Monday, April 14, 2014

Post-Industrial News Spaces

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism has just published Moving the Newsroom: Post-Industrial News Spaces and Places. This 61-page multimedia report by Nikki Usher shows what The Miami Herald, The Des Moines Register, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Seattle Times have done "to turn from sadness to opportunity through a journey of physical space" and concludes that "symbols--buildings--matter."

Table of Contents

I. Introduction: Moving the Newsroom: Post-Industrial News Spaces and Places

II. Why Move Now?

III. Moving Out: From Leaving the Heart of Downtown to Resettling a Block Away

IV. Symbolic Space: It Matters

V. Reconfiguring Physical Space to Make Way for the Digital Future

VI. The System Behind the Hubs—Change for the Better

VII. Mobile Journalism: Leaving behind Physical Space

VIII. What We Can Learn From All of This

IX. Physical Spaces, Newsroom Places: Considered

Appendix: Newsroom Photo Galleries

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

State of the News Media 2014

It's that time of year again.  Don't forget to check out The Pew Research Center's STATE OF THE NEWS MEDIA 2014. The Pew Center's Journalism Project has been assessing the news media since 1997 and these annual reports, chock-full of data, researchers and students have come to rely on for insight on developing trends in the news media. If you want to compare new findings to previous years click on Datasets for data (in .zip files) from 2008 through 2013.

I've raided the Overview for these six findings you can
read more about in the whole report:

1) Thirty of the largest digital-only news organizations account for about 3,000 jobs and one area of investment is global coverage. 
2) So far, the impact of new money flowing into the industry may be more about fostering new ways of reporting and reaching audience than about building a new, sustainable revenue structure. 
3) Social and mobile developments are doing more than bringing consumers into the process – they are also changing the dynamics of the process itself.
4) New ways of storytelling bring both promise and challenge. 
5) Local television, which reaches about nine in ten U.S. adults, experienced massive change in 2013, change that stayed under the radar of most. 
6) Dramatic changes under way in the makeup of the American population will undoubtedly have an impact on news in the U.S, and in one of the fastest growing demographic groups – Hispanics – we are already seeing shifts. 
One thing that confused me about this year's offering is that there is no single pdf for it. When you go to the link the Report is broken down into separate boxes that add up to the full report. Don't be fooled by the Overview page that has a pdf called Complete Report--it's only the Overview. Go figure. 

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Monday, April 07, 2014

Book Spotlight: Mimi Sheller's Aluminum Dreams

The genre of commodity histories has a great new addition in Mimi Sheller's Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity (MIT Press, 2014). The book is much like the material it chronicles.  While there is a density of thought to it (that is exhilarating), it is not a heavy, obfuscating read like a lot of academic writing can be. It's sleek and beautiful, too, including "a generous selection of striking images of iconic aluminum designs, many in color, drawn from advertisements by Alcoa, Bohn, Kaiser, and other major corporations, pamphlets, films, and exhibitions" (publisher's description). That's why I've decided not to bury it in my Booknotes list of a few dozen titles but give it a post of its own. 
Dr. Sheller, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University, visited The Annenberg School last week as a guest of PARGC. While she was there to deliver a talk on  The Ethics of Connected Mobility in a Disconnected World: Bridging Uneven Topologies of Hertzian Space in Post-Disaster Haiti she had her new book with her which I was lucky enough to get my hands on. This led to one of those on-the-spot library purchase decisions that remind you why you got into the profession.

"This book tells the story...of space machines and streamlined gadgets, mobile homes and soaring cities, and the double-edged sword of utopia and catastrophe that hastens us toward the accelerated metallic future envisioned in the twentieth century. The chapters that follow go beyond existing business histories that celebrate the age of aluminum as if it were an inevitable product of this "magic metal," but also beyond the important but one-sided environmental diatribes against heavy industry and transnational corporations, which sometimes ignore the realities of cultural dreams and efficient mobility...The chapters that follow will trace the flow of aluminum around the world, like a ribbon of metal running through the fabric of modernity from one end of the world to the other. Following this thread will allow us to knit together the First World and the Third World, capitalism and communism, the North and the Tropics, battlefields and home fronts, industry and ideas, text and images, the 'modernizing' past the the 'sustainable' future. It will also challenge us to confront some of the most basic questions about the future of life of earth, the amount of energy we can sustainably use, and what our lives would be like if we tried to live without certain modern conveniences predicated on aluminum's contribution to lightness, speed, and mobility." --Mimi Sheller "Overview of Book" from the Introduction
You can borrow the book from Annenberg Reserve (see me about extending your loan time).  Van Pelt will have a copy soon, too. 

