A recent episode of the Freakonomics podcast, “Women Are Not Men,” looked at gender inequities in various arenas. I thought the discussion of why women are less likely to be editors and contributors to Wikipedia raises some interesting issues about how the construction of knowledge is complicated by culturally-bound notions of whether competitiveness is essentially a male or a female trait. After pointing to a study documenting the dramatically lower participation levels of women in Wikipedia editing, the hosts of the podcast moved on to look at studies of how competitiveness is gendered in a patriarchal society and a matriarchal one.
I can’t wait to figure out how I’ll use this in LIB 3040 this semester.
I learned a fun new word while listening to a podcast of On the Media today: churnalism. The word defines the practice of journalists who rely more on press releases than on their own original reporting. On the podcast, the host and his guest talk about a fake press release on a new “chastity garter belt” that was being introduced to the market and the way that many news organizations took the press release at face value. This might be a useful story to bring up in our workshops and credit classes.
A recent podcast by Jon Udell featured his interview with Silona Bonewald, who represents the League of Technical Voters. Bonewald talked about her efforts to develop a system whereby government documents can have permanent URLs down to the paragraph level (not just the document/web page level). Doing so would make it much easier to have conversations about government documents (think of the conversations, for example, that arise around specific pieces of legislation being drafted).
Last year, Nina McHale offered in College and Research Libraries News some interesting advice about how to handle the rogue assignment, which she defines as one that “is a faculty-created, library-related assignment that, having been developed with the best possible intentions, is in some way out of sync with a library’s resources or does not provide students with a thorough introduction to them.” The article by McHale and an interview of her can be freely found online.
McHale, Nina. “Eradicating the Rogue Assignment: Intervention and Prevention.” College and Research Libraries News 69.5 (2008): n. pag. Web. 19 June 2009.
McHale, Nina. Interview by David Free. ACRL insider. Association of College and Research Libraries, 9 May 2008. Web. 19 June 2009.