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Media Bits and Bytes – December 26, 2023

Another year of what we call news

  1. How Gaza Changed the Rules of Journalism
  2. The Big Tech “Magnificent Seven” in 2024
  3. The Truth About “The Truth” About Taylor Swift
  4. Transforming Local Journalism
  5. Big Tech’s Alliance with Authoritarianism
  6. AI and the News
  7. Bitcoin and the Future of Money
  8. Hollywood’s Year of Missed Moments
  9. Think Before You Tweet
  10. Journalists Are Casualties in Gaza War


How Gaza Changed the Rules of Journalism

By Ayodeji Rotinwa
Columbia Journalism Review

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Nothing in recent memory has riven newsrooms the way this war has. Unlike the George Floyd protests of 2020 or the Russia-Ukraine war, this issue has deeply divided newsrooms and uniquely endangered journalists. 

Big Tech’s “Magnificent Seven” in 2024

By Karl Schemers
The Conversation

Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Tesla and Nvidia have driven a rally in US stocks in 2023. They now make up nearly a third of the S&P 500 measure of the largest listed US companies. But as dramatic as this performance has been – and although they’re all essentially tech companies – don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re all the same. 

The Truth About “The Truth” About Taylor Swift

By Jack Winstanley and Beatrice Mount
Media Matters for America

Right-wing media spent 2023 lobbing sexist attacks at pop star Taylor Swift. According to them, Time magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year is a fake Christian, a Democratic agent, and possibly a witch. She’s also ruining football by dating an NFL player.

Transforming Local Journalism

By Alex Frandsen
Free Press

We’ve all heard about the perils facing local journalism. Job losses decimating the ranks of reporters. Hedge-fund greed. Corporate consolidation. News deserts. But activists, lawmakers and philanthropists alike have begun to drive forward a new vision for local news and civic information — one that prioritizes community needs over industry desires, impact over profits.

Big Tech’s Alliance with Authoritarianism

By Marc Owen Jones

Big Tech companies, and not just states, are active players in transnational repression across the globe. In the Middle East, particularly in the wealthy authoritarian GCC states, high digital penetration rates offer alluring markets for exploitation. Authoritarian regimes and tech companies possess a striking similarity: an appetite for information about their populations. 

AI and the News

By Joe Amditis
Nieman Lab

Despite the recent turmoil in the board rooms of prominent AI companies, the hype machine is still working overtime. The hordes of insufferable blue-check grifters and self-proclaimed AI gurus continue to paint scenarios in which generative AI will eventually turn rookie reporters into rockstars and drab industry reports into Pulitzer bait — some of it’s real, but a lot of it’s just smoke and mirrors.

Bitcoin and the Future of Money

By Preston Gralla
The Arts Fuse

This new generation of money-ish tokens will have serious consequences. Scamsters like Bankman-Fried garner headlines about how the powerful can take advantage of tokens that fall outside the financial and legal rules that govern money and its uses. But there are far more powerful forces than individuals that benefit from them. 

Hollywood’s Year of Missed Moments

The Hollywood Reporter

So much of Hollywood 2023 was defined by strike rules — what talent could not do. Seth Rogen, Bradley Cooper, Ayo Edebiri, Devery Jacobs, Xolo Maridueña and others reveal how they celebrated big projects — including some big breakouts — away from the spotlight.

Think Before You Tweet

By Jay Deitcher

Although it might be tempting to sound off when you’re angry or when you disagree with someone, you aren’t likely to win any friends by ranting in a comment section. Nor are you going to get your significant other to see it your way while you are both fuming. So what can you do? Five experts talk about the best ways to stop and think before you say something that you might end up regretting.

Journalists Are Casualties in Gaza War

Committee to Protect Journalists

As of December 23, at least 68 journalists and media workers were among the more than 21,000 killed since the war began on October 7—with more than 20,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza and the West Bank and 1,200 deaths in Israel. Fifteen journalists were reported injured. Three journalists were reported missing. Twenty journalists were reported arrested.