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  • Jeff Bezos' radical vision for the Washington Post
  • After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination.

Michael Meyer, Columbia Journalism Review

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meyer-opener-goldbricks.jpg Andrew B. Myers 

June 26, 2014 | In April, six months after her family sold the newspaper it had controlled for eight decades to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth walked onstage in the paper’s auditorium to reverse what had been the signature strategy of her six years at the helm. Since she was named publisher in February 2008, a year the newspaper division of The Washington Post Company declared a loss of $193 million, Weymouth had sought to codify the Post’s identity as a paper “For and about Washington.” While touted as a strategy to leverage the Post’s brand of national politics reporting in the digital era, “For and about Washington” was, in the grand tradition of Beltway wordsmithing, a phrase meant to put a positive spin on a period of retrenchment. 

As a practical matter, “For and about Washington” meant the Post no longer covered stories beyond its circulation area unless they had a direct link to political Washington or a federal government interest. Exceptions were made for impossible-to-ignore events, like school shootings and other catastrophes, but all domestic bureaus were closed and correspondents were called home. Digital growth was certainly a goal, but the deeper logic of the strategy was that the relative value of a print subscriber trumped that of a digital subscriber. Print continued to provide the vast majority of the paper’s revenue, and newsroom employees were told repeatedly by Weymouth and her deputy, Post president and general manager Steve Hills, that preserving this revenue stream was the organization’s central priority and hope for continued solvency. Digital growth was encouraged to the extent that it fit with the goal of continuing to be the dominant news outlet in the DC region. In fact, the Post achieved impressive digital growth and a major increase in its national audience under this strategy. But it was all achieved under the banner of narrowing ambitions, and no amount of Pulitzer Prizes or popular new blogs or experimental infusions of digital stem cells could make up for this paradox. 

Michael Meyer is a Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) staff writer.

Full story … 

Related:

Iraq War Boosters Get Second Chance In Media Spotlight, Michael Calderone, Huffington Post

  • This is the American corporate media at its perpetual game, manipulating public opinion as always, against the public interest-- favoring transnational corporations and transnational investors who don't give a damn about this country, or anything beyond their profits.
  • Report from Iraq: U.S. Invasion in 2003 Helped Set Path for Crisis Pulling Nation Apart

 

Section(s): 

A summer of action to save the Internet

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  • Major telecom and cable companies are seeking unprecedented control over what you can see and say online. The FCC is accepting public comments on this critical issue. 
  • Tell them where you stand!

Todd O'Boyle, Common Cause

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May 27, 2014 | The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is deciding the future of the Internet over the next couple of months. Major telecom and cable companies are seeking unprecedented control over what you can see and say online.

If the FCC's plan to allow fast lanes for the few goes forward, the rest of us will suffer. Wealthy corporations will pay to move their online content at top speed, consigning nonprofit, independent and dissenting voices to the slow lane. 

The Internet is America's public square. Anything short of a free and fully open Internet will hurt our democracy. 

action-1c-2_0.png The FCC is accepting public comments on this critical issue. Tell them where you stand!

More than 3 million people have already taken a stand against online fast lanes, and hundreds recently rallied with this message. And the FCC is hearing us. The agency has opened the door to real net neutrality, but we have to keep the pressure on them to get it right once and for all. 

Whether you're focused on economic, political, environmental or any other public policy issues, you need a healthy informational ecosystem to win friends -- and votes. 

action-1c-2_0.png So speak up. Join us in telling the FCC: we need REAL net neutrality.

Thanks for all you do.

Todd O'Boyle is Common Cause's Program Director for Media and Democracy.

Common Cause: Nonprofit, nonpartisan citizen's lobbying organization promoting open, honest and accountable government.

