Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scholarly Article Critique 2

Jennifer Fairbanks
Comm. 3320
Second Scholarly Article Critique
Oct. 20, 2007
Critique of Wood and Williams Article

Research topic and researcher(s)
Wood, R., & Williams, R. (2007, June). Problem gambling on the internet: implications for internet gambling policy in North America. New Media & Society, 9(3), 520-542. Retrieved October 20, 2007, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

Rationale of the study
The goal of the study is stated in wanting to further investigate the possible association of internet gambling to problem gambling. The researchers included four research questions that guided their study. The three questions were, “RQ1: To what extent do internet gamblers manifest a propensity for problem gambling? RQ2: What, if any, are the correlates and predictors of problem gambling among internet gamblers? RQ3: In the event of an observed relationship between problem and internet gambling, how might governments best craft internet gambling policies that minimize the relationship (Woods and Williams, 2007, p. 525)?”

Literature review· Increasing gambling popularity rates suggest that gambling is becoming a socially tolerable activity in other part of the population.
·Gambling among U.S. adults increased from 68% in 1975 to 86% in 1999.
·The continued expansion of the internet in U.S. and Canadian homes enables greater access to new forms of gambling opportunities.
·Public demand for internet gambling will lead to legalized and regulated internet gambling by the Government.
·There have been predictions that internet gambling will become a $10 billion per year industry before the end of the decade.
·In 1998 there were 90 online casinos and within a year they increased to 250.
·Even though gambling on the internet is becoming increasingly accessible, the popularity of it seems to remain low.
·The small portions of the population with a gambling problem show prevalence to gambling on the internet.
·Compared to non-internet gamblers, internet gamblers were more likely to have significantly higher scores on the South Oaks Gambling Screen.
·Using the computer may accelerate passing time and being in the comforts of home may lead to a higher frequency of playing.
·There is a psychological perception that electronic cash has lesser value than ‘real cash’.
·Gamblers seem to think they have a better chance of winning online because online demos will give a ‘big win’ but the rate of that happening in actual play is less.
·Very few internet gambling sites provide safeguards to promote responsible gaming.
·There is a ‘potentially problematic link between internet gambling and problem gambling’.

Research method
The researchers felt that other studies using ‘digital dial methods’ haven’t used a sufficient sample size of internet gamblers. The researchers used an alternative method of recruiting internet gamblers at gaming sites by paying for a banner advertisement on a web page leading to various gaming sites. The banner linked directly to an online survey the researchers had constructed. Everyone who completely the survey was given a free coin collector gift as incentive. The survey included 46 open-ended and closed-ended questions, which took ten minutes to complete. The questions asked demographic information, the ‘nature of their internet gaming activity’, and completed a shortened version of the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI). The last part was to determine their level of problem-gambling behavior (Woods and Williams, 2007, pp. 526-527).

Subject of the study
The subjects of the study were 1920 anonymous participants who completed an online survey created by the researchers. These were people who were visiting gaming portal websites and clicked on the researchers’ paid advertisement banner. Since it was online the researchers could not make any discriminations of who was able to take the survey. After a participant took the survey though, the researchers applied computer cookies to disable them from taking the survey again. However, a small percent of the completed surveys were found to be repeat responses. The researchers did not exclude those participant’s answers though because they felt the percent wasn’t large enough to influence the results.

