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Kirk Cheyfitz

Entries by Kirk Cheyfitz

Teaching With Tablets: For Young Readers, It's Interaction vs. Distraction

(6) Comments | Posted January 24, 2012 | 6:04 PM

The potential of digital learning for children got a push last week from two prestigious sources -- Apple and the leading journal for school librarians. As usual, Apple caught the media hype and the librarians showcased the smartest and most important contribution.

Apple generated widespread media excitement when it announced...

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How Much Does America Really Love Democracy?

(66) Comments | Posted December 5, 2011 | 12:25 PM

As police began wholesale attacks on the Occupy Wall Street protests in early November, I attended a dinner party at "the scene of the crime," as many Occupy protestors call it -- the New York Stock Exchange. Hosted by NYSE and arranged by a group called wf360, the event was...

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Political Schizophrenia in Detroit

(3) Comments | Posted July 5, 2011 | 10:26 AM

The mayor of Detroit, a businessman turned novice politician, is failing to provide the political leadership necessary to turn one of America's most troubled towns in a new direction.

My wife Ellen and I appeared recently at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown Detroit to find out more...

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Note to Malcolm Gladwell: (Social) Media Matters

(9) Comments | Posted February 4, 2011 | 1:00 PM

Malcolm Gladwell makes a very handsome living endorsing or attacking common wisdom in ways that sound smart. Now he has wormed his way into the unfolding drama in Cairo by declaring on The New Yorker's website that so-called social media have no impact on political protest there or anywhere. (

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The Next Big Media Battle: Publishers vs. Ad Agencies

(10) Comments | Posted January 12, 2011 | 5:38 PM

The media business has been in chaos for a decade, and there's more coming. The next big media revolution will be an escalating and increasingly bitter competition between the content creators -- especially newspaper and magazine publishers -- and their former friends, the traditional ad agencies, which still create and...

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Advertising's Future Is 3 Simple Words: Paid. Owned. Earned.

(4) Comments | Posted October 27, 2010 | 1:50 PM

There is angst in ad land over the complexity of media. (There's also endless angst in legacy media companies, but that story's been told and re-told .) Ad planners wring their hands, bemoaning the proliferation of media channels and the unpredictable ways in which "consumers" (as they refer...

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To Sell Jeans, Levi's Tells a News Story of Urban Distress

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2010 | 11:22 AM

Late last month, Levi's, a storied and beleaguered brand, began trying storytelling as advertising, creating original journalism to help drive sales and loyalty.

Lots of big brands, traditional advertising agencies and digital agencies have been throwing around the word "storytelling" lately to describe what they do. I regard such pronouncements...

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Axing the General and the Journalist: Was Their Privacy Violated?

(25) Comments | Posted June 27, 2010 | 10:46 PM

In media and politics, last week was a time for big mouths, indescrete chatter and abrupt firings. Down went General Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan and reporter/blogger David Weigel at The Washington Post. But following the lead of America's two most important newspapers, the post-firing debate lighting up the Twittoblogosphere was...

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Is Jim Fallows Crazy for Google...Or Just Crazy?

(16) Comments | Posted May 25, 2010 | 7:53 AM

James Fallows, normally a cogent and insightful journalist, takes leave of his senses for the cover story of June's Atlantic magazine, delivering an uncritical, open-mouthed kiss to Google's Schmidt, Brin, Page and their entire high-tech army while boldly asserting (in all caps) that their company has a...

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The Biggest iPad Problem: Publishers

(25) Comments | Posted April 23, 2010 | 4:19 PM

There's been much crowing by traditional publishers about how the iPad will save books and magazines. But the content we've seen so far won't save anything because it fails to re-imagine books and magazines for iPad-like devices.

The rare exceptions prove the rule. Marvel Entertainment has re-invented and...

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How Could Tiger, Nike and Donny Be So Dumb?

(60) Comments | Posted April 15, 2010 | 10:10 AM

Nike's much mocked and maligned Tiger ad is one week old and hasn't gotten any better or smarter with age. Only someone colossally absorbed in old-style advertising could like this 30 seconds of offensive film and, of course, Donny Deutsch does. The rest of humanity recognizes...

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Why News is Too Important to Be Left to Journalists

(7) Comments | Posted March 15, 2010 | 10:01 AM


Last fall, Time magazine announced "Assignment Detroit," a year-long "special Time Inc. project" to "flood the D-zone with journalists" and "cover all aspects of the Motor City," in the words of John Huey,...

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Be First on the National Billboards-May-Not-Talk-to-Me List

(6) Comments | Posted March 12, 2010 | 9:40 AM

Researchers at NEC in Japan are working on a billboard that will scan your face, guess your age, determine your sex and then deliver an ad personalized (supposedly) just for you. I first heard of this advance in advertising science in an email. I replied that it would be about...

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Why All Media Soon Must Be Social

(19) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 6:22 PM

Join me in chanting three basic truths about the new media landscape:

  • Communities are the villages, towns and cities of the web.
  • Communities need news and they thrive on it. If you want to grow a community, feed it specialized news.
  • News needs communities to serve. If you...
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For Tiger Photos, NBC Caves in to Annie Leibovitz

(20) Comments | Posted January 7, 2010 | 8:35 AM

If you felt rushed while trying to gape at a half-naked Tiger Woods on TV this week, blame photographer-to-the-stars Annie Leibovitz. It was Leibovitz who required that broadcast and cable networks adhere to an unusually specific and rigid set of restrictions on the use of the eight photographs that appear...

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The Decade of Living Stupidly

(15) Comments | Posted January 3, 2010 | 9:55 PM

For traditional news media barons, the first decade of the century was ten years of living stupidly. Will they get smarter in the new decade? If, as Will Shakespeare once wrote, the past is prologue, then the media moguls haven't got a prayer. They've been entirely too busy claiming the...

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