Joint session of Congress

Media and Politics Must Reads, May 15, 2015

May 14, 2015

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

To Be Effective Legislators, Members of Congress Need Expert Resources of Their Own. A forthcoming study finds that as laws and issues grow more complex, the expert resources available to members of Congress have not kept pace. From Journalist’s Resource.

The Impact of International Free Trade Agreements on Job Growth and Prosperity. As Congress debated whether to expedite another round of major international trade agreements this week, how have similar pacts worked out in the past?

Amtrak Safety, Rail Transit and Infrastructure Issues: Research Roundup. From Journalist’s Resource.

News from Our Fellows

A New Front Door for the FOIA Request Process. Nick Sinai, Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow, writes about a new service developed by the federal government to help journalists, researchers, and the public better navigate the FOIA process.

NPR Initiates Phase Two of Plan to Become the Pandora of News. David Weinberger, Joan Shorenstein Fellow, writes about the potential uses of NPR’s API (application program interface) and why it’s of interest to not only developers, but also listeners, on Slate.

Facebook’s Instant Articles are Live: Either a Shrewd Mobile Move by Publishers — or Feeding the Borg. An analysis of Facebook’s new news features from the Nieman Lab features an interview with Facebook’s Chris Cox from the Riptide oral history project, created by fellows John Geddes (Fall 2014), John Huey, Martin Nisenholtz & Paul Sagan (Spring 2013).

Ecomodernists Spark Rhetorical Heat. Matthew C. Nisbet, Joan Shorenstein Fellow (Fall 2012), writes about the clash between environmentalists who call for the slowing of modernization to prevent climate change, and those who see it as an essential solution, in an op-ed for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

From around the Web

News Audiences Spread the Word, But Few Get Involved in Local Journalism, from Pew Research.

What Reporters Need to Know about the Recent Patriot Act Ruling, from Poynter.

There’s a Fierce Battle Brewing Between Political Bloggers in a Crucial 2016 Swing State, from Business Insider.

Dim Public Awareness of Supreme Court as Major Rulings Loom, from Pew Research Center.

Why Almost No One’s Covering the War in Yemen, from Columbia Journalism Review.

All the News That’s Fit to Like: Facebook Isn’t Just Making Us Less Partisan. It’s Making Us Less Politically Engaged, from Slate.

When Metrics Drive Newsroom Culture. Columbia Journalism Review provides a summary of a new report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, The Traffic Factories: Metrics at Chartbeat, Gawker Media, and The New York Times.

Data Visualisation Tips from Information is Beautiful, from

Turning Data into Civic Tools: Journalists, Coders, Students Collaborate in Portland, from PBS MediaShift.

Sign up to receive Media and Politics Must Reads in your inbox each week. Also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.