ANOTHER MONOPOLY MEDIA SHAKEUP, WITH PLENTY HIDDEN TO PONDER
– A story about a big split at a major monopoly-media, ‘new-media’ publisher,Politico, a centrifugal sundering in which one of the co-founders–but not he of the moneybags and family legacy, of the name of Albritton–and several other major players at the endeavor have parted ways with what has for at least a few years, with expansion into the European sphere and a White House first-name-basis status, been a model of digital, insider journalism, this take from Nieman Lab an analysis with some background and ideas about future ventures in the works, which, alongside a more typical breaking-news account from CNN, gives scrappy scribes and solid citizens something to cogitate in relation to how the news business is working as things fall apart on a grander and grander scale.
This Day in History
Twelve hundred fifty-nine years ago, a Tang Dynasty military leader, An Lushan, led a revolt that aimed, unsuccessfully after his own son assassinated him, to overthrow the empire; a single year more than five centuries later on, in 1258, Dai Viet resistance fought off the initial Mongol invasion of what is now Vietnam; forty-three decades subsequently, in 1688, a baby boy came into the world to a wealthy family en route to a storied life as philosopher, scientist, and author by the name of Emanuel Swedenborg; just shy of half a century afterward, in 1737,another male infant shouted out en route to life as the iconic rebel and devotee of reason and rights, Thomas Paine; two dozen years hence, in 1761, a baby male opened his eyes in Switzerland who would rise as the American thinker, writer, and politician Albert Gallatin; two years later exactly, in 1763, the acclaimed French Poet Racine breathed his last; fifty-one years beyond that pass, in 1814, Napoleonic armies defeated a combine of Russian and Prussian forces at the Battle of Brienne; five years later to the day, on the other side of the globe in 1819, British imperial functionary Stamford Raffles first entered Singapore Island, where he founded a key outpost of British Empire there; so-called ‘man-of-the-people’ Andrew Jackson a decade and half further along time’s road, in 1834, ordered U.S. military to aid in suppressing a strike against horrific working conditions of the Ohio and Chesapeake Canal;
Edgar Allen Poe a hundred seventy-one years back published under his name for the first time, with “The Raven’s” appearance in the New York Evening Mirror; five years thereafter, in 1850, Henry Clay brought before the House of Representatives what became known as the Compromise of 1850 to forestall possibly lethal sectional conflict over slavery; a decade henceforth and six thousand miles East, in 1860, a baby boy was born who would grow up as the iconic, if short-lived, short-story aficionado and playwright, Anton Chekhov; three hundred sixty-six days past that instant, back in North America in 1861, Kansas became the 31st State to enter the Union, after years of bloody fighting over slavery; in what is now Idaho two years more down the pike, in 1863, U.S. cavalry and California militia slaughtered untold hundreds of Native Americans in the Bear River Massacre; across the Atlantic three years subsequently, in 1866, a male infant was born who went on to literary fame and a Nobel Prize as Romain Rolland; a hundred twenty nine years ago, Karl Benz received a patent for the first engine to power an automobile with gasoline; ten hundred and ninety-six days toward now, in 1889, over six thousand railroad workers went on strike against, among other things, and eighteen hour day, only to face defeat at the hand of hired thugs, police, and so-called militia in the pay of the railway companies; a dozen years after to the day, in 1901, a baby boy uttered his first cry on his way to a life of innovation that included obtaining many patents on television technology and starting a TV network as Allen DuMont; exactly a half dozen years onward toward today, in 1907, Kansas’ legislature selected Charles Curtis as the first Native American U.S. Senator; nine years yet nearer to now, in 1916, German Zeppelins initiated the bombing of Paris; two years farther along the temporal arc, in 1918, Red Army agents helped to provoke an uprising against Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev, and divisions of Communist troops approached the capitol from the East; five years even closer to the current context, in 1923, the baby male came along who would grow up as author and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky; a mere four years hence precisely, in 1927, a boy child presented himself who after a time initiated a life as Edward Abbey, author and environmental activist; six years more along the road to now, in 1933, the poet Sara Teasdale took her own life, a couple of years after her consort Vachel Lindsay had also committed suicide; three years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1936, rubber workers conducted a sitdown strike in Akron, Ohio that helped their union gain recognition; eight years afterward, in 1944, progressive journalist and publisher William Allen White died; another four years onward, in 1948,around the globe in Pakistan, the country’s Socialist Party first established itself; another six years further on, in 1954, a girl child opened her eyes who would rise as the thinker and television producer and acclaimed ‘entrepreneur,’ Oprah Winfrey; seven hundred and thirty days more proximate still to the present pass, in 1956, wit and literary master H.L. Mencken breathed his last; seven years later, in 1963, poet-for-the-ages Robert Frost breathed his last; four years farther in