The Basics of Occupy LA and How the Media are Reacting

Hundreds of people marched from Pershing Square to City Hall on Saturday, some with masks, some with bandanas, and many with signs bearing slogans admonishing the government, corporations and the current financial climate.

"We are the 99%"
"It's not a crisis it's a scam"
"Audit the Fed"
"Rights for the people not for corporations"
"200k in grad school debt where is my bailout?"

The protesters have been camped out on the City Hall lawn since Saturday, in solidarity with the 3-week strong Occupy Wall Street movement in New York. If America is a democracy, why does 1 percent of the population control 40 percent of the wealth, and take 25 percent of the income, economist and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz asked in the May 2011 issue of Vanity Fair.

What to Expect from the New Facebook Updates

Facebook profiles will become personal timelines this week.

Facebook's biggest and boldest move to date was announced last week at its f8 conference. Timeline is a complete overhaul of Facebook profiles and changes the way user behavior is reflected and shared across one's network, or social graph. In essence, Facebook expects users to be active participants in the social web, actively sharing thoughts, photos, and more but also sharing semi-passively. What you're listening to, reading, discovering and discussing across many websites can now be automatically archived on one's Facebook timeline and published in real time to the Facebook News Feed.

Facebook has always pushed openness and sharing on its users and this latest innovation is bound to spark concern among users who wish to maintain significant privacy controls over their profile and presence. For users that embrace the increasingly open and social nature of the web, the distracting nature of Facebook is about to multiply exponentially.

How Do You Learn About Your Local Community? Most Have Multiple Sources, According to Survey

People watch a live broadcast of U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice testifying to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States April 8, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)Television remains the top source of local news for most Americans but many now turn to the internet and cast a wider net for information on specific topics, according to survey results released Monday.

While local TV news was the main source for staples such as weather, traffic and breaking news, the internet was the preferred resource for finding more specific information, according to the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project.

Local news and information is filtered best via community, perhaps even more so in the digital age. People continue to show faith in community, whether learning news via word-of-mouth at the supermarket or via local sources and neighbors on Facebook and Twitter. Fifty-five percent said they get their local news via word of mouth at least once a week compared to 74 percent for television, 51 percent for radio, 50 percent for the local newspaper, 47 percent for the Internet, and 9 percent for a printed community newsletter.

Q&A: Maria Armoudian, Author of 'Kill the Messenger: The Media's Role in the Fate of the World'

Maria ArmoudianMaria Armoudian is a journalist, educator, and a consultant for Mayor Villaraigosa and other civic commissions. She hosts The Insighters and Scholars' Circle Sundays at noon on KPFK.

Her new book, Kill the Messenger examines the recent history of the media's role and influence on cultural and political conflicts from the Holocaust, to the Rwandan genocide to WikiLeaks and the Arab Spring. It's a five-part book illustrating the influence of media on society and the human condition under varying cultural and political climates. Media can make a big difference, the book resolves, from fomenting mass rage and genocide upon a wave of propaganda in Rwanda to creating and enabling a bridge to conflict resolution with the help of international NGOs in neighboring Burundi.

Relying on Social Media and Open Data During Emergencies

A massive hurricane is swirling toward the eastern seaboard of the U.S. leaving 29 million people under a Hurricane warning on Friday night. Currently a category 2 storm, Hurricane Irene is forecast to straddle the coast before making landfall near New York City. Here in Southern California we don't have many hurricane threats but then again it had been a while since the East Coast experienced a strong earthquake before this week. It's certainly not out of the question considering our proximity to the Eastern Pacific basin. But in 1939 the only tropical storm to make landfall in California killed dozens at sea before coming ashore in Long Beach. 45 deaths were reported as a result of the flooding. In 1858 a hurricane is said to have nearly made landfall off the San Diego coast, causing the 2011 equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars before turning back out to sea.

Catch up on the 'Phone Hacking' Scandal Before News Corp.'s Board Meets in L.A.

The last edition of News of the World on July 10, 2011

The ongoing "phone hacking" scandal in the UK may seem like a distant and isolated issue considering how limited the reporting has been in the U.S. press but it's possible that the media is shying away because it hits too close to home.

What's come to light in the past month in Britain may be indicative of unethical -- if not unlawful -- behavior that's become pervasive across all Western media in the digital age.

At the center of attention is News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch. News Corp. executives will meet with board members in Los Angeles this week for the first time since the scandal, which had been brewing for years, finally broke.

End Times at the L.A. Times?

It's long been a general L.A. media axiom that The Los Angeles Times' best days were behind it, but, as Edward James Olmos tells Harrison Ford at the end of Blade Runner: "It's too bad she won't live... But then again, who does?" The Times' decline may have been unduly hastened by poor corporate governance (that would be a link to the Wikipedia page for Sam Zell you're hovering over there), but the paper is also just another casualty of the larger structural realignment that is afflicting the profits and readerships of print media worldwide. That layoff bell you hear emanating from Downtown, humble writer/editor/journo/reporter? Wait long enough and it may start tolling for thee.

As Google+ Gets Going, Confusion from the Marketplace [Updated]

Google's social network launched a few weeks ago and has since been excitedly adopted by a large, yet limited (as in over 18 million), number of invited people. And as with Facebook, Twitter and other major social networks, brands want to jump on board, but have been asked to hold back until that feature rolls out.

Many have not listened, but so be it, right?

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