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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?
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?
"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
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.
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.
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.
It seems themed issues are quite the trend these days.
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 .
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.