Research findings·
The researchers found that of the people who took the online survey, 56% of them were men and 44% were women with an average age of 34. The age range was 18 to 84.
·87% of the samples came from the U.S.A., 10 % from Canada, and 3% from all other countries.
·For ethnic backgrounds, about 40% claimed European ancestry, about 11% East-Asian, and 1.7% African.
·79.5% said they had been employed during the past year but only 41.7% claimed to have been currently employed.
·12.3% of the sample described themselves as ‘disabled’. The researchers felt this implied issues of access and the physical environment to land-based gambling venues, which may trigger them to play online.
·52.8% described themselves as religious people with 31.6% saying they were Catholic Christians.
·High percents of the survey participants felt they were computer-savvy and said they had been active in several internet-based activities over the pervious month when it was conducted. The activities included online communication, banking, and shopping.
·The average weekly amount of time spent gambling was five hours, two hours being the median. About 4% said they gambled online more than 20 hours per week.
·73.8% of the participants said they preferred gambling on the internet.
·Most of them primarily used their home computers to gamble online with a small percent saying they used their workplace computer primarily.
·Blackjack was the most widely tried game. Blackjack, video poker and bingo were said to be played most often.
·People who scored a 3 on the CPGI showed some levels of problem gambling behavior, with ‘higher numbers indicating more severe problem levels’.
·42.7% the researchers say can be classified as either moderate or severe problem gamblers.
·23.9% were said to be at risk for developing gambling problems.
·Individual variables that reportedly reliably predicted ‘problem gambling status’ included the time spent gambling, gamers having East-Asian ancestry, South-Asian ancestry, or African ancestry, preferred non-internet gambling, and males.
·The researchers claim that the problem gamblers in their study preferred land-based gambling to internet gambling. They say this finding could support the theory of internet gambling doesn’t necessarily lead to problem gambling, but is just another way for them to gamble.

My position on this scholarly essay
The work that the researchers did was well done and explained thoroughly within the article. They went into depth when talking about their research method and explaining the process they used. They used an easy to follow format and had clear labels for each section so I knew exactly where everything was that I needed to know. They also explained clearly the purpose of the research experiment and the literature review they did themselves.

I really liked the fact that they had a large sample number and the participants were people who clicked on the survey ad when visiting a gambling website portal. They were having people right from the source of their issue participate in the survey. I also agreed with the fact that people who already have a gambling problem may find internet gaming websites as just another opportunity to gamble.

I expected the researchers to come up with a significant finding, but I don’t feel like they did. I also do not think that people who gamble on the internet are necessarily more at risk to develop a gambling problem because I think that most people use the internet to pass time away, rather than feed a problem. There are plenty of websites out there that let you play Blackjack or programs with solitaire that let you play without having to use money. I also don’t agree with them in saying that there is a high demand for more legalized gaming sites because the percents they showed of people who actually play online was so low. I personally do not know anyone who gambles on the internet. I think that the research may have had good intentions to show a potential problem, but it did not convince me to consider the problem to be any bigger.

Wood, R., & Williams, R. (2007, June). Problem gambling on the internet: implications for internet gambling policy in North America. New Media & Society, 9(3), 520-542. Retrieved October 20, 2007, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

Scholarly Article Critique 1

Jennifer Fairbanks
Comm. 3320
First Scholarly Article Critique
Sept. 29, 2007
Critique of Stephen Reese Article

Research topic and researcher(s)
Mapping the blogosphere: Professional and citizen-based media in the global news arena, by Stephen Reese, et. Al. in Journalism, 8 (3), 2007, pp. 235-261. Retrieved from EBSCO database: Communication and Mass Media, on September 29, 2007.

Rationale of the study
The object of this study was to analyze patterns in both the citizen-based and the professional journalist components of weblogs. This includes content analysis of major news/political blogs and the sites they link to; international and ideological pattern of linking; and whether blogs engage a cross-national dialog across political lines. The first research question is meant to find out the extent that blogs link to professional news media and how the references are characterized. The second is to evaluate how the political affiliations of blogs relate to the linkage to professional news media and of their linking choice. The last research question asked by the author is how the political affiliation of blogs relates to their linking to international sites and authors.

