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.