Thursday, October 30, 2008

Communication in the Field, Baseball, that is...

So naturally I'm thinking about baseball today here in Philadelphia, so I thought I'd look for some communication scholarship on the subject. I crossed search several social science databases including Communication Abstracts and found a fair amount to choose from. This 2002 article from the Journal of Sport and Social Issues (Volume 26, Number 4) jumped out at me. I've selected to feature it in honor of two Phillie Latino heroes, Carlos Ruiz and Pedro Feliz, both instrumental in securing the World Championship for Philly. It's called Who's the Man? Sammy Sosa, Latinos, and Televisual Redefinitions of the "American" Pastime, by Jane Juffer.

Latino and Latin American baseball players have expanded the boundaries of the "American pastime," asserting their ethnic and national identities even while being accepted as representatives of the sport most closely aligned with a white United States identity.
This redefinition is achieved in part via cable and satellite technologies that carry images of Latinos to homes throughout the United States at a time when the Latino population is growing and becoming more dispersed raising the possibility that baseball will lessen racism and xenophobia. However media coverage is at times nostalgic for a more bounded sense of home and nation and often emphasizes players' individual mobility, erasing the economic and political conditions that have brought Latin American players to the United States. The author shows how these tensions play out in Chicago superstation WGN's coverage of Cubs star Sammy Sosa, who has emerged as a national hero in both the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.

The article is available from Sage's Full Text Collection, from the Penn Libraries homepage.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New journal on media literacy launches

Recent news from the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE):

New Media Literacy Journal Advances Field, October 2008

The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) is launching a new interdisciplinary journal, which will be published in conjunction with NAMLE’s national conference in August 2009. The Journal of Media Literacy Education, to be published online three times a year, supports the development of research, scholarship and the pedagogy of media literacy education.

An extended conceptualization of literacy, media literacy education helps individuals of all ages develop habits of inquiry and skills of expression needed to become critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in a world where mass media, popular culture and digital technologies play an important role for individuals and society.

‘The field of media literacy is at a crossroads,’ says JMLE co-editor Renee Hobbs, professor at the Temple University School of Communications and Theater and founder of the Media Education Lab. ‘It is widely accepted that people need skills beyond basic literacy in order to critically analyze our pervasive media culture and create their own messages. The Journal will bring together people from the diverse disciplinary perspectives that generate interest in media literacy.’

‘The Journal will address the research needs of academic scholars, as well as address the topics and issues important to practitioners, and policymakers,’ says co-editor Amy Petersen Jensen, assistant professor in the Theater and Media Education Program at Brigham Young University. ‘The Journal will fill a unique niche in the field by providing a voice for a diverse combination of scholars, practitioners and policy leaders from the fields of education, communication, and public health.’

The journal provides a forum for established and emerging scholars, media professionals and educational practitioners in both formal and informal education. ‘The next stage of development for the field is dependent on cross-pollination of voices and perspectives, of educators and media professionals, of cutting-edge creative producers and those using media as an advocacy tool,’ says NAMLE president Sherri Hope Culver. ‘NAMLE’s goal is to be the central place for the discussion and professional development to occur. That was also a strong reason for making this an online journal.’

The call for papers and information on the peer review process is posted on the NAMLE web site.
The Journal will be available online and at no charge to help facilitate access and ease of use for all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Book feature: Global Journalism Research: Theories, Methods, Findings, Future

Drawing on a rich range of research from around the world--Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, and North and South America--Global Journalism Research: Theories, Methods, Findings, Future (Blackwell, 2008), charts the major theoretical and methodological perspectives contributing to the globally interconnected field of journalism. Edited by Martin Loffelholz and David Weaver, who outline the history of journalism research in their introduction, the volume is girded by leading figures working in the field today (including our own Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, Barbie Zelizer) and should serve as an essential touchstone for students venturing into this important area of research.

