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Play The News: Fun and Games in Digital Journalism

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Play The News: Fun and Games in Digital Journalism
Source: Columbia Journalism School (Tow Center for Digital Journalism)

More than ever before we’re consuming news in strange contexts; mixed into a stream of holiday photos on Facebook, alongside comedians’ quips on twitter; between Candy Crush and transit directions on our smartphones.

In this environment designers can take liberties with the form of the news package and the ways that audiences can interact. But it’s not just users who are invited to experiment with their news: in newsrooms and product development departments, developers and journalists are adopting play as design and authoring process.

Maxwell Foxman‘s new Tow Center report, Play The News: Fun and Games in Digital Journalism is a comprehensive documentation of this world.

ASEAN on the Rise

March 17, 2015 Comments off

ASEAN on the Rise
Source: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

With 610 million people, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, is less than half the size of China’s market, but the region’s quickly growing — and relatively big spending — middle class has become increasingly attractive to multinationals and foreign investors. The ASEAN bloc — which includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — is nudging Chinese manufacturers aside as China’s labor force begins to shrink and wages rise. Moreover, the planned launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015 is likely to help sustain rapid economic growth in the medium term, analysts say.

This special report looks at the forces shaping the ASEAN region in 2015, most notably the effect of falling oil prices, along with in-depth views of two countries — Thailand and Indonesia — which are both facing unique challenges on the road to becoming economic powerhouses. Also included is an interview with Kan Trakulhoon, president and CEO of SCG, one of Thailand’s largest conglomerates, on managing a workforce in a volatile economic environment.

Trends in Gun Ownership in the United States, 1972-2014

March 13, 2015 Comments off

Trends in Gun Ownership in the United States, 1972-2014 (PDF)
Source: NORC at the University of Chicago

The household ownership of firearms has declined in recent decades.

31.0% of households reported having a firearm in 2014, essentially tying with 2010 for the lowest level of gun ownership in the last 40-some years. This is a decline of about 17 percentage points from the peak ownership years in 1977-1980.

One of the main reasons for the decline in household firearm ownership is the decrease in the popularity of hunting.

In 2014, personal firearms ownership was 14.0% for those under 35 and 30.4 % for those 65+ for an age gap of 16.4 points.

Who Retweets Whom? How Digital and Legacy Journalists Interact on Twitter

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Who Retweets Whom? How Digital and Legacy Journalists Interact on Twitter (PDF)
Source: Tow Center for Digital Journalism (Columbia University)

Digital journalists in particular might be expected to thrive in a professional environment where first-line newsgathering and news distribution occurs, in whole or in part, online. But these longstanding divisions between traditional and digital journalists seem to persist. Research has found that while digital journalists link to both online and traditional content, those from traditional news organizations tend to limit their links to stories from other traditional news organizations.4 Is this pattern replicated on Twitter? Do digital and traditional journalists mainly retweet information from their own parts of the media landscape? If we see robust connections between traditional and digital journalists, we could conclude that Twitter has helped to lower professional barriers and has opened up traditional journalists to the validity of their online colleagues’ work. But if we see few connections, it would indicate that differences in prestige and awareness persist, even as the barriers to the free flow of information have been reduced.

The Ideal Proxy Statement

March 10, 2015 Comments off

The Ideal Proxy Statement
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Institutional investors are highly dissatisfied with the quality of information that they receive about corporate governance policies and practices in the annual proxy. Across the board, they want proxies to be shorter, more concise, more candid, and less legal. The largest complaint involves executive compensation and the inability of investors to determine whether senior management is paid appropriately.

Based on recent survey data from major institutional investors, we describe the information that shareholders would like to see in the “ideal” proxy statement.

We ask:

  • What changes can companies make to proxies that contain the information that investors want in a format that is easy to read and navigate?
  • Would shareholder understanding of corporate governance practices improve if companies provided clearer and more succinct data?
  • How might the debate about executive compensation change?

The Changing Shape of American Cities

March 9, 2015 Comments off

The Changing Shape of American Cities
Source: Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia

The last two decades have brought dramatic changes to many American cities. Most cities in the United States in 1990 had a “donut” shape, with wealthier residents in a booming suburban ring surrounding a decaying core. Today cities are increasingly resembling what has been called a new donut – with three, rather than two rings. The center has grown much more desirable to educated, higher-income residents, especially young adults under the age of 35. Poverty, meanwhile, is migrating outwards, creating an “inner ring” of urban and early suburban neighborhoods around the core, where per capita incomes have fallen and education rates are stagnant. Beyond the inner ring, an outer ring of newer and larger suburbs continues to add population.

Superbowl Ads

March 6, 2015 Comments off

Superbowl Ads
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

We explore the effects of television advertising in the setting of the NFL’s Super Bowl telecast. The Super Bowl is the largest advertising event of the year and is well suited for measurement. The event has the potential to create significant increases in “brand capital” because ratings average over 40 percent of households and ads are a focal point of the broadcast. Furthermore, variation in exposures is exogenous because a brand cannot choose how many impressions it receives in each market. Viewership is determined based on local preferences for watching the two competing teams. With this significant and exogenous variation in Super Bowl advertising exposures we test whether advertisers’ sales are affected accordingly. We run our analysis using Nielsen ratings and store level sales data in the soda and beer categories. We find that Super Bowl ads can generate significant increases in revenue and volume per household. However, when two major soda brands both advertise, they receive no profit gain to offset their advertising investments. Exploring the mechanism behind the ad effects, we find that Super Bowl ads build an association between the brand and viewership of sports more broadly. The competitive effects suggest that two competing brands cannot however capture the same association. In beer, Budweiser has purchased exclusive advertising rights in the Super Bowl for more than 20 years and appears to be receiving long run returns from their ownership of a sports association.

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