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Reporting Beyond the Problem

From Civic Journalism to Solutions Journalism

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Edited by Karen McIntyre Hopkinson and Nicole Smith Dahmen

Americans say that reading, watching, or listening to the news is a leading cause of stress. Of course journalists, as watchdogs and public informants, must disseminate information that is inherently negative, but experts argue that the news media’s emphasis on the problem has had a negative effect on the public, the press itself, and democracy. At the same time, the past sixty years have seen a rise of journalistic practices that purport to cover the news beyond the typical problem-based narrative. These genres of journalistic reporting are not positive news or fluff reporting: They are rigorous reporting philosophies and practices that share a common goal—reporting beyond the problem-based narrative, thereby exemplifying a commitment to the social responsibility theory of the press, which asserts that journalists have a duty to consider society’s best interests. However, there is little academic or professional understanding of these journalistic approaches. As such, this book provides an in-depth examination of socially-responsible news reporting practices, such as constructive journalism, solutions journalism, and peace journalism. Each chapter focuses on one reporting form, defining it and detailing its evolution and status among scholars and practitioners, as well as discussing its known effects and future direction. This edited volume is the first academic book published on these forms of reporting in the United States. It provides a comprehensive resource that explores the theoretical underpinnings of these journalistic genres that grounds these approaches and allows for a coherent line of research to follow as these approaches evolve.

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Frank Sligo

Adults' literacy is a topic of great interest to multiple audiences and scholarly fields but research into it is fragmented across disparate disciplines and hence lacks coherence. In particular, an impasse exists between cognitive science researchers and economists on the one hand, and critical theorists writing in the social practice tradition. This book acknowledges the importance of these fields, then builds on them and on other scholarly traditions by locating its discussion of literacy and orality within a media ecology framework. Based on in-depth interviews within successive literacy research projects in industry and community settings with trade apprentices, their supervisors and managers, industry training coordinators, literacy tutors, and adults of liminal (threshold) literacy, this book reveals the importance of oral-experiential ways of learning, knowing and communicating that exist in complex relationships with literate practices. The tradition of media ecology as exemplified in the writings of Walter Ong, Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Michel de Certeau, Eric Havelock and a collection of contemporary scholars, provides new insights into literacy and orality. The book in exploring the everyday workplace and community environments of adults with liminal literacy demonstrates how a media ecology perspective allows adult literacy and orality to be reimagined within a deeper and more holistic way than possible within disconnected disciplinary areas.

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Themes in Issues, Risk and Crisis Communication:

A Multi-Dimensional Perspective

Edited by Burcu Sabuncuoglu Peksevgen

This anthology aims to give scholars, practitioners and students new insights from recent case studies and applied theory. Also, a vital goal of this anthology is to be a reminder of the importance of human and social perspectives. Several articles offer critique to the dominant organizational and systematic perspectives. A major concern highlighted in this book is the interdisciplinary approach that can be found in most of the articles. The best way to address the challenges comes from the multi-dimensional nature of communication which is also emphasized in the title of the book. This book contributes to the knowledge base of scholars, practitioners and the students of Issues, Risk and Crisis Management from every level.

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Russian Regional Journalism

Struggle and Survival in the Heartland

Elina Erzikova and Wilson Lowrey

Russian Regional Journalism: Struggle and Survival in the Heartland takes an intimate look at the enormous challenges and small victories experienced by local Russian journalists across the post-perestroika and Putin eras. The book examines 13 years of journalists’ struggles for independence and meaning as they weigh their professional goals and community obligations against their growing dependence on local elite. Russia’s sub-national levels—its provinces and communities—remain understudied but important. Local newspapers are the only means by which news reaches many rural Russians, and Russia’s "heartland" regions are a significant source of support for the current national regime. The book contributes importantly to our understanding of Russian journalism, and to our understanding of local journalism generally, an increasingly vulnerable institution in countries around the world. Russian Regional Journalism seeks answers to a number of questions: How do challenging political-economic environments constrain and guide the ways Russian journalists imagine their roles and do their work? Can journalists represent their regions in meaningful, distinct ways, and are they seeking autonomy or mere survival? How does local Russian journalism fit within the global context of local journalism? Russian Regional Journalism will serve as a valuable companion text for senior-level or graduate courses on Russian media and culture, global media, local journalism, media production, and media sociology. The book will also be of value to anyone interested in journalism’s ongoing challenges in a diverse, changing world.

