Academia, meet the press

first_imgWe live in a world of too much information and not enough knowledge. No one feels the strain of that digital-age truism more than journalists, who are asked to ferret out and process information with ever-increasing speed — and often at the expense of providing solid context for the news of the day.Journalist’s Resource, a new online tool developed at Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, aims to put that background knowledge at the fingertips of reporters, bloggers, or even concerned citizens by making the work of academics less opaque and easier to find.But the website, which curates scholarship on government, economics, society, and the environment, is more than just a reliable shortcut for deadline-driven journalists. It’s also the ever-evolving manifestation of two Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) professors’ mission to promote what they call “knowledge-based reporting” in the mainstream media.“There is a real need for deepening journalism with verified, high-quality knowledge that informs the kind of serious journalism that makes our democracy work,” said Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center and a lecturer in public policy at HKS.The thought of a reporter parsing data or perusing peer-reviewed journals before picking up the phone or dashing to the scene represents a bold departure from the way many non-specialized journalists (such as those who cover city news, education, or even politics) operate. Throw in a laptop and a smartphone, and the image of a typical reporter at work hasn’t changed much from the era of “All the President’s Men,” or even “His Girl Friday.”A familiarity with scholarly research “is not deeply ingrained in the craft,” said Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at HKS. “It’s not thought to be essential.” But, as Patterson — who’s writing a book on the subject — argues, it should be.“If there were a handful of journalists who understood the financial meltdown in 2008, that’s about it,” he said. “When Sept. 11 happened, how many journalists in this country knew the Taliban? These things come flying out of nowhere. I think there’s a recognition out there, especially among these very good places that are determined to make their reporting as accurate as possible, that their journalists have to be armed with information.”Thomas Patterson: “When Sept. 11 happened, how many journalists in this country knew the Taliban? These things come flying out of nowhere. I think there’s a recognition out there, especially among these very good places that are determined to make their reporting as accurate as possible, that their journalists have to be armed with information.”Academia, with its carefully deliberated, long-gestated research, should be a natural source of such information, but many journalists have been reluctant to turn to scholarship in their day-to-day reporting.“They ignore it because it’s too technical, because they’re not used to going looking for it, because it’s not presented to them in a form they can use,” Jones said. And in a digital world, it can be harder to ferret out high-quality sources of scholarship, because, he said, “You get the good, the bad, and the ugly.”That’s where Journalist’s Resource comes in. It’s part of a growing movement to arm journalists not with a standard body of knowledge — as doctors, lawyers, or other professionals learn in their training — but with a set of analytical tools to help them parse information and research.The site is simple and user friendly. Imagine a journalist wanted to report on the impact of tuition increases in a state’s universities and community colleges. A search for “student loans” on Journalist’s Resource brings up four studies on student lending, each with a summary of the findings. By contrast, the same query on Google Scholar yields 181,000 results.Patterson, Jones, and their team of researchers and journalists (including a rotating group of HKS work-study students) hope that the site will address the problem of “information overabundance” by vetting contemporary, high-quality studies for harried reporters on deadline.“Tens of thousands of studies come out every single year,” said John Wihbey, one of three writer/editors for the website. “It becomes very difficult for journalists, journalism professors, and students to go through and find the key items that would help them. We’re trying to be a useful filter and curator.”The site started in 2008 as a tool for journalism educators and students, and it has its origins in the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, a partnership among the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Shorenstein Center, and 11 leading journalism schools. (It also contains a wealth of educational resources, including interviews with leading media practitioners and syllabi for reporting courses.) Last year, the Journalist’s Resource team started promoting the site to a wider audience of working journalists.“Our core constituency is younger journalists, or people who aren’t covering a specialty beat and are doing general assignment work, looking for information on topics they don’t cover every day,” Wihbey said. “It’s the local reporter or news blogger talking about environmental issues in their community, who wants to know what the research says.”The project currently has 2,300 Twitter followers and 3,500 Facebook “likes,” and the website has drawn 85,000 unique visitors in the past year. The New York Times has incorporated Journalist’s Resource–selected studies into its online topics pages for issues such as income inequality, sex crimes, and social media.One major news organization that was already working on a similar database for its employees (and which Patterson declined to name) privately approached the Shorenstein Center in the hopes of collaborating, Patterson said.“It’s very much a niche product, but we’re hoping that over time it will be treated like a fundamental journalistic resource, and a civic resource at that,” Jones said. After all, he added, “Journalism done right is a critical aid to every citizen in helping them navigate the complex world we live in.”last_img read more

