Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Free Online TV Channels from Around the World

BeelineTV currently provides 174 online TV channels from around the world that can be accessed for free with a high speed connection. All types of programming--news, TV shows, movies, music, entertainment and sports can be viewed. Stations are grouped by language and are a click away from direct viewing. Another free site to check out is wfiTV which also offers free TV viewing from 11 countries (European except for China, Canada, and the US). Other sites that offer international TV such as World Wide Internet TV (offering thousands of online TV stations worldwide by country and type of programming) are subscription-based.

Project Censored's Top 25 Stories That Didn't Make the News

Project Censored is a media research group out of Sonoma State University which has been tracking the news published in independent journals and newsletters since 1976. From these, Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media. Between 700 and 1000 stories are submitted to Project Censored each year from journalists, scholars, librarians, and concerned citizens around the world. With the help of more than 200 Sonoma State University faculty, students, and community members, Project Censored reviews the story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources and national significance. The university community selects 25 stories to submit to the Project Censored panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. Current or previous national judges include: Noam Chomsky, Susan Faludi, George Gerbner, Sut Jhally , Frances Moore Lappe, Norman Solomon, Michael Parenti, Herbert I. Schiller, Barbara Seaman, Erna Smith, Mike Wallace and Howard Zinn. All 25 stories are featured in the yearbook, Censored: The News That Didn't Make the News. The 2007 edition is currently on order and will be available at ASC shortly.

Top 25 Censored news stories of 2007

#1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media
#2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran
#3 Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger
#4 Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US
#5 High-Tech Genocide in Congo
#6 Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy
# 7 US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq
#8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act
#9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
#10 Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians
#11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed
#12 Pentagon Plans to Build New Landmines
#13 New Evidence Establishes Dangers of Roundup
#14 Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US
#15 Chemical Industry is EPA’s Primary Research Partner
#16 Ecuador and Mexico Defy US on International Criminal Court
#17 Iraq Invasion Promotes OPEC Agenda
#18 Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story
#19 Destruction of Rainforests Worst Ever
#20 Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem
#21 Gold Mining Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers
#22 $Billions in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed
#23 US Oil Targets Kyoto in Europe
#24 Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year
#25 US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region

Monday, February 19, 2007

Monitoring Reports of Philadelphia Local TV News Broadcasts

Daily monitoring reports of Philadelphia local TV newscasts (NBC10, 6ABC, CBS3, FOX29, CN8) beginning in January and extending through the end of April, approximately 110 days, are available by arrangement with the ASC Library. These rundowns, produced by the local vendor Video Monitoring Services (VMS), present data on the topics of each story covered by each local newscast, including the individuals featured in the stories, the length of their sound bites, and the length of the stories themselves. These monitoring reports allow researchers to carry out comprehensive analyses of local television coverage of the Philadelphia mayoral primary. The data, which the School has acquired for Dr. Phyllis Kaniss' Communication 398 class (Media and the Mayoral Race), enables her students to quantitatively analyze local political coverage in 2007 and compare and contrast it to that of over a decade ago, when she performed similar content analyses for the 1991 Philadelphia mayor's race (The Media and the Mayor’s Race, Indiana University Press, 1995). With this data students are able to trace how political coverage varies by time of day, by station, how different candidates are treated, issues of race, and how political coverage compares to other subjects, such as crime. Are issues covered or just the horse race? How are polls covered? Which campaign is more reactive versus proactive with regard to issues and charges?

The transcripts are being adding daily to the Comm 398 Blackboard site. If you are interested in accessing this material write to me or Dr. Kannis and you will be given access rights to the course.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nielsen keeping track of the Blogosphere

Nielsen's Blogpulse, "an automated trend discovery system for blogs," indexes over 14 million blogs. You can perform complex (boolean) searches , track "buzz" with tools that mine for key topics and people, observe daily blog stats over time, follow the movement of conversations (with Conversation Tracker), track link activity, and identify top-ranked blogs and analyze their relative influence in the blogging world. One of Blogpulse's newer features is a daily ranking of Top Videos” from various web databases (YouTube, MySpace, Google Video, Apple.com, etc.). BlogPulse is an offshoot of Nielsen BuzzMetrics. In terms of design this site is a model of clarity, well worth a visit. This from today's today's Blogpulse Stats: in the last 24 hours 50, 627 new blogs entered the blogosphere?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Citizen Media Sites

"The Knight Citizen News Network is a self-help portal that guides both ordinary citizens and traditional journalists in launching and responsibly operating community news and information sites. It seeks to help build capacity for citizens who want to start their own news ventures and to open the doors to citizen participation for traditional news organizations seeking to embrace user-generated content." --from the website

The organization also conducts qualitative and quantitative research on emerging trends, such as:

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? A Ford Foundation funded study of citizen media sites in the United States. In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 founders of and contributors to citizen media sites, and hundreds of site contributors were invited to take part in an online survey


Hartsville Today: The first year of a small-town citizen-journalism site Journalism's future may well be in the hands of your readers already, in their cell phones, their iPods, their digital and video cameras. We have become a world of content creators, and if you don't find a way to engage them in your product, they may well establish their own.

