Archive for the ‘media’ tag

#  Jeopardy vs Wheel →

May 13th, 2014 at 17:00 // In Worth Distraction 

This may be totally opaque to non-Americans — my best summary is that Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are two popular syndicated television show which typically run in the last few hours before prime-time TV but at local broadcaster’s chosen time — but I liked it. Here’s the summary chart, though do definitely click through for WAY more analysis.


#  Megamovies →

July 24th, 2009 at 16:11 // In Worth Distraction 

I noticed that my recent Netflix activity shows a heavy bias for full television seasons over two-hour movies. It brought to mind something Jason Kottke discussed a few months back:

Megamovies take television seriously as a medium. They have dramatic arcs that last longer than single episodes or seasons. …  They’re shot cinematically and utilize good actors. Plot details sprawl out over multiple episodes, with viewers sometimes having to wait weeks to fit what might have seemed a throwaway line into the larger narrative puzzle.

Episodes of these megamovies, Canby argued presciently, are best watched in bunches, so that the parts more easily make the whole in the viewer’s mind. For many, bingeing on entire seasons on DVD or downloaded via iTunes has become the preferred way to watch these shows. If stamina and non-televisual responsibilities weren’t an issue, it would be preferable to watch these shows in one sitting, as one does with a movie.

#  The March to Print’s Inevitable Death →

October 28th, 2008 at 14:55 // In Worth Knowing 

Marc Ambinder points out that the venerable Christian Science Monitor is going to stop being a daily newspaper in April — it’ll become a weekly in print — and spend more time focusing on it’s web presence.

#  Daily Show Video Archives →

August 18th, 2008 at 19:14 // In Worth Reading 

If, like me, you’ve always wondered what technological wizardry allows for The Daily Show’s impressive ability to amass clips of political and media foibles, the answer is: very little. An explanation from a former researcher:

It’s literally 15 rack-mounted TiVos of various models, many from the pre-Series 2 era. Some Philips boxes, some Sonys. And because there’s a limited number of remote codes, when a staffer operates one, he has to hold the remote directly against that box’s IR receiver so that the beam doesn’t hit any of the other boxes (i.e., so he’s not inadvertently controlling multiple boxes at once). No joke!

(via Boing Boing)

#  Who Owns Television? →

July 7th, 2008 at 14:28 // In Worth Seeing 

Neatorama is offering a conveniently visual take on media ownership. Some suprised me, and there are some notable errors and omissions. The comments likely contain an answer to your concerns.

#  Derrie-Air →

June 6th, 2008 at 17:47 // In Worth Distraction 

Two Philadelphia papers ran fake ads for a childishly named by-the-pound airline. Just thought it was funny.

#  The Passing of Radio Free Europe →

May 16th, 2008 at 12:08 // In Worth Knowing 

The Economist’s Europe.view column mourns the not-quite-total passing of the organization for lack of funding. Some interesting details are discussed, as are feasible alternatives for those interested in the former Soviet Republics. A snippet:

The invaluable “Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report”, for example, covering what 90 years ago was the briefly independent state of Idel-Ural, stopped publication in November 2005. Though the vernacular-language broadcasts remain, it is hard to see how they will maintain their quality as the main brains of the organisation disperse.

A sign of how much the bad guys dislike the radios’ work came only last month, with a big cyberattack that temporarily brought down the website of the Belarusian-language service, probably to stop people reading it on the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. That recalled the Soviet-era practice of jamming, at vast expense, foreign short-wave radio broadcasts.

#  Press Freedom →

April 30th, 2008 at 9:25 // In Worth Knowing 

Only 18% of the people live in a country whose press is rated “free” by Freedom House. You may be heartened a bit by the fact that that’s actually 36% or the countries, but it still seems a terribly sad state of affairs. A map (PDF) is available as well.

Also of note, The Economist’s Asia.view column examines how censorship has changed in recent years.

#  The Less-Savory WGA Deal Highlights →

February 12th, 2008 at 13:11 // In Worth Knowing 

The Economist offers more depth to the strike resolution than anything else I’ve read (which I admit hasn’t been much) .

The devil, as usual, is in the detail. The residual payments for streaming start only after a 17-24 day window (which is when most people would want to catch up online with shows they missed on telly). The writers asked for a straightforward percentage of gross receipts, but settled for fixed dollar amounts, which limits their earnings compared with the studios. The writers made other concessions too: they for instance dropped their demand for a higher share of money from DVDs. They also gave up trying to get reality television and animation covered by union terms. That is important: being able to fill holes with reality shows protected the media companies financially during the strike. Some people point to the fact that the Directors Guild of America, whose contract was also up for renewal, managed to get a broadly similar deal from the media conglomerates without downing tools at all.

#  How To Stifle Dissent →

February 9th, 2008 at 13:01 // In Worth Knowing 

The Economist offers a handy guide for totalitarian bureaucrats looking to make it hard to speak against them. It’s a troubling and useful look at the state of media freedom around the world.

Despite the flourishing of alternative media, such as satellite television and internet blogs, that challenge once-impregnable state monopolies on the flow of news, governments keep finding new ways to suppress contrary views. Whereas the dictatorships of old snuffed out opponents or chucked them in jail, today’s softer incarnations achieve similar silence by subtler means. Hyper-regulation via catch-all laws, plus financial carrots and sticks, tend to replace cruder direct control.