Monday, January 29, 2007

Open Access notes

On the Open Access front... First, it's always good to keep an eye on the Directory of Open Access, better known as DOAJ, which lists open access journals for the field. There are 35 titles under Media and Communication. You may also want to tool around in the broader Social Sciences list. Not sure what constitutes an open access journal. Here's DOAJ's official definition:
We define open access journals as journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access." "...the right of users to "read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles" [is] "mandatory for a journal to be included in the directory....Quality Control: The journal must exercise peer-review or editorial quality control to be included.
New open access journals are springing up all the time it seems. Besides the new International Journal of Communications (highlighted in a previous post), Communications in Information Literacy (CIL) is about to be launched (Spring 2007). It describes itself as an independent, professional, refereed electronic journal dedicated to advancing knowledge, theory, and research in the area of information literacy, the journal is committed to the principles of information literacy as set forth by the Association of College and Research Libraries. CIL is also committed to the principles of open access for academic research.

Lastly(at least for this post), if you're interested in OA in general you might want to sign on to SPARC's new Open Access Newsletter. SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an alliance of universities, research libraries, and organizations. The coalition was an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries, started in 1997 to be a constructive response to market dysfunctions in the scholarly communication system. SPARC serves as a catalyst for action, helping to create systems that expand information dissemination and use in a networked digital environment while responding to the needs of academe. SOAN, the monthly newsletter by Peter Suber offers news and analysis of the open-access movement. SOAN was launched in July 2003 to continue Suber's Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter (March 2001 - September 2002). The newsletter is the same; only the title has changed to reflect the role of SPARC's sponsorship, though Suber's views are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of SPARC.

Special symposium issue of Critical Review on Democratic Competence

The latest issue of Critical Review (Volume 18, nos. 1-3) centers around Philip E. Converse's 1964 seminal paper, "The Nature of Belief Systems in the Mass Publics." Editor Jeffrey Friedman explains the role of his opening essay, which precedes a reprint of the 1964 Converse classic, as well as the structure of the whole issue "...Rather than commenting on their [symposium authors] contributions, I see my task as that of inducing outsiders to the post-Converse literature to read the informative articles published here--by explicating the one that gave rise to them all, “The Nature of Belief Systems” itself. Readers seeking an historical overview of the issues at stake should turn to Stephan Earl Benett’s article below. A thematic treatment of the main lines of scholarly debate “after Converse” is provided by Donald Kinder’s paper. James Fishkin, Doris Graber, Russell Hardin, Arthur Lupia, and Samuel Popkin argue out some of the normative and theoretical implications that have been derived from Converse. And Scott Althaus, Samuel DeCanio, Ilya Somin, and Gregory Wawro focus, albeit not exclusively, on how “Conversean” ideas can be further applied in political and historical research."

The issue comes to a crescendo with a response piece from Converse himself, called "Democratic Theory and Electoral Reality."

Abstract of "Democratic Theory and Electoral Reality":

In response to the dozen essays published here, which relate my 1964 paper on “The Nature of Belief Systems in the Mass Publics” to normative requirements of democratic theory, I note, inter alia, a major misinterpretation of my old argument, as well as needed revisions of that argument in the light of intervening data.Then I address the degree to which there may be some long-term secular change in the parameters that I originally laid out. In the final section, I provide a case study of public understanding of factual trends in federal tax policy in recent decades which seems commendably veridical on average.The preferences of the public thereon add up to a remarkably clear popular mandate. But this mandate seems to disappear rather magically in the voting booth, probably due to a combination of limited contextual information on the public side, and considerable skill on the elite side in manipulating apparent political realities.

Current issues of Critical Review are not available online from the
Penn website (back issues from 1996-2005 are) but are available, including this issue, in print at Van Pelt.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The State of the Union in Words

Here's a neat little content analysis tool. A New York Times link that allows you to search for any words used by President Bush in all of his State of the Union speeches. It gives the speech/year it appears in and the context of each usage. Just for fun I played with colors. Of the primary colors Bush has only mentioned red (29 times); no blue, no yellow. No green or orange either. One purple mention. White gets three mentions and I thought black tied that but that turned into three cases of "blackmail." Of course, you can do more serious probes.

