Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Special issues from Journalism and Journalism Studies

The latest Journalism and Journalism Studies are both running interesting themed issues. 

Journalism Studies (Volume 14, Issue 2, 2013) addresses the issue of cosmopolitanism in today's new media landscape. 
Cosmopolitanism, the issue argues, is an orientation of openness towards distant others that relies on technological mediation so as to raise the moral imperative to act on those others in the name of common humanity (Silverstone2007). Whilst cosmopolitanism has long been associated with the capacity of journalism to bring “home” distant realities and to inspire a sense of care and responsibility beyond our communities of belonging (Hannerz 1990), the emergence of new media and their appropriation in citizen-driven practices of reporting has invigorated debates about the cosmopolitan efficacy of journalism today (Ward 2010; Zuckerman 2010). New media journalism refers to a broad economy of integrated technological mediations, what Madianou (this issue) calls a “polymedia” milieu, which “comprises of technologies, media, platforms and applications as they intersect and hybridise”, circulating information but also facilitating opinion and testimony. Within this milieu, it is, in particular, the intervention of ordinary voice into journalism, made possible through these polymedia affordances (from Twitter to mobile phones), that appears to catalyse the cosmopolitan efficacy. Insofar as events can be reported by people like us, the argument has it, the news can become both more authentic towards its own publics and more caring towards distant others (Allan 2007; Harcup 2002). --from the Introduction

Articles include:
• ONLINE JOURNALISM AND CIVIC COSMOPOLITANISM: Professional vs . participatory ideals, by Dahlgren P.
• COSMOPOLITANISM AS CONFORMITY AND CONTESTATION: The mainstream press and radical politics, by Fenton N.
• SITUATED, EMBODIED AND POLITICAL: Expressions of citizen journalism, by Blaagaard B. B.
• GETTING CLOSER?: Encounters of the national media with global images, by Pantti.
• THE WORLD IS WATCHING: The mediatic structure of cosmopolitanism, by Cheah P.
• JOURNALISTS WITNESSING DISASTER: From the calculus of death to the injunction to care, by Cottle S.
• HUMANITARIAN CAMPAIGNS IN SOCIAL MEDIA: Network architectures and polymedia events, by Madianou M.
  RE-MEDIATION, INTER-MEDIATION, TRANS-MEDIATION: The cosmopolitan trajectories of convergent journalism, by Chouliaraki.

Journalism's special issue (Volume 14, Issue 2, 2013) is: Journalism and the Financial Crisis. Articles include:

• Financial journalism, news sources and the banking crisis, by Paul Manning
• Budgetjam! A communications intervention in the political - economic crisis in Ireland, by Gavan Titley
• Ignored , uninterested , and the blame game : How The New York Times , Marketplace , and The Street distanced themselves from preventing the 2007-2009 financial crisis, by Nikki Usher
• The Today programme and the banking crisis, by Mike Berry
• Are we all Keynesians now? The US press and the American Recovery Act of 2009, by Anya Schiffrin
• Downloading disaster: BBC news online coverage of the global financial crisis, by Steve Schifferes
• Financial news and market panics in the age of high - frequency sentiment trading algorithms, by Jan Kleinnijenhuis
• Invested interests? Reflexivity, representation and reporting in financial markets, by Peter A Thompson

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

EU's Media Regulatory Mechanisms for Minors, a Briefing

Last month the Library of the European Parliament ("Working for a well-informed European Parliament") published a briefing Protection of minors in the media environment: EU regulatory mechanisms.
The briefing reviews the landscape of European Union nations' media (television, internet, and video games) regulatory policies in relation to the rights and interests of minors.

Children are increasingly exposed to online content, through a growing range of mobile devices, and at ever younger ages. At the same time, they have specific needs and vulnerabilities which need to be addressed.