Rep. Kelly credits ND for sparking passion for service

first_img Protecting his father’s legacy The government’s installation of a new chairman offthe General Motors board of directors threatened individual dealership owners, Kelly said. Because Kelly’s dealership sold General Motors vehicles, he received a 39-page document and a request from the General Motors regional manager to sign over his business. Kelly said he refused because he needed to protect his father’s legacy.   “We hired some people legally, spent about 60 thousand dollars in legal fees, but then during the arbitration I got a call … and [was told I would get the dealership back].” This experience highlighted for him what Kelly said was the government’s overreach into the lives of Americans. “I looked at [this experience] and said, you know, this is amazing. Here’s Mike Kelly sitting in little Butler, ia., and this is a government that can come in and not because you’re not running your business the right way, not because you haven’t met all of the metrics that they’ve established, they can decide you’re not going to be in business anymore.  “Why? That’s not America.” The car dealership After graduating, Kelly said he returned to work for his father’s car dealership.  “I didn’t really realize until my senior year [that my post-graduation plans were unusually established], but when everybody started to talk about applying for jobs and what they’re going to do, they asked me, ‘What are you going to do?’” Kelly said. “I said, ‘I am going back home because my family has a business.’ I had never really thought about that aspect of my life because I had always thought I would stay in athletics, but that evaporated. “But it was just kind of natural for me, because I worked at the dealership since I was little. Whether it was washing cars, sweeping floors, helping mechanics get parts, I was always part of it and it was just kind of expected. I was the oldest boy in the family, I had two younger brothers, but my dad just kind of assumed I would be there.” When his father looked to transition away from work at the dealership, Kelly said he sat down with his sons to talk about their interest in the dealership.  “There were three of us, and when it came time for my dad … to transition, he brought the three of us into his office and said, ‘Okay look: I have three sons, I have one business, and I kind of feel like Solomon – I want to know what you guys want to do,’” Kelly said. “[He said], ‘I’m not giving anybody anything, because if I give it to you, you’ll lose it. If you have to buy it, if you have to go to the bank, get the money and make payments on it, you’ll watch it every day.’” Kelly said he alone among his brothers wanted to take up management of the dealership. “[My dad] started from nothing; he was a parts picker in a warehouse,” Kelly said. “It was hard for him to finally make that decision to sell and walk away from his baby.” Editor’s Note: This is the sixth story in a series featuring Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s graduates serving as members of Congress. This series, titled “Trading Golden Dome for Capitol Dome,” will run on Fridays. Although lawmakers allowed the federal government to reopen, debate continues on health care and on the meaning of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA-3), who obtained his B.A. in sociology from Notre Dame in 1970, wrote in support of an alternative plan proposed by House Republicans – the American Health Care Reform Act, or H.R. 3121 – in the Sept. 29 issue of the Erie Times-News. This plan will do what he believes President Obama’s health care law fails to accomplish, Kelly wrote in the opinion piece. “This common sense alternative to the ACA … [makes] American medical care – already the most sought-after in the world – more affordable and more accessible to the most vulnerable among us in a way that does not damage our economy or disrupt anyone’s existing coverage,” Kelly said in the opinion piece. “[O]ur plan operates on the principle that free market competition and maximized individual choice are not just worthy goals but downright indispensible components of patient-centered health-care reform.” Kelly opposed the plan from its introduction to the national political discussion as a mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services issued on Jan. 20, 2012, and the announcement Aug. 1, 2012, that the plan would be implemented thereafter.  Though criticized for his comments Kelly said he felt he needed to stand up to what he called an infringement on Americans’ First Amendment rights. “I was criticized because they were saying, ‘Oh, you’re trying to take away women’s health concerns from them,’” Kelly said. “I said, ‘This has nothing to do with contraception and everything to do with contradiction.’ In our First Amendment, we are guaranteed these rights are enshrined by the people that put this together, that we don’t have to do [certain] things, but you’re telling me, ‘yes, you do.’” Our Lady’s family Far from the only debate Kelly has entered during his time in the House of Representatives, his advocacy for the Republican alternative healthcare plan represents the most recent embodiment of the sense for service he discerned at Notre Dame.  “I think Notre Dame teaches you a sense of responsibility, that we all have to give back at some point,” Kelly said. “Whether it’s your church, in your schools or in your community, I think it’s just who we are at Notre Dame, that we take our experiences at Notre Dame and take that into whoever we are after Notre Dame and build on that.” Kelly graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in sociology and a minor in philosophy and theology. Although he said he enjoyed discussing philosophical and theological issues with his classmates, Kelly said he never expected to enter politics after graduation. “It was never my intention to go into politics,” Kelly said. “If anybody had asked me back then and said, ‘Oh, do you think you would ever run for office?’ I would have said ‘Oh my gosh, no.’ At first I went there to play football. After getting hurt and seeing that your next play could be your last play, you start to grow up really fast.  “You learn very quickly that there is a process that you go through, and when things don’t go the right way you say ‘okay, fine, there’s something else to do.’ But politics, never.” Kelly said the influences of his family and the University’s recruiters brought him to Notre Dame to play football. “I’m Irish Catholic, and growing up, everybody in my family was all Notre Dame fans,” he said. “I really thought I was going to go to Penn State. … But, Terry Hanratty [Notre Dame class of 1968, former quarterback] was a year ahead of me at school, and he went to Notre Dame.” Though his time at Notre Dame started with football, Kelly said he remembers his time at the University for the introduction it gave him to ‘the Notre Dame family.’ “When I first went to Notre Dame it was because of football, but once I was at Notre Dame it was because of Notre Dame. … We’re all family. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you’ve done before, once you get there you are a part of the Notre Dame family,” Kelly said. “I was very disappointed that I got hurt and wasn’t able to play, but I was never disappointed that I stayed at Notre Dame. I always thought that was the best decision I had ever made in my life.” Kelly said his connection to the campus grew during his time as an undergraduate student. “Football was a huge part of [the beginning of my time there], but once you’re there you start to get some places that are really near and dear to your heart,” Kelly said. “I spent a lot of time at the Grotto. … Even now when I go back, my first visit is always to the Grotto. “There’s just something about this campus. … It’s different from anyplace else. I’ve been to a lot of different places to visit, but no place had the attraction of Notre Dame.” A voice for a smaller federal government After the Cash for Clunkers program almost put his dealership out of business, Kelly said he was driven to run for his seat in the third district.  As a representative, he said he has worked to free the people from a government that has grown too large. “All of the things that I have talked about here have nothing do with a government, it has to do with people,” Kelly said. “The government serves the people, the people do not serve the government, and there should never be a situation where the government has grown so big, so powerful and so arrogant that they turn their backs on the people that they are supposed to serve.”  Kelly’s education at Notre Dame and his small-business experience promptednhim to conclude that government intervention is not the best tool to enrich the lives of the American people. “Look at the founding of the University,” he said. “they were traveling, they get sick and stop in South Bend. … they decided to build a Church, to build a school, to build a way of life for people – no government help. there is not one penny from the government that helped start Notre Dame.  “I look at these things in my life and think, ‘What in the world is it that makes these people think that self-reliance is no longer the key?’ It’s reliance on the government that should change, but we have regulated the [rich] and vilified them.”  Kelly said he strongly opposed what he calls the vilification of the people that contribute the most to the funding of our countr.. “Notre Dame would never attack the people that fund it,” Kelly said.  [Some] people do, they vilify people that are successful. … really? Who is funding it all? The same people you have just criticized. AThough he would rather see the government reinforce self-reliance among the American people, he said his own experiences gives him hope. “After being on the ground for 65 years, I have had my nose bloodied a lot,” Kelly said.  I have had a lot of days where things went really well, but I’ve had more days where things went badly. The key was not getting knocked down, it was getting back up. “There’s always tomorrow. there’s always the promise of a new day.” Contact Nicole Michels at [email protected]last_img read more

