Skip to main content

Media Bits and Bytes – April 2, 2024

Bots, NBC and a comic book about disinformation

  1. NBC Drops a Hot Potato After Staff Revolt
  2. Apple Antitrust Suit
  3. Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Won’t Lie for MAGA
  4. Trailblazing Women In Digital Media
  5. Data Transparency for AI
  6. Palestinian Film Directors Confront the Horror
  7. Killer Bots AI Upgrade
  8. Fate of a Sports Website
  9. Comics, the State and Disinfo
  10. Gary Younge Explains It to Us


NBC Drops a Hot Potato After Staff Revolt

By Cameron Joseph
Columbia Journalism Review

NBC’s hiring of former Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel earlier this week, was followed by a very public staff revolt led by top on-air talent—and, ultimately, a reversal of the hire. What’s most interesting is what it says about a broader struggle within journalism in the Trump era. 

Apple Antitrust Suit

By Nicole Narea

If you like this article, please sign up for Snapshot, Portside's daily summary.

(One summary e-mail a day, you can change anytime, and Portside is always free.)

The Biden administration filed a sweeping antitrust lawsuit against Apple Thursday that targets a product that has been the major revenue driver for the company’s $2.76 trillion business: the iPhone. Apple was one of the last remaining big tech companies that had yet to be hit with an antitrust suit of this magnitude: There are also pending suits against Facebook parent Meta, Amazon, and Google.

Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Won’t Lie for MAGA

By Chris Quinn
Cleveland Plain Dealer

The facts involving Trump are crystal clear, and as news people, we cannot pretend otherwise, as unpopular as that might be with a segment of our readers. There aren’t two sides to facts. We understand what a privilege it is to be welcomed into the lives of the millions of people who visit our platforms each month for news, sports and entertainment. But our duty is to the truth.

Trailblazing Women In Digital Media

By Jennifer Acree

Women’s History Month is a good time to to acknowledge and celebrate the remarkable contributions of female innovators, disruptors and changemakers.

Data Transparency for AI

By Jacquelyn Melinek

As AI proliferates and things on the internet are easier to manipulate, there’s a need more than ever to make sure data and brands are verifiable. The now-defunct crypto exchange FTX was manipulating its books internally and misleading investors. It’s akin to making a query to a database for financial records, but manipulating it inside their own database.

Palestinian Film Directors Confront the Horror

By Nick Vivarelli

As hopes of reaching a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip flicker, Palestinian directors are grappling with despair while questioning how their art can better convey the suffering of Palestinians. Elia Souleiman said the time has come “to take responsibility, and a moral and ethical position, on what films enable us to discuss about genocides, massacres and horrible violence around the world.”

Killer Bots AI Upgrade

By Jessica Corbett
Common Dreams

Deploying lethal weapons that rely on artificial intelligence (AI) in battlefield conditions necessarily means inserting them into novel conditions for which they have not been programmed, an invitation for disastrous outcomes.

Why the TikTok Ban Is a Terrible Idea

By Amy Kroin
Free Press

The legislation is built on misconceptions about how TikTok operates. Worse, it does nothing to protect people’s privacy or blunt the widespread manipulation users face across platforms, including those owned and headquartered in the United States.

Fate of a Sports Website

By Ernie Smith

The domain for Deadspin was purchased a mere five days ago. It was such an unlikely situation, and such an obscure company, that AdWeek initially mistook the purchaser for another company with the same name. While I do not have an answer as to who Deadspin’s new owners are, I do have some interesting takeaways from this journey that may lead to the answer.

Comics, the State and Disinfo

By Juan Elman

With the 2024 elections looming, the Department of Homeland Security has a little-noticed weapon in its war on disinformation: comic books. The comics read like well-meaning (if corny) attempts to grapple with efforts by foreign governments to influence American public opinion, as articulated in intelligence community assessments.

Gary Younge Explains It to Us

By Bron Maher

Journalist Gary Younge has warned that the narrow range of most British journalists’ backgrounds means it takes “a seismic event” for journalists to take an interest in problems that are for many people everyday realities. “When political figures or moments emerge that make them feel uncomfortable or that they don’t like, they subject it not to analysis but parody.”