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Matthew Ricketson joins to discuss how newsrooms, the engine rooms of reporting, have shrunk. A generation of journalists has borne witness to seismic changes in the media and this book shares their stories as essays and narrative interviews. Names include from more than 50 Australian journalists – including Amanda Meade, David Marr and Flip Prior …
 
Today, journalists, legal professionals, activists, and artists challenge the state's monopoly on investigation and the production of narratives of truth. They probe corruption, human rights violations, environmental crimes, and technological domination. Organisations such as WikiLeaks, Bellingcat, or Forensic Architecture pore over open-source vid…
 
The documentary has achieved rising popularity over the past two decades, thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Despite this fact, documentary studies still tends to favor works that appeal primarily to specialists and scholars. Reclaiming Popular Documentary (Indiana UP, 2021) reverses this longstanding tendency by showing that docum…
 
Rebirth of the English Comic Strip: A Kaleidoscope, 1847-1870 (UP of Mississippi, 2021) enters deep into an era of comic history that has been entirely neglected. This buried cache of mid-Victorian graphic humor is marvelously rich in pictorial narratives of all kinds. Author David Kunzle calls this period a "rebirth" because of the preceding long …
 
From A New Hope to The Rise of Skywalker and beyond, this book offers the first complete assessment and philosophical exploration of the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm: Filmmaking, Philosophy, and the Star Wars Universe (Bloomsbury, 2021) examines the ways in which these iconic films were shaped by global cultural mythologies and world cinema, as we…
 
How have Black women lead a digital revolution? In Digital Black Feminism (NYU Press, 2021), Catherine Knight Steele, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Maryland, places digital Black feminism within the longer-term context of Black feminism and Black women’s experiences in America. The book considers examples from the Bla…
 
Sign Language Linguistics is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and renowned researcher of sign languages Carol Padden, the Sanford I. Berman Chair in Language and Human Communication at UC San Diego. This extensive conversation covers a wide range of topics related to sign language, such as growing up with ASL, Carol’s …
 
The story of the American newsroom is that of modern American journalism. In The American Newsroom: A History, 1920-1960 (University of Missouri Press, 2021), Will Mari documents a time of great change and controversy in the field, one in which journalism was produced in "news factories" by news workers with dozens of different roles, and not just …
 
Listen to this interview of Josh Schimel and Karl Ritz, Editors-in-Chief of Soil Biology and Biochemistry. We talk about the people who all scientists are, and we demonstrate why all that matters to your next submission. Karl Ritz : "It is definitely important that authors take seriously matters of text presentation and formatting. And one of the r…
 
On this episode, J.J. Mull interviews author Hannah Zeavin about her new book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy (MIT Press, 2021). Among Zeavin’s central interventions in the book is to reframe what is normally understood as the “therapeutic dyad” as always already a triad: therapist, patient, and mediating communication technology. Acro…
 
At the dawn of the digital era in the final decades of the twentieth century, film and media studies scholars grappled with the prospective end of what was deemed cinema: analog celluloid production, darkened public movie theaters, festival culture. The notion of the “end of cinema” had already been broached repeatedly over the course of the twenti…
 
Listen to this interview of Elena Cotos, Director of the Center for Communication Excellence at the Graduate College (Iowa State University) and also Associate Professor in the English Department (Iowa State University). We talk about the needs of both students and faculty for training in scholarly communication, and we talk about one excellent way…
 
For decades, lesbian feminists across the United States and Canada have created information to build movements and survive in a world that doesn't want them. In Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies (Duke UP, 2020), Cait McKinney traces how these women developed communication networks, databases, and digital archives t…
 
When Google announced that it planned to digitize books to make the world's knowledge accessible to all, questions were raised about the roles and responsibilities of libraries, the rights of authors and publishers, and whether a powerful corporation should be the conveyor of such a fundamental public good. Along Came Google: A History of Library D…
 
Perspectives on Mass Communication is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Denis McQuail (1935-2017), who was Emeritus Professor at the University of Amsterdam and Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential scholars in the history of mass communication…
 
We are tethered to our devices all day, every day, leaving data trails of our searches, posts, clicks, and communications. Meanwhile, governments and businesses collect our data and use it to monitor us without our knowledge. So we have resigned ourselves to the belief that privacy is hard--choosing to believe that websites do not share our informa…
 
Films about chainsaw killers, demonic possession, and ghostly intruders. Screaming audiences with sleepless nights or sweat-drenched nightmares in their immediate future. Presumably, almost everybody has experience with horror films. Some people would even characterize themselves as horror fans. But what about the others—the ones who are curious ab…
 
