Local News Ecosystems in Three New Jersey Communities

njnewsA new report, Assessing the Health of Local Journalism Ecosystems: A Comparative Analysis of Three New Jersey Communities, prepared for the Democracy Fund, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, analyzes one week of online journalism output across three communities–Newark, New Brunswick, and Morristown. The researchers, Philip M. Napoli, Sarah Stonbely, Kathleen McCollough, and Bryce Renninger looked at both the home page content and social media (Facebook and Twitter) postings for all television, radio, print, and online journalism sources that could be located within these communities. Their findings “potentially point to a problem in local journalism, in which lower-income communities may be underserved relative to wealthier communities. The researchers intend to address this issue further by applying the methodology and performance metrics developed for this project to a larger sample of communities, an effort to better understand the factors related to the health of local journalism.”


Introducing Black Quotidian

AmsterdamnewsAn exciting new digital history project, Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers,” is being launched by Matt Delmont. Made possible by Proquest’s Black Newspapers collection, Delmont plans to post at least one newspaper article daily from that date in history with a brief accompanying commentary.  The project commences on Martin Luther King Day 2016, and the entry for that is already posted (as of 1/4/2016).  The post includes four articles published on January 18, 1969 from the Philadelphia Tribune, the Pittsburgh Courier, and the New York Amsterdam News. Explains the curator, Black Quotidian “is designed to highlight everyday moments and lives in African-American history…By emphasizing the ordinary or mundane aspects of history I hope both to call attention to people and events that are not commonly featured in textbooks, documentaries, or Black History Month celebrations, while also casting new light on well-known black history subjects.” His hope is to not be the only curator of the site and invites others to contribute.  No stranger to creating culturally rich websites, there’s  The Nicest Kids in Town digital project, that accompanies his book on American Bandstand and  Why Busing Failed  built to accompany his book of the same title (Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation).

Thematic Analyses of Intercultural Communication Through Journal Literature

Lily A. Arasaratnam in Journal of International and Intercultural Communication (Volume 8, Issue 4, 2015) reviews the landscape of intercultural communication in the last ten years.untitled

Research in Intercultural Communication: Reviewing the Past Decade
This paper presents a thematic analysis of articles (N = 608) published in three major journals in intercultural communication research, within the timeframe of 2003–2013. The journals included are Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, and International Journal of Intercultural Relations. Eight themes were identified, namely (1) identity, (2) acculturation and global migration, (3) communication dynamics, (4) intercultural competence, (5) theories, models, scales, and frameworks, (6) perception, prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination, (7) cross-cultural differences, and (8) intercultural education, training, and study abroad. Each of these themes is discussed in relation to implications for future research.


In 2013 Arasaratnam employed this same thematic analysis approach on the literature of multiculturalism, honing in on one journal (International Journal of S01471767Intercultural Relations) instead of three, but taking a longer view, three and a half decades rather than one.

A Review of Articles on Multiculturalism in 35 Years of IJIR

This article is a review of literature on multiculturalism in 35 years of publications in IJIR, spanning from the first issue of IJIR in 1977 to the current issue in May 2012. The review includes empirical and theoretical articles alone. Multiculturalism is discussed in light of demographic, policy, and psychological aspects. An inductive thematic analysis revealed four themes, namely, Multicultural Education, Attitudes toward Multiculturalism, Multicultural Interactions, and Multicultural Identity. Each of these themes is discussed, and the implications of the findings are explored. It is noted that policy and practice are yet to be refined to match the ideology of multiculturalism.


encycloMake no mistake, the topical entries in THE CONCISE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMMUNICATION are, well, concise.  But that’s this particular encyclopedia’s charm. The one-volume work, edited by Wolfgang Donsbach, is based on the landmark 12-volume International Encyclopedia of Communication of 2008. It is both a distillation and update of the former work.  Jointly published by Wiley-Blackwell and the International Communication Association, it features over 550 interdisciplinary entries defined by hundreds of  distinguished contributors.

