Posts Tagged ‘media’

China: State TV News Eliminates Human ‘Error’

February 6, 2019

China’s largest news network has replaced HR with AI. In November, state-run Xinhua News Agency demoed a software-based TV news anchorman.

“Developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine company Sogou, the anchor was designed to simulate human voice, facial expressions and gestures.
The AI news reader ‘learns from live broadcasting videos by himself and can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor,’ according to Xinhua.”
— “China has developed a virtual anchor to deliver the news,” Helen Regan, CNN

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The President was elected In the checkout aisle.

December 18, 2018

The President was elected In the checkout aisle.

National Enquirer publisher David Pecker admitted to felony campaign law violations in the “trap and kill” hush money operation to silence Donald Trump’s mistresses, but his other undeclared contribution to the Trump campaign, worth millions, reached the candidate’s low-information supporters close to home, at the checkout counter magazine rack.

“It was the real-world embodiment of the fantasy online world of trolls, Russian and domestic, who polluted the political discourse. From its perches at Publix and Safeway, it was often doing the same job as Alex Jones, of the conspiracy site Infowars, and the more strident Trump campaign surrogates on Twitter and Facebook.

The Enquirer spread false stories about Hillary Clinton — illnesses concealed, child prostitution, bribery, treason. Each cover trumpeting these tales was arguably more powerful than a tweet from an account with millions of followers.”

“‘Wondering what The Enquirer’s covers were worth to the Trump campaign, I called Regis Maher, a co-founder of Do It Outdoors, the national mobile and digital billboard company. He said a campaign with that level of national prominence would cost $2.5 million to $3 million a month. ‘It’s such a powerful placement,’ Mr. Maher said. ‘Everybody’s gotta go to the grocery store.’”

“More Powerful Than a Russian Troll Army: The National Enquirer,” Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

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2016 Photo (“Quality Journalism Means an Informed Citizenry”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Best of the ‘Best of 2018′ Lists

December 12, 2018

The Best of the 'Best of 2018′ Lists

2018 “Year-In-Review” lists you may have missed:

“The 10 Best Podcasts of 2018,” Nicholas Quah, Vulture

“The Top 10 Most Tweeted About Celebrities of 2018,” Megan McCluskey, Time

“Top Ten Best Instant Noodle Cups 2018,” Hans Lienesch, The Ramen Rater

“The 50 Best Wines of 2018,” VinePair

“The Best 18 Beers of 2018,” Jamie Bogner and John Holl, Beer & Brewing

“Best Sparkling Water and Carbonated Water Reviews of 2018,” Freshnss

“The best cookbooks of 2018,” Paula Forbes, Houston Chronicle

“The Best Meal Kit Delivery Services of 2018,” Cassidy Olsen, Reviewed

“America’s 75 Best Hot Dogs for 2018 Gallery,” The Daily Meal

“The Top 10 Trump World Dining Controversies of 2018,” Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian

“The Best of 2018’s Bad Restaurant Reviews,” Monica Burton, Eater

“The Best Movies Directed by Women in 2018,” Abby Gardner, Glamour

“2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Infrastructure,” The Architects Newspaper

“10 Best Virtual Reality Headsets,” Matt Malmlund, Heavy

“7 products nobody asked for in 2018,” Aditi Shrikant, Vox

“The best robot vacuums of 2018,” Connor Whooley, USA Today

“The Top Pets Names of 2018,” Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure

“The best film soundtracks of 2018,” Katie Rife, Clayton Purdom, A.A. Dowd, and Alex McLevy, AV Club

“The 10 best movies you didn’t see in 2018, but should,” Carrie Wittmer, Insider

“The Best Video Essays of 2018,” Meg Shields, Film School Rejects

“20 Best Bollywood Hindi Movies of 2018,” Anmol Ahuja, Cinemaholic

“10 Worst Movies of 2018,” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“The Best Movie Villains of 2018,” Max Covill, Film School Rejects

“The Best Movie Posters of 2018,” Kottke.org

“The best movie and TV stunts of 2018,” Adam Epstein, Quartzy

“The Steamiest Sex Scenes Of 2018,” Abbey Maxbauer, Refinery29

“‘Truth isn’t truth’ tops list of notable quotes in 2018,” Associated Press

“The 5 best poetry collections of 2018,” Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post

