Media and Technology

Critical reporting on media and technology issues requires going beyond celebrity gossip and celebration of the latest "must-have" gadgets. At the Weave we do our best to keep our eyes on the deeper structures of power, identity, and social transformation that lie at the heart of media and technology issues.

CNN: Docility in Action

More than a decade ago, independent journalist Amy Goodman (the host of Democracy Now!) made a crucial observation about the corporate news media's coverage of the lead-up to the Iraq war and the war's early stage. Noting the tendency of CNN and other networks to turn their coverage over to an endless parade of retired generals, admirals, and other "military experts" (along with the almost total absence of any alternative or critical perspective), and noting how the major networks also borrowed the title of their coverage ("Operation Iraqi Feedom") directly from the Pentagon, Goodman asked, "If this were state media, how would it be any different?"

I found myself wondering the same thing yesterday as I watched CNN's breathless coverage of the capture of prison escapee David Sweat.

Atlas Unplugged: An Introduction

Imagine your life without cell phones, computers, or electricity. Imagine no combustion engines—no cars, no home furnaces, no airplanes. Imagine a world without surgeries, Advil, or the cures for your loved ones’ otherwise terminal illnesses. Imagine the built environment without synthetic materials and artificial fabrics. Imagine cities with buildings no taller than a couple of floors, with no structural steel, and no safe bridges or roads.

A Robot's Dream

The Panda Face of Global Fortune

During the last couple of months I have traveled, hopping from country to country, chasing and running across the path of the sun.  I have seen the sun dip behind the outline of the Pacific and the Atlantic.  The jets that carried me across these large bodies of water cut through the clouds, drawing lines of carbon across the pale blue sky.  In between these flights I have spent many air-conditioned hours waiting in the in between places, airports.  Whether you are in China, the US or Germany, these airports looks the same.  They are generic, prefabricated.  At

Post-Culture in Chengdu China

In the early morning the Kuanzhai Alley hums with a melody of muffled footsteps.  The occasional early riser wanders through its cobbled streets passes by like a shadow.

Making PRISM Clearer

This week in tech news, a government program called PRISM has gained momentum as the National Security Agency obtained access to social media and search engine data systems. The Guardian and the Washington Post were the first to report about this, showing readers an authentic 41 slide PowerPoint presentation with some revealing information about our daily websites.

Manufacturing Consent: The Beginning of the Age of Consumerism

We human beings are a made of hidden drives and unconscious desires.  For centuries, governments and the powerful factions of society have been trying to control these hidden forces.  The battle over our minds has shaped the course of history.  This inner war has not been linear; on the contrary, it is like a video loop, continually repeating itself throughout history.  The human mind is an unruly subject, it is hard to control and delve int0 its shadowy inner workings.

When Scheherazade gets silenced...

Over past days, after seeing me more excited and energized than usually, people keep asking: What is so special about the Conference on Media Reform that I had a chance to attend in Denver, between April 4th and 7th that became an ultimate reason for me get my momentum for action. To explain that, let me tell you the story of Scheherazade from “One Thousand and One Nights…”

Information is to News Corp as Beef is to Tyson

When in doubt, make an analogy, as I always say (actually, that’s the first time I’ve said that). That’s what I did to put the Federal Communications Commission cross-ownership policies and the importance of media-ownership diversity into terms that made sense to me, to make the ideas more tangible. So what, do you ask, do I compare the media industry to? My answer: the beef industry.

Oh yes. I went there.

Getting Started

What are the purposes of the news media?

There are a wide variety of answers to that question that are valid. My personal answer? I believe that the purpose of news media is to educate the public about issues that they might not have time to investigate themselves; news media should be as well-informed as possible so that they can provide their audiences with the most accurate of information. However, it seems to me that the mainstream media have been less than adequate in providing viewers with a better understanding of what is going on in the world around them.