- File Size: 767 KB
- Print Length: 31 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: June 23, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0057ZEENC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,059,207 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Media Makeover: Improving The News One Click at a Time (Kindle Single) (TED Books) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Alisa Miller, Public Radio International president and CEO, mentions Hewitt in her second paragraph when she writes about growing up sitting on the shag carpet in her rec room in Lincoln, Neb. Sunday nights slurping tomato soup and watching "60 Minutes" for its ability to transport her to "magical places all over the world."
So there you have it. Miller grabbed me early and I tend give in to everything she says in her Kindle Short. What she has to say is salient and important. Everything is certainly well documented and footnoted.
"Media Makeover" is really a love story about Miller's life-long attachment to the news and news media technology and delivery. In its essence it is really an essay about the powerful effect and pull of stories and storytelling. "I wanted to understand how news is made - or could be made - and when they are at their best, how stories can move people and even improve lives," Miller says.
The state of the news, Miller argues, has pretty much gone to hell in a hand basket. Less than a third of Americans believe the press gets the facts straight and a meager 18 percent believe the news is presented fairly. Miller points out that with ratings like that very few products would manage to survive. But the news continues to be delivered and to serve its preeminent function by setting our information agenda. News isn't very good at telling information seekers what to think, but it is "stunningly good at telling them what to think about."
Her central idea is that our American tribe is frustrated with the "news as we know it and want(s) better." She gives us some of her ideas on how to go about straightening things out by taking control and engaging in this media makeover.
Miller sorts the problems with the news into six buckets. Top of the list is the idea that key stories are not being told or shared. Going down the list, fewer people trust the news media. Next is the realization that we as individuals are living in news silos and are only getting a few pixels of the big picture. Consider this, Miller says: because of bad habits and narrow preferences, people many actually know less than their parents, who are better news gatherers with broader tastes in the way they get their information.
She has ways to fix each and every one of these six problems and generally the fixes involve taking control by transforming the news and helping "improve our lives in the process." She wants each of us to become active, engaged information gatherers and gives us many more examples of the tools and resources available to drive the transformation.
I glommed onto Media Cloud. Developed at Harvard, it tracks the news cycle and what is being covered by whom in real time. It generates word clouds and "heat maps" that show amount of coverage by geographical location.
Another application in my arsenal to bring about the news transformation is Newsmap, which visually depicts "bands" of news that can be spread and sorted in a number of ways, by country or by topic (e.g. business, technology, health). These are two; there are many, many more technology driven applications, websites and open-news platforms that are as interesting as they are illuminating.
The important thing, Miller says, is to get engaged in the news. Do something for yourself and make things better. If you admit that change in the news represents a great opportunity, then get going, Miller says. "Small action steps are how change happens. Our news needs a Media Makeover. Let's make it happen one click at a time."
Miller is thinking strategically about how to initiate a media makeover for the long term. For me, the greatest value in her essay is tactical. Miller introduced me to an array of new applications and initiatives that are not only extremely informative and eye opening, they're often gee-whiz fun to play with. I plan to get involved and do my part to drive the media makeover. I'm pretty certain I'm going to end up being better informed and I'm sure I'm going to enjoy the ride.
[Give it 4.5 stars]
One is the typos which are likely due to the formatting. First letters of words are repeated and bothersome.
The second more problematic fact is that while the author does cite multiple sources she leans to heavily on a few such as Pew, and the repeated plugs for TED and MediaMakeover are off-putting. Still a great read.
Alisa's intention is big: to lead the effort to improve the news we consume, which in turn can transform our conversation about just about everything. She begins by informing us just how "news" is made and what is missing from the news we consume on a daily basis. She talks about what kind of news never reaches us and the implications that has for our culture. Better yet, Alisa tells us what we can do about it by taking control of the news we consume.
She's passionate about raising the current sleaze standard of our news to provide the kind of news we all crave (I do, don't you?) and she was so jazzed by the impressive reception her four minute TED talk gave in 2008 (hundreds of thousands have downloaded it and you should too) that she decided to expand on the subject, hence Media Makeover was born.