Friday, November 30, 2007

SRDS Online

The best source for media advertising rates, whether broadcast or print, are the Standard Rate and Data Service Directories. You may not know that the University has a subscription to the online version of this resource (this will be the last year I stock the Circulation volume here at Annenberg). This resource is full of not only ad rates but in the newspaper section, for instance, it provides contact information, commission and cash discounts, general rate policies, black/white rates, color rates, insert rates, mechanical measurements, closing times, special positions, circulation figures, and classified rates. Similar detail applies to business publications, consumer magazines, radio, television, cable, and direct marketing. The SDRS database is available to the Penn community; you'll need your Pennkey and password off-site.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

VIP Report Compares Big Three Database News Vendors

A comparative product review of Thomson NewsRoom, LexisNexis and Factiva has just been published by VIP, a digital magazine published monthly for senior-level decision-makers responsible for the purchase of business information products and services. Each issue features in-depth, unbiased reviews of premium content products. To help customers choose among the major vendors, November's issue takes on "the big three" and compares them side-by-side in a detailed 43-page review.

The report compares , Factiva, LexisNexis, and Thomson's Newsroom in terms of news research capabilities--number of sources, analysis by subjects, type of publication, language, geography (including a table comparing numbers of sources for hard-to-find countries); length of archive, number of full-text items, number of abstracts, number of translated items; and timeliness (how long before an item becomes available online), among other factors. The same searches are carried out on all three services, and the results are analysed in terms of overlap, type of publication and more.

Among the key findings of the research are the following [this from the FreePint press release]:

  • Language: Factiva is the most multi-lingual of all three services (offering 22 languages) against 16 for LexisNexis and 11 for NewsRoom.
  • UK and US coverage: Coverage of UK newspapers is evenly spread across the three services.
  • Asia Pacific coverage: Most of the major Asia Pacific newspapers are available across all three services. For some titles, LexisNexis offers a slightly older archive than Factiva.
  • Latin American coverage: Factiva has a slight edge over the other two.
  • Middle Eastern newspaper coverage: Three out of four sources are not available on NewsRoom. A deeper archive is available on LexisNexis than on Factiva.
  • Web content: Web content is available on all three but it is not possible to distinguish web content from other published content on NewsRoom
  • Multimedia content: Factiva is the only one of the three to offer multimedia content as part of its prime service.
  • Company, industry and market data: Investext reports are no longer being updated on LexisNexis and NewsRoom.
  • Indexing and updating: All three services provide detailed indexing but only Factiva and LexisNexis extend their updating to foreign- language documents.
  • Language interfaces: Factiva.com offers the same nine language interfaces. NewsRoom offers a greater choice of interface languages than the old TBI service. LexisNexis has extended its number of interface language options and has new customised country interfaces for UK, US and Australia.
  • Source lists: LexisNexis and Factiva both enable the user to create custom source lists.
  • Search output: De-duplication when searching is a basic option on Factiva and NewsRoom but an irritating omission on Nexis. The ability to display all search results in KWIC format is a big plus for Nexis users, as is the automatic and useful sorting of results by format, subject, company, geography, language and people.

The issue containing the full report is available for purchase online .

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Introducing Communication Methods and Measures

The ASC Library subscribes to a new Lawrence Erlbaum journal, Communication Methods and Measures, edited by David R. Roskos-Ewoldsen (University of Alabama). The journal describes its aims in its mission statement: "...to bring developments in methodology, both qualitative and quantitative, to the attention of communication scholars, to provide an outlet for discussion and dissemination of methodological tools and approaches to researchers across the field, to comment on practices with suggestions for improvement in both research design and analysis, and to introduce new methods of measurement useful to communication scientists or improvements on existing methods. Submissions focusing on methods for improving research design and theory testing using quantitative and/or qualitative approaches are encouraged. Articles devoted to epistemological issues of relevance to communication research methodologies are also appropriate. This journal welcomes well-written manuscripts on the use of methods as well as articles illustrating the advantages of newer or less widely known methods over those traditionally used in communication."

