March 24, 2005

Surf the wild ride…

It’s spring break!

I won’t be going to Florida. I will be staying home to work on my essay for the AEJMC Conference. Deadline: Postmarked no later than 1 April. I’ve spent the last two weeks gathering the supporting material I need. I’ve been reading and re-reading and making notes and thinking and making more notes. Now it’s time to write.

I’ll take you along for the ride, dear reader.

Today, however, I’m relaxing. No school. Right now I’m doing something I always swore I’d never do: write in public. Well, not “write” in the romantic literary sense, which is what I meant when I first made this declaration in a graduate seminar. Blogging is certainly writing. I’m sitting in The Mud House in downtown Springfield taking advantage of the free downtown wifi and slurping down my second large orange truffle mocha.

I draw the line at podcasting in public. Although it is apparently cool to do so judging from the number of them that I’ve run across recorded in, of all places, airports.


3 Responses

  1. Zach 

    Enjoy the sandy beaches of Springfield, Missouri for your spring break!

  2. ac,

    OT question on structural bias. I’m trying to compare the media’s use of the Democratic Judiciary memos and the Schiavo memo.

    What is bothering me is what bias predicts how/why these situations were handled (differently?) – specifically in the anonymity/lack of provenance for the Schiavo memo versus publicly identifying the source of the Judiciary “leak”.

    I think there are also ties to the still anonymous “Rathergate” memos and the Plame case.

    Is it a competitive bias based on who the leaks went to? Is it a glory bias to be the “owner” of anonymous material? Is it a temporal bias to break a story or a narrative bias to use ambiguous sourcing to create a better (more sensational, less challengable) story?

    What bias predicts how the press/media handle sourcing, especially anonymity/provenance?

    Bush Administration Is Focus of Inquiry
    Media Review Conduct After Leak
    Blowing CIA agent’s cover weakens national security
    Bush officials bend Iraq facts till they break

    Jay Bookman: I think they are handling that case badly because to handle it well – i.e., to come clean on it – would mean admitting that someone at the highest levels of the administration committed a felony just sort of treason just to get some political payback. Bush could not recover from an admission that explosive, so he is choosing the only remaining course:

    Cover and run.

    Plame and Fortune
    The Plame Game: Was This a Crime?
    Media Groups Back Reporters In Court Filing

  3. acline 

    S- Good question. I don’t have a good answer–largely because I haven’t been following Schiavo (I’m just not interested, and, like Jon Stewart last night on TDS, I’m disgusted by what little I have seen on cable TV news).

    Remember: The biases I list are not exhaustive and are to some extent idiosyncratic, i.e. we may certainly discover more or rearrange the ones we have (although many of them are largely accepted as valid by other academics).

    I don’t think any one of them can be said to explain sourcing. Although I think the status quo and expediency biases come closest. But I’m not sure these help you understand what you’re describing.

    I can’t be of further help right now. I have to finish this essay for AEJMC.

    I would be interested, however, in any use you eventually make of my list of biases in coming to some understanding of this matter of the memos.