leeshaker.com | Lee Shaker Dot Com – Since 2009

hello 2011

Better late than never, time for a new post. Things have been hectic since we last spoke: work, holidays, job searching, etc. Time enough today for a couple quick updates.

1. New publication! Information, Communication, and Society has published an article that I wrote about local political information availability on the WWW. The concept of the article, Local Political Information on the Web, is basically: since newspapers and other traditional sources of local news are struggling, maybe we should start studying what local political information (LPI) citizens can find on the internet. What LPI, in a very basic way, is available online, and, is the relevant content on the internet wholly dependent upon ‘old’ media? The novel component of my article is the sampling approach. Instead of taking a purposive sample of websites, I used a little computer program to systematically search for local information on Google over a couple 6-week periods & then used the search results to create a corpus for content analysis. The idea behind this approach is that you get an unvarnished and inclusive window into what information is really out there for people to find on the web. Glad the article is out; take a look if you’re interested.

2. I’ve got a new paper that I’m working on & that I’m excited about. In a nutshell, I’m interested in exploring what effect the closure of a newspaper has upon its former community. Since the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, and Cincinatti Post all went under in the past few years, there are some legitimate real-world examples to study. One nifty paper from Princeton researchers looked at some effects in Cincinatti a couple years ago, but I don’t know of other academic works that have studied these communities or other similar instances. (If you know of something relevant, please let me know – I haven’t done an extensive literature search yet.) Anyways, I’ve got some data that I am using to show some before/after effects & I’m very excited, almost surprised, at what I’m finding.

More to come soon… Happy belated new year!

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