Keyboard with parent & children keys
Ways to limit and prohibit the spread of illicit and harmful media content in relation to young people have been debated for many years. Striking a balance between the rights and interests of young viewers on the one hand and the freedom of expression of content providers (and adults in general) on the other, requires a carefully designed regulatory scheme.
In recent years, traditional (State) regulation has come under increased scrutiny. Gradually, less intrusive mechanisms, such as self- and co-regulation, have started replacing State regulation in a move towards user-empowerment.
This type of logic has governed the implementation of binding rules at EU level via the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. For online content and video games, the Commission supports a number of self-regulatory initiatives such as the Coalition to Make the Internet a Better Place for Kids and the Pan European Game Information System.
The European Parliament, however, considers that this type of initiative cannot replace legally binding instruments, and that only a combination of legal, technical and educational measures, including prevention, can adequately address the dangers faced by children online.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Scholarly Commons : Annenberg Papers

The University of Pennsylvania's ScholarlyCommons Repository is a an open access collection of the scholarly output of its faculty, researchers, and graduate students.  It promotes dissemination of the collection and preserves it in a freely-accessible, long-term archive. One can browse by schools, departments and centers, by locally published journals or series, by dissertations and theses, or by disciplines using a very cool color wheel to go from broad to specific topic areas (such as Social and Behavioral Sciences to Communication to Speech and Rhetorical Studies).

The Annenberg School currently has over 300 Departmental Papers posted. Each month I get a usage report on downloads which features the most "popular."  This month, and some others preceding, the three most downloaded papers were:


Monday, April 15, 2013

Analysis of 2012 Candidate FB Pages in Online Information Review

You've heard a lot about the impact of social media on political campaigns--only a matter of time before someone did a content analysis of Obama/Romney camp Facebook posts Online Information Review (Volume 37, Issue 2, 2013) features research that compares the 2012 candidate's Facebook pages by analyzing 513 posts in the three months leading up to election day. 

Like me!: Analyzing the 2012 presidential candidates' Facebook pages
Jenny Bronstein

Purpose. The present study reports the findings of a qualitative and quantitative content analysis of the Facebook pages of the two presidential candidates in the 2012 US presidential election.
Design/methodology/approach - Design. The sample contained 513 posts collected during the last three months of the 2012 US presidential election. The analysis of the candidates’ pages consisted of three phases: (1) the identification of the different elements of the Aristotelian language of persuasion, (2) the identification of the subjects that appear on the posts, (3) the identification of additional roles that the Facebook pages play in the campaigns.
Findings - Findings. Findings show that both candidates used an emotional and motivational appeal to create a social capital and to present a personal image that revealed very little of their personal lives. Statistical analysis show the numbers of comments and likes given to the posts were influenced by the element of persuasion used on the posts. Results show that campaigns wanted to retain control of the message displayed on the pages by posting information on a small number of non-controversial subjects. Finally, the content analysis revealed that the Facebook pages were used for fund-raising purposes, and for the mobilization of supporters. The Facebook pages of both candidates present an alternative way to do politics called fandom politics that is based not on logic or reason but on the affective sensibility of the audiences, discouraging dissent and encouraging affective allegiances between the candidate and his supporters.
Originality/value - Value of the study. This study presents an innovative way of analyzing the use of social media sites as a tool for the dissemination of political information and reveals utilization of these media for the creation of social and economic capital by politicians.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

April CommQuote

Since April is Poetry Month a poem is in order, one from Andrei Codrescu called the new gazette. It's from his collection, So Recently Rent a World: New and Selected Poems, which I recommend picking up because Codrescu is not only a good poet, he's one of the giants. When looking for a copy of the poem to post I stumbled upon this 2006 NPR radio interview with Robert Siegel (excerpted below the poem), Codrescu talking about this very piece.
the new gazette 
I want to be the publisher of a vicious illuminated newspaper.
All the viciousness in it will be gold-leafed, raised and colored-in
by art students with medieval bodies.
The bend of their heads and the angle of their breasts
will outlast sunset
to exchange body with Chartres.
My writers will hate everything
with passion, fervor and murderous disregard for their safety
which will take in writing the form of classical tragedy.
Sophocles will be movie reviewer, Richard Speck desk editor.
Euripides and Charles Manson will be in charge of the clergy.
The translators under penalty of death will have to be faithful.
In the office only foreign languages will be spoken.
Faithfulness and alienness will be the order of day and night
since they will succeed each other on the front page.
The paper will appear twice a day, four times a night.
The readers will be mean, nervous and ready to kill for the cause.
There will be plenty of causes, one for every hour, and in later
issues, one for every minute,
The causes will be biological and spiritual and they will incite
war for molecular differences.
Molecular terrorists in hiding will write letters to the editor.
Two persons, a man and a woman, called Tolerance and Intolerance,
will be in charge of love and lights.                 
--by Andrei Codrescu
From: Virtual Privacy: A Myth of the 21st Century,

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:In some ways, Commentator Andrei Codrescu is a member of the avant garde. Take a poem he wrote back in 1973, which looked ahead to the rise of blogs.

