Gawker’s problems began in October 2012, when the gossip site ran a portion of a sex tape featuring wrestler Hulk Hogan, which Hogan claimed violated his privacy and infringed on his publicity rights.
It was later revealed that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel—an outspoken critic of the website—provided financial backing for Hogan’s suit, which came to a close earlier this year, when a Florida court ruled in Hogan’s favor and the jury handed down a $140 million verdict that ultimately doomed the media company.
Here, Dan Kennedy, associate professor in the School of Journalism and a nationally known media commentator, weighs in on the effect of shuttering the gossip site on the broader media landscape and the “troubling” mechanics behind the suit that served as its demise. Its termination, he says, could empower “wealthy interests” to use the legal system to drive media organizations out of business.
Read the rest at news@Northeastern.
Doing this on my phone. I’ll try to pretty this up later, but for now, just click here.
Roger Ailes in 2013. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Roger Ailes is out at Fox News. The media tycoon resigned on Thursday, just two weeks after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. Ailes, the founder and now former CEO of Fox News, had a long history in Republican politics before building Fox News into a media powerhouse. Here, Dan Kennedy, associate professor in the School of Journalism and a nationally known media commentator, talks about Ailes’ swift downfall and what his departure may mean for the future of journalism.
Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post wrote, “Two weeks. That’s all it took from Gretchen Carlson’s filing a sexual harassment suit against Fox News chief Roger Ailes to the evident demise of one of the most powerful figures in American media and politics.” Are you surprised at the swiftness of the investigation and Ailes’s ultimate resignation?
I’m surprised and I’m not surprised. We talked about this recently on WGBH-TV’s Beat the Press. At the time we were all in agreement that if no other women came forward, then Carlson’s claims were likely to fizzle into a he said/she said standoff. As it turned out, numerous other women emerged to level serious accusations of sexual harassment against Ailes. Once that occurred, it was only a matter of time before he’d be shown the door.
Read the rest at news@Northeastern.
Diamond Reynolds, who live-streamed the last moments of her boyfriend, Philando Castile, on Facebook Live. Photo (cc) by Lorie Schaull.
In April Facebook Live was launched, allowing users to broadcast live and tap the social media giant’s colossal audience. But it was last week, as the world now knows, that Facebook Live had its watershed, technology-transforming-history moment in the broadcast of Philando Castile’s final moments as filmed and narrated by his girlfriend after he was shot by a police officer.
To understand what Facebook Live might mean for newsrooms, Storybench sat down with Northeastern University journalism professors Dan Kennedy and John Wihbey.
Read the rest at Storybench.
Two of my Northeastern colleagues and I analyze the fallout from the House Democrats’ #NoVoteNoBreak sit-in over gun legislation. It’s a golden oldies get-together: one of my colleagues, Bill Fowler, was a professor of mine back in the day; and the piece was pulled together by Thea Singer, with whom I worked at the Boston Phoenix 25 years ago.
Photo (cc) 2014 by darkday
Before the emergence of digital tools, recording and (especially) transcribing an interview was a tedious affair. The little micro-cassette tapes were of dubious reliability—and yes, I once had one fail on me during a crucial and contentious encounter. Transcribing was worse, as you’d sit there constantly hitting the “play” and “rewind” buttons, an imprecise process that risked damage to the tape.
I’ve been all-digital for maybe 10 years now. But I didn’t really begin upping my game until I tested my little Olympus recorder in a New Haven hotel room one morning in 2011 only to discover that it was pining for the fjords.
Since then, I have assembled a digital recording toolkit that I hope will be useful for journalists. By now, of course, nearly all of us are recording interviews on our smartphones. But I’ve been surprised by reporters who’ve told me their transcription technique consists of nothing more than playing back the audio on their phones. These tips, I hope, will make it easier for you to record and transcribe.
Read the rest at Storybench, part of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism.
Our journalism students at Northeastern made a big splash over the weekend. Professor Mike Beaudet’s investigative reporting class partnered with The Boston Globe and WCVB-TV (Channel 5) to produce a story showing that the majority of the state’s 351 cities and towns failed to respond to public records requests.
Here is the Globe version of the story, written by staff reporter Todd Wallack. Here is the WCVB version, helmed by Beaudet, who was recently hired as an investigative reporter at the station.
Despite an intense focus on the state’s extraordinarily weak public records law (here is a letter written earlier this year by the Northeastern School of Journalism faculty and published by the Globe, the Boston Herald, and GateHouse Media community newspapers), 2015 is drawing to a close with the Massachusetts House having passed an inadequate reform bill and the Senate not having acted at all.
Let’s hope that in early 2016 the Senate fixes what the House got wrong. And congratulations to our students on a great job.