Our weekly roundup of news found at the intersection of media, politics, policy and technology, from the Shorenstein Center and from around the web.
This Week at the Shorenstein Center
- This week was Sunshine Week, an annual nation-wide celebration of access to public information. To get started on your own government data excavation, visit Journalist’s Resource’s extensive list of Federal government data sets.
- How do young adults find and consume news? The American Press Institute and the Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released a new report showing that Facebook is a dominant platform for news discovery, and only a third of those surveyed under age 25 said they proactively seek out news. Journalist’s Resource provides some key takeaways from the report and related research.
- It’s spring break at the Kennedy School, which means our events series will return next week. Meanwhile, check out some recaps and audio from the semester so far:
News from Our Fellows
- So Sayeth Google: The Search Engine Should Not Be the Arbiter of Truth. David Weinberger, Joan Shorenstein Fellow Spring 2015, writes about the complexities of ranking search results in Slate. Whether results are ranked by popularity or by accuracy, there are very real implications for topics such as science and journalism.
- Government Website Performance as Open Data. Nick Sinai, Walter Shorenstein Media & Democracy Fellow, writes about the potential for a new source of government data – federal government agency website metrics – which were released via a new dashboard at analytics.usa.gov on March 19.
- Erdogan Has All But Destroyed Turkish Journalism. Yavuz Baydar, Joan Shorenstein Fellow Fall 2014, writes about escalating threats to freedom of the press in Turkey in The Guardian. Read his full paper, “The Newsroom as an Open Air Prison: Corruption and Self-Censorship in Turkish Journalism.“
- How Big Data Could Make Job-hunting Less Stressful. The Washington Post interviewed Aneesh Chopra, Walter Shorenstein Media & Democracy Fellow, about efforts to modernize the federal government’s labor market database to better connect employers and job seekers. View a summary of the related executive roundtable discussion held at HKS last month.
From around the Web
- The Associated Press reports that the Obama administration set a record for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
- Facebook released a new transparency report detailing the type and frequency of government requests for information. Although the U.S. government topped the list for number of requests for information, it made no requests to remove content. India and Turkey had the highest number of requests for content removal. View a summary of the findings in The New York Times, and the original reports and data on Facebook.
- Pew Research released a new report on Americans’ views on government surveillance. Although Americans are divided in their concerns about government surveillance, they “are losing confidence that the public interest is being served by the surveillance programs.” Read the full report.
- A new study from the Philly Political Media Watch Project found that airtime devoted to political TV ads outnumbered political news coverage by a ratio of 45:1 during the 2014 elections in Philadelphia. View a summary of the report’s findings at Columbia Journalism Review.
- Gawker announced a new tool that automatically publishes White House pool reports. Poynter provides an analysis of what this could mean for White House correspondents.
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