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

April CommQuote

I love this bleary mixing of media morphing into other media forms/formats. That's what artist Jim Campbell is all about as reported in Benjamin Sutton's Why Is Jim Campbell’s Low-Res Video Art So Compelling, Even Captivating? for artnet news.
"In Topography Reconstruction Wave (2014) [pictured below], the footage of a crashing wave plays behind a thick layer of resin sculpted to represent a photograph of a wave. This work, part of a new series employing more sculptural elements than much of Campbell’s preceding works, culminates when the blurred video of the wave seems to line up perfectly with the sculpted resin wave encasing it....In addition to the process of stripping away visual information in his low-resolution videos, he is increasingly interested in the conversion of one type of media into another—in the case of the resin works, transforming black-and-white images into three-dimensional sculptures. The effect is deeply unsettling because of the way in which the video’s flickering lights interact with the translucent resin.

'As the lights change it distorts based on how thick the resin is, and what that does is that as the light passes through the face it feels like the face is moving, which goes back to this theory about some of the very earliest cave paintings that we have found; some people have suggested that with fire in there that they were actually animated,' Campbell explained."

You can take in the full article here.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Digital Newspaper Archive Research

The special issue of the latest Media History (Volume 20, Number 1, 2014), devoted to digital newspaper archive research, grew out of a conference held at the University of Sheffield in 2011 of the AHRC (Arts and Humanities
Research Council) Research Network, Exploring the language of the popular in American and British newspapers 1833–1988.

As John Steel explains in the issue's Introduction, "The papers in this volume...signal developments and opportunities in the production, use and development of digital archives themselves. The papers either explicitly address the range of challenges and opportunities of using digital newspaper archives while at the same time presenting research made possible by the archives. Other papers are less evaluative or prescriptive and demonstrate the scope and depth of analysis that such archives allow for media historians."

Articles include: Elemental Forms: The newspaper as popular genre in the nineteenth century, by James Mussell

Nineteenth-Century Journalism Online—The Market Versus Academia? by Clare Horrocks

Jingoism, Public Opinion, And The New Imperialism: Newspapers and Imperial Rivalries at the fin de siècle, by Simon J. Potter

King Demos and His Laureate: Rudyard Kipling's ‘The White Man's Burden,’ Transatlanticism, and the Newspaper Poem, by John Lee

The development of discourse presentation in The Times, 1833–1988, by Andreas H. Jucker and Manuel Berger

Archiving the Visual: The promises and pitfalls of digital newspapers, by Nicole Maurantonio

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Introducing Sociometrics

Sociometrics, newly added to the Penn Library e-resources, offers access to social-behavioral health science data, including social science health data sets, psychological tests, effective evidence-based prevention and treatment programs and multimedia health education resources.  Modules include:

Children's Emotional Disorders Effective Treatment Archive

Early Intervention Program Archive to Reduce Developmental Disability

Global HIV Archive

HIV RAP Interactive

HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Archive

Know the Risks: HIV Screening & Education

Know the Risks: Sexual Health Over 50

Program Archive on Sexuality, Health, & Adolescence

PsyTestAR: Psychological Test and Assessment Resource

SAHARA: HIV Prevention for African American Young Women

SiHLE: HIV Prevention for African American Teen Women

WILLOW: Secondary Prevention for African-American Women living with HIV

This resource is bought to us by the Sociometrics Corporation which you may already know from The Social Science Electronic Data Library (SSEDL) that provides a collection of robust data archives with more than 600 premier data sets and over 275,000 variables. You can access this collection at the Sociometrics site in addition to accessing it from the Library webpage by SEEDL.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Article Feature: Mapping a Media Controversy (Trayvon Martin)

In case you missed First Monday's extensive analysis of the way the Trayvon Martin story moved through the media...The Battle for 'Trayvon Martin': Mapping a Media Controversy Online and Off-line, by Erhardt Graeff, Matt Stempeck, and Etan Zuckerman.

One of the biggest news stories of 2012, the killing of Trayvon Martin, nearly disappeared from public view, initially receiving only cursory local news coverage. But the story gained attention and controversy over Martin’s death dominated headlines, airwaves, and Twitter for months, thanks to a savvy publicist working on behalf of the victim’s parents and a series of campaigns off–line and online. Using the theories of networked gatekeeping and networked framing, we map out the vast media ecosystem using quantitative data about the content generated around the Trayvon Martin story in both off–line and online media, as well as measures of engagement with the story, to trace the interrelations among mainstream media, nonprofessional and social media, and their audiences. We consider the attention and link economies among the collected media sources in order to understand who was influential when, finding that broadcast media is still important as an amplifier and gatekeeper, but that it is susceptible to media activists working through participatory or nonprofessional media to co–create the news and influence the framing of major controversies. Our findings have implications for social change organizations that seek to harness advocacy campaigns to news stories, and for scholars studying media ecology and the networked public sphere.