Volume 1, Issue 3 is guest edited by Michael A. Shapiro (Cornell) and features articles on generalizability. Rounding out the issue is a an article on cultivation (The Influence of Question Fomat on the Cultivation Effect).

Bear with us, so far the journal is not available electronically but will be soon.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

William Evans Bibliographies

For leads on current health communication research, check out the current issue of Health Communication which alwaays features a substantial bibliography of new research articles compiled by William Evans (Institute for Communication and Information Research, University of Alabama). Since the journal is bimonthly you can count on six such bibliographies a year organized around health campaigns and promotion, health communication theory and research, health information and informatics, health risk communication, mediated health communication, patient-physician/interpersonal health communication and communication in medical contexts. Bibliographies usually list from 75 to 100 items. Dr. Evans welcomes suggestions regarding his compilations, especially difficult-to-find/fugitive publications. The journal is available online from the main library webpage. To make checking this a habit you might want to add Health Communication to your Pennalerts account to be receive a table of contents email alert with each issue.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The 51st State: The State of Online — The Presidential Campaign 2008 — Candidates and News Sources

No one could argue with Gary Price for crowning this article the Resource Shelf's Resource of the Week. It's from the November/December issue of Seacher magazine by Laura Gordon-Murnane: The 51st State: The State of Online — The Presidential Campaign 2008 — Candidates and News Sources (PDF; 524 KB).

In five extensive tables the author looks at the Web sites of each of the 17 presidential candidates, as well as mainstream media sites, blogs, and aggregator tools, and shows just how much the Internet is impacting the 2008 election. The article is beautifully laid out and Searcher offers a click-through page containing all the live links mentioned. The article thoroughly provides information about online fundraising, political blogs and discussion forums, how candidates are making of use of social networking tools, and how the mainstream media is using the Web to cover the 2008 election. One detailed chart compares the features of major candidates’ websites, and includes links to candidates’ pages on social networking sites like FaceBook, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube. Another chart provides comprehensive information about what you can find on the larger mainstream media election websites. There are also brief reviews of key political blogs and aggregator tools.

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The End of Advertising As We Know It

The End of Advertising As We Know It, a report from IBM's Institute for Business Value examines the present and future state of advertising. To do so IBM surveyed over 2,400 consumers and 80 advertising executives from around the world. "The IBM report shows increasingly empowered consumers, more self-reliant advertisers and ever-evolving technologies are redefining how advertising is sold, created, consumed and tracked. Traditional advertising players risk major revenue declines as budgets shift rapidly to new, interactive formats, which are expected to grow at nearly five times that of traditional advertising. To survive in this new reality, broadcasters must change their mass audience mind-set to cater to niche consumer segments, and distributors need to deliver targeted, interactive advertising for a range of multimedia devices. Advertising agencies must experiment creatively, become brokers of consumer insights, and guide allocation of advertising dollars amid exploding choices. All players must adapt to a world where advertising inventory is increasingly bought and sold in open exchanges vs. traditional channels.…The report observes four change drivers tipping the advertising industry balance of power: control of attention, creativity, measurement, and advertising inventories. As shown in IBM’s global digital media and entertainment consumer survey released in August, consumers’ attention has shifted, with personal Internet time rivaling TV time. Consumers have tired of interruption advertising, and are increasingly in control of how they interact, filter, distribute, and consume their content, and associated advertising messages. IBM’s survey findings demonstrated that half of DVR owners watch 50 percent or more of programming on re-play, and that traditional video advertising doesn’t translate online: 40 percent of respondents found ads during an online video segment more annoying than any other format. Amateurs and semi-professionals are increasingly creating low cost advertising content that threatens to bypass creative agencies, while publishers and broadcasters are broadening their own creative roles. Advertisers are demanding accountability and more specific individual consumer measurements across advertising platforms. Self-service advertising exchanges are attracting revenues that were once exclusively sold through proprietary channels or transactions." --from the press release
Executive Summary Full Report