“The 25 Best Comic Books of 2018,” Steve Foxe, Hillary Brown, Caitlin Rosberg & C.K. Stewart, Paste

“The 75 Best Book Covers of 2018,” Emily Temple, LitHub

“Spinning spiders, leopard eels, red coral: Noteworthy new species discovered in 2018,” Jane C. Hu, Vox

“7 bad science and health ideas that should die with 2018,” By Julia Belluz, Brian Resnick, and Umair Irfan, Vox

“The Biggest Junk Science of 2018,” Ross Pomeroy, Real Clear Science

“Top Retractions of 2018,” The Scientist

“The top space stories of 2018,” Ashley Strickland, CNN

“Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2018,” Scientific American

“The greatest security innovations of 2018,” Eric Adams and Corinne Iozzio, Popular Science

“The weirdest places we found scooters in 2018,” Megan Barber, Curbed

“The Top 10 Stolen Vehicles In Canada In 2018,” Sarah Lombardo, MTL Blog

“The 9 best camper vans of 2018,” Megan Barber, Curbed

“The 10 Best Car Interiors in 2018,” Bryan Campbell, Gear Patrol

“The 10 Best Video Games of 2018,” Jake Swearingen Vulture

“The 10 best video game soundtracks of 2018,” Ayyab Amin, Lewis Gordon, and Scott Wilson, Fact Magazine

“The Best Classical Music of 2018,” Anthony Tommasini, Zachary Woolfe, Joshua Barone and Seth Colter Walls, New York Times

“The 9 best new drum machines and samplers of 2018,” MusicRadar

“The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2018,” Jason Roche, LA Weekly

“The Best Rap Albums of 2018,” Pitchfork

“Barack Obama’s best of 2018 playlist,” The Week

“Best Irish pop music of 2018,” Una Mullally, Irish Times

“The Worst Music Moments of 2018,” Treble

“Women in Music 2018: The Most Powerful Executives in the Industry,” Billboard

“The World’s Most Powerful Women In Business 2018,” Vicky Valet, Forbes

“The Most Powerful Women In Finance In 2018,” Kristin Stoller, Forbes

“The Best and Worst CEOs of 2018,” Samuel Stebbins, Evan Comen and Grant Suneson, 24/7 Wall Street

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How ‘The Apprentice’ Manufactured Trump

November 14, 2018

“How ‘The Apprentice’ Manufactured Trump,” an Atlantic video.

In 2004 the first season of The Apprentice reintroduced pro wrestling promoter Donald Trump as an incredibly successful and intelligent businessman, the biggest real estate developer in New York City (had to be true, it was on TV, right?). The show was a hit, and boosted the Trump brand. The show’s producers created his persona and sold his image to America. How did they create a reality TV president?

More:

“The Inside Story of How ‘The Apprentice’ Rescued Donald Trump,” Michael Kranish,Marc Fisher, Fortune

“How Reality TV Made Donald Trump President,” Joy Lanzendorfer, Vice

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Trump Praises Congressman Who Body-Slammed a Reporter

September 12, 2018

Trump Praises Congressman Who Body-Slammed a Reporter

Remember when Montana GOP congressional candidate Greg Gianforte body-slammed a reporter to the ground and punched him, was convicted of a misdemeanor and won his special election? He’s campaigning for a full term in Congress, so naturally Donald Trump endorses him:

“I’ll tell you what: This man has fought — in more ways than one — for your state. He has fought for your state. Greg Gianforte. He is a fighter and a winner.”

More:

“President Trump celebrates the body-slam of a reporter in Montana,” Eric Wemple, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Hail and Farewell: Village Voice, 1955 — 2018

September 4, 2018
Hail and Farewell: Village Voice, 1955 -- 2018

Last print cover, 9/20/17. The digital edition ended on 8/31/18. 1965 photo by Fred McDarrah.

New York’s Village Voice, regarded as America’s first alternative newsweekly, ended its digital edition on August 31st. The last paper edition was printed last year. The Voice was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, the National Press Foundation Award, and the George Polk Award. Writers included Henry Miller, Barbara Garson, Katherine Anne Porter, James Baldwin, E.E. Cummings, Jonas Mekas, Andrew Sarris, Nelson George, Greg Tate, Tom Stoppard, Lorraine Hansberry, Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, and Allen Ginsberg.

