Midnight. March 3. 2020.

The human brain has another gear that it goes into when it learns it is in danger. Time slows down, or the brain speeds up, and seconds feel like entire lifetimes.

For a moment, just one single moment that somehow also felt like an infinite forever, I stared down the Universe itself.

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It was just past midnight and I was dead asleep. My two kittens were curled up next to me. Gatsby, named for his extroversion and the tuxedo he wears, was asleep at my feet. Rosie, the tiny tabby, curled up on my chest. …


A study of the propaganda tactics used by QAnon to influence public opinion.

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Modern Context

An increasing number of scholars and public officials in the United States have been sounding the alarm on creeping fascism in America, specifically after the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the subsequent flaunting of democratic norms. Dr. Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State and UN Ambassador under the Bill Clinton administration, penned a book in 2018 called Fascism: A Warning, which examines the hospitable conditions for fascism around the globe during the 20th century and applies them to the modern day United States. Among these favorable conditions are the idea that fascism flourishes in chaotic political…


At first, the storm was just wind. No rain, or thunder. Just wind. Starting in slow gusts and then blowing faster and faster. Whipping across the world with no care for old tree limbs and patio umbrellas.

The power went out quickly, the old trees weren’t as strong as they used to be. The poor mammoth sunflower out back, the lone survivor of 11 who sprouted, stood no chance of survival.

Listen to the percussion section make a slow entrance as rain moves closer and closer. Thunder rumbles across the sky in the distance. …


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I’ve noticed a common theme in democratic circles as the discussion of the primary nomination for President has gone on. “Vote blue, no matter who,” says the campaign organizer behind a sheepish grin. “Vote blue, no matter who,” says the top reddit comment on every story about Donald Trump’s breathless corruption.

I get it. It’s a pithy quote. It rhymes. It flows off the tongue nicely. It puts words to a feeling of disillusionment many of us feel that such a cartoonishly terrible person has ascended into the highest office in the land. It’s the same sentiment experienced when “Giant…


Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act using all forms of communication. Before you share a piece of media, here is a good list of questions to ask.

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Access

  • How did I come across this piece of media?
  • What is the source of this message and what might the bias be?
  • Why might an algorithm have served it to me?
  • When was it written?

Analyze

  • Is the information presented as fact or as an opinion?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Who stands to benefit from this message?
  • What draws me to this piece of media?
  • How is the information creatively presented?

Evaluate

  • What is my emotional reaction to this message?
  • How might others emotionally react to this message?
  • Is it factually accurate?
  • What is being sold by this…


For the first time in decades, research shows younger people are more inclined than older generations to pay subscriptions for their news.

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Photo credit: Sascha Kohlmann

Writer’s note: This Medium series, How Shifting Media Business Models Influence Local Engagement, has been adapted from my Master’s Thesis at Middle Tennessee State University. For links to other sections and references, see the bottom (and please clap).

Rapid changes in the business models of the news industry have large implications for the way consumers are engaging with news content, and scholarly research must take these changes into account when studying the important relationship between newspaper readership and societal health. This study was designed to look in greater detail at this relationship.

To see the math behind this discussion, click here.

The most significant result of the study is…


Writer’s note: This Medium series, How Shifting Media Business Models Influence Local Engagement, has been adapted from my Master’s Thesis at Middle Tennessee State University. For links to other sections and references, see the bottom (and please clap).

Rapid changes in the business models of the news industry have large implications for the way consumers are engaging with news content, and scholarly research must take these changes into account when studying the important relationship between newspaper readership and societal health. This is a study designed to look in greater detail at this relationship.

To skip the math and go straight to what it means, click here.

Method

The study depends on a survey…


The social effects of the changing business models of news

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Civic participation rates measure the propensity of a population’s members to participate in activities that benefit their broader community. This can be any act where an individual is engaging as a citizen — voting, serving in a local charity or serving in a local club or association. Civic participation is closely linked with interpersonal trust to form a “virtuous circle,” called social capital, which allows citizens of a community to collectively solve problems. Research in a wide variety of fields indicates that the quality of American public life is powerfully correlated with civic participation and interpersonal trust. …


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Writer’s note: This Medium series, How Shifting Media Business Models Influence Local Engagement, has been adapted from my Master’s Thesis at Middle Tennessee State University. For links to other sections and references, see the bottom (and please clap).

The press is an instrumental institution to American society. Technological disruption to the business model of newspapers has long had broad effects across American society in the sociological and political realms (Kuypers, 2014; Pariser, 2012; Putnam, 2000).

Stephens (2007) details the history of news in the context of American history. He found that in 18th century America, the news business was unprofitable…


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These are the references for my Medium series called How Shifting Media Business Models Influence Local Engagement

Click here for the first installment, A Short History of Technological Innovation in News

REFERENCES

Alba, D. Google and Facebook Still Reign Over Digital Advertising. (July 29, 2017). Retrieved November 14, 2017, from https://www.wired.com/story/google-facebook-online-ad-kings/

Davidson, W. B., & Cotter, P. R. (1997). Psychological Sense of Community and Newspaper Readership. Psychological Reports, 80(2), 659–665. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1997.80.2.659

“Demographics of Internet and Home Broadband Usage in the United States.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (2018, February 15). http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/.

Duca, J. V. and Saving, J. L. (2017), Income Inequality…

Laura Brown

Media businesswoman and writer of essays. Based in Nashville, TN.

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