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Stuart Carlson | Creating a Wingnut / Slate.com

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Less Is Not More

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  • Why do newspapers alienate their most loyal readers?
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  • The American Media Misdiagnosis
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  • Save the Press
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Lisa Anderson, Columbia Journalism Review

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Will Shapira

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When my son’s first college roommate turned out to be from Chicago, I was delighted. His family had long subscribed to the Chicago Tribune, where I worked. I thought it gave us an immediate connection. Less than two months later, they unsubscribed. This was shortly after a drastic redesign at the paper in September 2008. The roommate’s family said there was nothing in the Tribune to read anymore.

That wasn’t quite true. There was still plenty of information in the paper. But there were fewer stories, produced by fewer reporters. The stories were relentlessly local and, increasingly, came in the form of charts, graphs, maps, statistics, large fonts, and large photos—a sort of newspaper-Internet-TV amalgam that seemed more like something to be absorbed than read. For the roommate’s family—professional people who wanted sophisticated stories that included the world beyond Chicago—it wasn’t enough.

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The American Media Misdiagnosis, Robert Parry, ConsortiumNews.com
It’s widely agreed that there are a number of factors dragging down American newspapers, but a reason rarely mentioned is that the national news media failed in its most important job – to serve as a watchdog for the people.

Save the Press, Timothy Egan, New York Times | NY
Those who revel in the life-threatening trauma that newspapers are going through miss the point. People are not deserting these complex and contradictory summaries of our collective existence. It's the business model that needs to be figured out.

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How the Media Created a Monster: Sarah Palin

The preposterous media coverage of the (few) unhappy Hillaryites at the Dem convention—which was aimed not at helping Obama but maintaining interest in the affair and the coming campaign—inspired McCain to select as his running mate someone who would virtually destroy his campaign.

Greg Mitchell, The Nation

It's often said these days that Sarah Palin is a "media creation." That is, the media promote and elevate her as one of America's most popular and influential leaders, even though her approval ratings remain in the tank, by covering every appearance and statement (whether speech or tweet) as if she is the Junior President from Alaska.

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But the "creation" part goes well beyond what's happened since the 2008 campaign to keep her constantly in the public eye. It's my view that she was created by the media even before John McCain picked her as his Veep candidate.

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It fact, it was exactly two years ago this week that a true (if rarely recognized) turning point in the 2008 race for the White House arrived. It came at the Democratic convention in Denver. No, it was not the good vibes about Obama, the ringing speeches by Teddy Kennedy, Michelle Obama, Bill and Hill, or by the candidate himself.

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Franken: Net Neutrality “Biggest Issue Since Freedom of Religion”

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  • “Net Neutrality is the biggest issue since Freedom of Religion, which until last week I thought we had worked out” – Senator Al Franken
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  • Full video of the Minneapolis FCC hearing on August 19 can be found here.
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  • The Internet: Wired to whose advantage?
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The Uptake

Al Franken is the only U.S. Senator with firsthand knowledge of TV networks. That knowledge has helped him forge a forceful argument about megamergers such as Google/Verizon and Comcast/Viacom. These mergers would abolish Net Neutrality, or equal access to the Internet, despite the content or the size of the customer.

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“A corporation’s only obligation is to its bottom line, not to you and me” said Franken.

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He spoke August 19 at a public hearing in Minneapolis on the future of the Internet .

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Full video of the FCC hearing can be found here.

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The Internet: Wired to whose advantage? Donna Champion and Nicole Palya Wood, Star Tribune | MN

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  • Proposed regulation could decrease incentives for private-sector investment in broadband build-out.
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  • An open Internet for all
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The Internet: Wired to whose advantage?


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Proposed regulation could decrease incentives for private-sector investment in broadband build-out.
An open Internet for all

Donna Champion and Nicole Palya Wood, Star Tribune | MN

The benefits of broadband technology are undeniable. However, about 6 percent of Minnesota's homes have little or no access to broadband Internet. In May, state officials passed a law setting a goal to give every resident access to a high-speed broadband connection by 2015.

Minnesota has been awarded about $60 million in federal Recovery Act funds to help extend broadband services in the state. While these funds will help provide broadband access to thousands of households, businesses and community facilities in 11 rural Minnesota counties, government can't be expected to bear the full cost of rural broadband deployment.

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An open Internet for all, Mignon Clyburn and Michael J. Copps, Star Tibune | MN
The power must be in the hands of consumers, because corporations will press their advantage if they can.

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