MediaFile

from UK News:

Constitution in crisis as tyrannical journalists devour cowed politicians

A sordid tale of excess and brutality, of a world dominated by journalists with their ears to the keyhole, of tyrannical newspapers wielding remarkable power and of a political class not only cowed, but consumed, by that power.

Sound familiar? With two of Britain's most senior policemen out of a job, the prime minister under pressure for his serenading of News Corp and one of the world's most powerful press barons, in the form of Rupert Murdoch, summoned to testify to parliament, it would be one way of describing the current state of affairs.

In fact, it is how Irish writer and wit Oscar Wilde saw the state of Britain 120 years ago.

"In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralising," Wilde wrote in 1891, several years before a court case in which intimate details of his own private life became the centre of a media storm.

Wilde believed that in America "the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever" but that its power there had been diminished in the eyes of the public having "carried its authority to the grossest and most brutal extreme".

Looking beyond Schiller’s signoff from NPR

Here we go again. In February, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a budget that would eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. That event tells you everything you need to know about the resignation this morning of NPR president and chief executive office Vivian Schiller. Yes, her underling Robert Schiller (no relation) embarrassed the organization by making some politically inexpedient remarks about the Tea Party, Republicans,and some more arcane issues, all captured on tape by conservative activists.

But at the average media organization, the “gotcha” video moment would likely have passed without the CEO’s resignation. Public radio is not the average media organization. It is held to an almost certainly unobtainable standard of objectivity, while commercial radio has thrived in recent decades by cultivating the most extreme political voices. It has a significantly larger audience than public television, yet receives a much smaller amount of public funding. And in order to further survival in its current form, it’s forced to regularly appeal to a relatively small number of legislators whose animosity toward it is deep and very public.

Radio has always occupied a peculiar place in American public broadcasting. Unlike, say, Britain, where radio was the original medium that created the audience-funded BBC empire, radio has never been the star of the American public broadcasting galaxy. As I documented in a book called Made Possible By…: The Death of Public Broadcasting in the United States, the Johnson Administration’s original draft of the Public Broadcasting Act made no mention of radio at all; a Johnson aide claimed that radio was hastily added the night before the bill was sent to Congress. All the emphasis was on television, a bias that the budgets for American public radio and television have displayed ever since. A public radio official in 1975 agreed with a Congressman’s assessment that public radio was “sort of a poor relative to public TV.”

from UK News:

Let’s hear it for the pigs

It's been a grim time for pigs.

First they were blamed for the swine flu that caused a worldwide stir after it was discovered in Mexico -- and now everyone's likening them to Members of Parliament with their snouts in the trough.

But look at the facts. The genetic make-up of the virus may have been predominantly porcine but the pigs themselves didn't have it. Even at the supposed epicentre of the outbreak in Mexico they showed no symptoms -- things reached such a state that owners of some pig farms in the US were stopping humans coming near them in case they infected their animals. The pigs were innocent OK?

And yet the name "swine flu" stuck, lots of people stopped eating pork and in Egypt they were even culled.

SanFran gives five-year plan in 6-hour YouTube videos

At least San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has the good grace to look a little bit sheepish when he offers San Franciscans the opportunity to watch him talk city politics for SIX HOURS on YouTube video.

The mayor of the liberal, tech-friendly California city has broken the ‘state of the city’ speech into a handful of roughly 40-minute YouTube video segments which offers “the opportunity for you to spend one minute with me, one hour — as much as five or six hours if you choose,” he says in the intro.

Known for his support of gay marriage, Newsom delves into nearly every other issue, including a five-year plan.

MySpace, NBC seek two citizen journalists

myspace-nbc1.jpgTwo among the 117 million of you MySpace users will get to cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions later this year as citizen journalists (oh, how we hate that term!).

All you have to do is submit a short video piece starting June 26 to MySpace and NBC News’s Decisions ’08 page answering three questions:

     ”Why do you vote?”  ”Why are you the best person for this job?” “How will you stand out in the crowd and get the scoop no one else can?”

A panel from MySpace and NBC News will narrow the submissions down to five finalists. The final two will be selected by MySpace members starting July 21. The winner will be announced on July 29.

Ex-U.S. Presidential wannabes lambast campaign coverage

The wireless industry’s clout attracted former U.S. presidents last year, but this year it was just enough to lure the former wannabes.

This year’s headline keynote speakers at the CTIA annual industry showcase were former presidential candidates John Edwards and Fred Thompson? Last year the wireless show nabbed Former actual Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as keynote speakers.

After lamenting lost chances and nodding to the increasing importance of technology in campaigns, both politicians then got busy criticizing how the mainstream media has handled the presidential campaign so far.