Thursday, July 26, 2007

Special Issues Roundup

The Journal of Mass Media Ethics (Volume 22, Numbers 2&3, 2007) is devoted to Moral Philosophy under the editorship of Christopher Meyers. Articles tackle John Stuart Mill, utilitarianism, ethical reasoning, virtue ethics applied to journalists,Immanuel Kant and transparency, and Immanuel Kant on moral education.

Continuum (Voume 21, Number 2, June 2007) features Mobile Phone Cultures. Its issue editor is Gerard Goggin.

A special issue of The Journal of Advertising (Volume 36, Number 2, Summer 2007) is on Social Responsibility in Advertising, guest edited by Michael J. Polonsky and Michael R. Hyman. Included are articles on the effects of warning-label placement in print ads, the use of humor to mask deceptive advertising, and consumer responses to corporate social responsibility initiatives.

The Asian Journal of Communication (Volume 17, Number 2, June 2007) is devoted to Media and politics in Post-handover Hong Kong, guest editors: Joseph M. Chan and Francis L.F. Lee.

But as we approach the dog days of August...the Canadian
Journal of Communication
gets the award for running the most summer-sea-breezy piece to cross my desk. Authored by Jaigris Hodson and Phillip Vannini of Royal Roads University, it's titled Island Time: The Media Logic and Ritual of Ferry Commuting on Gabriola Island, BC.

Drawing upon ethnographic data collected among residents of Gabriola Island, British Columbia, this article analyzes the meanings associated with the movement of the MV Quinsam—the primary means of transportation onto and off the island—and with the ritual of ferry commuting. By focusing on the logic of the ferry as a medium of communication and on the ritualistic aspects of commuting and by combining a symbolic interactionist perspective with the media theory of Harold Innis, the authors reflect on how the Gabriola Island ferry shapes islanders’ sense of time and thus experiences of lived culture.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Arabic Media Center at Emory

The Arabic Media Center--established in March of 2007 by Emory University’s Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies(MESAS) in conjunction with the Journalism Program--plans to give journalists, scholars, diplomats and leaders of non-governmental organizations the tools to explore perspectives and attitudes of the Arab world that are not always readily apparent. Bonn-based Media Tenor, a media institute in the field of applied agenda-setting research which provides detailed analyses of news reports and strategic media intelligence to major corporations and government agencies (such as the U.S. State Department), is donating the core material for the Center - an analyzable, regularly updated database of Arabic electronic and print media to use for research and training. Members of the Emory community and other scholars and students will be afforded access to the database.

Professor Gordon Newby, chair of MESAS, will serve as the Center's director and will work with Media Tenor CEO Roland Schatz to create programs and opportunities to link the Arabic print and broadcast media to the Arabic and English-speaking worlds. Schatz founded Media Tenor in 1993 as the first research institute to focus on continuous media analysis.

The Media Tenor Research Journal is available (2003-present) in the Annenberg Library.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Harper's Magazine Digital Archive

The Harper's Magazine Digital Archive is now available on the Penn Library website.
Online access to Harper's Magazine, the oldest general interest monthly in America, goes back to its inception, 1850. Featuring essays, in depth reporting, as well as fiction, Harper's is known for its fine writing and independent perspectives on politics and culture. It has featured some of the most notable writers of the day, from Horatio Alger, Mark Twain and Theodore Drieser to John Updike, Tom Wolfe and T.C. Boyle. Interestingly, the iconic Harper's Index is rather "young" in terms of the magazine's lifespan; it began in 1984. A spoof of the Index,
Harper's Index Index, honoring the magazine's 150 anniversary includes such perspicacious comparisons as:

Months after its inception that the Harper's Index began listing its sources : 11
Months after the French Revolution that the Harper's Index began listing its sources : 2,336

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Carnegie-Knight Foundation Reports on News in Schools

Mandatory Testing and News in the Schools: Implications for Civic Education is the first of a series of reports from the Carnegie-Knight Task Force whose research arm is based at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The Internet and the Threat It Poses to Local Media: Lessons from News in the Schools is the second report in the series. Both of these reports came out in January 2007. The most recent offering, a more substantial 35 page report, Young People and News (July 2007) based on a national survey of 1,800 teens, young adults, and older adults, examines the amount of daily news consumption by young people. All three reports can be found at the Shorenstein Center site. Look for more reports in the future.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Conflicts and Tensions, Volume I in The Cultures and Globalization Series

Conflicts and Tensions, edited by Helmut K. Anheier (Center for Civil Society, School of Public Policy and Social Research, UCLA) and Yudhushthir Raj Isar (The American University of Paris) is the first title in The Cultures and Globalization Series, devoted to the economic and political consequences of globalization.

