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Michael J. Socolow

Michael J. Socolow

Associate Professor, Communication and Journalism, University of Maine

Michael J. Socolow is a media historian whose research centers upon America’s original radio networks in the 1920s and 1930s. His scholarship on media history has appeared in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, The Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Technology & Culture, and other scholarly journals. He is the author of Six Minutes in Berlin: Broadcast Spectacle and Rowing Gold at the Nazi Olympics (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2016). He was awarded the 2018 Broadcast Historian Award by the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association for Six Minutes in Berlin.

He is also a former broadcast journalist who has worked as an Assignment Editor for the Cable News Network and as an information manager for the host broadcast organization at the Barcelona, Atlanta, and Sydney Olympic Games. He has written pieces on media regulation and media history for Slate, Columbia Journalism Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Chronicle Review, and other journalistic outlets. In the Department of Communication and Journalism, he serves as Internship Coordinator and teaches CMJ 211: Journalism Studies I, CMJ 237: Journalism Across Platforms, CMJ 380: Advertising, Media & Society, CMJ 489: Seminar in Media Ethics, CMJ 520: Media History, CMJ 525: Propaganda and Political Persuasion, and other courses.

For more on Professor Socolow’s scholarship check out his Google Scholar profile: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=YxTJsxoAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao. He tweets at @michaelsocolow.

Good profits from bad news: How the Kennedy assassination helped make network TV news wealthy

Nov 21, 2023 04:02 am UTC| Politics

In journalism, bad news sells. If it bleeds, it leads is a famous industry catchphrase, which explains why violent crime, war and terrorism, and natural disasters are ubiquitous on TV news. The fact that journalists and...

Don't trust the news media? That's good

Mar 15, 2023 15:53 pm UTC| Insights & Views

Everyone seems to hate what they call the media. Attacking journalism even accurate and verified reporting provides a quick lift for politicians. Its not just Donald Trump. Trumps rival for the 2024 Republican...

Olympic Games are great for propagandists – how the lessons of Hitler's Olympics loom over Beijing 2022

Nov 13, 2021 07:48 am UTC| Sports

On the morning of Aug. 14, 1936, two NBC employees met for breakfast at a café in Berlin. Max Jordan and Bill Slater were discussing the Olympic Games they were broadcasting back to the United States and the Nazi...

Aiming for novelty in coronavirus coverage, journalists end up sensationalizing the trivial and untrue

May 20, 2020 15:21 pm UTC| Insights & Views

For centuries, what has made news valuable and news organizations profitable has been the speed at which journalists collect and disseminate information. This is useful for both commerce and public service. But the rush...

The first fireside chat calmed an anxious nation and provides a model for today

Mar 12, 2020 15:48 pm UTC| Politics

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisers knew he had to do something. The U.S. banking system faced imminent collapse; depositors around the country waited anxiously in line to withdraw their funds. To stop the...

Misinformation, evasion and the informational problem of live TV interviews

Oct 02, 2019 02:59 am UTC| Insights & Views Business

First, it happened on Fox News. Chris Wallace asked White House adviser Stephen Miller about the presidents decision to use private lawyers to get information from the Ukrainian government rather than go through …...

Audiences love the anger: Alex Jones, or someone like him, will be back

Aug 08, 2018 11:31 am UTC| Insights & Views Politics

Confrontational characters spouting conspiracy theories and promoting fringe ideas have been with us since the invention of American broadcasting. First on radio, then on television, the American audience has consistently...

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Economy

Latest inflation figures are good news

The U.S. economy is slowing, but not crashing. In the dismal science, this is what counts as good news. Thats the message I took away from the latest inflation data, released May 15, 2024, which showed U.S. consumer...

The budget is full of good news, but good news isn’t the same as good management

This years budget has something for everyone, with very little in the way of cuts and no new taxes. Its a classic good news pre-election budget. Whether it is too good to be true hinges on whether this budget...

Interest rates: the ugly dilemma facing Europe’s central banks – and why it’s a mistake to cut too soon

Central banks in Europe are discovering an old dilemma: when they lower interest rates because inflation is slowing down, its likely to weaken their currencies. This in turn may delay the fall in inflation towards their...

