Thursday, December 20, 2007

Communicating Health issue of CJC

A special double issue of the Canadian Journal of Communication (Volume 32, Numbers 3 & 4, 2007) is titled: Communicating Health.

Articles titles:
Mobile Knowledge: HIV Patients' Encounter with Endocrinology
HIV and STD Prevention Needs of Bisexual Women: Results from Projet Polyvalence
Respite: Cultural Values in North American and Caribbean Caregiving

Asymmetrical Talk between Physicians and Patients: A Quantitative Discourse Analysis
Les défis que soulève l’informatisation de la pratique médicale sur le plan de l'innovation
Communication as Argumentation: The Use of Scaffolding Tools by a Networked Nursing Community
Rose-Coloured Glasses: The Discourse on Information Technology in the Romanow Report
Communicating the Modern Body: Fritz Kahn's Popular Images of Human Physiology as an Industrialized World
Pink!: Community, Contestation, and the Colour of Breast Cancer
Re-Gendering Depression: Risk, Web Health Campaigns, and the Feminized Pharmaco-Subject
Spreading the News: Social Determinants of Health Reportage in Canadian Daily Newspapers
Fit to Print: A Natural History of Obesity Research in the Canadian News Media
Doing Medical Journals Differently: Open Medicine, Open Access, and Academic Freedom
Designer Babies, Stem Cells, and the Market for Genetics: The Limits of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act

The journal is available online from the Penn Libraries

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1974 - 1996

Penn Libraries has just added to its e-resource page the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1974 - 1996 for the regions of the Middle East & Africa, Near East & South Asia and Africa (Sub-Saharan) & South Asia. "The original mission of the FBIS was to monitor, record, transcribe and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories. Many of these materials are first-hand reports of events as they occurred." (from the Readex overview page). This fully searchable archive of scanned transcripts from the United States' principal record of political and historical open source intelligence has been recently digitized from the microfiche. Other regions of the world such as China, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe are available at Penn, but only in microfiche. You can use the Foreign Broadcast Information Service Electronic Index (1975-1996) to access the microfiche for these other regions, not ideal, but a step up from the paper indexes that we used to rely on.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media

The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media (formerly the UNESCO International Clearinghouse on Children and Violence on the Screen) was established in 1997 by The Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research, Nordicom Göteborg University Sweden). Financed by the Swedish government and UNESCO, its website is a must-bookmark for anyone interested in research on children and media. "The Clearinghouse informs various groups of users about research on children, young people and media, with special attention to media violence research and practices regarding media education and children’s/young people’s participation in the media measures, activities and research concerning children’s and young people’s media environment." (website)

A centerpiece of Clearinghouse activities is their yearbook. Children, Media and Consumption is this year's offering (currently on order for ASC Reference).

Their current newsletter, News on Children, Youth and Media in the World, is available as well as an archive of all previous issues going back to its inception in 1997.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

International Journal of Strategic Communication

A new Lawrence Erlbaum journal, International Journal of Strategic Communication, has just completed its first year in existence. The journal is edited by Derina R. Holtzhausen and Kirk Hallahan. In the first issue the editors and some others in the lead article, "Defining Strategic Communication," orient the reader to the concept of strategic communication. They define it as [from the abstract]: "...the purposeful use of communication by an organization to fulfill its mission. Six relevant disciplines are involved in the development, implementation, and assessment of communications by organizations: management, marketing, public relations, technical communication, political communication, and information/social marketing campaigns. This years articles include "Communications Management in the Africa Context: Implications for Theory, Research and Practice"; "When Web pages Influence Web Usability: Effects of Online Strategic Communication"; "Narratives of SARS Epidemic and Ethical Implications for Public Health Crises"; "Improving Terrorism Preparedness for Hospitals: Toward Better Interorganizational Communication"; "Using Wave Theory to Maximize Investor Media Communications"; "SaveDisney.com and Activist Challenges: A Habermasian Perspective on Corporate Legitimacy"; and "Megaphones to the Internet and the World: The Role of Blogs in Corporate Communications."
We don't appear to subscribe to this journal electronically yet (all four issues are available in the ASC Library) but I notice on the open web at the Lawrence Erlbaum site the first three issues are available full-text.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

December CommQuote

This month's quote comes from a fascinating essay in Cultural Studies Review (Volume 12, Number 1, 2006) by Ross Gibson titled "The Rise of Digital Multimedia Systems." The essay echoes Ian Watt's The Rise of the Novel , the classic treatise on why the novel emerged in the beginning of the 18th century as such an influential "technology." Ross summarizes: "By studying how aesthetic and semantic systems engage with the intellect and the sensorium of the user, you can understand the temper of the times. When a new form of art or a popular mode of communication arises and takes hold, it reflects changes that have recently occurred or are presently occurring in psychology and society." This applies to the novel, but Ross extends the premise to what replaced the novel, cinema, followed by digital multimedia.

