The second edition of Mass Communication: Living in a Media World is now available at the very student-friendly price of $45. (Yes, the new edition sells for less than used copies often do of the first edition.) It features a newly strengthened media literacy focus, greater depth on a number of topics, extensive coverage of "long-tail" media, and new chapters on media effects and global media. For more information, visit the CQ Press website.
Monday - November 5, 2007
Chapter Links Go Live!
The chapter-by-chapter readings and links for the book Mass Communication: Living in a Media World are now active! Thanks for your patience. Watch for updates and added features in the near future.
Wednesday - October 31, 2007
Happy Halloween!!! Here's a few Media World links for Halloween 2007.
Whatever Happened to the New Republic Article on Cursing? A couple of weeks ago the New Republic published an interesting little article on the nature of curse words (profanity and obscenity, if you want to be precise) that engendered a bit of controversy because of a illustration of the words that was scheduled to run with the article.
Today I got an E-mail from Prof. Dolores Sierra at Black Hawk College, who was trying to follow a link to the article online and found it to be broken. That happens sometimes.
So I went online looking for the article. It wasn't onTNR's web site, and it wasn't in the Lexis/Nexis database as near as I can tell. The only place I could find it was on author Steven Pinker's web site. I wonder what's going on here? As I mentioned before, the article was controversial in part because of an illustration that went with the article. Now that I find it missing, I wonder why? Was TNR offended by the article? If I find out more, I'll post an update.
So, Did You Figure Out In Advance That Dumbledore Was Gay? Not me, but have you noticed that while there are many, many married couples in the Harry Potter series, we know nothing about the marital status of any of the professors at Hogwarts. We do know why Snape is single - Lilly Potter was the love of his life. And Lupin married Tonks, though he was no longer faculty. But as for the rest? (Washington Post)
The Brave New World of Television Ratings Measuring television audiences used to be pretty simple, at least in principle. You found out how many people watched a given show at a given time on one of three major networks, and you had your answer. Now the fact that you depended on a limited sample of folks who had to fill out complex diaries may have complicated things a bit, but basically it was simple.
Eadweard Muybridge's Images As I was working on my lecture on the history of movies for my Intro to Mass Comm class, I came across a number of animations made from Eadweard Muybridge's images of motion. Keep in mind that these were all taken as a series of still images that are now shown as animations. These are some of the very earliest photographic images of motion. Many of the images in these videos from YouTube were originally in Muybridge's book Animal Locomotion. Please note that many of these animations contain simple nudity.
Horses and Other Muybridge Images A short film composed of a wide range of Muybridge images.
What's Up With Journalists' Favorite Number? 50,000 is journalists' favorite number. The one thing you can be sure of when you see 50,000 in a news story - there probably wasn't 50,000 of something to be found. (50,000 is the number journalists and sources use when they want there to be a lot of something but not too much, and they don't know what the actual count is.) Here are a sampling of 50,000 stories from the last week.
Elizabeth - A British Story Told With an Indian Flair I went to see Elizabeth: The Golden Age with my mother-in-law over the weekend despite the fact that it's received fairly tepidreviews. What can I say, I'm a sucker for overly dramatic costume dramas. While the reviewers may well be correct in their dissing of the picture, it does become a more interesting story to watch after listening to this NPR interview with director Shekhar Kapur. Kapur discusses the Indian storytelling sensibilities and archtypes that go into the tale, and I do think that knowing what he was trying to do makes the movie much more interesting. (For what it's worth, I liked it.)
So I was surprised to read that progressive political commentary magazine New Republicdecided that an illustration they had commissioned to go with an article about cussing was too offensive to print. The illustration depicts a wide range of offensive terms for sex and excretory functions, along with their more proper acceptable terms. The main link above is to an article from SF Weeklyabout the article and illustration. And they print the controversial illustration. Be forewarned. The illustration has lots of words on it that you may or may not find offensive. (Thanks to Romenesko for the original link.) (NOTE: I've fixed the broken link to the actual article from TNR.)
Why Do We Still Need Big Media? Because no one else is going to do the really in-depth important stories like the Washington Post's "Left of Boom" series. FYI: "Left of Boom" is about the development of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as a weapon of war in Iraq. It's the length of a short bookl; it's by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter/historian Rick Atkinson; it will help you understand this difficult war we're in.
Reporters, photojournalists, camerapersons, translators, and aides are risking their health, liberty, and even their lives to bring us the news we need from Iraq and other hot spots around the world. Show your support for these hard-working and courageous journalists by displaying the Support Our Reporters yellow ribbon on your blog or web site.