The State of the Union in Words: A Look at the 34,000 State of the Union Words Delivered of George W. Bush - New York Times

Friday, January 12, 2007

Al-Jazeera English Comes to ASC Library

Al-Jazeera English, the 24-hour English-language TV news channel headquartered in Doha, Qatar, can now be viewed in the Annenberg Library during regular library hours. Aimed at emphasizing news from the developing world and resetting the flow of news from South to North, the channel was launched on November 15, 2006. Says staff member Riz Khan, "In my lifetime as a journalist, there will not be another channel launched on this scale." Programming includes Inside Iraq, 101 East (Asian politics and business), Everywoman (women's issues in the Middle East), Sportsworld, Witness (daily presentation of short documentaries), 48 (48 hours of daily life in a different city every week), interview programs (including one anchored by Sir David Frost), The Fabulous Picture Show (movies, entertainment), and much more. Our JumpTV access to al-Jazeera English is set up at the far computer opposite the copy room. Ask at the desk if for some reason it is not turned on.

A New Era for Development Dialogue: What Next

The Dag Hammarskjold Foundation's latest issue of Development Dialogue (No. 47, June 2006) represents the first in a series of publications under the project titled What Next, a sequel to their What Now project thirty years ago which culminated in the famous 1975 report, What Now: Another Development and the monograph Another Development: Approaches and Strategies (1976). What Next will produce three volumes of Development Communication and two longer special reports. In this first in the series of journal issues seven contributors come together to undertake: "Setting the Context," providing historical perspective and taking stock of major development trends. Volume II will focus on media and communication in addition to international relations, human rights, fundamentalism, and disability. The third volume will focus more on economic issues. The two special reports that are already in preparation focus on carbon trading (currently the main approach to tackling global warming) and modern society's reliance on technology to solve solve social problems, respectively. A little background on the Foundation and Project from the editors of Volume I of Development Dialogue's What Next, from "Introducing What Next":
"The Foundation that Dag Hammarskjold gave name to was established in 1962. Hammarskjold, who perished the previous year in a plane crash in Northern Zambia, died while negotiating peace in the troubled Congo. He was guided by the notion that small countries, especially those that had just emerged from wars of independence and decolonisation, should be able to assert their interests vis-a-vis the major powers and build their own future and destiny. ...In areas spanning global health policy, indigenous publishing and cross-cultural communication as well as disarmament, UN reform, plant genetic resources and nanotechnlogy, the Foundation has...attempted to foster broad-based debates on new and viable perspectives. The results of these explorations of social, political, economic and cultural development--particularly in the South but also globally--have been made available to the public in more than 150 publications, including the journal Development Dialogue. "
Development Dialogue is available in the ASC library, not online.

Safari Tech Books Online

Safari Tech Books Online is an online warehouse of selected full-text computer books from O'Reilly and other IT publishers including Addison-Wesley, Cisco Press, New Riders, pacified, Prentice Hall, Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, qua, and sans. All the books are fully searchable and fully navigable. Read books cover to cover online, or flip directly to the code sample or example you need. Browse titles and subject areas to get to relevant chapters or perform keyword searches across multiple titles simultaneously. Subject areas include: business, computer science, databases, desktop applications, desktop publishing, e-commerce, graphics, hardware, human-computer interaction, internet/online, IT management, multimedia, networking, operating systems, programming, security, and software engineering. Remember, access this site only through the Penn Library homepage to take advantage of Penn's subscription. Don't see a title you need? Feel free to suggest books to add to Safari by emailing TOWNELIB@SEAS.UPENN.EDU.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Journal Feature: foto8 and Ei8ht

foto8, the online journal of international, award-winning documentary photography, has been exploring new ways of storytelling since 1998. It "believes that photojournalism performs an essential role in modern society" and is "a valuable tool of communication as well as a vital part of educating ourselves about the lives of others which are often distant from our own. " My favorite photo essay currently on the site is called Car Park by Astrid Schulz. A close second: Remains of the Journey by Francesca Phillips. Photo8 also produces the quarterly magazine of photojournalism, Ei8ht, now available at the ASC Library.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Reference Booknotes

Guide to Political Campaigns in America, edited by Paul S. Herrnson (CQ Press, 2005). The first comprehensive resource for scholarly and practical insight into every important aspect of political campaigns--the issues, people, processes, and types and levels of races involved. (ASC).

