Podcast: Making Sense of the Media Archives

Media Coverage Of Sexual Assaults Changing, Could Be Better
Sexual assault survivors are speaking out more and more, from the #MeToo movement to the heart-wrenching testimony of 150 young women who testified at the sentencing hearing of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. The media’s been covering more and more of these cases, where survivors of sexual assault are speaking out publicly. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies said while media stories traditionally have left victims anonymous, that may be changing.
Fake News Awards Highlight Mistakes
President Donald Trump finally announced his Fake News Awards this week, months after suggesting that he wanted to give a trophy to the journalist he felt was the most dishonest in coverage of his administration.
'Fire And Fury' Whips Media Into A Frenzy
The Washington D.C. media is going nuts over a new book about President Donald Trump, starting when an excerpt was released just a few days ago.
Trust People Have In Media Is A Partisan Issue
The 2017 Poynter Media Trust Survey found that partisan beliefs have a lot to do with how much trust a person has in the media.
Newsrooms Obligated To Report On Internal Harassment
Sexual harassment by men in positions of power can and does happen in journalism. And that's why Kelly McBride of the Poynter Insitute says says that's why media should shine a brighter light on itself.
More Millennials Spending On Media Subscriptions
The internet is a worldwide outlet for news organizations. But companies are struggling to make money from an audience that expects to get the news for free. There is a glimmer of hope. A new report says there’s an audience that looks like they may be willing to pay for their journalism. And it’s not who many people expect.
News Coverage Of Women's Issues Not A Fad, But Long Overdue
The New York Times recently exposed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for his sexual harassment of women for decades. This week, the country’s paper of record announced a new editor, dedicated to leading coverage of gender issues. More specifically: women. It comes at a time when there’s been a flurry of news stories about powerful men and powerful companies harassing women, discriminating against them and otherwise making work life miserable.
Twitter Playing With Idea Of Doubling Its Character Limit
Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey blew up his social media platform this week by introducing the possibility that the company may double how much users can say in one tweet. And if an ongoing beta test of the new 280-character limit works as the social media company hopes, all of the estimated 328 million people with Twitter accounts could be waxing poetic a lot more.
Citizen Journalists, Moral Tests Affecting Media Coverage Of Houston Devastation
Following Hurricane Harvey, a slew of citizen journalists have emerged on social media in Houston sharing stories of people needing help and connecting them with volunteer rescuers.
Internet Campaign To Out Racists Is Legal, But Unethical
A Twitter profile called “Yes, You’re Racist” is asking the Internet to help identify people who participated in the marches in Charlottesville, Virginia and are believed to be white nationalists. The result of this citizen brigade: some of the marchers are being named, threatened, and some are losing their jobs.
Media Take Different Routes When Obscenities Become The News
Last week, a colorful rant by the short-lived White House Communications Director left media across the country and world scrambling to figure out what to do with some pretty vulgar words.
Some Student Journalists Regaining Press Freedoms
Over the past two years, there’s been a small wave of press freedom laws passing across the country. And they’re all focused on student press freedom.
Anti-Gay Column Prompts Calls For Orlando Newspaper Boycott
When the Orlando Sentinel last week published a guest column connecting the shootings and Gay Days to the city’s embrace of what the columnist called the “pro-gay and lesbian agenda” - some readers were outraged. People bashed the Sentinel and the journalists working there. A city councilwoman ranted on Facebook and suggested a boycott.
Reporting On Leaked Documents Is Not A Crime
These days, the barrage of news coming from Washington DC includes a lot that's being leaked to the media via anonymous sources. President Donald Trump and a number of lawmakers are saying the leaks are not just dangerous - they're illegal. And now, there's been an arrest.
News Coverage Of Terror: More Harm Than Good?
News of a suicide bomber outside a pop concert in Manchester, England earlier this week horrified us. As expected, cable news shows and online publications responded right away – piecing some of the breaking news story together using a slew of social media. One result was an endless loop of cell phone videos on our computers and TVs from victims at the event.
Making Sense of 'Morning Joe' Hosts' Engagement
After 10 years of sparring on air about politics and other news, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski told Vanity Fair last week that they are getting married.
Tech Companies Try Crowd Sourcing The News To Boost Credibility
Two of the world’s best-known technology companies are asking their online audience to boost the credibility of information on the internet.
Media Playing Up The 'Opposition' Role Is Risky
Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies said she has a few reservations about how some journalists are embracing how President Donald Trump, senior advisor Steve Bannon and others are treating the media as an opposition party.
Are Alexa, Your Phone And Laptop Lurking On You?
Amazon's Echo is a voice- activated smart speaker that in a soothing – yet somewhat robotic way - plays music, shares the news and weather and answers even the most inane questions.But there's something else the device does. The small cylindrical tower’s microphone collects and stores a lot of data on you and others nearby.
