Journalists Turn Palin into Media Celebrity, But Dodge the Relevancy of Her Religious Faith
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
As I wrote earlier today, how Sarah Palin's devout Pentecostal faith colors her views on complex policy problems such as Iraq or climate change is a relevant question that journalists should be asking.
Yet as a Pew analysis released this week finds, although Palin has dominated campaign coverage since the GOP convention (top), few if any stories in the mainstream media have examined the relevancy of her religious faith (bottom). The exception, as Pew observes, is the Evangelical media, which have triumphantly celebrated one of their own ascending to a place on the GOP ticket.
For example, according to Pew, in a cover article at the World Magazine, reporter Mark Bergin observed favorably that:
"In many ways, Palin's faith and political philosophy developed in concert. Her small-government commitment, perhaps even libertarian streak, stems from belief in personal responsibility. Her pro-life views flow from a conviction that all of humanity possesses dignity and equal value no matter how small or frail. She has expressed support for teaching alternative theories of origins alongside Darwinism in public-school classrooms, especially theories that allow for a creator."
A new AI-produced commercial from Lexus shows how AI might be particularly suited for the advertising industry.
- The commercial was written by IBM's Watson. It was acted and directed by humans.
- Lexus says humans played a minimal part in influencing Watson, in terms of the writing.
- Advertising, with its clearly defined goals and troves of data, seems like one creative field in which AI would prove particularly useful.
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Then again, maybe the study is fake news too.
- Recent research challenged study participants to pick real news headlines from fake ones.
- The results showed that people prone to delusional thinking, religious fundamentalists, and dogmatists tended to believe all news, regardless of plausibility.
- What can you do to protect yourself and others from fake news?
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