Book studying news consumption and production takes top prize

May 26, 2011

Pablo J. Boczkowski, professor of Media, Technology and Society, has received the Best Book Award for 2011 from the Communication and Information Technology Section of the American Sociological Association for News at Work: Imitation in an Age of Information Abundance (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

Boczkowski said he was thrilled when he heard the news. "It is always flattering to be recognized by one's peers," he said. "On top of that, the American Sociological Association is the premier learned society for sociological research in the world, and the chair of the award committee, Paul DiMaggio of Princeton University, is one of the most eminent members of the discipline. All of this makes this distinction very special to me."

The book begins with an intriguing puzzle: Why in this age of unprecedented information abundance are the contents of newspapers' pages and websites increasingly similar in the stories addressed and the attention allocated to them?

Boczkowski pursues this question through a multi-method study of the Argentine newspaper industry, which he argues persuasively has much in common with its counterparts in other countries.

The award committee said News at Work is "an exemplary study, distinguished for its choice of topic, a convincing analysis, compelling arguments, superb primary data, extensive fieldwork, and effective use of multiple methods to weave between, and show the interrelatedness of, empirical problems and levels of analysis."

Boczkowski's award will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Las Vegas August 20-23.

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