Media Matters

WILL - Media Matters - February 26, 2012

Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism.

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(Duration: 1:00:03)

Gar Alperovitz's America Beyond Capitalism chronicles the discontent with the economic and political status quo in the wake of the "great recession." His expert diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system is accompanied by detailed, practical answers to the problems we face as a society. Unlike many books that reserve a few pages of a concluding chapter to offer generalized, tentative solutions, Alperovitz marshals years of research into emerging "new economy" strategies to present a comprehensive picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States. All democratize wealth and empower communities, not corporations: worker-ownership, cooperatives, community land trusts, social enterprises, along with many supporting municipal, state and longer term federal strategies as well. America Beyond Capitalism is a call to arms, an eminently practical roadmap for laying foundations to change a faltering system that increasingly fails to sustain the great American values of equality, liberty and meaningful democracy.

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist and government official. He is currently the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland. He grew up in America's heartland in Racine, Wisconsin, in the 1940s, and received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin; a masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley; and his Ph.D. in political economy as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University. After completing his studies he served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the State Department. Among his many achievements is having been the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to America Beyond Capitalism, he has authored Unjust Deserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance, and The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Nation. He is a founding principal of the University of Maryland-based Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.


WILL - Media Matters - February 19, 2012

Bruce Williams and Michael X. Delli Carpini discuss the future of news and journalism

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

The new media environment has challenged the role of professional journalists as the primary source of politically relevant information. After Broadcast News puts this challenge into historical context, arguing that it is the latest of several critical moments, driven by economic, political, cultural and technological changes, in which the relationship among citizens, political elites and the media has been contested. Out of these past moments, distinct 'media regimes' eventually emerged, each with its own seemingly natural rules and norms, and each the result of political struggle with clear winners and losers. The media regime in place for the latter half of the twentieth century has been dismantled, but a new regime has yet to emerge. Assuring this regime is a democratic one requires serious consideration of what was most beneficial and most problematic about past regimes and what is potentially most beneficial and most problematic about today's new information environment. -from Cambridge University Press. Available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook.

Bruce A. Williams received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota and has taught at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, and the London School of Economics. His current research interest focuses on the role of a changing media environment in shaping citizenship in the United States. He has published five books and more than forty scholarly journal articles and book chapters. His two most recent books are The New Media Environment: An Introduction (with Andrea Press), published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2010 and After Broadcast News: Media Regimes, Democracy, and the New Information Environment. He is the editor (with Andrea Press) of The Communication Review. He is starting a new research project examining the influence of media on understanding the role of American military force in the world.

Michael X. Delli Carpini, Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in July of 2003, Professor Delli Carpini was Director of the Public Policy program of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and member of the Political Science Department at Barnard College and graduate faculty of Columbia University, serving as chair of the Barnard department. Delli Carpini began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University. His research explores the role of the citizen in American politics, with particular emphasis on the impact of the mass media on public opinion, political knowledge and political participation.


WILL - Media Matters - February 12, 2012

Author Richard Arum discuss higher education

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. A bachelor's degree is now required for entry into a growing number of professions. And some parents begin planning for the expense of sending their kids to college when they're born. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question posed by Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on Higher Education: are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there?

For a large proportion of students, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's answer to that question is a definitive no. Their extensive research draws on survey responses, transcript data, and, for the first time, the state-of-the-art Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test administered to students in their first semester and then again at the end of their second year. According to their analysis of more than 2,300 undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills-including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing-during their first two years of college. As troubling as their findings are, Arum and Roksa argue that for many faculty and administrators they will come as no surprise-instead, they are the expected result of a student body distracted by socializing or working and an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning close to the bottom of the priority list.

Richard Arum is professor of sociology in New York University's Department of Sociology and professor of education at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. In January 2011 his book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, was published by the University of Chicago Press. The book received national media attention for its findings that, after the first two years of college, a significant number of students demonstrate no improvement in a range of skills including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing.

Professor Arum is also Program Director of Educational Research at the Social Science Research Council, where he has directed the CLA Longitudinal Project and successfully led efforts to organize educational stakeholders in New York City to create the Research Alliance for New York City Schools (an entity loosely modeled after the Consortium on Chicago School Research) that focuses on ongoing evaluation and assessment research to support public school improvement efforts.


WILL - Media Matters - February 05, 2012

Craig Aaron of Free Press

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

Craig Aaron took leadership of Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund in April 2011. Craig joined Free Press in 2004 and previously served as managing director, senior program director and communications director. He works in the Washington office and speaks across the country on media, Internet and journalism issues. Craig is a frequent guest on talk radio and is quoted often in the national press. His commentaries also appear regularly in the Guardian and the Huffington Post. Before joining Free Press, he was an investigative reporter for Public Citizen's Congress Watch and the managing editor of In These Times magazine. He is the editor of two books, Appeal to Reason: 25 Years In These Times and Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Craig Aaron has most recently spoken out about the SOPA bill (Stop Online Privacy Act) and the financial impact of campaign advertising on media coverage during the 2012 presidential elections.