First Monday is one of one of the first open access (since 1996), peer-reviewed journals devoted to the Internet. The Trayvon Martin piece appeared in the February issue and new March articles are upon us, such as Taking tweets to the streets: A spatial analysis of the Vinegar Protests in Brazil and Homelessness, wirelessness, and (in)visibility: Critical reflections on the Homeless Hotspots Project and the ensuing online discourseIf you're not keeping up with First Monday, you're not keeping up with the Internet. 

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Friday, February 28, 2014

The Stuart Hall Project

Newly available in the Annenberg Library is the much anticipated John Akomfrah film, The Stuart Hall Project. This film, about one of the founding figures of cultural studies, received a lot of buzz at this year's Sundance and Sheffield Documentary festivals.

"Stuart Hall, one of the most preeminent intellectuals on the Left in Britain, updates this definition as he eloquently theorizes that cultural identity is fluid—always morphing and stretching toward possibility but also constantly experiencing nostalgia for a past that can never be revisited. Filmmaker John Akomfrah uses the rich and complex mood created by Miles Davis’s trumpet to root a masterful tapestry of newly filmed material, archival imagery, excerpts from television programs, home movies, and family photographs to create this lyrical and emotionally powerful portrait of the life and philosophy of this influential theorist. Like a fine scotch, The Stuart Hall Project is smooth, complicated, and euphorically pleasing. It taps into a singular intelligence to extract the tools we need to make sense of our lives in the modern world."
--Sundance Film website

You can view the trailer here.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February CommQuote

Go to Google BooksLet's go with another poem for our February Commquote (since April is approaching which we know is Poetry Month, how's that for logic?).  The poet is Rae Armantrout, who is coming for a visit to the Kelly Writers House later this Spring.  The poem is called Cursive from her 2007 collection, Next Life.


In my country,
in "Toy Story,"

sanity meant keeping
a set distance

between one's role
as a figurine
and one's "self-image."

This gap
was where the soul
was thought to live.


When he thought of suicide, he thought,

"It ends here!"


"Let's do it!"

As if a flying leap
were a form of camaraderie.

As if a cop and his
comic relief partner
faced off'
against moguls.

Crossed wires released such
hope-like sparks.


This thing was called
"face of the deep,"

this intractable blank
with its restless cursive


Monday, February 10, 2014

Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics

The Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics is a three volume work from Sage that explores the rise of social media effects on politics in the United States and around the world. 

Edited by Kerric Harvey of George Washington University, the work carries over 600 essays that fall in general topic areas: Celebrities and Pioneers in Social Media; Congressional Social Media Usage, Measuring Social Media's Impact; Misuse of Social Media in the Political Arena; Social Media, Candidates and Campaigns; Social Media, Politics and Culture; Social Media and Networking Web Sites; Social Media and Political Unrest, Social Media and Social Activism; Social Media Concepts and Theories; Social Media Regulation, Public Policy and Actual Practice; and Social Media Types, Innovation and Technology.  

Volume III includes not only a good resource guide of related books, journals and websites but  a detailed appendix tracking social media usage by U.S. Senators and Congressmen--what platforms they use, and the number and frequency of their posts.

These volumes are a good place for beginners and more seasoned researchers to start their investigation of this rapidly transforming area of two interlocking fields, communication and political science.  Available in the Reference section of the Annenberg Library.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Propaganda Poster Digital Collection at Washington State U

Washington State University Libraries has recently launched a new digital collection of propaganda posters distributed  between 1914 and 1945. 520 posters from private donations comprise The Propaganda Poster Digital Collection illustrating how various governments tried to influence public and private behavior around the two World Wars.  Besides the United States, posters from Europe, South America and Canada are represented. 

This digital images can be browsed by key words in the description such as are easy to browse by keywords from the description of the images--such as food, women, bonds, god (only one entry).

"Prior to the advent of broadcast radio and television, governments looked to other media to communicate information to their citizens. One of the most eye-catching formats is the propaganda poster, the use of which peaked during World War I and remained pervasive through World War II. The U.S. government alone produced an estimated 20,000,000 copies of more than 2,500 distinct posters during the first World War. Through these “weapons on the wall,” governments persuaded their citizens to participate in a variety of patriotic functions, from pur­chasing war bonds to conserving scarce resources. These posters also strengthened public support for the wars by providing “message control” about the government’s allies and enemies." --description of The Collection

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Monday, January 27, 2014

January CommQuote

Let's ring (hint hint) in the new year with a poem called Cell Phone by Ernesto Cardenal (transl. by John Lyons). It's from his 2011 collection titled The Origin of the Species and Other Poems (Texas Tech University Press).

