Posts Tagged ‘Media Navel Gaze’

Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The US employment picture on the surface seemed to brighten, with the April payroll number exceeding expectations and adding some 288,000 and prior months revised upward for a pretty fast clip this recovery.  The overall jobless rate declined to 6.3 percent.  However, analysts were quick to analyze that the participation rate was troubling, showing that workers were leaving the labor force and wages remained weak, highlighting income divides.

Elsewhere:

  • Merger Mania: Pfizer and AstraZeneca continued talks about a merger, while GE’s bid for Alstom, the French power company, was accepted;
  • The Texas utility Energy Futures filed for bankruptcy, the PE world’s largest buyout ever;
  • The Dow briefly hit a record last week and finished up 0.9 percent to close Friday at 16,512;
  • Ackman and Icahn apparently make up on phone huddle;
  • Fast Company won Magazine of the Year award, the industry’s top award from the American Society of Magazine Editors, while The New Yorker led overall with four individual awards;
  • PR Newswire is recommending that releases issued at close cross the wire at 4:01 after market trading in an apparent bid to keep data from high-frequency traders;
  • Yahoo plans to offer two comedy series on the Web;
  • The NBA banned LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life following alleged racist comments; bidders lining up for the team;
  • California Chrome wins the Derby; and
  • Jack Bauer returns! End of Story

 

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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The Pulitzers were announced last week with a real mix of winners for journalism, with Reuters winning for international reporting, The Washington Post for exploratory journalism, the Center for Public Integrity for investigative reporting and The Guardian US and WaPo for public service for their reporting on the classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, no surprise really especially if you followed how that story unfolded and its aftermath but an award that nonetheless did receive some conservative-leaning criticism that a prize would go to coverage of a traitor.  Interesting, no award awarded for feature writing, a kinda unusual outcome.

Elsewhere:

  • The awards makes it even more interesting to note an obit in The New York Times over the weekend for Adrianna Wadewitz, who deservedly received the profile because of her contributions as a Wikipedia editor (and academic) and who made some 49,000 edits mostly to literature entries and was able to use her scholarly research/background to gain prominence through a new-media channel;
  • Stocks rose broadly during the holiday-shortened week, boosted by corporate earnings, with the Dow ending at 16,406;
  • Lots of tough talk and big headlines about the Ukraine but it seemed like Cold War scenarios were cooling;
  • TIAA-Cref agrees to buy Nuveen for $6.25 billion
  • Among the mountain of superlatives, an avalanche killed 12 Sherpas, the worst single-day tragedy;
  • Google buys a drone maker
  • Veep Biden takes a selfie (way to make it InstaGramp)
  • Michael Phelps gets back in the pool; and
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez of beautiful magical realism died. End of Story
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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The Heartbleed bug grabbed headlines and seemed to cause near panic among some Internet experts especially amid word on Friday that the NSA knew about the “hole” but kept mum to gather info; Changing passwords was in vogue late in the week.

Elsewhere:

  • Bill Gross of Pimco kept the El-Elrian departure story alive by saying on Bloomberg TV, “Come one, Mohamed, tell us why”; no direct answer why though;
  • Tech stocks tumbled pretty hard last week and brought down the overall market, with the Dow sliding 2.4 percent to end Friday at 16,026; bulls seem to be hiding;
  • The Feds raised the amount of money banks must hold in reserve against its assets at 5 percent from 3 percent, which means the biggies must keep as much as an additional $68 billion or perhaps cut back some risky activities;
  • Meanwhile, bank profits were mixed with Wells Fargo up 14 percent (consumer lending strength) while JP Morgan, the largest measured by assets, dropped 19 percent; and
  • Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central “Colbert Report” fame will host “Late Show” post David Letterman’s departure. End of Story
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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The year got off to a pretty bearish, cold start, with the markets turning in one of the worst performances since May 2012—and much worse than many expected—with the Dow down 5.2 percent for January as the Fed “less easy” stance on money shifted perceptions and also hit emerging markets hard (look at Turkey, Argentina, South Africa).  In fact, attention has now turned from BRICs to the “Fragile Five,” which includes Turkey, Brazil, India, South Africa and Indonesia.

Elsewhere:

  • Even so, GDP numbers showed that the US grew at its strongest pace in the last six months since 2003;
  • Obama’s State of the Union address focused on the use of executive powers to help America improve on wages, savings and jobs, fueling calls of “overreaching” and “imperialism”;
  • Facebook posted big profits, with more than half of its ad revenues now coming from mobile devices;
  • The Washington Post, now under the ownership of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has announced expansion plans with new politics reporters and data visualization specialists and web designers;
  • Chinese New Year celebrated the Year of the Horse;
  • Folk-music legend Pete Seeger died; and
  • Scarlett Johansson’s decision to stump for SodaStream became big media fodder because of the geopolitical issues of where the product is made (one of Israel’s settlements); the ad is airing during the SuperBowl (and it contains a grammar error!!!);  Fox decision to edit the ad not to offend Coke and Pepsi; and, well, it’s Scarlett who has dumped Oxfam, where she was global ambassador, for fizzy water; #anotherreasontowatchtheads End of Story
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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The closely watched US jobs report because more closely watched and picked apart with sluggish numbers raising speculation and coverage of whether the tapering will taper. (Most say all still on track.)  American businesses added only 74,000 jobs in December, a considerably slower pace than recent months and the overall unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent from 7.0 percent, reflecting, unfortunately, job seekers saying uncle.

Elsewhere:

  • The Dow ended little changed on Friday after the jobs report, closing at 16,437;
  • The Polar Vortex paid an unwelcome visit to much of the country, no doubt putting a chill on some economic indicators for January;
  • Bridgegate went from a local to national story as Governor Christie staged a two-hour TV apologia, fired staff members, distanced himself from advisors and all debated his fate as Republican presidential hopeful while copy editors made hay with “bridge of sighs” and “jam” jabs;
  • Target revised stolen data numbers drastically higher, saying the breach could have affected more than 100 million customers, or approximately one-third of adult Americans, making this a serious assignment for the retailer in regaining trust;
  • Alex Rodriguez was suspended from the Yankees for the 2014 year and playoffs for doping, which was followed (as pointed out “loudly” by The New York Times) with a one-sentence statement: “The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel”; and
  • Ariel Sharon, the former prime minister of Israel, died following an eight-year coma. End of Story
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