With “fake news” attracting so much attention in the past year, I’ve found myself questioning my own news sources much more often. While I consider this to be a normal response in an unpredictable political climate, it has also led me to consider some of the other, more subtle, ways in which news presentation might misinform us. For example, how biased is our news media currently? And if our media are biased, how does that affect our understanding of current events?
Much of the research in this area finds that while people do frequently detect bias in news reporting, often their conclusions are unsubstantiated (Baum and Groeling, 2008; Lin, Haridakis, & Hanson, 2016). In what has been coined the “hostile media” phenomenon, individuals from completely opposite ends of the political spectrum often perceive bias from the same source, even when it is objectively considered to be “relatively balanced and non-partisan” (Vallone et al., 1985 as cited in Groeling, 2013). Unsurprisingly, this not only makes detecting bias in the media difficult, but also makes attributing such bias to journalistic intent even more challenging (Baum and Groeling, 2008). Continue Reading →
In this profile from the Microsoft Alumni Network, Center for Social Policy Director Susan Crandall reflects on her early days at Microsoft and how it fostered her passion for creating access and opportunity through workforce development.
“Susan moved across the country to start in a PhD program at the University of Washington in Organizational Behavior. And then it hit her: To become an authority on how organizations work, she first needed to gain her own experience working at a corporation. Susan took leave of her PhD program and went looking for a job. What she found was a position at Microsoft in the newly formed HR Executive and Management Development Group.”
In Lucia Graves’s recent New Republic piece, Carol Hardy-Fanta, senior fellow at the McCormack Graduate School, sheds light on gender equity in former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s administration and those infamous “binders of women.”
Read “Trump is Giving Us a Case of Romnesia” here.
Carol Hardy-Fanta (PhD, Brandeis University), a senior fellow at UMass Boston’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies and former director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, is the lead author on the new book, Contested Transformation: Race, Gender, and Political Leadership in 21st Century America, issued recently by Cambridge University Press and coauthored with Pei-te Lien, Dianne Pinderhughes, and Christine Sierra.
by Christa Kelleher, Research and Policy Director Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy
Now that Massachusetts legislators have secured increased compensation for themselves, they should take a hard look at the pay levels of those who work for them. Fair and livable wages should be the norm for all workers whether they are employed by private, nonprofit, or public entities. Those who step up into a public service role as a legislative aide, budget analyst, chief of staff, or any of the other positions essential to our representational democracy deserve to be compensated fairly and adequately.
Yet it’s unclear whether this is the case here in Massachusetts. While earnings data are available through Massachusetts Open Checkbook, no titles are provided for employees listed and it’s not possible to systematically examine salaries by position, by legislative office, or by the race, ethnicity, or sex/gender identity of staff members.
There may never be an ideal moment to address the topic of pay for those who work in the Legislature.
This blog is posted with permission from Mass-INC, publisher of Commonwealth Magazine.
Christa Kelleher oversees research on women’s public leadership and a range of public policy issues that affect women, with a particular focus on women’s reproductive and maternal health. She specializes in identifying, analyzing, and promoting public policies that improve the conditions of women’s lives; advancing women’s public leadership; state and local policy development
A recent Boston Globe columnist, reporting on President Donald Trump’s first few weeks in the White House, described recent events as “a cavalcade of controversies.” What an astute (and alliterative) observation.
As part of encouraging broader discussions of this new policy landscape, the McCormack Graduate School recently partnered with the College of Liberal Arts at UMass Boston to host two policy roundtables to discuss President Trump’s domestic and foreign policy agendas.
We invite you to read about our analyses, watch the videos, and engage in the national chatter by sharing your comments on this blog.
The Trump Administration: Domestic Policy Roundtable