Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action

Fake news is frustrating. Nothing new there. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Students in my freshman writing class often want to write their first college research paper on the topic of unrealistic images of women in advertising. Their first thesis is often something like “Advertisers should not damage women’s self-esteem by promoting such unhealthy body images.” When I ask them who should make advertisers change their ways, they usually…

Trump and JFK: Masters of New Media

I didn’t use Newsweek’s clickbaity headline: “Trump and JFK Are More Alike Than We Like To Think.” They are different in many ways, but JFK was remembered for mastering the new medium of television (people who listened to the Nixon/Kennedy debates on radio were more likely to believe Nixon won, but those who watched the debates on TV were more likely to say Kennedy won), and while I pay more…

Analysis | The fake news is coming from inside the White House

To believe Donald Trump, you must believe two largely contradictory things. | You must believe that there are a slew of leakers in the executive branch who are providing damning details to the press illegally, and who must be rooted out and punished. punished….You must also believe that the press makes up imaginary leakers simply to slowly and incrementally report false stories that are tangentially embarrassing to the president.  —Washington…

Prototypes in Technical Writing: What are They?

Many a high school student has muddled through a book report in a single caffeine-fueled sitting, but successful research term papers or quarterly progress reports require planning. In technical writing, a prototype might be a full table of contents (with summaries for each major section) and one or two complete chapters.   If conducting a survey is an important part of your project, your prototype might be a complete survey of a…

Washington Post, Breaking News, Is Also Breaking New Ground

The Washington Post, famous for breaking the Watergate scandal that brought down Nixon’s presidency, is churning out top-quality journalism in the age of Trump. As an organization the Post is gaining readers, hiring journalists and scooping its competition. As a private company since 2013, when the deep-pocketed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought it for $250 million, The Post doesn’t disclose much financial data. But by all visible measures, including the…