Where Do Audiences Come From?

by Dish Staff Ann Friedman searches for the answer in a new book: In The Marketplace of Attention: How Audiences Take Shape in a Digital Age, James G. Webster, a communications studies professor at Northwestern, takes an exhaustive look at the research about how such audiences form. Or rather, how audiences are formed. It’s tempting to … Continue reading Where Do Audiences Come From?

Tavi And Age-Milestone Anxieties

by Phoebe Maltz Bovy This week’s New York Magazine cover story is further affirmation that Tavi Gevinson – still a teenager! – has accomplished more than you ever will. Writes Amy Larocca: As even casual prowlers of the internet worlds of fashion and style are aware, there’s been quite a lot in Gevinson’s life so far to … Continue reading Tavi And Age-Milestone Anxieties

Publicists’ Bad Publicity

Pivoting off Jennifer Pan’s recent piece on the PR industry, Ann Friedman further examines sexism-tinged stereotypes about women who work there: The Princeton Review, in its guide to careers for college students, explains that “the successful PR person must be a good communicator — in print, in person and on the phone. They cultivate and maintain contacts with journalists, set up … Continue reading Publicists’ Bad Publicity

Fired For Being Pushy? Ctd

Ken Auletta talked to the NYT about Abramson’s firing: Abramson’s attempt to raise the salary issue at a time when tempers were already frayed seemed wrongheaded to [publisher Arthur O.] Sulzberger and [CEO Mark] Thompson, both on its merits and in terms of her approach. Bringing in a lawyer, in particular, seems to have struck them as especially combative. Eileen Murphy, a … Continue reading Fired For Being Pushy? Ctd

Who Should Pay For Culture?

Astra Taylor, author of The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, explains why she sees the rise of sponsored content as part of a larger economic problem: [W]hen people aren’t being funded to create work by publishers or labels or whatever, then advertisers end up filling in that gap. Advertisers are … Continue reading Who Should Pay For Culture?

Rapes vs College Rankings

Ann Friedman argues that, if we’re going to address the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, we have to force reputation-conscious college administrations to get over themselves: [M]aking colleges get serious about addressing sexual assaults will probably take more than just urging them to mend their ways. One of the institutional deterrents to encouraging more assault survivors to come forward … Continue reading Rapes vs College Rankings

Valley Boys

Ann Friedman favorably reviews HBO’s new series Silicon Valley: Beyond the superficial thrill of jokes about corporate executives who wear toe-separator shoes, “Silicon Valley” is an unexpectedly compassionate portrayal of a much-maligned archetype: The boy-wonder programmer who finds himself suddenly a CEO. “Silicon Valley”’s stammering protagonist, Richard, is indeed sympathetic. He writes brilliant code but can’t figure out the … Continue reading Valley Boys

The Best Of The Dish Today

A pro-circumcision fanatic – you can read his endless rants against the beleaguered foreskin here – managed to get the Mayo Clinic to endorse mandatory genital mutilation for infant boys. Hide your kids! Then he ups the ante some more, declaring that opposition to genital cutting is equivalent to being against vaccines for children. Seriously. … Continue reading The Best Of The Dish Today

The Other B-Word, Ctd

Ann Friedman nails it: The main reason I can’t stomach a bossy ban … is that it represents a feminist strategy that’s failed in the past, and it plays into a negative characterization of feminism more generally. The movement for gender equality is at its best when it emphasizes expanding choices for everyone. … [M]any restrictions are worth fighting … Continue reading The Other B-Word, Ctd

Barbie’s Feminist Figure?

Ann Friedman recalls how her childhood Barbies were a part of “a lot of plastic dry-humping”: This is one of the rarely acknowledged benefits of a doll mostly singled out for her downsides: Barbie is a safe way for girls to explore dangerously adult concepts like sexuality. “Little girls are starting to understand their own sexuality but … Continue reading Barbie’s Feminist Figure?