Media Briefing for Tuesday, January 22, 2008
In this age of electronics and technology, the daily lives of children have changed dramatically. In the 1970s they were still playing outdoors, but today they are mostly staying indoors, focusing on computers and other technology. Their former haunts outdoors are overgrown and unvisited. A researcher from the City University of New York had visited a small town in Vermont in 1972 to chart the geography of children and their play time, and more than three decades later returned to the same town to research today’s child. He is recording his findings in a new film and book. The Boston Globe reports.
There was a shy young teenaged girl who had trouble making friends. Then at age 14 she re-imagined herself online as Autumn Edows, a goth artist who modeled for provocative photographs. She said “I didn’t feel like myself, but I liked the fact that I didn’t feel like myself.” Tonight’s Frontline episode, Growing Up Online, at 9 p.m. on Thirteen/WNET, examines her story and those of other children as they create very private worlds online. It has received major nationwide press, including reviews in Free Press, Variety, the Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, New York Times, Morris County Daily Record, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Louisville Courier Journal, Daily Herald of suburban Chicago, Denver Post and San Diego.com.
The fastest-growing segment of cellphone users is ‘tweens and young teens. In 2007, 38 percent of 12- and 13-year-olds had their own cellphones, according to Jupiter Research in Manhattan. Growth in the 8- to 12-year-old cellphone market will outpace growth in the overall U.S. population in the next few years, the research group predicts. Newsday reports.
To all those traditional developmental stages in a child’s life, like learning to walk, talk and read, we can now add technological milestones like using a mouse, downloading music and surfing the Internet. The New York Times reports.
Children under 10 — including a large number of pre-schoolers — are listening to music on iPods, says the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The top editor of the Los Angeles Times has been forced out for resisting newsroom budget cuts, executives at the paper say, marking the fourth time in less than three years that the highest-ranking editor or the publisher has left for that reason. The New York Times reports. Editor James O?Shea had been ordered to carry out $4 million in budget cuts, says the Los Angeles Times. The firing took place after a confrontation between O?Shea and his boss, reports Associated Press. This is the second time in 15 months, says the Chicago Tribune.
In his farewell speech in the Los Angeles Times newsroom, the editor fired a parting shot, says the Times.
At age 76, Dan Rather of HD Net is a man on a mission, focusing on being the best journalist he can be while at the same time pursuing his suit against CBS, says the Houston Chronicle.
Conservative radio talk show hosts are upset about Radio & Records magazine’s decision to withdraw an award it had planned to present to Bob Grant of WABC 770 New York, known for his anti-black, anti-Latino and anti-gay comments on the air. Some conservative hosts are talking about boycotting Radio & Records annual radio talk conference in March, reports the Washington Post. Grant has slammed the magazine on the air, says the New York Post. A 1995 Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting article by Jim Naureckas, titled ?50,000 Watts of Hate,” quoted Mr. Grant as referring to Haitian refugees as ?maggots? and calling for policemen with machine guns to show up at a gay pride parade.
The parent company of Golfweek magazine on Friday fired the editor who approved this week’s cover image of a noose. The noose was for an article about the Golf Channel cable TV network host Kelly Tilghman’s use of the word ?lynch? to describe how young players could challenge Tiger Woods. The New York Times reports. The formerly bucolic world of golf is in a tizzy these days over the unlikely subject of lynching. The racially charged controversy began with a slip of the tongue and has now resulted in the suspension of Golf Channel anchorwoman Kelly Tilghman and the firing yesterday of the editor of Golfweek magazine, Dave Seanor. It began on January 4, when Tilghman was chatting on-air with Golf Channel analyst Nick Faldo about up-and-coming challengers to superstar Tiger Woods, son of a black American father and an Asian mother, and the golfer who has dominated his sport for a decade. The Washington Post reports.
Joseph Cooke, for four decades the publisher of the Washington Sun, which served the Washington Afro-American community, has passed away, reports the Washington Post.
