Hunter collection of Chinese political communication available from RCL

Chinese pamphlets: Political communication and mass education in the early period of the People’s Republic of China is an electronic archive of mass education materials published in Hong Kong and in Mainland China, particularly Shanghai, in the years 1947-1954. It includes approximately 200 cartoon books, pamphlets, postcards, and magazines, heavily pictorial in content, on such topics as foreign threats to Chinese security, Chinese relations with the Soviet Union, industrial and agricultural production, and marriage reform. Produced by both Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist) and Communist regimes, these materials appear to be directed at the general youth and adult populations of China.

The items were collected and, in many instances, translated and annotated by Edward Hunter. An analyst of propaganda and mass education, Edward Hunter (1902 – 1978) was a journalist, writer, and outspoken critic of Communism. His most well known book was Brain-washing in Red China: the calculated destruction of men’s minds (1951).
This collection constitutes the “street literature” of the revolution: comic books, leaflets and other ephemera distributed to the population of the provincial cities and villages whereas the propaganda collections Western libraries tend to hold are made up of the higher-end, made-for-export propaganda.
The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is a consortium of North American universities, colleges and independent research libraries. The consortium, of which Penn is a member, acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives and other traditional and digital resources for research and teaching. These resources are then made available to member institutions cooperatively, through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery.

Monitoring Reports of Philadelphia Local TV News Broadcasts

Daily monitoring reports of Philadelphia local TV newscasts (NBC10, 6ABC, CBS3, FOX29, CN8) beginning in January and extending through the end of April, approximately 110 days, are available by arrangement with the ASC Library. These rundowns, produced by the local vendor Video Monitoring Services (VMS), present data on the topics of each story covered by each local newscast, including the individuals featured in the stories, the length of their sound bites, and the length of the stories themselves. These monitoring reports allow researchers to carry out comprehensive analyses of local television coverage of the Philadelphia mayoral primary. The data, which the School has acquired for Dr. Phyllis Kaniss’ Communication 398 class (Media and the Mayoral Race), enables her students to quantitatively analyze local political coverage in 2007 and compare and contrast it to that of over a decade ago, when she performed similar content analyses for the 1991 Philadelphia mayor’s race (The Media and the Mayor’s Race, Indiana University Press, 1995). With this data students are able to trace how political coverage varies by time of day, by station, how different candidates are treated, issues of race, and how political coverage compares to other subjects, such as crime. Are issues covered or just the horse race? How are polls covered? Which campaign is more reactive versus proactive with regard to issues and charges?

The transcripts are being adding daily to the Comm 398 Blackboard site. If you are interested in accessing this material write to me or Dr. Kannis and you will be given access rights to the course.

Citizen Media Sites

The Knight Citizen News Network is a self-help portal that guides both ordinary citizens and traditional journalists in launching and responsibly operating community news and information sites. It seeks to help build capacity for citizens who want to start their own news ventures and to open the doors to citizen participation for traditional news organizations seeking to embrace user-generated content.” –from the website

The organization also conducts qualitative and quantitative research on emerging trends, such as:

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? A Ford Foundation funded study of citizen media sites in the United States. In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 founders of and contributors to citizen media sites, and hundreds of site contributors were invited to take part in an online survey


Hartsville Today: The first year of a small-town citizen-journalism site Journalism’s future may well be in the hands of your readers already, in their cell phones, their iPods, their digital and video cameras. We have become a world of content creators, and if you don’t find a way to engage them in your product, they may well establish their own.

The site also boasts a list of over 200 citizen media sites from every state.

Another citizen media site to check out is The Center for Citizen Media, affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School. You can see what they’re working on in the Projects section of the website.

MediaBerkman, Berkman Center for Internet and Society

MediaBerkman, a production of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, features conversations with and talks by leading cyber-scholars, entrepreneurs, activists, and policymakers as they explore topics such as the factors that influence knowledge creation and dissemination in the digital age; the character of power as the worlds of governance, business, citizenship and the media meet the internet; and the opportunities, role and limitations of new technologies in learning.

On January 15th, 2007 the Sunlight Foundation and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society sponsored a day long working session titled “Local Political Information in an Internet Era.” The meeting was hosted by the Berkman Center on the Harvard Law School Campus. This short summary video features interviews with participants and spotlights some of the emerging technologies being used at the state and local level to engage citizens in the political process.

From the Sunlight Foundation about the event:
“We are interested in how the Internet — through blogs and other tools — can bring citizens more or better information about their elected officials. We have invited 10 bloggers who are focused on their own states’ federal and local elected officials, and about the same number of people who are working on tools that these local bloggers can use — tools like Congresspedia and Metavid (for getting video of Members of Congress). Our goal is to connect the people working in the trenches with people working in other trenches and with new tools, so that everyone can do a better job sharing important political information with citizens.”