Part I: Introduction to Journalism Research
1. Questioning National, Cultural and Disciplinary Boundaries: A Call for Global Journalism Research: David Weaver (Indiana University, Bloomington) and Martin Löffelholz (Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany)
Part II: Theories of Journalism Research
2. Heterogeneous - Multi-dimensional - Competing: Theoretical Approaches on Journalism - an Overview: Martin Löffelholz (Ilmenau University of Technology)
3. Journalism in a Globalizing World Society: A Societal Approach to Journalism Research: Manfred Rühl (University of Bamberg)
4. Journalism as a Human Right: The Cultural Approach to Journalism: John Hartley (Queensland University of Technology)
5. The Structure of News Production: The Organizational Approach to Journalism Research: Klaus-Dieter Altmeppen (Ilmenau University of Technology)
6. Factors Behind Journalists' Professional Behavior: A Psychological Approach to Journalism Research: Wolfgang Donsbach (Dresden University, Germany)
7. Jounalism as a Symbolic Practice - The Gender Approach in Journalism Research: Gertrude J. Robinson (McGill University, Montreal)
Part III: Methodology and Methods of Journalism Research
8. Comparing Journalism across Cultural Boundaries: State-of-the-art, Strategies, Problems, and Solutions: Thomas Hanitzsch (University of Zürich)
9. Methods of Journalism Research - Survey: David Weaver (Indiana University)
10. Methods of Journalism Research - Content Analysis: Christian Kolmer (Media Tenor Institute, Bonn)
11. Methods of Journalism Research: Observation: Thorsten Quandt (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany)
Part IV: Selected Paradigms and Findings of Journalism Research
12. Journalism Research in the United States: Paradigm Shift in Times of Globalization: Jane B. Singer (University of Iowa)
13. Journalism Research in Germany: Evolution and Central Research Interests: Siegfried Weischenberg (Hamburg University, Germany) and Maja Malik (University of Münster, Germany)
14. Journalism Research in the UK: From Isolated Efforts to an Established Discipline: Karin Wahl-Jorgensen and Bob Franklin
15. South African Journalism Research: Challenging Paradigmatic Schisms and Finding a Foothold in an Era of Globalization: Arnold S. de Beer (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
16. Journalism Research in Greater China: Its Communities, Approaches, and Themes: Joseph Man Chan (University of Hong Kong), Ven-hwei Lo (National Chengchi University, Taiwan), and Zhongdang Pan (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
17. Journalism Research in Mexico: Historical Development and Research Interests in the Latin American Context: María Elena Hernández Ramírez (University of Guadalajara) and Andreas Schwarz (Ilmenau University of Technology)
Part V: The Future of Journalism Research
18. Re-Considering "Journalism" for Journalism Research: Ari Heinonen (University of Tampere, Finland) and Heikki Luostarinen (University of Tampere, Finland)
19. Theorizing a Globalized Journalism: Stephen D. Reese (University of Texas at Austin)
20. Going Beyond Disciplinary Boundaries in the Future of Journalism Research: Barbie Zelizer (University of Pennsylvania)
21. Journalism Education in an Era of Globalization: Mark Deuze (Indiana University)
Part VI: Conclusions
22. Journalism Research: Summing Up and Looking Ahead: Martin Löffelholz (Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany) and David Weaver (Indiana University)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Media in FLOW

If you can't get enough Sarah Palin the Volume 8 issue of Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture is for you. The issue, Sarah Palin and the Media, offers insight on "the media treatment, reaction, and handling of Sarah Palin - as a politician, a woman, a “Hockey Mom,” a wife, an Alaskan, and a Conservative" by media scholars across the US and around the world.

Featured articles:

"In the Feminine Ideal, We Trust" by Janet McCabe. From a UK perspective, an examination of Palin's treatment by the media as the feminine ideal.

"A Girl and a Gun: Photoshop Fakes Sarah Palin" by Patrick Kinsman. Digesting the now infamous Photoshopped image of Palin with gun and American flag bikini.

"A Politically Unbiased Report on the Satirization of 'Jesus Freak': Sarah Palin and Her Hillbilly Family" by Eric Shouse. Looking at the role satire and TV comedy plays during election seasons.

"The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and the Meta-Silly Season in Politics: Agenda Setting in the Contemporary Media Environment" by Jennifer Brundidge. Analyzing "fake" news shows in this particularly "silly season in politics."

"Palin's State" by John Streamas. Covering the racial implications of the candidates' home states.

"Reading Sarah Palin" by Bearnadette Barker-Plummer. Critically reading Palin's role(s) and their cultural implications.

"Sarah Palin: Castration as Plenitude" by Nina Power. Analyzing Palin as an example of the crisis in defining feminism.

"Rule 34 and Epic Raids: Sarah Palin as a Victim of Internet Pranksterism" by Daniel Metz. A look at the strikes against Palin by the Internet prankster group Anonymous.

"Even Mud Has The Illusion of Depth: A McLuhanesque Reading of Sarah Palin" by Ann McKinnon. Reading Tina Fey's satirical impersonation of Palin from a McLuhanian perspective.

"Tigh/Roslin 2008: When Politics Turn Fictional" by Emily Regan Wills. An analysis of Battlestar Galatica fans' appropriation of the McCain-Palin ticket.

