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This year's film about the founder of Facebook and the suicide of a student whose sexual orientation was revealed online have focused attention on Social Networking. We talk about what it is and how it's changing the real world as well as the virtual world. Also, the BCS championship and college bowl games. On Reporter's Notebook, America is divided in so many ways a new book calls it a "patchwork nation." We hear about our national complexity. 

Banner image: Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a press conference at the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California on May 26, 2010. Photo:  Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Making News BCS Controversy Is Backdrop to College Football Championship 7 MIN, 47 SEC

A few college bowl games already have been played, but the Big ones, including the Rose and Fiesta Bowls tomorrow and the BCS Championship on January 10, are yet to come. They are the dream of every college team, but some teams are guaranteed a chance to get there — and some teams aren't. Chris Dufresne writes about sports for the Los Angeles Times.

Chris Dufresne, Sportswriter, Los Angeles Times

Main Topic Social Networking and Real Life 35 MIN, 39 SEC

Since we first broadcast this segment in October, Time magazine has the founder of Facebook its "Person of the Year." Mark Zuckerberg's "friends" now number a half billion, the major example to date of social networking on the Internet. The film The Social Network has won big audiences and a lot of awards. Does social networking enhance and encourage the same kinds of human connections we find in real life, or does it do something else? Is it changing the way people think about themselves and their relations with others? What does it mean for the news media and commercial marketing? Does Internet anonymity require new protections for casual users who don't know the power of social networking? 

Fred Vogelstein, Contributing Editor, Wired magazine
Judith Donath, Harvard University (@judithd)
Walker Smith, Executive Chairman, Futures Company
Michael Kaiser, Executive Director, National Cyber Security Alliance

Reporter's Notebook A Look at our Patchwork Nation 7 MIN, 34 SEC

book.jpgIt's often said that America is a divided country, but it's not just a matter of rich and poor or of Red and Blue. A new book argues that the "real" America is a lot more complex, and it identifies no less that 12 types of communities that experience the world and the economy in different ways.  It's called Our Patchwork Nation: the Surprising Truth about the "Real" America. Its co-author, Dante Chinni, is director of the Patchwork Nation project, a collaboration of the Christian Science Monitor and PBS NewsHour, funded by the Knight Foundation.

Dante Chinni, American Communities Project (@Dchinni)

Our Patchwork Nation

Dante Chinni

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