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Communication, Academic

John McCallum
Spring 2017

Writing pools, movie stars

The New York Yankees were establishing their dominance over America’s favorite pastime. The Golden Era of Hollywood was in full swing. And a nation recovering from the sacrifices of World War II had begun to heal and find itself.

It was a world of big cars and even bigger personalities. A world that sportswriter John D. McCallum, a U.S. Army veteran and former pro baseball player, found he could navigate with surprising ease.

McCallum resumed his English and journalism studies at Washington State after returning from the war, and briefly played for the Portland Beavers in 1947. But it was after he hung up his … » More …

Iphone image
Fall 2016

Get out the tweet

Social media’s effect on political participation and civility

In the nonstop flow of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, it’s hard to avoid comments and news about politics, especially in a presidential election year. Many worry the geyser of political rhetoric and uncivil comments might discourage some from participating.

That’s not always the case, says Porismita Borah, an assistant professor in the Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University since 2012. As a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin and at WSU, she researches emerging technology and how it affects politics. She coauthored a study in 2008 that found young people became … » More …

The Mott Squad
Spring 2016

The Mott Squad

Before broadcaster Robert Mott founded NPR, he helped bring Washington State’s communication education into the television era.

National Public Radio cofounder and former Washington State professor Robert Mott briefly appeared on a large projection screen before the video image froze and then disappeared. Again.

Mott waited patiently in his San Diego home as some of his former broadcast students, now in their 60s and 70s, double-checked the video chat settings from the Yakima conference room where they’d gathered. He wasn’t too worried.

Their bond, after all, had been forged in an era of technological innovation, though that was a half century earlier when many problems … » More …

Illustration by David Wheeler
Spring 2013

Believe it or not

When a public policy issue, say climate change or health care reform, becomes politicized, people with strong partisan leanings sometimes have a hard time dealing with facts.

Douglas Blanks Hindman, an associate professor in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, researches this effect, which he labels the “belief gap” between knowable and testable claims and partisan perception of those claims.

Communication researchers have long had a theory about a knowledge gap, which says the mass media does not distribute information about science and public affairs equally, and over time the difference between what highly educated and less educated people actually … » More …

Orcas
Winter 2012

Chris Dunagan ’74, ’75—Bearing witness to the sights and smells of our soggy backyard

If you cover the waterfront the way Chris Dunagan does, you have to expect a fair amount of smells. There’s the fresh, tangy scent of estuary and the mild musk of beach wrack. There’s the stench of rotting shellfish during the great Oyster Rescue of 2010, and the outsized rot of a beached gray whale. Dunagan, 60, has documented a lot of beached whales, although the numbers are hard to nail down.

Counting just grays, not killer whales or humpbacks or dead whale reports over the phone, he says, “I’ve probably gone out to 20.”

Dunagan (biochemistry ’74, ’75 communications) has been the environmental reporter … » More …

Unleashed magazine
Winter 2012

A healthy dose of sex in the media

The average teenager will encounter 10,000 to 15,000 sexual references in the media each year. Sex-related scenes appeared on television at a rate of 4.6 per hour in 2005. Unfortunately, most of the sex portrayed in media has little to do with the reality of sexual health, says Stacey J. T. Hust, associate professor at Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

In looking at movies, television shows, music, and magazines popular with teens, she and her colleagues “found that less than one-half of one percent of all sexual content is actually health-related content,” says Hust. “They’ll depict a whole lot of sexual … » More …

First Words
Summer 2012

The learned observer

“We should observe first, and think afterwards.” 
—The Lancet, Oct. 19, 1823

Part of the nature of a writer—but then again, perhaps I speak only for myself—is the constant reimagining of one’s self and context, the repeated immersion in myriad and esoteric subjects, all the while desperately hoping for infinite reincarnations in order to fulfill all the things one would like to understand, experience, and be. On the other hand, being a writer embraces the perfectly paradoxical satisfaction with one’s role as a learned observer.

Given the skeptical writer’s reluctance to rely on reincarnation, the only way to grasp these multitudinous desires and perspectives … » More …

Video: Excerpt of The Murrow Interview with Ayman Mohlyedin of Al Jazeera English

In March 2011, founding dean of WSU’s Murrow College of Communication Lawrence Pintak interviewed Ayman Mohlyedin, correspondent for Al Jazeera English, on Northwest Public Television‘s The Murrow Interview. Watch an excerpt of the interview below. 

You can read more about Mohlyedin and other journalists in the Arab world in “Revolutions are televised by Arab journalists.”

3 minutes, 26 seconds

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