Monday, June 16, 2008

Chinese news translations from FBIS

Penn Libraries has just added a very large collection of translated Chinese news sources in the latest update to the Foreign Broadcast Information Services 1974-1996 NewsBank collection. Here is the New & Noteworthy announcement from the Library homepage.

FBIS goes to China
The latest update to Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports 1974-1996 provides 790,752 news articles translated from Chinese news sources, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao.

FBIS Daily Reports are English-language translated media reports gathered from monitored broadcasts and publications in more than 50 languages. FBIS Daily Reports cover all newsworthy topics and they are invaluable sources of local information on both local events and world affairs.

The fulltext online FBIS Daily Reports are a collection in progress, being converted from microfiche and print originals. The collection is expected to be completed by Summer 2009. Status reports on the conversion process are provided at the NewsBank web site. Next up for release: Asia and the Pacific (APA) and East Asia (EAS).

The Penn Libraries owns the complete run of FBIS Microfiche and the online FBIS Daily Reports index - but the recently acquired online version offers more friendly access to those difficult formats.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Academic Research and Communications Policy

The International Journal of Communication (Volume 2, 2008) devotes a special section to Academic Research and Communications Policy. Monroe Price and Stefaan Verhulst begin the section with an Introduction followed by: The Academic and the Policy Maker, by Peng Hwa Ang; Policy Research in an Evidence-Averse Environment, by Sandra Braman; Research In Government Agency Decisions — Observations About the FCC, by Daniel L. Brenner; Academic Research and Its Limited Impact on Telecommunications Policy Making, by Rob Frieden; Comparative Media Law Research and Its Impact on Policy, by Stefaan G. Verhulst and Monroe E. Price; and The Role of Academic Research in Media Policy Making: The Case Study of Hong Kong, by Mei Ning Yan.

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Panel discussion on television flow at MIT

A panel discussion on international television program flows in March of this year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was recorded as part of the Communications Forum Series of the Comparative Media Studies Program. The event, Global Television, can be accessed in audio or podcast.

A salient feature of contemporary TV has been the appearance of programs that appeal more widely across national boundaries than many earlier television shows. Examples include a range of reality shows such as Big Brother or Survivor as well as fiction series such as Ugly Betty, which undergo relatively small facelifts before being introduced to new audiences. And many American programs -- e.g., Lost, Desperate Housewives -- travel abroad with no alterations, as country-specific promotion and distribution strategies adjust them to their new national contexts. In this forum, three distinguished media scholars will discuss the origins and significance of the international distribution of television formats and programs.

David Thorburn, MIT Professor of Literature, MacVicar Faculty Fellow, Director, MIT Communications Forum
PANELISTS: William C. Uricchio, Co-Director, Comparative Media Studies Program and Professor of Comparative Media Studies, MIT

Roberta Pearson, Professor of Film Studies, School of American & Canadian Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham
Eggo Müller, Visiting Professor, Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June CommQuote

"Today we're beginning to realize that the new media aren't just mechanical gimmicks for creating worlds of illusion, but new languages with new and unique powers of expression. Historically, the resources of English have been shaped and expressed in constantly new and changing ways. The printing press changed not only the quantity of writing but also the character of language and the relations between author and public. Radio, film, TV pushed written English toward the spontaneous shifts and freedom of the spoken idiom. They aided us in the recovery of intense awareness of facial language and bodily gesture. If these "mass media" should serve only to weaken or corrupt previously achieved levels of verbal and pictorial culture, it won't be because there's anything inherently wrong with them. It will be because we've failed to master them as new languages in time to assimilate them to our total cultural heritage."
--Marshall McLuhan
from "Classroom Without Walls," Explorations in Communication
(Boston: Beacon Press, 1960)

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