the direction of our own light and air, in 1967, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and others took part in the Mantra-Rock Dance in San Francisco; thirty-four years before the here-and-now, Dolly Parton’s paean to working class life, “Nine to Five,” hit number one on the pop music charts; an additional eight years later on, in 1989, Hungary became the initial Warsaw Pact nation to establish diplomatic and regular trade relations with South Korea; two years onward, in 1991, Japanese author and poet Yasushi Inoue drew his final breath; five years further on, in 1996, France definitely ended its nuclear weapons testing programs; two years beyond that across the Atlantic and the Appalachians, to the day, in 1998, Eric Rudolph quite likely detonated a bomb at a Birmingham abortion clinic that killed one and maimed another; four years onward toward our light and air, in 2002, the U.S. President, George Bush, ripped a page from Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbel’s book in declaring as an “axis of evil” weaker nations that were easy to attack and thereby accomplish imperial agendas; three years thereafter, in 2005, China and Taiwan resumed air service between the two places that had not happened since 1949, for fifty-six years; four years hence, in 2009 in Illinois, Rob Blagojevich lost his governorship after a jury convicted him of accepting large bribes to replace Barack Obama in the Senate, and the new President signed one of the few progressive pieces of legislation in his two terms, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which removed procedural obstacles in the way of litigation against discriminatory practices against women and people of color; another four years past that instant in time and space, in 2013, popular contemporary author Ferrol Sams died.
A Thought for the Day
The capability to articulate other than drivel and supercilious narcissism requires an ability to listen as highly honed as one hopes ones thoughts and ideas will be in reply: thus, writing necessitates reading and speaking listening, sets of skills that current educational paradigms not only ignore but also actively debunk with an emphasis on testing and other forms of regurgitation that in practice prohibit any participant’s aptitude for conceptualizing, let alone contradicting, his own oppression or her own enervation, a more or less intentional orchestration of a frailty of capacity that thereby lays a solid foundation for ongoing subjugation of the poor and hegemony of the wealthy.
marcuse OR habermas "marvin minsky" OR "norbert wiener" consciousness OR awareness evolution history OR origins OR background OR genesis analysis OR explication OR explanation = 39,200 Links.
Top of the Fold
INFINITE RICHES, BURSTING BUBBLES, & COMMUNICATING INTELLIGIBLY
http://redef.com/original/age-of-abundance-how-the-content-explosion-will-invert-the-media-industry – From among the likely nearly countless tens of thousands of ‘media stories’ from the past week, a tiny sample, a handful, that reveal important ideas about journalism and storytelling as a business, as a mode of creating knowledge and meaning, as an aspect of human culture and evolution, to begin with one of Media ReDEF‘s pieces of original content, which seeks to provide a contextualization and predictive nexus about mediated development based on what the Internet and its manifestation have created in the way of almost infinite output and constant access to this unending stream of ‘information’–in the context of which a few other items seemed particularly apt to ponder, such as a practical assessment from Monday Note about how a combination of production platform and curating tool would be a dandy thing; such as a lengthy Electric Literature interview with Joyce Carol Oates that focuses on her most recent novel, a story about a potent and privileged neuroscientific expert whose ethical codes may be less than stellar; such as another exchange, that appears in Contently that draws forth Glenn Greenwald about journalism as a career, in terms of business or other production models that he sees fit to give a stamp of approval; such as a monumental review via TruthDig originally from the publication where Greenwald has a sinecure, The Intercept, about living in an ‘expository’ age and what it means and might imply about our coming problems and prospects; such as a typically delightful essay from Brainpickings that, among other things, examines narrative and anecdote and story as adaptive advantages, vis a vis analysis and explication as such: “(In a setting that has extended from at least Edison to the Internet and multimodal connectivity, something akin to a democratization of mediation has occurred, at least in terms of access, though control still vests with money and traditional gatekeepers). However, the next evolution in the media value chain will be the rise of decentralized curation – with individual tastemakers building up mass followings and driving enormous consumption by recommending various articles, videos, shows, films, albums, exhibits and so on. While there’s no way to effectively do this at scale today, the transition is long in development. Almost everyone today remixes content they’ve created with 3rd party content (just look at any social feed), reviews and engages in media commentary (ditto) and uses the recommendations of others to decide what to watch, see, listen to or even believe. Similarly, every social graph includes a handful of node users whose endorsements proliferate across the social web. The formalization of this influence will therefore represent both a natural and value-add extension of existing user behavior.
