The Turkish protests of the last two weeks have seen the rise of citizen journalists using social media to tell the story. Early on mainstream Turkish broadcast media paid no attention to the demonstrations. Turkish journalist and Al-Monitor columnist Tulin Daloglu explains why. Daloglu runs the Twitter feed @turkeypulse.
This week saw several revelations about US government surveillance of both Americans and foreigners. Brooke and Bob talk to Washingtonian writer Shane Harris and co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, Elizabeth Goitein, about the what we can glean from the information that became public this week.
Next week, Iran is holding its first presidential election since the one in 2009 that sparked the protests in the street known as the Green Revolution. The Iranian government is hoping to avoid a repeat of what it saw in 2009, in part by restricting the free flow of information in the country. Bob speaks to Golnaz Esfandiari, a senior correspondent for Radio Free Europe and editor of the Persian Letters blog, about what the Iranian media landscape is looking like in the run up to the election.
What if your email service could tell you, before you even press send, just how aggressive or angry your email is? In an interview from September of last year, Bob talks to Josh Merchant, CTO and co-founder of Lymbix, a Canadian software company whose program ToneCheck promises emotional spell-check for overheated emailers.
JD Samson & Men - Life's Half Price
Creating an interesting comment space can take a lot of time and energy. In an interview from December, 2011, Bob speaks to The Atlantic senior editor and blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates about his approach to internet comments and his own heavily moderated comment section.
There's a small group of men and women - "Deciders" - at big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter who make decisions everyday about what offensive speech is pulled from their sites. The huge scale of those sites gives those Deciders enormous influence over the state of free speech on the web. Bob speaks with George Washington University Law professor Jeffrey Rosen, who wrote about the Deciders and their many decisions in The New Republic.
Journalist Paul Lukas runs a website called Uni Watch, which has a fairly active cadre of commenters, including at least one relentless troll. To his surprise, when Lukas asked the troll for an interview, the troll agreed. Bob talks to Lukas about his six year relationship with his website's most persistent, most creative troll.
How do you get to Nashville's famed Bluebird Cafe, the launch pad of dozens of country music's biggest stars? If you're Bob Garfield - and you're trying to make it big in country music in less than 36 hours - "practice, practice, practice" is not an option. Luckily, Bob has chutzpah, and a brilliant song, just waiting for a record exec to bite. In this piece from 1996, Bob goes on a journey to pen the next country music hit.
To hear the full piece, click here.
In covering acts of terror, like the gruesome Woolwich killing last week in London, how should the press report the story without giving those responsible the overwhelming amount of attention they seek? Bob considers the British media's coverage of the Woolwich attack and the decision by most British outlets to air the video of one suspect's diatribe.
Jim James - All Is Forgiven
The name George Plimpton is synonymous with a kind of all-in participatory journalism. Plimpton played quarterback for the Detroit Lions and triangle for the New York Philharmonic, and was badly beaten in the ring by boxer Archie Moore. Bob talks to Luke Poling, one of the creators of the new documentary Plimpton!, about who George Plimpton was and how he got that way.
In 1863, New York Tribune reporters Junius Browne and Albert Richardson were captured by the Confederate army in Vicksburg, Mississippi. What followed was an epic journey through an archipelago of Confederate prisons, a daring escape, and a perilous 300-mile trek to freedom. It's the subject of the book, Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy: a Civil War Odyssey, due out at the end of the month. Author Peter Carlson takes Bob through the highs and lows of the adventure.
Music: Jim Taylor - Bonaparte's Retreat / Bonaparte's Charge / Bonaparte's March, Eastman Wind Ensemble - Liverpool Hornpipe, Craig Duncan - Dixie, Judy Collins - Battle Hymn of the Republic, Craig Duncan - Shiloh's Hill
This week saw the resignation of two prominent IRS officials after it was confirmed that the agency targeted conservative nonprofit political groups during the 2012 election. The departures were at least a partial victory for conservative bloggers. They’ve been covering the story for over a year, and they’ve been mostly alone. The Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone tells Bob about the story’s winding path, starting with its origin in the right-wing blogosphere.
For as long as the newspaper industry has existed, people have been prognosticating about what it would look like in the future. Matt Novak, the author of the Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog, speaks with Bob about these predictions - some of which have been much more accurate than others.
A company called Aereo is delivering real-time network TV on the internet with a novel technical setup which has drawn the legal wrath of all the major networks. Bob speaks Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia about how the company plans to make money in the face of legal threats from some of the most powerful media companies in the country.
On May 7, 2012, the Associated Press published an article about a Yemen-based terror plot that was thwarted by the C.I.A. Around that time, the Justice Department began collecting the phone records of several A.P. reporters across the country, without the organization’s knowledge. Bob Garfield, co-host of On the Media, explores the fallout.
After years of hemorrhaging money from piracy, the music industry placed its faith in online subscription services like Spotify and Pandora. But a decade on, streaming music appears to be a triumph of hope over experience. Tim Carmody, senior writer for The Verge, says that streaming services and the music industry are clinging to the belief that profitability is ... just over the next hill.
Vitamin String Quartet - Champagne Supernova
As audiences for media splinter and advertising with it, how will the journalism concerns that we've grown to know and love keep the lights on? Bob talks to Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian, Mike Perlis of Forbes, M. Scott Havens of The Atlantic, Erin Pettigrew of Gawker, Evan Smith of The Texas Tribune, Richard Toffel of ProPublica and Pam Horan of the Online Publishers Association about all the ways they're striving mightily to keep journalism financially viable.
John Lennon - Imagine (Instrumental)
In July of 2010, a catastrophic oil spill took place in Marshall, Michigan, flooding a million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo river. At the time, the media paid it little attention, distracted perhaps by the more dramatic Deepwater Horizon oil disaster that was just winding down in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a new documentary, The Kill Team, director Dan Krauss tells the story of the group of US soldiers convicted of murdering unarmed Afghan civilians. The documentary looks at the roles played by not one, but two soldier-whistleblowers. Krauss talks to Bob about the moral ambiguities of the story and the difficulty of doing the right thing in a war zone.
The Boston bombing has become a Rorschach blot for the media, who have tied it to everything from immigration to welfare to national security. Bob talks to The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart about the media and the culture's desire to impose meaning on tragedy.