CLC task forces deliver progress updates

first_imgAt the Campus Life Council (CLC) meeting Monday, student government members, rectors, professors and staff members from the Office of Student Affairs shared progress updates from CLC’s three task force committees. According to the Task Force Agenda for 2013-2014, the first committee works on safety and mental health, the second on community building and the third on holistic development. Student Body President Alex Coccia said the first task force continues to aid student government’s campaign for sexual assault prevention. Student government hosted a Student-Led Discussion about sexual assault on Nov. 20 in Coleman-Morse Center, Coccia said further plans to address sexual assault are in progress “We’re really going to make [sexual assault prevention] an issue campaign with door-to-door pledges.” he said. The task force hopes to work closely with freshmen and sophomores because “they will be influencing the freshmen and sophomores in future years,” Coccia said. Student Body Vice President Nancy Joyce said the second taskforce, is refinine interview questions for focus groups in residence halls where rector turnover has been most common. Joyce said the group wants to see “what is successful in transition and maintaining dorm community.” The group is also working with Campus Ministry to see how liturgical life correlates with a dorm’s sense of community, Joyce said. Sociology professor Rich Williams said the third task force is researching office hour trends among universities across the country. “Universities across the country complain that students don’t come to office hours,” Williams said. The task force will explore ways to encourage students to come to office hours more frequently in order to encourage student and teacher relationships, Williams said. Keenan Hall Rector Noel Terranova said faculty should conduct research and mentor students.  “The emphasis is being given to faculty for advancing research,” he said. “Advancing research isn’t mutually exclusive to relationships with students.” Anthropology professor Carolyn Nordstrom said Notre Dame is  founded on an egalitarian process of research and undergraduate relationships.” Contact Kyle Witzigman at [email protected]last_img read more

Buzzing teaching tool

first_imgBy Sara LaJeunesseUniversity of GeorgiaWasp wrangling may sound like risky business, especially forchildren. Actually, it’s quite safe. So much so that a Universityof Georgia professor is using wasps as a way to teach science.Collaborating with UGA science education colleagues and about 100Georgia middle school science teachers, UGA entomologist BobMatthews has developed 20 classroom activities using “WOWBugs,”wasps so tiny that their stingers can’t penetrate humanskin.”The first lesson is handling the organism,” Matthewssaid. Bug-racing 101Students practice sweeping the bugs across their desks with paintbrushes. In a second lesson, called WOWBug Racetrack, they learnhow to collect and analyze data. They record the time it takesfor the flightless wasps to scuttle from one end of the track tothe other.Matthews and his colleagues have studied these wasps’ biology formore than 30 years. He first recognized their potential asteaching tools when he was in graduate school.”They literally found me,” he said of the discovery that WOWBugshad infested his thesis experiment involving a bee.From this fiasco, Matthews learned of the wasps’ hardiness andshort (24-day) life cycle, which makes them convenient to study.He named thm WOWBugs because of the enthusiasm they generated. For college students, tooWOWBug use at the college level is a bit more involved. Matthewsand postdoctoral associate Jorge M. Gonzalez created four modulesfor freshman biology classes. These modules help students study: * Courtship and aggression behaviors.* Natural selection and heritability.* Ecological interactions, including competition.* Development and polymorphism (having more than one form –short-winged versus long-winged, in the case of females).One of Matthews’ animal behavior classes was taught through theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Thestudents designed WOWBug experiments for their end-of-termprojects.Vanessa Reynolds, a recent UGA graduate, examined whether femalewasps would choose to lay eggs on a host that had already beenparasitized or go for a “clean” host instead. Although her studyyielded inconclusive results, Reynolds was impressed with theclass.”It influenced my goals,” she said. “Now I’d love to go tograduate school in animal behavior and incorporate that subjectinto a focus in education.”Stories like this make Matthews proud. And Reynolds is only oneamong the many students of all ages who have been wowed by thisbug.”Fifteen years ago, if you had said WOWBugs were going to gonational or international in the next decade or so, I would havesaid you’re crazy,” Matthews said. “But it’s becoming anothermodel organism for classroom use at all levels.”For more information, visit the Web site or emailMatthews at [email protected]center_img Ant-size non-stinging wasps”They were originally called fast wasps in allusion to theirrapid life cycle,” he said. “Unfortunately, the name didn’t havegood marketing appeal, as it conjured up a quick sting!”Not much bigger than fleas, the parasitic wasps (Melittobiadigitata) prey on many solitary bees and wasps, including muddaubers — large, black wasps that make mud nests.The tiny bugs have some fascinating characteristics. The male,for example “is most un-insect looking,” Matthews said. “He’sblind, his antler-like antennae are grotesquely modified and he’sgot little stumps for wings.”This compromised chap’s pheromones let him do his procreativeduty, however, as long as he can steer clear of other males whowill try to kill him.In any case, teachers are enthusiastic about using WOWBugs.Brenda Hunt of North Habersham Middle School in Clarkesville,Ga., teaches her students how to collect wild specimens byscraping mud dauber nests off the sides of buildings.”I also tell them,” she said, “not to use their mothers’ spatulaswithout permission.”last_img read more