(Despite the continuing relevance and power of ‘Martha’ and ‘Oprah’ and ‘Howard,’ others will also have input). This ability for consumers to tap into specific voices will also be critical as more content and more users come online. Consumer time (or ‘attention’) doesn’t scale with either the volume or ready availability of content at their disposal. Discovery functions, too, have a maximum. The significance of 1,000 likes, 400 ratings or 3.2M plays is very different with 3B Internet users than it was with 500M. Not only does contextualizing these social cues become impossible, but the demographics of the reviewers continues to change – first in terms of age and income, then geography and culture – making it difficult to understand the personal validity of any crowd based metric. That’s not to say that a product on Amazon with 1,400 reviews and a 3.8 star rating isn’t good – just that the common review mechanisms found across the web mathematically soften taste out to the average. This works a lot of the time, but we tend to have very particular tastes in certain categories – and there is a certain staleness created by narrowing these averages down using look-a-like groups and other algorithmic techniques. Not to mention the fact, that such an approach often lacks the element of serendipity and surprise from discovering something you loved but didn’t expect (especially if you would otherwise have avoided it) . As a result, curators both solve a media painpoint and enrich consumption.
The most likely enablers of the age of curation will be today’s social platforms. Though rarely viewed as such, these companies – Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram – are already in the business of content creation, remixing and distribution. As such, the expansion from one-off filters, albums, shares and vlogs to curation would represent an organic evolution of their existing user toolset. More importantly, however, this change will be critical if these platforms want to continue to grow user engagement and manage the massive influx of user created and user-submitted content
(This complex and multivariate transformation and intensification will be anything but standard or easily manipulated, but it will almost certainly revolve around curation in some way). As curation’s role in both content discovery and consumption intensifies, content companies will not only see their programming advantage continue to erode, they’ll also need to change much of their existing beliefs, norms and business models. For most curators (and audiences), the distinction between content type (e.g. art, music, film, TV) and class (‘premium,’ ‘low-grade,’ ‘UGC’) is without value. They curate according to their voice and interests, not library categorizations. This, of course, will prove prohibitive for Big Media. Few will want to acknowledge the competitiveness of ‘less valuable’ content (this claim has been at the core of pitches to marketers and ad agencies, after all), let alone subject themselves to risk of unmanaged content adjacency (‘what if the next recommendation doesn’t align with our brand?!’). As a result, most content creators will initially resist influencer-based distribution, though its growing importance as a channel will make this retreat only temporary. If Mindy Kaling ‘owns’ your target audience, you’ve few options other than to distribute through and with her.
(Even as the ‘starmaking’ of rich, white men continues to have an impact), (i)n the decades since the phonograph was invented, technological changes have enabled our tastes to expand, our artists to diversify and our content to swell in abundance. While the notional shift from programming to curation can feel academic, it represents a crucial step in the democratization of media. Through thousands of individual curators, each of us will be able to escape the tyranny of averages and the limitations of algorithmic recommendations, as well as benefit from the ability to become tastemakers ourselves. For once, if we can’t find something good to watch, read, or listen to, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.”—Media ReDEF
“I do think that looking at journalism as a public service—which is ultimately what nonprofit status is about, finding a rich person or a series of rich people who support the journalism you’re doing—that is a really promising model. Ultimately, journalism, when it’s done right, is a public service and should be supported in the same way that charities and hospitals or artists throughout history have been. It contributes to society in a really important and indispensable way, and I think people are starting to realize that more and more.
(In terms of a ‘branded’ approach to such a model), (i)t is dangerous for all the obvious reasons, which is that funders might want to attach stings to the work that you do. But the same is true of sites that are funded by advertisers. BuzzFeed has had several pretty serious—I don’t know if they arrived at the level of scandal, but certainly controversies where a lot of people believed they catered the content of their journalism to please advertisers or avoid displeasing them.
With funders—you might even subconsciously want to avoid doing things to alienate your funders. Even reader-supported sites [have dangers]. I know when I was reader-supported for a long time there were several occasions where I knew what I was writing was going to alienate a large segment of my readership. Of course, you have that thought—’Should I do this?’—because you know they’re the ones ultimately funding you.
(Still), (t)he only way you’re going to be a valuable journalist is if you follow your passion and preserve your journalistic integrity. Which means never compromising what you think or say because of money. The minute you start compromising what you think or say because of money, you’re going to be some shitty Politico columnist or something. If you want to avoid falling to the level of Politico, which I think every decent person by definition does, you have to be willing to alienate even the people who are funding you. Most of all, negotiate from the very start with whoever funds you your full and absolute right to have journalistic independence. Never let anybody interfere with the things you want to do and say. That’s the number one rule for everything.
