Podcast: Making Sense of the Media Archives

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.
Making Sense of Technology Stress
A new study that just came out suggests that all this technology at our fingertips is not actually causing as much stress as we think. Craig and Kelly discuss.
Hands off the President’s Kids. A Facebook Lesson for Everybody
When a Republican congressman’s communications director posted highly critical comments about the President’s teenagers on Facebook, it led to her resigning. And there’s a lesson there for all Facebook posters.
Making Sense of Sony Pulling “The Interview”
hat are the implications of Sony Pictures cancelling the release of a movie making fun of North Korea’s president because of cyber terrorism?
Making Sense of the Bill Cosby Sex Scandal
WUSF's Craig Kopp talks with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute's Sense-Making Project about why the Bill Cosby sex scandal is the internet story of the year.
Making Sense of #GamerGate
Sexism and misogyny in the Gaming world? Yep. Kelly McBride and Craig Kopp try to get to the bottom of the controversy.
Making Sense of Political Polarization and Media Use
WUSF’s Craig Kopp and Kelly McBride of the Poytner Institute’s Sense-Making Project talk about a new Pew Research study on Political Polarization and Media Habits.
Making Sense of Election Coverage
Fox News scored big ratings success with its coverage of the midterm elections. WUSF’s Craig Kopp and Poynter Media Ethicists Kelly McBride talk about why and what it means.
Making Sense of the Media's Treatment of Ebola
Cable news networks and social media like Twitter and Facebook lit up with the news that the scary disease had been diagnosed in this country. For the news media, Ebola poses some special challenges. Just the mention of Ebola is guaranteed to get eyeballs on your news product. But, responsible reporting is essential to keep from inciting undue panic among viewers, listeners and readers.
Making Sense of the Washington Post Comeback
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos has made the Washington Post a media player again. We discuss.
What is Twitch.tv and why is it worth a billion dollars?
Amazon has purchased the website Twitch.tv for a billion dollars. It’s a site where you can watch other people play video games.
Making Sense of Coverage of Beheading Videos
Videos of ISIS beheadings are clearly news. But publicizing those videos also make the media a part of the ISIS propaganda campaign. How is the media handling this and how should it?
Making Sense of Ray Rice Media Coverage
The tabloid website TMZ got a hold of a video of Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice punching his wife in an elevator. Why is TMZ breaking these stories and how is the rest of the media handling this high profile case of domestic abuse?
Making Sense of Plagiarism In the Media
CNN's Farid Zakaria was caught plagiarizing words from a Dutch documentary. Why should we care?
Making Sense of the Ice Bucket Challenge and Ferguson on Social Media
Facebook was heavy with Ice Bucket Challenge videos while Twitter was full of posts about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Why the two social media platforms are so different and what that means for news consumption.
Journalism Class Syllabus Goes Viral: That’s News
A new journalism class at Boston University is attracting a lot of attention. No textbooks, lots of reading at sites like Gawker and Buzzfeed. Is it the future of journalism education?
Making Sense of Ferguson Reporter Arrests
Rioting in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson -- after an unarmed teenager was shot to death by police -- has brought media attention the likes of which that small community has never seen. And, reporters have experienced everything from tear-gassing to arrest as they try to cover the story.
Making Sense of NPR One
Craig Kopp talks with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute’s Sense-Making Project about the new National Public Radio mobile app, NPR One. It’s kind of Pandora for news.
Making Sense of #survivorprivilege
Washington Post columnist George F. Will wrote that rising college sexual assault statistics are the result of a progressive victim mentality. We discuss the significance of the internet backlash against that column.
Wikipedia is Encyclopedia-ish
Behind the scenes, Wikipedia is trying to make sure entries are not being made by people with an axe to grind. Can they do it?

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