Monday, May 19, 2008

Berkeley China Internet Project

The Berkeley China Internet Project of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is a good project for students of Chinese Media to keep an eye on. It's stated goals are ambitious:
"To explore interactive digital media and communication technologies in order to advance the world's understanding of China, and to promote the knowledge, culture and social practices of those technologies which will facilitate China's democratic transition, sustainable development and peaceful emergence in the global community." (website)

The activities of BCIP are centered around the development of a participatory media website, China Digital Times, a collaborative news website covering China’s social and political issues. It aggregates up-to-the-minute news and analysis about China from around the Web, in addition to providing independent reporting, translations from Chinese cyberspace, and perspectives from around the world.

BCIP focuses on two other initiatives, China Digital Pulse, which publishes on, among other subjects, the rise of participatory media in Chinese cyberspace and its effects on politics, and politics, and China Digital Future which offers "classes, forecasting exercises and a virtual community focusing on the interplay of participatory media, collective action and China's democratic transition." (website)

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Journal article feature on disaster communication

The lead article in the latest issue of International Journal of Strategic Communication (Volume 2, Issue 2 2008) is a timely one, though not timely enough given recent disaster in Myanmar. The article, Disaster Communication: Lessons from Indonesia, authored by Elizabeth K. Dougall, J. Suzanne Horsley, and Chadd McLisky, is available online from the homepage.

This article explores public disaster communication in the context of five separate disasters in Indonesia, including acts of terrorism in Bali and Jakarta and the 2004 tsunami. The concept of high reliability organizations (HRO), which explains how highly complex organizations function in unpredictable and dangerous circumstances, is applied here to explore how one public relations firm under contract to several Indonesian government departments handled these complex disaster communication challenges in partnership with its clients. Propositions about the role of HRO characteristics in permitting or preventing effective disaster communication are advanced.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Washington Post political ads database

Not too long ago the resource environment was very unfriendly to anyone trying to study political ad campaigns. Not anymore. Still another addition to the ad campaign research landscape is brought to us by The Washington Post which hosts a free database of "political advertisements funded by campaigns, parties, committees, and independent advocacy groups." So far the coverage is restricted to the last three years with most of the ads tied to specific presidential, House, Senate, or gubernatorial races throughout the country.

It's a clean and usefully indexed database. Ads are accessible by year, type of race, candidate/organization, state, party, issue (corruption, crime, war, environment, gay marriage, etc.), character ("real people," blue collar workers, children, elderly, teachers, shoppers, students, Santa Claus, etc.), cue ( Capitol building, flag, September 11, icebergs, ocean, prison, dead bodies, cowboy hats, etc. ), media (radio, TV, web), music (patriot, somber, upbeat, ominous), narrator, and type (attack, biographical, emotional, humorous, endorsement, etc.).

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