Regular readers of my blog will know that one of my favorite topics to discuss is the news media. There are three media commentary shows that I watch/listen to on a regular basis. My discussion of various topics often links to them for context and background. Each one is an irreplaceable treasure for those who wish to understand the news media.
Reliable Sources is a weekly show on CNN hosted by Howard Kurtz that analyzes how the American news media covered the main issues of the week.
On The Media
On The Media is a weekly show produced by NPR and hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield. On The Media analyzes the trends and influences that shape the American media and how the American media function as an institution. A.K.A. they look at the big picture. Brooke Gladstone wrote a book which I bought and read titled “The Influencing Machine,” which argues that the defects in the media come from the desires of consumers.
In December 2011 On The Media interviewed Paul McMullen, a former editor of the News of the World tabloid that was closed as a result of the phone hacking scandal in Britain. McMullen admitted to luring a former movie star turned drug addict into prostitution, taking topless photos of her and printing them in the paper. The actress, Jennifer Elliott, committed suicide as a result. McMullen said that he did the piece to impress Piers Morgan who was his boss at the time. Yes, that Piers Morgan, the one who now has a prime time show on CNN.
On The Media recently did a segment on the lack of coverage in the American news media of the civilian casualties that result from drone strikes.
On The Media also did a piece on Joe Wershba, one of Murrow’s Boys in the early days of CBS News.
The Listening Post is a weekly program produced by Al Jazeera English and hosted by Richard Gizbert. The Listening Post analyzes the global media. My favorite Listening Post episode looks at how the US news media analyzed the war on terror in the decade following 9/11. The Listening Post also looked at the US news media’s lack of coverage of Bradley Manning, and the story of Yemeni journalist Abdelah Haider Shaye who is in prison in Yemen at the request of President Obama.