Friday, December 18, 2009

New Interface for LexisNexis Academic in 1/10

It looks like LexisNexis Academic’s interface will have a new look and feel in January 2010. The significant changes are to the database’s search forms and navigation menu; content changes are minimal. For more information and to test drive the beta, see LexisNexis Academic’s Wiki:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Resource to Relax Your Brain

With finals here and the holidays right around the corner, it's hard to imagine finding time to delve into a heavy research paper. But if you still want to stay on top of what is happening in the communication world, blogs are a great way to go. One of my favorites is the Z on TV blog written by Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawik. Updated daily, this blog focuses on all news television-related, with an occasional post about what is happening in the Baltimore media market. It's a great resource to get a quick update on what's happening in television.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Editor & Publisher is Closing

After 108 years of publication, it looks like Editor & Publisher magazine will be no more. I think we owe a moment of silence for this noble information source that kept us up-to-date about all things newspaper related. If you are feeling a bit nostalgic and want to peruse old issues, Cook Library has the print going back to 1964.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Google moves to limit free news

Apparently some media companies aren't happy that Google is providing a free ride to their content. The BBC reports that Google is allowing newspaper publishers who charge for their content to limit users to five of their articles per day. The sixth click on an article would then be rerouted to a publisher's registration/subscription page. This comes on the heels of some U.S. news outlets floating the idea of charging for content and a British publisher actually implementing it. Will users buy into this new business model? Surveys suggest that may not be likely in the U.S. ...

Monday, November 30, 2009

World News Connection Comes to Cook Library

Thanks to the integration of Baltimore Hebrew University’s collection into ours, we now have access to an additional news database: World News Connection. Compiled from thousands of non-U.S. media sources, this database offers translated and English-language news and information. Updated hourly, the World News Connection file contains stories back to 1995.

For a list of sources contained in World News Connection visit:

Only one person at a time can access the database and it is username and password protected. You can get the username and pw from me or any Cook Library reference librarian.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Keeping up with The Communicators

In case you've been busy on Saturdays at 6:30pm, C-SPAN's program, The Communicators, is now being offered in podcast form. Recent programs have covered topics such as internet regulation, net neutrality, and copyright. If you are interested in communication and law, this program is worth checking out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nonprofits and Social Networking

Weber Shandwick, a communications consulting firm, commissioned a survey of 200 nonprofit and foundation executive directors and communications officials last summer and they found that a majority of nonprofits are experimenting with social networking technology, but many are uncertain about its benefits to their organizations.

Nonprofits think that social networking technology is best at:
  • raising awareness
  • keeping external audiences engaged
  • reducing communication costs
  • reaching broad external audiences

They think it doesn't work as well when it comes to:

  • supporting fundraising efforts
  • connecting with hard-to-reach audiences such as donors, media, and policy makers

I wonder how this compares to corporate use of social networking technology?

Friday, November 13, 2009

MBC - Museum of Broadcast Communications

The Museum of Broadcast Communications is an Illinois-based non-profit with the mission of preserving radio and television programming. Their archive includes over 25,000 television programs, 5,000 radio programs, and 12,000 commercials and some of their collection is available online. They say that over 7,000 program assets have been digitized so far. (I would imagine that they would digitize more but money and intellectual property constraints prevent it.)

To view their archive, you do need to register for a free account. Once registered, then you can search their collection. What's nice is that you can limit your search to what is available digitally so you don't have to wade through hundreds of records that you can't view.

What is available digitally runs the gamut - there are snippets from the 1950s game show $64,000 Question along with presidential debates, and "Where's the Beef" Wendy's commercials from the 1980s. The quality of the video, especially the old footage isn't the best, but it is worth taking a look.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Reconstruction of Journalism

Leonard Downie Jr. (former Executive Editor of The Washington Post) and Michael Schudson (Journalism Professor at Columbia University) have written an interesting paper on how to fix what's economically broken with journalism. "Reconstruction of Journalism" discusses the rise of "citizen journalism" and suggests that it's time for news outlets to explore non-profit avenues of support such as philanthropy, universities and government.

Downie and Schudson say that "There is unlikely to be any single new economic model for supporting news reporting" (p. 75). Thus individual news outlets are ultimately left to feel their way in the dark towards finding a model that will be profitable for them. Hopefully they will be able to find something that works soon before they lose all their capital just trying to stay afloat.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ad*Access - A Source for Early 20th Century Ads

Sometimes it can be really difficult to get your hands on old print advertisements, but Duke University's Ad*Access catalog provides free access to over 7,000 U.S. and Canadian advertisements from between 1911 and 1955.

The ads cover five product categories:
  • Beauty and Hygiene
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Transportation
  • World War II Propaganda
What's also really helpful is that the catalog provides a timeline of major events and inventions, which helps to put the ads in context.

This resource is definitely worth a look if you are working on a historical advertising project.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Study on Tailored Advertising

Dr. Joe Turow from the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania and researchers from the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and the Annenberg Public Policy Center have just released a new report suggesting that Americans reject tailored advertising. The study included a telephone survey taken last summer of 1000 U.S. adults and found that 66% of those surveyed say that they don't want marketers to tailor advertisements to their preferences.

While I think this is an interesting finding, I wonder how many Americans are actually aware of how much advertising is already tailored to their interests. While Americans may say that they don't like it, I think that tailored advertising is not going away anytime soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


According to a story on, the American Psychological Association (APA) released nine pages worth of corrections to the latest print edition of their style manual which came out over the summer. They also released four corrected sample papers.

How can students be expected to get their citations right if the citation manual can't even get them right? This boggles my mind...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Films on Demand

If you are looking for an educational video in Communication, take a look at Films on Demand. This database now available through Cook Library and it offers thousands of streaming videos available on and off-campus.

A quick search of "communication" yielded 376 segments on a variety of topics including communication in the workplace, communication and autism, and nonverbal communication, just to name a few.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CMMC Communication Thesaurus

How many times have you been searching in the Communication & Mass Media Complete database and not found any results when you know there really should be something?

One tool that may be of help is the Thesaurus. This database feature can be accessed from the upper-right blue navigation menu at the top of the database. The thesaurus is communication-based, so you will only find terms in it that relate to the communication discipline. It's great if the topic you are searching for has a lot of different names (e.g. new media) and you don't want to waste time typing them all into a search box with OR's in between.

So next time you are searching, check out the Thesaurus and don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

News Blogs and Websites Now on NewsBank

NewsBank, a database that provides access to news, is testing out some new content. Users can now search a limited number of news blogs and news websites in addition to their collection of college, local, and national newspapers. If you want to check it out this database, you can access it through the Cook Library website .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Futurity in the Future?

There might be changes on the horizon for how news covers science. Tired of watching science discoveries go unreported (or, in their eyes, be covered poorly), 35 major research universities have banded together to start Futurity, a non-profit internet wire service dedicated to distributing news about their scientific research findings. In a wire story reprinted by the Baltimore Sun, Paul Rogers writes that the goal of this news service is to bypass the traditional shrinking news outlets and go right to the readers. Futurity plans to "provide articles to popular Web sites such as Yahoo News and Google News, along with MySpace and Twitter," writes Rogers.

Might the public learn more about science with this new model for news distribution? It will be interesting to watch...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Health Care Reform Research

The hot topic these days is health care reform. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a unique funding agency that aims to help create leverage for change in health care and in the broader health policy arena.

Given this mission, they are an important resource for research reports about health related topics. Their latest report examines how health care reforms in Massachusetts are going and what the public thinks of those efforts.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PEJ's News Coverage Index

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) is non-partisan, non-profit organization that conducts public opinion polling and social science research about news coverage.

As part of their research, PEJ conducts a content analysis of news coverage each week. The report about last week's coverage is now up on their website.

These reports are a great resource for keeping track of how news coverage has changed over time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Intute: A portal for scholarly communication sites

It's worth taking a peek at Intute, a portal for scholarly websites in communication and other disciplines.

It was created by a consortium of seven universities in the UK and it looks like the Communication and Media Studies section has links to open access journals and research project websites from the various facets of the discipline.

Monday, August 31, 2009

World News Digest now online

Say goodbye to the print version of World News Digest and hello to on-line!

According to the publisher, this database brings together nearly seven decades of news from the Facts On File World News Digest in print. This archival record of domestic and international news, covers major political, social, and economic events since November 1940. World News Digest is updated twice weekly and includes a searchable hourly newsfeed, with more than 1 million internal hyperlinks that allow researchers to follow a story over time.

Check it out on Cook Library's website:

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Back when I was getting my Master's degree in Communication from the Annenberg School at Penn and when I worked for the Annenberg Public Policy Center, my mentor and boss, Kathleen Hall Jamieson always reminded me to keep my writing short and simple. I am going to try to do that with this blog. So here are some short, fun facts about me, the author:
  • You name a communication research methodology, and I've conducted a study using that methodology. I am more familiar with quantitative than qualitative, but I have done them all. I especially love a good communication experiment!
  • While most of my formal communication studies have been in political communication, I've actually branched out and published in health communication and in marketing.
  • My favorite thing in the whole world is helping people find the information that they need. If you are doing communication research and need some help, please look me up in Cook Library and I will be more than happy to help.

Please continue to check back with this blog for short posts about all the great resources available in Mass Communication and Communication Studies. Enjoy!