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White Nationalism and Faith

Statements and Counter-Statements on American Identity

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Edited by Camille Kaminski Lewis

According to Kenneth Burke, every idea houses its opposite. "Heresies and orthodoxies will always be changing places," he imagined, "but whatever the minority view happens to be at any given time, one must consider it as 'counter.'" In other words, every tradition contains its own critique. Ideas are always in dialogue, bridging gaps that we may not have known existed until the bridges were built. And alongside those bridges are other implied ways to transfer and create meaning. To foreground that pendulum and address our contemporary political climate, White Nationalism and Faith: Statements and Counter-Statements on American Identity includes American texts which wield religious arguments in order to affirm or dismantle white supremacy. William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday, and Bob Jones as well as Barack Obama, Phil Snider, and Mitch Landrieu are just a few of the voices in dialogue. This anthology is designed for the upper-level undergraduate or master's student so that they can explore how American rhetors since the Civil War have constituted their white nationalism through religious rhetoric. With this anthology of statements and their contemporaneous counter-statements, students of public address can craft and polish the same serious but comedic lens as Kenneth Burke imagined in the twentieth century.
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Honors Communication

Contextual Issues and Lessons Learned in Teaching, Advising, and Mentoring the Undergraduate Honors Student in Communication

Edited by Jennifer A. H. Becker and Caroline S. Parsons

For years, students and faculty of communication studies have enjoyed the lively, enriched learning experience that an honors curriculum provides. This book draws attention to a dynamic, yet underexplored, site of communication pedagogy: honors education. Honor societies were established in American colleges and universities over a century ago, and the demand for honors courses has grown significantly since that time. Demand for communication studies honors courses began in the 1950s and the first communication studies honor society was founded in the 1980s. This book begins with a description of the unique qualities and pedagogical approaches of honors communication courses. Several chapters are devoted to describing how to teach honors communication courses (e.g., honors public speaking, honors interpersonal, and honors rhetoric) and to providing practical resources for those interested in teaching honors communication. This book also describes how to advise and mentor honors communication students in independent research projects and in groups such as Lambda Pi Eta honor society.

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Surfing the Anthropocene

The Big Tension and Digital Affect

Eric S. Jenkins

Surfing the Anthropocene shows how the "big tension" between the speed and scale of digital media characterizes affective life on the public screen today. An innovative look launched in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election, Eric S. Jenkins illustrates how the big tension is reflected in how we feel and talk about digital media. Exploring a variety of modes from following news on Twitter to discussion on Facebook, activism to witnessing police shooting videos, the book demonstrates how responses to the big tension make political activity more like videogames, with an "immeditative" temporality and "attentional" spatiality contrasted with meditative and tending modes such as gardening. As a near-monoculture of immeditative, attentional modes emerge, consumerism and affect privilege become reinforced in ways that make addressing the problems of the Anthropocene especially draining and difficult.

Original concepts throughout the book, including the big tension but also the affected subject, translucency, and homo modus, are sure to influence thinking about digital media. If you wonder why life today feels particularly urgent, heated, and intense, Surfing the Anthropocene offers a compelling answer—the big tension—as well as a way to reimagine digital experience with an eye towards surviving, rather than just surfing, the Anthropocene.

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Edited by Mike Milford and Lauren Reichart Smith

Communication and Contradiction in the NCAA: An Unlevel Playing Field is a critical examination of the contradictory nature of the NCAA, and how the inherent contradictions impact the communication activities of its constituents, supporters, and challengers. At the heart of the NCAA is the student-athlete, born out of an idealistic collection of communal values that is often at odds with institutional practices. The rhetorical negotiation of the student-athlete’s identity informs and confuses communication practices on a number of levels, from interpersonal interactions to organizational apologia. Because the student-athlete is critical to maintaining the collegiate athletics orientation, the NCAA works overtime in promoting, maintaining, and defending it in the face of public scrutiny. The NCAA and its member institutions, like any organization, are compelled to answer public accusations, often working to defend inconsistent policies to an increasingly hostile audience. In an effort to solidify its power, the NCAA uses public discourse to maintain its position by establishing and enforcing proper codes of conduct for participants, and rationalizing unfair labor practices, athletics budgets, and rising tuition costs designed to boost athletics. In response they often rely on familiar rhetorical and organizational practices, such as branding, mascots, and heroic stories of student-athletes, all of which come with issues of their own. All of these communication phenomena, from interpersonal support-seeking to organizational scapegoating, are informed by the central student-athlete mythos. This puts the NCAA at a contradictory crossroads as they work to reconcile inconsistent practices and messages.

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Media Stereotypes

From Ageism to Xenophobia

Edited by Andrew C. Billings and Scott Parrott

When we think about the "pictures in our heads" that media create and perpetuate, what images are we truly referencing? Issues of media stereotypes and representation (both past and present) are crucial to advancing media literacy. Media Stereotypes: From Ageism to Xenophobia becomes one-stop shopping for synthesizing what we know within the composite of stereotyping research in the United States. Utilizing a cast of top American scholars with deep roots in asking stereotype-based questions, this book is essential reading for those wishing to understand what we know about past and present media representations as well as those wishing to take the baton and continue to advance media stereotyping research in the future.

Winner of the 2021 BEA Textbook Award!

 

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Ideology and Communication:

Symbolic Reflections of Intellectual Designs

Edited by Zeynep Gültekin Akcay and Mahmut AKGÜL

This book aims to indicate several problems related to apparent ideology understandings that are accepted in communication studies. To this end, we endeavored to touch on produced meanings and power of ideology within media that has transformed in Turkey as from 2000. Samples from different channels of Turkish media rather than theoretical discussion were chosen to trace ideological structurings within Turkish media. It was also cared for studies in the book to complete each other; by this means, we also wanted to provide convenience for the reader to comprehend the ideological structuring of transformation in Turkish media after 2000.