The horrible history of the headline, from print to social media, with a shout-out to Preet Bharara

There's a question floating around on Twitter: "What‘s something that seems obvious within your profession, but the general public seems to misunderstand?" One answer that I've seen several times is that "the writer of the story doesn't write the headline."

And then there's a tweet from @preetbharara, who declared "The worst members of the press are the people who write the grabby headlines for stories they don’t seem to have read."

Ban targeted advertising?

Writing in The New Republic, David Dayen says  "The surveillance economy should die. This manner of advertising doesn’t serve the public and it’s not even clear it serves advertisers."  It's an intriguing idea: let's return to the era of mass media. Rather than conjure up complicated schemes to regulate entities like Facebook, just remove the incentive for corporations to spy on our every click. Want to reach a relevant audience?

We live in the Panopticon

We were warned, over and over, although many of the warnings pointed to the wrong bogeyman.

We now find ourselves in a Panopticon society, one where our locations and contacts and interactions are constantly monitored, where our data is mined and used for behavior modification.

A week in Ukraine

I'm back in the United States and mostly unjetlagged from a week in Ukraine, where I spent most of the time with the Chernihiv Media Group  in a program operated by IREX and funded by the U.S. State Department. Ukraine is a country at war, but it's a strange one, geographically isolated to an eastern region where pro-Moscow rebels (and covert Russian soldiers) are trying to break away and reconnect with Russia.