The FCC auction for rights to a highly valuable swath of the nation’s airwaves will begin Thursday and is expected to include multibillion-dollar bids from the nation’s two biggest wireless phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, as well as Google, says the New York Times.
Federal regulators said they will try again to test prototypes on Thursday for transmitting high-speed Internet service over unused television airwaves. Late Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission said the devices – developed by Adaptrum Inc., Microsoft Corp., Motorola Inc. and Philips Electronics North America Corp. – will be tested in laboratory and real-world conditions. The FCC said the testing will take three months and issue a report about six weeks after the testing ends. Associated Press reports.
Writers strike: talks could resume this week. Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times report.
Even with the writers strike, the TV networks have hundreds of new episodes of TV shows to roll out in the coming months, reports Associated Press.
Freedom House has accused the president of Slovenia of putting indirect political and economic pressure on journalists and engaging in censorship, reports the New York Times.
Pakistan’s most popular private television network, Geo TV, went back on the air yesterday after signing a government code of conduct that critics say is muzzling independent media before parliamentary elections next month. Associated Press reports. Geo TV has lost its bite in the region, says the New York Times.
Two old record stores in Harlem, Bobby’s Happy House and the Harlem Record Shack, are going of business and will close within several weeks of each other. The closings come as Harlem continues its uneasy transition from being a haven for some of the city’s poorest residents to a place where apartments selling for $1 million and tripling commercial rents have become unremarkable occurrences. Bobby’s Happy House, on Frederick Douglass Boulevard near 125th Street, is closing today, the birthday of slain civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Harlem Record Shack, nearby on 125th Street, has been given until the end of March to vacate its store, reports the New York Times.
Sean Penn has sent a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle criticizing a parody about him. His letter was in response to a recent satirical article, “A Modest Proposal for Celebs on the Skids,” which suggested that stars in decline associate with ?notorious dictators and other authoritarian figures,” like Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela. Penn said that Ch’vez, with whom he recently spent time, ?was democratically elected and that dictators don’t lose constitutional referendums,” as Mr. Ch’vez did, adding that he was visiting Venezuela as a journalist. Then he got personal, calling readers and editors ‘small-minded cowards and former writers of substance.” The New York Times reports.
Met At The Movies is drawing big crowds, says Associated Press.
On the birthday of slain civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., WBAI 99.5 New York offered a 17-hour day of special programming devoted to his life. The New York Daily News reports.
A film and presentation about safe sex and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, introduced by two Philadelphia FM radio personalities, has been yanked by a Catholic high school in the Philadelphia area, says the Philadelphia Daily News.
The looming national recession will never be the top story on Plum TV. The cable network serving the most affluent segment of the population in storied resort towns is more likely to feature wine tastings, restaurant openings and art shows. Plum TV is a network for the super-rich who spend leisure time in enclaves like Aspen, Colorado and the Hamptons of Long Island. The Denver Post reports.
Today, even the best TV show will flop without online connections and extensions, says the New York Times.
U.S. video game industry sales rocketed to a record high 17.9 billion dollars in 2007, with Nintendo reigning as champion of the console battle with Microsoft and Sony, according to research group NPD. The French Press Agency (AFP) reports.
Yahoo’s turnaround plan is said to include major layoffs, note the New York Times, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News.
The chairman of the FCC is turning up the heat on Comcast and cable TV, say the Newhouse newspapers.
Google, owner of the world’s most popular Internet search engine, lost market share last month for the first time since June, according to Nielsen Online. Google’s share of U.S. Web queries fell to 56.3 percent in December from 57.7 percent the previous month, Nielsen said Friday in a statement. Yahoo dropped to 17.7 percent from 17.9 percent. The companies lost market share to Microsoft, which upgraded its search engine in September to include shopping, health, map and entertainment options. The Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft captured 13.8 percent of searches, up from 12 percent in November, says Bloomberg News.
A Web cartoon is bolstering visits to the site of the Long Island daily newspaper Newsday, says the New York Times.
The venerable magazine The Atlantic is energizing its Web site, says the New York Times.
Under Rupert Murdoch, the social networking site MySpace is expanding rapidly, now operating in 15 countries and soon to be in 24. MySpace is also turning to media deals, reports the New York Times.
The Chinese government says China’s Internet population has soared to 210 million people, putting it on track to surpass the U.S. online community this year to become the world’s largest. The official China Internet Network Information Center, also known as CNNIC, said the online population grew 53 percent, from 137 million reported at the same time last year. Associated Press reports.
The CEO of Cisco Systems is predicting an Internet revolution, saying that transformational change is rippling through the high-tech industry at an extraordinary pace. The San Jose Mercury News reports.
Could the new Apple products have a greater long-term impact than initially thought? Apple is looking far ahead with its new products. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
With credit more difficult to obtain at traditional banks and financial institutions, person-to-person loans are booming on the Internet, says the Washington Post.
Amid the Facebook craze, the social networking software maker Slide has raised $50 million from investors, says Reuters.
Cellphone sales pitches – on the cellphone – are on the horizon. Retailers are trying to find ways to turn mobile devices into indispensable shopping aid for consumers, reports the Washington Post.
Analog cellphone users are about to lose the signal, says the Washington Post.
Sprint Nextel’s announcement on Friday that it is losing customers more rapidly than expected is making investors nervous about a weak economy’s effect on other wireless companies. Stock shares of Sprint fell $2.87, or 25 percent, to $8.70 after it said that it planned to lay off 4,000 workers and close stores to trim costs as its customer base shrinks. The New York Times reports. Sprint Nextel lost 683,000 customers during the last three months of 2007, more than three times the 200,000 it expected to lose, says the Los Angeles Times.
Five new ways to use wi-fi are examined by PC World.
Texas Instruments is betting on a rear projection TV with a bright future, says the New York Times.
TiVo will be evolving with the industry, says TiVo’s CEO. The Los Angeles Times reports.
A California report on Internet service is providing a model for other states. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Broadband Task Force, which released the report, found that 96 percent of Californians have access to broadband, but speeds vary significantly region to region. Only about 54 percent of Californians have access to 10Mbps (megabits per second), and about 56 percent of the state’s residents subscribe to broadband service, the report said. PC World reports.
A veteran 89-year-old instructor of dance is now giving lessons via the Internet, says the New York Times.
Mobile banking in India isn’t quite as simple as getting an ATM card and using it at the grocery store. It requires not only a new high-tech ID system, but also house calls, says the Boston Globe.
Social networking on the Internet is not lagging in China. It’s just innovating differently, says Newsweek.
In Japan, novels are being introduced on cellphones and then going on to be best-sellers as hard cover books, says the New York Times.
In a loss for wireless communications providers, the U.S. Supreme Court today let stand a lower court ruling preventing the industry from listing taxes and other government fees as separate line items on consumers? bills. Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA, which is owned by Deutsche Telecom, asked the justices to overturn the ruling. Sprint and T-Mobile said in court papers that state and local governments try to ?hide? taxes and fees by barring carriers from listing them as separate items, requiring the companies instead to fold them in with the rest of their charges. Associated Press reports.
A new political site, Political Base.com, is following the money in politics and is expected to thrive even after the election season, says the New York Times.
In Iraq, a blogger is covering the war through a soldier’s eyes, says the New York Times.
Internet ads will double by 2011, says Online Media Daily.
Some ham radio enthusiasts are back on the air in Iraq. Under Saddam Hussein’s rule, ham radio operators in Iraq had to report to government-sanctioned clubs, where minders listened in on their conversations. Since the dictator’s ouster, they have faced suspicion from U.S. troops and the Iraqi government that their transmissions are a tool of the insurgency. Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, fewer than 50 of 150 or so ham radio enthusiasts who operated primarily in Baghdad have returned to their stations. There is now a small group trying to revive interest in the hobby and keep it alive, reports the Baltimore Sun.
The top reporters on all the major TV networks asked the presidential candidates 2,679 questions during the past year, and only 3 were about global warming, according to the liberal group Moveon.org, which is asking for citizens to sign a petition calling on top TV reporters to ask the candidates about the issue.
Freedom’s Watch, which has been a staunch supporter of George W. Bush and the Iraq War, is now taking on many issues and is being called the Moveon.org of the right, says the Washington Post.
Oliver Stone is planning a movie about the Bush administration slated for release in 2009, reports Variety.
Viewership for the presidential debates this cycle are far higher than in 2004, says the Boston Globe.
This time John McCain was able to defuse conservative attacks, including a week of relentless attacks from radio host Rush Limbaugh, says the Washington Post.
In another presidential primary year, South Carolina has once again been inundated with smear campaigns and tactics, reports the Boston Globe.
A pro-confederate flag group ran radio ads in South Carolina praising Mike Huckabee ahead of the primary there, reports the Associated Press. Huckabee came in a strong second in South Carolina with 30 percent of the vote to winner John McCain’s 33 percent.
The state editor for Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post is New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s nemesis, says the Wall Street Journal.
Newspaper advertising is still effective and a Norwalk, Connecticut firm is thriving placing newspaper ads for clients, reports the Stamford Advocate.
David Simon, a Baltimore Sun reporter from 1983 to 1995 and creator of HBO’s The Wire, takes a look at the future of print journalism and of the Sun itself in the Washington Post. Simon laments a dying craft, says the New York Times. The man behind the show is profiled by the Atlantic Monthly.
HBO is putting shows online at no additional charge, says the New York Times.
It’s a most popular marriage: Jane Austen and PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre, Sunday evenings at 9 on Thirteen/WNET, says the New York Times. There is also a report from the Los Angeles Times.
American Idealist: the Story of Sargent Shriver tonight at 10 on Thirteen/WNET is reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.
Those automated political telephone calls aren’t just annoying: recorded messages are illegal if not preceded by a live voice. But that law isn’t enforced, says the Los Angeles Times.
To avoid a possible conflict, NBC Entertainment co-Chairman Ben Silverman has agreed to sell his production company, which makes The Office and Ugly Betty, to a London-based firm owned by Elisabeth Murdoch for at least $125 million, says the Los Angeles Times.
A tenant who wanted to install a satellite dish at his apartment has been kicked out by the landlord. The San Francisco Chronicle explains the FCC rules about allowing antennas and satellite dishes.
Out-of-home TV: it’s everywhere, from the doctor’s office to tire stores to Wal-Mart, says Broadcasting & Cable.
Fire has destroyed an institution in a small town in western Colorado: the local TV station. The CBS affiliate in Grand Junction, Colorado, KREX channel 5, was knocked off the air over the weekend after a fire ripped through its building, says the Denver Post. The firefighters were forced back by explosions, says the Rocky Mountain News. The fire burned all day, says the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The fire appears to have started accidentally, says the Sentinel. It will bounce back stronger than before, says the general manager, quoted in the Sentinel.
KREX employees were not injured but are heartbroken about their loss, says the Grand Junction Sentinel. The station manager says the staff will be taking on new roles, according the Sentinel. Fire officials say the station was totally destroyed, and the $6 million loss is probably the most significant monetarily ever in Grand Junction, notes the Sentinel. The blaze adds a new chapter to a long history. The flames claimed years of local history captured on tape by the station, says the Sentinel.
An independent TV station, WCIU channel 26 Chicago, is obtaining ratings with counter-programming and unique programming, says TV Newsday.
A major printer in Canada that prints a wide variety of magazines including Time and Parade has filed for bankruptcy in Canada and the U.S., reports the New York Times.
Prices for cable TV and satellite TV service are rising steeply in Massachusetts, says the Boston Globe.
Check, Please, a program about restaurants distributed to PBS stations nationwide by WTTW channel 11 Chicago, is reviewed by the Chicago Sun Times.