I don't usually nitpick weak media coverage of electoral politics, but I take it personally when it's about the place where I grew up. Yesterday Renee Montagne interviewed Brad Lichtenstein, who recently shot a documentary about Janesville, WI.
The latest in can-you-believe-this-guy campaign-trail videos: Senate candidate Eric Hovde, who—like Montgomery Burns with a Wisconsin accent—reduces media coverage of low-income people facing service cuts to "sob stories."
When the United Farm Workers announced their “Take Our Jobs”
campaign this summer, I put it in my “maybe blog about this” folder and
never came back to it. It’s a clever idea—legal residents are invited
to replace migrant farm workers in the field—but the news media didn’t write a whole lot about it then, either. They are today.
In Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut (1997) David Shenk tells of “technostress” researcher Philip Nicholson’s practice of asking his audiences, “Pretend that you were forced to make a choice between giving up one of your fingers and giving up use of your computer for the rest of your life.
If you want to correctly interpret the news, stop assuming that the mainstream media know it all; pay attention instead to voices speaking quietly over in the corner. Read, for example, people like Amira Hass, a Jewish reporter who covers the West Bank and Gaza for Ha’aretz, a Jerusalem newspaper.
When people ask me why I do not watch television, I usually begin with the practical answer. I live nine miles from town, at the end of a dirt road, where cable is not available. Why don’t I get a satellite dish?
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