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Media Bits and Bytes – June 13, 2023

How Hollywood became the Marvel Universe

Maxim Usik
  1. How Rightist Media Cover The People v. Trump
  2. Everything You Need to Know About AI
  3. CEO Out at CNN
  4. How Marvel Comics Swallowed Hollywood
  5. The Last Good Website?
  6. Meta vs Unions in Kenya
  7. The End of a Street Paper
  8. Layoffs at LA Times
  9. Needed: An End-to-End Web
  10. Showtime Covers for DeSantis

How Rightist Media Cover The People v. Trump

By Oliver Darcy

On Fox, the historic legal action was portrayed as President Joe Biden weaponizing the Justice Department to target his political opponent. “BIDEN ADMIN INDICTS A PRESIDENTIAL RIVAL,” one on-screen banner read. “Yes, it is a dark day in America,” Sean Hannity declared. “There is one set of rules for Democrats and another set of rules for Donald Trump and conservatives.”

Everything You Need to Know About AI

By Devin Coldewey

Although it’s called “artificial intelligence,” that term is a little misleading. There’s no one definition of intelligence out there, but what these systems do is definitely closer to calculators than brains. The input and output of this calculator is just a lot more flexible. You might think of artificial intelligence like artificial coconut — it’s imitation intelligence.

CEO Out at CNN

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By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Chris Licht has left CNN, where he was chairman and CEO. This followed his “town hall” platforming of Donald Trump, and a highly critical profile in The Atlantic.

How Marvel Comics Swallowed Hollywood

By Michael Schulman
The New Yorker

Collectively, the M.C.U. movies—the thirty-second, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” opened in May—have grossed more than twenty-nine billion dollars, making the franchise the most successful in entertainment history. The deluge of content extends to TV series and specials, with an international fan base.

The Last Good Website?

By Danny Funt
Columbia Journalism Review

The group that started Defector felt it wasn’t worth pursuing anything short of a journalists’ utopia. Every aspect of the business—from paying freelancers half of their rate after receiving a first draft to letting writers and podcasters own their intellectual property—would form a blueprint for a publication both ethical and profitable. The site would be worker-owned, with everyone getting an equitable stake. 

Meta vs Unions in Kenya

By Jody Ray

Kenyan content moderators at Meta have been fighting for better compensation for workers forced to watch videos of murder, rape, and ethnic cleansing. Meta was initially unwilling to give in to these demands, but Kenyan courts are intervening on the side of workers.

The End of a Street Paper

By Amanda Bartlett

After 28 years in nearly continuous publication, the East Bay’s Street Spirit, a monthly newspaper written and sold by unhoused people, is scheduled to run its final print edition June 1. Street Spirit was founded in 1995 by activists Sally Hindman and Terry Messman. They aimed to create a publication in which unhoused people could tell their own stories.

Layoffs at LA Times

By Todd Spangler

The Los Angeles Times, facing declining ad revenue and readership, is eliminating 74 editorial jobs, representing about 13% of the total newsroom staff. The L.A. Times Guild, an affiliate of Media Guild of the West, issued a statement that the union was “outraged” by the job cuts and “blindsided by this news.”

Needed: An End-to-End Web

By Cory Doctorow
Electronic Frontier Foundation

When a platform prioritizes delivering the content that makes it the most money, irrespective of its users’ wishes - it violates the venerable end-to-end principle: that a platform’s first duty should be to deliver data sent by willing senders to willing recipients, as quickly and reliably as possible.

Showtime Covers for DeSantis

By Rick Porter
The Hollywood Reporter

Showtime quietly pulled an episode of its Vice newsmagazine last week — one that featured a report on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ time as a U.S. Navy lawyer serving at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. The description of the episode hinted at potentially explosive material: that DeSantis witnessed acts of torture.