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Media Bits and Bytes – October 17, 2023

The Gaza siege has media on the warpath

The cartoon that led to the firing of Steve Bell, Earth's greatest living political cartoonist, from the Guardian after 40 years. Credit, Steve Bell
  1. MSNBC Suspends Three Muslim Anchors
  2. How US and Israeli Media Cover the Crisis
  3. AI Goes to War
  4. LA Times vs. Pro-Bibi Watchdog
  5. Chicago Drops a Racist PD Databank
  6. SCOTUS/GOP Social Media Mess
  7. Luring Gen Z Back to Print Media
  8. Feminist Approach to AI
  9. India: Videos Display Film Audience Reactions
  10. Guardian Cartoonist Steve Bell Fired


MSNBC Caves In to Islamophobia

By Jeet Heer
The Nation

MSNBC claimed that their three Muslim-American hosts were removed only for logistical reasons and that their religion had nothing to do with the decision. One complexity of the story is that the three employees continued to appear on MSNBC as reporters and analysts even as they were sidelined as hosts.

How US and Israeli Media Cover the Crisis

By Ari Paul

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Israeli media have begun looking closely at the Israeli government’s actions to understand how and why this happened—in sharp contrast to US broadsheet opinion, which has largely rallied unquestioningly behind Israeli “national unity.”

AI Goes to War

By William Hartnung

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks announced the “Replicator Initiative.” Among other things, it would involve producing “swarms of drones” that could hit thousands of targets in China on short notice. Call it the full-scale launching of techno-war.

LA Times vs. Pro-Bibi Watchdog

By Natalie Karachi
The Wrap

The Los Angeles Times defended as “inaccurate, irresponsible and reckless” an accusation that managing editor Sara Yasin was sympathetic to Hamas because of posts on her social media feed referring to Israel’s actions in Gaza as “genocide.” CAMERA, a media watchdog group, publicly called out the Times for alleged bias toward Hamas in its coverage of the conflict.

Chicago Drops a Racist PD Databank

By Tynetta Hill-Muhammad

The Erase the Database Coalition has worked tirelessly to end unjust surveillance and criminalization of Chicago’s most marginalized communities. Now the Chicago Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability voted unanimously to end the city’s gang databaset. 

SCOTUS/GOP Social Media Mess

By Ian Millhiser

In two important cases, government officials (the Texas legislature and three Fifth Circuit judges) were concerned about certain views being suppressed on social media. And, in both cases, they came up with a solution that is so poorly thought out that it is worse than whatever perceived problem they were trying to solve.

Luring Gen Z Back to Print Media

By Paola de Varona

Kelsey Russell, a 23-year-old grad student at Columbia, has been single-handedly resuscitating the lost art of newspaper reading, with a particular emphasis on making it trendy for her Gen Z peers. Recently, Russell created a TikTok series chronicling what she learns each day from reading the New York Times’ physical newspaper.

Feminist Approach to AI

By Ruhi Khan
London School of Economics

Technology – like education and politics before it – is considered a male bastion and history shows how long and difficult the journey was for women to enter universities and parliament. Yet unlike the right to vote, the exclusion and the conscious and unconscious bias of technology has not yet led to a concerted campaign for change. 

India: Videos Display Film Audience Reactions

By S.V. Srinivas

Videos of movie audiences indicate that practices hitherto associated with south Indian film star fandom—such as dancing before the screen during song sequences—are now travelling to the rest of India and to other parts of the world along with Indian films. In fact, one of the reasons people go to the theatres these days is to either participate in or witness the off-screen action unfolding there.

Guardian Cartoonist Steve Bell Fired

By Bron Maher and Dominic Ponsford
Press Gazette

Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell’s 40-year run at the paper has ended after he was sacked by editor-in-chief Katharine Viner over email. Bell told Press Gazette his relationship with The Guardian’s leadership had become “a bit strained” and the final straw was their “difference of opinion” over a cartoon he drew depicting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.