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In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, textile workers strike to demand a minimum wage, the removal of their company's head and the head of the firm's holding company, and back pay of yearly bonuses in Mahalla al-Kobra, Egypt.
Sabry Khaled / AP Photo / El Shorouk Newspaper

Though violence related to religion and sectarian identity exists in the Middle East, there are other areas of conflict in the region that are often misunderstood or underreported.

Juan Cole, a historian at the University of Michigan who writes on the blog Informed Comment, says labor issues in Egypt, for instance, have produced some of the biggest conflicts in that country over the past two decades.

On a recent March morning at his home in a New Jersey suburb, Anthony Mendez was on his living room couch with his 9-year-old daughter. He was watching the previous night's episode of Jane the Virgin, studying his own performance as the show's unseen narrator.

Oh, you didn't hear? Turns out Friday was our birthday. On that day, precisely 46 years ago, this little organization of ours was incorporated under the name National Public Radio.

Yes, we're aware already that your gift must be in the mail. (Right?) And yes, thank you, we are easing into our middle age with charm and aplomb. (Ahem — right?)

After more than 12 years anchoring All Things Considered, senior host Melissa Block is moving into an expanded role with NPR News. As Special Correspondent, Melissa will produce richly reported profiles of figures at the forefront of thought and culture, as well as long-form stories and series on the critical issues of our day. Her reporting will span both domestic and international news. In addition, Melissa will guest host NPR news programs, and will work to develop podcasts based on her reporting. Melissa's last day hosting ATC will be August 14, 2015.

This week's taping presented us with a few conundrums: Host Linda Holmes had already begun her vacation, while I know jack-all about the seven accumulated seasons of Mad Men, whose finale we were duty-bound to discuss. Our solution involved a pair of our most beloved guest panelists — Gene Demby and, from a studio in L.A., Barrie Hardymon — and a brief interregnum in poor Linda's vacation. (I stayed home and ate snacks.)

The Yale University library has acquired a collection of about 2,700 VHS tapes – mostly horror and exploitation films.

The tapes are part of a new archive – the first of its kind at an academic institution – that preserves VHS tapes not only for the movies on them, but also for their boxes’ artwork and copy, the trailers at the beginning and other release-specific content.

The archive is the brainchild of Aaron Pratt, a Ph.D. student at Yale, and David Gary, a Yale librarian.

Recent reports were officially confirmed today — the upcoming sixth season will be the last for the very successful drama Downton Abbey, according to an announcement Thursday from Carnival Films and Masterpiece. Executive producer Gareth Neame had this to say:

When comedian Jon Stewart announced he would leave The Daily Show after 16 years, the field of 2016 presidential hopefuls breathed a collective sigh of relief.

This Sunday is the Super Bowl, which means the biggest and most expensive advertising night of the year. Several of this year’s ads are already available online, in part or in full.

Television is far from the only way to advertise during the game these days, so at $4.5 million for 30 seconds, is it still worth it?

Here & Now’s media analyst John Carroll joins host Lisa Mullins to discuss that question and some of this year’s ads.

Americans don’t have their facts straight. At least that’s the conclusion of a new study from the research group Ipsos-MORI.

When it comes to the nation’s biggest issues, many Americans do not know the basics. They massively overestimate unemployment rates and the number of immigrants. They assume that the nation’s murder rate is rising, when in fact it’s falling.

Remembering Iconic TV Announcer Don Pardo

Aug 19, 2014

You may not be able to recognize the face, but when you heard the voice, you knew exactly who is was.

Don Pardo, the durable television and radio announcer who became as much a part of the cultural landscape as the shows and products he touted, died yesterday at his home in Tucson, Arizona. He was 96.

Do you click on a story because of the picture or do you click because of the headline? Chances are it’s the picture that is luring you into the story — and these days pictures may be getting a lot more attention than the story itself.

Nikki Usher, an assistant professor at the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs calls it “clickbait”.

Tribune Company Spins Off Print Division

Aug 5, 2014

If you follow the New York Stock Exchange closely, you might notice a new media company listed there today. It’s Tribune Publishing — formerly the publishing division of the Tribune Company, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, among others.

Starting today, Tribune Publishing with go it alone. Also today, the Gannett Company said that it plans to spin off its print operations, including USA Today.

There have been similar moves by other media companies, such as Time Warner, which has decided to spin-off its more than 90 magazines.

Bad News Blues

Aug 5, 2014

The onslaught of bad news seems relentless. Here are just a few of the stories we have been following this summer: the wars in Gaza and Syria, the fighting in Iraq, a Malaysia Airlines jet shot down over Ukraine, another missing since March, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and here in the U.S., the crisis on the border and floods and fires in the West.

Study: Statehouse Press Corps In Decline

Jul 11, 2014

A declining number of reporters are stalking the hallways of the nation's statehouses.

That's according to a Pew Research report released Thursday. The study found that the number of full-time statehouse newspaper reporters declined by more than a third between 2003 and 2014. There are now just 164 full-time newspaper journalists reporting on the bills, protests and politicians in the nation's 50 state capitals.

Aereo, the company that lets subscribers watch TV stations' video that it routes onto the Internet, violates U.S. copyright law, the Supreme Court has ruled. The court's 6-3 decision reverses a lower court ruling on what has been a hotly contested issue.

Suzette Grillot talks with Italian citizen and lawyer Katia Girotto about the outcome of European parliamentary elections, and how Italians feel about the elections' impact on the future of EU politics and economics.

Rebecca Cruise and Joshua Landis discuss television and social media in Lebanon with University of Balamand journalism department head Ramez Maluf. He says Beirut's position as a major entertainment production hub is controversial among conservatives and Arab intellectuals.

Samira Said / Wikimedia Commons

Media played a significant role in organizing the protests that spread like wildfire across the Middle East in 2011. But as Islamists put a stake in the ground and solidified their claim to Arab society and culture, Lebanon largely remained insulated from the effects of the Arab Spring.

Joshua Landis offers an update about the situation in Syria, and how chemical weapons affect the public’s view of the civil war. The panel also talks about the Edward Snowden case and the complexities of asylum and extradition.

Stigler, Oklahoma native Pamela Olson moved to Palestine  after she graduated in 2002. She settled in Ramallah, where she worked as the head writer and editor for the Palestine MonitorShe just wrote a book about her experiences called Fast Times in Palestine.

Provided

When Pamela Olson traveled to the occupied West Bank on a whim in 2003, she only expected to stay for a week. She stayed for two years, though, and served as head writer and editor for the Palestine Monitor and as foreign press coordinator for Mustafa Barghouthi's 2005 presidential campaign – unlikely posts for a self-described “physics major, ex-bartender, volunteer from Oklahoma.”

“Of course I was intimidated,” Olson says. “I was worried because this was the first conflict zone I had ever been in, but just immediately I was made to feel so welcome.”

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