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Book examines media ethics from global perspective

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As news media becomes increasingly global in reach, should a worldwide standard of media ethics also evolve? This is the focus of Media Ethics Beyond Borders: A Global Perspective, a collection of research papers written by an international group of media scholars. In an article written for J-Source, co-editor Stephen Ward briefly outlines the authors’ views about whether a globalized ethics standard is possible or even desirable. “While a global media ethics does not exist, the authors believe that it is vital to imagine ways in which it might be brought into being, and what it would look like,” Ward writes. “Urgent global issues and the power of global communications point to the need for a media ethics that is global in its principles and in its understanding of media.  However, the idea of global media ethics raises tough questions. Are there universal values in journalism? How would a global media ethics do justice to the cultural and economic differences around the world?”

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In the CJC: Parachute journalism in Haiti, climate change reporting and more …

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The latest issue of the Canadian Journal of Communication (Vol. 33, No. 2) includes several research articles of interest to the journalism community, including:

“Parachute Journalism” in Haiti: Media Sourcing in the 2003-2004 Political Crisis by Isabel Macdonald, York University
Abstract: The Canadian media’s reliance on parachute and wire agency journalists during the lead-up to the 2004 coup d’état in Haiti exemplified the trends associated with recent cuts to foreign news. A content analysis of the Globe and Mail, plus interviews with journalists, reveal that the deadline pressures and hotel journalism associated with these trends contributed, in the absence of coherent official messages on the Haiti crisis, to journalists’ reliance on sources from a U.S. and Canadian government–supported political movement spearheaded by Haiti’s business and media elite that sought to overthrow the democratically elected Haitian government.

The Framing of Climate Change in Canadian, American, and International Newspapers: A Media Propaganda Model Analysis by Jennifer Ellen Good, Brock University
Abstract: As a news story topic, climate change has potential narrative elements that include the oil industry and the earth’s climatic balance. With the world’s leading scientists now insisting that the story should be shifting from whether
climate change is happening to “What are we going to do about it?” this article offers a critical comparative analysis of how American, Canadian, and international newspapers are framing this key issue. Based on Herman and Chomsky’s (1988) media propaganda model, the findings indicate that while newspapers in the United States might be avoiding the issue, all three “regions” show a hesitancy to frame climate change with either extreme weather consequences or oil reduction solutions.

Sui Generis: Tobacco Sponsorship Advertising and Canadian Campus Newspapers by Daniel J. Robinson, University of Western Ontario
Abstract: This article examines tobacco sponsorship advertising in 18 college and university newspapers in Canada from 2002 to 2004. It documents the financial value of tobacco advertising in the year before the federal ban on this form of advertising, which began in October 2003. Tobacco spending formed nearly half of these newspapers’ national advertising revenues. The paper examines advertising revenue and publishing output in the year following the ad ban. While national ad revenue fell 28% in 2003-04, this did not adversely affect newspaper operations: the newspapers published 1.4% more pages—and more issues—in 2003-04 than in the previous year. In accounting for this anomalous finding, the paper discusses the sui generis nature of campus newspapers, which embody elements of commercial and non-profit media, while remaining an under-researched and under-theorized area of communication studies.

Gaps in Canadian Media Research: CMRC Findings by Philip Savage, McMaster University
Abstract: In-depth interviews conducted with leading Canadian mass media and new media managers, communication policy practitioners, and scholarly and professional media researchers reveal significant gaps in current Canadian media research. There are foreign sources but almost no Canadian contemporary sources for ongoing research in the following five broad areas: 1) Media usage; 2) Media ownership; 3) New media forms; 4) Media diversity; and 5) Media policy. These results were reported to the Canadian Media Research Consortium (CMRC) in 2007 and will shape its funding orientation and, perhaps, the direction for future Canadian media research more broadly.

Note: Full articles are available by subscription.

