Hollywood Goes to War

Audie Murphy

Viral emails have emerged as a form of stealth propaganda recently, most noticeably in the recent U.S. presidential campaign, when Barack Obama was dogged with false claims that he was a Muslim, that he was refused to salute the American flag, that he was not a U.S. citizen and so forth. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Danielle Allen, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, attempted to trace the chain of one of those emails and found what the Washington Post called "valuable insight into the way political information circulates, mutates and sometimes devastates in the digital age." She noted that the anonymous nature of viral emails, combined with the word-of-mouth way that they spread, makes them hard to counter. "This kind of misinformation campaign short-circuits judgment," she said. "It also aggressively disregards the fundamental principle of free societies that one be able to debate one's accusers."

Does the "O" Logo Mean Openness?

A coalition of open records, good government and research groups submitted "a lengthy to-do list for President-elect Barack Obama and Congress." Their recommendations include overturning the "Ashcroft memo," which made it easier for federal agencies to refuse requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); rescinding Executiv


Marketing Through the Looking Glass

The fictional roommates"'Brand integration' and 'immersive' commercial environments" are becoming more commonplace, as the range of media formats and platforms widens and viewers can increasingly avoid commercials, reports Gloria Goodale. This "blurring of story and selling" goes beyond traditional product placement.


Newspapers Are Dead; Long Live Newspapers

"Newspapers are in trouble for reasons that have almost nothing to do with newspaper journalism," writes Paul Farhi. "Even a paper stocked with the world's finest editorial minds wouldn't have a fighting chance against the economic and technological forces arrayed against the business." Farhi says newspapers "remain remarkably popular" but suffer from "the flight of classified advertisers, the deterioration of retail advertising and the indebtedness of newspaper owners." The Internet, he maintains, has expanded newspaper readership while sapping "newspapers' economic lifeblood.


Another Ghost-Written Op/ed Traced to LMG

If there's a questionable opinion column promoting a corporate viewpoint, chances are the secretive Washington DC public affairs firm LMG -- also known as LawMedia Group -- is involved. As the Center for Media and Democracy reported previously, LMG helped place a column attributed to the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which he didn't write and which criticized some SCLC donors.


New on Congresspedia: The Members of Congress Who Twitter

Over at Congresspedia, we’re starting to track the members of Congress who are using Twitter, a micro-blogging site consisting of posts of 140 characters or less (it makes more sense once you spend some time there, really). We’ve compiled a list of 30 members thus far, and if you go to their Congresspedia profile page you can read their latest posts – we’ve built them right into the contact section.

Marketers Admit to Engaging in Media Pay for Play

According to a survey of 252 U.S. chief marketing officers, nearly one in five "say their organizations have bought advertising in return for a news story." The survey was conducted on behalf of the public relations firm Manning, Selvage & Lee (MSL) and the trade publication PR Week (which doesn't appear to have reported on the results).



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