John Hockenberry, a former Dateline reporter-cum-fellow of the MIT Media Lab, has written a stunning, scathing indictment of network news for the Technology Review: mired in corporate bureaucracy, obsessed with the "emotional center" of stories to the exclusion of truth, gutless and irrelevant:
To get airtime, not only did serious news have to audition against the travails of Diana or a new book by Dr. Phil, but it also had to satisfy bizarre conditions. In 2003, one of our producers obtained from a trial lawyer in Connecticut video footage of guards subduing a mentally ill prisoner. Guards themselves took the footage as part of a safety program to ensure that deadly force was avoided and abuses were documented for official review. We saw guards haul the prisoner down a greenish corridor, then heard hysterical screaming as the guard shooting the video dispassionately announced, "The prisoner is resisting." For 90 seconds several guards pressed the inmate into a bunk. All that could be seen of him was his feet. By the end of the video the inmate was motionless. Asphyxiation would be the official cause of death.
This kind of gruesome video was rare. We also had footage of raw and moving interviews with this and another victim's relatives. The story had the added relevance that one of the state prison officials had been hired as a consultant to the prison authority in Iraq as the Abu Ghraib debacle was unfolding. There didn't seem to be much doubt about either the newsworthiness or the topicality of the story. Yet at the conclusion of the screening, the senior producer shook his head as though the story had missed the mark widely. "These inmates aren't necessarily sympathetic to our audience," he said. The fact that they had been diagnosed with schizophrenia was unimportant. Worse, he said that as he watched the video of the dying inmate, it didn't seem as if anything was wrong.
"Except that the inmate died," I offered.
The fine folks at Techquickie put together a quick overview that takes the mystery out of the dizzying array of audio file formats, including when to use what and brief histories of the most common types.
I’ve written before about my friend Lindsay Amer, whose web series Queer Kid Stuff makes LGBTQ issues easily accessible for kids. Now in honor of Pride Month, Amer is uploading a new Pride-themed video every week during June. In the above video, she shares a Pride Month song for kids. In her second video, she […]
Personally, I’m a Bare Minerals powder foundation gal, but if you’re looking for a new drugstore foundation, here are some options to try out.
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]