(In terms of getting started, what’s) critical (is) to figure out what you’re really passionately interested in. Because there’s a market for everything. There’s a huge Internet out there. Topics that seem really obscure can definitely, if you do it the right way, generate enough attention and interest to sustain you, and maybe even push you beyond that. It’s critical to just pick a few topics of which you have a great deal of passion, and develop genuine expertise in those so that what you’re producing can’t be found anywhere else except with you.”—Contently
“And yet, while spectacles and surveillance may be ‘costless’ and ‘practically free,’ the expository society is fundamentally about profit. On the corporate side, the business models of companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Uber, and Amazon are based on the principle of user enjoyment. Social media, we all know from experience, is addictive; our pleasure is habit-forming by design.
This is the first crux of Harcourt’s argument: The expository society exploits, rather than represses, our desires. The second crux is his observation that government and commercial surveillance infrastructures have wholly merged.
One of the book’s more important chapters takes on the seemingly self-evident nature of the term ‘surveillance state,’ which Harcourt argues is misleading. What we have, instead, is an ‘amalgam of the intelligence community, retailers, Silicon Valley, military interests, social media, the Inner Beltway, multinational corporations, midtown Manhattan, and Wall Street’ that ‘forms an oligarchic concentration that defies any such reductionism.’ Citing Glenn Greenwald, he notes that 70 percent of the United States’ national intelligence budget is spent on the private sector. ‘Whatever it is that is surveilling us, then, is not simply the state,’ he writes. A more accurate image, he suggests, is a ‘tenticular oligarchy’ — a ‘large oligopolistic octopus’ enveloping the world, neither fully public nor fully private but both.
(This all creates an environment in which we want to play according to the overlords’ rules, but which also compels obedience, either subtly or not). Understanding the degree to which we are compelled to participate, as opposed to lamenting the degree to which we desire our own oppression, is important if we want to devise strategies for resistance. Movements derive more energy from tapping into people’s grievances than chastising them for complacency.
On the final page of the book, Harcourt praises Occupy Wall Street, (from which the best) lesson (to take may be) not its approach, which was imperfectly implemented and produced mixed results, but its willingness to challenge capitalism and inequality directly. Ultimately, the society of exposure that Harcourt criticizes is a symptom of the oligarchy’s escalating attack on democracy. The best solution may not be to combat surveillance directly, but to attack the disease: the arrangements that have allowed an unaccountable political and economic elite to emerge.”—The Intercept
“There are two modes of cognitive functioning, two modes of thought, each providing distinctive ways of ordering experience, of constructing reality. The two (though complementary) are irreducible to one another. Efforts to reduce one mode(storytelling methods of one sort or another) to the other(empirical investigation of some kind) or to ignore one at the expense of the other inevitably fail to capture the rich diversity of thought.
A good story and a well-formed argument are different natural kinds. Both can be used as means for convincing another. Yet what they convinceof is fundamentally different: arguments convince one of their truth, stories of their lifelikeness. The one verifies by eventual appeal to procedures for establishing formal and empirical proof. The other establishes not truth but verisimilitude.
Bruner notes that the Western scientific and philosophical worldview has been largely concerned with the question of how to know truth, whereas storytellers are concerned with the question of how to endow experience with meaning — a dichotomy Hannah Arendt addressed brilliantly more than a decade earlier in her 1973 Gifford Lecture on thinking vs. knowing and the crucial difference between truth and meaning. One could go even further and argue, after Walter Benjamin, that the product of the analytical mode is information, whereas the product of storytelling is wisdom.
In contrast to our vast knowledge of how science and logical reasoning proceed, we know precious little in any formal sense about how to make good stories. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that story must construct two landscapes simultaneously. One is the landscape of action, where the constituents are the arguments of action: agent, intention or goal, situation, instrument, something corresponding to a ‘story grammar.’ The other landscape is the landscape of consciousness: what those involved in the action know, think, or feel, or do not know, think, or feel.