The site also boasts a list of over 200 citizen media sites from every state.

Another citizen media site to check out is The Center for Citizen Media, affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School. You can see what they're working on in the Projects section of the website.

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

Created by Digital Ethnography, a working group of Kansas State University students and faculty dedicated to exploring and extending the possibilities of digital ethnography, Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us is creating quite a buzz in and around YouTube. Other short videos can be viewed at the DE Blog but this one, just under 5 minutes, created by Professor Michael Wesch and his class, is getting all the attention.

Attitudes About Smoking in Movies

The Social Climate of Tobacco Smoking of The Social Science Research Center at the University of Mississippi describes itself "as a methodology to objectively measure the fundamental position of tobacco control in society and thereby provide a data collection system to monitor program impacts. The survey includes items to measure progress toward intermediate objectives such as policy changes, changes in social norms, reductions in exposure of individuals to environmental tobacco smoke, and rejection of pro-tobacco influences." It has just published a research paper titled: Attitudes About Smoking in the Movies by Robert Mcmillen and Susanne Tanski.

Executive Summary of Attitudes About Smoking in the Movies:

More than a decade of research has established that U.S. movies are a major recruiter of new teen smokers in the United States: about 390,000 each year, of whom 120,000 will ultimately die from tobacco-related diseases unless current trends are altered. This national survey of adults demonstrates substantial and growing public and parental support for voluntary policy changes by Hollywood to reduce this toll, including an R-rating for almost all future tobacco scenes.

In 2006:

  • 80 percent of U.S. adults agree that smoking in movies influences teens to smoke.
  • 70 percent of adults call for R-ratings in movies that show smoking, unless the film clearly demonstrates the dangers of smoking or it is necessary to represent smoking of a real historical figure.
  • Public support for the R-rating increased by more than 10% from previous years.
  • Two-thirds of adults agree that movies should be required to show an anti-smoking
    advertisement before any film that includes smoking.
  • Support for policies encouraged by Smoke Free Movies has increased over the past three
    years, especially among smokers.
  • Support for these policies among parents is not significantly different from adults in general.
  • The “margin of error” for all adults surveyed is ±2.3%.

    The Motion Picture Association of America has recently announced revisions to its four-decade-old ratings system. However, these changes do not include tobacco imagery as a factor in R-ratings despite calls from leading U.S. and international health authorities to do so.

MediaBerkman, Berkman Center for Internet and Society

MediaBerkman, a production of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, features conversations with and talks by leading cyber-scholars, entrepreneurs, activists, and policymakers as they explore topics such as the factors that influence knowledge creation and dissemination in the digital age; the character of power as the worlds of governance, business, citizenship and the media meet the internet; and the opportunities, role and limitations of new technologies in learning.

On January 15th, 2007 the Sunlight Foundation and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society sponsored a day long working session titled “Local Political Information in an Internet Era.” The meeting was hosted by the Berkman Center on the Harvard Law School Campus. This short summary video features interviews with participants and spotlights some of the emerging technologies being used at the state and local level to engage citizens in the political process.

From the Sunlight Foundation about the event:
“We are interested in how the Internet — through blogs and other tools — can bring citizens more or better information about their elected officials. We have invited 10 bloggers who are focused on their own states’ federal and local elected officials, and about the same number of people who are working on tools that these local bloggers can use — tools like Congresspedia and Metavid (for getting video of Members of Congress). Our goal is to connect the people working in the trenches with people working in other trenches and with new tools, so that everyone can do a better job sharing important political information with citizens.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Book Feature: On Being a Mentor

W. Brad Johnson's On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty is a useful read for new and future mentors. It features strategies, guidelines, best practices and recommendations for professors and professors-to-be who wish to make a positive impact on the lives of their students. Published by Lawrence Erlbaum (2007), the book is available in the ASC Library.

