WEEKEND READS & FEEDS
Journalism or free media attention? Peter Mwaura writes in Daily Nation that Al-Shabaab, the group taking responsibility for the mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya earlier this week, “stage managed a propaganda coup. Thanks to the worldwide web.” The world media – newspapers, news agencies, and broadcasting organizations — used information supplied by the Al-Shabaab as news, Mwaura writes. Separately, Al Jazeera asks whether journalists can cover a story like the Nairobi mall siege without rewarding extremists who are out for publicity? Guests on the network’s Listening Post program also ponder whether journalists were simply doing their job by publicizing graphic images of the violence in Kenya or did they inadvertently become mouthpieces for those who were making the news? And “how can the media cover this kind of story without rewarding murderers who are out for publicity?” This week’s feature also takes a closer look at how user-generated content (UGC) has changed the way the media deliver the news.
Seymour Hersh on the ‘pathetic’ state of American journalism. Pulitzer Prize Winner Seymour Hersh is angry about “the timidity of journalists in America…” So angry in fact that in order to fix journalism Hersh believes the news bureaus for NBC and ABC ought to be shut down and 90 percent of editors in publishing should be fired. Despite his displeasure with the current state of American journalism, Hersh still holds out hope. “I have this sort of heuristic view that journalism, we possibly offer hope because the world is clearly run by total nincompoops more than ever … Not that journalism is always wonderful, it’s not, but at least we offer some way out, some integrity,” The Guardian reports.
Radio Blues & Rules. Two media watchdog groups are challenging the license renewal of a Sacramento radio station that sponsored a contest that led to the death of participant Jennifer Lea Strange. In 2009 Strange’s family won $16,577,188 lawsuit against Entercom Sacramento LLC, parent company of KDND. On Wednesday, representatives for the Sacramento Media Group and the Media Action Center announced that they intend to file legal challenges with the Federal Communications Commission before the Nov. 1 deadline to contest the station’s pending eight-year broadcast license renewal, according to The Sacramento Bee. “If the FCC won’t deny a license to a radio station that killed someone, when will it?,” Sue Wilson, founder of the Media Action Center, posted online. Meanwhile, starting in October thousands of groups will apply for community radio licenses from the FCC as part of the largest expansion of Low Power FM (LPFM) community radio stations in this country’s history. The FCC will accept applications for these radio station licenses for two weeks only. For many groups though, the fight for these licenses can be fraught with thorny legal struggles, especially in competitive radio markets. Prometheus, which worked for 15 years to get the federal government to allow LPFM, has launched a crowd-funding campaign to build-out its technical and engineering support teams that can assist groups in navigating regulations and applying for the licenses. Their goal is to raise $20,000 by Oct. 9. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_NIeMbjl9J0]