Analyzing the relationship between globalization and cultures is the core objective of this volume. In it leading experts track cultural trends in all regions of the world, covering issues ranging from the role of cultural difference in politics and governance to heritage conservation, artistic expression, and the cultural industries. --back of book description

Each volume in the series will include a suite of Indicators--"innovative information graphics" to convey information about various cultural phenomena across the globe. The suite is breathtaking visually and for all the information it conveys in this section qualifies the title as a reference book (and thus will have a home in ASC Reference). Visual representations of time spent watching television by country, the reach of Disney (and many other transnational cultural organizations) across cultures, languages of the web, telephone traffic flows in Europe, Latin America and Asia, growth in broadband use and internt use in general, per cent of world public wireless access points, blogs by region, growth in number of blogs and hosting sites, movie attendance, film investment, radio and television station comparisons are just some of the pages I pored over. The suite has a media section from which a lot of these examples come but it also includes other indicator sections on human rights, terrorism, current conflicts between nations, piracy, trafficking, tourism, transportation, patents, diplomacy, and others.

The article From Violence to Discourse: Conflict and Citizens' Radio Stations in Columbia, by Clemencia Rodriguez and Amparo Cadavid appears in a previous (less visual) section of the 600+ page volume.

The logic behind the series is that promoting understanding between cultures, in this and subsequent volumes, serves in the interest of peace. I'll be keeping an eye out for forthcoming volumes.

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Reference Books on Methods Alert!

Available in the ASC reference section are a batch of new books on social science methods:

The SAGE Dictionary of Social Research Methods, edited by Victor Jupp (SAGE Publications, 2006).

Handbook of Action Research, edited by Peter Reason and Hilary Bradbury (SAGE Publications, 2006).

Using Narrative in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, by Jane Elliott (SAGE Publications, 2006).

Information Trapping: Real-Time Research on the Web, by Tara Calishain (New Riders, 2007).

Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches, by John W. Creswell (SAGE Publications, 2007).

Handbook of Narrative Inquiry: Mapping a Methodology, edited by D. Jean Clandinin (SAGE Publications, 2007).

Handbook of Ethnography, edited by Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland and Lyn Lofland (SAGE Publications, 2007).

Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel/Hierarchical Models, by Andrew Gelman and Jennifer Hill (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (IESBS)

Announcing a newly acquired e-resource to the Penn Library webpage: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (IESBS), the largest work ever published in the social and behavioral sciences. "We believe firmly that a new Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences must reflect a new and more open view on the interactions and transactions between genetic, brain, behavioral, social, and cultural factors and processes," wrote the editors-in chief Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes in the introduction to this massive 26-volume, 4000+ article work. First published by Elsevier in 2001, the work has since been updated on its ScienceDirect platform. IESBS subscribers will continue to benefit from ongoing, regular updates as the field expands and develops. The work is divided into 96 reference sections, including Media which is further divided into Advertising and Marketing, Communication Media, Effects and Audiences, Journalism and Print, Politics and Economics, Popular Culture, and the Study of the the Mass Media. Other sections include Memory Studies, Perception, Risk, Gender Studies, Technology Studies, Sociology (which includes Culture and Social Representation), and Anthropology. Clearly I am just scratching the surface. Check out Elihu Katz's article on Media Effects.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Complexity and Social Networking Blog

There are too many blogs out there for this blog to even pretend to cover, but this one jumped out of the bushes at me. If you're interested in social networking in a heavy duty way put this one into your feed reader: the Complexity and Social Networks Blog of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the Program on Networked Governance, Harvard University As stated by the blog's maestro, David Lazer, Associate Professor of Public Policy at John F. Kennedy School of Government Director, "the objective of this blog is to offer a forum for the discussion of the intertwined subjects of network analysis and complex systems theory."

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July CommQuote

This month's CommQuote belongs to Kurt Vonnegut from Slaughter-House-Five. In this haunting scene Billy Pilgrim watches a movie in reverse; in his mind he's able to undo war by simply reversing the reel.

Billy Pilgrim padded downstairs on his blue and ivory feet. He went into the kitchen, where the moonlight called his attention to a half bottle of champagne on the kitchen table, all that was left from the reception in the tent. Somebody had stoppered it again. "Drink me," it seemed to say.
So Billy uncorked it with his thumbs. It didn't make a pop. The champagne was dead. So it goes.
Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this :
American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.
When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.

--Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-House-Five, 1969
pages 93-94 in the Dial Press Trade paperback edition, 2005

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