February 25, 2009

Meet Paul Jones!

I heard a fascinating interview with Paul Jones, a clinical associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communications and a clinical associate professor in the School of Information and Library Science. Frank Stasio, interviewer for WUNC, also calls Jones a "public intellectual."
The interview is a like a whirlwind tour of the interwebs, as Jones talked about having worked with Tim Berners-Lee (the birth of the Internet), Larry Lessig (the birth of the Creative Commons), and Brewster Kahle (the birth of the online archive), as well as a bit about setting up ibiblio.org. Jones talked about Roger McGuinn and Youssou N'Dour (find out what they have in common!). He also read a lovely poem he wrote called Dividing Waters and talked about what poetry and coding have in common.

If you have 49 minutes and are interested in the interwebs, I highly recommend this interview.

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February 12, 2009

Future of Journalism? Newspapers?

I heard a neat interview on Radio Times today about the future of journalism & news.  It was surprisingly, and happily, upbeat (or maybe it was just my mood).  Listening to the conversation, I felt optimistic that while news gathering as we know it may change, but that reporting and writing will not change so much as to be unrecognizable.  I even felt optimistic that some kind of revenue stream could perhaps be worked out so that in-depth reporting (ie, what we think of now as print journalism) could continue.  Probably it won't look the same, but maybe it will continue to exist.  

One surprising bit of information that one of the guests mentioned (and I forget which; I was driving and didn't take notes) is that actual readership of content-formerly-known-as-print- journalism is UP, after a slide that started in the 1940s.

Here's what Radio Times says about the show:  "We talk about the challenges facing the profession of journalism and consumers of the news. How will we fund news-gathering operations, what will they look like how will we access the news and how we will ensure quality journalism? Our guests are ROBERT NILES of Online Journalism Review and TOM ROSENSTIEL of The Pew Research Centers Project for Excellence in Journalism."

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February 03, 2009


... is a conference I wish I could have attended. The third annual science blogging conference took place Jan. 16-18, 2009 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The wiki states that the "goal [was] to bring together scientists, bloggers, educators, students, journalists and others [i.e. librarians!] to discuss, demonstrate and debate online strategies and tools for promoting the public understanding of science."

There were four tracks: science blogging; science communication and education; doing and publishing science; and show-and-tell quick sessions. If I had gone, I would have attended these sessions:
  • "You are a science blogger but you want to publish a pop-sci book?" moderated by Tom Levenson and Dave Munger (discussion page)
  • "Science online – middle/high school perspective (or: 'how the Facebook generation does it'?)" moderated by Stacey Baker and her students (discussion page)
  • "Teaching College Science: Blogs and Beyond" moderated by Andrea Novicki and Brian Switek (discussion page)
  • "Race in science – online and offline" moderated by Danielle Lee (discussion page)
  • and, of course, "How to search scientific literature" moderated by science librarians Christina Pikas and John Dupuis (discussion page)
There were many more sessions I'd like to have attended.

If you're interested in this conference, I highly recommend this interview with Bora Zivkovic, one of the conference organizers, on Minnesota Atheist Radio. Interviewer / conference attendee Stephanie Zvan talks to Bora about the conference, its origins, and his goals for the 2009 conference.

What appeals to me about the conference is the inclusive nature of the attendees and topics. There were high school science students & bloggers in attendance (and presenting!), as well as people of all genders and races and scientific interests. I am a big fan of science, but I'm no scientist (maybe I would have been, had conferences & teachers like this been around when I was in high school) ... and I feel like I would have been welcomed. And welcomed not only to attend, but to participate, to ask questions, to provide my perspective on science. As a science librarian and a future journalism librarian, I definitely have some thoughts about science and its promotion -- and I'd love to be part of this conversation.

Next year, I will be.

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