Simplify and Then Exaggerate, Big League

I was taken back years ago when the editor of a major news magazine told me that she told her editors to ‘simplify and then exaggerate’. That was the secret formula for writing a good news story.

th-1To me it is increasingly clear that all the news media have moved in this direction, and to keep in line with political rhetoric, they have also added a huge level of hyperbole to the formula. Fox and CNN are driving this trend, particularly with their panels. We have almost become the nation of hyperbole.

The bad news is that more and more news is so exaggerated that it is simply wrong, misinformation. The worse news is that, in due course, no one will take political rhetoric or news media seriously. It will just be viewed as entertainment.

The best journalists and politicians work harder to avoid this formula, and clarify the complexities surrounding so many issues. Call out over simplistic hyperbole for what it is. Hyperbole is part of President Trump’s style, but it is not simply the President’s rhetoric as this level of exaggeration came before him (the Tea Party) and goes beyond the President today, such as with the media and resistance to Trump, with its followers being proud to be compared to the Tea Party of yesteryear.

 

 

 

 

ICA Award Nominations for Communication and Technology Division (CAT)

Please take some time to consider this last call for nominations to the Communication and Technology (CAT) Awards Committee for three different awards. CAT is a division of the International Communication Association (ICA):

First, we request nominations for the Frederick Williams Prize for Contributions to the Study of Communication Technology. Send nominations by 2 March 2015. http://www.icahdq.org/about_ica/awards/frederickwilliams.asp

Secondly, please nominate dissertations to be considered for the Herbert S. Dordick Prize. http://www.icahdq.org/about_ica/awards/dordick.asp We will receive nominations sent by 2 March 2015.

Finally, the CAT Awards Committee has been asked to recommend members of CAT to be considered for nomination as ICA Fellows. There is nothing to prevent members nominating individuals on their own, but if you’d like the CAT Awards Committee to consider nominating individuals, please send us your nominations. See: http://www.icahdq.org/about_ica/fellows.asp

Thank you for your help. Send any nominations for any of these awards to Quello@msu.edu and indicate the ICA Award in the subject heading.

Regards,

Bill Dutton, Quello Center, MSU

Chair of CAT Awards Committee

Members include:

Monica Bulger, Data & Society Research Institute, New York City, and Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University, UK

Leah Lievrouw, Department of Information Studies, UCLA

Joseph Walther, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, NTU, Singapore

Ran Wei, School of Journalism & Mass Communications, University of South Carolina

Simeon Yates, Institute of Cultural Capital, University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, UK

 

The William F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award of the American Sociological Association

Wonderful to have received the 2014 William F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association, given by CITASA (ASA’s section on Communication and Information Technology): http://www.asanet.org/sections/citasa_recipients_History.cfm Given my move to Michigan, I was unable to attend but I sent these words of appreciation:

Dear Colleagues of CITASA,

I would like to convey my appreciation to the selection committee and CITASA for honoring me with this career achievement award. It is a privilege to be in the company of those who have received this recognition in past years, and to have such a wonderful link with William F. Ogburn and the ASA. I am delighted to be part of the community of scholars you are building.

It amazes me that even in the space of my own career, the sociological study of the Internet and related communication and information technologies has moved from the margins of sociology to become one of its most exciting fields of innovative research. At Oxford, and I am sure this will be the case at MSU, my colleagues are increasingly looking to sociology for some of the most promising researchers focused on society and the Internet.

My thanks to CITASA for helping to raise the stature of social research on communication technology, and for this wonderful recognition from the American Sociological Association.

Bill Dutton