Our weekly roundup of news found at the intersection of media, politics, policy and technology, from the Shorenstein Center and from around the web. Sign up to receive Media and Politics Must Reads in your inbox each week. Also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.
This week at the Shorenstein Center
The Washington Post‘s Elizabeth Bruenig on Religion, Politics, and the Left. Elizabeth Bruenig, Washington Post columnist, discussed the role of Christianity in U.S. politics, President Trump’s appeal among evangelicals, and more.
News from Faculty, Fellows, and Students
How to Monitor Fake News. Tom Wheeler, Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow, writes, “The Mueller investigation is shining a welcome light on the Kremlin’s covert activity, but there is no similar effort to shine a light on the social media algorithms that helped the Russians spread their messages. There needs to be. This effort should begin by ‘opening up’ the results of the algorithms.”
Russia’s Election Interference Is Digital Marketing 101. Dipayan Ghosh, Joan Shorenstein Fellow, writes, “While Facebook, Google, and Twitter are now taking steps to identify and block ads purchased by foreign agents and shut down these attempts to push fabricated news, the underlying machine of the ad tech market will, theoretically, accelerate users’ consumption of all but the most egregious content.”
On gun violence, we are a failed state. E.J. Dionne Jr., former William H. Bloomberg Visiting Professor, writes, “The surest sign a political regime is failing is its inability to do anything about a problem universally seen as urgent that has some obvious remedies.”
After the Florida school shooting, child soldiers are fighting the war over guns. Melinda Henneberger, spring 2013 fellow, writes, “These kids are over political parties before they’ve even had a chance to vote for one of them, and why wouldn’t they be?”
“Black Panther” and the Invention of “Africa.” Jelani Cobb, A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence, writes, “In Ryan Coogler’s ‘Black Panther,’ the hero and his antagonist are essentially duelling responses to five centuries of African exploitation at the hands of the West.”
The Dangers of Amazon’s Dominance. Diane Francis, fall 2005 fellow, writes, “Amazon is on its way to becoming the next Standard Oil, amassing inordinate market power to set the terms by which goods are bought and sold in the United States.”
The trolls are unleashed. What are social media companies doing about it? Renée Loth, fall 2011 fellow, writes, “An underlying revelation in Mueller’s indictment is the shocking lack of critical thinking among Americans who are duped by the sham posts.”
When Immigrants Were Welcomed. Jim Sleeper, fall 1998 fellow, writes, “Now that the Senate has failed once again to produce an immigration bill that the president might sign, it’s time for those of us who’d rather welcome newcomers and deport xenophobes to rediscover an old and, for many progressives, scary word: ‘Americanization.’”
The Kennedy School Review, a student publication, has published its first podcast, an interview with a student who served as a Field Director for the Bernie Sanders campaign in Michigan.
Reporting on Parkland
- In Parkland, journalism students take on role of reporter and survivor, from Columbia Journalism Review.
- The stories we should be writing after the Parkland shooting, from Columbia Journalism Review.
- When the media cover mass shootings, would depicting the carnage make a difference? From The Conversation.
- Right-Wing Media Uses Parkland Shooting as Conspiracy Fodder, from The New York Times.
- YouTube and Facebook promoted a right-wing conspiracy about a Florida shooting survivor, from Business Insider.
- After Florida School Shooting, Russian ‘Bot’ Army Pounced, from The New York Times.
Russian Election Interference
- Separating fact from flak in coverage of the Mueller investigation, from Columbia Journalism Review.
- How Much Did Russian Interference Affect The 2016 Election? From FiveThirtyEight.
- Did Russia Affect the 2016 Election? It’s Now Undeniable, from Wired.
- To Stir Discord in 2016, Russians Turned Most Often to Facebook, from The New York Times.
- Media companies have a fake follower Twitter problem, too, from Quartz.
- On Social Media, Lax Enforcement Lets Impostor Accounts Thrive, from The New York Times.