Making Sense Of Unionizing 'The Ledger' Of Lakeland
n the past couple of decades, "unions" has become a dirty word in Florida. This is a right to work state, and it seems even mentioning the word has become kind of a political dagger - just think of teacher's unions. Most of the remaining unions are focused on trades, so when news came about newspaper reporters at The Ledger in Lakeland wanting to unionize, that made headlines.
Making Sense Of The Hulk Hogan-Gawker Media Trial
One of the more interesting trials to make its way to St. Petersburg pits wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan against Gawker Media. The company is being sued by Hogan because they published a sex tape with his estranged friend's wife. That ex-friend is Bubba the Love Sponge. who filmed the whole scene without him know about it. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies says if Hogan prevails, it could put Gawker out of business, which would radically alter our media landscape.
Making Sense Of The Journalists In 'Spotlight'
Now that the movie "Spotlight" has won the Oscar for Best Picture, just how realistic is the portrayal of the Boston Globe journalists who investigated abuse of children by Catholic priests? WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about that with Kelly McBride of The Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
Making Sense Of How A Texas Newspaper Broke The News Of Scalia's Death
The biggest news of what had been quite a news-filled week was the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia was found dead in the bed of a luxury ranch in West Texas - closer to the Mexico border than a city of any size. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies says it shouldn't be a surprise that a story of this magnitude was broken by an old-school newspaper.
Making Sense Of The Demise Of Al Jazeera America
In 2013, the U.S. TV news market witnessed the debut of Al Jazeera America. The network, based in Qatar and funded by that nation's royal family, was considered to be the crowning touch of their web of TV networks. Not even two years later, the network will shut down its American operations, Al Jazeera made quite a name for itself - it has 12 bureaus, won scores of awards for its long-form documentary-style reports, which is becoming kind of an endangered species. So we ask Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies: why is it folding?
Making Sense Of Sean Penn, Rolling Stone And El Chapo
There's nothing like a little celebrity gloss to fire up the ratings of any news story. So when Sean Penn made headlines for his role in the interview - and eventual capture of Joaquin Guzman - El Chapo, probably the biggest drug lord in the world - it set off ripples throughout the news world. But what really made members of the media all atwitter was his comments about the profession to Charlie Rose of 60 Minutes: "When you get the story that every journalist in the world wants, there's a lot of green-eyed monsters who are going to come and give you a kiss," Penn told Rose. "When journalists - who want to say that I'm not a journalist - well, I want to see the license that says that they're a journalist."
Making Sense of Media Coverage of the Oregon Standoff
The takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon has been all over the news. To talk about that coverage - and why it took the media so long to begin reporting on the standoff, WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
Making Sense of Donald Trump's Media Domination
If there's any one person who has dominated the airwaves this week, it's - yes, you guessed it - Donald Trump. His proposal to ban any Muslim from entering the U.S. sparked a firestorm of criticism. But it also has him just where he wants to be - in the center of the media universe. So is the Donald really playing the press like a fine Stradivarius? To answer that question, we talk with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
Making Sense Of Professor Who Blocked Racial Protest Coverage
Media coverage of the protests over racial policies at the University of Missouri included one particular video that went viral, of a professor trying to kick a reporter out of a public space as he recorded the student protests.
Making Sense of Google Cardboard
There's a new piece of technology that looks deceptively simple. It's called Google Cardboard - the company's vision for low-cost virtual reality. It kind of looks like a pizza box that wraps around your smart phone. We talk with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies on just what the possible implications are for Google Cardboard.
Making Sense of Donald Trump Questioned by a Jeb Bush 'Plant'
We in the media can't seem to get enough of Donald Trump, but there was one recent exchange at a bipartisan convention in New Hampshire, that, well, raised a few eyebrows. One of the most memorable questions that Donald Trump took during the No Labels Problem Solver convention on Monday came from a college student.But Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies says there's way more to this exchange than meets the eye:
Making Sense of Philly Mayor 'Shooting the Messenger' After Pope's Visit
Philadelphia’s mayor was critical of how the media covered Pope Francis’ trip to his city, saying the media scared people away by talking about the crowds. We ask Poynter’s Kelly McBride if this is another case of "shooting the messenger."
Making Sense of Covering Newsroom Trauma
This week, memorial services were held for two television reporters from Virginia who were shot and killed during a live broadcast. We talk with Kelly McBride from The Poynter Institute For Media Studies to get an understanding of how news outlets approached their coverage and how news organizations should proceed in handling crises and the broadcast of graphic material.
Making Sense of Ad Blockers
More people are using ad blocking software, but internet sites depend on advertisements to stay afloat. We talk with The Poynter Institute's Kelly McBride about how ad blockers work and what the mediascape might be like if it were ad-free.
