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Weekly Roundup – Feb. 9, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014 – Saturday, February 15, 2014

The weekly roundup offers a convenient summary of this week’s happenings in Media Democracy news. You may also keep up to date every day by following our Twitter account @MediaDemocDay and our Facebook group at

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Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 12.09.27 AMForget the Yellow Sochi Hotel Water; You’re Being Spied On

While journalists are upset at their uncomfortable hotel conditions, they are forgetting the fact that their electronic moves are now being watched.

From the article: “The system in Sochi is capable of capturing telephone (including mobile phone) communications; intercepting Internet (including wireless/WiFi) traffic; and collecting and storing all user information and data (including actual recordings and locations),” the U.S. council, which operates as a joint venture with the private sector, wrote in an assessment for its members ahead of the Olympics. “Deep packet inspection will allow Russian authorities to track users by filtering data for the use of particular words or phrases mentioned in emails, web chats, and on social media.” Of course, the terrorist threat at the Olympics is a real one, and the Russian system is authorized under local law, the report says.”

Professor Stuart HallJazz Fan, Hipster and a Leftwing Hero; The Remarkable Journey of Stuart Hall

A look at the life of Stuart Hall through a documentary entitled “The Stuart Hall Project”.

From the article: “As the labour party prepares for another round of soul-searching next month about the left’s place in modern Britain, it could do worse than organise a pre-conference screening of John Akomfrah’s wonderful documentary The Stuart Hall Project.

It would be perverse to suggest that Professor Stuart Hall, 81, has been a neglected figure in British cultural life over the last six decades. He was a founding editor of the hugely influential New Left Review in 1958 and the co-creator of the first cultural studies programme (at Birmingham University in 1964). He has been the most prominent of black British intellectuals since the 1960s, a prominent figure of the Open University and among the most trenchant critics of Thatcherism.”


tv_network_channel_logosAs TPP Opposition Soars, Corporate Media Blackout Deafening

According to a new study by Media Matters, over the last sixth months the network evening news shows — including ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS — have ignored the TPP almost completely.

From the article: “After reviewing transcripts of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelly, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams from August 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014, Media Matters found no mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Not a single one.

The PBS Newshour did only slight better by having one guest mention the TPP on exactly one occassion when a representative for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace argued on the show “that approving the TPP would improve relations with Asian nations.”


Georgina HenryGeorgina Henry’s Obituary

The former deputy editor of the Guardian had revolutionized the newspaper’s web presence with “Comment is free”, a web platform encouraging public discussion and debate on news topics from all over the globe.

From the article: “Georgina was a pioneer in seeing how a newspaper’s website could be used as a platform for voices that would ordinarily not have been heard. The idea had been tried by web startups, but for a mainstream paper it was revolutionary.

Georgina had little experience of digital publishing at the time, but she was an extremely experienced journalist – for the previous 11 years deputy editor of the Guardian. She was passionately democratic in her politics, warm and open in behaviour and quite formidable in her energy and drive.”


la-fi-mh-monopoly-20140213-001Comcast-Time Warner Cable: How a Monopoly Can Get Even Worse for You

We need more competition, not less; and allowing Comcast and Time Warner Cable to merge means much, much less.
From the article: “A remarkable amount of cynicism is being expressed in connection with Comcast‘s $45-billion offer for Time Warner Cable, a deal that will cement Comcast’s position as the dominant cable operator in America.

The idea is that already the cable industry is a web of monopolies — no neighborhood in the country has more than one cable operator to choose from. As distilled by Matt Yglesias on Slate, the merger “will in effect turn two medium-size regional monopolists into a big sprawling monopolist. But in terms of consumer-facing competition, you’re going from zero to two times zero.”


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