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Media Is Broken | by Nicholas Lemann| The New York Review of Books
What nobody imagined was that a really good search engine could attract an audience many orders of magnitude larger than any news site, without producing any original material at all—or that, a few years later, a social network whose content was mainly produced by its own users could replicate the same feat. Alan Rusbridger’s memoir of his editorship of The Guardian is like a museum of the newspaper business’s evolving theories of its future during this period. The traditional newspaper, delivered as a website, would be the model. No, the Internet was a democratic and informal medium, so there would have to be bloggers in addition to conventional reporters. No, that wasn’t enough, there also had to be enormous quantities of new material delivered constantly by armies of unpaid contributors. No, newspapers had to deemphasize their own sites and send each story out into cyberspace to find a life on its own on social networks.
journalism  objectivity 
8 days ago by scritic
Historicizing the Self-Evident: An Interview with Lorraine Daston - Los Angeles Review of Books
Interview with Daston, mainly about her work on the idea of probability and attempts to automate or mechanize judgment, which are precursors to algorithmic decision-making systems today.
science  history  history_of_ideas  probability  math  automation  algorithms  technology  objectivity  reason  rationality 
14 days ago by johnmfrench
Julia Azari on Twitter: "canvassing or among people who already know each other, in which tone and language might allow for minds to be changed - and dealing with a power imbalance such as between a citizen and a high-ranking official. It's not impossible
Great thread on the limits of social psychology studies of message reception

Azari says canvassing might work on those of same power level but politicians are more likely to change their minds if they see negative consequences of their constituents being unhappy with them
journalism  objectivity  polarization 
16 days ago by scritic
In a polarized world, YouTube can not remain neutral
So it is with the academy, politics, K-12 education, and all our other public institutions. Their role is collective self-regulation, some imposition of S2 thinking on groups naturally inclined toward a variety of S1 -isms. And as flawed as they are, as often as they fail, as badly as they are often bent to the service of culturally dominant groups, humans haven’t found any social S2 mechanism that work better. Only better institutions.
objectivity  journalism 
17 days ago by scritic
Why the media is so polarized — and how it polarizes us
But among those with cable and internet access, the difference in political knowledge between those with the highest and lowest interest in cable news was 27 percent. That dwarfed the difference in political knowledge between people with the highest and lowest levels of schooling. “In a high-choice environment, people’s content preferences become better predictors of political learning than even their level of education,” Prior wrote.

But rather than argue over who’s right, I want to step back and look at how a political media system increasingly organized around that axis deepens political identity, hardens polarization, and raises the political stakes.
polarization  journalism  objectivity 
20 days ago by scritic
I Tried to Live Like Joe Rogan - The Atlantic
ut that’s not why people are obsessed with him. In reality, it’s because Joe Rogan is a tireless optimist, a grab-life-by-the-throat-and-bite-out-its-esophagus kind of guy, and many, many men respond to that. I respond to that. The competitive energy, the drive to succeed, the search for purpose, for self-respect. Get better every day. Master your domain. Total human optimization. A goal so hazy and unreachable that you never stop trying, until you realize with a kind of enviable Zen clarity that the trying is the whole point. If the world isn’t giving you much in the way of positive feedback, create your own. It’s a tough message for a very rich guy like Joe Rogan to sell, but he pulls it off because he has never stopped coming across as stubbornly normal. He’s from a middle-class Boston suburb, he’s bald, and for God’s sake, his name is Joe.
journalism  objectivity 
21 days ago by scritic
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama reviews Ezra’s Klein’s new book about the roots of political polarization. - The Washington Post
This part of the story has been well understood for many years; what has puzzled observers is why polarization has more recently intensified into what political scientists label “affective polarization,” a highly emotional attachment to one’s side that defies considerations of rational self-interest. Here Klein, like many others, reaches into the realm of social psychology and notes a basic human propensity to form powerful group attachments: Being red or blue has come to constitute an identity rather than an ideology. He cites a large literature suggesting that human cognition does not begin with facts and work its way to interpretations; rather, humans start with preexisting identities and use their considerable cognitive skills to justify positions they somehow know in advance to be right. Under these conditions, having more facts and information does not necessarily lead to better decisions. Klein cites one rather depressing study in which better-informed partisans were more attached to their incorrect opinions than people who were more ignorant.
polarization  toblog  objectivity 
24 days ago by scritic
What do we want? Unbiased reporting! When do we want it? During protests! » Nieman Journalism Lab
Stories about women’s marches and anti-Trump protests give more voice to the protesters than those about Black Lives Matter and other anti-racism protests.

On tight deadlines, reporters may default to official sources for statements and data. This gives authorities more control of narrative framing. This practice especially becomes an issue for movements like Black Lives Matter that are countering the claims of police and other officials.
objectivity  gender  race  bias  protests  narrative 
4 weeks ago by paulbradshaw
How misinformation overwhelmed our democracy - Vox
We probably need a paradigm shift in how the press covers politics. Nearly all of the incentives driving media militate against this kind of rethinking, however. And so we’re likely stuck with this problem for a very long time.
journalism  objectivity 
4 weeks ago by scritic
Policy Feedback in an Age of Polarization - Jacob S. Hacker, Paul Pierson, 2019
A large body of research has explored how policies, once enacted, reshape public opinion, governing institutions, and political organizations—a process known as “policy feedback.” Yet this productive research agenda has yet to be translated into practical recommendations of the sort regularly provided by other social science research. This volume of The ANNALS presents the findings of a major collective effort to do just this. The Policy Feedback Project (PFP) is an effort to develop research-backed arguments about how policy feedback might be harnessed to address collective problems in today’s age of partisan polarization and economic inequality. This article orients readers to our collective approach and summarizes some of the contributing authors’ findings. In particular, we show how the feedback effects of policies could be used to (1) tackle long-standing public problems that have resisted effective responses, (2) increase the long-term durability of policy initiatives designed to address these problems, and (3) build political momentum and power to facilitate the adaptation and expansion of these initiatives over time.
polarization  objectivity 
5 weeks ago by scritic

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