"Europe Signals its Concerns with Sarah: Experience, Education, and Etiquette" by M. Patrick Cullinane. A look at Europe's response to the 2008 election and Palin's nomination.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Balancing family and career in the Academe

The latest issue of Women's Studies in Communication (Volume 31, Number 2, Summer 2008) is devoted to: Redefining the Professor(iate): Valuing Commitments to Care and Career in the Academe. Guest-edited by Nikki C. Townsley and Kirsten J. Broadfoot, the issue takes stock of the work/life balance that has much in common with other professions but also has its own set of unique characteristics in the tenure-tracked college and university setting. Integrating personal and professional lives is both the problem and the goal and the testimonies of scholars, mostly women, that make up this issue offer a wide range of insight on the subject, including less trodden areas as pointed out by the editors in the Introduction. "While much research and literature has been dedicated to the struggle over and between commitments to family and work for female academics, little attention has been paid to male professors with primary care giving responsibilities to children, nor the sandwich generation with simultaneous care responsibilities to elderly parents as well as children." They conclude: "As a result [of the contributors' frankness], their words serve as a call for a 'larger vision,' as described by Kerber, 'to reclaim the academic workplace as a locale for a full and humane life, for contemplation and mediation. People who do good work over the full expanse of their careers should be whole human beings, part of the world's comedies and tragedies.' The new professoriate will not accept the loss of its self and its community as the price to pay to satisfy work and family commitments . "

This issue is not yet online but is available in the ASC Library.


October CommQuote

This month's quote is from a New Yorker piece of this past summer on the rising neocon/nationalist movement among China's youth. The article profiles Tang Jie, a graduate student in Shanghai who made a 6-minute documentary that captures the nationalistic mood that has swept China since the Tibetan uprisings in March. The film has since widely circulated on You Tube.

"When people began rioting in Lhasa in March, Tang followed the news closely. As usual, he was receiving his information from American and European news sites, in addition to China's official media. Like others his age [he is 28], he has no hesitation about tunnelling under the government firewall, a vast infrastructure of digital filters and human censors which blocks politically objectionable content from reaching computers in China. Younger Chinese friends of mine regard the firewall as they would an officious lifeguard at a swimming pool - an occasional, largely irrelevant, intrusion.

To get around it, Tang detours through a proxy server - a digital way station overseas that connects a user with a blocked Web site. He watches television exclusively online, because he doesn't have a TV in his room. Tang also receives foreign news clips from Chinese students abroad....He's baffled that foreigners might imagine that people of his generation are somehow unwise to the distortions of censorship.

'Because we are in such a system, we are always asking ourselves whether we are brainwashed," he said. "We are always eager to get other information from different channels." Then he added, "But when you are in a so-called free system you never think about whether you are brainwashed.'"

--Evan Osnos, Letter From China: Angry Youth (The New Yorker, July 28, 2008)

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fall Booknotes

All the Presidents’ Spokesmen: Spinning the News—White House Press Secretaries from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush (Praeger, 2008). A survey of 26 press secretaries over the years; instead of a chronological approach, the book is arranged around recurring themes that Presidents and their “spin masters” have had to deal with.

Asian Americans and the Media, by Kent A. Ono and Vincent Pham (Polity, 2008). U.S. media representation of Asian Americans, including newer internet-situated media.

Certain Victory: Images of World War II in the Japanese Media, by David C. Earhart (M. E. Sharpe, 2008). Gathered for the analysis are over 800 images selected from 2,500 newspapers and magazines published between 1937 and 1945.

Common Sense: Intelligence as Presented on Popular Television, by Lisa Holderman (Lexington Books, 2008). “Examines the constructions of intelligence and intellectuality in popular television and the social/cultural implications of those constructions. It considers the complexity of popular television images, the influences of these images as they both verify and vilify intelligence, and explores the representations of inteeligence on television by looking at a variety of TV genres and through a range of theoretical perspectives and methods.” –Publisher’s website

Frames of Mind: A Post-Jungian Look at Cinema, Television and Technology, by Luke Hockley (Intellect, 2008). Explores the roles and uses of analytical psychology in film and television criticism.