(In much of this, an author’s intention lies behind his or her skill). But this matter of intention remains forever mediated by the reader’s interpretation. What young Sylvia Plath observed of poetry — ‘Once a poem is made available to the public,’ she told her mother, ‘the right of interpretation belongs to the reader.’ — is true of all art and storytelling, whatever the medium. Bruner considers how the psychology of this interpretation factors into the question of what makes a great story: ‘It will always be a moot question whether and how well a reader’s interpretation ‘maps’ on an actual story, does justice to the writer’s intention in telling the story, or conforms to the repertory of a culture. But in any case, the author’s act of creating a narrative of a particular kind and in a particular form is not to evoke a standard reaction but to recruit whatever is most appropriate and emotionally lively in the reader’s repertory. …(even if that entails the necessity of the plight of character and event to be)set forth with sufficient subjunctivity to allow them to be rewritten by the reader, rewritten so as to allow play for the reader’s imagination.”—Brainpickings
A prize of £10,000 (approximately $15,400) is given annually for a previously published short story by an African writer. Shortlisted candidates will receive £500 (approximately $770) and some travel expenses to attend an award ceremony in Oxford, England, in July. Writers who were born in Africa, who are African residents, or who have a parent who is African by birth or nationality are eligible. Publishers may submit six copies of a story between 3,000 and 10,000 words published after February 1, 2011, along with the author’s bio or curriculum vitae, via postal mail by January 31. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
Seeking creative storytellers
University of Dayton
January 29, 2016
Industry Magazines / Publishing
Job Status Full-time
Salary Not Specified
The University of Dayton is seeking a creative, multimedia storyteller to edit, write, manage and collaborate as its next associate director of communications. Application process closes Feb. 19, 2016.
The associate director of communications is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of high-quality, high-impact print and digital communications that enhance the bond between the University and its audiences by portraying, through a diversity of viewpoints and opinions, the experience of the University of Dayton achieving its mission. Primary responsibilities include: managing editor of University of Dayton Magazine (quarterly, 114,000 circulation); editor of UDQuickly (news blog); and manager of student workers.
A New Yorker piece that looks at the journalist who has cared enough to document the plight of prisoners: “I wrote about Browder for this magazine in the fall of 2014, but there may be no reporter in the United States who has collected more stories of solitary-confinement prisoners than the veteran investigative reporter James Ridgeway. Since it is virtually impossible for a reporter to gain access to a solitary-confinement unit, Ridgeway came up with another strategy. “I wanted to use the prisoners themselves as reporters,” he told me. “Of course, that’s taboo in the mainstream press, since we all know they’re liars and double dealers and escape artists.” He chuckled. But breaking that taboo “didn’t bother me at all,” he said. “My position was: all we want to do here is, we want to know what is going on inside.””
An Electric Lit posting that discusses the latest work of an Indonesian writer: “Eka Kurniawan’s debut novel Beauty is a Wound (New Directions, 2015) begins with Dewi Ayu, a stunning Dutch-Indonesian brothel madam, walking out of her grave twenty-one years after her demise. The novel proceeds with a series of “and thens” and macabre twists that rival those concocted by Scheherazade in One Thousand and One Nights. Up to the book’s very end, where Dewi Ayu’s dysfunctional descendants tie up the family’s saga, Kurniawan dazzles with his looping plots, biting humor, and skewering take on Indonesia’s history.”
A TV Newswer article that looks at a new journalistic TV format that will serve the new generation: “Fusion has announced a new cross-platform investigative franchise called The Naked Truth. The effort, like Fusion itself, is aimed at younger, multicultural viewers who grew up watching The Daily Show, not 60 Minutes–and don’t always “watch TV” on TV.
The series debuts Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Fusion’s cable channel, with The Naked Truth: Death by Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate responsible for hundreds of deaths in New Hampshire, where drug abuse has become an issue in the presidential campaign.”
An Tele Sur article about one of the problems that is facing the new Macri government in Argentina, the incarceration and refusal to release Milagro Sala, an indigenous leader, in part for political reasons: “Jailed Argentine Indigenous leader and lawmaker Milagro Sala, who many have called the first political prisoner of President Mauricio Macri’s administration, was still in prison Friday almost two weeks after being arrested, but now for a different reason.
Sala, founder and head of the 70,000 member-strong Tupac Amaru political movement, was in the province of Jujuy on allegations of inciting violence and turmoil. She had been participating in a month-long protest against Jujuy Governor Gerardo Morales before her arrest.”
A Fusion posting that looks at the worry that we must all have now of a potential and harmful infestation that can have dreadful ramifications: “According to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, bed bug populations in Cincinnati and Michigan required concentrations more than 1,000 times greater than non-resistant bed bugs in order to be killed. The implications of the findings are huge, as millions of dollars have been invested in insecticides designed to kill these blood-sucking creatures that infest everything from couches to suitcases.
It’s also a problem of its own making, as the overuse of insecticides is what allows bed bug populations to develop resistance to certain compounds.”