What is the impact of Internet technology communication in China? How do Chinese people view "privacy" differently from the western perspective? How is the newly passed China's Personal Information Protection Law going to impact people's lives? In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, a visiting PhD Candidate at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, El…
 
When Sarah Nannery got her first job at a small nonprofit, she thought she knew exactly what it would take to advance. But soon she realized that even with hard work and conscientiousness, she was missing key meanings and messages embedded in her colleagues' everyday requests, feedback, and praise. She had long realized her brain operated different…
 
Mary (Molly) Scudder, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Purdue University, has a new book that focuses on an incredibly timely issue: how do citizens with deep and conflicting differences come together to foster democratic life? Part of the answer, according to Scudder, is by pursuing the political power of listening. In her book, Beyond …
 
Movies open a window into our collective soul. In Screen Captures: Film in the Age of Emergency (New Star Books, 2021), Stephen Lee Naish guides us through recent cinematic phenomena that reflect/refract our contemporary political existence. Stephen Lee Naish is a writer, independent researcher, and cultural critic. He is the author of several book…
 
The new collection, Perspectives on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Nuanced Postnetwork Television (Syracuse University Press, 2021) by Amanda Konkle and Charles Burnetts explores the hit series with an off-putting title and a decidedly retrograde premise. The CW dramedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a surprising choice for critical analysis. But, loyal viewers quic…
 
Pants on Fire: On Lying in Politics is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and renowned intellectual historian Martin Jay, UC Berkeley. A thought-provoking book in dialogue format examining Martin Jay’s extensive research on lying in politics from Plato and St. Augustine to Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss which culminated i…
 
Language Ungoverned: Indonesia's Chinese Print Entrepreneurs, 1911–1949 (Cornell UP, 2021) explores a fascinating archive of Sino-Malay texts – writings produced by the Chinese community in the Malay language – in Indonesia. It demonstrates the myriad ways in which the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia resorted to the press for their education, legal and…
 
What's it like to cover Donald Trump? In this episode, veteran American journalist Allen Salkin explains. For over three decades, Salkin has written about many things for many high-profile publications, including The New York Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic and others. He is also the author of a number of well-received…
 
Home Press is a tiny local publishing house and press in Tel Aviv Jaffa. Uri Yoeli and Nana Ariel, a couple, established it in their apartment in 2019. The Home Press booklets are thin, hand-sewn with needle and thread, printed in small, numbered editions, and as opposed to bibliophilic books - cheaply produced and sold. They vary from prose and po…
 
Over the past 15 years, journalism has experienced a rapid proliferation of data about online reader behavior in the form of web metrics. These newsroom metrics influence which stories are written, how news is promoted, and which journalists get hired and fired. Some argue that metrics help journalists better serve their audiences. Others worry tha…
 
What is image-based abuse? Why has it been on the rise in Asia, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic? What has been done to tackle the issue? Raquel Carvalho, Asia Correspondent for the South China Morning Post, shares the story of how a group of journalists across some Asian newsrooms collaborated in a months-long investigation and uncover the st…
 
In The Cultural Impact of RuPaul's Drag Race: Why are we all Gagging? (Intellect, 2021) Cameron Crookston has compiled chapters from scholars in theatre and performance studies, English literature, cultural anthropology, media studies, linguistics, sociology, and marketing. The collection analyzes the global impact of RuPaul's drag race on local, l…
 
In Beyond Conversation: Collaboration and the Production of Writing (Utah State UP, 2021), William Duffy revives the topic and connects it to the growing interest in collaboration within digital and materialist rhetoric to demonstrate that not only do the theory, pedagogy, and practice of collaboration need more study but there is also much to be l…
 
Until the recent political shift pushed workers back into the media spotlight, the mainstream media had largely ignored this significant part of American society in favor of the moneyed upscale consumer for more than four decades. Christopher R. Martin now reveals why and how the media lost sight of the American working class and the effects of it …
 
During the independence era in Mexico, individuals and factions of all stripes embraced the printing press as a key weapon in the broad struggle for political power. In Ink under the Fingernails: Printing Politics in Nineteenth-century Mexico (University of California Press, 2021) historian Corinna Zeltsman takes readers into the printing shops, go…
 
Today I talked to Ann Latham about her new book The Power of Clarity: Unleash the True Potential of Workplace Productivity, Confidence, and Empowerment (Bloomsbury, 2021). On the factory floor, the processes have been honed for efficiency. Enter the company’s headquarters, however, and the office functions in a way that brings to mind two of Anne’s…
 
