Media Layoffs in U.S. – A Crisis?

Article from AlJezeera By Andy Hirschfeld 3/27/24

“In the past few months, the media sector in the United States has gone through one of its worst rounds of layoffs in decades, with some voices within the sector even asking if journalism is a viable career path despite surging subscriptions at publications like The New York Times.”

Missouri Sues Media Matters, Lives up to its Name Again, Demands Names

From Ars Technca, Article by Jon Brodkin 4/26/24

“Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey yesterday in an attempt to protect Elon Musk and X from the nonprofit watchdog group’s investigations into hate speech on the social network. Bailey’s claims that “Media Matters has used fraud to solicit donations from Missourians in order to trick advertisers into removing their
advertisements from X, formerly Twitter, one of the last platforms
dedicated to free speech in America.”

Maybe All News Is Not Real!? Ya’ Think?

Article by Steven Lee Myers in the New York Time 3/7/24

Headline” “Spate of Mock News Sites With Russian Ties Pop Up in U.S.”

Not too long ago, this modest website about the media was subject to a DNS attack by Russian bots and over 4,000 fake accounts had to be removed. Took some time. So it’s no surprise that some – over there – have also set up fake news sites (some are very crude) to influence things here.

Here’s the article for you to peruse, however NYT is paywalled.

Event Coming Up in May, More Information to Follow

On May 4 an event at All-Souls Unitarian a workshop and dinner will feature Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian-American psychologist and an advocate of nonviolent resistance.

The program will be “The Role of the Media in Violent and Nonviolent Conflict”.

More information to follow, and tickets to the event and dinner may be purchased soon on our website under the Tickets category on the FCM main menu.

Overloading on Media & Doomscrolling May Be a Mental Health Problem

An 11/1/22 article from American Psychological Association by Charlotte Huff

Headline: “Media Overload is Hurting Our Mental Health. Here Are Some Ways to Manage Headline Stress”

“By June 2020, 83% of Americans reported stress over the nation’s future, as they attempted to process dispiriting and converging news events, including economic turmoil, racial injustice, and the pandemic, according to APA’s Stress in America survey. That feeling of strain continued to be reflected in the March 2022 survey; 73% of Americans reported being overwhelmed by the number of crises facing the world at that point.”

Americans Now Understand Media Role in Elections – Now What?

A couple of year ago, “when Americans were asked to evaluate the media’s standing in the nation, about four-in-ten (41%) say news organizations are growing in their influence, somewhat higher than the one-third (33%) who say their influence is declining, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted March 8-14, 2021.”

PEW research poll 5/17/21

As If Journalism Didn’t Have Enough Problems, Is A.I. Another Threat?

Article from the Guardian “If Meta’s intransigence isn’t enough, AI poses an even greater threat to journalism”
by Margaret Simons 3/1/24

“This could be the most catastrophic threat to the sustainability of professional journalism so far, in an industry that has barely recovered from the flight of classified advertising to online platforms in the 90s and the exodus of most of the rest of the advertising revenue to Google and Facebook since 2014”

“What can be done? All the news media companies are carefully watching the way that Microsoft and Google are integrating AI into search.

“Many news media are blocking outfits like OpenAI from scraping their sites. Google and Microsoft are harder to stop. It is not clear that it can be done.

“Copyright law – a limp and fuzzy beast – may not be adequate to stop the cannibalism, but publishers are keeping their options open on legal action.

“What about the news media bargaining code? At the moment it doesn’t cover the use of media content for training the AI robots – but perhaps, with modification, it could.”