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Media Navel Gaze: August 25, 2014

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

The media world and the rest of us witnessed in total horror the beheading of reporter James Foley by ISIS, the Islamic State, which dominated headlines and broadcasts and forced President Obama to stage one of his most somber and angry press conferences ever.  The image has sparked global outrage but also raised serious conversations about responsible coverage.  Publications like The New York Post carried a picture of the execution on its front page while seemingly much of the media, reportedly led by @ladyliberty1885, began a sort of anti-viral viral campaign tagged #ISISmediablackout calling for the social media world to stop tweeting the beheading picture. Twitter has also reportedly said it would suspend accounts that carried the photo, which all taken together is an extreme example of a media blackout and one supported by the media themselves.


  • The Ice Bucket Challenge seemed to actually grow last week in popularity, coverage and originality (my vote goes to Dave Groll's challenge); money raised so far for the ALS charity reached over $70 billion;
  • Uber names David Plouffe, former Obama campaign manager and senior advisor, as its senior veep of strategy and policy (think acquisitions/ contract/union negotiations for the private car-sharing service), a move that produced considerable ink for such a high-power recruitment;  Plouffe was also known for his storytelling messaging, so communications will likely take a more grassroots/shared economy turn;
  • Snapchat will begin posting news and ads called Snapchat Discovery;
  • The NFL may ask for its half-time performers to pay to appear, which could lead to interesting malfunctions if you're now a paying customer;
  • BofA is paying a record $17 billion settlement over mortgage-lending practices;
  • The Dow ended the week just above 17,000 and is now up 2.6 percent for the year; and
  • The Is Cool: Mo'Ne Davis, the 13-year dynamo pitcher is the first Little Leaguer to make the cover of Sports Illustrated and she wants to be a point guard for the WNBA (ouch, MLB). End of Story

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