If information is power, then so too is gossip. In Gossip Men: J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn, and the Politics of Insinuation (U Chicago Press, 2021), historian Christopher Elias shows how three men who sat at the center of the mid-century surveillance state—FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, the bellicose anticommunist Senator Joe McCarthy, a…
 
Statistical graphing was born in the seventeenth century as a scientific tool, but it quickly escaped all disciplinary bounds. Today graphics are ubiquitous in daily life. In their just-published A History of Data Visualization and Graphic Communication (Harvard UP, 2021), Michael Friendly and Howard Wainer detail the history of graphs and tables, …
 
One of the most fundamental aspects of modern life is that much of it is lived on and through social media. We create profiles, post pictures, update stories, and even find new careers and lovers on various sites and apps. But is all this good for us? Our always-online way of living has been called into question for quite some time now, with many p…
 
Increasingly we live through our personal screens; we work, play, socialize, and learn digitally. The shift to remote everything during the pandemic was another step in a decades-long march toward the digitization of everyday life made possible by innovations in media, information, and communication technology. In The Digital Environment: How We Li…
 
Climate change is a hoax--and so is coronavirus. Vaccines are bad for you. These days, many of our fellow citizens reject scientific expertise and prefer ideology to facts. They are not merely uninformed--they are misinformed. They cite cherry-picked evidence, rely on fake experts, and believe conspiracy theories. How can we convince such people ot…
 
Over the course of a long and successful legal career, Morris Ernst established himself as one of Americas foremost civil libertarians. Yet his advocacy of free speech – an advocacy that established the case law on which much of the subsequent jurisprudence is based – stands in stark contrast with his opposition to communism and his longstanding su…
 
“We know what we want, and one day, our prince will come,” says Toby, the bicycle-shorts-wearing, double ententre-making, unacknowledgely-gay neighbor in RTE’s Upwardly Mobile. Though the first queer characters in Irish entertainment television were tropes and stereotypes, they represented an important shift in LGBTQ visibility in Irish media. The …
 
Cryptoreality is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Artur Ekert, Professor of Quantum Physics at the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford and Director of the Centre for Quantum Technologies and Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professor at the National University of Singapore. Artur Ekert is one of the pioneer…
 
Helen Sword, writing champion, brings us into the word gym. Or maybe kitchen. Either way, The Writer's Diet: A Guide to Fit Prose (U Chicago Press, 2016) is a short, sharp introduction to great writing based around 5 principles: --use active verbs whenever possible; --favour concrete language over vague abstractions; --avoid long strings of preposi…
 
Listen to this interview of Peter Kaufman, Program Manager in Strategic Initiatives and Resource Development at MIT Open Learning and author of The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge (Seven Stories Press, 2021). We talk about us. All of us. Peter Kaufman : "Well, I'd say this about how to bring about the change my book calls for. Tak…
 
In considering how legislation moves forward in the American political system, we often think about elected representatives sitting in committee hearings or Senators speaking from the floor of the Senate to make a particular point. Woven into all of these ideas, which are not misguided, is the role (often behind the scenes) that congressional leade…
 
Listen to this interview of Alex Csiszar, professor in the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University and author of The Scientific Journal: Authorship and the Politics of Knowledge in the Nineteenth Century (U Chicago Press, 2018). We talk about the British, the French, and the Germans. No joke. Alex Csiszar : "There's this myth out t…
 
How are peoples' ideas about languages, ways of speaking and expressive styles shaped by their social positions and values? How is difference, in language and in social life, made - and unmade? How and why are some differences persuasive as the basis for action, while other differences are ignored or erased? Written by two recognised authorities on…
 
The Value of Voice is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Nick Couldry, Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. This wide-ranging conversation explores how the media can be used as a filter to examine power structures, politi…
 
Development economists have been doing intensive research in recent years on conditional cash transfer programs as a tool to help get people out of poverty. Meanwhile in the US there has been a lot of talk about Universal Basic Income as a remedy for inequality and social disclocations. On paper, China’s Minimum Livelihood Guarantee, or Dibao, soun…
 
Retaining Freedom After Speech Today I talked to Jim Detert about his book Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work (Harvard Business Review Press, 2021) Jim Detert is the John L. Colley Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He’s won multiple awards for his teaching and cu…
 
At a time when what it means to watch movies keeps changing, this book offers a case study that rethinks the institutional, ideological, and cultural role of film exhibition, demonstrating that film exhibition can produce meaning in itself apart from the films being shown. Cinema Off Screen: Moviegoing in Socialist China (U California Press, 2021) …
 
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