Explains the editor: “‘The original printed version of the IEC had 1,339 entries ranging from less than 1,000 to more than 6,000 words.  Converting the IEC into the CEC meant primarily three tasks: (1) selecting headwords, (2) Abridging the corresponding entries, and (3) updating their content.’  As a first step [Donsbach] went back to the area editors of the IEC and asked them to name the 50 percent of headwords they deemed the most important in which, therefore, they would like to see printed in a concise reference work.  Most area editors made this decision.  In cases where they did not respond the editor stepped in.  In addition, some fine-tuning was necessary in order to avoid overlap and give sufficient coherence to the headword system.  This resulted in 577 subjects covered by more than 500 authors, about 43 percent of the subjects covered in the IEC.” –Editor’s Introduction

To combat the strictures of brevity, large topics are perforce broken into pieces. The entry, Journalism, is barely more than two pages but continues with topics such as Journalism Education; Journalism, History of; Journalism, Legal Situation: Journalists, Credibility; and Journalists’ Role Perception.  Still, all of this only comprises nine pages. And look out for strays; off in the A’s lurks “Alternative Journalism,” go figure.   There is a complete list of topics in the front you may want to check.  While most are obvious, too-be-expected terms and phrases (Agenda Setting, Cultivation Analysis, CNN, Political Economy of the Media) there are some doozies that you wouldn’t think to look for such as: Bad News in Medicine, Communicating.

There is not much in the way of bibliographies, often only 4 or 5 per entry, but again, this is the concise version of the field and as such it is an informative work to spend some time with.


December CommQuote

Our last CommQuote of the year is an interview of two years ago with Kenneth Goldsmith at the Centro de 22cul-900-bruno-d24-img01_166_59_1177_769-500x326Cultura DigitalProfessor Goldsmith has recently stirred up a lot of controversy in the general culture and among poets since this interview.  His provocative comments here are worth contemplating for anyone studying media and audiences in the digital age. In keeping with the spirit of this piece (“…I just get interested in something, and I either transcribe it or I copy it”) I’ve chosen to transcribe the interview that you can also watch at the link way below.

Q: You teach a class called Uncreative Writing. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you’ve designed the class (how does it respond both to the technological panorama, and to tendencies in literary criticism, academic and creative writing)?

KG: Well, it’s a class where students must be uncreative and unoriginal, and if they are creative and if they are original, they get marked down in their grades. So they quickly learn how to be uncreative. So they must appropriate, they must plagiarize, they must not write anything original, they must not pretend anything they’re writing is original, they must claim texts for their own that aren’t theirs. My students are very good writers already, so I don’t need to make them better writers. But they’re very bad stealers, because they’ve been stealing for so long that they’ve never thought about what they’re stealing and why they’re stealing it. And so this forces them to theorize their theft and make them smarter and better. Because really at this point, nobody is original. Nobody should be original anymore. It is the way they are putting together pre-existing information that is really moving forward in the future. There is no turning the clock back.

Q: Tell us about your process for Uncreative writing.

KG: It’s the same thing. I don’t write my own books. No, I just get interested in something, and I either transcribe it or I copy it.

Q: Do you believe the concept of author stands in the digital age?

KG: Well, the author is no longer– the notion of genius has changed. The genius is no longer an isolated figure in a garret. A genius is now someone who is assembling things in the world that have already been made and putting them together in new ways. You know, I actually think of it like a hip-hop DJ; nobody ever says to a hip-hop DJ: “you didn’t play the drums.” Right? Of course he doesn’t play the drums, but he’s got the best drum samples, and when he puts them together with the best bass samples it’s going to make him the best DJ. And that’s actually kind of the way people are writing now. No need to write anything new. I think the paradigm of the hip-hop DJ is the way writing’s moving forward.

Q: Do you think that poetry, or rather, literature in general, belongs now to the realm of contemporary art? Does it still belong in a printed book?

KG: Well, in 1959, a poet named Brion Gysin said that poetry was 50 years behind painting. You know, the art world has long been open to other strategies that writing has never even experimented with. Say, appropriation: that’s very old-fashioned in the writing  world or even the music world with samples. And now literature is just getting to it, say, 100 years after Marcel Duchamp, literature is finally taking a Duchampian strategy. So I’d say it’s pretty slow, pretty far behind right now.

Q: Do you make a distinction between the practice of uncreative writing, reappropriation, recycling, and plagiarism?

KG: No, they’re all part of uncreative writing; they’re all different strategies within uncreative writing. What isn’t part of uncreative writing would be pastiche, or, taking a line from here or there. That’s not plagiarism. Plagiarism is actually taking something in its entirety, again like Duchamp, and moving it from this place to this place. And therefore it’s new and it’s different, even though you didn’t do anything to it– you changed its context. So appropriation moves in wholes, not fractions and not fragments. Fragments are no longer interesting.

