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Navigating the News

A Guide to Understanding Journalism

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Edited by Richard Craig

In an age when young people may confuse online chatter with legitimate news, Navigating the News is the first textbook designed to show students how to recognize credible reporting and how real journalists perform their jobs.

The book begins with the basics of how to critically assess news stories, then covers what to look for in everything from community news and crime reporting to business, political and investigative coverage. More than 50 professional journalists share insights on how they gather, edit and report news, and discuss what critical audiences should expect from their news coverage.

Students learn how to analyze complex topics including science, environmental and education news, and a series of chapters covers how to approach news from different parts of the world.

Navigating the News is aimed at general audiences, not just journalism or communication majors. Given the importance and timeliness of the subject, this book could easily be the core text for general education classes on news and media literacy. The trend toward teaching young people how to understand and assess news is gaining momentum at universities everywhere.

The book is written in a clear, straightforward style to engage students who may be getting their first taste of adult issues and concerns. Even students who have avoided "serious" news growing up will gain tools for understanding, assessing and processing coverage of complex stories.

The mission of this text is simple: If students don’t recognize what real news is, Navigating the News is going to teach them.

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Produsing Theory in a Digital World 3.0

The Intersection of Audiences and Production in Contemporary Theory – Volume 3

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Edited by Rebecca Ann Lind

Continuing the explorations begun in the first two Produsing Theory volumes, this book investigates some of the tensions generated in the spaces enabled by the confl uence of the formerly disparate activities of producing and consuming media. Multiple and varied theories—some still emerging—are invoked in attempts to illuminate the spaces between what previously had been neatly-separated components of media systems. This book is useful in a number of courses such as media culture and theory, introduction to new media, the Internet and the audience, new media theory and research, mass communication theory, emerging media, critical analysis and new media, concepts of new media, new media participants, new media in a democratic society, critical studies in new media, new media and social media, digital media studies, participatory media, media audiences in a digital world, digital cultures and social media, Web culture and new media studies, introduction to new media, new media and society, and more.

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Edited by Gevisa La Rocca, Roberto Di Maria and Gino Frezza

The volume is a collection of essays – the result of studies, research, projects – on the theme of migration, of the condition of refugees and asylum seekers, of respect for or violation of human rights, of the narration of these events in the media. It offers a lucid glance, through the voice of several scholars, of the European scenario and its evolution in recent years. The narrative space expands itself, including the US scenario.

The volume is divided into four main sections: Media, Migrants and Human Rights, voted to introduce the main themes; Vulnerability and Human Rights, that explores the themes of the weakest people; Migrations in the Media System, which traces the importance of the narrative of migration in the media system; the Additional Points section closes the volume, to not leave anything unexplored.

The volume proposes a journey – with many paths – to discover the academic sense of migration.

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William L. Benoit and Andrew C. Billings

Mass communication theories were largely built when we had mass media audiences. The number of television, print, film or other forms of media audiences were largely finite, concentrating people on many of the same core content offerings, whether that be the nightly news or a popular television show. What happens when those audiences splinter? The Rise and Fall of Mass Communication surveys the aftermath of exactly that, noting that very few modern media products have audiences above 1–2% of the population at any one time. Advancing a new media balkanization theory, Benoit and Billings neither lament nor embrace the new media landscape, opting instead to pinpoint how we must consider mass communication theories and applications in an era of ubiquitous choice.
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Madeleine Liseblad

American Consultants and the Marketization of Television News in the United Kingdom provides  unprecedented insight into American news consultants’ role in reshaping British television news during the 1990s. In 1986, American research and news consulting company Frank N. Magid Associates began infiltrating the British market. Five years later, the company was consulting for an extensive list of British client stations in preparation for the 1991 Independent Television (ITV) franchise auction. Their efforts were controversial, prompting public outcry against the "Americanization" of British television news. Despite the hostile climate, Magid’s efforts were successful. Nine of their eleven client bidders emerged victorious from the franchise auction. This was only the beginning. Throughout the 1990s, Magid employees crisscrossed the country with research studies, business and marketing plans, and writing and storytelling seminars. At the time, this was the company’s largest venture into international television.

American consultants’ work abroad is important. They spread the U.S. model—the origin of today’s on-air style—and changed television news globally by working with indigenous media. Yet, despite their vast influence, limited research has been conducted on their international efforts, largely because of proprietary material. This book is based on unprecedented and unrestricted access to Magid’s archives. In addition, interviews with Magid staff and U.K. journalists allow for a comprehensive examination of the marketization of British television news, attending especially to how news became better tailored to the medium and audience; the key concepts that Magid advocated to be integrated into U.K. news; and the societal forces at play in this transformation.

American Consultants and the Marketization of Television News in the United Kingdom is a recommended read for anyone interested in journalism and television history, Americanization, media economics and sociology.

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Promoting Monopoly

AT&T and the Politics of Public Relations, 1876-1941

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Karen Miller Russell

Since the invention of the telephone in 1876, publicity has been central to the growth of the industry. In its earliest years the Bell company enjoyed a patent monopoly, but after Alexander Graham Bell’s patents expired, it had to fight competitors, the public, and the U.S. government to maintain control of the telephone network. It used every means its executives could imagine, and that included constructing one of the earliest and most effective public relations programs of its time. This book analyzes the development of public relations at AT&T, starting with a previously forgotten publicist, William A. Hovey, and then including James D. Ellsworth and Arthur W. Page, who worked with other Bell executives to create a company where public relations permeated almost every aspect of work, leveraging employee programs, stock sales, and technological research for PR. Critics accused it of disseminating propaganda, but the desire to promote and protect the Bell monopoly propelled the creation of a corporate public relations program that also shaped the legal, political, media, and cultural landscape.

