Monday, November 22, 2010

Tales of an iPad Newspaper

There was a story in the New York Times yesterday about how News Corp. is planning to create a new newspaper for the iPad.

I think what is really interesting about this story is that this new paper seems like it won't be updated all that frequently. According to the story, "The Daily will be a newspaper, an ancient motif on a modern device. It will be produced into the evening, and then a button will be pushed and it will be 'printed' for the next morning. There will be updates — the number of which is still under discussion — but not at the velocity or with the urgency of a news Web site." This is surprising given that the trend seems to be with more updates, not less. Maybe News Corp. figures that once you've bought the App, they have your money so they don't need to worry about keeping you coming back for more news?

If you'd like to read up on the future of news, we have lots of books on the topic in Cook Library.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grant and Nonprofit Research

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been getting a lot of questions from students about how to find information about nonprofits, specifically how to find out about charitable contributions and grants.

Actually, a great resource is the new Nonprofits Subject Gateway, created by Business Librarian Shana Gass. This resource lists resources for finding charitable giving statistics, charity tax filings, and grant applications.

Two other things of note:
  • The Mediamark (MRI+) database does have some information on charitable contributions so you can find out what media contributors are more likely to use. Oddly enough, that info is listed under the category of "Contributions to Public TV/Radio" so it is easy to miss.
  • The Foundation Center has released a new GrantSpace site. This site offers lots tools to help novice grantseekers navigate the application process.
Since nonprofits and grants are becoming more of a part of the vernacular of communications, I think these requests are only the tip of the iceberg. I wouldn't be surprised if nonprofit research/grant writing become a larger part of the communications curriculum in the future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2 Much Txting Bad 4 Teens

Dr. Scott Frank, a physician from Case Western University, presented research at the American Public Health Association conference that shows a correlation between teen hyper-texting (that is sending more than 120 texts a day) and other risky behavior such as smoking, drinking, drug use and having sex. Dr. Catriona Morrison of Leeds University in the UK says that this research suggests that hyper-texting is similar to other addictive behaviors, like gambling, in its co-morbidity with other risky behaviors.

I think it is interesting how this study measures hyper-texting in only quantitative terms and I wonder if we are going to see more robust measures of "texting addiction" (which I think would measure not only the number of texts but also people's attitudes about texting) in future studies.

To learn more about texting, check out these books from Cook Library.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's the World Series and No One Seems to Care

Yet again last night, "Sunday Night Football" beat Major League Baseball (MLB) playoff games in the ratings according to an AP story on

So what's the big deal? I believe we are witnessing a shift here. Baseball used to be king. In fact, this is the first time that NBC aired a "Sunday Night Football" game in direct competition with the World Series because they were afraid of losing in the ratings. Now it seems they have nothing to fear because these ratings suggest that football has replaced baseball as America's pastime.

So from a communications perspective, I can't help but wonder where baseball lost its way. Is it that they need to sell the game in a new way and reintroduce the game to younger viewers? Maybe it is a fundamental problem with the product of baseball itself, meaning that the game just moves too slowly for our hyper-driven world? Whatever it is, MLB better figure it out fast or else they risk being about as popular as competitive basket weaving.

For more information about sports, media, and economics, check out the following resources: