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Media Bits & Bytes - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow edition

High school minefield; Scholastic plays dirty energy pool; FCC trims Sinclair Broadcasting; Who care's if it's true?; Past, present and future of social media

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Scholastic U-Turn On Coal, The Unsuitablog - Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

High Schools Confront Social Media Minefield

March 6, 2014
eSchool News

Teenage gossip used to be scribbled in notes passed during class. Crude jokes were confined to the locker room.

Now snide comments, inside jokes and offensive language can explode online through new, quickly evolving outlets, where it can live on and be seen by thousands. The aftermath can ruin reputations, jeopardize jobs, disrupt classrooms and lead to lawsuits or criminal charges.

But just what schools can do to stop inappropriate posts is still unclear. "With the rise of social media and the quickly changing nature of social media, more and more schools are reaching out to discipline students for speech that takes place off campus but online," said Raleigh Levine, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law who teaches First Amendment and media law. "It's really important that the courts and the schools have some guidance on just how far the schools can reach."

This Is What Happened When Scholastic Tried To Bring Pro-Coal Propaganda to School

By Bill Bigelow
March 6, 2014
Yes! Magazine

While developing activities on coal and the climate crisis in 2011 for Rethinking Schools magazine, I ran across a curriculum, The United States of Energy, from Scholastic, the venerable education publisher.

It turned out that the education arm of the U.S. coal industry, the American Coal Foundation, had hired Scholastic to produce these glossy lessons and to distribute them to teachers throughout the country.

Shared TV Stations Face Breakup Under U.S. FCC Proposal

By Todd Shields
March 6, 2014
Bloomberg Businessweek

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI:US), one of the largest U.S. television-station owners, would be forced to give up some properties it controls under a proposal by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, agency officials said.

Wheeler wants to ban, within a specified period, some shared-service arrangements that have let companies avoid a U.S. ban on owning more than one TV station in a local market, said two officials briefed on his plan.

Who Cares If It's True?

By Marc Fisher
March 3, 2014
Columbia Journalism Review

NowThis News is a small start-up, a couple of dozen producers and editors shouldered together along white laminate tables in a second-story newsroom in lower Manhattan. They churn out 40 to 50 videos a day - six-second clips for Vine, 10-second spots for Snapchat, 15-second versions for Instagram, and longform work (30 seconds to a minute) for Facebook and the Web. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says during a two-hour news conference that he's not a bully, NowThis takes a few seconds of that clip, marries it to three or four snippets showing him being a bully and posts the 15 seconds on Instagram within an hour.

"Everything we do is irreverent, but not glib," says the editor in chief, Ed O'Keefe, 36, a veteran of ABC News. "We remove all ornamentation, anything that distances. The YouTube generation understands that stories evolve. It's dirty and it's not always right, but it's instantaneous."

There it is, the red-hot core of the difference between old school and new. I've never had a print editor who said anything like that out loud. But I have heard any number of editors who are struggling to figure out how to compete digitally embrace the idea that putting something up can take precedence over checking it out fully. This is no expression of tabloid amorality; O'Keefe is a serious journalist who is trying to find a standard that works in the new world. He doesn't want to deliver inaccuracies to his audience. Rather, he wants to give them the closest version of the truth he can while still meeting them where they are, which is on their phone, right now. Wait a few minutes, and they won't be there anymore; they'll have moved on to the next story.

The Past, Present And Future Of Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Shea Bennett
March 6, 2014

It's easy to forget that Facebook has been with us for just a single decade, but 47 percent of Americans now cite the social network as their number one influencer of purchases. Twitter opened its doors to the public in July 2006, but 34 percent of marketers have used the platform to successfully generate leads.

So what's coming next? Where and what will social be in a decade from now? This infographic from Total Customer looks at the past, present and future of social media.