Moody’s: Renewables continue growing at coal’s expense

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times ($):Emerging markets are set to eclipse developed nations next year in their capacity to generate wind and solar power as equipment costs fall and the energy market approaches “peak coal”, according to Moody’s, the credit rating agency.While developed countries have long been leaders in renewable power generation, emerging economies are close to overtaking them, bringing their total installed capacity of wind and solar to 307GW and 272GW — respectively 51 per cent and 53 per cent of global capacity, according to Moody’s calculations.China accounts for the lion’s share of the upsurge. But Middle East and north African countries are scheduled to have installed 14GW in solar plants by the end of 2018 — a seven-fold increase from 2015. Central and South America are also expected to reach 14GW, nearly five times more than in 2015, while India is set to hit 28GW, a jump of nearly six times.“Everyone knows the cost of installing solar and wind energy has been coming down, but recently we have seen prices hitting extreme lows in places such as Mexico, Chile, India and Abu Dhabi,” said Swami Venkataraman, senior vice-president at Moody’s Investors Service. “This fall in costs is definitely changing the calculus of [emerging market] governments, allowing them to pursue renewables much more aggressively,” he added.Another factor is the onset of “peak coal” in the energy market. In 2013, the US Energy Information Administration projected that world coal demand would rise 39 per cent by 2040. Now it is expecting growth of just 1 per cent.More ($): Emerging markets poised to lead pack on renewable energy Moody’s: Renewables continue growing at coal’s expenselast_img read more

The pandemic changed things, but racers still showed up for the Asheville Triathlon

first_imgDuring the swim portion of the race, participants were given a wave start time based on their projected swim time and were given a full minute before the next swimmer entered the pool. “We never had more than 25 swimmers at the pool or on the deck at a time,” said Kirkwood. “Everything was very spaced out from start to finish.”  By most accounts, the race was a smashing success. Eighty-three percent of participants indicated they would come back and do the race again. According to one satisfied participant, “I felt safer racing… than going to the grocery store.”  And all of those cheering fans? Forget about it. “No spectators were allowed at the pool or at the finish line,” Kirkwood said. The pandemic had changed a lot of things, but it couldn’t stop one group of hardcore triathletes from competing this summer. Last Sunday, just over 100 participants showed up at a park in Hendersonville, NC to do something that most athletes used to take for granted: toe the line at an in-person race.  Race participants wore face coverings before and after the event, had their temperatures checked, and stayed socially distant from other participants. Instead of having typical transition zones, which usually include close quarters, participants were asked to transition at their vehicles. The rebooted transition zones “went really well,” said Kirkwood. “[Racers] had plenty of room to set up their things… we also had spaces in between some cars giving additional space.”center_img The Asheville Triathlon, held at a new location in Hendersonville’s Patton Park, is setting an example of what in-person events may look like in the future during the time of COVID-19. “This coronavirus has really forced us to make some big changes in the endurance event industry,” said Daphne Kirkwood, owner of iDaph Events and Race Director for the Asheville Triathlon. “There just isn’t a cookie cutter way to design and produce an in-person event during a pandemic. But I’m really happy with how safely everything turned out.” The winners of this triathlon-like-no-other were Jenn Stanton and Ricky Flynn. Stanton is a pro triathlete from Charlotte, NC and finished with a time of 1:05:22. Stanton, also a pro triathlete from Greenville, SC, completed the race in 58:23. Asheville, North Carolina skyline nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Photo courtesy SeanPavonePhotolast_img read more