Making Sense of Tinder and the Dating Apocalypse
The September issue of Vanity Fair magazine includes a story called “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse.” It suggests the popular dating app Tinder is little more than a facilitator for casual sex. Tinder issued a rapid succession of 30 Tweets in its own defense, and The New York Times picked up on the battle. We talk with The Poynter Institute's Kelly McBride about the coverage and whether the VF author should have requested an interview with Tinder before publishing her article.
Making Sense of Ferguson A Year Later
It’s been a year since white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18 year-old Michael Brown following a robbery in Ferguson, Missouri. Media coverage of the protests that followed have contributed to a new conversation and coverage about social justice. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about what’s happened in the year since we first heard about Ferguson.
Making Sense of Victim Portrayals
The cover of the current issue of New York Magazine is a composite shot of photographs of 35 of the women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby. The corresponding feature includes highly stylized portraits of the women wearing shades of white and silver as well as the women’s individual stories, including video testimony. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about why the magazine chose to tell the story this way and how it’s being received.
Making Sense of Impact Measures
"The process of producing news stories can be complicated. And after all the research, interviewing, writing and editing is done and a piece is sent out into the world; newsrooms don’t always know how their work is being received. A new tool called NewsLynx helps journalists measure the impact of their stories in the “real world”. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about the tool and how it works."
Making Sense of Donald Trump
Donald Trump is leading the latest national poll done by USA Today/Suffolk University. He’s got a lead over GOP candidate Jeb Bush but trailing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Although, Trump is within the margin of error. How reliable are these polls? Can we trust them all? We’ll discuss it with Poynter’s Kelly McBride.
Making Sense of Roping Off The Press
One stunning image in the media recently was of members of Hilary Clinton’s campaign roping off and sequestering reporters in the middle of the street during a 4th of July stop in NH. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about how on earth the Clinton campaign thought that was a good idea.
Making Sense of Paying News Sources
Wikileaks is offering a $100,000 bounty for the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. We talk with Kelly McBride of The Poynter Institute about when it's okay to pay news sources.
Making Sense of Being Wrong
Recently, talk show host Diane Rehm apologized to Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for incorrectly stating he has dual citizenship with Israel. Her misinformation came from a Facebook post. According to a couple of studies by the American Press Institute, false information on Twitter overpowers efforts to correct it by a ratio of about 3 to 1. AND most people are confident in the accuracy of what they are repeating from internet sources. We talk with the Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about why so many people are “Confidently Wrong”
Making Sense of the FIFA Scandal
The past several weeks we’ve seen revelations of deep corruption inside FIFA, the worldwide governing body for professional soccer. There’ve been allegations of extortion, racketeering and fraud that have been likened to the operations of organized crime. A story this big and complicated didn’t just happen overnight. We talk with The Pynter Institute's Kelly McBride about reporter Andrew Jennings’ book “Omertà: Sepp Blatter's FIFA Organised Crime Family” and how a dogged approach resulted in legal action.
Making Sense of Caitlyn Jenner
Bruce Jenner dominated the mediascape this week for emerging as Caitlyn Jenner – in lingerie from a Beverly Hills boutique that evokes 1940s Hollywood - on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. We talk with The Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride about Jenner’s skill as a media manipulator, and the evolution of how people talk about transgendered people.
Making Sense of This American Life's Retraction
Last month, This American Life did a story about canvassers who identified a way to go door to door and change people’s minds on issues such as same sex marriage and abortion rights. The story cited data that had been published in the journal Science. It proved that the canvassers could influence peoples’ views. In a big way. An author of the study asked Science to retract it because he believed some of the data gathered by his co-author was faked, so TAL had to issue a retraction. We speak with Kelly McBride form the Poynter Institute’s Sense Making Project.
Making Sense of Facebook's 'Articles'
The next evolution of Facebook allows media organizations such as the New York Times, The Atlantic and the BBC to publish articles directly to its mobile users. Facebook says it can deliver the content up to 10 times more quickly than the mobile web. Kelly McBride from the Poynter Institute’s “Sense-Making Project” helps us understand the impact of access to more-faster media.
Making Sense of Facebook's Play for Superbowl Dollars
Facebook is going to target ads on the pages of users that mention the Superbowl… and more. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute explains it all to WUSF’s Craig Kopp…
Making Sense of Internet Trolls
An internet troll has actually apologized to one of his Twitter victims. And that’s got the attention of the people who run Twitter. Can they stop trolls?
Making Sense of Brian Williams and Job Stewart Leaving the Airwaves
Both NBC anchor Brian Williams and Daily Show Anchor Jon Stewart are leaving the airwaves… for very different reasons. Are the two connected? More than you might think.
Making Sense of the Boston Bomber Trial
Craig Kopp and Kelly McBride talk about how the media will cover the Boston bomber trial – being held in a federal courtroom where cameras and recording are not allowed.
Making Sense of Charlie Hebdo
There was huge support for the right of the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo after a deadly terrorist attacks at its Paris offices. But not everything Charlie Hebdo publishes is something most people would support.


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