The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It, by Jonathan Zittrain (Yale, 2008). “The Internet’s current trajectory is one of lost opportunity. Its salvation, Zittrain argues, lies in the hands of its millions of users. Drawing on generative technologies like Wikipedia that have so far survived their own successes, this book shows how to develop new technologies and social structures that allow users to work creatively and collaboratively, participate in solutions, and become true “netizens.”—from The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It blog

Global Capital, Local Culture: Transnational Media Corporations in China, by Anthony Y.H. Fung (Peter Lang Publishing, 2008). Uses interview and other data to examine the China strategies of such companies as Warner Bros. Pictures and Viacoms MTV Channel among others as they adapt to the political and economic constraints of working in China.

Global TV: Exploring Television and Culture in the World Market, by Denise D. Bielby and C. Lee Harrington (New York University, 2008). “Explores the cultural significance of global television trade and asks how it is so remarkably successful despite the inherent cultural differences between shows and local audiences. How do culture-specific genres like American soap operas and Latin telenovelas so easily cross borders and adapt to new cultural surroundings? Why is "The Nanny," whose gum-chewing star is from Queens, New York, a smash in Italy? Importantly, Bielby and Harrington also ask which kinds of shows fail. What is lost in translation? Considering such factors as censorship and other such state-specific policies, what are the inevitable constraints of crossing over?” –Publisher’s website

Handbook on Communicating and Disseminating Behavioral Science, by Melissa K. Welch-Ross and Laren G. Fasig (Sage, 2007). An over 400-page guide for researchers, professionals, graduate students, and policy makers who want to learn more about communicating behavioral research to other professionals, policy makers, or the general public; includes communicating through traditional media--television, public radio, magazines and newspapers.

Hate on the Net: Extremist Sites, Neo-Fascism On-line, Electronic Jihad,
by Antonio Roversi (Ashgate, 2008). A detailed study of websites that incite violence, whether real or symbolic. Four types are focused on: football hooligans, neo-fascists, neo-Nazies, and Middle-Eastern militant Islamists.

Here Comes Everybody : The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, by Clay Shirky (Penguin Press, 2008). "How do trends emerge and opinions form? The answer used to be something vague about word of mouth, but now it's a highly measurable science, and nobody understands it better than Clay Shirky. In this delightfully readable book, practically every page has an insight that will change the way you think about the new era of social media.” -Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and author of The Long Tail

The Idea of Nature in Disney Animation, by David Whitley (Ashgate, 2008). Focuses on the ways in which the natural world has been portrayed by Disney animation over the years, from Snow White to Finding Nemo, including how ambiguities and tensions underlie dominant values.

The Internet and American Business, edited by William Aspray and Paul E. Ceruzzi (MIT Press, 2008). Historical anthology explores the multiple impacts of the Internet on business practices since 1992.

Internet Alley: High Technology in Tyson’s Corner, 1945-2005, by Paul E. Ceruzzi. (MIT, 2008). This study combines “elements of economic geography, sociology, business history, regional planning, and political science as [Ceruzzi] explores how one of the nation’s most important centers of information technology developed.” --Chris Sterling, George Washington University.

Jewish Identity in Western Pop Culture: The Holocaust and Trauma Through Modernity, by Jon Stratton (Palgrave Macmillan). The post-Holocaust experience with emphasis on aspects of its impact on popular culture.

Making Online News: The Ethnography of News Media Production, edited by Chris Paterson and David Domingo (Peter Lang, 2008). Chapters written by a wide range of scholars from many different countries provide observational research on journalists in their natural habitats, i.e. newsrooms.

The Meaning of Video Games: Gaming and Textual Strategies, by Steven E. Jones (Routledge, 2008). First book to apply textual theories to understanding video games such as Myst, Lost, Halo, Nintendo, and Spore as forms of cultural expression.

Media and Communication, by Paddy Scannell (Sage, 2008). Traces the historical development of media and communication studies; the author maps the fields many antecedents in North American and Europe.

Media and Values: Intimate Transgressions in a Changing Moral and Cultural Landscape, by David E. Morrison, Matthew Kieran, Michael Svnnevig and Sarah Ventress (Intellect, 2008). “…Illuminates citizens’ moral reasoning about the media, culture, and government. A tour de force of nuanced interdisciplinary scholarship…offers wised-ranging insights into the responsibilities of the communication industry, the justifications and consequences of telecoms regulation—and the nature of the good society itself” –Robert M. Entman, George Washington University

Media Violence and Agression: Science and Ideoloy, by Tom Grimes, James Anderson, and Lori Bergen (Thousand Oaks, CA, 2008). Provides overview of the research to date, poses interesting questions about the science of it all, how the child as variable-ridden subject fits into the equation, and what should be done with such research in terms of public policy.

