Our weekly roundup of news found at the intersection of media, politics, policy and technology, from the Shorenstein Center and from around the web.
This Week at the Shorenstein Center
Exploring the Role of Algorithms in Online Harmful Speech. Online harmful speech — from harassment and cyber-bullying to terrorist recruitment and media manipulation — is a growing focus of academic research and government regulation. A recent workshop hosted by the Shorenstein Center and the Berkman Klein Center explored the nature of harmful speech, the role of online platforms in moderating it, and more. Read a summary of the discussions.
This week should put the nail in the coffin for ‘both sides’ journalism. Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post writes about false equivalency in the media, citing Shorenstein Center research on news coverage of Trump, and concludes that “The best way to be fair is not to be falsely evenhanded, giving equal weight to unequal sides. It’s to push for the truth, and tell it both accurately and powerfully.”
News from Faculty, Fellows, and Students
The Trumpian threat to freedom of the press. Marvin Kalb, former Shorenstein Center director, argues that President Trump’s “style of governance could be called creeping authoritarianism.”
Charlottesville Casts Shadow Over Debate. Khalil G. Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, participated in a panel about economics and social justice, and discussed how “issues of economics and race are inextricably linked.”
Looking at the record of the Sinclair Broadcast Group megamerger. Tom Wheeler, incoming Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow, writes that “conservative media outlets have raised what are usually liberal concerns about a huge new broadcast outlet squeezing out the market for independent voices.”
The Influence of Conservative Media. How is conservative media influencing and being influenced by politics, and how has it changed since the rise of Donald Trump? Jackie Calmes, spring 2015 fellow, discussed her Shorenstein Center research on Minnesota Public Radio on August 8. Download the podcast.
The world has already seen ‘fire and fury.’ Ted Gup, fall 2003 fellow, writes about his encounters with a Hiroshima survivor and a lieutenant who “wrote the book on nuclear weapons for the Air Force,” and compares them to the president’s “resounding ignorance of history.”
The Low U.S. Unemployment Rate Should Not Be Celebrated. HKS student Haiyang Zhang writes about how the unemployment rate “offers an incomplete picture of the labor market,” in the Kennedy School Review.
- ‘It’s so horrific’: What local journalists saw in Charlottesville, from Poynter.
- Photographer behind graphic Charlottesville image recounts near-death experience, from Columbia Journalism Review.
- Journalists show range of emotions after Trump presser, from CNN.
- Journalists Should Speak Out Against Discrimination, from the SPJ Ethics Committee Blog.
- Getting Racial Nuance Right after Charlottesville, from Nieman Reports.
- How to describe extremists who rallied in Charlottesville, from Associated Press.
- Newsonomics: Lessons for the news media from Charlottesville, from Nieman Lab.
- New Media and the Messy Nature of Reporting on the Alt-Right, from
- It is time to stop using the term ‘alt right,’ from Columbia Journalism Review.
- The focal point: White supremacy, from the Harvard Gazette.
Online Platforms and Hate Groups
- Charlottesville is reshaping the fight against online hate, from The Verge.
- Neo-Nazi site moves to dark web after GoDaddy and Google bans, from The Verge.
- No Nazis Allowed. From Slate.
- Apple denounces neo-Nazis as Spotify bans ‘white power’ tracks, from The Guardian.
- Democrats and Republicans speak different languages — and it helps explain why we’re so divided, from Business Insider.
- Lessons on overcoming polarization from Bowling Green and Ohio County, Kentucky, from Columbia Journalism Review.
- Partisan Right-Wing Websites Shaped Mainstream Press Coverage Before 2016 Election, Berkman Klein Study Finds, from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
- Inside The Partisan Fight For Your News Feed, from BuzzFeed News.
- News or opinion? Online, it’s hard to tell, from Poynter.
- Down the Breitbart Hole, from The New York Times Magazine.
- How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation, from The New York Times.
- Conservative Media Voices Line Up Against Trump-Friendly Sinclair’s Purchase Of Tribune, from Huffington Post.
- The slippery slope of the oligarchy media model, from The Conversation.
- Why Amazon is Poised to Kick the Media Industry’s Ass, from MediaShift.
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