The Grimmer side of fairy tales

14 04 2011

Viktor Vasnetsov: The Sleeping Beauty (Early 20th century)

Fairy tales are a part of everyone’s childhood memory. Who doesn’t know a 5-year-old American girl that doesn’t know at least one of the Disney fairy tale princesses? There’s a reason why Disney (with its trademark logo resembling a fairy tale castle might I add) has produced 50 fairy tale remakes: we love the classic prince and princess stories that have happy endings.

But as I found out,  the fairy tales of the past and interpretations of the present have a not-so-Disney-friendly vibe.

From the Grimm Brothers to psychoanalysis of fairy tales, this radio feature explores the darker side of fairy tales.

Listen Now (10:00)





The Great Paywall of NY Times: debate of the haves and have-nots

1 04 2011

Photo Courtesy of Nieman Journalism Lab

The New York Times paywall sprang up  Tuesday, causing uproar and criticisms among the public and media circles.

This is one instance where the journalist inside me comes at odds with the business side of my industry. While I understand news companies are figuring out ways they can make profits online, paywalls are the wrong way of going at it.

A few weaknesses of a paywall are:

  1. Consumers will not pay for something they can get for free elsewhere  (e.g., big news sites that AREN’T charging money).
  2. The paywall, as of now, is porous. Smart consumers can find ways of getting around it.
  3. The ethos of cyberculture itself is rested on the ideas of free exchange of free information and open source communities. For the most part it’s about unadulterated access. The implementation of a paywall goes against this very cultural norm of cyberspace.
  4. A paywall will further separate the socioeconomic barriers between the haves and have-nots. If the entire news industry decided to have paywalls, how are citizens in lower socioeconomic standing supposed to make informed-decisions in their lives when, well, they can’t even have access to free information?

The Nieman Journalism Lab has an interesting roundtable discussion posted about forecasts into where the NY Time’s paywall will go. One writer defends the paywall. I understand news companies are here to make money, but the public interest would be experiencing a big loss if paywalls are any indication of where news sites are headed.

An interesting MediaShift article “Why the New York Times’ Pay Model is Similar to NPR and Spot.Us.”








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