Category Archive: Media

Apr 18 2014

Treat press releases about science with caution

Journals frequently send out pre-publication copies of what they think are important papers to science journalists under an embargo, where they are free to research the topic and gather material to write articles, but not publish them until the release date that the journal specifies. This enables journalists to write articles that put the research …

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Apr 16 2014

Great moments in marketing

If you are marketing a juice that consists of 99% apple and grape juice, 0.3% pomegranate juice, and 0.2% blueberry juice, what would you put on the label? If you are Coca-Cola, you call it “Pomegranate Blueberry” of course, because then you can take advantage of the fact that currently pomegranate juice is being marketed …

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Apr 15 2014

Snowden gets a Pulitzer prize to add to his Polk award

Yesterday the Pulitzer prizes for 2013, considered the apex of establishment US journalistic achievement, were announced. Of those the public service prize is the most coveted and the committee stunned the world by giving it to Edward Snowden, adding to the Polk award that he received earlier in the year.

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Apr 12 2014

Using sex to sell news

Sex sells. That is something that the advertising agencies discovered a long time ago. So it should not be surprising that TV channels should want to use sex to gain audiences, especially during the periods when ratings are being calculated. But at the same time, news stations tend to have older viewers who, at least …

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Apr 12 2014

Greenwald and Poitras dedicate their Polk awards to Snowden

Andrew Rice of New York magazine had an entertaining description of the Polk Awards last night where Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill, and Barton Gellman received the award for National Security Reporting for their work on the Snowden documents. Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian who supported the printing of the first major …

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Apr 11 2014

Greenwald and Poitras enter the US

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras entered the US today. They are here to receive their Polk Awards for National Security Reporting at an event to be held today in New York City.

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Apr 10 2014

Stephen Colbert to leave Comedy Central

The rumors that Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman as host of the latter’s Late Show late-night talk show on CBS when Letterman retires in 2015 turn out to be true. Clearly CBS is hoping that Colbert will bring along with him the younger demographic that he attracts to compensate for the older viewers such …

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Apr 07 2014

The US government subverts Twitter

Via reader Marcus Ranum, I learned of this story where it has been revealed that the US government agency known as USAID (US Agency for International Development) set up a fake Twitter network to create the impression of popular unrest against the Cuban government.

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Apr 06 2014

McConnelling goes mainstream

While using money to influence politicians is becoming increasingly blatant following the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings, there are still a few fig leaves that exist. One is that there should be no coordination between political campaigns and the SuperPACs that support them. Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and Colbert’s lawyer Trevor Potter …

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Apr 03 2014


One thing that I have learned by blogging is that I am absolutely hopeless at predicting what posts will garner attention. In fact, I seem to have a reverse sense, in that posts that I think are interesting sink without a trace while those that I think are uncontroversial generate quite a bit of buzz.

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