[Air-L] The Washington Post piece

Zeynep Tufekci socnetres at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 05:55:26 PST 2007

All this would be less of an issue if they only went after fairly-well
established folks. However, they are picking on a graduate student.
Now, I'm sure danah will end up fine because she does great work and
seems to have developed a thick skin (hopefully).

However, the damage is not just to danah. The explicit framing is the
graduate student versus the "establishment" or the "peer-reviewed."
I'm afraid this will create a chilling effect for the next graduate
student or junior person who's working on an emerging field, and not
just waiting for the slow gears of scholarly publishing to grind (and
grind ... and grind ...) before sharing with her community some of her
observations, musings or thoughts. The message here is keep your head
way down or you will be subject to ridicule.

On other stuff, I agree. This just highlights that the field is coming
of age and attracting attention. Some negative attention is
inevitable. I don't even mind it that much that they mocked the
academic process. I'm just furious thinking about how discouraging
this must be to danah and other graduate students who put their
thoughts out there through multiple venues (some peer-reviewed, some
not, which seems totally appropriate).


Zeynep Tufekci, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Maryland at Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD

On Dec 18, 2007 8:28 AM, Joseph Turow <jturow at asc.upenn.edu> wrote:
> It *is* mortifying to see the results of a (presumably) serious set of
> interviews turned into what is fundamentally an anti-intellectual
> article.   I have to say that every time I talk to a journalist I worry
> that I won't end up sounding like a fool-even if the quote is correct.
> The best people to talk to are beat reporters  who really know the
> territory.  Monica Hesse, by contrast, is a "staff writer" who as a
> result has written articles with titles  that range from "Identity
> Stolen: Steel Yourself" to "Refrigerator Stuffed Too Full" and "...Can
> Modern Love Survive a Tale of Two Chairs?"
> For what it's worth, I see articles such as the one about Facebook as a
> callout about the importance of a topic and people related to it.  When
> I worry about such pieces, I tell myself that my nonacademic friends
> (and the PR folks at my University) will  be impressed that I was quoted
> and mostly forget what was said;  that most of my academic friends will
> know how this works and shrug off what sounds silly; and that only a
> wayward few will parse each quote to understand its deep meaning.
> Joe
> Joseph Turow
> Robert Lewis Shayon Professor
>   and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
> Annenberg School for Communication
> University of Pennsylvania
> 3620 Walnut Street
> Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
> 215 898 5842
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