Q: Does encouraging plagiarism and uncreative writing put you in a difficult position in the academic environment where you work?

KG: No. It’s consensual. It’s like an S&M club; we all agree to play roles. And we play those roles. So, it’s consensual and nobody gets hurt. No animals were harmed in the making of an uncreative writing. It’s all fantasy.

Q: How do you think the diversification of writing practices and media platforms has impacted the concept of audience?

KG: I don’t think we can understand audience anymore. I think there was a time in which one could assume that there was an audience. I think that now the audience is so big and so thin that we don’t really have any sense of who we’re speaking to. And don’t really think we are speaking to anybody. I don’t think anybody’s paying attention, really. I think we’re paying attention to headlines and tweets and things that are moving very quickly, but I don’t think that we’re engaging with content in the same way that we once engaged with content. And I don’t think that’s good or bad, I just think it’s a new situation, and there’s no point complaining about it, because that’s the way it is.So I just prefer to try to adjust myself to it, and — it’s my problem, not the media’s, the culture’s problem.

Q: If you were to write a text of your daily online routine, what would it read like?

KG: Oh, I mean, I do write the text of my daily online routine. I think the new memoir is our browser history. You wanna know anything about me? Look at my browser history; you’ll know everything about me. So, you know, I’m just online all the time. I’m never offline. I get depressed when I’m offline. I feel dead when I’m not connected to the web.

Q: What about memorability?

KG: Well, it’s all stored, isn’t it? All the memory is on my hard drive, or it’s on the cloud, or on my Twitter feed. You know, I’m not worried about it, because unfortunately, or, for better or for worse, you know, everything’s archived now. And, you know, every performance is archived, everything is photographed, there’s gonna be no problem with remembering. I don’t have to remember, because the web does it too well for me. If I need them I can Google them. I can Google my memories better than I can remember them, and, so, now I don’t have to keep it here; it’s all there.

(You can watch the interview here.)

Communication Research: A Citation Analysis of Faculty Publication

The Behavioral and Social Sciences Librarian (Volume 34, Number 3, July-September, 2015) features a Communication faculty citation analysis at the University of Houston that has implications for students and scholars as well as academic librarians making collection building decisions.  The editor of B&SS Librarian is my good colleague Lisa Romero, Communications librarian extraordinaire at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. wbss

Information Use in Communication Research: A Citation Analysis of Faculty Publication at the University of Houston, by Wenli Gao


Citation analysis provides valuable information on researchers’ information use behavior, and helps librarians make evidence-based collection development decisions. However, no citation analysis of faculty publications in the field of communication has been performed to study communication researchers’ information use behavior. This study examined communication faculty publication from 2006 to 2014, analyzing format, age, most frequently cited journals, and their subject areas. Analysis of local holdings provides evidence for the library’s role in support of faculty research, and helps librarians articulate the value of libraries.

“Locals” can see me for my copy of the journal (Penn Libraries does not currently hold a subscription to B&SS Librarian) or use Interlibrary Loan.

Article Feature: Issues and Best Practices in Content Analysis

There’s a good overview article on content analysis in the latest Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

The piece, by Stephen Lacy, Brendan R. Watson, Daniel Riffe, and Jennette Lovejoy, is titled Issues and Best Practices in Content Analysis.


This article discusses three issues concerning content analysis method and ends with a list of best practices in conducting and reporting content analysis projects. Issues addressed include the use of search and databases for sampling, the differences between content analysis and algorithmic text analysis, and which reliability coefficients should be calculated and reported. The “Best Practices” section provides steps to produce reliable and valid content analysis data and the appropriate reporting of those steps so the project can be properly evaluated and replicated.

Systematic Reviews in Communication Yearbook 39

cy39Communication Yearbook 39  (Elisia L. Cohen, 2015 editor) in perhaps in a trend going forward, features a section this year called Focused Systematic Reviews (Part IV.)

