Today's Top Stories

This Labor Day We Need Protest Marches Rather than Parades

Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade. All told, it’s been the worst decade for American workers in a century, but big American corporations are making more money, and creating more jobs, outside the United States than in it. And CEO pay, meanwhile, has soared.

Capitalism's New Era

Since illusions of an economic recovery have now been shattered, it's up to working people to demand that their labor unions and community groups unite to tax the rich and corporations in order to finance a massive jobs program. Fortunately, the AFL-CIO is organizing actions for the first week of October to demand jobs and oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Many within the labor movement are calling for massive demonstrations across the country for October 1.

Twilight of the Media Critics

With the news this week that the already-shrunken world of media reporting is losing its two grandest figures -- Jim Romenesko and Jack Shafer -- the survivors are few and far between. There used to be media critics at damn near every big newspaper in America! No mas. Why the decline of this "proud" field? Well, for one thing, like politics, the media is a topic on which every asshole has an opinion, and those opinions are now more easily distributed than ever.

Slate Lays Off Staff. Does Its Model Still Make Sense?

You don’t have to be an ink-and-paper newspaper to be a dinosaur. Slate, one of the original internet-only magazines, has laid off four journalists. But despite its internet pedigree, a comparison with newspapers is apt. With an editorial staff of 40, Slate is a fraction the size of a large metro daily but it’s built on the same model: a general-interest publication that tries to hit all the news people are interested in every day.

America’s Sweatshop Diplomacy

According to the State Department, the J-1 visa Summer Work Study program, which allows foreign students to work in the United States for a few months, is meant to promote “lasting and meaningful relationships” between the students and Americans. Instead, it has become the country’s largest guest worker program. Its “summer work travel” component recruits well over 100,000 international students a year to do menial jobs at minimal pay in dairy farms, resorts and factories.

3 Things That Must Happen for Us To Rise Up and Defeat the Corporatocracy

The majority of Americans oppose the corporatocracy, but many have given up hope that this tyranny can be defeated. Among those who continue to be politically engaged, many focus on only one of the requirements: knowledge of how we are getting screwed. But transforming the United States into something closer to a democracy also requires pragmatic tactics, strategies, and solutions, as well as the “energy to do battle.”

Social media triggers 'dramatic' rise in online defamation

Social media has led to a surge in the number of online defamation cases, more than doubling in the past year. The number of UK cases citing online defamation rose from seven to 16 in 2010, while the overall number of defamation proceedings rose by 4% from 83 to 86. The company behind the research, Sweet & Maxwell, said legal experts had predicted a “dramatic jump” in online defamation ever since the arrival of sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The Twitter effect: We are all members of the media now

It’s not just the reporters and other journalists who are using Twitter to reshape the way political reporting happens -- politicians and their parties are doing it as well. Candidates are posting their own videos to YouTube and their campaign statements to Facebook, and when there’s a news announcement, they post it to their Twitter accounts. In some cases, journalists themselves find out the news when they see it in someone’s tweet-stream, reversing the traditional relationship where reporters break the news.