantly comment didn’t exist? I bet the responses would be a whole lot different.
Where does this come from? I’ve never gotten the urge to comment! It’s fairly easy to refrain from and when I’ve had that bursting feeling to correct someone or share an opinion – I can instantly sense it’s not coming from a good place.
Because of the stew of constant information and negativity, people treat little community newspapers like Bill Gates has some major stake in them and comes around routinely with his list of editorial demands.
I’ve been called every political insult in the book – and then some.
But you’ve got to assume you are doing your job right when your called too liberal and too conservative in the same day!
Yes, there is political news. But news isn’t political. When done right, journalism should inform, maybe even challenge opinions.
Sure, it can be a challenge for the writer to remain non-partisan. There are politicians I can’t help but roll my eyes at and some… you know, I don’t think there is a politician out there that I really believe in.
But that’s another story…
The story for today is that there people who write, edit, read, and are subjects of these stories – politicians included – are humans with emotions.
From where I am standing, there is no world-domineering agenda.
We’re just people passing along the message.
Can’t we a lot a few minutes a day to hear the headlines and move on without outrage?
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CBC grapples with how to program an Olympics in the social media age – The Globe and Mail
After dozens of Olympics on television, you might think it would be easy for a network programmer to figure out which sports Canadian audiences want to watch. But conventional wisdom goes only so far. “In a Winter Games, it’s pretty much: hockey, figure skating, curling – and then you sort everything else out,” said Chris Irwin, the executive producer and head of production for CBC Olympics, in a recent interview. “But a Summer Games, once you get past the big three – athletics, aquatics, gymnastics – everyone in the room has a different opinion.”
In the entertainment realm, TV networks that are programming a new show might base decisions on the performance of similar fare: if CSI Miami pulls in 10 million viewers on Thursdays in primetime, it’s a safe bet CSI: Poughkeepsie would do more or less the same. That works for sports, too: Networks can project with some accuracy the viewership numbers for a typical Yankees or Maple Leafs game.
But the relative rarity of the Olympic Games, combined with their changing locations and the head-swirling developments in both technology and viewer habits, have made historical comparisons of little use for the Tokyo Games, which will unfold 11½ to 16 hours ahead of viewers watching across Canada.
“It’s definitely part science, part art form,” Irwin said.
Looking at data from the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, “you have the right time zone [as Tokyo], but it’s winter sports, so nothing is relevant. You go back to Rio, and it’s summer sports on the same schedule, but nothing is relevant from a time-zone perspective,” he said. “So, when you get people weighing in and saying, ‘The highest-rated sporting hour in Rio was this [particular event],’ you say, ‘Yes, but that’s because it was at 9 o’clock eastern time and it followed that big, huge other thing.’ And then you try to map that to Tokyo, and [that same sport] is at 8 a.m. and the available audience is one-tenth of what it is [in primetime].
“So, the last comparable Olympics with information that could help you make better decisions was [the Beijing Games in] 2008 – and you can imagine how irrelevant that research is. Nobody was watching streaming. There wasn’t even an app in 2010,” for the Vancouver Games. “So the idea that people [might watch the Olympics] on their phones, and in their beds and on trains and planes and everything, was just non-existent until this cycle.”
Canadians will have a dizzying array of ways to access these Games: five broadcast channels (the main CBC network, which will devote 23 hours every weekday, and 24 hours on weekend days, to coverage; two channels each of CBC’s sub-licensees, TSN and Sportsnet); up to 20 livestreams at once on CBC’s Gem app, the new CBC Olympics app, and the CBC Olympics website. Amazon Prime will have a CBC Olympics hub filled with live games and replays. Select bits of content will run on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. CBC Sports even started up a TikTok account for Tokyo.
“As we look at these Olympics and [the 2022 Winter Games] coming up, and Paris [in 2024] down the road, I’m convinced it’s our responsibility not to just expect Canadians to come to the main channel and watch it like they used to,” said Chris Wilson, the executive director of CBC Sports and Olympics. We’ve got to challenge ourselves to present the Olympic content in different ways, on different platforms and be very creative with our partners.”
Mindful of its role as a public broadcaster, the CBC will be offering the opening ceremony, which airs Friday morning, in eight Indigenous languages on its online platforms: Eastern Cree, Dehcho Dene, Denesuline, Gwichʼin, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Sahtu Dene and Tlicho.
And while TSN and Sportsnet are only available to paying subscribers, all of the action airing on those cable networks will also be available free on the CBC’s streaming platforms.
That free and universal access – at least for those who have broadband internet – contrasts with the United States, where NBC will spread content across its over-the-air network and several of its pay cable channels. And it is using the Games to push subscriptions to its new streaming service, Peacock.