 

Iraq War Boosters Get Second Chance In Media Spotlight

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  • This is the American corporate media at its perpetual game, manipulating public opinion as always, against the public interest-- favoring transnational corporations and transnational investors who don't give a damn about this country, or anything beyond their profits.
  • Report from Iraq: U.S. Invasion in 2003 Helped Set Path for Crisis Pulling Nation Apart

Michael Calderone, Huffington Post

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Adam Zyglis

06/16/2014 | In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Paul Bremer criticized the Obama administration’s policy in the Middle East and argued that the United States needs to make “a clear commitment to help restabilize Iraq.”

Notably, Bremer’s op-ed -- “Only America Can Prevent a Disaster in Iraq” -- neglected to mention his own role in helping to destabilize Iraq following the Bush administration’s disastrous 2003 invasion. As U.S. presidential envoy to the nation, Bremer disbanded the Iraqi army at the beginning of the occupation, a critical blunder that was followed by years of sectarian violence.

Michael Calderone is the senior media reporter at the Huffington Post.

Full story … 

Related:

Report from Iraq: U.S. Invasion in 2003 Helped Set Path for Crisis Pulling Nation Apart, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

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  • Representative of Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has called on Iraqis to take up arms against what he called "terrorists" who have overrun large swaths of the country. 
  • We go to the city of Najaf to speak to Sami Rasouli, founder and director of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams in Iraq. 
  • Rachel Maddow Warns Against A New American Attack On Iraq

 

 

What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream?

  • An institutional analysis of the mainstream media, including some excerpts on the “propaganda model” from Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman
  • How the US Propaganda System Works

Noam Chomsky, Z Magazine 

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broadcast-networks.png April 23, 2014 | art of the reason why I write about the media is because I am interested in the whole intellectual culture and the part of it that is easiest to study is the media. It comes out every day. You can do a systematic investigation. You can compare yesterday’s version to today’s version. There is a lot of evidence about what’s played up and what isn’t and the way things are structured.

My impression is the media aren’t very different from scholarship or from, say, journals of intellectual opinion—there are some extra constraints—but it’s not radically different. They interact, which is why people go up and back quite easily among them.

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. He is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom. Over the last several decades, Chomsky has championed a wide range of dissident actions, organizations and social movements.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmTy5tt7s2H-B2v-uk10FiiqH6kN32QrX6iaoXvZuxnAPbj5uwFull story … 

Related:

How the US Propaganda System Works, Lawrence Davidson, Consortium News

  • Americans are told that other governments practice censorship and propaganda, but not their own. Yet, the reality is quite different with many reasonable viewpoints marginalized and deceptive spin put on much that comes from officialdom, writes Lawrence Davidson.
  • #BringBackOurCriticalThinking

 

 

In Harm's Way: The Dangers of a World Without Net Neutrality

  • The Internet is one of the greatest things humanity has ever created, and who knows what we’ll be able to do with it next.  Let’s make sure there will always be plenty of room for the unexpected, by making certain no new business or service has to make a special deal to be able to meaningfully connect to users.
  • Take Action to Stop the Attack on Net Neutrality.

April Glaser, Electronic Frontier Foundation

neutrality-3.png June 6, 2014 | Last month the FCC released its proposal for America’s new network neutrality rules. Unfortunately, the agency’s proposal included rules that would permit Internet providers to prioritize certain websites, e.g., make deals with some services for a faster and better path to subscribers. While the FCC claims it is not endorsing such deals, the proposed rules will inevitably be read as exactly that.

The parties most threatened by this kind of network discrimination are those who are trying to make novel and unanticipated uses of the network and who cannot afford payola

April Glaser is a staff activist at EFF, where she focuses on community outreach and blogs about a wide range of digital rights issues. She works directly with community organizations interested in promoting free speech, privacy, and innovation in digital spaces, and she lectures frequently on these topics.

Full story … 

Related:

Take Action to Stop the Attack on Net NeutralityJosh LevyFreePress.net

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Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) has introduced a bill that would prevent the FCC from reclassifying Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon as common carriers. This is the exact opposite of what will protect the open Internet.

