Category Archives: Media

Headline of the day: A Microsoft misadventure


From BBC News:

Windows 10 update stops webcams working

  • The update, released earlier this month, stops many cameras being used for Skype or to broadcast and stream footage.
  • The cause seems to be a change in the way Windows 10 handles video so it can be used by more than one program at a time.
  • Microsoft said it was working on a fix but has not given any date for when the patch will be available.

Ethnic divides mark parental health anxieties


BLOG Chart

A survey of American parents reveals marked differences the the health anxieties parents harbor for their children, but two digital age worries, sexting and Internet safety, make the top ten lists for black, Hispanic, and Anglo parents alike.

Interestingly, school violence doesn’t make the list for white parents, though it does from Hispanics and African Americans, while worries racial inequalities, high on the list of black parental concerns, the anxiety doesn’t make the lists of the other two groups.

From the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health:

In the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health 2016 survey of child health concerns, a national sample of adults reported numerous mental health issues as “big problems” for US children and teens aged 0-17 years. Overall, 7 of the Top 10 concerns reflect children’s mental health: either specific mental health problems (depression, stress and suicide) or issues that often have an underlying mental health component (bullying, obesity, drug abuse, school violence).

When the 2016 Top 10 results are presented separately by the racial/ethnic groups of the adults responding, bullying is the #1 concern among black and Hispanic adults, and #2 among white adults. However, the poll shows some key differences across racial/ethnic groups:

  • For black adults, racial inequities and school violence are the #2 and #3 health concerns – neither of which appears in the Top 10 list for white adults.
  • Black adults are the only group with gun injuries and hunger ranked in the Top 10.
  • Childhood obesity and drug abuse are in the top three “big problems” for white and Hispanic adults, but lower on the list for black adults.
  • Teen pregnancy appears in the Top 10 among Hispanic adults, but not among black or white adults.
  • While depression ranks #9 or #10 across all racial/ethnic groups, only white adults have suicide in the Top 10.

Differences in Concerns about Racial Inequities, Suicide

Consistently, black and Hispanic adults are more likely than white adults to label health topics as a “big problem.” However, the magnitude of the disparity differs across topics. For example, a large gap exists between black adults (61%) and white adults (17%) citing racial inequities as a “big problem” for US children. A smaller difference is seen for suicide (53% of Hispanic adults vs 36% of white adults).

Implications

This 10th annual Top 10 survey reveals key differences across racial/ethnic groups in the issues viewed as “big problems” for children – reflecting how contemporary topics vary in importance to different communities.

Comparing the Top 10 lists across racial/ethnic groups helps to illustrate this point. For black adults, the emergence of racial inequities, school violence and gun injuries in the Top 10 mirrors national attention regarding the safety of black youth. The presence of teen pregnancy as a Top 10 child health concern among Hispanic adults may reflect cultural attitudes unique to that group. For white adults, the presence of suicide at #8 reflects the importance of this mental health issue, relative to other concerns.

Black and Hispanic adults were more likely than white adults to rate all topics as a “big problem” for US children and teens. But the magnitude of the difference varied, from large differences in black vs white views of racial inequities as child health concerns, to fairly similar ratings of suicide.

This year, several Top 10 concerns directly relate to the mental health of children. Concerns about bullying, stress, suicide and depression reflect increased attention to the complexities that affect many aspects of childhood including school performance, peer and family relationships, and successful transition to adulthood. Mental health issues can also increase children’s risk for obesity, drug abuse, and other health problems. The broad recognition of mental health as a key child health concern supports the importance of ensuring access to mental health services for all US children.

Data Source

This report presents findings from a nationally representative household survey conducted exclusively by GfK Custom Research, LLC (GfK), for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital via a method used in many published studies.  The survey was administered in May 2016 to a randomly selected, stratified group of adults age 18 and older (n=2,100). Adults were selected from GfK’s web-enabled KnowledgePanel® that closely resembles the U.S. population. The sample was subsequently weighted to reflect population figures from the Census Bureau. The survey completion rate was 63% among panel members contacted to participate. The margin of error is ± 3-12 percentage points.

Chart of the day: Tweeting about racial matters


From Social Media Conversations About Race, How Social Media Users See, Share and Discuss Race and the Rise of Hashtags Like #BlackLivesMatter, the revealing new survey from the Pew research Center that reveals, among other things, that issues of race dominate the social media experience of black Americans:

BLOG Race

With elections called Iceland’s Pirates may reign


Logo of Iceland's Pirate Party.

Logo of Iceland’s Pirate Party.

Iceland’s Pirate Party is drawing closer to the summit of power, as scandals sparked by the release of the Panama Papers have forced the resignations of the prime minister and forced a Panama Papered president to call elections for 29 October.

The Pirate Party, founded on a platform of digital privacy rights, has been the big winner, as Icelanders show rising discontent with traditional parties.

From the Guardian:

The Pirate party, whose platform includes direct democracy, greater government transparency, a new national constitution and asylum for US whistleblower Edward Snowden, will field candidates in every constituency and has been at or near the top of every opinion poll for over a year.

>snip<

“It’s gradually dawning on us, what’s happening,” Birgitta Jónsdóttir, leader of the Pirates’ parliamentary group, told the Guardian. “It’s strange and very exciting. But we are well prepared now. This is about change driven not by fear but by courage and hope. We are popular, not populist.”

The election, likely to be held on 29 October, follows the resignation of Iceland’s former prime minister Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson, who became the first major victim of the Panama Papers in April after the leaked legal documents revealed he had millions of pounds of family money offshore.

The party’s popularity rises with scandals

A succession of scandals involving government leaders has spurred the rise of a party premised on transparency and participatory democracy.

The Iceland Monitor has been tracking the numbers:

With just three MPs in Iceland’s current parliament, support for the Pirate party in Iceland rocketed from 13% to 30% in the space of nine weeks in February-April 2015.

They peaked at 38.6% in February this year, and have been Iceland’s most popular political party for an almost unbroken period of seventeen months (all figures: MMR).

People who have been a member of the Pirate Party for at least thirty days are eligible to vote in elections and over 100 potential candidates have come forward for the constituencies of Greater Reykjavik and South Iceland.

According to the last MMR opinion poll, the Pirates could get somewhere in the region of 18-20 MPs in the next election – compared to just three currently – and be in a commanding position to try and form a government.

Here’s a look at the latest numbers in graphic form:

BLOG Iceland

The party’s leader says they’re ready for power

RT covers self-described poetician and the party’s leading figure and founder, Birgitta Jónsdóttir [previously], a former Wikileaks activist who has been a leading European advocate of privacy rights and a passionate advocate for Chelsea Manning:

Jonsdottir, a former member of the WikiLeaks team, says the Pirate Party, founded four years ago, is ready to form a government with any coalition partner that supports its agenda to bring about a “fundamental system change.”

“I look at us and I think, we are equipped to do this,” she told the Guardian.

“Actually, the fact we haven’t done it before and that we won’t have any old-school people telling us how, means we’ll do it more carefully. We will be doing things very differently.

“…we are well prepared now. This is about change driven not by fear, but by courage and hope. We are popular, not populist,” she added.

Icelanders’ distrust of politicians reached a boiling point when the Panama Papers revealed that then-Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson had once owned an offshore company (now controlled by his wife) that held debt from failed Icelandic banks. Thousands of people, outraged by their PM’s alleged offshore accounts, took to the streets of Iceland’s capital in what appeared to be the largest protest in the country’s history. The scandal prompted Gunnlaugsson to resign in early April, with early general elections likely to be held in October.

More after the jump. . . Continue reading

Chart of the day: Quicker way to kill newspapers


With aa growing number of newspapers now in the hands of investment bankers, it’s no surprise to discover that papers are hiving off their most lucrative holdings into separate companies.

By splitting print from television and radio, the profit electronic money spinoffs aren’t freighted down with the burden of having to carry their dying former partners, the subject of today’s Chart of the day, via the Pew Research Center:

BLOG media companies

From Pew:

In the past two years, several media companies that own both print and broadcast properties have spun off their newspapers and other print products into separate publishing companies to isolate this troubled sector from their more profitable broadcast stations. And this strategy has largely paid off.