Medicines’s Moving Pictures: Medicine, Health, and Bodies in American Film and Television, edited by Leslie J. Reagan, Nancy Tomes, and Paula A. Treichler (University of Rochester Press, 2007). A mix of media scholars, gender scholars, and historians of medicine and science weigh in on the symbiotic relationship between the mass media and medicine in the United States in the 20th century. In addition to Hollywood film and television, analysis includes educational films, newsreels and videos. Professor Joseph Turow, of Playing Doctor fame, is one of the essayist.

Moral Spectatorship: Technologies of Voice and Affect in Postwar Representations of the Child, by Lisa Cartwright (Duke, 2008). "Uncovering alternative traditions in the psychoanalytic study of affect and object relations, while pairing them with deep explorations of American and continental moral philosophy, Lisa Cartwright proposes a series of arguments that will radically remap our understanding of spectatorship and identification…a path-breaking book and perhaps the first entirely new approach to subject, empathy, and affect in visual cultural studies to have appeared in the new millennium."--D. N. Rodowick, Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University

No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy, by Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites (University of Chicago, 2007). Provides rhetorical analyses of nine famously iconic photographs from the past 65 years, exploring what makes
them standout artifacts of public culture.

On Scandal: Moral Disturbances in Society, Politics, and Art, by Viviana A. Zelizer (Cambridge University Press, 2008). "The popular way of treating scandals in the media is partisan or prurient and sensationalist. Ari Adut's book... cuts in another direction. He is analytical and comparative, showing the conditions under which various kinds of scandals occur or do not occur. Adut's work will illuminate the reader in the advance of sociological understanding. It is both an intellectual pleasure and a pleasure to read. It opens contentious events to the sociological eye with great clarity. The book will make its readers scandal-sophisticates." -- Randall Collins, University of Pennsylvania

Presenting America’s World: Strategies of Innocence in National Geographic Magazine, 1888-1945, by Tamar Y. Rothenberg (Ashgate, 2007). An institutional analysis of the writers, photographers and editors of National Geographic as well as a critical analysis of the world they created

Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television,
by John Thornton Caldwell (Duke University Press, 2008). Combines ethnographic and other perspectives in a study of Los Angeles-based film and television production workers, from directors and producers to such crew members as gaffers and camera operators.

Science on the Air: Popularizers and Personalities on Radio and Early Television,
by Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette (University of Chicago, 2008). “Offering a new perspective on the collision between science’s idealistic and elitist view of public communication and the unbending economics of broadcasting, LaFollette rewrites the history of the public reception of science in the twentieth century and the role that scientists and their institutions have played in both encouraging and inhibiting popularization. By looking at the broadcasting of the past, Science on the Air raises issues of concern to all those who scientifically literate society today.”—Publisher’s website

The Television Will Be Revolutionized, by Amanda Lotz (New York University, 2008). “…Definitive guidebook to the medium in transition, offering a road map to where we’ve been, where we’re going, and why it matters. American television is undergoing profound transitions in the digital age, transforming both the television industry and our viewing experiences.” –Jason Mittell, Middlebury College

This Is Not a President, by Diane Rubenstein (New York University Press, 2008). “Looks at the postmodern presidency — from Reagan and George H. W. Bush, through the current administration, and including Hillary. Focusing on those seemingly inexplicable gaps or blind spots in recent American presidential politics, Rubenstein interrogates symptomatic moments in political rhetoric, popular culture, and presidential behavior to elucidate profound and disturbing changes in the American presidency and the way it embodies a national imaginary….Rubenstein traces the vernacular use of the American presidency (as currency, as grist for popular biography, as fictional TV material) to explore the ways in which the American presidency functions as a “transitional object” that allows the American citizen to meet or discover the president while going about her everyday life. The book argues that it is French theory — primarily Lacanian psychoanalysis and the radical semiotic theories of Jean Baudrillard — that best accounts for American political life today. Through episodes as diverse as Iran Contra, George H. W. Bush vomiting in Japan, the 1992 Republican convention, the failed nomination of Lani Guinier, and the Iraq War [the book] situates our collective investment in American political culture.” –Publisher’s website

Weapons of Mass Persuasion: Strategic Communication to Combat Violent Extremism, edited by Steven R. Corman, Angela Tretheway, and H.L. Goodall, Jr. (Peter Lang, 2008). Applies human communication concepts and theories to communication problems encountered by nations, communities, and individuals, specifically the war on terror.

When the Press Fails, by W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence, and Steven Livingston (University of Chicago, 2008). Relationship between the White House and the U.S. media which the authors show marched in lock step at a time when critical independence of the later could have provided crucial checks.

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