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January 13, 2004

surveys, websites, and other activities

Along with the Council for Excellence in Government, my organization, CIRCLE, will release a new poll of young Americans on Thursday. So I've spent a lot of my time helping to analyze the poll results and figure out a strategy for persuading the press to pay attention (even during the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses).

Meanwhile, I'm building a new website about--of all things--press coverage of the Iraq war. I'm responsible for a project to promote dialogue between political theorists and journalists. We decided to focus on a single issue: war coverage. Two graduate students did a lot of good research, but their time ran out before they could build a website to present their findings. So I'm building it, hoping that it will be the basis for some interesting online discussion.

I'm also trying to get a local project going. As I've mentioned before on this blog, we'll be working with high school students to build electronic maps of their community, highlighting those features of the local streets that affect people's decisions to exercise and to eat healthy food. We'll be working intensively this spring, with support from the National Geographic Foundation. So far, I've been doing preliminary tasks like getting permission to conduct research with minors. I'm also writing a couple of essays that are due within the month: one on our local oral history project, and one on youth online activism. Finally, I was recently elected chair of the steering committee of the group that's trying to implement the Civic Mission of Schools report. We'll go public with that effort when and if we receive funding. So far, we have worked hard on a couple of pending applications that would supply several million dollars if fully funded.

When I started blogging, I often used to describe my recent activities (as in today's post). I suppose I wanted an extra way to communicate with friends and family, and I hoped to present my work to a few strangers who might be interested in my activities. To an extent, I also wanted to document the life of an "engaged scholar." However, as the number of daily visitors rose considerably higher than I had expected, I began to view such personal updates as self-indulgent. Instead, I usually try to report or comment on public events and issues. This post is an exception, prompted by thinking about how my blog has evolved during its first year.

Posted by peterlevine at January 13, 2004 05:05 PM


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