Children and Television: Fifty Years of Research, edited by Norma Pecora, John P. Murray, and Ellen Ann Wartella (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007). A comprehensive review of the literature on children's television drawing not only on the academic traditions of communication studies, but psychology, sociology, education, economics, and medicine. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the book is the 128-page Bibliography: 1949-2005. (ASC)

Women in Mass Communication, by Pemela J. Creedon and Judith Cramer (Sage, 2007). This third edition examines the role of women in the journalism and mass communication professions. (ASC)

Dictionary of Mass communication & Media Research: A Guide for Students, Scholars & Professionals, by David Demers (Marquette, 2005). 1,400 terms associated with the seven traditional mass media (books, newspapers, motion pictures, recording industry, radio and television), new media and the Internet, history of media, media law and ethics, media research methods and statistics, advertising and public relations, global media, major media theories, and prominent media professionals and scholars. (ASC)

Economics of Hispanic Television in the U.S. (Kagan Research, 2005). Kagan industry report on the largest and fastest-growing minority market in the U. S. Detailed profiles of 14 broadcast and cable networks include ownership information, subscriber data, and projections of gross and net ad revenues, programming expenses and cash flow, as well as programming descriptions and contact information for 32 other Hispanic-targeted networks. (ASC)

Handbook of New Media, edited by Leah A. Lievreouw and Sonia Livingstone (Sage, 2006). Updated second edition of an essential text for anyone concerned with social aspects of the new media.--Kevin Robins, Goldsmiths College, University of London (ASC)

Covering Health Issues 2006: A Sourcebook for Journalists. (Alliance for Health Reform, 2006). This resource for journalists provides background information, story ideas, experts and websites, and bibliographies in twelve different policy areas: the uninsured, private health, children''s health Medicare, Medicare prescription drug program, Medicaid, long-term care, health care quality, disparities, mental health, and public health. It also includes a section on how to cover issues for TV and radio. (ASC)

Censorship in the Arab World: An Annotated Bibliography, by Mona A. Nsouli and Lokman I. Meho (Scarecrow, 2006). This first annotated bibliography of its kind. Includes over 650 annotations of books, scholarly articles, book chapters, and dissertations from 21 countries in the Arab world. The collection covers academic freedom, book burning, library acquisitions, privacy and freedom of information and expression among other topics related to censorship. (ASC)

Swingin' on the Ether Waves: a Chronological History of African American Radio and Television Broadcasting, 1925-1955, by Henry T. Simpson (Scarecrow, 2006). A sweeping two-volume work documenting the historical contributions of African Americans to broadcasting in the United States from the beginning of commercial broadcasting in 1925 to the age of television from 1950-1955. (ASC)

Encyclopedia of Religion, Communication, and Media, edited by Daniel Stout (Routledge, 2006). The world's religions are analyzed by different means of communication. Topics are arranged around the following themes: forms of verbal communication such and chanting and sermons; forms of written communication such as books, encyclicals, literature and magazines; public communication such via the internet, television and radios; and other forms of communication including art, film, and sculpture. (ASC)

Sage Handbook of Nonverbal Communication, edited by Valerie Manusov and Miles L. Patterson (Sage, 2006). Structured into four sections: foundations of nonverbal communication, factors influencing nonverbal communication, functions of nonverbal communication, and important contexts and consequences of nonverbal communication (ASC).

