Culture and Technology Scholar Julia Ticona Studies the Promise and Perils of the Gig Economy

When you see a McDonalds, you might think about the delicious-meets-unhealthy world of Big Macs and fries. But there is a whole strata of society that sees something else first: free internet.

These are the people that Julia Ticona studies: the low-income workers in America who scrape by juggling multiple minimum wage jobs and side hustles. For many, computers and reliable home internet can be unaffordable luxuries, making cell phones an essential lifeline to employers who may call them to work — and induce a childcare scramble — at any time. 

Professors González-Bailón and Mutz to Participate in Research Partnership with Facebook

What role does social media play in the dissemination of news? Does social media have an influence on elections? Can social media impact American democracy?

These are questions academics have been asking in recent years, but to find definitive answers, researchers need full data access from a private company, like Facebook, and complete freedom to publish without company permission. Those two things do not usually come in one package.

Q&A: Victor Pickard and Todd Wolfson on the Media, Inequality, and Change Center

The wealthiest 1% of Americans own nearly 40% of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 90% of families hold less than a quarter of it. Fewer and fewer corporations have more and more control over the content of American media. Tech companies like Uber, Postmates, and Caviar are making many people’s lives easier with the push of a button, yet the gig economy workers behind them often struggle to make ends meet.

Penn Today: Q&A with Barbie Zelizer

The new Center for Media at Risk, led by Barbie Zelizer, will launch at Penn with a cross-disciplinary conference at Perry World House and the Annenberg School for Communication, April 19-21. The conference, “What is Media at Risk?,” will bring together media practitioners, scholars, and representatives from organizations that support media to share perspectives, examining political intimidation in the media, and how practitioners can resist it. 

Annenberg Presentations at ICA 2018

More than 65 faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and research staff will present research at the International Communication Association’s 68th Annual Conference, to be held May 24-28 in Prague.

Paxton Wins Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Felicity Paxton, Annenberg Lecturer and Director of the Penn Women’s Center (PWC), is a 2018 recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty. Two non-standing faculty members are recognized each year from across the University, one from a health related program and one from a non-health related program. Paxton will officially receive her award on Wednesday, April 25.

Crisis or Self-Correction: Rethinking How the Media Cover Science

One of the recurring media narratives about the nature of science today is that it is “broken” or “in crisis.” In the mainstream press, some stories about the failure to reproduce study results or the rising retraction rate or incidents of scientific fraud have been accompanied by assertions about a “systemic crisis” in areas of science — or in science itself.


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