Systematic reviews have been around for a long time in the sciences, medicine in particular, growing out of the “evidence movement.” Evidence-based medicine, a term coined back in 1972 in an influential article by A. L. Cochrane, refers to the practice of physicians judiciously consulting current research in order to make the best clinical decisions. To do this, urged Cochrane, required  strategies for accumulating and assessing current research on a medical topic or question. Not only physicians, but public policy makers could be more effective with a more thorough, i.e. systematic approach to crafting informed policy. To this day, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) is the gold standard resource for systematic reviews in health care. Fast forward to the 1990s when systematic reviews started to matter to the social sciences. The EPPI-Centre was set up in 1992 at the Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London to develop a database of interventions evaluations in the fields of education and social welfare. Before long the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services was commissioning reviews in the area of health promotion along the same lines as the Cochrane reviews but for non-clinical health issues. Today systematic reviews are in all disciplines, humanities included. They are sometimes referred to as meta-analyses–the terms are sometimes used interchangeably when in fact they are different. A systematic review focuses on protocols around how to ask the question and the search strategies involved in gathering and organizing information that addresses the question. Meta-analysis is more focused on the review part—thoroughly synthesizing (statistically where appropriate) all that’s been gathered. A meta-analysis cannot occur without a systematic review, but not all systematic reviews lead to meta-analyses. For a quick overview on the topic see Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences: a Practical Guide by Mark Petticrew and Helen Roberts.

Back to Communication Yearbook 39. The systematic review I want to point you to is the lead piece on nuclear power:

Communicating Nuclear Power: A Programmatic Review by William J. Kinsella, Dorothy Collins Andreas, and Danielle Endres.


Civil and commercial nuclear power production is a material and discursive phenomenon posing theoretical and practical questions warranting further attention by communication scholars. We provide a brief discursive history of nuclear power, followed by a review of scholarship in communication and related disciplines. We then examine five areas for further research: 1) the fragmentation of technocratic and public discourses, 2) regulation and governance, 3) the politics of nuclear waste, 4) critical social movements, and 5) intersections of communication, rhetoric and nuclear risk. We provide a rationale and foundation for further work in these and other areas related to nuclear power.


Like all good systematic reviews it includes a substantial bibliography (in this case twelve pages, over a third of the piece). The other two reviews in the section are The Persuasiveness of Child-Targeted Endorsement Strategies (Tim Smits, Heidi Vandebosch, Evy Neyens, and Emma Boyland) and Expectancy, Value, Promotion, and Prevention: An Integrative Account of Regulatory Fit vs. Non-fit with Student Satisfaction in Communicating with Teachers (Faviu A. Hodis and Georgeta M. Hodis). 

It remains to be seen if Yearbook 40 will continue the “new tradition” or if next year I’m saying “what tradition?”

November CommQuote

I think it’s safe to say this is William Staffords most famous poem.  It would be a good assigned text for all first-year Communication students–grad or undergrad–to cut their teeth on. 

A Ritual to Read to Each Other

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider-
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give-yes or no, or maybe-
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
–William Stafford, from Stories That Could Be True. © Harper & Row, 1982

Booknotes — Winter 2015

Acid Hype: American News Media and the Psychedelic Experience, by Stephen Siff (University of Illinois, acid2015). “The rich content of consumer magazines, especially those published before television became culturally dominant, remains largely unexamined by media historians…illustrates how rewarding [the] study of mass-circulation magazines can be.” –Joseph Bernt, Ohio University

Audience Responses to Real Media Violence: The Knockout Game, by Mary Grace Antony (Lexington Books, 2015). Presents quantitative assessments of student reactions to watching videos of an activity called the ‘knockout game,’ in which adults are physically attacked by other adults for the sheer ‘entertainment’ of the attackers. The book “points our attention to a controversy that has been known to researchers for a long time: real portrayals of violence are likely to have greater effects than fictional ones…[Book] is casual and accessible, and shares some uncomfortable truths about what we’re watching on the internet.” –Joanne Savage, American University

Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-1960, by Yeidy M. Rivero (Duke, 2015) “A riveting account of the complex struggles over the introduction of television as both a symbol and site of Cuban modernization during the 1950s. Set against the backdrop of hemispheric politics and Cold War struggle, television proved to be a linchpin of political and cultural transformation throughout the island nation and ultimately across the Americas.” –Michael Curtin, University of California, Santa Barbara

cementThe Cement of Civil Society: Studying Networks in Localities, by Mario Diani (Cambridge, 2015). “By moving beyond aggregative, trait-based views of social and political structure to relational conceptions, Diani deftly turns the kaleidoscope to reveal heretofore unseen patterns in civil society. His fascinating findings supplement some existing literature while turning some traditional conclusions on their heads. This work creates a new, compelling imperative for incorporating complex network dynamics into research on civil society organizing.” –Janet L. Fulk, University of Southern California

