We all read and watch a wide range of media content every day. If this wasn’t true, you wouldn’t be here! As media consumers, we have probably all noticed a wide variety of patterns. Some topics seem to come up all the time, while others are ignored. Some topics seem to be treated fairly, while others are not.
Unfortunately, our memory as readers is full of biases. It is possible to show the same news story to people on opposing sides of an issue, and they will both conclude the story is biased against them! Understanding news content requires research, to keep our own biases from fooling us.
This blog is dedicated to helping explain patterns in the news. I will draw from a wide range of social scientific insights, both quantitative and qualitative. Some posts will focus on explaining major stories as they unfold. Others will review important topics and concepts in prior research, and how to teach them to students. Once I finish setting up the blog and various feeds, you can expect shameless promoting of friends.
I am a graduate student in Sociology at UCLA, after getting out of journalism at the right time. I enjoyed news, but I like research and teaching more. My research focuses on the range of opinions found in news stories, what makes a statement newsworthy, and how those statements spread through the Internet. Over the summer, I teach Sociology of Mass Communication, Social Networks and Statistics here at UCLA. Working with students helps distract me from the pain of another disappointing season for my beloved New York Mets. (But Mr. Met is still my muse!)