See the calendar on the right for the full schedule.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Law School Winter Course

The message below was sent to me by Peter Shane. Some of you may be interested in this course...

As promised, I am writing in the hope that you might be able to publicize to your students my winter quarter (for them) course in The Internet, Democracy, and the Law. The course description appears below. Many thanks, Peter

Professor Peter Shane

Since the advent of the Internet, hopes have loomed large for its potential role in invigorating the quality of democratic life in both developing and post-industrial countries. This course will analyze the ways in which the production, consumption, and legal regulation of Internet speech and digital technologies shape the Internet's political impact on democracy, with special, but not exclusive reference to the experience of the United States.

The course will begin with an introduction to the Internet as a technological and political phenomenon, plus a brief survey of democratic theory. We will then consider the Internet as an information medium, as we might consider newspapers or broadcast journalism. A third section of the course will look at the Internet as a vehicle for governance and political action.

Our readings will introduce the idea of "e-democracy," and the challenges posed for e-democracy by issues of access, inclusion, and the digital divide. We will then consider the uses of the Internet for mobilizing interest groups, conducting electoral campaigns, as well as the phenomenon of "e-government." Following this survey, we will consider how law treats the Internet in its capacity as a "public square"or general forum for free speech. Specific topics will include fighting words, national security limits on speech, the regulation of obscenity, and defamation. We will then discuss the legal regulation of digital technologies as its affects their democratic prospects. Of particular concern will be debates over treating internet service providers as common carriers, mandating "net neutrality," promoting broadband deployment, and regulating technologies for sharing information. We will take a brief look at copyright issues and their potential impact on democracy, and then survey political and legal perspectives on data mining, data protection and freedom of information.

In order to accommodate potential enrollment by graduate students from other departments, the course is offered during the College of Law spring semester, but compressed into thirty 70-minute sessions taught over the ten-week winter quarter. Grading will be based 70 per cent on an all-essay take-home final examination, 20 per cent on student contributions to an online discussion forum, and 10 per cent on class participation. Because the College of Law spring semester begins one week later than Winter Quarter, 2009, graduate students from other departments will start this course during the second week of the quarter, and will be responsible only for the material in Classes 1-27. They will be welcome to attend the last three classes, which focus on the law of privacy, but attendance will be optional and the exam for non-law students will not cover this material. Law students and non-law students will be graded on separate curves.

Our primary texts will be Andrew Chadwick, Internet Politics: States, Citizens and New Communication Technologies (Oxford University Press, 2006), and Madeleine Schachter and Joel Kurtzberg, Law of Internet Speech (Carolina Academic Press, 3d ed., 2008).

COPS alumnus in the thick of TN election polling

COPS Ph.D. alumnus Jason Reineke, only a few months after graduation, is already getting attention with his work running the MTSU Poll. Here we seem him interviewed by local news discussing findings from a recent poll regarding the race between Obama and McCain in Tennessee. While completing the Ph.D., Jason also completed the graduate interdisciplinary specialization in survey research, which no doubt increased his value on the job market and helped him secure this position.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

COPS Globetrotters

In the past couple of weeks COPS members have been traveling the globe sharing their research with colleagues and students in the U.S. and abroad. For instance, Andrew Hayes just returned from a trip to England and Amsterdam. In England, he presented the paper "Self-Censorship as a Psychological Syndrome" to the Morrell Centre for Toleration Workshop on Self-Censorship at the University of York. He then hopped a plane to the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCOR) to deliver a workshop on applied statistics. Meanwhile, Lance Holbert -- feeling the first chill of autumn in Columbus -- flew south to the University of Texas at Austin to participate in a gathering of 20 political communication scholars to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the landmark agenda setting study of McCombs and Shaw.

Fortunately, as we start the first day of the autumn quarter, our friends are back in Columbus safe and sound.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Meta Analysis of Election Polls 2008

Princeton is at it again this year, with its meta-analysis of election polls. COPS members with an interest in politics, public opinion, and methodology (i.e., every single one of you) will find their web page very interesting, and even addicting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Football, of sorts

In spite of the OSU vs. USC hoopla of late, it isn't all about football at OSU. Ok, maybe football matters, but sometimes of a different kind. The Columbus Crew is currently #1 in the MLS, and we have a number of soccer fans, students and faculty, who enjoy attending the Crew games. For instance, here we see Jorg Matthes, Erik Nisbet, Andrew Hayes, and Ray Pingree watching the Crew win again. Maybe it doesn't look that exciting from this photo, but it is. Granted, if you really want to have fun, you have to hang with the grad students in the fan section.

Young Mie's article in Journal of Communication

You may be interested in reading the press release related to the paper published by Young Mie Kim and former graduate student John Vishak in the Journal of Communication. This study, about the relative informational effects of network news and late night comedy programs, taps into a topic that has received a lot of attention in recent years. I expect that this study is going to generate some news coverage both locally and nationally. Congrats to Young Mie and John on their interesting study being published!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Forthcoming Faculty and Student Publications

Here are just a few of the forthcoming faculty publications from COPS group members that I have learned about. I'm sure there are more to follow!

William Eveland and Myiah Hively, "Political discussion frequency, network size, and 'heterogeneity' of discussion as predictors of political knowledge and participation" in Journal of Communication.

Myiah Hively and William Eveland, "Contextual antecedents and political consequences of adolescent political discussion, discussion elaboration, and network diversity" in Political Communication.

Lance Holbert, Heather LaMarre, and Kristen Landreville, "Fanning the flames of a partisan divide: The role of debate viewing in the formation of partisan-driven post-election evaluations of personal vote count accuracy" in Communication Research.

Young Mie Kim, “Issue publics in the new information environment: Selectivity, domain-specificity, and extremity” in Communication Research.

Andrew Hayes and Teresa Myers, “Testing the 'proximate casualties hypothesis': Local troop loss, attention to news, and support for military intervention” in Mass Communication and Society.

LaMarre, Beam and Landreville Paper and Shen Paper Accepted at Press/Politics

The LaMarre, Beam and Landreville paper that won the top student paper award in AEJMC's Mass Communication & Society division last month -- "The irony of satire: Political ideology and the motivation to see what you want to see in The Colbert Report" -- was recently accepted for publication in the journal Press/Politics. Congrats Heather, Michael, and Kristen! This follows up the acceptance of Chris Shen's #2 student paper award winner in the same division -- "Staying alive: The impact of media momentum on candidacy attrition in the 1980-2004 primaries" -- also accepted for publication in Press/Politics. Congrats Chris!