More:

“The Village Voice, a New York Icon, Closes,” By Tyler Pager and Jaclyn Peiser, New York Times

“The Village Voice has been shut down,” Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

“Iconic NYC Weekly ‘Village Voice’ Shutters After 63 Years,” Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

“It Took a Village: How the Voice changed journalism,” Louis Menand, The New Yorker

“Billionaire Village Voice owner tells staff he’s closing the paper because it doesn’t earn enough,” Emily Q. Hazzard, ThinkProgress

“The Village Voice’s Magic Mirror,” Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker

“Last Rites for the Village Voice, a Bohemian Who Stayed On Too Long,” Tricia Romano, New York Times

Update:

“What the ‘Village Voice’ Understood About the Power of Photography,”Tamar Carroll and Joshua Meltzer, CityLab

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WHCD Comic Didn’t Insult Sarah Sanders’ Looks, Just Her Lies

May 2, 2018

Someone who never saw the comedian’s act booked Michelle Wolf for the White House Correspondents Dinner, and right now that talent booker is probably looking for a new job. True to form, Ms. Wolf flamed the media and the public figures who are the White House correspondents’ meal ticket. Oddly, it was this relatively light toasting of Sarah Huckabee Sanders that caused the greatest uproar:

“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

Critics saw it as a gratuitous slam at Ms. Sanders’ looks, which it wasn’t. Why would they think that?

  1. Because that’s the kind of thing that critics expected, Sarah being a woman and all; and
  2. A combination of room echo and Ms. Wolf’s casual enunciation allowed some in the room to hear the word “facts” as “fat” (see #1); and
  3. Men in the audience didn’t recognize the allusion to a Maybelline “smokey eye” ad campaign.

Another joke likening Sarah Sanders to the Aunt Lydia character of the “Handmaiden’s Tale,” the enforcer of the patriarchy’s enslavement of women, was seen as a comparison to the physical appearance of the middle-aged actress who plays her.

The Michelle Wolf gag that really skewered the heart of America’s media, though, was this:

“You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you used to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric, but he has helped you.

He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off him. And if you’re going to profit off Trump, you should at least give him some money, because he doesn’t have any.”

Even in past years, when the White House Correspondents Dinner was a politician- and celebrity-infested “nerd prom,” the hoopla of the annual dinner overshadowed the event’s purpose, raising money for journalism student scholarships. Maybe next year’s WHCD (if it happens) will eschew comedy and feature singing, juggling, or mime.

More:

“Since when did ‘perfect smokey eye’ become an insult, America?” Jean Hannah Edelstein, The Guardian

“No, Michelle Wolf Didn’t Joke About Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s Looks,” Jen Chaney, Vulture

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‘Local’ News: Sinclair’s Soldiers in Trump’s War on Media

April 3, 2018

Nearly 200 TV stations across America are owned by a single company, the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Headquartered in the Baltimore area, the firm is owned by the conservative Smith brothers (no, not them), David, Frederick, J. Duncan, and Robert. Sinclair Broadcast HQ forced local news anchors at its stations to read a script echoing Donald Trump’s dismissal of major media as ‘fake.’ Videos from Think Progress and Deadspin (above) capture the scope of this truly phony ‘local’ editorial item. Right-wing rival Fox News said the Sinclair TV anchors “looked like hostage victims.”

Sinclair’s $3.9 billion deal to buy an additional 42 TV stations from Tribune Media is awaiting FCC and antitrust review. If approved, Sinclair broadcasts could reach 72% of American households.

