Author Archive

Media diets of media people

Posted: May 4, 2011 by Kevin M. Lerner in Uncategorized

Hi everyone. Just as a reminder of what I said in class today, and as a first note to those of you who (ahem!) were NOT in class today, your final post to this blog should be a revisiting of your media diet. What has changed? What have you added or removed from your diets (either by choice or by force)? What do you still consume, but more skeptically than before?

As inspiration, I’m posting a link to Adam Moss’s media diet. Moss is the editor of New York Magazine, and a very well-regarded editor in general, so it’s worth seeing what he takes in. Notice that some of it is serious, and some of it is Us Weekly.

Notice too that at the end of the piece, there are links to the media diets of several other media people.

Thanks again for a great semester. I look forward to reading those research papers. And I’m serious when I say that.


The extra hand

Posted: April 29, 2011 by Kevin M. Lerner in Uncategorized

Apropos of our discussion of Photoshop today, I ran into this blog post from a Chicago Tribune photographer. There had been a minor uproar when a photograph he published seemed to show President Obama holding his wife’s hand, but with an extra hand lurking ominously below–clearly a sign of bad Photoshopping, right? The photog must have digitally inserted the hand holding to make the Obamas look like a happier couple than they are, and the extra hand is where Michelle’s real hand was…

OR… Maybe there was a simpler, less nefarious answer. Click on the link above to see the original photo and some others from the series that explain where the mysterious extra hand came from.

Too much of a good culture?

Posted: April 20, 2011 by Kevin M. Lerner in Uncategorized

I came across this essay in Slate which examines what it means for culture now that almost all of it is freely available. There was a time when scarcity defined certain types of culture. But now there’s BitTorrent…

The crowd in the room where I was watching the Superbowl felt that the Chrysler Superbowl commercial, which was a record two minutes long (and therefore inordinately expensive) was pretty successful at . But does that mean it was good?

John Swansburg, a critic at Slate, named it the night’s best commercial.

But at Mother Jones magazine, Adam Weinstein called it deplorable “poverty porn.”

So which is it? Is it both? Is it just a really well-made commercial that has godawful politics? Do politics matter when it comes to selling cars?

Bonus question: was the Groupon ad featuring Tibet more or less awful than the Chrysler’s Detroit ad?

Video games are good for you (says who?)

Posted: January 24, 2011 by Kevin M. Lerner in Uncategorized

This article in Slate summarizes the argument of a woman named Jane McGonigal (who I believe is a professor at Hogwarts, no?) who says that we can harness the energy we spend playing video games to do good in the world.

This argument foreshadows the book by Steven Johnson that we’ll be reading later in the semester, but there’s no reason not to start thinking about it now. Besides, the Slate article, by Michael Agger, has a cute/annoying conceit.

Is Modern Family even modern?

Posted: January 23, 2011 by Kevin M. Lerner in Uncategorized

So, hoity-toity cultural critics love it. Republicans (no fans of elite cultural critics) love it. But what does it mean? Well, the New York Times takes a look at what Modern Family says about modern families.

What say you, COM201ers? Do you even watch?

By the way, here’s the famous, quite chaste, kiss between the two gay characters that is referred to in the article.

Wikipedia is half your age

Posted: January 20, 2011 by Kevin M. Lerner in Uncategorized

So, Comm and Society bloggers. Let’s assume you’re roughly 20 years old, which seems like a pretty good guess. Well, your favorite (and again, I’m making an assumption here) source, Wikipedia, has just turned ten. This is a link to the On the Media transcript about the birthday. It’s worth a read and/or a listen.

But if Wikipedia is ten, and you’re 20, then you’ve probably known about it as long as you remember knowing about almost anything online. I don’t know that there’s a question here, but for me, it’s strange because I was already older than you when it first appeared, and for you it’s always been a fact of life. Does that mean anything besides the fact that I’m old?