Archive for March, 2011

Creating Models for Paid Online News Content

By Steve Byers

The most interesting part of a nifty chart that PaidContent.org offers to the content of America’s six fairly large newspapers to have erected (or ready to erect) pay walls is the case of the smallest paper listed, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The paper of roughly 171,000 subscribers never went free online but offers the online version free to all print subscribers. It claims to have held its circulation with readers continuing to buy the print edition.

There are more than six American newspapers with paywalls – if you count those like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with part of its content walled off (‘Packers Plus’ in the JS‘s case; it’s very successful).

As you would expect, models of the marketing plans range all over the place with differences from price ($1.48 to $5 a week) to free for print subscribers (5 of 6) to what’s free and what’s behind the wall. I think we’re going to see a real rush of struggling content providers moving to some form of pay wall, despite the naysayers out there.

Steve Byers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication.

Turnitin.com and Other Resources Against Plagiarism

By Lauren Haberkorn

Turnitin.com logoPlagiarism has always been an issue in the academic world, but as new tools for detection have become available, students, teachers, and professionals have become more aware of just how big of an issue plagiarism really is. The media has done its job of making us aware of the many accusations of plagiarism that seem to multiple right before our eyes. We are left to wonder—is plagiarism on the rise, or have we only just begun to catch it?

Many students in the university setting are aware of the increase in plagiarism awareness. With the start of the new school year, teachers have reinforced the existing rules and introduced students to new resources, such as turnitin.com. Upon a teacher’s request, students are required to use a class code and password, set up a user name, and submit his or her paper to the website. The website can detect plagiarism that teachers may not have caught themselves, and can access thousands of resources a student may have copied from, or failed to cite. Continue reading ‘Turnitin.com and Other Resources Against Plagiarism’

Remembering Dr. John Grams

Dr. John GramsThe Diederich College of Communication remembers Dr. John Grams, who died Monday, March 14. Grams was an Associate Professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication who taught courses in television/radio broadcasting and  jazz history at the University for 47 years. He also wrote a number of books about toy trains, and was a contributor to the publication Classic Toy Trains.

Read the story in Marquette University Online News Briefs (March 17, 2011)

Embracing an Era of New Technology in the Communication Fields

By Dave Denomie

Students at the Marquette University Summer Debate Institute.

The way we communicate with each other using computers and smartphones today would be as inconceivable to people living just 50 years ago as it once was for people to think that humans would one day travel across continents in vehicles in the sky. In spite of the strong risk of “dating” myself, I will say that I have personally witnessed our progress in television technology from just 3 channels in grainy black and white to high-definition 3D live and recorded broadcasts on hundreds, if not thousands, of channels delivered via cable, satellite, and the Internet.

Computers were once something that your bank or the electric company used. In the space of less than 30 years we have gone from thinking these new “personal” computers were a strange curiosity for a few “dweebs” to the point where many people now use a range of computer-based devices they consider routine and indispensable in their daily lives.

Is it any wonder, considering the blinding speed of technological advances, we scramble to ensure that what we do continues to be useful and relevant to our students, especially in communication fields? How do we know which technologies will take hold in this shifting landscape, and incorporate their use into our work? Are we using technology in ways that enhance the content of what we deliver or is it serving as a distraction that pulls us from our work or even changes its very nature? How do we measure and evaluate our successes and failures and learn from our experiences to constantly adjust and improve what we do? Continue reading ‘Embracing an Era of New Technology in the Communication Fields’

Questions In the Wake of Disaster

By Kimberly Zawada

Japan rescue team

Rescue workers search for survivors in Japan. Photo source: UK Guardian.

Japan. So many people hurt, lost, and in pain. Where are all the trees?  How do you locate the spot your house was on without land markers or street signs? No matter how much people prepare for disaster one can never prepare the heart.

Will the world be as generous to them as they were to Haiti? Three disasters for one country. It took US years to overcome 9/11, and that was just one disaster. Will their economy survive? Will the world’s economy survive?

Now comes the goodness of mankind. What is it like to receive such kindness? Is it overwhelming or never enough?

I would imagine each culture, each generation, accepts it differently. Maybe it is not considered kindness, but something else, when it is forced upon you. So I watch this unfold, live and before my eyes.

How can you not be moved?

Kimberly M. Zawada is the Business Manager in the Diederich College of Communication’s Department of Student Media.

Celebrity Culture and the New Media Landscape

By Steve Byers

We talk a lot about how new media is reshaping the entire media landscape, offering users a host of new venues. One of them is offering direct access to celebrities where fans can find their own news.

It also offers celebrities the opportunity to shape their messages, and more and more of them have moved into the direct news route with their sites spreading views, news and, often, direct sales of products. For example, sports celeb Mark Cuban (a dot.com millionaire who owns the Dallas Mavericks)  has long offered his views on all sorts of things directly, via Twitter and his website.

It was almost inevitable that Charlie Sheen—currently the hottest name in the blogosphere—would open his own site, and with the announcement that “charliesheen.com is finally in the hands of its Warlock owner,” that opportunity became a reality.  It promises to be fun to watch, although I’m not sure how much solid information will be added to the global intelligence cache.

Steve Byers is an Assistant Professor of Journalism in the Diederich Colllege of Communication at Marquette University.

The Road to the White House: A Tale of the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates

By Sumana Chattopadhyay

Republican Party SymbolBy this time in March four years ago the primary season for the Democratic and Republican parties was in full swing. There were multiple candidates who had announced their candidacies in both parties with Obama, Clinton, Edwards and Biden being some of the Democrats in the fray and McCain, Thompson, Giuliani and Romney being some of the Republicans who were actively engaged in campaigning.

Compared to that kind of early momentum, the 2012 primary election season has been off to a relatively slow and low-key start. But this month things have started picking up somewhat with the Republican hopefuls of 2012 starting to be covered by multiple news sources. One particular story that caught my attention as a political communication scholar was a story published by the Washington Post which is considered a somewhat conservative leaning paper. The story laid out arguments about why all Republican candidates in the game right now come with their own set of flaws and lack the fire-power that would be required to defeat an incumbent President like Barack Obama. Continue reading ‘The Road to the White House: A Tale of the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates’


The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

Flickr Photos

Follow us on Twitter