More:

“How America’s Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump’s War On The Media,” Timothy Burke, Deadspin

“As Sinclair’s sound-alike anchors draw criticism for ‘fake news’ promos, Trump praises broadcaster.” Paul Farhi, Washington Post

“CNN: Local Sinclair Staff Trash Must-Run ‘Propaganda’ Segments,” Matt Shuham, TPM Livewire

“Sinclair Chairman Claims Entire Print Media Has ‘No Credibility,’” Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine

“Sinclair-owned TV station chooses not to air media bias promo,” Avery Anapol, The Hill

“Public Shaming Won’t Stop Sinclair,” April Glaser, Slate

“The nation’s biggest conservative broadcaster is putting words in its anchors’ mouths. Critics blame the FCC.” Brian Fung, Washington Post

Related:

“Local news hurt by broadcast media conglomerate,” Chloe Reichel, Journalist’s Resource

“Sinclair says asking news directors for PAC contributions isn’t a conflict of interest,” Al Tompkins, Poynter

Update:

“‘It borders on a regulatory fraud,” Margaret Harding McGill, Politico

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White House Admits It’s a Reality Show

February 12, 2018

White House Admits It's a Reality Show

On the Celebrity Big Brother TV show, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman made critical comments about President Donald Trump and her time in the West Wing. White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah noted that Manigault Newman first met Mr. Trump while she was a contestant on NBC’s The Apprentice:

“Omarosa was fired three times on The Apprentice, and this was the fourth time we let her go.”

More:

“On ‘Big Brother,’ America Gets the Reality-TV Politics It Deserves,” James Poniewozik, New York Times

Related:

“Omarosa Was Reportedly Fired for Abusing the White House Car Service,” Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut

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Image (“Trump on TV, with apologies to Dalton Avalos Ramirez“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Best of ‘The Best of 2017′ Lists

December 19, 2017

The Best of ‘The Best of 2017′ Lists
2017 “Year-In-Review” lists you may have missed:

“The Best Metal Albums Of 2017,” Doug Moore, Stereogum

“The Best Snowshoes of 2017,” Outside

“10 Worst Business Names of 2017,” Emily Canal, Inc.com

“Top-10 Hip-Hop Sneaker Collabs Of 2017,” Kyle Rooney, HotNewHipHop

“The Best Philosophy Books of 2017,” Nigel Warburton, FiveBooks.com

“Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2017,” Kottke.org

“The 15 Best Comics of 2017,” io9

“The 10 Best Ads of 2017,” Tim Nudd, Ad Week

“2017 Top 10 New Species,” ESF International Institute for Species Exploration

“Silicon Valley’s Worst Apologies of 2017,” Melanie Ehrenkranz, Gizmodo

“Biggest Celebrity Breakups of 2017,” ETonline

“9 Most Hated Soap Opera Couples Of 2017,” Dorathy Gass, Fame10.com

“The Best Art of 2017,” Roberta Smith, Holland Cotter, Jason Farago, New York Times

“The 10 Best Graphic Novels Of 2017,” Rob Salkowitz, Forbes

“The Most 2017 Photos Ever,” Alan Taylor, The Atlantic

“Instagram’s Favorite New Yorker Cartoons of 2017,” Emma Allen, The New Yorker

“27 Best Moments For Women in 2017,” Hannah Smothers, Cosmopolitian

“The Best Stories By Women In 2017,” Kaitlin Cawley, Margaret Wheeler Johnson, and Gaby Moss, Bustle

“Top 10 moments for women’s rights in 2017,” Global Fund for Women

“10 Best WWE Women’s Wrestlers Of 2017,” WhatCulture

“The worst fashion fads of 2017,” Janine Puhak, Fox News

“2017: 10 of the Year’s Top Fashion Lawsuits,” The Fashion Law

“The 10 Design Trends Of 2017 That Need To Die,” Diana Budds, FastCoDesign

“The 12 best architecture controversies of 2017,” Architect’s Newspaper

“16 Of The Most Amazing Celebrity Eyebrow Transformations Of 2017,” Julie Gerstein, Buzzfeed

“The Top 10 Science Stories of 2017,” Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American

“The Most Significant Science Setbacks of 2017,” Kristen V. Brown, Gizmodo

“Top 10 weird science stories of 2017,” Australian Science Media Centre

“The Biggest Junk Science of 2017,” Real Clear Science

“The 50 Biggest Pop Culture Food Moments of 2017,” Andrew Parks, Food & Wine

“14 of the most atrocious fast food creations from 2017,” Jennifer Machin, Mashable

“The top Google searches of 2017,” Axios

“Top 10 NHL bloopers of 2017,” Kyle Cantlon, Yahoo Sports

“The 10 Worst Data Breaches of 2017,” Adam Stone, Security Magazine

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