 

 

Gun control impotency is another failure of the traditional media

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  • Imagine how different it would be if all news networks covered this story. A country similar to America adopted gun control. Some of its politicians sacrificed themselves for the better good of society by passing substantive gun control laws. After several years the evidence is in. Gun control works. Imagine if we really had a traditional media the nation could actually count on. Our gun control impotency is another failure of the traditional media.
  • The postcard the NRA doesn't want you to send

Egberto Willies, Daily Kos

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white_house_reporters_afraid_to_criticize_the_white_house-460x307.jpg  Jun 01, 2014 |  How bad is the gun violence in America? NPR’s David Schaper covered a story about the impoverished Chicago Englewood neighborhood with a reputation for crime and violence. He was interviewing the co-founder of R.A.G.E (Resident Association of Greater Englewood) Asiaha Butler about community engagement. During the interview gunfire erupted. A bullet struck one man in a vehicle in the head.

Elliot Rodger kills 7 people and terrorizes a neighborhood by indiscriminately shooting as he drives through a neighborhood. At least 80 people were killed by gun violence the week prior to his rampage. The Elliot Rodger massacre made for sensational news and was covered nationally. After all, these were affluent college students. The 80 people killed throughout the nation did not meet that criterion. Shouldn’t killings equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every two weeks be covered nationally?

Egberto Willies is a political activist, author, political blogger, radio show host, business owner, software developer, web designer, and mechanical engineer in Kingwood, TX. Egberto is an ardent Liberal that believes tolerance is essential. His favorite phrase is “political involvement should be a requirement for citizenship”. 

Full story … 

Related:

The postcard the NRA doesn't want you to send, Andy Kelley, Digital Programs Manager, Democracy for America 

  • In the wake of the tragic shooting at UC Santa Barbara this past weekend, Democracy for America is standing with our friends at Everytown for Gun Safety and with all those working to reduce gun violence and make our streets and homes into safer places for our families. 
  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/In that spirit, we wanted to share with you this simple action you can take to let your elected officials know that you will no longer tolerate inaction when it comes to gun safety. Read the message from John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, below.
  • NRA’s constitutional fraud: The truth behind the “right to bear arms”
  • How the NRA Enables Massacres

Section(s): 

Take Action to Stop the Attack on Net Neutrality.

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Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) has introduced a bill that would prevent the FCC from reclassifying Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon as common carriers. This is the exact opposite of what will protect the open Internet.

Josh Levy, FreePress.net

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https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.freepress.net/outreach/May 30, 2014 Support for Net Neutrality is building — in the streets, in Congress, in Silicon Valley and at kitchen tables around the country. But the more traction it gets, the more vicious the attacks on the open Internet have become.

Enter Rep. Bob Latta who has just introduced a bill (H.R. 4752)1 that would stop the FCC from taking the necessary step to protect real Net Neutrality. It's a move that borders on insulting and actually forbids the FCC from doing what millions of people, companies, innovators, artists and organizations have been urging it to do: reclassify broadband providers as common carriers.

Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg Tell Congress to say no to this toxic bill.

Reclassification is the only way to stop companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from creating fast and slow lanes online. If the FCC fails to take this simple step — or if it's restricted from doing so — the Internet as we know it could be lost. That's exactly what AT&T, Comcast and Verizon want. These companies are paying good money to make sure Congress does their bidding.

Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg Tell Congress: A vote for this bill is a vote against the open Internet.

In Washington, the only thing more powerful than lobbyists' cash is the united voice of the people. Let's stop this thing in its tracks.

Josh, Candace, Misty and the rest of the Free Press Action Fund team

Reference: H.R.4752: To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to limit the authority of the Federal Communications Commission over providers of broadband Internet access service: http://act.freepress.net/go/16045?t=9&akid=4795.8906785.HK8D0W

P.S.: Does this image look familiar? It should ... it's the same one we used the last time Congress tried to destroy Net Neutrality years ago. We won then and we can win again, but we need your help.

Josh Levy leads Free Press’ campaigns to restore Net Neutrality, stop government and corporate surveillance, curb media consolidation and promote press freedom. Before joining Free Press, Josh was the managing editor of Change.org.

 

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