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Robert Albrecht and Carmine Tabone

The digital revolution we are now entering as educators is an unchartered sea pregnant with wondrous possibilities but laden with a minefield of unforeseen consequences. A pedagogy that overlooks or downplays the disruptive and often dangerous influence of digital media on childhood development is necessarily a very shortsighted one.

More than just highlighting our misgivings about digital media, however, this book has a purpose far more ambitious and infinitely more useful. Based upon 45 years of work with young people in Jersey City classrooms, day camps, housing projects, libraries, church basements and community centers, the authors propose a pedagogical strategy that uses hands-on experiences in the arts as a strategy to offset and counterbalance the dominance of digital media in the lives of children.

Rather than call for the elimination of digital media—clearly an impossibility even if it were desirable—the authors maintain that children need to be exposed to non-digital, non-electronic experiences that cultivate alternative ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world. In sum, the book does not call for an end to the digital, but outlines ways in which the arts and creative forms of play help to establish a balance in the education and socialization of children as we enter more deeply into the Digital Age.

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Racialism and the Media

Black Jesus, Black Twitter, and the First Black American President

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Venise T. Berry

Racialism and Media: Black Jesus, Black Twitter and the First Black American President is an exploration of how the nature of racial ideology has changed in our society. Yes, there are still ugly racists who push uglier racism, but there are also popular constructions of race routinely woven into mediated images and messages. This book examines selected exemplars of racialism moving beyond traditional racism. In the twenty-first century, we need a more nuanced understanding of racial constructions. Denouncing anything and everything problematic as racist or racism simply does not work, especially if we want to move toward a real solution to America’s race problems. Racialism involves images and messages that are produced, distributed, and consumed repetitively and intertextually based on stereotypes, biased framing, and historical myths about African American culture. These images and messages are eventually normalized through the media, ultimately shaping and influencing societal ideology and behavior. Through the lens of critical race theory these chapters examine issues of intersectionality in Crash, changing Black identity in Black-ish, the balancing of stereotypes in prime-time TV’s Black male and female roles, the power of Black images and messages in advertising, the cultural wealth offered through the Black Twitter platform, biased media framing of the first Black American president, the satirical parody of Black Jesus, contemporary Zip Coon stereotypes in film, the popularity of ghettofabulous black culture, and, finally, the evolution of black representation in science fiction.

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Brady Robards and Siân Lincoln

Growing up in the era of social media isn’t easy. With Facebook now having existed for more than a decade and a half, young people who have grown up using social media can look back and see earlier versions of themselves staring back: nostalgic moments with friends from school, reminders of painful breakups, birthdays and graduations, posts that allude to drama with family, experiences of travel, and blurry drunken photos. How do we make sense of our own personal histories inscribed on and through social media? What are the implications for future careers, for public trust in social media companies, and for our own memories?

Growing up on Facebook examines the role of Facebook, and other social media platforms that have emerged around Facebook, in mediating experiences of 'growing up' for young people. Based on interviews with the first generation of young people to grow up with social media, the book covers education and employment, love and relationships, family life, and leisure (drinking, travel, and music). It touches on processes of impression management, privacy, context collapse, and control, and raises critical questions about the standards we hold social media platforms to, as they become the guardians of our personal histories.

The book will appeal to both academic and general audiences alike. Students and scholars in media and communications, the sociology of youth, and beyond, will find strong connections to the literature and acknowledgement of the methodological detail of the study the book is based on. The themes and issues covered in the book are also of broader interest, and will appeal to people who have themselves grown up in the era of social media, to parents, educators, anyone interested in how we look back at social media as a personal memory archive.

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Negotiating Identity and Transnationalism

Middle Eastern and North African Communication and Critical Cultural Studies

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Edited by Haneen Shafeeq Ghabra, Fatima Zahrae Chrifi Alaoui, Shadee Abdi and Bernadette Marie Calafell

At the heart of Communication and Critical Cultural Studies is a discipline that has been slowly expanding its borders around the issues of racism, sexism, ability, privilege, and oppression. As Latinx, African American, Asian Pacific American, Disability and LGBTQ Studies widen and shift the scope of Communication Studies, what often gets underplayed is the role of transnational Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Studies. It is imperative that the experiences of transnational individuals who live and move between the region and the U.S. are centered. For this reason, the goal of this book is to begin to bring Middle Eastern and North African Communication and Critical Cultural Studies in conversation with Global and Transnational Studies. We ask, how can scholars make a space for transnational MENA Studies within Communication and Cultural Studies? What are the pressing issues? Thus, at a time where Arabs, Arab Americans, Iranians, and Iranian Americans are under attack by Western media and governments, it is crucial to center their voices from a transnational perspective that privileges their positionalities and experiences rather than continue to study them from a reductive Eurocentric lens. We seek to build on existing scholarship by including essays that theorize from a Communication and Critical Cultural Studies lens. This book aims to bring together work by established and new or emerging scholars.