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Posts Tagged ‘Amy Mitchell’

Sorry is Easy. In the Case of Martin Bashir, Suspension Seems to be the Hardest Word

Martin Bashir 304Judging strictly by precedent at MSNBC, if Martin Bashir had called Sarah Palin a ‘cocksucking fag,’ ‘right wing slut,’ ‘dick,’ ‘pimp,’ or ‘nappy headed ho,’ he would be on suspension, at the very least.

Instead, Bashir is a free man. All he said about Palin on Nov. 15 was that she should be forced to have someone defecate in her mouth and urinate in her eyes as punishment for her remarks on slavery.

What’s wrong with this picture? Plenty, if one considers MSNBC’s long history of Foot in Mouth disease. In every case, the commentator was either suspended or fired. In every case, the perps have been men, and in every case but one, the broadcast slurs have been aimed at women.

Ten days ago, actor Alec Baldwin was benched for two weeks after he was caught on video calling a paparazzi a ‘cocksucking fag.’ He may not return.

In 2011, Ed Schultz and Mark Halperin were both suspended — Schultz for labelling conservative commentator Laura Ingraham a ‘right wing slut,’ and Halperin for describing President Obama as a ‘dick.’ (Sidebar: If it had been Nixon, Halperin would have been technically correct.)

In ’08, David Shuster served two weeks for saying that Chelsea Clinton was being pimped out to support her mother’s campaign. And in ’07, Don Imus’ description of the Rutgers women’s basketball team as ‘nappy headed hos’ got him fired.

Like all his predecessors, Bashir apologized – the latest to join the celebrity culture of contrition. In a statement Friday, MSNBC said Bashir had also apologized to the Palin family, that he’s “committed to elevating the discourse” and that the network was handling the matter internally.

Still, many critics argue that Bashir deserves harsher punishment.

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Getting Your News From Facebook, Without Even Knowing It

FBNetworks

Facebook is increasingly becoming a source of news, according to a new study from the Pew Research Journalism Project, but the benefit to network news divisions is yet to be seen.

“People go to Facebook to share personal moments – and they discover the news almost incidentally,” said Amy Mitchell, Pew’s director of journalism research. “The serendipitous nature of news on Facebook may actually increase its importance as a source of news and information, especially among those who do not follow the news closely.” The new survey finds that roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use Facebook, and half of those users (47%) “ever” get news there.

Here’s what else the study of 5,173 adults conducted in late August and early September, found:

  • 42% of Facebook news consumers often watch local TV news, as do 46% of all U.S. adults.
  • 23% often watch cable news, compared with 24% of all U.S. adults.
  • 21% often read print newspapers, compared with 27% of the population overall.

But the fact that news outlets share their stories on Facebook is not of great interest to Facebook users.

If a news organization links to a story on Facebook, only 20% of people say that’s reason enough to click on it. The biggest single reason people click on links (at 70%) is interest in the topic. 51% will click because the story is entertaining, 50% because it’s surprising. 37% say a friend’s recommendation is a major reason.

YouTube as a Draw for News Viewers

A 15-month study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism has found news is a major reason why people “tune in” to YouTube.

From January 2011 to March 2012, roughly a third of the most searched terms each month on YouTube were news related. This came at a time of some major world news events — visually driven stories — including the Japan earthquake and tsunami and the Arab Spring. A majority of YouTube traffic, 70%, is from outside the U.S. Still, while the top 20 tsunami videos were viewed 96 million times worldwide the week of the disaster, the PEJ figures more people watched on local and national television around the globe. In fact, the three evening newscasts drew 25 million viewers each night the week of the tsunami.

Of the most watched news videos on YouTube, more than a third (39%) were produced by citizens who found themselves witnesses to breaking news. 51% were produced by news organizations. Some of the professional news videos contained user generated footage.

“News has found a place on this video-sharing platform and in ways that are opening up the flow of information and forging new areas of cooperation and dialogue between citizens and news outlets,” said PEJ Deputy Director Amy Mitchell.

The length is another differentiator between newscasts and YouTube clips. On YouTube, the median length of the most popular news videos was 2 minutes and 1 second, which is longer than the median length of a package on local TV news (41 seconds) but shorter than the median length on the network evening newscasts (2 minutes and 23 seconds).

Other findings:

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