Complex TV: The Poetrics of Contemporary Television’s Storytelling, by Jason Mittell (New York University, 2015). “One of the most exciting books I have ever read. Each chapter contains useful and well-defined terms to put to work in formal analysis, and every argument is backed up with lively, detailed, and entertaining complexreadings of familiar TV texts. The result is a rich and thorough piece of scholarship that will do for television studies what David Bordwell’s historical poetics has famously done for film.” –Robyn Warhol, Ohio State University

Deep Mapping the Media City, by Shannon Mattern (University of Minnesota, 2015). Author “advocates for urban media archaeology, a multisensory approach to investigating the material history of networked cities…explores the material assemblages and infrastructures that have shaped the media city by taking archaeology literally—using techniques like excavation and mapping to discover the modern city’s roots in time.” –publisher’s description

Extreme Weather and Global Media, edited by Julia Leyda and Diane Negra (Routledge, 2015) “This is a highly original collection of essays, bringing the insights of a critical media studies to the environmental humanities in order to elaborate the complexities of the cultural politics implicated in the ‘hypermediation’ of extreme weather events.” ―Graeme Turner, University of Queensland

Going to War in Iraq: When Citizens and the Press Matter, by Stanley Feldman (University of Chicago, 2015). “The most comprehensive investigation into how news coverage influenced American public opinion during the run up to the Iraq War…presents a novel and well-written analysis that will make a lasting contribution to the scholarly literatures on American politics, international relations, public opinion, and political communication.” –Scott L. Althaus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

gourmandGourmands and Gluttons: The Rhetoric of Food Excess, by Carlnita P. Greene (Peter Lang, 2015). An analysis of how we talk and write about food revealing that the 19th century glutton and gourmand characters (and characatuers) are alive and well in contemporary media and pop culture.

The Informal Media Economy, by Ramon Lobato and Julian Thomas (Politty, 2015). “Reaching beyond the tired platitudes and self-interested rhetoric of media piracy debates, Lobato and Thomas examine the elaborate interdependence between formal and informal media economies. The book ranges across seemingly discrete corners of the media economy, examining such issues as innovation, circulation and value. Along the way, the authors deliver lucid, thoughtful and provocative insights regarding topics that are absolutely central to media industry studies today.”–Michael Curtin, University of California, Santa Barbara

#iranelection: Hashtag Solidarity and the Transformation of Online Life, by Negar Mottahedeh (Stanford, 2015). “Offers a fresh perspective on the role of social media in the 2009 protest movement in Iran. Moving beyond clichéd analysis, Mottahedeh offers a nuanced mapping of the ways social media was integrated into the lived experiences of Iranian political life. In tracing the organic development of the Green Movement, the book provides glimpses into the ways Iran’s history continues to color political memory and animate social movements.” —Shiva Balaghi, Brown University

islamicIslamic State: The Digital Caliphate, by Abdel Bari Atwan (University of California, 2015. “Based on visits to the Turkish-Syrian border, online interviews with jihadists, and the access to leaders he enjoys as one of the Arab world’s most respected journalists, Atwan draws a convincing picture of the Islamic State as a well-run organization that combines bureaucratic efficiency and military expertise with a sophisticated use of information technology.”—Malise Ruthven, New York Review of Books

It’s Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television, by Gayle Wald (Duke, 2015) “Offers new ways of interrogating the imbricated discourses of Civil Rights and Black Power politics in the context of popular culture…contributes to cultural and televisual studies, adds new dimensions to sonic studies and black performance studies, intervenes in and expands the racial and political dimensions of affect studies, and builds in exciting ways on new advances in black queer cultural studies.” –Daphne A. Brooks, Yale University