Aronovitz: Dignity in Law has made a difference

first_img July 1, 2003 Regular News A year ago, Bar President Tod Aronovitz launched the Dignity in Law program, saying he wanted to tell Floridians the whole story about lawyers and the legal system.At the Board of Governors’ May 30 meeting in Key West, he wrote the end to what he hopes is the first chapter of that tale.Dignity in Law had a successful initial year, Aronovitz said, surpassing its goals in many areas and garnering strong support from lawyers and judges. And, he added, the Bar can build on that success in the future. The effort has been approved to continue in the 2003-04 budget, but with reduced funding as Bar staff performs some functions this year that were done previously by rbb Public Relations of Coral Gables, who helped the Bar design the program.The goal of the program was to increase positive stories about the legal system in the media by 50 to 100 percent. At the beginning of the year, only 7 percent of news stories were positive, and 30 percent were negative, Aronovitz said. the end of the year, 19 percent were positive and 11 percent were negative (the rest were judged neutral).The Bar hoped to increase reporting on pro bono activities by 50 percent, and instead got a 200 percent rise, he said, and coverage on judges and what they do rose by 150 percent, well above the 15 to 25 percent initially hoped for.The program also created an online media center that is regularly used by journalists and the public, he noted.Through Dignity in Law, Aronovitz said the Bar was able to publicize, assist, or help sponsor a number of good projects by lawyers and bar associations, including a mentoring program by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, various celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, and a number of individual good works by lawyers.The program also initiated highly creative graphical e-mails for legislators, and those were just recognized with a Bronze Anvil Award by the Public Relations Society of America.Improving the public perception of the legal system is key with helping the Bar in its legislative activities, Aronovitz said. He noted that a state representative recently announced a constitutional petition initiative aimed at capping all contingency fees in tort and workers’ compensation cases at $75,000.“There are so many people out there right now who want to attack our profession,” he said. “To help our legislative team, to help our next president and our successor next president, I say this program is essential and helps all lawyers in the state.. . . “Keep believing and keep talking about the good things we do. We now have a stepping stone from which to go forward.” Aronovitz: Dignity in Law has made a differencecenter_img Aronovitz: Dignity in Law has made a differencelast_img read more

The World Tourism Organization has launched a program to monitor the recovery of tourism

first_imgAs more and more countries around the world ease travel restrictions, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has launched a new program to monitor the recovery of tourism – Tourism Recovery Tracker, in support of global tourism. An extensive tourism dashboard is the result partnerships of international organizations and the private sector, covers key indicators of tourism performance by months, regions and subregions, and enables recovery comparison sectors worldwide and real-time industries. According to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization, a sharp drop in demand for international travel during the first six months of this year has led to a loss of as much as 440 million international arrivals and eye $ 460 billion income from international tourism. That’s about it five times the loss in revenues from international tourism from that recorded 2009 in the midst of the global financial crisis. Source: UNWTO UNWTO’s Tourism Recovery Tracker is available free of charge and is a joint effort of a group of partners, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), ForwardKeys, STR, Sawyer and AIRDNA. “Tracker” collects everything relevant data providing governments and private companies with the ability to monitor the recovery of tourism at the global and regional levels, along with information on major destinations for international tourism. That’s right on one place can find data on international tourist arrivals, seat capacity on international and domestic airlines, air travel reservations, hotel searches and reservations, occupancy rates and demand for short-term rentals.last_img read more

Ex-cricketer is latest to cash in on e-property explosion

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Presale robs auction of drama

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