Special symposium issue of Critical Review on Democratic Competence

The latest issue of Critical Review (Volume 18, nos. 1-3) centers around Philip E. Converse’s 1964 seminal paper, “The Nature of Belief Systems in the Mass Publics.” Editor Jeffrey Friedman explains the role of his opening essay, which precedes a reprint of the 1964 Converse classic, as well as the structure of the whole issue “…Rather than commenting on their [symposium authors] contributions, I see my task as that of inducing outsiders to the post-Converse literature to read the informative articles published here–by explicating the one that gave rise to them all, “The Nature of Belief Systems” itself. Readers seeking an historical overview of the issues at stake should turn to Stephan Earl Benett’s article below. A thematic treatment of the main lines of scholarly debate “after Converse” is provided by Donald Kinder’s paper. James Fishkin, Doris Graber, Russell Hardin, Arthur Lupia, and Samuel Popkin argue out some of the normative and theoretical implications that have been derived from Converse. And Scott Althaus, Samuel DeCanio, Ilya Somin, and Gregory Wawro focus, albeit not exclusively, on how “Conversean” ideas can be further applied in political and historical research.”

The issue comes to a crescendo with a response piece from Converse himself, called “Democratic Theory and Electoral Reality.”

Abstract of “Democratic Theory and Electoral Reality”:
In response to the dozen essays published here, which relate my 1964 paper on “The Nature of Belief Systems in the Mass Publics” to normative requirements of democratic theory, I note, inter alia, a major misinterpretation of my old argument, as well as needed revisions of that argument in the light of intervening data.Then I address the degree to which there may be some long-term secular change in the parameters that I originally laid out. In the final section, I provide a case study of public understanding of factual trends in federal tax policy in recent decades which seems commendably veridical on average.The preferences of the public thereon add up to a remarkably clear popular mandate. But this mandate seems to disappear rather magically in the voting booth, probably due to a combination of limited contextual information on the public side, and considerable skill on the elite side in manipulating apparent political realities.

Current issues of Critical Review are not available online from the
Penn website (back issues from 1996-2005 are) but are available, including this issue, in print at Van Pelt.

The State of the Union in Words

Here’s a neat little content analysis tool. A New York Times link that allows you to search for any words used by President Bush in all of his State of the Union speeches. It gives the speech/year it appears in and the context of each usage. Just for fun I played with colors. Of the primary colors Bush has only mentioned red (29 times); no blue, no yellow. No green or orange either. One purple mention. White gets three mentions and I thought black tied that but that turned into three cases of “blackmail.” Of course, you can do more serious probes.

The State of the Union in Words: A Look at the 34,000 State of the Union Words Delivered of George W. Bush – New York Times


Special issues on Citizenship

Two journals, The European Journal of Cultural Studies and Social Semiotics, have recently published special issues on citizenship.

Guest-edited by Joke Hermes and Peter Dahlgren, EJCS (Volume 9, Number 3, August 2006) features the following articles under the rubric Cultural Studies and Citizenship : Doing Citizenship by Peter Dahlgren; The Personal, the Political and the Popular, by Liesbet van Zoonen; News and the Empowerment of Citizens by Justin Lewis ; Culture and Citizenship by Nick Couldry; The Public Sphere on the Beach, by John Hartley and others; Something You Can actually Pick Up, by Karina Hof; and Citizenship and the ‘Other,’ by Nick Stevenson, Nick.

The June 2006 issue of Social Semiotics (Volume 16, No. 2) titled Mediated Citizenship(s) is guest-edited by Karin Wahl-Jorgensen. Papers include: Do Crying Citizens Make Good Citizens?, by Mervi Pantti and Liesbet van Zoonen; Media, Citizenship and Governmentality: Defining ‘The Public’ of Public Service Broadcasting, by David Nolan; Mediating Citizenship through the Lens of Consumerism: Frames in the American Medicare Reform Debates of 2003-2004, by Emily West; Invisible Centers: Boris Johnson, Authenticity, Cultural Citizenship and a Centrifugal Model of Media Power, by Andy Ruddock; Mediated Citizenship and Digital Citizenship: A Rhetoric of Control in a Campaign Blog, by James A. Janack; From Active Audience to Media Citizenship: The Case of Post-Mao China, by Haiqing Yu; Mediating Which Nation? Citizenship and National Identities in the British Press, by Michael Rosie and others; CODEPINK Alert: Mediated Citizenship in the Public Sphere, by Maria Simone; and A cultural approach to the Study of Mediated Citizenship, by Jeffrey P. Jones.

Both issues are available online (go to main Library webpage) or in paper at the ASC Library.