Media

Confessions of a Former ‘New York Times’ Washington Correspondent

Robert M. Smith

I picked up a reporter’s notebook, handed it to him, and told him to bring a pen. Bob’s idea of showing emotion was to smile slightly, showing the well-­stimulated incisors. He didn’t smile. No doubt he thought, the kid’s acting up again, but . . . it’s his last day, and it was. I was thirty-­one and had been a reporter at the Times for four years, but I was leaving to go to Yale Law School. Except I’d just gotten a scoop and I couldn’t walk away from it.

After Prolonged Press-Bashing, More Constructive Media Criticism Now Flourishes

Kevin M. Lerner

Over the past five years, though, another kind of press criticism has come to prominence after a period of marginalization. This brand of press criticism takes a free and independent press as a necessity for life in a democratic society. Instead of seeking to delegitimize the press, these critics are simultaneously explaining the workings of the press to the public and holding it accountable in its role as the public’s representative and watchdog.

Dungeons & Dragons and Us: The Rise of Geek Culture

Adam Gravano

This process isn't just confined to movies, though. Interestingly, it has extended to that apex of nerdy pastimes, the tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons. Many are familiar with the game, either from garish mischaracterizations in the press or from the pulpit or from their own personal practice. Lately, though, the game isn't being characterized as a means of communing with demons or the driving factor of suicides; it's getting top billing as a pastime of characters in Stranger Things and The Big Bang Theory.

Combat, Weaponry, and Forces of Hell: The Best New Video Games of 2020

Ulises Duenas

The original Nioh managed to blend elements from many different action games into something that feels unique and satisfying. Punishing gameplay that requires fast reflexes and planning combined with a beautiful setting and flashy graphics equaled a game that rivaled the Dark Souls series. The sequel does almost everything it needs to elevate itself to the next level. New weapons, better action, better bosses, and even an interesting story make Nioh 2 a must-play for plans of the rising “masocore” genre. 

Yes, A Free Press Really Matters -- Especially in Times of Crisis

Forrest Hartman

There will be time for an outbreak postmortem once the U.S. gets past the threat of the coronavirus  --  and the nation will move past it, just as it has countless challenges in the past. The question now is how many Americans will suffer and how many will die unnecessarily. Our goal should be to protect as many fellow citizens as possible, regardless of political affiliation, race, age, gender, etc. Viruses neither care about nor recognize these traits, nor should we when addressing a crisis. Unfortunately, our efforts to safeguard the populace have been seriously undermined by the current social and political climate, rife with division and prejudice, and this climate has been not only fostered, but furthered, by the current administration.

Crime Junkies: The Peculiar Rise of True Crime Podcasts on Spotify

BPT

Listening to podcasts on Spotify grew by more than 50 percent in 2019, and true crime is one of the most popular genres, with My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark and Crime Junkie as some of the most streamed true crime podcasts on the platform in 2019. In 2020, fans can look forward to a fresh batch of true crime podcasts, including the infamous stories of Michelle Carter, Chris Watts, Henry Lee Lucas and Samuel Little, which are expected to launch throughout February and March.

How Self-Publishing Made One Author a Best-Seller

The Editors

"I wanted more control over not just the creative writing, but also the marketing strategy, cover art, and other business aspects of publishing. I grew frustrated being unable to make these decisions going the traditional publishing route," she says. "I'm both a writer and entrepreneur, and I'm enjoying more creative and financial rewards than I ever have." For Michaels, who says the initial idea of going indie was "taking a leap off a cliff and hoping you can fly before you crash," the resulting benefits have exceeded her expectations.

Report: Most U.S. Newsrooms Still Lack Diversity

Stacy M. Brown

The report titled, "The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2019," is comprised of 94 studies, including original research by WMC and aggregated research from academia, industry and professional groups, labor unions, media watchdogs, newsrooms and other sources. Burton said the data in the report paints a stark picture. “It is clear that a cultural, systemic shift is necessary if all parts of the U.S. media are to achieve gender and racial parity and move toward a world where stories fully represent the voices and perspectives of diverse women,” she said.

Noteworthy Podcasts You Should Tune Into Right Now

Brandpoint

Daily Beast culture critic Ira Madison III and co-hosts Kara Brown and Louis Virtel are joined each Wednesday by comedians, journalists and others for a discussion of pop culture, politics, terrible celebrity tweets, events like the Oscars and more. Nothing is out of bounds, from Melania's grammatically challenged Be Best campaign to Louis C.K.'s unwanted comeback to Meghan Markle's annoying father, to how much John McCain loved ABBA.

Fox News and the Lurking Specter of Censorship

Steve Bassett

Last March, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, the network’s National Security Analyst, added to the turmoil when he emailed colleagues he was quitting after 10 years because he was “ashamed” of what his employer had become. Implicit but not stated in Peters’s diatribe, is the lurking specter of censorship. He accused the network’s primetime hosts of “dismissing facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults” against the network’s targeted enemies. 

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