Media Category

Danny Schechter Was Our News Dissector
(editor’s note: I had the good fortune of meeting and very briefly working with Danny Schechter in the early 2000’s at New College of California when we consulted on a project to redevelop the curriculum for the Media Studies Program. The author of this article, John Nichols knew Schechter very well and understood the importance of his work and writes an obituary that gives Schechter the credit he deserves for his work in media studies, media criticism and activism. Nichols is co-founder along with Robert McChesney of Free Press.) ItRead More
People who frequent Facebook and other social media networks took notice last month when the news broke that Facebook “Trust Engineers” had created a human behavior laboratory using real-time users to try and modify their feedback without their knowledge. This story created a brief uproar when it broke. WNYC’s Radiolab, a breakthrough experimental journalism podcast group uncovers the social engineering project and takes you behind the scenes for a glimpse at what many consider to be a scary proposition – that your every move is being watched by someone, somewhereRead More
private equity media investments - illustration by Mark Gould
MARK GOULD, March 18,2015 As the author Matthew Crain points out in his International Journal of Communications article The Rise of Private Equity Media Ownership in the United States: A Public Interest Perspective, most research and public discussion centers around the ownership and policies of corporate media, while there is generally less known about investments in the U.S. media sector by non-corporate financial institutions. While the media environment is a culture dominated by a hyper-capitalist generated ownership system fueled and controlled by mergers, acquisitions, investments and to some extent venture capital, givenRead More
Life In The Fast Lane: You’ll Still Have To Pay For The Privilege Of Accessing The Internet, But For Now The Framework For Net Neutrality and Equal Access Lives On MARK GOULD, MARCH 1, 2015 Have you ever stopped and thought about why it is that free unfettered access to the Internet has been taken away by a few big corporations over the last 15 years, right before your eyes, yet many Americans don’t seem concerned, or even remember how the net got started. So a very brief history lesson might beRead More
by Mark Gould SAN FRANCISCO February 14, 2015 Sometimes you have to look pretty hard to see it, because it’s intentionally camouflaged to fit right into the flow of news on the page. It goes by different names, sponsored content, content marketing, branded content or promoted news, but these days most people in the trade are calling it “native advertising.” The rise of this phenomenon has largely to do with the fact that few people click on banner ads online. Almost everyone recognizes that it’s an ad, and someone wantsRead More
From WNYC, NY – On The Media On the narratives we expect after a terrorist event, double standards for free speech in France, and the eerie technology of Black Mirror’s not-so-distant future.Read More

Posted On January 22, 2015By SFsthetikIn Culture, Internet, Media, Politics

Communication: the Invisible Environment

(editor’s note: Jay Taber is an author, essayist, philosopher and activist among many other pursuits. Taber leads the Public Good Project, a volunteer-run research and education network of activists, analysts, journalists and editors conducting investigative research since 1994.) Commentary JAN 22 2015 by Jay Taber In his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman — American media theorist, humanist and cultural critic — noted that “new technology can never substitute for human values.” In American society today, our social amusements have come to occupy not only our pastimes, butRead More
by Mark Gould At present when it comes to examining issues of race, violence against women and social justice protests for changes in the conduct of some law enforcement officers, traversing the landscape is like wading through a minefield. Just where do we start? There are professional  black athletes, themselves portrayed as a stereotype of male aggression, protesting violence against black men, while a very small minority are themselves accused of violence against women. Some athletes are playing for teams with unpleasant ethnic caricatures for logos and mascots with some teams and leagues notRead More
House Speaker John Boehner released a video yesterday of him and his new toy wind up monkey, a gift given to him by his staff. In the video Mr. Boehner is playing with his cute granddaughters. While awfully cute - the timing of the House being on vacation does raise the more serious question - Should Congress approve a decision to send troops to Syria?Read More
by Mark Gould, Editor – Photosynthesis Media Arts and Theory Journal (republished from my other blog) For a while now, I’ve wanted to write and introduce you to the work of media installation artist Dave Greber, part of the New Orleans based artist collective The Front. David belongs to a group of video artists, experimental cinema producers, writers and other artists who are exploring popular culture and it’s media conduit, exposing the often subliminal propaganda-style messages we are all confronted by every day, and in doing so invites all ofRead More