The CBC is also treating these Games as a promotional opportunity. “We’re certainly interested to see if we can drive additional awareness and additional free subscriptions to Gem,” Wilson said. “There’s no question that Gem is a massive part of our future.”
During the Games themselves, all of those online platforms will help Irwin and his team take the country’s pulse on a continuing basis: They’ll be able to see, in real time, what people are engaging with, what they’re sharing. “Actual clicks, actual minutes, actual numbers, when [viewers] joined, when they left: There are some very specific things that the digital and social metrics can tell us all about what the country is thinking, what the users are thinking,” Irwin said. But, he adds, those numbers need to be read with some caution. Social media is not a perfect proxy for the wider world.
And while the CBC can simply run all of the available sports on its online platforms, it needs to aggregate the largest possible audience for the five broadcast channels at its disposal, especially the main CBC network. That’s where it will aim to show the biggest event of interest to Canadians at any given moment. Long-form competitions – including team sports, road races, golf – will be carried on TSN and Sportsnet, with the CBC main channel possibly cutting in to the final minutes.
Recognizing that many viewers can and do access results on their phones as soon as they occur, the CBC decided years ago it would prioritize live events. “That’s where the change has come to the global media [landscape],” Irwin said. “You can no longer stage the release of information in a way that makes a show [of tape-delayed content] work, or make an audience play along.”
So the broadcaster decided “live trumped everything, and that your filters to make decisions started with live – live Canadian, live of Canadian interest – and worked its way down, to delayed international events that aren’t for medals.” That made it immediately clear where an event might end up on its matrix of outlets.
Irwin knows that makes it challenging to bring in a primetime audience, but he says there is still a hunger for that communal, narrative experience. “The audience, if they love [a particular sport], they did see it when it happened live,” possibly hours before. “And we told them about it on our digital platforms and in our shows and social [media] talked about it, and our daytime show reviewed it, and we’ve interviewed athletes since it happened. But now we have a very captive audience that has made an appointment to come and watch us tonight, when they have a chance to sit down. And we’ve made them a promise that we’re going to tell them a story.”
Sign up for The Globe’s Olympic newsletter and follow all of the news, features and opinion in the leadup to the Summer Games in Tokyo.
U.S. senators want social media to be held liable for spreading health misinformation – Global News
Two Democratic U.S. senators on Thursday will add to the stack of bills going after Section 230 — a law that protects tech companies from being sued over content posted by users — making such platforms responsible for health-related misinformation.
The legislation introduced by Amy Klobuchar and Ben Ray Lujan requires internet platforms such as Facebook to take down health and vaccine-related misinformation during public health emergencies or be held liable for that failure.
It also directs the Department of Health & Human Services to issue guidelines on what constitutes health misinformation.
“These are some of the biggest, richest companies in the world and they must do more to prevent the spread of deadly vaccine misinformation,” Klobuchar said.
The bill quotes a study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate that found social media platforms failed to act on 95% of coronavirus-related disinformation reported to them.
Kevin Martin, a vice president of public policy at Facebook, said the company supports reforming Section 230.
Increasing concerns about COVID-19 misinformation
“We believe clarification on the difficult and urgent questions about health related misinformation would be helpful and look forward to working with Congress and the industry as we consider options for reform.”
The Health Misinformation Act is not the first bill targeting tech firms’ liability shield from Senator Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate antitrust subcommittee.
Earlier this year, she co-sponsored another bill called the Safe Tech Act with two fellow Democrats. It aims to make social media companies more accountable for enabling cyber-stalking, targeted harassment and discrimination on their platforms.
The chief executives of Google, Twitter and Facebook have said Section 230 is crucial to free expression on the internet. They said it gives them the tools to strike a balance between preserving free speech and moderating content, even as they appeared open to suggestions that law needs moderate changes.
Health officials warn about disinformation, conspiracies
Several Republican lawmakers have separately pushed to scrap the law entirely over decisions by tech platforms to moderate content critical of former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
There are several other pieces of legislation aimed at changing the law that have been making the rounds for over a year, including a bipartisan bill from Democrat Brian Schatz and Republican John Thune.
Trump repeatedly pushed for the legal protection to be stripped away over what he alleged was censorship against conservatives.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler and Sam Holmes)
© 2021 Reuters
Current's 2021 Public Media Salary Survey – Current
Earlier this year, we asked our readers to take an anonymous survey about what they earn as a public media employee. We received more than 1,900 responses. Below, you can enter your salary and use the filters to explore the results and see how you compare to similar public media professionals. Read more about our key findings and email us with any questions, comments and observations.
This survey was conducted as part of On the Money, our special coverage of money in pubmedia.
Thanks to Eric R. Schuler, quantitative/computational research methodologist with American University, who advised us on designing and fielding the survey.
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