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Friday, December 02, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"THE shops are stacked six feet high with goods, the streets outside are jammed with customers and salespeople are sweating profusely under the onslaught. But this is not a high street during the Christmas-shopping season in the rich world. It is the Onitsha market in southern Nigeria, every day of the year. Many call it the world’s biggest. Up to 3m people go there daily to buy rice and soap, computers and construction equipment. It is a hub for traders from the Gulf of Guinea, a region blighted by corruption, piracy, poverty and disease but also home to millions of highly motivated entrepreneurs and increasingly prosperous consumers. Over the past decade six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries were African. In eight of the past ten years, Africa has grown faster than East Asia, including Japan. Even allowing for the knock-on effect of the northern hemisphere’s slowdown, the IMF expects Africa to grow by 6% this year and nearly 6% in 2012, about the same as Asia.The commodities boom is partly responsible. In 2000-08 around a quarter of Africa’s growth came from higher revenues from natural resources. Favourable demography is another cause. With fertility rates crashing in Asia and Latin America, half of the increase in population over the next 40 years will be in Africa. But the growth also has a lot to do with the manufacturing and service economies that African countries are beginning to develop. The big question is whether Africa can keep that up if demand for commodities drops." (The Economist)


"It was the last time a challenger defeated an incumbent to take the White House. The campaign was dominated by unemployment and the budget deficit. The party out of power coalesced around a nominee and drove him to victory only after a tumultuous primary season and complaints that the best potential candidates were sitting it out.Republicans are hopeful, even confident, that 1992 is a template (albeit with party roles reversed) for 2012. It’s their version of the historical analogy approach to campaigns that also has President Obama and his team mimicking key elements of George W. Bush’s successful 2004 re-election race. These types of comparisons can be simplistic, and misleading if taken too far. But they can be a useful framework for examining the conditions working for and against the candidates back then and the lessons they might hold for their counterparts now. So here’s a matchup of 1992 versus 2012 — and a look at where the parallels could benefit one party or the other." (TheCaucus)

"Mitt Romney’s campaign showed signs of strain this week as Newt Gingrich rose in the polls, Democrats increased their attacks and the former Massachusetts governor stumbled in a national interview. Romney’s strength lies in his ability to stay focused on his economic message and avoid being sucked into other fights.But a series of rare hiccups this week — including a contentious interview with Fox News host Bret Baier and an over-the-top response to Democratic attacks — have shown some cracks in his operation. 'It certainly hasn’t been a good week,; said Al Cardenas, who worked for Romney in 2008 but has remained officially neutral in the race because he now runs the American Conservative Union. Strategists say no long-term damage has been done, but caution that Romney needs to get back on message soon — especially with the early-nominating contests approaching (the Iowa caucus is Jan. 3 and the New Hampshire primary is Jan. 10)." (TheHill)


"Adweek will take the wraps off its revamped Hot List on Monday. It will now cover 39 categories spanning everything from digital to print, scrapping the list that was designed nearly two decades ago to monitor the 'hotness' of the top 10 magazines in the land ... For the record, People, edited by Larry Hackett, won in the celebrity/entertainment magazine category, besting Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and Us Weekly. Time, with Rick Stengel at the helm, won in the general interest category, whisking by the Graydon Carter-led Vanity Fair, David Remnick’s The New Yorker as well as odd 'rivals' such as Popular Science and Wired, which were included in the category.  And in the fashion category, Anna Wintour and Vogue ended up on top, dressing down in-house rival Cindi Leive at Glamour, Ariel Foxman at InStyle, People StyleWatch, and Joanna Coles at Marie Claire. In the business and finance category, Josh Tyrangiel’s Bloomberg BusinessWeek rose to the top of the market and the magazine’s creative director, Richard Turley, won the hottest creative player of the year. Huffington Post won for top Web site, beating out Business Insider and Politico." (Keith Kelly)

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