Mason in the News

Posted: February 27, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Sunday, Feb. 22, Washington Post

6,473 Texts a Month, But at What Cost?

“Parents, educators and researchers are grappling with similar concerns as text messaging has exploded across the formative years of the nation’s youngest generation. At George Mason University, communications professor Peter Pober advised faculty members at a recent brown-bag to limit their sentences to eight words or fewer during lectures, especially in introductory classes. ‘We used to be fine with 12- to 14-word sentences,’ he said. No more, he said. With the advent of texting and other rapid communication, student focus has diminished. ‘I definitely think there is some relation,’ he said. ‘We’re still at the groundwork of trying to figure out what that is.’ Still, Pober praises text technology for its role in family life, confirming a teenager’s well-being or location, connecting during emergencies and sometimes allowing dialogues about subjects that did not happen before.”

Wednesday, Feb. 25, ABC News

Barack Obama Reassures a Worried America

“Five weeks after his inauguration, Barack Obama made his debut address to a joint session of Congress. ‘He ended up with a sort of an FDR moment early on where he’s saying, American will beat this, so he was trying to be more inspirational,’ said Jeremy Mayer, an associate professor at George Mason University. ‘There were some nice references to history early on and how we’ve never been a country where we simply let the markets solve it. He pointed to some early government intervention…. I think the biggest policy surprise for me was an endorsement of market-based caps on energy production, you know, carbon caps. I think that’s what we heard, and that really will be a heck of a fight in Congress.’”

Wednesday, Feb. 25, NPR

George Mason Students Encouraged by Speech

“Some of the president’s strongest supporters during the long election campaign were college students. We wondered how he’s doing with that group now. NPR’s Linda Wertheimer went to George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, to watch the president’s speech with a collection of students from the political science department.”

Wednesday, Feb. 25, MSNBC

Tourist Towns Are Struggling

“It’s the same story for many small tourist destinations across the country. They are the places that are likely to suffer most in the current economic climate, according to Maggie Daniels, an associate professor of tourism and events management at George Mason University. Tourism hubs are not only being hurt by consumers cutting back on vacations, they’re also smarting from businesses scaling back on travel for their employees, she noted. Larger cities that attract tourists, such and New York and Washington, D.C., will be able to hold their own, but smaller towns that survive on tourism will face the biggest challenges because they don’t have the size or critical mass to bring big events to their areas, Daniels said. Daniels told me she was recently in Manassas, Va., speaking to business owners. One retailer told her: ‘We could be handing out $20 bills and we couldn’t get people in.’”

Thursday, Feb. 26, Forbes

Depression? When Does a Recession Become a Depression?

“In the last quarter of 2008 the economy shrank at a 3.8 percent annual rate. That’s awful, but we’d need 10 additional quarters of similarly dismal results to lose 10 percent of GDP. To put that in perspective: Output fell 27 percent from 1929 to 1933. That translates into a $3.7 trillion decline in today’s economy, which is unlikely, says Russell Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University. ‘Of course, that’s probably what they thought in 1931, too. ‘It can’t be as bad as 1894’ — when output dropped 9.8 percent from 1893.”

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