Media Briefing for Wednesday, November 15, 2006

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.