"A definitive characteristic of the movies is the way they 'lock off' their several dynamic parts into a final version, the 'release print.' This ultimate inflexibility of cinema is similar to the way most national-scale communities responded to the turbulence of modernity by insisting that their societies first synchronize energetically to the machine world and then stabilise permanently once the new political state was realised. As its production regimens drive toward 'lock off', cinema is a conservative form, like nationalism. Cinema and nationalism; each serves a popular, paradoxical desire for the acknowledgement and the cessation of change. Indeed, this is one of the traits we love about cinema: it shows us the thrill of energetic convergence and world-creation at the same time as it proposes an eventual end to flux and uncertainty. With a film, the final edit is a stable state, a kingdom of kinetic excitement with a reassuring climate of completion.

Comparing the nexus of cinema and nationalism with the contemporary dyad of digital media and transnationalism (or globalisation), we can ask whether digital multimedia systems have arisen to reflect and impel our contemporary psychic and social conditions. Like cinema, digital multimedia can federate disparate elements (sound, texts, graphics, perspectives, vistas and audio-visual rhythms) into astonishing new configurations...But unlike cinema (and unlike nationalism), digital multimedia produces syntheses that are always explicitly provisions. (Yes, in this respect it is like transnationalism.) Because of the dynamics of its file structures and the integrating, evolving codes that get applied to those files, any digital multimedia configuration is a contentious event in a continuous process rather than a completed, content-full object; it is always ready to be dismantled and re-assembled into new alignments as soon as the constituent files have been federated in response to momentarily prevailing 'world conditions.'

In other words, because multimedia rarely gets 'locked-off', its component element can always be pulled apart, sent back to their databases and then instantaneously rearranged into newly iterated federations. (Yes, in this respect it is like our unstable contemporary lives, so buffeted with ever-altering values, opportunities, anxieties and obligations all upwelling because of globalisation, migration and multiculturalism.)...Taking some of their dynamics from the channel-switching montage-effects that radio and television have always afforded, digital multimedia systems can re-conform themselves restlessly in ways that a cinema print is not designed to do. Such systems can reflect and impel how we live now in relational engagement within a myriad influences that are dynamically networked in constantly evolving systems of communication and stored, searchable information."

--Ross Gibson, "The Rise of Digial Multimedia Systems" Cultural Studies Review, Volume 12, Number 1, March 2006, p. 144-145

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Highlighting two reference books

Feminist Interventions in International Communication: Minding the Gap, edited by Katharine Sarikakis and Leslie Regan Shade (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Table of Contents: Revisiting international communication / Katharine Sarikakis and Leslie Regan Shade -- Feminist issues and the global media system / Margaret Gallagher -- Public/private / Gillian Youngs -- Women, participation, and democracy in the information society / Ursula Huws -- The expediency of women / Alison Beale -- Gender-sensitive communication policies for women's development / Kiran Prasad -- The spectral politics of mobile communication technologies / Barbara Crow and Kim Sawchuk -- The global structures and cultures of pornography / Katharine Sarikakis and Zeenia Shaukut -- Mediations of domination / Yasmin Jiwani -- From religious fundamentalism to pornography? the female body as text in Arabic song videos / Salam Al-Mahadin -- Female faces in the millennium development goals / Nancy Van Leuven ... [et al.] -- Deadly synergies / Patricia A. Made -- Online news / Jayne Rodgers -- Convergences / Vincent Mosco, Catherine McKercher, and Andrew Stevens -- Women, information work, and the corporatization of development / Lisa McLaughlin -- Empire and sweatshop girlhoods / Leslie Regan Shade and Nikki Porter -- Feminist print cultures in the digital era / Simone Murray -- Communication and women in Eastern Europe / Valentina Marinescu -- Godzone? NZ's classification of explicit material in an era of global fundamentalism / Mary Griffiths -- Grounding gender evaluation methodology (GEM) for telecenters / Claire Buré. Available from ASC Reserve.

Research Methods in Information, by Alison Jane Pickard (Facet Publishing, 2007). This methods handbook claims to be the first of its kind to "focus entirely on research needs of the information and communications community." The publisher is overstating the later claim since handbooks on communication research are common but I like having a research methods book around that focuses on information studies, including internet research. Available in ASC reference.

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