Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

1 hour ago

When we meet the heroin dealer called Bone, he has just shot up. He has a lot to say anyway. He tells us about his career--it pretty much tracks the evolution of drug use in America these past ten years or so. He tells us about his rough past. And he tells us about how he died a week ago. He overdosed on his own supply and his friend took his body to the emergency room, then left.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Technology Transforms TV Ratings And Ad Sales

Sep 16, 2013
Originally published on September 16, 2013 7:09 am



Believe it or not, there was a time when you had to watch a television program when it actually aired. Then came VCRs, which had certain drawbacks.


Who taped over my episode of "The Cosby Show"?

GREENE: Then just over a decade ago, TiVo and other digital video recorders started showing up in many households, and now about half of Americans use DVRs to watch TV when they feel like it, not when shows happen to be on. More and more, we're watching shows online, on demand. NPR's Neda Ulaby reports on how all of this technology is changing the science of television ratings.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: TV ratings exist to help advertisers figure out how much to pay for commercials.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) If you're playing to win, here's a brand new soap...

ULABY: These commercials subsidize the programs we like to watch, at least on channels that aren't Showtime or HBO. But what's the value of a commercial on a show that got DVR'ed weeks ago? Only 11 percent of TV viewers watch their favorite shows live, according to a company called Pixel. And Nielsen, still the granddaddy of TV measurements, recently found that video-on demand is in 60 percent of American households. That technology makes it harder to fast-forward through commercials.

BILL LIVEK: The video-on-demand platform, we believe, is the platform of the future.

ULABY: That's Bill Livek. He runs a company called Rentrak. It's kind of like Nielsen. Nielsen uses its own devices to track TV viewing habits. Rentrak gathers data from our cable and satellite boxes about what we watch and when we watch it.

LIVEK: Over a hundred million anonymous television sets report in.

ULABY: Livek says Rentrak works with advertisers to combine its data about TV viewing with consumer data gathered other ways.

LIVEK: Whether loyalty cards that we have at our grocery store or drugstore, or the auto registrations that are publicly available.

ULABY: So it's because of Rentrak that you don't see truck commercials in New York City television. And it can help companies figure out if more people buy soap or cereal after their ads air on TV. And Rentrak's only getting bigger. It recently bought a company that measures how well product placement works. And over at Nielsen, executive Brian Fuhrer says his company also updates its methods for measuring audiences all the time.

BRIAN FUHRER: We use audio codes that are embedded every two seconds. So, as we track through the program, we know exactly which minutes of programs that consumers watch and which ones they elect not to.

ULABY: Including ads. Fuhrer says that today's thousands of Nielsen families include ones where people watch TV only on broadband. Soon, it'll start measuring TV viewership on tablets and smartphones. And, he says, unlike Rentrak, Nielsen actually talks to TV viewers so they can measure more than just minutes glued to the screen.

FUHRER: Traditionally, Nielsen has talked about, you know, measuring the audience in a reach fashion. How many people did my program or ad reach? We're laying on top of that now the concept of residents. You know, did it change people's attitudes?

ULABY: And they measure if it changes people's behavior. Nielsen still rules audience measurements, says analyst Tom Adams. His clients include both Nielsen and Rentrak. He says Nielsen was smart to start measuring streaming video and Twitter chatter and watching TV on new devices. And he says maybe it's time to start rethinking how it measures when shows are watched. Nielsen TV ratings count shows viewed within three or seven days after they air.

TOM ADAMS: They have this challenge of a lot of the DVR watching going on outside of the Nielsen window, and the parallel challenge of a lot of viewership moving to Web-based services that just don't yield anything that's equivalent to a ratings point.

ULABY: Nielsen and Rentrak are explicit about protecting consumers' anonymity and privacy. But Adams says there's still a ton of data being mined.

ADAMS: The thing that people generally need to think about is the privacy issue, frankly.

ULABY: All of it's being monitored: what we watch, what we buy and what we do online. That's known as social listening.

ADAMS: Social listening is kind of completely beyond privacy limits, in a sense, you know, and I think consumers tend to forget that.

ULABY: So, TV ratings have evolved into more than just selling ads. They're now part of a marketing ecosystem with loyalty cards and Facebook likes. Neda Ulaby, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.