Making “Nature”: The History of a Scientific Journal, by Melinda Baldwin (University of Chicago, 2015). “We often think of scientific journals as receptacles for knowledge created elsewhere. But Baldwin shows that Nature, one natureof the premier journals in the world, was not a passive vessel, but rather a site where the rules of science themselves were debated and developed. Its pages were where scientists defined what it meant to do science: professionalization, peer review, science and internationalism, and the role of science in the public sphere…presents a powerful argument for the critical role of publishing in the creation of modern science.” –Mathew Stanley, New York University

indiaMaking News in Global India: Media, Publics, Politics, by Sahana Udupa (Cambridge, 2015) “Ranks among the most important theoretical and ethnographic studies of news media in South Asia to be published in recent years. [Author] argues convincingly that our assumptions about publicity and privacy, vernacular and standard, local and global need to be rethought in order to fully understand the operations of news media in India’s ‘world-class’ cities.”–Dominic Boyer, Rice University

Media and Cosmopolitanism, edited by Aybige Yilmaz, Ruxandra Trandafoiu, and Aris Mousoutzanis (Peter Lang, 2015). Essays exploring the existing research and theory about cosmopolitanism via case studies and dialogues with the broader disciplines of media and cultural studies to illuminate “the central issue of the book: the role played by the media, in its various forms, in either encouraging or discouraging cosmopolitanist identifications among its audiences.” –publisher’s description

The Media and Public Life: A History, by John Nerone (Polity, 2015). “A masterpiece of media history, a lively, sensible story of memorable moments involving the press, politics, and public. John Nerone’s definitive social and institutional account will guide everyone from beginners to experts studying communication media at the core of late modern life.”– Kevin Barnhurst, University of Leeds

Media Matter: The Materiality of Media, Matter as Medium, edited by Bernd Herzogenrath (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015) “In recent years the concept of medium (and with it the whole field of media studies) has been repeatedly redefined, particularly by scholars in the German-speaking countries. Media|Matter is an original and important contribution to that process of redefinition. Contributors to this anthology address a range of media forms and practices, including print, film, video and performance art, and sonic art. They apply and often critique a range of theoretical approaches, including media philosophy, systems theory, actor-network theory, feminist theory, the work of Deleuze and Guattari, the art theory of Kraus and Foster, and more. Their varied contributions share a foundational concern with the question of the materiality of media: each essay seeks within its domain to explore the form and matter of contemporary media without resorting to either technological or cultural determinism. Everyone interested in the current condition and the future of media studies should read [this].” –Jay David Bolter, Georgia Institute of Technology

fandomMillennial Fandom: Television Audiences in the Transmedia Age, by Louisa Ellen Stein (University of Iowa, 2015). “Traverses the networked contours of a rapidly fragmenting media culture to represent fandom in positive, political, and productive ways…spotlights a new generation and offers an important window on contemporary developments in transmedia storytelling and net-based fan cultures.”—Mark Duffett, University of Chester

The Motherhood Business: Consumption, Communication, and Privilege, edited by Anne Teresa Demo, Jennifer L. Borda, and Charlotte Krolokke (University of Alabama, 2015). “The synergy between motherhood and the marketplace demonstrated across the essays affirms the stronghold of ‘intensive mothering ideology’ in decisions over what mothers buy and how they brand their businesses even as that ideology evolves. Across diverse contexts…also identifies how different forms or privilege shape how mothers construct their identities through their consumption and entrepreneurship.” –publisher’s description

Participatory Culture in a Networked Era: A Conversation on Youth, Learning, Commerce, and Politics, by Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito, and danna boyd (Polity, 2015). “The idea of scholarship as dialogue is one that particlies buried deep within the humanities. In the pages of this engaging and accessible book, Jenkins, Ito and boyd have brought the ethos of dialogue very much to the surface. Their conversation is an entirely apt technique for reflecting on what is by now a sustained history of collaboration on questions of informal learning, participation and power in the evolving digital media environment.” –Jean Burgess, Queensland University of Technology

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up, by Philip N. Howard (Yale, 2015). “Addresses the implications of digital media, big data, and related phenomena for democracy and public life. Pundits, policymakers, and those curious about the changing landscape of media, politics, and global affairs should take note.”—Seth Lewis, University of Minnesota

Post-TV: Piracy, Cord-Cutting, and the Future of Television, by Michael Strangelove (University of Toronto, 2015). Insight into the practices of the growing television audience that bypasses traditional television viewing.

