Link Ch. 15 – Dangers of reporting from Syria

With the war raging in Syria, it’s a very dangerous place for reporters trying to cover the fighting.  Here are several articles on the subject:

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 15 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Link Ch. 13 – PATRIOT Act Readings

Here’s a bit more depth on a couple of PATRIOT Act implications:

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 13 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Link Ch. 13 – Who Owns Your Social Media Content?

You might be surprised if you haven’t read your endless Terms of Service (TOS).

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 13 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Link Ch. 13 – Libel, Privacy & Social Media

Several readings on (you guessed it!) libel, privacy and social media:

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 13 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Link Ch. 12 – Velveeta and the Cheesepocalypse

The news broke the first week of January 2014. Football fans in the heat of the NFL playoffs were facing potential disaster. It wasn’t a potential strike of NFL players or a lockout by management. And it wasn’t a dispute between a cable company and the network broadcasting the big game, threatening a blackout of the Super Bowl over a major urban area. No, this was something really serious, the Cheesepocalypse—a shortage of Velveeta with which to make queso dip for Super Bowl and playoff watch parties.

It started when Advertising Age magazine contacted Kraft Foods after news reports surfaced of shortages at East Coast grocery stores. Kraft spokeswoman Jody Moore told Ad Age, “Given the incredible popularity of Velveeta this time of year, it is possible consumers may not be able to find their favorite product on store shelves over the next couple of weeks.”

Kraft took a humorus response to this mild shortage, declaring that America was in the midst of a “cheesepocalypse.”  Here are several links that deal with the cheesepocalypse:

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 12 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Link Ch. 11 – Native Ads

Here are some of the native ads we’ve discussed in Mass Communication: Living in a  Media World.

Southwest Airlines Rolls Out New ‘Loyalty Goes Both Ways’ Campaign

The Atlantic’s Scientology Native Ad

Atlantic's Scientology Native Ad

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 11 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Porn and New Technology

“I was disappointed that pornography got to the Net. But I’ve come to learn that pornographers are almost always the first ones to adopt new technology. If there is a new way of distributing their product, they’ll find it.”

-Vint Cerf, one of the Internet’s creators

Posted in Chapter 10 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Link Ch. 10 – A Fish Named Grayson is Playing Pokemon for a National Audience

As I worked on the fifth edition of Mass Communication: Living in a Media World during the summer of 2014, a fish named Grayson was playing the video games Pokémon Red and Blue on a Game Boy emulator using a motion sensor aimed at his fish tank. Each area of the tank is assigned to a different Game Boy button, and as he swims into the area, the button is triggered. That a pair of technically oriented college students in New York would rig some equipment to allow their fish to randomly play a video game is not surprising. It’s the kind of hack that might seem reasonable on a late Friday night. The fact that as many as 22,000 people at a time would watch the fish play Pokémon using the video game streaming service Twitch is kind of amazing.

Should you join in on the party, you will see a divided screen showing the Pokémon game on the left, the swimming fish with the control grid imposed over it in the center, and a chat session on the right where viewers either try to kibitz the fish or proclaim that he is dead. (The fish’s owners point out continually that Grayson isn’t dead; he’s just sleeping.)

Watch live video from FishPlaysPokemon on

Catherine Moresco and Patrick Facheris, Grayson’s owners, were likely inspired by the efforts of an anonymous Australian gamer who rigged the fifteen-year-old Game Boy game Pokémon Red to be played by the inhabitants of the stream’s chat room. At its peak, as many as 75,000 people at a time were inputting controller commands with text comments. The stream differs from most of the video game viewing that takes place on Twitch because it combines the sport of watching someone play a video game on with actually participating in the progress of the game.

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 10 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Link Ch. 9 – NY Times Draws Controversy Calling Shonda Rhimes an “Angry Black Woman”

The story in the New York Times started out provocatively:

When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called “How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.”

That opening line, and a story that went on to note that actress Viola Davis, who stars in Rhimes’ TV series “How To Get Away With Murder,” is “older, darker-skinned and less classically beautiful” than Olivia Washington, who stars in another Rhimes show, “Scandal.”

A pair of lengthy articles from NY Times public editor Margaret Sullivan quotes extensively from reader criticism of the article, that she says is righty deserved.

Read the article and the two responses from the public editor so you can form your own opinion.  Does the writer, a white male, treat Rhimes the same way he would have treated a white male?  What things are the critics sensitive about?  How do you feel about how the author defends himself?

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 9 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Link Ch. 9 – I Love Lucy

As I write this in mid-October, 2014 it is hard to know which, if any, of the episodes of the classic TV series I Love Lucy will remain available for free online.  CBS has just announced their new pay service for streaming content, and they may or may not force all of the free copies of Lucy off the web.

In the mean time, here’s a link to several episodes of I Love Lucy from Hulu.

Posted in Book Link, Chapter 9 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment