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Perspectives on the Media from New York Public Television

Media Briefing for Tuesday, November 21, 2006

staff | November 21st, 2006

This week’s episode on Frontline on PBS is entitled ?Living Old.” The Boston Globe says it presents a brutal, relentless picture of what happens to those of us who are not wealthy when we become old, focusing particularly on the burgeoning population of the very old. The Globe notes that Americans over 85 are, as a percentage, the fastest-growing group in the country.>The New York Times also reviews Frontline. The Times says the program focuses on the suffering that awaits us all if we grow very old.> The Philadelphia Inquirer also looks at the telecast. The Inquirer uses a quote from the show: ?old age is for the birds.”> The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reviews the show. The Post-Gazette reports that most TV shows are light and escapist, but once in awhile a show is unpleasantly realistic.

Allbritton has tapped two Washington Post political editors/reporters for its new political news venture, according to Broadcasting & Cable, which says they will also get exposure on CBS TV via an exclusive deal with the network. Broadcasting & Cable identifies the reporters as Post editor John Harris and Post national political editor Jim VandeHei.

Just hours before it was to begin, ABC pulled the plug on an advertising campaign on its giant sign at Times Square in Manhattan. The sign was to advertise messages from the Assemblies of God. The Lexington, Kentucky Herald-Leader quotes an ABC spokesman as saying ABC has a rule against accepting advertising for religion, and this agreement was probably the result of a salesman who wasn’t aware of the rule.

Earlier this year a Staten Island man was arrested on charges of offering a service to viewers who could pay to receive satellite telecasts from the radical Islamic group Hezbollah from Lebanon. Now a second man, a New Jersey resident, has been charged. Larry Neumeister of the Assocated Press reports.

In Iraq, a banned insurgent channel is finding a way to broadcast, even though Iraqi government officials had thought that they pulled the plug earlier this month. The McClatchy newspapers report that the channel, al_Zawraa, reappeared two weeks later. The channel is known for broadcasting live from what is calls ?occupied Baghdad? and declared Saddam Hussein’s death sentence ?a sad day for Iraq.”

Arbitron, the radio ratings service, is delaying for now the listing of non-commercial FM and AM radio stations in its books around the nation. Radio & Records points out that this is only a delay, and that the non-commercial stations know they will be listed, in the future.

In poor taste? A convicted murderer is voicing a radio spot to promote a radio show on an Oslo, Norway station. United Press International reports the person — an actual convicted murderer — tells listeners to tune in an afternoon show on the station, or “I will kill you.”

Major internet sites are showing a strong interest in the advertising business, according to the New York Times, which says Google is leading the way. The Times reports traditional ad firms are starting to get worried.

Some are making huge riches in the web world. The New York Times reports that in the web world, the rich now envy the superrich.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on an internal memo within Yahoo. The Chronicle reports the memo states Yahoo is unfocused and needs to slash jobs, among other things.

People who claim they were libeled online cannot sue the internet service provider that carried the message, under a ruling by the California state supreme court. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A new study shows web users are more likely to stream video than to download it. Media Daily News reports.

Webroot is offering a product that allows parents to check on their children’s internet use. Associated Press reports the device allows parents to limit where the children go, and how much time they spend online.

Michael Richards, who played Kramer on the NBC Seinfeld comedy show, stunned a live audience when during a stand-up show, using racial slurs repeatedly. AP reports.

ABC primetime shows are headed for on-demand status. TV Newsday reports.

HDTV sets — High Definition Television sets — are becoming more and more affordable. The San Jose Mercury News reports.> Meanwhile buyers should be aware that the full HDTV sets are suitable only for DVDs and video games. The San Francisco Chronicle says they are not suitable for broadcast TV.

The Tribune Company is selling its CW network affiliate in Boston, WLVI channel 56, to Sunbeam, owner of NBC affiliate WHDH channel 7, thus creating a television duopoly in Boston. The Boston Globe reports the FCC has cleared the way.

Historians are resurrecting the use of cartoons to convey medical messages to the general public, according to the New York Times. The TImes reports that one example is a cartoon featuring a mosquito named Malaria Mike who prepares to dive bomb a soldier named Private Snafu. The Times reports the show, featuring animated public health films from the 1920s through the 1960s, was presented at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington.

Fox cancelled its planned telecast with O.J. Simpson and parent News Corporation is cancelling O.J.’s book. The New York Times says Fox did so under pressure from inside and outside Fox.>The Times also lambastes Fox for the way it handled the whole matter. The Times has an editorial in which it details how the affair was handled.>The Los Angeles Times has a major story. The Los Angeles Times reports.>This is also front-page news in the Boston Globe. The Globe has this story.> The Washington Post quotes Fox owner Rupert Murdoch as saying the entire project was ill-considered.>

In Spokane, Washington, a new magazine has begun, aimed at young disabled people. The Spokane Spokesman Review reports the magazine is named Logan, after a disabled young woman who inspired the magazine.>Another type of specialist magazine, gay magazines, are experiencing an ad downturn. Media Daily News reports this is happening after 2 years in which gay magazines outperformed general magazines, in advertising sales.

Did CNN’s Nancy Grace’s tough interview of a Florida mother whose young son was missing, push too hard? The woman ended up committing suicide. WKMG channel 6 Orlando says the parents of the woman are suing Nancy Grace, claiming the interview pushed their daughter over the brink.>

Fox has agreed to pay a fine for failing to transmit tornado warnings to hearing-impaired viewers, on its broadcast channels. Broadcasting & Cable reports Fox has agreed to pay $12,000.>

Media Briefing for Monday, November 20, 2006

staff | November 20th, 2006

Thirteen/WNET New York earned great praise for the series Nature, which it produces, and which celebrates its 25th anniversary this season. Both the Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette pass along these accolades in a column from the Biloxi paper which was also printed in the Post-Gazette.

Keeping Score, the PBS show which engages viewers in classical music, continues to win praise across the nation. Two South Florida papers are the latest – the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale and the Miami Herald.

?Rain In A Dry Land? is a documentary focusing on a family that moved from Kenya to Georgia in the U.S. South. The Atlanta Constitution reports on the cultural shock for the family, including American society’s norms on child rearing. This documentary will be featured on PBS’s Point Of View next year.>

Copyright limitations were what kept the acclaimed Eyes On The Prize series off the air from the mid 1990s until this fall. The Washington Post reports.>

Can the quality of the New York Times be maintained as the Times goes on-line. This means reporters are expected to file stories immediately, and update them. This is very different from the old days of simply having one dateline to worry about, before the paper went ‘to bed.” The New York Times explains that reporters may have less time to perfect stories, and will have the distraction of having to file them quickly and then update them.

Are ad buyers focusing simply on declining circulations in making ad decisions for newspapers? Media Life Magazine says many buyers are recognizing that newspapers are rich with content and are the originators of the vast majority of news stories. Meanwhile, as Wall Street sours on newspaper stocks, big chains are planning to sell them to local owners. The Boston Globe reports that while the pressure of meeting quarterly Wall Street demands will be off, local owners might be more tempted to violate editorial independence. The Globe discusses ‘the return of the press barons.” Department stores once dominated cities in America, and have virtually disappeared. The Baltimore Sun asks whether newspapers will share the same fate. And Yahoo has formed a partnership with 176 newspapers to cooperate on classified ads, general advertising, content, and technology. The New York Times says the newspaper industry is increasingly willing to shake hands with technology companies it once saw as a threat.>

Baby boomers have been used to being in the center of the spotlight in American culture. Now, as they age, TV is focusing on younger demographics. Associated Press reports baby boomers think most network TV shows do not relate to them, and they are unhappy.>

Unlike Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation/Fox and Sumner Redstone of Viacom/CBS, NBC’s Bob Wright is simply an employee, and he will have to retire in the next few years. Plans for changes are already underway, reports the New York Times.

Charles Gibson has been at the helm of ABC World News Tonight for 6 months now. The Houston Chronicle asks in its interview of Gibson, whether his time as evening news anchor will be limited.>

Movies often featured people smoking cigarettes, with swirling smoke on screen. Now, in a new twist, Philip Morris is asking that its brands not be included in motion pictures. Associated Press reports it is doing so in full page ads in trade publications such as Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.>

The Boston Globe has a major expose on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. This online resource has multiple researchers and authors, according to the Globe. Meanwhile, China is limiting access to Wikipedia. The Boston Globe also reports on the Chinese censorship.>

A new television service opens soon. Channel Vision will cover everything about France. The Globe and Mail of Toronto reports Channel Vision will be available starting December 6 on some cable systems in major cities in the U.S. and the U.K. and also on streaming video online.>

With satellite and online radio offering a wide assortment of formats, another service known as High Definition or HD radio has been introduced. Local FM stations are offering as many as 5 additional channels of music. The Boston Globe reports special new radio receivers are needed to hear these broadcasts, and sales are gaining momentum.> Meanwhile, radio listeners who live in areas with weak signals and fuzzy reception, have a new alternative. The Seattle Times reports computer DSL can bring in quality reception of these radio signals.>

Earlier this year the Miami Herald reported on 10 journalists for various newspapers and news organizations who were being paid to appear on TV Marti, the U.S. government run station aimed at Cuba with anti-Castro news and information. Now, The Miami Herald examines its own coverage of that story and the repercussions, and says there were several flaws.>Separately, an executive with TV Marti has been indicted. The Miami Herald reports.> The New York Times takes a close look at last week’s Illinois jury decision to find a newspaper guilty of defamation against a judge. The Times examines the impact this will have on news reporting and a possible chilling effect.>

Email messages convey only 7% of their meaning. Surprisingly, words only capture a sliver of meaning, while voice tone and body language convey the majority of meaning. Tribune Media Services explains. Meanwhile, computer companies are finding the large number of icons on screens is confusing some people, especially those new to the internet. The Seattle Times says the computer companies will cut down on desktop clutter. Meanwhile there are two reports on how big computer companies are coping with the ever-changing landscape. The Seattle Times reports on how Microsoft is dealing with declining stock prices. And the sunny and gloomy signs at the web crossroads of Yahoo are examined. The New York Times has this report.

As in many states, a large amount of money was spent in Colorado on independent TV attack ads. Some $17 million was spent in Colorado alone. The Rocky Mountain News reports. Attempts to place limits on attack ads have proved elusive, the Rocky Mountain News says. The Rocky Mountain News gives some vivid examples from this past election cycle.> In Virginia, a veterans group targeted incumbent Republican U.S. Senator George Allen. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports the ads targeted Allen for not supporting body armor for the troops in Iraq. Meanwhile a new University of Wisconsin study shows the attack ads themselves got more coverage on TV news, than the actual issues. Broadcasting & Cable has the story.

Denver, Colorado conservative columnist Dave Kopel says the media crossed the line in outing evangelical leader Ted Haggart as gay, just before the election. Kopel even criticizes his own newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News. Gay groups defend outing if it involves a gay person being destructive toward gays, and note that Haggart compared gay rights parades to a parade for murderers.

Satirical humor on television aimed at the Vatican has struck a nerve. The New York Times examines this major on-going controversy in Italy.

The U.K. is banning TV ads aimed at children for foods high in sugar, salt and fat. Broadcasting & Cable reports.> In the U.S., plans announced last week by some major food companies to self-regulate their advertising aimed at children have been labeled as junk. Media Daily News says the Center For Science In The Public Interest says the companies? plan is ?pathetic.”

The cable networks are picking up the slack from the commercial broadcast networks in airing documentaries, according to USA Today. Meanwhile MSBC is reported to be finding its voice. Washington Post TV columnist Howard Kurtz says MSNBC’s voice is political.

Telephone companies in Europe and Asia are now offering what is known as IPTV, Intenet Protocol Television. AP reports IPTV is sent over telephone lines by phone companies.

A Towson, Maryland student operates a major blog about television industry news. The New York Times reports the blog, TV Newser, is widely read by industry executives, producers and publicists.

Sometimes flying birds slam into broadcast and communications towers. The Federal Communications Commission is seeking public comment on whether it should implement rules on this problem.> With the FCC and the Congress enacting rules imposing huge $325,000 fines on broadcast stations for indecency and sexual language, one listener wants to know why some words are allowed, and others, which are widely used by youngsters, are not. In a letter to the editor of The Los Angeles Times the listener says he is puzzled.

Boston’s 50,000-watt radio station WRKO 680 has fired its entire news department. The Boston Herald reports the station did so to make way for a new talk format.

Media Briefing for Friday, November 17, 2006

staff | November 17th, 2006

A new study shows that political attack ads on television turn off the voters, and enthrall the media. The Washington Post reports. Meanwhile one Connecticut legislator is sick of misleading and vicious political attack ads on TV and radio.> Associated Press reports that his proposed a bill would ‘scrub clean? political ads in Connecticut.

Three cases of censorship? A Midwest hotel chain has pulled CNN from the TV sets in its guest rooms, accusing CNN of aiding terrorism. AP says the Iowa-based chain is upset CNN showed a video of Iraqi snipers shooting at American soldiers.> And in Tennessee, the authors of two plays with gay themes who originally were scheduled to appear on a talk show on WTVF channel 5, the CBS station in Nashville, were uninvited after the show producers carefully read about the plays. TMZ.com quoted the station as saying the appearance might offend the station’s ‘very conservative viewership.” And over at NBC, millions will be tuning in to Madonna to see her not get on a cross, as originally planned, after protests from religious and conservative groups. The Globe and Mail of Toronto reports the ?material girl? will gain wide viewership from all the controversy about the NBC broadcast Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. Across the ocean, in Italy, as reported briefly Thursday, the question is being asked on whether the pope may be spoofed by comedians. The Los Angeles Times provides a detailed story about this controversy, which is creating major headlines in newspapers throughout Italy.

Millions of Americans will be shopping on-line this holiday season for gifts for loved ones and friends. But the clear winners are no longer eBay and Amazon.com. The Wall Street Journal reports that older retailers have been playing catchup and now sell on the web, in a major way. The top 10 e-sites for retail sales now include Walmart, Target, Apple Computers, Best Buy and Circuit City.> And when shopping for computers, iPods, Zunes and other computer, electronic and high tech items, one should become familiar with glitzy terms being used by manufacturers. The Wall Street Journal says that some terms include dual boot, dual core, flash player, high definition multimedia interface, and high speed downlink packet access. Do you know what those terms mean?

Books or pop movies? In St. Paul, there is a debate about whether the public library should be buying and lending out DVDs of popular movies and popular music. The Saint Paul Pioneer Press quotes one city councilman as saying that when books cost $30 or more to purchase, the library should be spending money on books rather than popular movies.>

When Europeans look at America, what do they see? Three documentarians went to Britain, France and Poland and found Europeans tend to love American culture, but on other issues things become more complicated. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the documentary, tentatively titled “The Anti-Americans,” is scheduled to air on PBS next year.>

CBS reports that half of people who view CBS shows streaming on-line, subsequently become viewers of the shows on broadcast TV. http://LostRemote.com which is the website covering the convergence of television and the internet, reports the findings of CBS’s research department.>

A new book by Neal Gabler focuses on the history and life of American pop culture icon Walt Disney. Gabler says Disney overcame daunting cultural, artistic and financial obstacles. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch review says the book details how Disney succeeded in capturing the attention of hundreds of millions around the world, who became riveted to his animated characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Snow White, and many others.>

Clear Channel Communications, with nearly 1,200 of the nation’s strongest FM and AM radio stations, plus a national group of TV stations, has been sold for nearly $19 billion, the New York Times reports. The New York Timesalso has a blog of comments from more than 100 readers.> The Boston Globe says two big Boston investment firms are the purchasers of Clear Channel. The Chicago Tribune says the acquisition of Clear Channel could create major complications for bidders hoping to acquire the Tribune Co. newspapers and stations. The Chicago Tribune says a Tribune deal might create major conflicts with FCC rules on cross-ownership of broadcast stations and newspapers. The Chicago Tribune is, of course, the flagship newspaper of the Tribune Co.> The Washington Post calls the Clear Channel sale ‘the end of an era.”>

Media companies have become unloved on Wall Street, but the New York Times reports that there are still plenty of suitors elsewhere. The Times says there is strong interest in all the ?old? media, including newspapers, TV stations and radio stations.>

Medical shows on TV have become very popular in recent years. The Baltimore Sun reports that viewers believe the medical information presented on the fictional shows is very accurate, and make decisions based on them.>

While some big food companies like McDonald’s and Coca Cola have announced plans to change their advertising in response to the epidemic of child obesity, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette is concerned about local telecasts. The Post-Gazette reports that a fast food chain is heavily promoted in high school football coverage on one local station, with enticing pictures of the food and drink. The paper says the station is serving up burgers and fries on its ?(brand name fast food chain) Pre-game Pep Rally.”>

Just as some politicians use fear to try to get votes, some New York City local TV news operations are being accused of using fear to gain viewers in the current ratings sweeps. New York Daily News television columnist Richard Huff gives examples on several major city TV stations.

Currently subscribers to DirecTV — the satellite TV service — can tune in to stations from distant markets. A sales representative said she lives in South Florida, but can tune into her hometown New York City stations, with the service. That is scheduled to come to an end December 1. Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that two U.S. Senators have proposed a bill that would prevent that deadline from cutting off service. However the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents commercial TV and radio stations in the U.S., is opposing the bill, and wants the cutoff of distant stations to occur.>

Media Briefing for Thursday, November 16, 2006

staff | November 16th, 2006

Political ad spending this election season nearly was double the amount of the last mid-term elections, in 2002, representing $1 billion more than in 2002. Media Week reports.

Every political junkie has seen the 1990s TV ad for former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, in which a white job applicant has the paper for a proposed job pulled from him by a black hand, with the announcer saying, ?You needed that job.” Now presidential hopeful, Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has hired the consultant who created that ad which critics called racist. The Boston Globe says the consultant is known for his ‘tough? TV ads. But the Hartford Courant says that in Connecticut this year, negative TV ads did not work. The Courant says so in an editorial.

Clear Channel Communications, which owns 1,200 of the most powerful FM and AM radio stations and also a group of TV stations, has agreed to a buyout of nearly $19 billion. AP reports.

The family of Lowry Mays of Clear Channel Communications stands to gain a possible payout of $1 billion in the Clear Channel buyout, according to reports. MSNBC reports.

The Radio Television News Directors Association has sent a petition to the FCC challenging the FCC’s opposition to Video News Reports televised on local TV newscasts, reports created by corporations, with their sources often not identified on the air. The RTNDA site has details.

Can journalists keep a secret? A dozen of them did, on election night, operating in a secret exit polling unit called the Quarantine Room. New York Observer reporter Rebecca Dana has the story.

Local groups either have or are proposing to buy out the local daily newspapers in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and other cities, from large publicly traded corporations, thus freeing them from the tyranny of having to meet Wall Street projections of ever greater profits every quarter. But the Christian Science Monitor says this could be a double edged sword, since local ownership may compromise editorial independence, with a much increased threat of owners meddling in daily local news coverage. The Christian Science Monitor editorializes.

The Wall Street Journal examines Google’s entry into a wide range of new areas. The Wall Street Journal reports.

After many false reports of imminent service this year, Al Jazeera finally launched its English language service Wednesday, 10 years after launching its Arabic all news channel. AP’s Jim Kranegives a description of what’s on the first day.> McClatchy newspapers say Al Jazeera avoided fireworks on its launch. McClatchy reports. The New York Times says Al Jazeera is ?not coming to a channel near you.” The Times says this is unfortunate for viewers.

Some think the internet is flooded with pornography. Not so, says a study submitted in a major federal court case on this issue. The San Jose Mercury News reports that the study found only 1% of internet pages had porn or explicit erotica.

Is it OK to satirize the pope on television and radio? The Pittsbugh Post Gazette reports that the Vatican thinks not, and is critical.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s it was common in smaller TV markets for stations to have 2 or even 3 network affiliations, and then cherry-pick the best shows. Now, a Louisiana TV station, using digital technology, will present the full schedules of both CBS and NBC. Broadcasting & Cable says the service begins in January.

An activist group is hailing the rerelease of the classic PBS series Eyes On The Prize. The Washington Post reports.

Keeping Score, the acclaimed PBS series aiming to engage new listeners in the enjoyment of classical music, is reviewed by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Post Gazettecolumnist Andrew Druckenbrod notes the series was created by a Leonard Bernstein prot?g?. Sister newspaper Toledo Blade also reviewed the telecast. The Toledo Blade review was published on the first of the month.>

Not all public TV viewers enjoy the lengthy pledge weeks on PBS stations. In the 1980s, a creative director named Caroline Collins, conceived of a way for viewers to avoid the usual August pledge week on PBS’s WGBH channel 2 Boston. The Boston Globe reports she launched a ?pledge free? campaign running in the weeks before August, advising viewers to pledge ahead of time, to avoid pledge week telecasts.

Fox News is denying it paid $2 million to free 2 Fox newspeople from Palestinian terrorists. The Drudge Report> has posted an internal memo from the Fox News operation. WorldNetDaily Editor Joseph Farah stands by the report, saying it is 100% accurate.

Media Briefing for Wednesday, November 15, 2006

staff | November 15th, 2006

TV advertising has been blamed at least partially for the epidemic of obesity in children. Now a group of major companies is rewriting the rules covering advertising aimed at children. AP reports the companies include McDonalds, Coca Cola and Campbell’s Soup. The Washington Post reports ads will get tight scrutinty and promote healthier diets. But critics assail the moves as too limited, the New York Times reports.

Blogging now begins young. USA Today reports online writing encourages students to organize and share their thoughts.

Consolidation of broadcast media continues to be a major issue and the FCC has scheduled the second in a series of public hearings to gain input. TV Newsday reports the hearing will be December 11 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Media consolidation and ownership will be the topic of a public meeting featuring U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey in Dutchess County, N.Y. next week. Northeast Citizens for Responsible Media is holding the hearing Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at the Wallace Center in the FDR Center in Hyde Park, N.Y.

An FCC commissioner wants to investigate the practice of some TV stations using corporate reports in their newscasts, presenting them as news, without identifying the sources. A study shows 46 stations in 22 states have used these ?reports,” the San Francisco Chronicle says. The Boston Herald reports a local station is cited in the study. Media Daily News reports fines of $35,000 to $350,000 could be imposed on stations.

Silence is not golden for a broadcaster. Al Jazeera’s English service has begun. And And AP reports a ‘silent start? for Al Jazeera, without a single cable or satellite system carrying it in the U.S. Al Jazeera reporter and former WCBS-TV and ABC television network reporter Dave Marash says being “fenced out? of the U.S. is a drag. The Washington Post reports on ?why? Dave Marash decided to become the face of Al Jazeera English. USA Today reports Al Jazeera expects scrutiny. USA Today also reports Al Jazeera aims for ?no accent.Gooood Morning, America! USA Today editorializes that Al Jazeera should be welcomed. It is already detested in some circles,the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The CEO of Yahoo says potential advertising revenue from the Internet is being underestimated. Reuters reports. Media Daily News reports online ad spending has surged 33% Meanwhile DC Style magazine ceases its print magazine in December and is going online only.

Seattle is getting free internet access. It is available without wires. The Seattle Times reports it eliminates the need to install anything. Satellite dishes are bringing internet service to rural areas, beyond the reach of wires. The New York Times reports.

Clear Channel reportedly has received bids in its quest for investors. AP reports there are at least two bids. Radio and Records also reports. The New York Daily News reports nighttime announcers have been eliminated at the Clear Channel stations in New York. Radio and Records surveys Clear Channel cuts in many markets nationwide.

Katie Couric says the most difficult aspect of her job is finding the delicate balance between young and old viewers. After 2 months on the job, she tells the Los Angeles Times about concern about turning off older viewers.

The Washington Post newsroom will be shrinking. Editor and Publisher reports on the details and the repercussions. Mediabistro’s Fishbowl DC quotes the lengthy memo given by management to Post newsroom staffers.

The conservative for-profit website WorldNetDaily reports $2 million was paid for the release of the 2 Fox journalists held by Palestinian terror groups this year. The money was used for more attacks against Israel, WND says.

A just-released study says the media are portraying minorities negatively. AP reports the study shows minorities are portrayed as criminals, and whites as victims and law enforcers.

Kenneth Tomlinson has been renominated to head the government’s overseas broadcasting operations. AP reports on Tomlinson, whose career included a stormy tenure at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The rule of journalism in the U.S. is that a journalist cannot libel a public official unless the journalist exhibits reckless disregard for the truth, or displays malice. Now a jury has found a columnist acted with malice. The New York Times reports the verdict in Illinois has broad implications for press freedoms.

Media Briefing for Tuesday, November 14, 2006

staff | November 14th, 2006

The television industry is planning tougher standards for TV ads aimed at children. Broadcasting & Cable reports this is in response to the epidemic of obesity in children.

In the Middle East, young Arabs are sidestepping repressive regimes with blogs and the internet. The Washington Post reports this is the new source of free expression in the region.

This week’s Nova on PBS provides an exploration of the issue of genetics.The Boston Globe reports Nova found a family walking on all fours to tell the story.

Frontline’s look at the sting operation in Spokane, Washington is reviewed by the New York Times.The Times says the PBS telecast affirms that the scars are permanent.

Can iPod be challenged? Microsoft this week unveiled its new Zune as a direct challenge to Apple’s iPod. There is wide news coverage. The New York Times says Zune offers a new twist.The Wall Street Journal. The Associated Press. <a href=http://www.boston.com/ae/games/articles/2006/11/14/microsoft_sees_video_sharing_in_zunes_future/<bloomberg News. And Microsoft’s hometown Seattle Times says Microsoft’s new product has ?many miles to go.

Tivo will be offering Internet video.The New York Times reports. AP reports. Reuters reports. USA Today has an interesting breakout.

Cable TV is now in the cellphone busness. USA Today reports.

Podcasts converted to search can help significantly. AP examines podcast searching.

Podcasters and bloggers traveled to Pittsburgh for a major meeting. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette was there.

NBC puts Meet The Press and NBC Nightly News on iTunes. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

Dan Rather is rarin? to go on his new broadcast. The Philadelphia Inquirer has the story. Dan Rather questions the power of the major networks, as he begins his broadcast on HD Net, not yet widely available in the U.S. The Saint Petersburg Times says he?d rather burn out than rust out.

With consolidation, NBC Telemundo’s local newscasts in San Jose, Phoenix and Las Vegas will actually originate in Fort Worth, Texas. The Los Angeles Times reports.

Meanwhile 40 staffers are to be cut from NBC News, according to a report. The Los Angeles Times has this story.

Ad executives see TV advertising budgets moving to the online world. Media Life reports.

Interactive advertising, tested in upstate New York and Hawaii, is coming to New York City. Media Life has the story.

The Tribune Company apparently has 6 bidders. Bloomberg News reports. Meanwhile the Los Angeles Times? Chandler family is split over what to do about Tribune.

Media Briefing for Monday, November 13, 2006

staff | November 13th, 2006

?Gotcha? journalism is pervasive at this time in history. PBS’s Frontline Tuesday night looks at the coverage of former Spokane, Washington Mayor Jim West was outed as gay and found to be using his city hall computer to contact young men, including teenagers. The local newspapers even had someone pose and contact the mayor, who was disgraced, and subsequently died. The gay community was unsympathetic to the mayor because he was closeted and virulently anti-gay in his political stands, apparently as a ruse. The Boston Globe reviews this Frontline telecast.

Recently a Texas assistant district attorney committed suicide as an episode of NBC Dateline’s “To Catch A Predator? was being videotaped. The New York Times reported on the suicide.

A Pittsburgh pastor committed suicide after a Pittsburgh TV station televised a news promo showing him entering an adult book store. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette provided details.

A Texas weekly newspaper outed a gay bed-and-breakfast owner for ?living the gay lifestyle? with an adult partner, and he took his own life. ConsumerAffairs.com says the victim was outed for no other reason than he was gay.

CNN’s Larry King Live interviewed Bill Maher, in which Maher named names about the sexual orientation of certain Republicans, but then deleted that portion in rebroadcasts of the show. The New York Times reports

Too little classical music on the radio, specifically NPR? Yes, says a new study. The Washington Post examines the study.

Former Beatle Paul McCarthy’s choral composition will be broadcast on NPR Tuesday night.
The NPR website provides details of the works being performed.

Antiques and auctions are associated with PBS stations — on air — but the Springfield, Massachusetts PBS station is holding a tag sale at its building — off the air for local residents – offering videotapes and other equipment. The media blog www.radio-info.com has a posting about it.

Time keeps slipping into the future? Ratings service Nielsen is redefining ?live viewing? to mean anything watched with 25 seconds of when it is televised. Media Daily News reports.

Car makers are targeting the children in their marketing, to get them brand loyal early. The Wall Street Journal reports car makers hope the children will influence parents.

Teenagers need less multitasking and more down time, says a Philadelphia therapist featured weekly on NPR’s WHYY-FM 90.9. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the doctor says teens drastically need more time.

A high school student sounds off in the newspaper saying the FCC has created indecency policy that is impossible for broadcasters to follow. The teen says the FCC is trying to be a lapdog.

Kermit the frog is caught saying things he wouldn’t say on TV. But the New York Times caught him and the famous Henson puppets.

Al Jazeera, reviled by George W. Bush and by mideast dictators alike, is going global. The New York Times reports.

CNN’s Lou Dobbs has a new book that echoes his nightly CNN newscast at 6 p.m., his blistering attacks on the War On The Middle Class. Mr. Dobbs, a Republican, excoriates both the Republicans and Democrats.

NBC Dateline lays off 17, as part of the wide ranging layoffs now going on at NBC. Variety reports the 17 being cut does not include buyouts.

Billionaires are now vying to buy the Tribune Company. The Associated Press says they include some famous names.

Newspaper giant Gannett is among those interested in Tribune. The Chicago Tribune reports on its own company.

Tribune’s big city TV stations WPIX channel 11 New York, KTLA channel 5 Los Angeles and WGN-TV channel 9 are for sale.
Tribune’s Los Angeles Times is following this part of the story.

Radio’s largest company, Clear Channel, is also seeking buyers. Media Daily News reports on Clear Channel, owner of 1,200 of the most powerful FM and AM stations in the country, plus TV stations as well.

The black community is concerned that black sitcoms are being given low priority.The Detroit News says that with the merger of UPN and WB into one network, CW, all black sitcoms have been relegated to one night: Monday.

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