Special 2017 Award Opportunity for AEJMC Members

Conducting News Audience Research

Description. Now in its fourth year, the News Audience Research Paper Award recognizes the best AEJMC conference paper that researched the audience for news. Accepted 2017 AEJMC conference papers that have researched some aspect of the news audience are automatically eligible to be reviewed by a specially appointed committee for this important award. The author of the winning paper will receive a cash prize and certificate at AEJMC in Chicago.

There is no separate submission process for this award. Papers on the news audience should be submitted to the division, commission or interest group that is the best fit for the paper. After the review process has been completed by each group, accepted papers will then go through a separate review process for the News Audience Research Paper Award.

Eligibility. Research papers eligible for this award should use audience-focused methodologies to provide insight about news audience engagement, attitudes, uses and gratifications, avoidances, socialization, etc. They may focus on news audiences in general, news audiences by platform, content or mobile device, news audiences defined by race, ethnicity, gender, generation, ideology, or other social characteristic. New models and theories to provide insight into the audience for news are encouraged. Research about voters’ engagement with news and news attitudes during the 2016 presidential election are especially welcome. Although not required, authors are urged to include “news audience” in their conference paper key words to make accepted AEJMC papers easier to identify for review.

Background: This award was created by Paula Poindexter, University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism, during her 2013-2014 term as AEJMC president to complement her presidential initiative, News Engagement Day, and encourage more research and discussion about the audience for news. The papers are judged on their contributions to understanding the news audience as well as their research design and execution, theoretical grounding, implications for the news industry, and quality of writing. In an effort to focus attention on the best research paper, beginning in 2017, only the top paper on this topic will be recognized with a News Audience Research Paper Award.

Since the award, which Poindexter funds, was first given in 2014, 10 AEJMC conference papers have received the News Audience Research Paper Award.

The 2016 First Place winner was Mark Coddington of Washington and Lee University who talks about his winning paper, “Metrics, Clickbait, and the Anemic Audience: Audience Perceptions and Professional Values among News Aggregators” in a podcast interview conducted by AEJMC’s new Center for News Excellence and Engagement.

A special thanks is given to past reviewers and Maxwell McCombs who has chaired the News Audience Research Paper Award competition since it was created in 2014. For more information, please email paula.poindexter@austin.utexas.edu.

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