Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Latin American Public opinion at Latinobarometers

From the Penn Library website, a resource for Latin American public opinion:

The Latinobarometers are annual public opinion polls conducted in several Latin American countries, 1995 to present. The 2006 Latinobarometer covered these countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Dominican Republic. The Latinobarometers are designed to complement the other Global Barometer polling projects in African and East Asia.

Latinobarometers typically ask several dozen questions to reveal opinions, attitudes and behavior of 1000 adult residents in each country. A special focus of the Latinobarometers is democracy and democratic consolidation, and individual years also have central themes. Additional information on the Latinobarometers is provided at their website. However, the data sets are not available for free at the website, go through the UPenn Library page for access to those. Each data file is provided in SPSS save format and therefore requires SPSS or other statistical processing software. Data files with PDF-format codebooks are provided in ZIP archive files as delivered by the vendor. PDF-format codebooks are also provided separately as a reference source.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Bibliographic Essays on Reality TV and War Reportage in CBQ

Two review essays in the field's only book review quarterly, Communication Booknotes Quarterly, collect monograph scholarship in the areas of reality television and war reportage. For both topics the bibliographic essays are selective rather than exhaustive.

Twenty titles from recent scholarship (since 2000) in reality television begin with Mark Andrejevic's Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched (2003) and end with Christopher J. Wright's Tribal Warfare: Survivor and the Political Unconscious of Reality TV (2006).

The review essay, Reporting on Wars and the Military (Part 1), is divided into Survey Histories, Issues and Controversies, followed by individual wars: The Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam. Interestingly, there seems to be more attention paid to The Civil War and Vietnam than the World Wars, at least from the number of titles selected for each in this particular essay by media historian, Christopher Sterling. I'm assuming the next issue will continue with Part II which will probably focus on the Iraq wars and the war on terror.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

NCA Offerings

Two new items from the National Communications Association are available at the Annenberg Library.

Interested in tracking down a paper you heard (or one you missed when you were giving yours) at the Convention in San Diego last Fall? You can find it on the Proceedings From the 2008 NCA Convention CD. (We also have a couple previous years of Proceedings.)

And: Getting the Most From Your Graduate Education in Communication: A Student's Handbook, edited by Sherwyn Morreale and Pat Arneson, looks especially useful to "first years" and students contemplating pursuing a graduate degree in Communication.

Ask for these items at the desk.

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Keeping Up with the Shorenstein Center

New 2009 papers from The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University are available, along with their archive of previous papers arranged by date or author going back to 1989.

Recent Papers:
Sandra Nyaira: Mugabe's Media War: How New Media Help Zimbabwean Journalists Tell Their Story
Rory O'Connor: Word of Mouse: Credibility, Journalism and Emerging Social Media
Eric Pooley:
How Much Would You Pay to Save the Planet? The American Press and the Economics of Climate Change

The Publications section of the site includes not only Papers for download but Reports and Case Studies. Transcripts and/or video can be found in the News and Events Section for the annual Theodore H. White Lecture. (Rep. John Lewis was the 2008 speaker.)

Most recent Case Study:
Scott, Esther. Crossing the Line: Don Imus and the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team. 2008.

Recent Reports:
Shorenstein Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Character and the Primaries of 2008. 2008
Shorenstein Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
The Invisible Primary — Invisible No Longer. 2008
Donsbach, Wolfgang, and Fiedler, Tom.
Journalism School Curriculum Enrichment. 2008

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

International Journal of Communication Tackles Media Reform

Media reform is the focus of a special symposium recently published in International Journal of Communication, Volume 3 (2009). Our own Annenberg doctoral candidates Dan Berger and C. Riley Snorton contribute individual articles as well as the section's Introduction.

From the Introduction:
"This section — among the first in-depth scholarly examination of media reform—brings together scholars and activist-intellectuals (in and outside of the academy) to examine the media reform struggle. We organized this special section to investigate the ideas and actions of this political project. We wanted, in particular, to examine its origin narrative at a time when the movement appears to be gaining even greater traction as issues like “net neutrality,” low-frequency radio, and other questions of media access are pervasive in popular, scholarly, and activist spheres." They were "intentionally eclectic in soliciting a wide range of voices, which speak to issues of media, democracy, representation, and political engagement." Contributors are prominent figures in the world of media reform and the field of communication: John L. Jackson Jr. (University of Pennsylvania), "Media Reform, 2008's Presidential Election, and the Sportification of Politics"; Robert W. McChesney (University of
Illinois at Champaign-Urbana), "Understanding the Media Reform Movement"; Makani Themba-Nixon (The Praxis Project), "Mainstreams and Margins: A Critical Look at the Media Reform 'Story'"; and Peter Dahlgren (Lund University, Sweden), "Realistic Politics, Uncomfortable Knowledge: Living Creatively with Dissonance."
And be sure to also check out "From Fermentation to Maturity? Reflections on Media and Communication Studies. An Interview with Todd Gitlin, Jostein Gripsrud & Michael Schudson" by Helle Sjøvaag and Hallvard Moe.