State of the Union: Presidential Rhetoric from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush, edited by Deborah Kalb, Gerhard Peters, and John T. Woolley (CQ Press). Includes complete transcripts of every State of the Union Address from 1913 to 2006. (ASC)

Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents, and the Media, Edited by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett (Sage, 2007) This two volume work provides cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural perspective on a variety of media--television, film, video games, the Internet, magazines, music, and more. Explores topics such as violence, sex, rating systems and warning labels, attention deficit disorder, body image and eating disorders, popular music lyrics, advertising, digital music downloading, parental involvement, policymaking, and child development. (ASC)

Methods of Historical Analysis in Electronic Media, edited by Donald G. Godfrey (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006). Provides overviews of the qualitative methodological tools necessary for the study of broadcasting as well as how to locate primary source material. (ASC)

Monday, January 08, 2007


Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View from Europe, by Jean-Noel Jeanneney (University of Chicago, 2006). Director of the Bibliotheque Nationale worries about Google’s world-wide dominance.

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge, by Cass R. Sustein (Oxford, 2006). "A persuasive and sophisticated meditation on the ways in which the Web is not just living up to its early hype, but transcending it. Cass Sunstein has given us a brilliant integrative view of how the distributed users of the Internet can band together to produce extraordinary work--along with the circumstances that best give rise to deliberation rather than groupthink." -- Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, Oxford University

Information Please: Culture and Politics in the Age of Digital Machines, by Marke Poster (Duke, 2006). Analysis of the cultural impact of new media.

Code: Collaborative Ownership of the Digital Economy, edited by Rishab Aiyer Ghosh (MIT, 2006). “A mature and sophisticated exploration of the most important issues related to creativity in the digital age.” –Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School

Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the “Mexican” in America, by William Anthony Nericcio (University of Texas, 2006). Author examines the portrayal of Texan Mexican Americans in films, comic books, advertising, television, toys, and literature. "This is the closest Latina Studies has come to a revolutionary vision of how American culture works through its image machines, a vision that cuts through to the roots of the U.S. propaganda archive on Mexican, Tex-Mex, Latino, Chicano/a humanity... Walter Benjamin meets Italo Calvino and they morph into Nericcio." —Davíd Carrasco, Harvard University

Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture, by Barry Blesser and Lind-Ruth Salter (MIT, 2006) From publisher’s website: “ The audible attributes of physical space have always contributed to the fabric of human culture, as demonstrated by prehistoric multimedia cave paintings, classical Greek open-air theaters, Gothic cathedrals, acoustic geography of French villages, modern music reproduction, and virtual spaces in home theaters. Auditory spatial awareness is a prism that reveals a culture's attitudes toward hearing and space. Some listeners can learn to "see" objects with their ears, but even without training, we can all hear spatial geometry such as an open door or low ceiling... Auditory spatial awareness is a prism that reveals a culture's attitudes toward hearing and space. Some listeners can learn to "see" objects with their ears, but even without training, we can all hear spatial geometry such as an open door or low ceiling. Integrates contributions from a wide range of disciplines--including architecture, music, acoustics, evolution, anthropology, cognitive psychology, audio engineering.” (VP)

The Virtual Window; From Alberti to Microsoft, by Anne Friedberg (MIT Press, 2006) “Unlike most theorists of digital culture, Anne Friedberg brings a deeply historical perspective to the visual metaphors of our wired world. The Virtual Window charts transformations in visual knowledge leading from Renaissance perspective to today's computer desktops by tracking shifts in the physical and philosophical meanings of 'windows.' Its long view offers an important methodological model to media studies and art history alike."--David Joselit, Professor, History of Art, Yale University (VP)

George Gallup in Hollywood, by Susan Ohmer (Columbia University Press, 2006). Page-turning account of the film industry's use of opinion polling in the 1930s and 1940s after George Gallup's sampling methods for predicting Franklin Roosevelt's reelection in 1936 got their attention. (VP)

Conversation: A History of a Declining Art, by Stephen Miller (Yale, 2006). An historical and philosophical exploration of the art of conversation in the West from ancient to present day. The author (unlike Thoreau) values the art of conversation and, not surprisingly, mourns its decline. Engaging and well-reviewed but lacking in theoretical underpinnings.