Literature review
Shifting Boundaries
·The migration of news and information to an online platform has disrupted old patterns of reading and changed the relationships between audience and news writers.
·The online environment ‘deterritorialized’ news.
·World publics organize around issues and political affinities rather than geographic location.
·The extent and shape of the organization is unclear to the researcher.
·Journalism ought to help encourage and amplify the conversation of the public.
·The blogosphere as a conversation distributed more broadly across citizens and journalists.
·Citizens can now hold those conversations among themselves and amplify conversations among journalists.
·Technology has altered the journalism profession itself.
·Journalism has been distributed and interlinked more fluidly with citizen communication.
·Most conceptual boundary in blogs is between professional media and more informal (citizen-based).
·More walls around professional content including registration or paid service and have a journalist code.
·Creates ‘balkanized’ subgroups that form around any idea of interest.
·Readers of blogs and sources can be located anywhere, open to crossing international borders.

Research Method
The researcher used a network-informed content analysis. When analyzing they identified recent archived content for coding. The researcher did a post census for each blog and identified the characteristics of the network formed by the outbound links from primary blogs. One thing the study did not include was post comments since they were inbound and do not broaden the network. The study was structured around the main blog posters and the sites they refer to. To code the material, a sample of the content was reviewed and then developed into a measurement scheme. The bases of measurements include: unit type, site type, tone, site/author, and geographic location.

Subject of study
This study focused on six popular individual or small group associated blogs that were primarily devoted to news and politics from both liberal and conservative perspectives. The blogs chosen had established authoritative reputations and served as a gateway to a larger network. The selected liberal sites were Talking Points Memo, Atrios, and Daily Kos. The conservative sites chosen were Instapundit, Andrew Sullivan, and Little Green Footballs.

Research Findings
Blog Consistency
·Found a total of 410 posts among the six blogs.
·Instapundit logged with the most (114) and Andrew Sullivan with the least (23)--probably due to a partial hiatus that week.
·Only 34 posts had no links within them at all.
·154 posts had two or more links, which supports the research treatment of those blogs as components of and gateways to a larger cyber network.
·Most blog posts either assembled material from elsewhere instead of providing original information. The blogs included general comments or conducted some analysis on the material.
·Only a ‘handful’ of posts could be defined as on-the-scene observations.
·Some linking units were dead-ends.
·33.5% of references are to other blogs.
·47.6% of references are to the professional news media—much of which are to news and editorial sites.
·Political affiliation is not strongly related to linking.
·Conservative blogs refer more to blogs than liberal ones do.
·With the nature of the linking content, there is again a significant reliance on both straight news stories and opinion.
·Traditional news media and professional journalists play an important role within this network.
How the Blogs are Linked
·The main referral style consistent across the links with all six blogs was to simply reference the link (84.2%).
·Some posts were explicitly supportive or attacking the source.
·There was little direct attack on sites or news organizations themselves from conversation blogs.
·Professional news is referenced often, and typically taken at face value and used to develop larger points.
Personalizing the Network
·Almost half of the authored ‘units’ are citizens—almost the same proportions are affiliated with the professional news media.
·Serve to direct readers to a broader base of news and commentary beyond ideological categories.
·Of the cases sampled, 92.7% of the links accounted for were to the US.
·92% of the authors were in the US.
·Little Green Footballs was the least likely to lead back to US-based sites.
My position on this scholarly essay
I feel the strengths of this article are the weblogs they’ve used. Using the popular ones would seem to give a more realistic view at the rest of the blogs out there. The writing style is also very clear and not cluttered with a lot of scientific words or descriptions. If someone was just interested in one certain part of the research, they could easily find it and comprehend it. The blogs that were chosen are also representing two political sides evenly so that a reader may not feel as if its one sided.
However, the fact that there are only two variances to the blogs they chose leaves me wondering if there are other news or political blogs out there because there is no mention of them within the article. Using only six blogs may not have been a sufficient amount. Also the research revolved mostly around the links in the blogs, and not the contents of the blogs themselves. I think it would’ve been a better article if the research would have talked more about the differences in contents, i.e. if US-based blogs or authors posted more on US issues than outside the US. I would have liked to have seen that discussed in depth since the title of the article mentions the global news arena.
The research results definitely supported the rationales of the study. Although the research period seemed relatively short, the information and statistics retrieved from the collected data is complete and well identified. I feel that the research article as a whole is very agreeable. Even if the data would’ve been collected for a longer period of time or had more blogs included in the research—the results would have probably been the same based on the criteria the researchers were looking for.

