Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Animated Soviet Propaganda

Now available in the ASC Library is a four-part series called Animated Soviet Propaganda. This series affords an in-depth look at the spectacular, often disturbing, animation produced by the Soviet propaganda machine from the Lenin era to the dawn of perestroika. Titles in the series are:
American Imperialists: Soviet Animation vs. the United States
Fascist Barbarians: Soviet Animation vs. Nazi Tyranny
Capitalist Sharks: Soviet Animation vs. Greed and Ambition
Onward to the Shining Future: Animation and the Big Soviet Lie

The series is produced by Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Communication Yearbook chapter on Latina/o media studies

The new Communication Yearbook 30 has arrived is in ASC reference. Communication Yearbook, now in its 30th year, is always a good annual to check out as it contains review of the literature articles on all aspects of the field. One of the articles in this 2006 volume titled The Lantina/o Problematic: Categories and Questions in Media Communication by Esteban Del Rio gives a state of the art read on Latina/o studies in relation to communication. It's divided into the following sections: Overview of Latina/o Studies as communication domain; Problems and assumptions in Latina/o media studies; Not belonging in America: traditional Latina/o media studies; the Latina/o problematic: nationalism, citizenship and integration, language and culture; and race, class and gender politics of representation. The article includes seven pages of bibliographic references. (ANNEN REF P 87 C642 30)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Searching Risk Communication in PubMed

Since the National Institute of Health's Risk Communication database (see 5/26 post) is not current, where do you go for the latest research? You can search risk in all the sociology and communication databases (Communication Abstracts, CIOS, Sociological Abstracts, IBSS, ISI, Francis, and PsycINFO) both generally and by specific risk topics (toxic shock, motorcycle helmets, avian flu, airplane security, etc.). But how do you keep track of risk communication in the sea of medical literature? I was talking to Marcia Zorn, healthcomm expert extraordinaire/NIH librarian, and she has developed a strategy for doing just that, searching PubMed for risk communication. What's more, she's developed a nifty url to feed right to the PubMed search box. The search is complicated (a paragraph-long sentence) but you don't have to type (much less build) it if you use this freeze-dried one that she's constructed. Here it is for you to try: http://tinyurl.com/pcgk5. For anyone doing large lit reviews on risk, or who just wants to keep up with the latest risk communication literature in the largest medical database out there, this is a good search to run periodically.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

State of the News Media 2006

The State of the News Media 2006 provides a comprehensive, sweeping look at American journalism in the year 2006. Previous reports (2004, 2005) are available at this site as well. Written by the Project for Excellence in Journalism with the aid of many collaborators, the report examines major trends in print (newspapers, magazines), broadcast (network TV, local TV, cable, and radio) and online journalism through various perspectives such as content analysis, audience characteristics, economics, ownership, investment, and public attitudes. For a quick overview check out Major Trends or the Intro. Full of original and aggregated data, for any student of journalism this report is a bookmark-must!

Web site traffic statistics

This question came to the Communications Librarian's listserv:

I'm looking for credible sources of web site statistics that I can use to verify/estimate the number of visitors to a few specific sites I am studying. I want to quote a source more objective than the website sponsor's own statistics. Is there such a source?

A site called Alexa.com is useful for just these sorts of questions. Click on the "Traffic Rankings" section, type in the address of the site you want to track and you'll find daily, weekly, and monthly rankings, other sites that link to the site, and more. For instance, you can compare two sites. (I compared two competing Communications Schools, interesting...). I notice that for sites that fall beneath the top 100,000 weekly and monthly hits are provided, but not daily.

There are many web counter products out there. The Open Directory Project lists a bunch of them. You may also want to check Nielsen NetRatings for general information about net traffic, (such as the top ten web rankings in different countries), press releases, etc. But they don't offer anything as specific as Alexa to play with for free.

Web counters are not the most reliable statistics for many reasons, one being that counters base their counts on IP addresses and not specific computers so users may be counted multiple times. Like all ratings they are crude, but still manage to mean something, or so enough people think.

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