Empowering Public Access to Information: Read News Critically but also Source Information

The public are being constantly warned about the risks of fake news and misinformation on social media, the internet, and even some broadcast television outlets and newspapers. Should you abandon social media or only read the elite press or what? My suggestion is to read or view the news critically but don’t rely only on … Continue reading Empowering Public Access to Information: Read News Critically but also Source Information

TPRC49: the 49th Conference on Communications, Information, and Internet Policy

Please consider submitting your research to #TPRC49, the leading academic policy conference for communications, information, and internet policy. It will be held on Sept 24-25 in Wash, DC. At this time, it could be online, or a hybrid online/in person conference, depending on travel restrictions. Screen Shot of Session at TPRC48 The organisers accept abstracts … Continue reading TPRC49: the 49th Conference on Communications, Information, and Internet Policy

Downing of Ukrainian Flight #PS752 on 8 January 2020: An Information Disaster?

In 1994, I helped organize a forum for the Programme on Information and Communication Technologies (PICT) on what we called ‘ICT disasters’. We described and compared three cases, including the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes, a US warship patrolling the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people on the plane. … Continue reading Downing of Ukrainian Flight #PS752 on 8 January 2020: An Information Disaster?

Learning from Disasters: 30 Years After the USS Vincennes

Thirty years ago, on 3 July 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an ascending domestic airliner, Iran Air Flight 655, mistaking it for a military aircraft descending toward the aircraft carrier group. My colleagues and I group this information disaster with a number of others with the hope of learning lessons from such incidents. Time … Continue reading Learning from Disasters: 30 Years After the USS Vincennes

Killings Can Be Information (or Procedural) Disasters

In the aftermath of a rash of murders captured on mobile smartphones, and mass shootings of civilians and police officers, debate has focused on assigning blame. Videos from mobile smartphones provide some evidence for fueling such debate over who should be held responsible for any killing of a civilian or police officer. And these discussions … Continue reading Killings Can Be Information (or Procedural) Disasters

Joining the Board of ‘Global Media and Communication’

I am delighted to be joining the International Editorial Advisory Board of Global Media and Communication, an international, peer-reviewed journal that provides a platform for research and debate on the continuously changing global media and communication environment. Its scope includes global aspects of communication and media studies, anthropology, sociology, telecommunications, public policy, migration and diasporic … Continue reading Joining the Board of ‘Global Media and Communication’

All-Star Class: A Record for this Professor

Attending an awards ceremony at MSU I discovered to my surprise and delight that every member of my class this semester was a recipient for an award for their academic achievements. True, I have a small seminar, of 5 students, three MA and 2 PhD students in a seminar on Media and Information Policy. But … Continue reading All-Star Class: A Record for this Professor

The Study of Power Shifts Tied to Communication and Information Technologies

I finally completed an abstract for my talk at the forthcoming conference of the International Communication Association (ICA). It will be the 66th Annual Conference, this one to be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from 9-13 June 2016. The conference theme is 'Communicating with Power', so I chose to speak about my career long interest in … Continue reading The Study of Power Shifts Tied to Communication and Information Technologies

A New Approach to Presidential Debates by Tracy Westen and Bill Dutton

Multimedia Convergence: A New Approach to Presidential Debates      “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both.”       “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves … Continue reading A New Approach to Presidential Debates by Tracy Westen and Bill Dutton

New MSU Course: Social Dynamics of the Internet

This fall semester at MSU, I'll be teaching a new course MI 401, which is right at the center of my work over the last decade, if not my entire career. It is entitled 'Social Dynamics of the Internet' - the latest incarnation of a course I designed in 1980 on the social dynamics of … Continue reading New MSU Course: Social Dynamics of the Internet