Blog Archives

Branded content: how online advertorials are changing the shape of modern journalism

Branded content: how online advertorials are changing the shape of modern journalism

A deal was struck with 20th Century Fox to run a native advertising campaign on MailOnline and Metro.co.uk to promote the release of Ben Affleck’s latest film, “Gone Girl”. The movie was advertised in two features exploring “trust in your partner” with content written by MailOnline staff. Quoted in media and marketing magazine, the Drum, […] … learn more→

Embracing” the news from all sources: Relax, it won’t kill you

Embracing” the news from all sources: Relax, it won’t kill you

I have a good friend who listens to Rush Limbaugh every day for too long. Of course some of us would say that to meet this limit should not take even a day or one minute. My friend spends the remaining part of the day, having been vaccinated by Limbaugh serum parroting in feverish pitch […] … learn more→

Banned Books Awareness: “Their Eyes Were Watching God”

Banned Books Awareness: “Their Eyes Were Watching God”

Written in 1937 by Zora Neale Hurston, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” tells the story of Janie Crawford, a 16-year-old whose grandmother decides to marry her off to a well-respected man in the community. Fellow censored author, Alice Walker, had this to say about the book: “There is no book more important to me than […] … learn more→

Vaccines and Autism, Part 4

Vaccines and Autism, Part 4

Now, there have been plenty of studies showing a link between vaccines and autism, not that a link means causation. For any statistical study, you can argue something about the methodology invalidates the study. One of the best arguments nullifying these studies isn’t the sample size, it’s the environment. Autism rates are rising, vaccination rates […] … learn more→

Vaccines and Autism, Part 3

Vaccines and Autism, Part 3

So I’m continuing to dissect a CNN article that, despite the title, seems to be mostly about defending vaccines. Nothing wrong with that, but the article doesn’t seem to realize that nearly every tactic that discredits vaccine studies that show a link between vaccines and autism can be just as easily applied to studies that […] … learn more→

Celebrating Freedom: Banned Books Week 2014

Celebrating Freedom: Banned Books Week 2014

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the power of Banned Books Week than to share something wonderful and deeply touching. In the last several months leading up to this year’s Banned Books Week I have been humbled and honored to read and share comments and letters I have received from people all […] … learn more→

Vaccines and Autism, Part 2

Vaccines and Autism, Part 2

Ok, so it’s clear the assumptions of the pro-vaccine crowd are so strong, that it’s reasonable to at least consider the possibility that they’re wrong, that vaccines can actually cause problems, for some people, at least sometimes. I’m not picking on CNN here, but the article is pretty much a template for how mainstream media […] … learn more→

Believing in Wizards

Believing in Wizards

There are certain debates in a representative democracy that are eternal for a reason–and that reason often lies the nature of humanity and human vanity. One of these debates, in the United States, was first apparent in the animosity between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. It was recapped a little less than a century ago […] … learn more→

Sounding real by speaking fake

Sounding real by speaking fake

Arthur Chu is apparently best known as one of the top Jeopardy! winners of all time, but since I haven’t watched Jeopardy! since the last millennium, I have no opinion on his style of play or use of the Forrest Bounce. I came upon him, instead, in an essay on his current voice-over work. Born […] … learn more→

History, hashtags, and the truth about slavery

History, hashtags, and the truth about slavery

When we sat down last week to read The Economist’s dismaying—and subsequently retracted—review of Edward E. Baptist’s new history of American slavery, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, we experienced a strong sense of déjà vu. The anonymous Economist reviewer objected to Baptist’s portrayal of slavery as a […] … learn more→