Mobile communication and Society: a Global Perspective, by Manuel Castells, Mireia Fernandez-Ardevol, Jack Linchuan Qiu, and Araba Sey (MIT Press, 2006). Explores the impact of wireless technology around the world, focusing on family life, youth culture, politics, and communication in the developing world. (VP)

When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World’s Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge, by K. David Harrison (Oxford, 2006). Addresses the extinction of languages, and the knowledge they contain, at a rate which has “no parallel in human history.” The author travels the world documenting how “human knowledge is slowly being lost as the languages that express it fade from sight. He uses fascinating anecdotes and portraits of some of these languages' last remaining speakers, in order to demonstrate that this knowledge about ourselves and the world is inherently precious.”—publisher’s website

White Victims, Black Villains: Gender, Race, and Crime News in US Culture. By Carol A. Stabile (Routledge, 2006). Looks at stereotypes of black criminals in the news media since the 19th Century. (VP)

Cracking Up: American Humor in a Time of Conflict, by Paul Lewis (Chicago, 2006). Explores political humor since the 1980s. Table of Contents: 1."One, Two, Freddy's Coming for You": Killing Jokes of the 1980s and 1990s Red Noses at the Ready!: The Positive Humor Movement 3. Shut Up! No, You Shut Up!: Fighting With and About Humor 4. Ridicule to Rule: The Strange Case of George W. Bush. (VP)

Critical Cyberculture Studies, edited by David Silver and Adrienne Massanari (New York University, 2006). A diverse group of scholars assess the state of the field. Includes an opening historical overview of the field by its most prominent spokesperson, it proceeds to highlight current perspectives and methodologies of this mercurial field. (VP)

Culture, Crisis, and America’s War on Terror, by Stuart Croft (Cambridge, 2006). The “war on terror" as a cultural phenomenon including it’s expression in the popular culture—books, television, music, jokes and even tattoos. “The most comprehensive and thought-provoking analysis of the political-cultural discourse of the war on terror to date. Combining powerful theoretical insights with an ambitious and sweeping survey of American cultural production since the World Trade Center attacks, Stuart Croft has crafted an eloquent and provocative essay on the relationship between culture, national identity and international politics. His unique focus on the cultural dimensions of the September 11 foundational myth does much to enliven our understanding of contemporary US foreign policy and fills an increasingly important gap in the study of international relations and security studies." --Dr Richard Jackson, Department of Politics, Manchester University

Turf Wars: Discourse, Diversity, and the Politics of Place, by Gabriella Gahlia Modan (Blackwell, 2006). An ethnographic account of how a multi-ethnic, multi-class community in Washington, DC use language to define their boundaries. The author is a cultural anthropologist and linguist and brings those perspectives to the table.

Thinking with James Carey: Essay on Communication, Transportation, History, by Jeremy Packer and Craig Robertson (Peter Lang, 2006). Media scholars engage in key themes of Carey’s work. Includes an interview by Lawrence Grossberg in which Carey muses on his intellectual journey over the years. (ASC)

Jefferson and the Press: Crucible of Liberty, by Jerry W. Knudson (University of South Carolina Press, 2006). With the exception of Abraham Lincoln, no president prior to the twentieth century has been more vilified by the U.S. news media than Thomas Jefferson and this book chronicles the power of the press in the early years of the Republic. Rocked by domestic scandals, the American nation read accounts in Federalist papers that demonized Jefferson and in Republican papers that lauded the president’s achievements. (VP)

American Television on British Screens: A Story of Cultural Interaction, by Paul Rixon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). Since the 1950s British broadcasters have used American programs as schedule fillers, cornerstones and as 'must see' attractions. However, many critics and scholars alike have tended to malign or ignore the contribution such programs have made to British television. Through analysis of popular and industrial discourses, the changing roles of such programs on British screens, and interviews with key British broadcasters, this work explores how American programs have become an important part of British television culture. (VP)

Communication Technology and Human Development: Recent Experiences in the Indian Social Sector, by Avik Ghosh (Sage, 2006). Provides an understanding of the practical issues that arise in the planning and implementation of communication programs to bring about behavior change in the Indian context. The author presents recent experiences in three important social sectors—literacy, population issues, and rural development (including poverty alleviation). The case studies include practical information concerning key elements in appropriate development communication—setting objectives, program design, planning, application of hardware, a multi-pronged approach, the preparation of materials, accountability, the participation of local communities, and professional management.

