Questions, comments or suggested links? Contact me at:

Mass Communication: Living in a Media World
Now available from CQ Press!

Living in a Media World 2E

Looking for Student Blogs

I'm always looking for links to blogs being written by student journalists. If you have one, or know someone who does, drop me a note!

Dr. H

Second Edition Available Now!

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.

Link Me

Saturday - October 27, 2007

Radio Radio Dept. - History of Cleveland Rock Radio
I was chatting online with my son Erik in Germany this afternoon, and he mentioned he had been listening to a podcast interview with Cleveland rock 'n' roll DJ John Gorman. Gorman has also written a book about the early days of Cleveland rock radio called The Buzzard: Inside the Glory Days of WMMS & Cleveland Rock Radio - A Memoir. He also has a media blog. Interesting stuff for those of you who care about rock and radio history.

Link Me

Thursday - October 25, 2007

Questions Worth Asking (Maybe)

  • 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 on TNR'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.
  • Why Do Movie Directors Make Commercials?
    Perhaps because it's fun, quick and profitable. (NY Times)
  • Why Won't Libraries Let Google and Microsoft Scan Their Books?
    Are they just trying to preserve the status quo? Or are they genuinely concerned about how these companies will make use of the scanned books? (NY Times)
  • 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)

Link Me

Wednesday - October 24, 2007

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.

Now we have four major broadcast networks, PBS, several minor broadcast networks, dozens of major cable networks, and hundreds of specialized cable networks. The there is also the issue of the alternative methods for viewing these programs. You can record it on your TiVo, buy it from iTunes, or watch it on the network's web site. All of which give the rating measurement folks fits!

This story from USA Today looks at how networks are dealing with this brave new world of television ratings with their new shows. Vital reading for anyone in broadcasting or advertising.

Link Me

Thursday - October 18, 2007

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.

Muybridge Tribute

Short Hammers

Horses and Other Muybridge Images
A short film composed of a wide range of Muybridge images.

Horse Riding Set To Music

Link Me

Wednesday - October 17, 2007

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.

Link Me

Tuesday - October 16, 2007

Everyone's Gone To The Movies Dept.

  • 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 tepid reviews. 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.)
  • Tyler Perry Continues To Surprise Analysts
    The number one movie this weekend was Tyler Perry's Christian themed comedy Why Did I Get Married? For some reason, movie analysts keep getting surprised that African-American families like going to faith-based films about African-American families. (USA Today)
  • Shawn of the Dead To Play Scotty
    OK, so it's really Simon Pegg who will play the young Scotty in the new J.J. Abrams' helmed Star Trek movie.
  • Sweeney Todd Gets an 'R'; Beowulf a 'PG-13'

Link Me

Thursday - October 11, 2007

More Debate Over Bad Words
Note: Lots of the links for this entry go to articles about potentially offensive words.

Over the last couple of years, we've had a fairly big national debate over the power of offensive words. Dick Cheney used the f-bomb in the senate, Chris Matthews has used the Cheney word on the air a couple of times. Bono used it on an awards show. A student used it in a four-word column. The Washington Post talked about the use of the word in public discourse. And that doesn't cover the use of the n-word or the c-word. Or even the seven words you can't say on television! We've discussed the history of cussin', asked whether Tiger Woods talking about being a "spaz" was offensive, and even looked at the history of the term "scumbag." (You probably don't want to know.)

So I was surprised to read that progressive political commentary magazine New Republic decided 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 Weekly about 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.)

Link Me

Friday - October 5, 2007

Questions Worth Asking (Maybe)

Link Me

Wednesday - October 3, 2007

A Little Bit About A Lot of Things
Frantic week - so here are the headlines you need to be reading on media news without the commentary.

Link Me

Tuesday - October 2, 2007

Is There Room For Non-Blondes In The World Of Beauty?
Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan asks the question whether being a fashion model requires you to be white and blond. She notes that at the recent Milan fashion show, virtually all the models were pale blondes with only on occasional brunette to add a tiny touch of color. And what is shown on the fashion runway ends up what shows up on the magazines. Givhan's commentary grabbed my attention particularly because it echoes what British talk show host Trisha Goddard had to say about magazine covers rarely featuring models of color. Provocative reading.

Link Me

Living in a Media World Archive

Ralph Hanson's
Other Web Pages


Journalism Orgs

Activist Groups

Media Gossip & Blogs


For Fun


Student Journalist Blogs