ANDREI CODRESCU: I wrote a poem called The New Gazette that said, among other things, I want to be the publisher of a vicious, illuminated newspaper. The paper will appear twice a day, four times a night. The readers will be mean, nervous and ready to kill for the cause. There will be plenty of causes, one for every hour and in later issues, one for every minute. The causes will be biological and spiritual, and they will incite war for molecular differences. Molecular terrorists in hiding will write letters to the editor. Two persons, a man and a woman called Tolerance and Intolerance, will be in charge of love and lights.

I've quoted at length from this youthful work not only because it proves that I'm a prophet, but also because I used to write pretty great poetry. Looking back on early work is not advisable though, just as it isn't advisable to look back into the past when one was vital, strong, blustery and brilliant. Truly, youth is wasted on the young, but only if one looks back. The past is a mirror that shimmers and draws the soul in. More people die everyday from falling into the mirror of the past than fall from horses or get snuffed in car crashes.

Anyway, when I wrote that poem, I had no clue that in 2006 every person alive on earth would be able to broadcast their most intimate thoughts everyday into a new public nervous system that collects every human now. Back in 1973 I still suffered from the trauma of childhood under a totalitarian government who looked into every thought of its subjects and used that knowledge to terrify and belittle us. Surveillance was a bad thing. Privacy was sacred.

In 2006, we still hold privacy to be a right and we pay lip service to it. In reality, privacy means little in the age of personal computing. Anyone can find out in minutes all they need to know about you and everyone is ready to broadcast everything anyone might want to know. The desire to expose everything one feels or experiences and the need to translate all of it immediately into an urgent bulletin is an inexorable process, a progressive disease that leads to the foreshadowing of every difference. Every half-baked thought or passing incidence takes on a personality, a body for consumption.

Bloggers produce molecular bodies blown up like balloons with significance. This type of communication is not friendly to threat, a form of rape maybe. Of course, you don't have to read anybody's blog or submit to the increasingly epileptic flicker of television, but you are hooked. There's no escaping it. If you were born before the time when communication was compulsory, you might be tempted to look to a more innocent past and then you'll fall in it, blinded like a bird.

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Mapping Digital Media: India

Mapping Digital Media: India is the latest Open Society Foundation report examining "global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media." This 154-page report is part of a series covering 60 countries; each is evaluated in terms of how digital media  affect "core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs." Since September of 2012, reports on Croatia, Slovenia, China, Spain, Central Africa have been published and March 2013 has produced reports on Kenya, and Bulgaria, and now India. 

For a perspective on "digital switchover" country by country from broadcast analog systems, especially as it effects democracy and freedom of expression, you'll want to check in with these reports. 

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Monday, April 01, 2013

Recent Scholarship on Fair Use

In the latest issue of Cinema Journal (Volume 52, Number 2, Winter 2013), Peter Decherney leads a conversation with three other scholars on academic writing on fair use since 1990.  Joining him are Bill Herman, Jessica Silbey, and Rebecca Tushnet who respond to this introductory provocation:

A new wave of books takes account of the post-1990 landscape of fair use and its impact on culture, business, and creativity. Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola's Creative License examines the mounting restrictions courts have placed on music sampling and the resulting transformation of hip-hop music.3 Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi's Reclaiming Fair Use chronicles and situates the movement they started to create fair-use best-practices documents.4 William Patry's How to Fix Copyright argues that fair use is an important engine for innovation and job creation that should be adopted beyond the United States.5Jason Mazzone's Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law details copyright holders' adeptness at claiming rights far in excess of those given to them by the law.6 And my own Hollywood's Copyright Wars argues that the Internet has homogenized fair-use communities that were once treated as distinct groups.7 Significantly, these are works by both media scholars and legal scholars, who are often collaborating on the same texts. Other projects, like the Organization for Transformative Works and its journal, also bring together lawyers and media scholars to think about fair use and its impact on culture. What do you think these books (and others) tell us about the changing character of fair use? And what are the implications for scholars, archivists, and media makers? --Peter Decherney
This article and the texts it mentions/addresses is good way to get up to speed on the current scholarly landscape of fair use. Cinema Journal is available from the Penn Libraries e-resources.

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