Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Racial Justice Think Tank: ARC

The nondescriptly titled Applied Research Center (ARC) describes itself as a "30 year old racial justice think tank." Devoted to raising awareness about racism and promoting social justice since 1981, ARC leverages its three-pronged approach through the Media and Journalism, Strategic Research and Policy Analysis, and the Racial Justice Leadership Action Network. This from their website further explains:

We use Media and Journalism to deliver stories that are not reported elsewhere, move people to action in support of racial equity, and push a society silenced by guilt and confusion toward concrete discussions of racial justice in the 21st century. Through Strategic Research and Policy Analysis, we expose structural inequities by conducting both quantitative and qualitative research; produce reliable, relevant and accessible reports and interactive tools that help researchers, activists and policymakers take next steps; and build the analytical foundation for racial justice campaigns across the nation. Finally, ARC’s Racial Justice Leadership Action Network trains a new cadre of journalists, community organizers and elected officials, through popular education, convenings, and mobilized action, to make these solutions real. ARC’s bi-annual Facing Race Conference has become the national convening of organizers, activists, and intellectuals on race and politics.
There are many free research reports available at the site.  Most recent reports include work on food justice, LGBT racial justice issues, and how the millennials fair on activism and race. 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October CommQuote

In an article that explores why young people (defined as 21 to 34- year-olds) are not buying houses and cars the way they used to  (The Cheapest Generation, by Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic, September 2012) I was surprised by this smartphone "theory."

Subaru’s publicist Doug O’Reilly told us, “The Millennial wants to tell people not just ‘I’ve made it,’ but also ‘I’m a tech person.’ ” Smartphones compete against cars for young people’s big-ticket dollars, since the cost of a good phone and data plan can exceed $1,000 a year. But they also provide some of the same psychic benefits—opening new vistas and carrying us far from the physical space in which we reside. “You no longer need to feel connected to your friends with a car when you have this technology that’s so ubiquitous, it transcends time and space,” Connelly said. in other words, mobile technology has empowered more than just car-sharing. It has empowered friendships that can be maintained from a distance. The upshot could be a continuing shift from automobiles to mobile technology, and a big reduction in spending."

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

I'lam Media Center for Arab Palestinians in Israel

I'lam Media Center for Arab Palestinians in Israel is a non-profit Palestinian media NGO based in Nazareth devoted to raising awareness and educating Palestinian society in Israel in media practices. "It also seeks to democratize media policies and practices within the local Arab and Hebrew language medias, towards the realization of media rights in Palestinian society." --website

The site's Publications section includes reports from 2005 to the present.  Titles from the last couple years (available for download) include:
The Challenges to Journalistic Professionalisim: Between Independence and Difficult Work Conditions, by Amal Jamal and Rana Awaisi (2012).

Arab Reporters Needed for the Hebew Press: Patterns of representing Arab-Palestinian Citizens in Israeli Print Media, by Amal Jamal and Kholod Massalha (2011).

The Marginality of Human Rights in the Israeli Media, by Dr. Amal Jamal and Samah Bsou (2012).

The Discourse of Human Rights in the Israeli Media, by Dr.Amal Jamal and Kholod Masalha (2012).

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Journal issue feature: Frontlines

The latest issue of USAID's Frontlines is their Youth/Mobile Technology edition.  It includes articles on what's possible with mobile technology in the developing world, texting for conservation, mobile gaming, and m-money or, mobile money.

In Apps for Afghanistan, Kathleen McGowan observes how
"[the] explosion of mobile users has created a network that bridges the country’s formidable urban-rural divide while transcending gaps in physical infrastructure, low literacy rates and pervasive insecurity.The near-ubiquity of mobile phone coverage has allowed Afghanistan to join the vanguard of countries experimenting with innovative new uses for the mobile channel, using the networks to extend services and information cheaply to populations lacking access through other means. Among the most promising is mobile money—the ability to safely store and transfer “e-money” via SMS, avoiding the expense and danger associated with moving cash, while extending the reach of basic financial services from the 5 percent of the population with accounts in brick-and-mortar banks to the 65 percent of Afghans who use mobile phones...

The overwhelming response to an app design competition this year among Afghan university students illustrated just how compelling up-and-coming young Afghans find mobile money—more than 5,000 students across the country submitted ideas, many of which focused on how mobile money on how mobile money could improve the Afghan Government’s ability to provide basic services transparently and efficiently."

Frontlines is a publication of USAID, a United States foreign assistance program since 1961 that has been principal in extending assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Who Owns the News Media

Embedded in The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual State of the News Media is an interactive database of companies than own news media properties in the US. This database is meant to be a tool for generating  reports on statistical and audience sector data related to media company ownership. 

Their methodology is as follows:

The goal...was to create a tool that aggregated comparative information on the companies that own news media properties. We wanted to do this within each media sector as well as more broadly across news media over all. To do this, we took several steps. First, we identified the various U.S.-based companies within each media sector. In some cases, the list is so long that we determined a cut-off point for which companies to include. The newspapers sector, for example, includes all companies with a total weekday circulation of 100,000 or more. Next, we looked for relevant statistical data that were available for most companies and could be compared from one company to the next. Some data are compared within the media sector and other data, like total revenues, can be compared across all companies.
Try it on for size.  Highlights from a recent report generated from this year's data include:
  • In transactions other than the Buffett deal with Media General, The New York Times Company sold 14 daily newspapers to Halifax Media and Journal Register Company (with 20 dailies) was acquired by one of its investors, Alden Global Capital. The Times Company's sale of its Regional Newspaper Group left it with only three remaining dailies, the flagship New York Times, The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
  • The Chicago Sun Times was sold to a new company called Wrapports LLC, an organization led by technology executive Michael Ferro Jr. and former Newsday publisher Timothy Knight.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune was sold in November 2011 by the private equity firm Platinum Equity, which bought it in 2009, to a company owned by a local hotel developer.
  • Freedom Communications announced on June 11 the sale of its remaining dailies, including the Orange County Register (163,000 print circulation) to the investment group 2001 Trust LLC. That sale ended the company's almost 80-year history as a newspaper publisher. And as was the case with Journal Register, Freedom had recently emerged from bankruptcy protection.
  • Once known as the crown jewel of the now defunct Knight Ridder chain, The Philadelphia Inquirer (along with its sister Philadelphia Daily News) was sold in April for the fourth time in six years. A group of local businessmen bought the company for a reported $55 million, roughly 10% of the $515 million the papers fetched in 2006 when they were purchased by another group of local investors led by advertising executive Brian Tierney.
  • Hedge Fund Company Alden Global Capital bought the Journal Register Company with twenty papers including the New Haven Register (CT), the Oakland Press (MI) and the Daily Times (PA). Alden Global has also invested in several other newspaper organizations.
  • Versa Capital Management, which purchased a number of small dailies in Ohio in 2011, acquired the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in March of 2012.

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