In Defense of Negativity: Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns, by John G. Greer (University of Chicago Press, 2006). Contains an extensive content analysis of presidential advertising over the past 12 campaigns and shows that negative ads are a rich and varied staple in politics. (VP)

Children and Television: A Global Perspective, by Dafna Lemish (Blackwell, 2007). Global overview on children and television in the field for the last 50 years, combining both the American and European traditions. (VP)

Digital Shock: Confronting the New Reality, by Herve Fischer (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006). Author contends that the digital revolution is as transformative to our society as the discovery of fire was in prehistoric times. It is invasive, radical, and affects all aspects of human activity and and it would behoove us to develop a cyberphilosophy to meet the challenge of this new reality. (VP)

Disaster Movies, by Stephen Keane (Columbia University Press, 2006) "Stephen Keane's history of the disaster genre offers a detailed analysis of films such as The Towering Inferno, Independence Day, Titanic, and The Day After Tomorrow. He looks at the ways in which disaster movies can be read in relation to both contextual considerations and the increasing commercial demands of contemporary Hollywood. In this second edition, he adds new material regarding cinematic representations of disaster in the wake of 9/11 and an analysis of disaster movies in light of recent natural disasters." --publisher's website

Baseball and the Media: How Fans Lose in Today’s Coverage of the Game, by George Castle (University of Nebraska, 2006). A chronicle of the decline of baseball reporting and how the media gets it wrong even with baseball. (VP)

Friday, January 05, 2007

January CommQuote

To withdraw like a monk and live like a prince--this was the purpose of the original creators of the suburb. They proposed in effect to create an asylum, in which they could, as individuals, overcome the chronic defects of civilization while still commanding at will the privileges and benefits of urban society. This utopia proved to be, up to a point, a realizable one: so enchanting that those who contrived it failed to see the fatal penalty attached to it--the penalty of popularity, the fatal inundation of a mass movement whose very numbers would wipe out the goods each individual sought for his own domestic circle, and worse, replace them with a life that was not even a cheap counterfeit, but rather the grim antithesis.
--Lewis Mumford, The City in History

photograph: Kyle Cassidy

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Great conferences you may be missing out on

If you want to keep up with conferences that are going on besides the ones you hear about all the time (ICA, NCA, AEJMC, etc.) bookmark this list from Nordicom. Divided into International and regional, Nordic, and National (meetings in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, respectively), there will be something on this list that makes you want to hop on a plan to Europe (though there are non-European meetings included as well).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Public Opinion Websites

An extremely useful compilation of websites on public opinion put together by librarians Gary Thompson and Sean Conley is published in the October 2006 issue of College & Research Library News, a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)of the American Library Association. Internet Resources Guide to Public Opinion Poll Web sites: Polling data from around the world "focuses on significant Internet sites concerning general public opinion polls, especially those providing polling results in usable formats."

As a Penn student, if you're searching major United States public opinion turn first to the Roper Center's preeminent database ipoll from the main Library webpage. With ipoll you can search most of the media polls listed in the first section of the ACRL compilation in one fell swoop, as opposed to visiting individual organization sites. But the ACRL list is great for state and regional polls not in ipoll; also check out the section on blogs and electronic lists on polling. Remember, this listing comes from the web so if you're clicking into sites that require a subscription be sure to check Penn holdings as there's a good chance we subscribe. Also, not to be overlooked, Penn Libraries has their own Public Opinion Polls-Research Guide (recommended in the ACRL guide!) of available resources at the University.

With these two guides at your fingtips you have access to a lot of opinion!

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