Library Session for POLS 3760 Jan 2013

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Slides from a course-integrated Library Workshop. The course was POLS 3760 Security Studies.

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Library Session for POLS 3760 Jan 2013

  1. 1. Looking at alternative viewpoints Library workshop for POLS 3760 January 16 2013 Chris Chan Information Services Librarian chancp@hkbu.edu.hk
  2. 2. Learning Outcomes By the end of today’s session, you will be able to: Differentiate between mainstream and alternative media Search for and identify information sources that provide alternative points of view Predict the terminology that writers with different viewpoints would use to describe the same issue
  3. 3. Alternative media sources
  4. 4. Alternative Media Mainstream media: Generally controlled by governments and large corporations CNN, BBC, Reuters, etc. Editorial position generally reflects mainstream opinion Alternative media: Smaller, independent sources of information Allow for dissenting points of view to be heard Internet has made access to alternative media much easier than in the past
  5. 5. Alternative Media Resources Alternative media websites useful for security studies: Independent Media Center, http://www.indymedia.org Initially established by independent and alternative media organizations and activists in 1999 to provide grassroots coverage of the WTO protests in Seattle New Internationalist, http://www.newint.org A self-described communications cooperative reporting on issues of world poverty and inequality Inter Press Service, http://www.ips.org A global news agency that aims to raise the voices of the South and civil society on issues of development, globalisation, human rights, and the environment The above sources were identified using Mount Allison University Libraries’ Alternative Media Guide: http://www.mta.ca/library/ alternative_media.html. Check it out yourself for more sources, and for additional information on alternative media.
  6. 6. Useful database You can find the database below by typing it into OneSearch: Opposing Viewpoints Research Centre Covers controversial contemporary social issues, providing the views and opinions of both sides of the debate
  7. 7. Reading Exercise: Mother Jones article Read the article, and think about the following: 1. What kind of tone/style does the author employ? 2. How does it compare with articles in the mainstream press (CNN, BBC, etc.)? 3. What political views do you think the author holds? Find this article with a Google search for: Mother Jones Romney lies
  8. 8. Search terms and alternative viewpoints
  9. 9. Words, words, words... The words (search terms) you use are important. In fact, word choice can introduce bias into your searches. For example, using the keywords genocide and Rwanda will exclude sources on this topic that very purposefully avoid using the word “genocide”
  10. 10. Euphemism Euphemism means the use of mild or indirect expressions when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing For example, egg industry spokespeople may talk about the “instantaneous fragmentation” of male chicks Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Day_old_chick.jpg
  11. 11. Role play If you were: Would you use the phrase: The leader of Sinn Fein IRA TERRORIST? The Iranian Foreign Minister NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION? A Sudanese government spokesperson DARFUR GENOCIDE? The CEO of Blackwater MERCENARIES? The head of the CIA TORTURE?
  12. 12. Exercise - Identifying alternate terms Working in small groups, come up with some alternate terms and euphemisms for the topic you have been given Apart from your own knowledge, try searching Google and Wikipedia for examples
  13. 13. Summary: Covering all points of view Mainstream sources Alternative sources Mainstream terminology - Mainstream opinion - Mixed views - Alternative media commentary on mainstream opinion Alternative terminology - Mixed views - Mainstream media commentary on alternative opinion - Alternative opinions
  14. 14. Questions?

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