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Communication, Academic

Kelsey Cook (Augustin Detienne)
Fall 2018

A formula for funny

When Kelsey Cook ’11 was a junior in college she delivered her first stand-up performance during an open-mic night at a campus dining hall.

“You’re basically intruding on everyone’s dinner,” she recalls. Even if the crowd thought something was funny they had food in their mouth so she couldn’t really hear their reaction.

Cook has since made a name for herself in comedy and last spring made her stand-up debut on The Tonight Show and earned her first credit on Comedy Central.

She was also back on the road performing stand-up, including a weekend last April at the Spokane Comedy Club where a … » More …

Scripting Romance thumb
Fall 2018

Rescripting gender roles

Sex is everywhere, researchers Stacey Hust and Kathleen Rodgers point out, but, strangely, we get very nervous talking about it—especially with our adolescent children.

That’s a concern to the two Washington State University collaborators, who just published a book, Scripting Adolescent Romance: Adolescents Talk about Romantic Relationships and Media’s Sexual Scripts, that examines the power of media, so chock full of sex and violence, to shape the gender roles of children and adolescents in ways that last a lifetime.

Scripting Adolescent Romance book cover

So powerful are the … » More …

Talk Back
Summer 2018

Talkback for Summer 2018

 

Truth or consequences

I retired in May 2017 after forty-plus years teaching philosophy in various colleges, and I can corroborate the observations of Professor Hindman and Ms. Donaway.

Thirty or forty years ago, people listened to whatever the disc jockey selected for air time. Now, people can drive from Pullman to New York and choose to hear only what they want. One consequence is that young people are trained to think that they never have to hear what they don’t want to hear—including
campus speakers.

The remark, “When you remove truth from the equation, all that is left is power,” captures the … » More …

Twitter bird illustration
Spring 2018

Truth or consequences

Fake news nearly started a war between Qatar and its neighbors in 2017. In Pakistan, a highly placed official bought into a fake news story warning that Israel was going to destroy Pakistan, and tweeted a warning at Israel that his country, too, was a nuclear power. And in Washington, D.C., an armed vigilante burst into a pizzeria and fired three shots, thinking he was bringing down a sex-slave ring.

While news has never been neutral, something has changed: Information has become weaponized. What’s changed, says Washington State University communications professor Doug Hindman, is that the marketplace of ideas has broken down under the … » More …

Illustration of paper with question mark
Spring 2018

How to become information literate?

It takes four moves and a habit

Michael Caulfield’s approach to information literacy is simple. He argues that we should teach students to be fact checkers instead of rhetoricians. In rhetoric, readers spend a great deal of time reading closely, analyzing syntax and word choice for tone. Fact checking, though, is quick, involving only “four moves and a habit,” Caulfield, director of networked and blended learning at WSU Vancouver, says. A recent Stanford University study supports the idea that a fact-checking strategy is superior to close reading.

Look for previous work. When fact-checking a particular claim, the quickest, simplest thing to do is to … » More …

Cover of At Home with Ernie Pyle
Spring 2018

At Home with Ernie Pyle

Cover of At Home with Ernie Pyle

Edited by Owen V. Johnson ’68

Indiana University Press: 2016

 

A glimpse into the life and times of American journalist and Indiana favorite son Ernie Pyle, as seen through an extensive collection of Pyle’s folksy newspaper columns stretching from his student days in 1921 until his death by sniper fire during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

The homespun Hoosier, as Pyle was known, grew up in small-town … » More …

Charles Hudson
Spring 2018

Living the fighting spirit

Hunting and rodeoing, playing football and singing in the school choir. For Charles Hudson ’84, growing up in the ’60s and ’70s on the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation in rural North Dakota also meant listening to stories from his Hidatsa mother and white rancher father. One of them was about a huge flood — and it wasn’t a myth.

Six years before Hudson was born, construction of the Garrison Dam submerged 550,000 acres of Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara (the Three Affiliated Tribes) land, resulting in Lake Sakakawea and forcing hundreds of families to flee, including Hudson’s. The tragedy only inspired his parents to triumph over it.

» More …

Stop signs with x and green check marks
Spring 2018

Fact or Fiction? Using the Web to Quickly Fact-check Social Media Feeds

Although titled Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, Michael Caulfield’s book is in fact for all of us. That’s why he subtitled the book as also being for “other people who care about facts.” As he writes, the web “is both the largest propaganda machine ever created and the most amazing fact-checking tool ever invented.”

Most efforts at teaching web literacy have focused, the Washington State University staff member writes, on time-consuming critical thinking and on producing and publishing things on the web. While both are valuable skills, they fail to address the much more urgent need: how to evaluate the information we are presented with … » More …

Ana Cabrera
Fall 2017

Live from New York . . .

When Ana Cabrera ’04 first set foot on Washington State University’s Pullman campus in 2000, she had no idea she’d be live on national television in 17 years.

She didn’t know she’d go on to work as a weekend anchor for CNN and live in New York City. She was unaware that she’d cover major stories like riots in Ferguson, marijuana legalization, and immigration—or that her life would soon be at the 24/7 mercy of the “news gods.” And she certainly couldn’t predict that the president of the United States would call her and her fellow journalists the “enemy.”

What she did know was … » More …

Privacy, Surveillance, and the New Media You cover
Fall 2017

Privacy, Surveillance, and the New Media You

Privacy, Surveillance, and the New Media You cover

Edward Lee Lamoureux ’80 MA Speech Comm.

Peter Lang: 2017

 

You open your browser to your favorite news site, and there on top is an ad for Cougar logo socks. “Wait a minute,” you might ask yourself. “How did they know I just looked at a tweet about Coug socks?” Or you might not even think about it.

That slightly creepy sensation of losing one’s privacy, and … » More …