Reporting in the MENA Region: Cyber Engagement and Pan-Arab Social Media, by Mohammad Ayish and Noha Mellor (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). “The authors “bring to life journalists’ ongoing struggles with—and accommodations to—the state, the market, civil society, and their own news organizations to define the future of social media. In so doing, [they] challenge over-optimistic claims about the Arab Spring’s democratizing legacy and provide a benchmark for future comparative research.” –Rodney Benson, New York University

Surveillance Cinema, by Catherine Zimmer (New York University, 2105). “[A] genuinely groundbreaking study. cinemaTimely, ideologically engaged and passionate in its critique both of contemporary geopolitics and the cinematic works that depict its sites of contestation, this is a book of significant interest to scholars in the fields of film studies and surveillance studies…and to those of us who are, quite justifiably, haunted by the sense that someone, somewhere is watching.” —Linnie Blake, Times Higher Education

That’s the Way It Is: A History of Television News in America, by Charles L. Ponce de Leon (Chicago, 2015). “A brisk and informative history of television news since its inception in the late 1940s, covering the more than six decades of TV news from Douglas Edwards to Diane Sawyer, from the Camel News Caravan to Countdown with Keith Olbermann. The narrative moves quickly, yet pauses to offer extended discussions of such topics as the genesis of PBS, the establishment of CNN, the innovations of Roone Arledge at ABC, and the ways that local news helped to reshape the network evening newscasts.” –Chester Pach, Ohio University

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture, by Whitney Phillips (MIT, 2015). “Given the social anxiety surrounding online antagonism and mischief generally, and the confusion surrounding trolling specifically, it is about time someone wrote this book. Building on deep empirical research, Phillips has given us a rich, comprehensive, and wonderfully engaging account of the identities and practices of trolling, both as a historically situated subculture and as a dynamic of the digital media environment.” —Jean Burgess, Queensland University of Technology

Visual Occupations: Violence and Visibility in a Conflict Zone, edited by Jack Halberstam and Lisa Lowe (Duke, 2015). “Shows how the Israeli Occupation of Palestine is driven by the unequal access to visual rights, or the right to control what can be seen, how, and from which position. Israel occupationsmaintains this unequal balance by erasing the history and denying the existence of Palestinians, and by carefully concealing its own militarization. Israeli surveillance of Palestinians, combined with the militarized gaze of Israeli soldiers at places like roadside checkpoints, also serve as tools of dominance. Hochberg analyzes various works by Palestinian and Israeli artists, among them Elia Suleiman, Rula Halawani, Sharif Waked, Ari Folman, and Larry Abramson, whose films, art, and photography challenge the inequity of visual rights by altering, queering, and manipulating dominant modes of representing the conflict. These artists’ creation of new ways of seeing—such as the refusal of Palestinian filmmakers and photographers to show Palestinian suffering or the Israeli artists’ exposure of state manipulated Israeli blindness —offers a crucial gateway, Hochberg suggests, for overcoming and undoing Israel’s militarized dominance and political oppression of Palestinians.” –publisher’s description

Who Governs?: Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation, by James N. Druckman and Lawrence R. Jacobs (University of Chicago, 2015). “based on confidential documents from three US presidents, sheds new light on the relationship between America’s political elites and its citizens. The picture is not pretty: presidents of both political parties seek to manipulate, distract, and often mislead the public in their pursuit of narrow interests that do not benefit the majority of citizens. A compelling, important, and sobering account that underscores just how far America has drifted from the democratic ideal of a government of, by, and for the people.”—Martin Gilens (Princeton, 2015)

Worker Resistance and Media: Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century, by Lina workerDencik and Peter Wilkin (Peter Lang, 2015). “For anyone interested in globalisation, inequality, new communications technology and social movements… lucid, anchored in empirical research, engages intelligently with globalisation theory, and is not confined to the west…an important and original book.” –James Curran, Goldsmiths, University of London

You’re Dead—So What: Media Police and the Invisibility of Black Women as Victims of Homicide, by Cheryl L. Neely (Michigan State University, 2015). “Just as the media are effective in helping to increase police response, law enforcement officials reach out to news outlets to solicit help from the public in locating a missing person or solving a murder. However, a deeply troubling disparity in reporting the disappearance and homicides of female victims reflects racial inequality and institutionalized racism in the social structure that need to be addressed. It is this disparity this important study seeks to solve.” –publisher’s description