media

Chuck Olsen / Creative Commons

People have been predicting the death of the sitcom since at least 1999, but the current TV season has been so toxic towards them that some observers have wondered whether the sitcom, which has been around since the birth of television, has anything left to say to us. But then again, what is a sitcom? Do sitcoms have to air on network television? Do they have to have a laugh track? Or fill a half-hour time slot? Do they even have to be comedies?

This hour, we consider the art form of the sitcom with producers and critics of the genre. What is your favorite sitcom and what makes it your favorite?

Kevin Brookman / wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com

An anonymous camera phone-wielding watchdog set off a Facebook firestorm against State Rep. Brandon McGee after a photo of his car parked illegally in a handicap spot circulated online. 

Lewis Hine / U.S. National Archive

The Internet has changed almost everything... especially newspapers. For many years, readers were able to access newspaper articles for free online. Stories were reaching more readers, but losing revenue. On WNPR's Where We Live, newspaper reporters and editors discussed the controversial "paywall."

Jon S / Creative Commons

Last month, The Hartford Courant followed the trend of newspapers across the country by implementing a paywall on its website.

We sit down with two editors to explain the change, and to talk more broadly about the status of "print" journalism today. What is working, and what’s not working, as publications grapple with an increasingly digital world?

ESPN

It’s news that might be keeping some cable executives up at night: for the first time, viewers will be able to stream ESPN over the web. 

Mark Wyman / Creative Commons

The year is off to a tumultuous and sad start. Some New York Police Department officers continued their protest of Mayor Bill de Blasio at a funeral for a fallen colleague and reducing arrests for minor offenses. The protest is entering what Matt Taibbi described as "surreal territory." We also remember the iconic ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott, who died Sunday. Finally, we discuss the news out of New Haven that The Anchor served its last drink this weekend.

Yik Yak

Local, state police, and federal law enforcement are investigating a post on social media threatening a "hail of bullets" in East Lyme.  The post, which appeared anonymously Dec. 24 on the mobile app Yik Yak, said East Lyme should "get ready for the hail of bullets."

Which are you? The kind of person who can't wait to talk about Serial? Or the kind of person who doesn't do it, doesn't get it, and dreads having other people bring it up? The former sort of person was summed up by a recent New Yorker cartoon that showed a woman on a city sidewalk, flagging down a fellow pedestrian and saying "Excuse me, do you have a minute to talk about the latest episode of 'Serial'?"

Pete Souza / White House

President Barack Obama claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance, and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Which are you? The kind of person who can't wait to talk about Serial? Or the kind of person who doesn't do it, doesn't get it, and dreads having other people bring it up? The former sort of person was summed up by a recent New Yorker cartoon that showed a woman on a city sidewalk, flagging down a fellow pedestrian and saying "Excuse me, do you have a minute to talk about the latest episode of 'Serial'?"

Jeff Cohen

As the inaugural season of Serial comes to an end, speculation about the second season heats up. What will the story be about? Will it be another crime mystery?

Today, like every Sunday in the fall, millions of Americans are tuning in to watch some of the country's most popular sport: football.

And for several million of them, your regular ol' football game isn't fast-paced enough: They're tuning in to NFL RedZone.

NFL RedZone is the frenetic channel run by the NFL Network that, for seven hours straight, switches between football games in an endeavor to show every single score of as many as 12 simultaneous games.

Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michel du Cille died Thursday while on assignment in Liberia for The Washington Post. The newspaper says du Cille collapsed while walking on foot from a village in Liberia's Bong County. He was taken to a hospital but died of an apparent heart attack.

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. Here's the first part of our exchange, from Code Switch editor Matt Thompson:

Hi Linda, Kat and Gene,

I think we're still far enough away from the conclusion of Serial (ostensibly next Thursday) that predicting its ending is both brave and foolhardy, so let me lay it on you.

CPBN

The Hartford Courant presented a Key Issues Forum on Thursday morning in collaboration with the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. 

Alan Rusbridger, best known in the U.S. for shepherding the Guardian newspaper through its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Edward Snowden's leaks of classified material, will step down as editor in chief of the British newspaper next summer. He said today he will become the chairman of the Scott Trust, which runs the Guardian.

Nature

The journal Nature announced last week it will offer free access to a number of its articles online.

The visit of Britain's Prince William to Washington, D.C. has been greeted with the excitement reserved for celebrities in a town starved of real famous people (I mean, spotting Sen. Chuck Schumer at a restaurant can lead to breathless "spotted" tweeting). Folks are disappointed that his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, didn't make the trip down from New York City with him. But, this is D.C., and we'll take what we can get on an otherwise slow news morning.

Ken Hawkins / Creative Commons

The Scramble reacts to new developments in the University of Virginia case of alleged sexual assault and Rolling Stone’s concern about some its reporting. 

Then there's a second magazine story: what’s behind the mass -- and we do mean mass -- resignations at The New Republic. Most of its full-time staff and stable of contributing editors quit on the same day. Why?

It's one of the biggest ironies of NBC's gamble tonight with the blockbuster production Peter Pan Live!

This incredibly earnest TV musical just might succeed if enough people hate it.

Ben Pollard / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court will take up an issue that’s pitting privacy advocates against First Amendment proponents. Simsbury’s first selectman resigns after taking a big pay cut she says is illegal. Meanwhile, the City of Hartford has a race for mayor that's about to start.

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses these stories, plus the cuts in state spending were not enough to eliminate a budget deficit.

Want to play a Tiny Desk Concert? Now's your chance: NPR Music and Lagunitas are holding a contest, and the winner gets to perform at my desk here at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Lauten, the GOP staffer who criticized President Obama's daughters, has resigned, The Washington Post, NBC News and USA Today are reporting.

Manfred Werner / Creative Commons

On the Monday Scramble, we're all about helping you survive the holidays. 

Let's say you've got a long -- maybe eight hours! -- drive ahead of you. God forbid you should talk. So what will you listen to? Audiobook? Podcast? Music? We know this married couple, Amanda and Neil. She's mostly a musician. He's mostly a writer. This hour, we imagine that eight-hour drive and let each of them program four hours of it.

A TV comedy Bill Cosby had been developing for NBC has been canceled, after new allegations of rape have been made against the comedian. Netflix made a similar move late Tuesday, shelving a comedy special that had been slated to premiere the week of Thanksgiving.

Retired Connecticut Judge Joseph Steinberg, who hosted a weekly news program with reporters on public television for two decades and wrote books on real estate and other topics, has died. He was 86. 

The popular ride-service company Uber is in damage control mode after a senior vice president expressed interest in unveiling details about the private lives of journalists in retaliation for unflattering coverage of Uber's business practices.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Republican columnist Kevin Rennie took issue with one of his own in his latest Hartford Courant column, scolding former Congressman Rob Simmons for suggesting that the injured Andrew Maynard be awarded a pension and health benefits should he be incapable of serving the term to which he’s just been elected.

Granby Public Schools

A Connecticut middle school principal has resigned amid questions about his role in making violent movies featuring scantily clad women. 

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