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Media Bits and Bytes – May 2, 2023

Tucker, Lemon, BuzzFeed, Vice News – dropping like flies

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  1. A Test of the News
  2. A Tucker Born Every Minute
  3. AI Spam
  4. Fox News Needs You
  5. California’s Media Regulation Bill
  6. Goodbye Twitter, Hello Bluesky
  7. Bots and Political Bias
  8. Groaners from Netflix’s The Diplomat
  9. History and the Decline of Local News
  10. Farewells


A Test of the News

By Wesley Lowery
Columbia Journalism Review

News organizations across the country often rely on euphemisms instead of clarity in clear cases of racism (“racially charged,” “racially tinged”) and acts of government violence (“officer-involved shooting”). Such decisions are journalistic failings, but also moral ones: when the weight of the evidence is clear, it is wrong to conceal the truth. Justified as “objectivity,” they are in fact its distortion.

A Tucker Born Every Minute

AI Spam

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By John Licato
The Conversation

The arms race between spam blockers and spam senders is about to escalate with the emergence of a new weapon: generative artificial intelligence. With recent advances in AI made famous by ChatGPT, spammers could have new tools to evade filters, grab people’s attention and convince them to click, buy or give up personal information.

Fox News Needs You

By Madeline Peltz and John Knefel
Media Matters for America

Fox News is now pursuing an even more aggressive strategy to raise revenue by increasing the fee paid by cable and satellite providers to $3 per subscriber. These fees are the majority of revenue for Fox, more even than advertising, and they are significantly higher than those charged by the network’s competitors.

California’s Media Regulation Bill

By Grace Geode

A California bill would hold social media companies legally responsible for addicting kids to their platforms. Tech lobbyists, digital rights advocates, and others say the proposal would run afoul of federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

Goodbye Twitter, Hello Bluesky

By Ashley Belanger
Ars Technica

There's a reason why Bluesky seems like a great replacement for Twitter. The app is designed with a decentralized system with user data stored in independent servers and not in a company server. A major perk would be the ability to transition Bluesky account information, including all followers, when users want to switch to a different social platform.

Bots and Political Bias

By Will Knight

A data scientist based in New Zealand drew attention to the issue of political bias in ChatGPT. Several weeks ago, after documenting what he considered liberal-leaning answers from the bot on issues including taxation, gun ownership, and free markets, he created an AI model called RightWingGPT that expresses more conservative viewpoints. It is keen on gun ownership and no fan of taxes.

Groaners from Netflix’s The Diplomat

By Roxana Hadadi
New York Magazine

The Diplomat is full of othering and historical revisionism, which are irritating enough in how they position characters working on behalf of the American empire as tormented by the burden of their loyal sacrifice. When Keri Russell’s Kate is simply too irresistible to her colleagues and her childish ways are positioned as empowerment, The show becomes a superficial slog of self-important “herstory.” 

History and the Decline of Local News

By Rachel Matthews, Carole O'Reilly, Martin Conboy and Andrew Pettegree
History Today

It’s bad news for local newspapers, with reports that they have reached their lowest numbers since the 18th century. How will historians study the provincial past when they can’t read all about it?