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Weekly News Digest

March 17, 2008 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Christian Science Monitor Launches New Election Site

The Christian Science Monitor announced the launch of Patchwork Nation ( , a new election 2008 site that says it offers a fresh approach to covering politics. Funded by the Knight Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropic organization, the new website replaces the conventional red-state/blue-state maps with one that examines the election through the lens of 11 different types of communities around the country. Bloggers from the 11 designated locales are writing about key issues in their communities, how the issues affect residents’ votes, and how the candidates tailor their messages to a particular audience.

Former Christian Science Monitor political columnist Dante Chinni is project director and lead correspondent for Patchwork Nation. He says the election 2008 site offers a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the electorate. "The red-state blue-state breakdown of political opinion is inherently flawed because it doesn’t explain what underpins voters’ decisions," says Chinni. "That’s what this new website will explore in real time during the presidential campaign."

Chinni and The Christian Science Monitor, with the help of University of Maryland government professor James Gimpel, have identified 11 U.S. towns and cities that represent the 11 distinct types of voter communities: Monied ’Burbs, Minority Central, Evangelical Epicenters, Tractor Country, Campus & Careers, Immigration Nation, Industrial Metropolis, Boom Towns, Service Worker Centers, Emptying Nests, and Military Bastions. They’ve found a real community to represent each type. So Los Alamos, N.M., will be watched to see what’s happening in Monied ’Burbs, while Hopkinsville, Ky., will be studied to gauge the presidential campaign in Military Bastions. The data used to identify these community types can be found on the Patchwork Nation site and are available for news organizations, groups, and individuals to conduct
their own analyses.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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