New Media Mindset

Exploring tools, tactics, and techniques for news on the go

Protecting Elections from
21st Century Threats

Posted on | April 2, 2011 | 7 Comments

Election reform advocates from across the U.S. gathered last month in Chicago for the annual conference of the Election Verification Network (EVN). Keynote speaker Rev. Jesse Jackson said the civil rights struggle that brought about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 continues today, with those hard-won rights now imperiled by new threats including the voter ID laws currently sweeping state legislatures. He pointed out that the right to vote does not necessarily include the right to have your vote counted fairly and accurately.

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Can you videotape in the University Libraries?

Posted on | March 16, 2011 | No Comments

People sometimes do some strange things in libraries. For example, a year or two ago a foot fetishist was stealing single shoes, leaving young women stranded in McKeldin Library with just one shoe to get home in. [Note to self: Never take off shoes in McKeldin.]

Some students are even moved to create music videos in the University Libraries. Despite policies prohibiting photography or recording of any type without staff permission, students sometimes record on their mobile devices or laptops. Are they violating the law?

That depends, says Deborah Nelson, visiting Carnegie Professor in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

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There’s an elephant in the library: University of Maryland joins Hathi Trust

Posted on | February 27, 2011 | 77 Comments

Google’s co-founder and president of technology, Sergey Brin, has a dream. “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” said Brin, announcing the legal agreement that forms the foundation of Google Books.

As the internet has driven the expectation for instant access to information 24/7 worldwide, libraries have been struggling to meet that need. For materials that are “born digital,” such as the journals and databases that comprise 75% of the University of Maryland Libraries’ new acquisitions, delivery is easy. But what about the millions of volumes of print materials that fill library shelves? The cost and pace of scanning them would be prohibitive.

Enter Google, which has developed scanning technology that enables it to scan books at blazing speed without damaging the bindings. Read more

Annapolis Rally Supports Wisconsin Workers

Posted on | February 27, 2011 | No Comments

Rally in front of Maryland State House

Annapolis, MD — Hundreds gathered on Lawyer’s Mall at noon yesterday to show their support for union workers in Wisconsin and other states whose collective bargaining rights are in jeopardy.

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Techno-Isolation, Robotics, and the Japanese Id

Posted on | February 17, 2011 | No Comments

The most interesting aspect of Japanese culture is the paradoxical nature of its society, according to Maya E., a senior majoring in Japanese at University of Maryland. After spending her junior year abroad as an exchange student, she shared the following observations.

“Japanese children are expected to do very well academically so they can get into a good high school, then a good university, and then get hired by a good company,” Maya says. “Young people want to escape from that by joining subcultures, but within these subcultures there is a lot of conformity as well.” She notes that after this brief flirtation with a flamboyant alternative style of dress and behavior, most Japanese youth return to embrace the rigid societal norms and expectations of mainstream Japanese culture. Read more

The News, Lake Wobegon-style

Posted on | February 6, 2011 | 1 Comment

I admit it — I’m a public radio junkie. Writer’s Almanac sets the context for my day and Morning Edition paces my morning workout and commute. If my work-day allows I try to catch topics of interest on Diane Rehm, Kojo Nnamdi, Fresh Air, Tell Me More, On Point, and Science Friday, and if I have to miss good ones I often listen to them later online. This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, Radio Lab, Soundprint, Studio 360, On the Media, and some of the other weekend shows experiment with the audio medium. I even like the folksy home-spun shows like Prairie Home Companion (well, OK, maybe just the “News from Lake Wobegon” segment), Car Talk, Thistle and Shamrock — even the pet and parenting and religion shows (where else can you learn about The Holy Foreskin?) And yes, I even enjoy those Sunday night excursions into simpler days when Dragnet and Johnnie Dollar remind me how far radio has come. Read more

Confessions of a Mobile Hold-out

Posted on | February 4, 2011 | 1 Comment


Dick Tracy with his wrist radio

As a kid I always wanted a wrist radio like Dick Tracy’s. And one of those Star Trek scanners that can do health diagnostics and all kinds of other nifty scientific readings. Today’s iPhone and other devices begin to approach those kinds of gadgets, yet I have been slow to adopt them. Why? MORE>

A Passion for Democracy

Posted on | February 4, 2011 | No Comments


Paper ballot voting image

The urge for freedom and self-determination beats strong within the human heart, as recent events in Egypt andĀ Tunisia attest. But democracy is fragile and can fall prey to powerful forces that seek to suppress or undermine it. Those threats can ride in on horsebackĀ brandishing whips or they may come in more subtle guises. MORE>

Project 6: Interview Sequence

Posted on | December 6, 2010 | No Comments

This will be the beginning sequence of my final project video: a virtual tour of the exhibition “Greetings from Vacationland: Early Postcards and the Rise of Leisure in the United States, 1890-1920.”

Sequence Exercise: Tutoring in the TLC

Posted on | November 20, 2010 | No Comments

Two students study the anatomy of the eye on a Saturday afternoon in the Terrapin Learning Commons in McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland.

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This is my blog for the New Media Journalism Program at the University of Maryland.

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