Escaping Minimal Selves and Entertainment Cliches Through Twitter

From Paul Rosenberg at OpenLeft I headed over to Salon and Heather Havrilesky commenting on NBCs new television series “The Event”. The real problem is, we don’t care because there clearly isn’t any larger meaning guiding the action, and the only thing we know about each character is that he/she totally loves his/her fiancĂ©/wife/husband/children sooo much that he/she would do anything to keep them safe. In a country where many viewers don’t have a lot of thoughtful or idealistic notions outside of a “love of family” – worthy though this love obviously is – this is what passes for character development and premise, over and over again.

I Feel Like I've Been Here Before - On The Social Network

To begin with: I liked the movie. I’ve liked most of the movies that David Fincher has made and I think that he’s one of the best directors working currently in Hollywood. But…there was something that bothered me. We’ve been here before. I’ve seen the same story again and again in Hollywood productions about Silicon Valley, magazines profiles of big businessmen, puff pieces for any and every magazine you can remember reading or not.

American Way of Death

I went to a funeral for my neighbor, Mary, on Friday. I estimate there were 80 people present. As I listened to the eulogy I was struck by the different feelings I had at the funeral and watching the Michael Jackson burial last month. Joe Bagent already wrote a rant about the system for me. “It’s only a system,” I told myself during the 24⁄7 blanket coverage of Michael Jackson’s corpse, deeply suspicious that that so many millions of Americans were really distraught over the loss of this weirdly mutated media flesh puppet.

Citizen Media Camp

The people that brought us MinneBar hosted a Public Radio Barcamp at the offices of Minnesota Public Radio today. Bob Collins, one of MPR’s star bloggers, liveblogged the conference on News Cut. I won’t duplicated his efforts by describing what happened but it was an exciting experiment in opening the black box of journalism up for the public, or at least for those interested enough to act. There was a lot of synergy between the two groups working on user-generated content and Nuevo Radio.

Elsewhere - a media idea

What I’d like to see in a half hour media news program, or even ten minute news program. First, if the story is being reported on by any other major news outlet than we ignore it, for the most part. Fighting in Israel, earthquake in China, cyclone in Myanmar, are all stories we leave to others. Second, focus on summarizing the international news for an American audience. What happened in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America today, each and every day.

Media Cliches - a letter to NPR Day to Day

I listened to your story about rising gas prices this afternoon and was disappointed by your coverage. It was filled with cliches and lack of creativity. I have heard man-at-the-pump interviews for the past 6 months. It is time for journalists to come up with a new way of covering this story. Could you not interview an economist or some other expert? Hell, I’d even listen to a public relations person from an oil company if I could be guaranteed that I would not have to hear another man-at-the-pump interview.

National Conference on Media Reform, Final Report

I left off my NCMR coverage after yesterdays midday report. Saturday afternoon started off with my late entry to a history session looking back at some of the big media reform successes of the past. Randall Pinkston talked about his rise to become the first black weekday anchor in the South during the late 1960s and early 1970s. They showed part of a documentary about the WLBT struggle, a lengthy effort to get the station’s license revoked by proving racial bias.

Coverage of NCMR2008

Here are a few blog entries I found through Google Blog Search and Technorati. Girlmedia Maven on Bill Moyers and the missing female voices and the power of collaboration. Harold making fun of Bill O’Reilly at WetMachine. Funferal on the keynote and grassroots organizing. BitchPhD on copyright and fair use LocalMN with some in-depth panel coverage. PF Hyper covering Minneapolist WiFi and the opening Listics with some short comments. Uppity Wisconsin also has some interesting notes and praise for Bill Moyers.

National Conference on Media Reform - Day 1, Part 1

Up early this morning to get into town in time for the 8a.m. plenary talk by Bill Moyers. Moyers has spoken at all four NCMRs to date, hosts a rocking show on PBS and spoke eloquently today about the abdication of responsibility by the dominant media over the last 8 years plus. Some great quotes: “the 4th estate has become a 5th column against democracy”; “capitalism breeds destruction unless tempered by an intuition of equality.

National Conference on Media Reform - Day 1

I went down to the Minneapolis Convention Center for day 1 of the National Conference on Media reform this afternoon. I skipped the Larry Lessig morning plenary and arrived at about 1 p.m. I wandered through the displays in the ballroom, ate half an over-priced burrito and then headed for the first afternoon panel session. Panel 1 - Free Speech in the 21st Century Josh Wolf kicked things off with his account of being imprisoned for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in 2006.