Author Archives: Marie K. Shanahan

How many Connecticut drivers have been ticketed for texting?

By | September 7, 2017

This is a Tableau graphic I created for a Connecticut Health Investigative Team story about the rising costs of distracted driving.

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Participation Inequality: Women and Online Comments

By | March 30, 2017

Online comments sections are our modern day venues for collaboration, for public discourse, for democratic deliberation. The internet was supposed to even the playing field for participation.
 But for many women, wading into the incivility of online comments or social media exchanges is like walking alone down a scary back alley, or into an angry […]

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WNPR Live Town Hall: “The Press, The President, And The Public”

By | February 21, 2017

What’s the role of the local press in a Donald Trump presidency? WNPR invited me to participate in a live town hall discussion of the topic on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, with Hartford Courant Publisher Andrew Julien and Journal Inquirer Managing Editor Chris Powell. (I start talking around the 12-minute mark.)

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The harbinger of our hateful electorate? Look no further than online comments

By | December 18, 2016

The contentious post-election climate has left many Americans wondering how our democracy became so spiteful. I think it’s time to heap some blame on online comments. The ability to say offensive things online on a daily basis without consequences has led to new, and more harmful, norms for civic behavior. Toxic fuming online, ad hominem […]

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Why diversity in newsrooms matters, now more than ever

By | November 30, 2016

“[News] is the product of a bunch of people sitting in a room, using their own best judgment. Their own best judgment is shaped by their own lives. If you do not have people in that room who lived a very wide array of different types of lives, your publication will have holes.” —Hamilton Nolan, […]

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Nasty online comments continue, unabated and emboldened by Election 2016

By | November 10, 2016

Around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, I discovered through my Twitter feed a thoughtful column about the potential makeup of the United States Supreme Court when Donald J. Trump becomes president. The commentary piece, “Don’t Expect the Supreme Court To Change Much,” was written by Cass R. Sunstein, an academic I admire, and published 16 […]

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Think Mark Twain would have used social media?

By | September 26, 2016

For writers, social media is both a tool and a trap. If social media had existed when Mark Twain was publishing, think the American author and humorist would have used it? The writer also known as Samuel Clemens put a 100-year embargo on his autobiography. Why? He was known to be fiercely protective of his […]

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Data visualizations: Asthma rates in Connecticut

By | September 16, 2016

Using the visualization software program Tableau Public and data sets from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, I created two data visualizations about asthma rates in Connecticut for the Connecticut Health Investigative Team.  

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Reading too many comments

By | July 29, 2016

I’ve spent two mind-numbing weeks watching the national political conventions. The online comments surrounding them? Fear, loathing, anger, hype, snark. So much polarization. All mistrust and motivated reasoning. Just take a glimpse at WSJ’s Blue Feed, Red Feed for realtime examples. “Live chat” comments on YouTube live streams of the #RNCinCLE and #DemsinPhilly conventions were undoubtedly the […]

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Consequence-free speech

By | July 28, 2016

“My mood, I say, was one of exaltation. I felt as a seeing man might do, with padded feet and noiseless clothes, in a city of the blind. I experienced a wild impulse to jest, to startle people, to clap men on the back, fling people’s hats astray, and generally revel in my extraordinary advantage.” […]

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