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U.S. media momentarily notices ‘other’ war

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It’s the war the United States started after 9/11 and then forgot – Afghanistan. In fact, coverage of the war in Afghanistan has accounted for less than 1 per cent of American news media content during the past few years, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s News Index. But U.S. news media noticed when 400 prisoners busted out of Kandahar jail earlier in June and have since allocated a little more time and space to covering “the other war.” 
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More journalists forced into exile

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At least 82 journalists were forced to flee their home countries during the past 12 months, a rate of exile that doubles the average recorded since 2001, according to a survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Iraq and Somalia were the most-fled countries and escaping threats of violence was the leading cause of exile. Most exiled journalists never return to their native country and most are not able to work in journalism in their new home. Canada is one of the top five destinations for exiled journalists.
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Internet blows past newspapers as source of info for U.S. voters

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As Canadian politicians vie for public attention during
this summer’s federal pre-election campaign, here’s some interesting U.S. data for journalists, politicians and media managers to
chew on: American voters have embraced the Internet as
a source of election campaign information, pushing it past all other forms of
media except television. Also, Internet ad spending by campaigning politicians is lagging behind the movement of voters online, E-Marketer reports.

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Web archive of public policy research launched

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Researchers and others should check out Policy
Archive
, a new searchable, indexed website that hosts public policy
research papers from more than 220 think tanks and research institutes. The
site – created by the Center for Governmental Studies and the Indiana
University Purdue University Indianapolis University Library – has already
collected 12,000 policy and research papers on more than 300 topics, including media
and information
. At the moment, research on the site appears to originate mostly
from U.S. research organizations. However, the site is expected to expand in
future to include work from international sources.

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The American Blogopticon

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Vanity Fair has published a delightfully
visual yet highly functional introduction to the busy American newsy blog scene
.
Media-politics-celebrity blogs are situated in quadrants according to how they
rank along continua of news-opinion content and earnest-scurrilous tone. You
can hover your mouse pointer over each blog for a mini-review and click to
visit the ones you find interesting.

The question is: Will you first visit the extremely newsy and
earnest SCOTUSblog (“Soporific but
essential daily analysis of all things Supreme Court, reported by seasoned
lawyers and journalists”) or the mightily scurrilous and opinionated go fug yourself (mini-review
redacted)?

Liar!


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Researchers explore the geography of online news

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All news is local – that’s a truism of journalism. Does the
Internet change that? Do newspapers expand their notion of community when their
potential readership goes global? Are news nets cast further to attract
a wider readership? Those are among
the questions researchers involved in the Geography of News Project are working
to answer. In an article for J-Source, research director Mike Gasher discusses
the project’s findings so far.

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Canadians losing faith in news media

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Only half of Canadians believe news organizations get their
facts straight and just a third think news is fair and balanced, according to polling data
released by the Canadian Media Research Consortium
(pdf). The results of
the national survey suggest Canadians are less interested in the news and more
dubious about news media credibility than five years ago, when the CMRC
commissioned a similar poll.

Many who have lost trust in traditional news
media are turning to Internet news sources, as are a surprisingly large number
of young people. While Internet users enjoy non-traditional news sources
and features that foster interactivity, the most valued features of online news
are the links that allow users to find more detailed information.

 “People clearly care about accuracy, about discipline, and
about the commitment to quality, and if traditional players tamper with those
principles, clearly the audience is prepared to make them pay a quick price,”
the report concludes. “The real key to success for traditional media could
involve learning a new language – the language of interactivity, of
conversation, of engagement and involvement of the audience. It may also mean
shedding the notion of reporting without opinions. If traditional media develop
websites that offer more than their print or broadcast product by building
larger packages of content that include user-generated material, then the future
may well be much brighter than many of us thought.”


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Study looks at how online Canadians get news

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The average Internet-connected Canadian spends about 2.3 hours a day consuming news and information from a variety of sources, including television and newspapers, according to a new study by the Canadian Media Research Consortium (pdf) based on 1,000 interviews. Asked about “top-of-mind” stories, most respondents reported first learning about them on television. But most who wanted to know sought additional information online. The study also found that while older respondents tended to read text online, younger people preferred online video. The study notes that while television and newspapers continue to be used as news sources, the strengths of these traditional media (newspapers are seen as strong on detail, background and context while television is seen as strong on visuals and live reports) are increasingly also found online.

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