With the federal government grinding to a halt this week, the specter of false equivalency rose up around the media landscape. The Atlantic’s James Fallows talked to Brooke about his quest to have the media stop over-prizing ‘objectivity’ and start communicating reality.
A look at the media coverage - both here and abroad - of the government shutdown, how social media is recreating the old television viewing experience, and California's attempts to legislate the internet.
The next phase of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect next week with the opening of new health insurance exchanges. Brooke and Bob take a look at the messaging war, from the conservative ads advising people to "opt out," to the Obama administration's push to educate people about the new law, and the media's role in covering this protracted battle.
Bob reads listener responses to producer Sarah Abdurrhaman’s piece“My Detainment Story or: How I learned to Stop Feeling Safe in My Own Country and Hate Border Agents.” Brooke talks to former congressman Lee H. Hamilton, co-author of a recent report calling for reform of the Department of Homeland Security, about how the DHS can, and should, work better.
Terry Bressi is a staff engineer at the University of Arizona's planetary lab. To get to Kitt Peak National Observatory, he must take an east to west running highway, which has an in-country immigration checkpoint. Bressi estimates he’s been stopped over 300 times at immigration checkpoints along this road, which at no point crosses the border, since 2008. Brooke talks with Bressi about how he began videotaping his interactions with the border agents. (The videos have become something of an internet sensation).
Earlier this month, OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman, her family, and her friends were detained for hours by US Customs and Border Protection on their way home from Canada. Everyone being held was a US citizen, and no one received an explanation. Sarah tells the story of their detainment, and her difficulty getting any answers from one of the least transparent agencies in the country.
William Tyler - Country of Illusion
[Hi folks. This piece has been getting a lot of traffic, so we wanted to direct you to more of Sarah's enormously good reporting if you're interested. A nice place to start is her firsthand account of what it was like to coordinate information for anti-Gaddafi rebels, or her profile last month of the newly launched Al-Jazeera America. Or you can just go here for all of her OTM appearances.]
We've decided to bring you a list of best practices that will help you, the media consumer, weed out bad information the next time an event like this takes place.
Last week the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project released a report stating that 74 percent of adult smart phone owners use their phones to get information based on their current location. As more websites and applications start picking up on this trend by launching mobile geo-navigation applications, Brooke talks to geographer Jim Thatcher about what data these apps are taking from our locations, and how is that data being used?
Night Thoughts - John Zorn
As eyeballs continue to shift from TV to streaming online video, it remains doubtful that digital ad dollars will ever rival their analog predecessors. Meanwhile, companies like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube continue to experiment with subscription and advertising models. Brooke sits down with Peter Kafka of All Things Digital, to ask him what the future holds for shows like Mad Men, and for YouTube stars like Ryan Higa.
This year has seen big crowd-funding successes, as films by Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and actor Zach Braff were put into production based on pledges from fans. Brooke talks crowdfunding past and future with Roman Mars, host of the show 99% Invisible, who used Kickstarter to fund his third season.
Citizen King - Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)
Niero Gonzalez is the founder of a video gaming site called Destructoid. As the site's readers increased, advertising revenue leveled off and Gonzalez soon realized that almost half of his tech-savvy readers were using ad-blocker software. So he asked his readers "what now?" Brooke talks to Gonzalez about his search for new revenue streams.
After its release in 2006, a browser plug-in called AdBlock Plus gained hero status as an open-source effort to save consumers from obnoxious ads. But in 2011, AdBlock Plus began poking holes in its filter, adding a whitelist of "acceptable ads" that it lets through--some of them for a fee. Brooke talks with Till Faida, AdBlock Plus’ managing director, about his company's policy.
5ive Style -- Outta Space Canoe Race
Veracruz, home of the bloody Zeta cartel, is now the most dangerous place in Mexico to be a journalist. Nine journalists have been killed in the last 12 months alone. Brooke travels to Veracruz to talk to journalists about reporting under a constant threat of violence.
Elizabeth - Soy Loca Por Ti
Mexico has an image problem around the world, exacerbated by stories of violence and corruption —not to mention lingering stereotypes from the era of the Frito Bandito. Brooke talks to a number of people grappling with Mexico's image problem.
Paco de Lucia & Rámon Algeciras - Cielito Lindo
News outlets are cutting back more and more on foreign coverage, even though international events obviously have profound effects domestically. Brooke talks to MIT's Ethan Zuckerman, author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection about the past and future of foreign reporting, and how he would like to do away with the term "foreign news" altogether.
Brooke talks to Mike O’Connor of the Committee to Protect Journalists about the risks that reporters face in a country beset by drug-violence, often targeted at the media.
Patch, AOL's hyper-local reporting site, has announced it is cutting its staff of 1,100 nearly in half. Brooke talks with the Wall Street Journal's Keach Hagey about what this means for local reporting and about AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's snap firing of an employee during a Patch-wide conference call.
Reporter Paul Salopek has filed stories from all over the world, but never like he is right now. Since January, Salopek has been on what he calls the “Out of Eden Walk,” a 21,000 mile trek, on foot, which began in East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, will end seven years from now in Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of South America. Brooke talks to Salopek about why he's chosen to report this way, and his milestones so far.
Jenny Scheinman - A Ride With Polly Jean
The first time Edward Snowden wanted to leak information to Glenn Greenwald it didn't go so well -- Greenwald was stymied by the security requirements Snowden demanded before communicating sensitive information online. Brooke talks with journalist Peter Maass about the documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and how Snowden ended up securely communicating with her.
The way Edward Snowden communicated with the Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, the journalists who eventually wrote stories based on his NSA leaks, was by using encryption software. One of the most popular forms of encryption is called PGP, or "Pretty Good Privacy." Brooke talks to Gawker staff writer Adrian Chen about trying to set up PGP on his computer and how it should be the baseline for national security reporters.
Modest Mouse - Here It Comes