Monday, November 05, 2007

November CommQuote

Using two different biology metaphors Neil Postman delivered his most defining description of media ecology at the 2000 Media Ecology Association convention:

...Our first thinking about the subject was guided by a biological metaphor. You will remember from the time when you first became with a Petri dish, that a medium was defined as a substance within which a culture grows. If you replace the word "substance" with the word "technology," the definition would stand as a fundamental principle of media ecology: A medium is a technology within which a culture grows: that is to say, it gives form to a culture's politics, social organization, and habitual ways of thinking. Beginning with that idea, we invoked still another biological metaphor, that of ecology....We put the word "media" in front of the word "ecology" to suggest that we were not simply interested in media, but in the ways in which the interaction between media and human beings give a culture its character and, one might say, help culture to maintain a symbolic balance.

--Neil Postman, The Humanism of Media Ecology, Keynote Address delivered at the Inaugural Media Ecology Association Convention; June 16–17, 2000

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Special Issues Roundup

Camera Obscura (Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies) is devoting two issues to Divas. Fabulous! Divas, Part I (Number 65, 2007) features divas of the screen, musical theater, soap opera and the life and times of Josephine Baker with tributes to Judy Garland, Grace Jones, Sylvester, Julie Andrews, Courtney Love, Isabelle Hubbert, and Angela Lansbury. Stay tuned for Part II (next issue).

Index on Censorship (Volume 36, Number 3, 2007) has a special 82-page section on Reporting the Middle East From Frontline Journalism to Reportage: How the Region Looks from the Inside.

afterimage has an Art & Activism Special Issue (Volume 34, Numbers 1 & 2) including the article "Tactical Media and the End of the End of History" which defines tactical media as "situational, ephemeral, and self-terminating. It encourages the use of any media that will engage a particular sociopolitical context in order to create molecular interventions and semiotic shocks that will contribute to the negation of the rising intensity of authoritarian culture." Other articles address global media ecology and documentaries that promote media activism.

EME (Explorations in Media Ecology) honors founding father of media ecology, Neil Postman, in its Volume 5, Number 1, 2006 issue. Leading off the issue is the keynote address delivered by Postman to the Speech Communication Association in 1973 where he discussed the new graduate program in media ecology he had just launched at NYU's School of Education.

Journalism Studies (Volume 8, Number 5, October 2007) looks at Cartooning America Post-World War II. Most of the articles in the issue were originally presented at a conference titled "Cartooning the USA: America Through the Pen of Political Cartoonists" held at the British Library in 2005 and organized by Phillip Davies who serves as the issue's guest editor.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Map the Candidates

The online magazine Slate.com, features a sub-website (in its News & Politics section) called Map the Candidates which tracks 2008 presidential candidate schedules and appearances back to July 2007. Besides venue and venue addresses, it provides such details as topics addressed, VIPs present, type of appearance (meet and greet, rally, fundraiser, etc.), whether there was any barbecue involved, and the like. I'll let MTC itself brag about it's features:

Do you want to know who spent the most time in Iowa or New Hampshire last month? Play with the timeline sliders above the map to customize the amount of time displayed.

Care most about who visited your home state? Then zoom in on it or type a location into the "geosearch" box below the map.

Choose which candidates you want to follow with the check boxes on to the right of the map. If you only want to see the front-runners, then uncheck all of the fringe candidates. Voilà! You're left with the cream of the crop's travels.

Follow the campaign trail virtually with MTC's news feed. Every day YouTube video and articles from local papers will give you a glimpse of what stump speeches really look and sound like. Just click the arrow next to the headline to get started.

Take a closer look at candidates by clicking on their names to the right of the map. You'll get the lowdown on their travels, media coverage, and policy positions.


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