I’m writing a book about climate activism

Lexington Books logo

My publisher, Lexington Books

I have some good news to report on the publishing front: Last week I signed a contract with Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, to write my first scholarly book. The book will be about the new climate change advocacy groups (e.g. 350.org) that have emerged over the last ten years. It will examine the role of innovation in the communication technology ecosystem and the lack of climate action at the federal level in the emergence of these groups. This is a research area in which I have a lot of professional and scholarly experience, having worked for a climate advocacy organization — the 1Sky campaign, which has since merged with 350.org — and published several articles on the subject.

The book will probably be published in mid-2019. I’m very excited about this new scholarly venture, and would appreciate advice from anyone who has written a scholarly book.

My Q&A about fake news with UTSA’s ‘Sombrilla’ magazine

Silhouette with long nose.

How to spot fake news. (Photo credit: UTSA)

I did a Q&A recently on the topic of fake news with the staff at UTSA’s ‘Sombrilla’ magazine. That Q&A is now published and you can read it online here. In the Q&A I discuss the definition of fake news, why it’s so dangerous, and why it’s important to learn how to spot fake news and how to protect ourselves from it. Here’s an excerpt:

Is there any advice or tips you can give us to help us easily spot fake news?

Now more than ever, it’s vital to rely on trusted news organizations. Even ones that are biased, at least won’t make up facts out of thin air. But also if, from your point of view, news is too good (or bad) to be true, it’s probably not true. If a site’s logo looks not-quite-right or the page’s design is pretty bad, you’re probably dealing with a fake news site. And if a story only on a site you’ve just discovered and no other mainstream news source is covering it, that’s a sign the news is fake.

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

What does Trump’s election mean for digital freedom of speech?

President-elect Donald Trump holds a press conference.

President-elect Donald Trump holds a press conference (Photo credit: NPR)

As the shock of Donald Trump’s election victory is giving way to analysis about how his presidency will affect Americans’ lives, our digital freedom of speech deserves special consideration. The ability to express ourselves freely is a fundamental right guaranteed to us all.

There are three major elements that determine how free we are in our online expression: The press must be free to publish anything newsworthy about public officials without fear of serious reprisals. Online communications must be able to reach broad audiences without discrimination by internet service providers. And the government must not be able to spy indiscriminately on ordinary law-abiding Americans.

Before and during the campaign, Trump made pronouncements that suggest deep and widespread implications for digital freedom of speech if those ideas end up guiding his administration. As a scholar of digital communication, I am concerned about what he and his administration will do once in office. Trump’s actions could result in weaker protections for our free press, less competition and higher prices for online consumers, certain forms of online censorship and a return to an intrusive online surveillance regime. The public must prepare to stand up to oppose these infringements on our rights. Continue Reading