Phys .org: Researchers suggest better communication needed to convince public of findings. “A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.S. has published a Perspective piece in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discussing the growing problem of acceptance of findings by scientists by the general public. They suggest several possible approaches that researchers could use to promote more effective signals of trustworthiness to the public.”
The Conversation: How Congress turns citizens’ voices into data points. “The Congressional Management Foundation suggests that most congressional offices saw constituent contact double – or even increase eight-fold – from 2002 to 2010. Current staffers say the numbers have climbed even higher since then. Congressional staffers spend hours listening, reading, collecting and organizing all this information. All of it ends up going into databases in their offices. As a scholar of technology use in Congress, I’ve interviewed more than 50 staffers in more than 40 congressional offices. I’ve observed that advancements in computer technology are changing how Congress handles citizen communication and uses the data collected from those conversations to represent citizens – for better and for worse.”
Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): In Emerging Economies, Smartphone and Social Media Users Have Broader Social Networks . “A Pew Research Center survey of adults in 11 nations across four global regions finds that, in many key respects, smartphone users – and especially those who use social media – are more regularly exposed to people who have different backgrounds and more connected with friends they don’t see in person. Those with smartphones are also more likely to have accessed new information about health and government services.” Sometimes I wonder that in addition to / instead of “Universal Basic Income,” we talk about “Universal Basic Access,” putting programs in place to make sure every citizen has access to basic Internet services.
Route Fifty: How Libraries are Embracing Artificial Intelligence. “In Roanoke County, Virginia, a trip to the public library might include reading, online research, 3D printing—and, since last summer, the opportunity to chat with Pepper, a 4-foot-tall humanoid robot who sings, dances and teaches coding classes.”
New Zealand Herald: Police pay $10,000 for social media audit – to be told to do fewer puppy posts. “Police paid $10,000 for a social media audit by a marketing company which suggested dialling back on puppy pictures and posting more about operational police work. The audit included a manual assessment of thousands of comments on police social media channels.”
Medium: The thrill of being lied to, the power of the audience, and more great advice from our new video lecture series. “Each one- to two-hour class is an intimate conversation between the journalist and the viewer, broken down into bite-size chapters that offer a mix of practical reporting techniques, case studies, career advice, and inspiration. The series has a special focus on what we at the Newmark J-School call ‘social journalism.’ It’s the basis for a unique master’s degree we offer that emphasizes listening, community building, and producing tangible impact for the public.” The series is free.
CNBC: This doctor is recruiting an army of medical experts to drown out fake health news on Instagram and Twitter. “The antidote to fake health news? According to Austin Chiang, the first chief medical social media officer at a top hospital, it’s to drown out untrustworthy content with tweets, pics and posts from medical experts that the average American can relate to.”