Gannett Co. Inc., Tribune Company, and E.W. Scripps Co., which together own more than 100 newspapers and more than 70 television stations, all made the decision in 2014 or 2015 to spin off their print properties into separate companies. An analysis of the spinoffs shows that the broadcasting components of the original companies (which also retained many digital properties) have mostly outperformed their publishing counterparts in terms of operating profit margins and stock prices.

Needless to say, the trend is bad new for folks who love the news, given that, as John Oliver recently and reasonably pointed out, its the newspapers that account for much of the news carried by the electronic media.

Oliver’s brilliant commentary aroused the ire of David Chavern, CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, the industry’s trade organization and lobby.

But then Chavern isn’t a newspaper sort at all. His last job as as COO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Filmmakers: Stop repressing folks who film cops


And an amen to that!

From the Guardian:

A group of more than 40 documentarians, including eight Oscar winners, has called on the justice department to investigate the “harassment” and “targeting” of citizen journalists who record episodes of police violence.

Noting that the citizens who filmed the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Freddie Gray and Eric Garner were all subsequently arrested, the film-makers wrote in an open letter that it is “vital we defend the rights of these individuals to use video as a means of criticizing unjust police activity.”

The undersigned filmmakers include Going Clear director Alex Gibney, Citizenfour director Laura Poitras, Cartel Land director Matt Heineman and The House I Live In director Eugene Jarecki.

“Mainstream media has paid ample attention to the images captured by these citizen journalists. Largely, it has ignored the methods in which they were recorded and distributed, and the penalties for those involved,” the letter states.

Like in other high profile police killings from the last two years, the cases of Sterling and Castile, which inspired nationwide protests throughout much of July, both gained attention largely through the release of bystander video.

Study: Partisan social media only confirm bias


Sure, we all knew it, but it’s nice to see confrmation.

From Ohio State University:

A new nationwide study suggests why heavy users of partisan media outlets are more likely than others to hold political misperceptions.

It’s not because the people using these sites are unaware that experts have weighed in on the issues. And using ideologically driven news only sometimes promotes misunderstanding of what the evidence says.

“Partisan online media drive a wedge between evidence and beliefs,” said R. Kelly Garrett, lead author of the study and professor of communication at The Ohio State University.

“The more people use these sources, they more likely they are to embrace false claims, regardless of what they know about the evidence.”

Partisan media have effects on both Democrats and Republicans, the researchers found.

Strikingly, use of partisan media contributed to misperceptions above and beyond the influence of partisanship itself.

“What you believe isn’t just about what party you belong to. Where you get your news matters, too,” Garrett said.

Garrett conducted the study with two former graduate students: Brian Weeks, now with the University of Michigan, and Rachel Neo, now with the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Their results appear online in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication [open access] and will be published in a future print edition.

Garrett said that the study’s focus on changes in media use and political beliefs over time gives the researchers a unique opportunity to understand how these two factors influence one another.

Data came from a three-wave panel study conducted during the 2012 presidential election. Participants were interviewed first during July-August 2012, a second time in August-October and a final time in November. A total of 652 nationally representative participants completed all three surveys.

All participants were asked about their knowledge of and beliefs about four different issues in the campaign, two of which favored Republicans and two that favored Democrats.

The well-documented falsehoods favored by Republicans were the claims that President Obama was not born in the United States and that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Democrat-favored misperceptions were that Mitt Romney actively managed Bain Capital when the firm started investing in companies that outsourced work abroad, and that there was an immediate drop in marine life diversity in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil spill.

The researchers measured how often participants visited websites characterized as favoring liberal positions, including the New York Times, MSNBC, Huffington Post, ThinkProgress and Daily Kos; and those favoring conservative positions, such as the Wall Street Journal, FOX News, Drudge Report, TownHall and Cybercast News Service.

One explanation for why partisan media encourage misperceptions is that their users are sheltered from the truth. For example, it is sometimes suggested that viewers build their own “echo chambers” where they never hear facts that contradict what they believe. But there is no evidence of that in this study, Garrett said.

“In fact, we found modest evidence that the opposite sometimes occurs – people who were heavy users of ideological news sites were more likely to say they’d heard evidence related to one of the issues,” he said.

There’s more! Continue reading