Table of Contents
Part I: On Mentoring
1. Why Mentoring Matters
2. The Contours of Mentoring
3. Mentorship in Academe: A Glimpse Inside
Part II: On Being a Mentor
4. What Mentors Do: Mentoring Functions
5. Who Mentors Are: Mentorship-Facilitating Characteristics and Qualities
6. Designing a Mentorship: On Being Intentional
7. The Seasons of Mentorship: Common Phases
8. The Ethical Mentor: Doing No Harm
Part II: On Mentoring Specific Groups
9. Mentoring Undergraduates
10. Mentoring Graduate Students
11. Mentoring Junior Faculty
12. Mentoring Across Sex
13. Mentoring Across Race
Part IV: Managing Mentorships
14. Diagnoses and Treatment of Mentorship Dysfunction
15. Assessing Mentorship Outcomes
16. Recommendations for Department Chairs and Deans

Monday, February 05, 2007

Keeping Up With Thematic Issues: Latin America, Secrecy, Religious Heritages of Key Theorists, and Journalism in the Digital Age

It seems themed issues are quite the trend these days.

Global Media and Communication (Volume 2, Number 3, December 2006) is devoted to Communication and Culture in Latin America. Editors are Patrick D. Murphy and Clemencia Rodriguez.

Secrecy is the subject of the January 2007 issue of Cultural Studies (Volume 21, Number1) edited by Claire Birchall. In her article, "Cultural Studies Confidential," she contends: "The current climate of secrecy...demands scrutiny. In order to do this, however, I suggest that cultural studies must think through its own secrets: namely the secret of cultural studies' possible 'illegitimacy' as a discipline. While this may sound contentious, I argue that the possibility of illegitimacy is the condition of all knowledge...and that cultural studies is well placed to think through issues of illegitimacy...[including] the culture of secrecy currently characterising US and British foreign policy." The issue, which leans heavily on Derrida, includes articles on surveillance, bioethics, identity theft, the public sphere, and masks.

The latest issue of the Journal of Media and Religion devotes itself to the religious experience of four seminal theorists: Jacques Ellul, Marshall McLulan, Walter Ong, and Neil Postman. The issue, titled: The Religious Heritage of Mass Communication Theorists: Cultural Biographies, is edited by Daniel A. Stoudt and Judith M. Buddenbaum.

The title of the Winter 2006 issue of Nieman Reports (Volume 60, No. 4) is Goodbye Gutenberg and is devoted to journalists' experiences in the digital era. Accompanying a variety of accounts that point to the future of journalism are photographs that take the reader back to the golden age of newspapers. This selection of photographs, the "Newspaper Gallery," is scattered throughout the issue. It is truly an exhibit and good sport matching the (in)congruencies between text and image.

All three journals can be accessed online through the Penn webpage, though it looks like the latest issue of Nieman Reports is not up yet. They are also available in print in the ASC Library.

Friday, February 02, 2007

February Commquote

Our February quote comes from the keynote speech given by Professor Jürgen Habermas as a plenary speaker at this year's ICA Conference in Dresden. In this section he cites the work of one of our own, Annenberg Dean Michael Delli Carpini. The title of the address, Political communication in media society – Does democracy still enjoy an epistemic dimension? The impact of normative theory on empirical research, was delivered June 20, 2006 to a packed audience.

"In spite of an inclusion of ever more citizens in the flows of mass communication, a comparison of recent studies arrives at an ambivalent, if not outright pessimistic conclusion about the kind of impact mass-communications has on the involvement of citizens in politics. (M. X. Delli Carpini, "Mediating Democratic Engagement: The Impact of Communications on Citizens' Involvement in Political and Civic Life" in L. Lee Kaid, Handbook of Political Communication, 2004). Several findings in the United States support the “video-malaise” hypothesis according to which people who more extensively use the electronic media, and consider them an important source of information, have a lower level of trust in politics and are more likely to take a cynical attitude towards politics as a consequence. If, however, reliance on radio and TV fosters feelings of powerlessness, apathy and indifference, we should not seek the explanation in the paralyzed state of civil society, but in the content and formats of a degenerating kind of political communication itself. The data I have mentioned suggest that the very mode of mediated communication contributes independently to a diffuse alienation of citizens from politics." --Jürgen Habermas

ICA has posted audio for the entire speech .

"A Dozen Best" Feature in American Journalism

Beginning with the Summer 2006 issue, American Journalism has launched a new regular feature called "A Dozen Best" wherein different scholars submit an annotated list of the twelve best books on a given topic of any aspect of journalism history. The first scholar to take a crack at this challenge was Patrick Washburn, author of the classic: A Question of Sedition: The Federal Government's Investigation of the Black Press During World War II. He selects the top twelve best books on the subject of Black Newspaper History. The latest issue, Fall 2006, has just arrived at the ASC Library and the "Dozen Best" topic this time is History of Media and Religion. The selecting scholar is John P. Ferre who has written widely on the subject. American Journalism, print only, is available at ASC.

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