"25 years after the Journal of Communication published a special issue entitled 'Ferment in the Field' [published right here at the Annenberg School], Professors Todd Gitlin, Michael Schudson and Jostein Gripsrud reflect on the state of the field of media and communications research. They discuss the conflict between critical and administrative research, the role of the intellectual in today’s society, and the quality of current research on new media."

Edited by Larry Gross and Manuel Castells (both, USC Annenberg School for Communication), IJoC is an open-access, multi-media journal that, "while centered in communication," features contributions "from the many disciplines and approaches that meet at the crossroads that is communication study." It takes the "International" part of its title seriously; beginning only its third year/volume of publication, contributors to the journal represent twenty-five countries from around the world.

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Presidential Communication resource

Interested in comparing rhetoric from the Oval Office over time or just need the transcript of the recent stimulus package press conference? If so, The American Presidency Project is the place to go. Established in 1999 at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the archive contains 85,728 documents related to the study of the Presidency: executive orders, proclamations, State of the Union addresses, State of the Union messages (hmm...what's the difference?), press conferences, Inaugural addresses, Saturday radio addresses, addresses to Congress, fireside chats (FDR), addresses to the nation, veto messages, addresses to the United Nations, radio & TV correspondents dinners, addresses to foreign legislatures, party convention addresses, and college commencement addresses. There is also a data archive to make quantifiable comparisons relating to President-Congress relations, popularity with the electorate, public appearances, growth of the Executive Branch, election campaigns, and speech lengths in number of words for the State of the Union and Inaugural addresses. It's a rich and sleek "Prez Comm" resource right at your fingertips.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Centre for Communication Rights

To meet the increasing demand for materials and resources about the right to communication, The World Association of Christian Communication (WACC) has launched the Centre for Communication Rights (CCR). The site, situated on the WACC homepage--righthand side, is a great place to find resources on policy related to communication rights, including case studies, training manuals and practical handbooks and links to media observatories (organizations that monitor policy and practice) in Europe and Latin America (so far). There are also resource sections on: Building and Recognizing Communication Rights, Development, Democratization, Gender, Language and Culture, and Ethics of Communication. Anyone interested international communication in the areas of policy, human rights, or development should make a beeline to this site!

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Friday, February 06, 2009

February Commquote

February's rather contrarian quote on global ethics comes from Stefan Sonderling at the University of South Africa.

"It is commonly believed that the fabrication of common global ethics will provide the panacea for all the evils of the world, much like the belief in the myth of the magical power of communication. Global ethics are considered of great importance because they seem to respond to pressing practical needs of economy, business and about such attitudes is the fact that attempts to construct a new grand narrative of global ethics is emerging, even though the idea of grand narrative has been criticised by postmodern philosophy (Lyotard, 1984)...Globalisation is not a uniform world but could be understood as a paradox of unification and fragmentation, and is experienced as the 'return of the Middle Ages' (Eco, 1987), or as being a neo-medieval world of fragmented loyalties and overlapping sovereignties (Bull, 1985)...It is perhaps, as Latour (1993) suggests, that we have never been modern, or as Kaplan (2003) puts it: 'The world is not modern or postmodern, but only a continuation of the ancient'. According to Meyrowitz (1986), 'we may be returning to a world even older than that of the late Middle Ages. Many of the features of our 'information age' make us resemble the most primitive of social and political forms: the hunting and gathering society.' Indeed, the imagery of the medieval Dark Ages is an apt description of the contemporary discourses on ethics: some clamour for a return to medieval religious values, while the increasing enforcement of the new saccharine global ethics has brought back a new Dark Ages and growth of ignorance (Rauch 1994; Thompson 2008)."

--Stefan Sonderling, What If Morality Should Turn Out to be the Danger of Dangers? Global Ethics and the Growth of Ignorance, in Communicatio, Volume 34 (2), 2008, pp 290-327

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Latin American Newspapers in World News Archive

Historic electronic newspaper files continue to arrive at Penn! The latest such addition to the Penn Library website:

World News Archive (Latin American Newspapers preliminary release)

Latin American Newspapers represents the initial result of the partnership between the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and Readex, a division of NewsBank, to systematically create an extensive Web-based collection--World News Archive--of international newspapers. On completion, Latin American Newspapers will include approximately 35 fully searchable newspapers printed throughout this region in the 19th and 20th centuries. This preliminary release provides more than 60,000 pages of El Mercurio, an important Spanish-language paper published in Santiago, including 3,000 issues printed between 1914 and 1922.

About World News Archive: Working with Readex, a division of NewsBank, CRL and its partner institutions (including Penn) expect to add three new collections to the WNA over the next eighteen months. The three collections are:
African Newspapers, Slavic & East European Newspapers, and South Asian Newspapers.

Along with the recently released Latin American Newspapers, these three new historical collections will make more newspapers from the world’s regions available to the CRL community electronically. Guided by charter participants and the WNA advisory committee, CRL will select the content of these new collections from the international newspapers long collected and preserved in paper and microform by CRL and participating member libraries.

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