Author Archives: Ryan Zee
September 14th, 2012
In 2008, Ecuadorian Marcelo Lucero was was beaten and stabbed to death in New York. In 2010, U.S. born Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter were shot to death in an Arizona border town. And in 2011, Juan Varela, a fifth-generation American, was shot to death to in Pheonix by a neighbor yelling “Go back to Mexico or die!”
September 10th, 2012
Since its inception three years ago, Kickstarter has come a long away. Established as a medium through which fans could donate money to struggling artists, the online funding platform has expanded to allow people to invest in the concept designs of ambitious entrepreneurs, from Ouya’s Julie Uhrman to Pebble’s Eric Migicovsky. Some of these have [...]
September 4th, 2012
There’s something undeniably cool in the way social media democratizes communication, providing plebs and celebrities an equal-access pass to each other’s lives. In doing so, social media platforms seem primed to facilitate interaction between the rich and the faceless. But does it? Where politics is concerned, Politico’s Steve Friess has his doubts. Taking the GOP [...]
August 28th, 2012
If you’re one of Twitter’s 140-plus million users, or just a general fan of social media, you may have recently noticed a few Twitter-related peculiarities. Like the fact that LinkedIn’s Twitter integration has been limited. Or that both Tumblr and Instagram users have been blocked from finding their friends on Twitter. As The Verge’s Senior Mobile Editor, [...]
August 23rd, 2012
At the end of July, the New Yorker’s Jonah Lehrer was outed for fabrication. A couple of weeks later, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria was discovered plagiarizing. With two of journalism’s brightest stars imploding like supernovae in the span of a month, it’s only fair us lilliputians get the pleasure of watching their luminous careers burst into [...]
August 20th, 2012
As an English-speaking volunteer at a bookstore in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, I’m fairly well schooled in the trials of cross-language communication. But learning a second language has, of course, been the bane of many more than yours truly. As Poynter contributor Robert Downs points out, journalists struggle with Spanish too. And help isn’t really on [...]
August 20th, 2012
Sharks are cool. People like sharks. If 25 years of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has taught us anything, it’s that. The week-long series aimed at raising shark-awareness (and providing gruesome, sadistic pleasure in the process, of course) might not quite offer Olympic-quality drama, but that hasn’t stopped fans from cartwheeling annually to the nearest available televisions. [...]
August 14th, 2012
Even my mom has engaged in the discussion: What’s with Gabby Douglas’ hair? Over the last week plus, Hairgate has become a national media obsession; from Townhall to NPR, conservative and liberal sources alike have spent more time analyzing the 16-year-old Olympic champion’s hair than a Wall Street barber. Ebony’s T.F. Charlton thinks racism is to blame.
That the media have allowed Douglas’s terrific achievements to be overshadowed by the deprecatory comments of a few hair-obsessed black women, Charlton argues, demonstrates “how black athletes at the top of their game are never allowed simply to be great.”
Indeed, Charlton contends the media discount the significance of blacks’ athletic accomplishments in various ways…
August 14th, 2012
Remember GIFs–those small, funky files that play short, spastic videos over and over again? Well, according to Andrew Phelps of Nieman Journalism Lab, the “25-year-old file format” is making a comeback.
Thank the 2012 Summer Olympics. Due to the difficulty involved in describing individual Olympic tricks, the media have resorted to the GIF, that image-video crossbreed, to show only one specific sporting moment.
But while GIFs might be useful for rendering complex Olympic moments, I’m guessing they’ll return to file-hibernation once the games conclude…
August 9th, 2012
I’ll be honest: when I saw The Dark Knight Rises two days after the Aurora shooting, I was scared. The media’s unrelenting gaze, both then and since, has made the tragedy impossible to ignore. While agreeing such extensive coverage is justified, Huffington Post writer Riddhi Shah laments the comparatively modest attention the recent Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin has received.
Among major broadcast news stations, Shah notes, “only CNN was covering” the story the night of the attack. News was so scarce an Indian grocer Shah interviewed only found out “when people from India began calling.”
Why? Shah invites us to consider the possibility that media-coverage is ethno-racially skewed: “What if, instead of a white supremacist, the attacker had been a Muslim fundamentalist, and the place of worship a synagogue or a church? Would Fox News have aired a segment about a Latin American prison just hours after the shooting?”