Social Studies

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Flying Cheap: The Crash of Continental Flight 3407

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In Feb 2009, Continental Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people. The flight was operated by Colgan Air, a regional airline that flies routes under contract for US Airways, United and Continental. The crash and subsequent investigation revealed a little-known trend in the airline industry: Major airlines have outsourced more of their flights to obscure regional carriers.

In this video chapter from FRONTLINE  Flying Cheap, correspondent Miles O'Brien explores this trend and examines some of the many factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Generation Like: You Are What You "Like"

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Learn about the evolution of digital media from an industry that sought out teens to one in which teens seek out content to “like” in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. As school-aged children spend more time in digital spaces, companies are able to use information that they gather from their activities. This is different from how it once was. In 2001, corporations chased kids down and tried to sell cool teen culture back to them. Today, teens tell the world what they think is cool using the social currency of their generation: likes, follows, friends, and retweets. When kids like something online, it becomes part of the identity that they broadcast to the world. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Generation Like: Promoting Movies

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Discover how marketing firms of movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire inspire social media users to promote products for them in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. When promotion agency TVGla markets a movie, it employs social media to help build trust with consumers. In this way, TVGla gets kids to work for free, promoting films to their friends and followers. While marketing used to be a one-way conversation from the marketer to the consumer, today, the consumer does as much as the marketer to broadcast the message. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Southern Africa: Troubled Water

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In 2005, FRONTLINE/World featured the PlayPump, a promising new technology that pumped fresh water when children played on a merry-go-round. The story appealed to the good intentions of politicians, celebrities and funders, who gave support to installing thousands of these devices in Africa.

Now, in Troubled Water, reporter Amy Costello continues her investigation into what happened to those communities as the promise of the PlayPump fell short, villages were left with non-working PlayPumps for months, and the device’s biggest American boosters began to back away from a technology they had once championed.

 

Generation Like: "Trending" and Advertising

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From television shows built around Twitter feeds to YouTube-branded promotions, learn how social media “trending” is changing the way advertisers reach teens in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. Trending 10, a TV program on the Fuse Network, produces shows throughout the day based on conversations it monitors on social media, particularly among teens and around music. Its programming, which is sponsored by commercial brands, exemplifies an endless feedback loop that has emerged between broadcast and social media: teens are coming up with the content and then helping promote it back to themselves. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Generation Like: How "Likes" Become Money

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Learn about the industry committed to generating social media “likes” and how “likes” become money in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. When kids like or re-tweet something they see online, whether they realize it or not, they’re helping advertisers create a demographic profile of them—a profile that advertisers can use to earn money for the companies they represent. Because the data generated through social media has monetary value, marketing executives are actively engaged in developing promotions that keep kids online. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Generation Like: Social Media and Self-Promotion

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Go behind the scenes to discover how a Hollywood celebrity uses millions of “likes” each month to promote his career and build it into something of value to other companies in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. Ian Somerhalder is the star of the television series, The Vampire Diaries. Working with Oliver Luckett, head of the social media content publisher theAudience, Somerhalder reaches millions of people a month through content posted on channels like Facebook. Analyzing online activity, Luckett can tell how many people Somerhalder reaches every time he posts new content. He also can tell what kinds of products or brands Somerhalder’s followers like. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.