Cell Phone
You talk on your cell phone

and talk and talk

and laugh into your cell phone

never knowing how it was made

and much less how it works

but what does that matter

trouble is you don’t know

just as I didn’t

that many people die in the Congo

thousands upon thousands

for that cellphone

they die in the Congo

in its mountains there is coltan

(besides gold and diamonds)

used for cell phone


for the control of the minerals

multinational corporations

wage this unending war

5 million dead in 15 years

and they don’t want it to be known

country of immense wealth

with poverty-stricken population

80% of the world’s coltan

reserves are in the Congo

the coltan has lain there for

three thousand million years

Nokia, Motorola, Compaq, Sony

buy the coltan

the Pentagon too, the New York

Times corporation too

and they don’t want it to be known

nor do they want the war to stop

so as to carry on grabbing the coltan

children of 7 to 10 years extract the coltan

because their tiny bodies

fit into the tiny holes

for 25 cents a day

and loads of children die

due to the coltan powder

or hammering the rock

that collapses on top of them

The New York Times too

that doesn’t want it to be known

and that’s how it remains unknown

this organized crime

of the multinationals

the Bible identifies

truth and justice

and love and the truth

the importance of the truth then

that will set us free

also the truth about coltan

coltan inside your cell phone

on which you talk and talk

and laugh into your cell phone


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Global Media Worlds and China

The 20th anniversary edition of Javnost - The Public The Journal of the European Institute for Communication and Culture is devoted to China. 

Global Media Worlds and China

Hu Zhengrong, Ji Deqiang
Yuezhi Zhao
Daya Kishan Thussu
Lena Rydholm
Susan Brownell
Göran Svensson
“China Going Out” or the “World Going In”? The Shanghai World Expo 2010 in the Swedish Media

NOTE: While Javnost is freely available electronically beginning in 1994, the most recent years (last two) are not available online; 2012 and 2013 issues of the Journal in paper are available in the Annenberg Library. 

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

INFLA Report on Internet Censorship Around the World

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutes (INFLA) has just released a 103-page report that looks at internet censorship in selected countries from around the world. You can access the freely available pdf here.

Trends in transition from classical censorship to Internet censorship: selected country overviews

Censorship is no longer limited to printed media and videos. Its impact is felt much more strongly with regard to Internet related resources of information and communication such as access to websites, email and social networking tools which is further enhanced by ubiquitous access through mobile phones and tablets. Some countries are marked by severe restrictions and enforcement, a variety of initiatives in enforcing censorship (pervasive as well as implied), as well as initiatives to counter censorship. The article reflects on trends in Internet censorship in selected countries, namely Australia, Chile, China, Finland, Lybia, Myanmar, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Kingdom (UK). These trends are discussed under two broad categories of negative and positive trends. Negative trends include: trends in issues of Internet related privacy; ubiquitous society and control; trends in Internet related media being censored; trends in filtering and blocking Internet content and blocking software; trends in technologies to monitor and identify citizens using the Internet to express their opinion and applying “freedom of speech”; criminalization of legitimate expression on the Internet; trends in acts, regulations and legislation regarding the use of the Internet and trends in government models regarding Internet censorship; trends in new forms of Internet censorship; trends in support of Internet censorship; trends in enforcing regulations and Internet censorship; trends in Internet related communication surveillance. Positive trends include: trends in reactions to Internet censorship; attempts and means to side-step Internet censorship; trends in cyber actions against Internet censorship; trends in innovative ways of showing opposition to Internet censorship. Detailed reports for each country are included as appendixes. A summary of how the trends manifest in the countries in which data were mined, as well as the trends per se is included in the article.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Article Feature: Content Analysis of Africa-affiliated Authors in Comm Journals

Work by African-affiliated authors continues to be underrepresented in Communication journals, so find the authors Ann Neville Miller, Christine Deeter, Anne Trelstad, Matthew Hawk, Grece Ingram   and Annie Ramirez in Still the Dark Continent: A Content Analysis of Research About Africa and by African Scholars in 18 Major Communication-Related Journals in the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication  (Volume 6, Number 4, November 2013).

Research about African communication and studies by African-affiliated authors remain scarce in the field of communication. To establish a comprehensive picture of the state of scholarship, 5,228 articles published in 18 top communication journals between 2004 and 2010 were reviewed. Articles were coded for topic nation, author affiliation, article type, category of communication studied, and research method. Thirty-nine Africa-focused articles including 25 authored by researchers from African institutions were found. Over half addressed health communication; most focused on Kenya and South Africa. Means are suggested by which the international scholarly community can partner to encourage African scholarship.

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