My first publication

I'm so awesome. I know.

I want to be the Indian
The Intern

Nov 13, 2007 - 08:34:36 CST.

by Jennifer Fairbanks
Press Intern

Within the past few weeks, several private colleges here in Minnesota have been under investigation for racial offenses by students. The most recent one happened to be at the college I attend.

At Hamline University, six football players have been suspended from the team for wearing blackface Halloween costumes, which included black face paint and tribal outfits. Pictures of their costumes were posted on Facebook.com and quickly created a firestorm of accusations on campus. University officials have pledged to proceed with an investigation and judicial proceedings.

Although I agree with the offensiveness of the Halloween costumes still in question, I can't help but feel that their costumes would have gone unnoticed if they were dressed up as American Indian warriors or had their faces painted brown (or red) and wore feathers in their hair.

As a kid, I never stopped to think about the purpose of Halloween or the meaning of my costumes. I just knew that candy was involved and each year I'd get to dress up as a different animal or fairy tale character. Kids usually don't stop to think about the stereotypes their costumes are conveying. I would hope that it would be their parents' job to make sure they're not offending anyone.

In light of the recent events at Hamline, I have come to question the apparent acceptance of some ethnic stereotypical costumes, and not others.

When doing a Web search on Google about Native American- style costumes, I came across a massive amount of "fun," "cheap" and "sexy" costumes that reflect the stereotypical views of the ethnic regalia. One online costume retailer, Facemakers Inc., sells Indian costumes with names such as Dave the Brave and Wigwam Willie.

I was able to find a small number of sites that comment about the political incorrectness, but found there are few sites that offer an American Indian standpoint on the costumes.

Although the official Web site of the American Indian Movement (AIM) offers no opinion on the matter of Halloween costumes, it is a rigorous protester against "Indian" mascots in sports and the media. Teams such as the Washington Redskins and its mascots have been under scrutiny recently about the offenses they may cause with the racial stereotypes they portray.

In 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA) called for the immediate retirement of all misuses of American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities by teams and organizations.

While I can definitely see why there would be a move to end the racial insult brought on by these team mascots and names, I don't understand how Halloween costumes like Wigwam Willie have slipped passed the radar.

Regardless of the intent of the six football players, if the impact of black face paint can move so many people to take action, then why should American Indian "princess" and "warrior" costumes be tolerated?

Halloween is not the first, nor the last holiday on which I've seen American Indian traditional wear turned into costumes. Thanksgiving plays put on by elementary schools and classrooms often include students dressing up as American Indians.

Being American Indian, I've learned to become jaded to the sight of non-Indians playing "Indian," In third grade I myself had to don a headband, feather, and "war paint" for my class re-enactment of the first Thanksgiving. But if I was going to be a real Indian playing an Indian, I insisted to my teacher that I play one of status, Chief Massosoit. My parents weren't thrilled about it, to say the least, but they figured I just didn't understand yet.

When I was little, it never used to bother me to see places like Wal-Mart selling my culture in the form of regalia patterns, Thanksgiving decorations and Halloween costumes at its self-proclaimed low prices. Even seeing sports jerseys with a smiling red-faced Indian didn't upset me as a child. That was, of course, until I started to understand the stereotypes and racial smears that can stand behind these costumes and mascots.

I don't believe that people offended by the football players' costumes are being irrational. But I do feel that if Wal-Mart can make a little girl into an Indian princess and a boy into Dave the Brave without fearing someone is going to get offended, then something is off-balance.

Jennifer Fairbanks can be reached at news@press pubs.com.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My home town

Born and raised on the Blackfeet Rez. I just thought this video was nice. My grandpa and ex are in it :).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Too Early

testing testing testing.

i need coffee