Shameless self-promotion and the future of journalism

As you may have heard, yesterday I presented a paper on North American digital copyright policy at the Canadian Political Science Association annual conference. It’s nice to be noticed, but boo to the NDP: the quote about the Americans deals with the Conservatives’ 2008 bill, not the current bill. That kind of changes things, doesn’t it? (It’s almost as if the NDP researchers didn’t read the paper, not even the section the quote comes from. If that’s the case, I’m really, really hurt.)

I don’t mind my research being used for partisan purposes, but at least get your facts straight, kids.

The NDP’s sloppiness aside, I think the quote (taken in context, please) and paper speak for themselves (if they don’t, feel free to ask: orangespaceb-at-gmail dot com), so the only thing I’ll say is that it’s great to see journalists like David Akin paying attention to what’s going on in academia. Off the top of my head, the Star’s Susan Delacourt and Macleans’ Paul Wells also deserve kudos in this area.

All you other journalists and newspapers: there’s gold in them thar academic papers! Many are based on in-depth primary research (i.e., interviews and document analyses) on issues of current interest (in Political Science, anyway; can’t speak to English Lit). With the ever-declining number of foreign correspondents and investigative journalists, it would be great to see Canadian newspapers start to pay more (i.e., any) attention to PhD students and recent grads. They’re experts in their subject area, and many are either conducting, or just returned from, field research all over the world. Done right, a smart newspaper could get some high-quality foreign reporting/investigative journalism on the cheap.

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