On this episode of the Listening Post we analyse the media players in the US midterm elections - old and new, mainstream and alternative, news and non-news. Plus our interview with WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief, Julian Assange.
Two years ago, Barack Obama was swept into power in the US on the back of a dynamic presidential campaign that used new media muscle not only to get the message out, but to organise voters from the grassroots upward. It did not take long for the opposition to strike back. Harnessing the power of the mainstream media and spurred on by a supreme court ruling that removed restrictions on corporate campaign funding, strike back is exactly what the Republicans have done.
It has been one of the most heated and expensive election cycles that has ever been, with a stream of negative ads from both sides of the political spectrum. Adding to the media cacophony has been television news, with its high volume, increasingly partisan rhetoric. Our News Divide this week looks at the enduring role of television in the US elections and why even comedians such as Jon Stewart waded into the debate on the media and electioneering.
The latest Egyptian media crackdown, the impact of the Times of London's online paywall and the storming of Iraqi TV station Al Baghdadia are some of our media world updates in our Newsbytes section.
As a follow up to our report last week on WikiLeaks and its latest release of classified material - this time on the Iraq war - we have an extended cut of our interview with the founder and editor of the whistle-blowing website, Julian Assange.
Wikileaks has become one of the world's biggest media phenomenon in the past two years - it is on a collision course with the US department of defence, it has released thousands of highly classified war documents and over the years, it has become increasingly media savvy. Richard Gizbert sat down with Julian Assange soon after the latest release of the Iraq war logs for a talk about WikiLeaks, the media and where Assange sees himself and the website a few years from now.
Finally, we bring you our Internet Video of the Week. This time we highlight a video from the Internet news satire group Rap News. Their latest clip coincides with the release of WikiLeak's Iraq logs and features a very special surprise guest you would not necessarily expect to see in a comedic rap performance! As always we hope you enjoy the show.
This episode of the Listening Post aired from Friday, November 5, 2010.