Europe is still in short-term crisis mode over Ukraine and lacks a vision for its post-war identity

Some believe that the war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed Europe, giving birth to a different kind of European order. That is, it appears to be driving structural shifts in the way Europe is run and organised that...

Mortgage prisoners: regulatory changes and low credit scores have left thousands trapped in a cycle of high payments

There are 8.5 million households in the UK who own a home with a residential mortgage, often with fixed interest rates from two to five years. Usually, when that mortgage deal ends, the borrower will move to another deal...

Politics

Why is the government proposing caps on international students and how did we get here?

The federal government is due to introduce legislation on Thursday to enable new caps on the number of international student places at educational institutions in Australia. These include universities, TAFEs and private...

Britain is not as broken as everyone seems to think

According to many politicians and commentators, the UK is in a very sorry state. Ahead of the general election expected this year, Labour leader Keir Starmer has pledged to fix broken Britain. He has spoken of his vow...

Belief in democracy is on the decline in Africa

Democracy in Africa has not had a good year. Military juntas from Mali to Niger appear to have cemented their grip on power. Sudans democratic dreams were dashed when the countrys two most powerful strongmen opted for war....

Term limits aren’t the answer

Theres no denying that the current Congress has been one of the most chaotic in recent memory. The paralysis in 2023 and 2024 over the selection of the speaker of the House helped lead to one of Congress most unproductive...

An obscure provision of Ohio law could keep Biden off the ballot there in November

President Joe Biden might not appear on the November 2024 presidential ballot in Ohio. Ohio law requires that presidential candidates be certified that is, the state must be notified that presidential candidates have been...

Science

Black holes are mysterious, yet also deceptively simple − a new space mission may help physicists answer hairy questions about these astronomical objects

Physicists consider black holes one of the most mysterious objects that exist. Ironically, theyre also considered one of the simplest. For years, physicists like me have been looking to prove that black holes are more...

Is dark matter’s main rival theory dead? There’s bad news from the Cassini spacecraft and other recent tests

One of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics today is that the forces in galaxies do not seem to add up. Galaxies rotate much faster than predicted by applying Newtons law of gravity to their visible matter, despite those...

Why are algorithms called algorithms? A brief history of the Persian polymath you’ve likely never heard of

Algorithms have become integral to our lives. From social media apps to Netflix, algorithms learn your preferences and prioritise the content you are shown. Google Maps and artificial intelligence are nothing without...

IceCube researchers detect a rare type of energetic neutrino sent from powerful astronomical objects

About a trillion tiny particles called neutrinos pass through you every second. Created during the Big Bang, these relic neutrinos exist throughout the entire universe, but they cant harm you. In fact, only one of them is...

The Mars Sample Return mission has a shaky future, and NASA is calling on private companies for backup

A critical NASA mission in the search for life beyond Earth, Mars Sample Return, is in trouble. Its budget has ballooned from US$5 billion to over $11 billion, and the sample return date may slip from the end of this...

Technology

Samsung to Increase Outsourcing Smartphone Production in China to 25% of 2024 Output

Samsung plans to significantly boost its smartphone production by outsourcing to Chinese manufacturers, increasing output from 44 million to 67 million units. Samsungs Outsourcing Strategy Targets Cost...

Elon Musk’s xAI to Build Oracle-Powered Supercomputer, Expands Grok to Europe

Elon Musk revealed that xAI plans to construct a supercomputer, partnering with Oracle, to enhance its AI automaton Grok. The company targets operational status by autumn 2025. Building a Future with Oracle In a...

Trump Vows US Will Lead Crypto Industry, Rejects ‘Second Place’

Former President Donald Trump vowed to support cryptocurrency enterprises, asserting the US should not settle for second place in the crypto industry. Trumps Vision for Crypto Dominance As per Cointelegraph, Trump...

How Fast-Food Prices Have Escalated Dramatically Under Joe Biden Since 2020

Fast-food prices have surged significantly since President Biden took office, transforming affordable meals into luxuries for many Americans. Rising Fast-Food Costs Turn Dining Out into a Luxury for Many...
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