Dot’s Reading Room: Ideological Extremists Grab Media Attention and Distort Issue Debate

Today’s article from The Conversation says Congressional members who espouse extreme positions get a lot of airtime and exposure but their actual impact on Congress isn’t all that great. The authors write:

“In recent work, we showed that extremely conservative and extremely liberal legislators receive far more airtime on cable and broadcast news than their moderate counterparts.

Dot’s Reading Room ~ ‘The Conversation’ a Compendium of Research Papers from Various Universities

For today I’m not calling your attention to a specific article but to an online source that I think is worth following.

It’s The Conversation and it is a compendium of research papers from authors at various universities. In the posting on Jan. 16, the subjects range from Covid-19, to white supremacists, to the rollout of the polio vaccine.

Briefly, The Conversation is a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good. “We publish trustworthy and informative articles written by academic experts for the general public and edited by our team of journalists.”

Dot’s Reading Room: As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place

What kinds of news stories would you expect to find in a publication called Maine Business Daily? Most likely you’d think there would be articles about local enterprises and other business coverage of interest to Downeasters.

But no! In a disturbing news story from the New York Times it appears that publications from such innocuously titled sources are really a coverup for paid political coverage. Here’s the headline: As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place

Dot’s Reading Room: How Prior Pandemics Triggered Massive Societal Shifts

It’s October 1 and time for a “good read” recommendation. This article by Andrew Latham is worth your attention.

“How three prior pandemics triggered massive societal shifts,” by Andrew Latham, Professor of Political Science at Macalester College.

Professor Latham’s article appears in The Conversation, a compendium of interesting articles gathered from around the world. He writes, “Societies and cultures that seem ossified and entrenched can be completely upended by pandemics, which create openings for conquest, innovation and social change.”

Dot’s Reading Room ~ “The Road Ahead: Charting the Coronavirus Pandemic over the next 12 Months, and Beyond” ~ September 22, 2020

If you’re interested in looking ahead to what the next months will bring during “life in the time of pandemic,” you may find this report from the editors of STAT revealing.  (STAT is a media company focused on finding and telling compelling stories about health, medicine, and scientific discovery.)

“The Road Ahead: Charting the Coronavirus Pandemic over the next 12 Months — and Beyond” By Andrew Joseph -September 22, 2020.  Here’s a quick summary:

Dot’s Reading Room: Is This the Worst Year in Modern American History?

Here is a challenging article from The Atlantic’s national correspondent James Fallows, who asks Is This the Worst Year in Modern American History? Comparing 2020 to 1968 offers some disquieting lessons for the present.

If you are old enough to remember the events of 1968-assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, to name two-you may or may not agree with Fallows.  If 1968 is ancient history to you, this is a sobering review of that historic year in comparison to 2020.

Dot’s Reading Room: The Neoliberal Era is Ending. What Comes Next?

“In a crisis, what was once unthinkable can suddenly become inevitable. We’re in the middle of the biggest societal shakeup since the second world war. And neoliberalism is gasping its last breath. So from higher taxes for the wealthy to more robust government, the time has come for ideas that seemed impossible just months ago.”

This quotation is the lead in an opinion piece well worth reading by writer Rutger Bregman which appeared in The Correspondent (A Dutch publication now available in English translation.)

Please note: the articles selected for The Reading Room are Dot Bergin’s choice and do not reflect the views of The Bedford Citizen.

Dot’s Reading Room: Understanding “The Numbers” and COVID-19

Here is an article that is helpful in understanding “the numbers” involved in the COVID-19 crisis.

The Correspondent is a Netherlands-based source now available in the U.S. It’s written in language that is understandable to the layman.

Dot’s Reading Room

Senior copy editor and board member emerita Dot Bergin is a unique resource for The Bedford Citizen.

Not only does she cover meetings (regularly the Library Trustees and Housing Trust, along with others on an occasional basis) and edit other reporter’s work, she scans the Internet for interesting publications and useful information to share with The Citizen‘s board.