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Rory O'Connor
Rory O'Connor is an author, filmmaker and journalist whose work centers around media and politics. Author of Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media (City Lights, 2012), Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio (AlterNet Books, 2008), and co-author of Nukespeak: The Selling of Nuclear Power from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima (Sierra Club Books, 2011, Second Edition), his broadcast, film and print career has been recognized with a George Orwell Award, a George Polk Award, a Writer's Guild Award, and two Emmys, among other honors.

Co-founder and president of the international media firm Globalvision, Inc, and Board Chair of The Global Center, an affiliated non-profit foundation. O’Connor also writes the “Media Is A Plural’ blog, accessible at

Entries by Rory O'Connor

Re-imagining Journalism in The Wired City

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 6:05 PM

Journalist blogger and professor Dan Kennedy has long been one of the go-to guys in the ever-burgeoning field of media criticism. He's an author as well -- and his new book The Wired City asks, and answers, an important question: Does the digital information...

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Independent Media Goes Mainstream

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 2:44 PM

As the mainstream media continue to go lamestream, have you noticed the extent to which the progressive independent media sector has been busy moving into the vacuum?

If the thousands of attendees from every state in the U.S. and dozens of other countries at the recently concluded...

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Digital Dystopia

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 11:09 AM

Call me irresponsible -- oh hell, call me a cyber-utopian, throw in celebrant -- but it's undeniably true that I regard the admittedly messy, chaotic, confusing and upsetting digital information revolution as, on balance, a good thing, particularly when it comes to issues of...

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Zero Dark Thirty Wins Oscar for Most Controversial

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 5:11 PM

Along with its many filmmaking awards, including an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, Zero Dark Thirty promises to win the prize as this year's most controversial film. Everyone from leftie filmmakers like Michael Moore and Alex Gibney to organizations as disparate as

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Welcome to America, Al Jazeera

(61) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 11:02 AM

Al Jazeera -- one of the best cable news networks in the world -- has always had a tough time here in the U.S. It's been derided as a "terror network" and propaganda organ. It's been denounced by publicity-seeking politicians for airing messages from Al Qaeda. Its reporters...

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Carnage and Courage in the Home of the Brave

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 10:27 AM

I tuned into a broadcast of a football game this Sunday, seeking escape -- or at least a momentary respite from the overwhelming horror of the massacre of the innocents of Newtown. Predictably, the contest was preceded by a minute of silence to honor the victims, followed by a rendition...

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Why Progressives Should Love Right-Wing Media

(141) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 1:50 PM

Thanks so much, Roger Ailes -- we couldn't have done it without you! And all praise to George Will, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, et al. -- if not for you, and your legions of credulous friends and followers, we never could have re-elected Barack Obama....

Think about it for a...

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Superstorm Sandy and America's Politics as Usual

(3) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 12:37 PM

With the presidential election just days away, dozens of people dead, millions without power, and billions of dollars of damage done, residents of America's East Coast are still staggering to respond to the ravages of Sandy, the "superstorm" that battered the region with unprecedented fury this week. Here in Manhattan,...

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Both Romney and Obama Are Data Dumpster-Diving

(3) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 4:40 PM

Attention American citizens! Have you visited a porn website recently? Do you have any gay friends? Is your home in foreclosure? Do you drink Michelob or Samuel Adams?

None of my business, you say? Probably not -- but Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have made it their business to...

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Old Wine, New Bottles: Social Media and the Presidential Campaign

(3) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 1:41 PM

It's a truism of modern American political campaign history that candidates who understand and embrace changes in media and communication technologies are usually victorious. As a recent Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism report on "How the Presidential Candidates Use the Web and Social Media" accurately...

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Mindful Media: Images and Voices of Hope

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 8:42 AM

It's not news that we live in a media-saturated society. As a result, at any given moment we all have a mind full of media - so much so that it often seems as if we are under assault from an unending barrage of comments, posts, ads, songs, videos, and...

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Here Comes the First Digital Election

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2012 | 5:04 PM

Welcome to the first digital presidential election.

You might have thought we lived through that four years ago, when the online-focused campaign of Barack Obama revolutionized modern politics in ways that are still coming into focus. After all, no previous candidate or campaign had ever adopted technology...

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Bye Bye Boortz

(3) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 10:53 AM

I hate to agree with the less-than-likeable Bill O'Reilly but when he called shock jock Neal Boortz "a vicious son of a bitch," the Fox News host got it absolutely right.

Thus it is with profound satisfaction that I note the impending retirement of Boortz after...

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The News Dissector's Blogothon

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2012 | 12:29 PM

"Some time ago, in the last century and in what now seems like a personal universe that is far, far away," veteran newsman Danny Schechter writes in the foreword to his newest book, "I was dubbed "The News Dissector." The "Nom de Media Guerre," as Schechter puts it, gave his...

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Triangulating Our Way to the Truth? (Excerpt)

(13) Comments | Posted April 24, 2012 | 10:03 AM

Excerpted from Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands and Killing Traditional Media.

Social media now accounts for nearly one quarter of all the time Americans spend online--the leading category by far, compared with less than ten percent for online games...

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Facebook Is Not Your Friend

(55) Comments | Posted April 15, 2012 | 7:00 PM

"Imagine... that you knew which sites -- or what news stories -- people you trust found useful and which they disliked," David Kirkpatrick wrote in the June 11, 2007 issue of Fortune magazine. "This isn't fantasy. Facebook might make it possible, and soon. Yes, the social-networking site college...

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Paranoia Strikes Deep at Google

(14) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 3:58 PM

Google co-founder Larry Page is paranoid -- and justifiably so...

As the Associated Press reported this week, Page "has a Facebook fixation... When he replaced his mentor Eric Schmidt as Google's CEO last April, Page insisted that the company had to be more aggressive about countering the threat...

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Rick Santorum: Bowling Alone in the First Digital Election

(2) Comments | Posted April 3, 2012 | 5:26 PM

Rick Santorum went bowling again this week. When right-wing Rick dropped in to Pla-Mor Lanes in Chilton, it marked the fourth pre-primary visit to a Wisconsin bowling alley by a man who actually took Bowling 101 for credit while matriculating at Penn State.

In an interview about his...

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#january25 One Year Later: Social Media & Politics 3.0

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 5:53 PM

One year ago, a revolution began in Egypt that still reverberates there -- as well as among other repressive rulers and regimes in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and beyond, including thousands of miles away in New York City, where "Occupy Wall Street" protests in turn took root and then...

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Jose Antonio Vargas Is an American Hero

(66) Comments | Posted June 22, 2011 | 7:15 PM

I first met Jose Antonio Vargas in the fall of 2008, in the midst of the historic Obama campaign for the presidency. At the time, I was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of...

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