The AEJMC Council of Affiliates has launched a new competition that began with AEJMC’s Centennial conference in August in Chicago, our first annual Industry Research Forum. The interdependence between the academy and the professional and industry organizations it serves provides an opportunity for collaboration on research that can benefit everyone.
The Council of Affiliates of AEJMC, which consists of 35 member organizations related to the fields of journalism and mass communication, is therefore sponsoring this Industry Research Forum designed to strengthen that academy/industry link.
Three winners of $1000 each presented their research at the AEJMC Conference. Mike Philipps and the Scripps Howard Foundation provided an additional $1000 so a third award could be made. The three winners are as follows and can be found here:
“Media Entrepreneurship: Curriculum Development and Faculty Perceptions of What Students Should Know,” Michelle Ferrier, Elon University
“Best Practices in Managing News Website Comments,” Mitch McKenney, Kent State University
“The Ten Percent Dilemma: The Opportunities and Challenges of Managing Newspapers in the Digital Age,” Paul Steinle, professor emeritus, Southern Oregon University; Sara Brown, Valid Sources, Seattle
Visual Communication Division
Defining Visual Communication in the New Media Environment • Linus Abraham, Iowa State University • New media technology provides the journalism academy the opportunity to fashion a transformative change in our understanding of communication • from one that emphasizes language to recognizing the visual modality as a primary mode of communication. The paper canvases for a movement from the balkanized and skills connotation associated with visual communication towards an integrated study of visual communication, both as an intellectual and skill activity. The paper argues that the concept of visual journalism (geared towards training visual generalist and inculcating visual fluency) provides an opportunity to reinvigorate visual communication and locate it at the center of journalism education.
A Visual Experiment in Acceptance: Does Quantity and Location of Blood Affect Readers’ Reaction to a Photograph? • Abhinav Aima and Patricia Ferrier, Ohio University; Les Roka, University of Utah; Lynn Silverstein and James Staebler, Ohio University• This experiment tested the reactions of 265 subjects to manipulated accident photographs, which were empirically constructed across increasing levels of “Gore” and given different geographic “Locations” in the cutline. Nine 7-point measures were designed to test the students’ responses. A three-way Analysis of Variance revealed that the factors of “Gore” and “Location”, or their interaction, did not cause significant variance but the factor of “Sex” did – Males varied significantly in their responses from females.
Affect and Emotion: Eliciting Compassionate Response Via Facial Affect in Visual Images • Courney Bennett, Stanford University • This study aims to extend research on the effects of visual message elements by examining the relationship between facial affect and emotional response. A study was conducted to explore two questions: 1) whether facial affect in visual images influences how compassionately people feel toward the person portrayed visually, and 2) what the relative influence of a message’s verbal and visual elements would be on compassionate response. The findings and their implications were discussed.
Selling the Revolution: Appropriating Black Radical Images for Advertising • Coletter Gaiter and Mohan Dutta-Bergman, University of Minnesota • Media images of 1960s and 70s African American militants introduced a new visual signifier we call “the defiant gesture.” The radicals themselves and the media both skillfully used photographs featuring black men in defiant poses to serve their specific agendas. A new archetypal black male image emerged that is now featured in advertising to urban hip-hop followers. Decontextualized in their current iterations, these powerful images serve divergent cultural and social needs of different audiences.
Establishing a Photojournalism Historiography: An Historiographical Analysis of the Developmental Approach • Timothy Roy Gleason, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh • This paper examines the nature and application of the Developmental historical approach for photojournalism. It examines the approach by describing it, identifying assumptions held by Developmental historians, and lists questions these historians might ask. Then, it uses a communication history model to reveal how this approach can address particular aspects of the model. This is followed by a discussion of the approach’s strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, a conclusion offers some final comments.
Digitally Altered News Photographs: How much manipulation will the public tolerate before credibility is Lost? • Joseph Gosen, Reno Gazette-Journal and Jennifer Greer, University of Nevada-Reno • A quasi-experimental design was used to examine what factors influence public attitudes toward a digitally manipulated news photo, photography in general, and news media. Subjects were shown one of five versions of a photograph. Increasing levels of digital alteration caused lower credibility scores for the published photograph. Credibility of photography and the news media was influenced more by age, income, and education than treatment. Familiarity with imaging software was linked to tolerance of the alterations.
Seeking Gender Equity on the Sports Pages: An Analysis of Newspaper Photos from the 2000 Olympics • Marie Harden, University of West Georgia, Jean Chance and Julie Dodd, University of Florida, and Brent Hardin, University of West Georgia • Researchers conducted a content analysis of five daily newspapers’ publication of photographs during the 2000 Olympic Games to assess the reality of photo portrayals in relationship to gendered participation in the Games, and to assess the existence of sexual difference in the use of photos. The study concluded that the portrayal of women athletes in Olympics competition appears to show continuing change. The researchers conclude that there is good reason to predict a continuing trend of improved gender equity in Olympic sports coverage for women athletes and diminishing portrayals of sexual difference as the number of women athletes competing in the Games continues to increase.
Ideal-Body Media and Ideal Body Proportions 2 Ideal-Body Media and Ideal Body Proportions • Kristen Harrison, University of Michigan • Dozens of studies have linked ideal-body media exposure to the idealization of a slim female figure, but none have examined the proportions of this figure. This study correlates exposure to ideal-body media (television, fitness and fashion magazines) with college women’s and men’s perceptions of the ideal female bust, waist, and hips. For women, ideal-body media exposure predicted the choice of a smaller waist and hips, but not a smaller bust. For both women and men, ideal-body media exposure predicted approval of women’s use of surgical body-change methods.
Southern Mentalities, Photographic Reflections In Black and White: The 1915-1960 Mississippi Pictures of O.N. Pruitt • Berkley Hudson, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill • To explain race relations in the South during the last 170 years, historian Joel Williamson posits a template of three, Southern white mentalities: conservative, radical and liberal. These are reflected in photographs of O.N. Pruitt, who between 1915 and 1960 worked in Columbus, Mississippi. Regardless of which mentality is reflected, Pruitt, a white man, moved authoritatively in the worlds of black and white, rich and poor, documenting a complexity at once brutal and genteel.
Normative Conflict in the Newsroom: The Case of Digital Photo Manipulation • Wilson Lowrey, Mississippi State University • It is the contention of this study that journalism is divided into occupational subgroups, each representing a different area of expertise and a different sets of norms and values. Subgroups compete with one another for legitimacy. It is proposed that ethical problems in journalism – the case here is digital photo manipulation – may be viewed as evidence of normative conflict rather than as simply a crack in the ethical wall. Through in-depth interviews and a national survey, it is found that photo manipulation relates mostly closely with organizational complexity and multiplicity of subgroups, while there is some evidence that the newsroom’s normative environment as reflected in the existence of rules, also is related.
A Study Of The Persuasiveness Of Animation When Used As Forensic Demonstrative Evidence • Benjamin Allyn Meyer, Iowa State University • This study assessed that motion is the variable which makes forensic animation persuasive. Three groups of participants read a trial transcript. Each group saw a pro-prosecution or a pro-defense animation, images taken from the animations, or no visual imagery. Pro-prosecution imagery coincided with the physical evidence. Pro-defense imagery contradicted it. Results suggest that when computer-animated displays support the physical evidence, it is the dynamic nature of the animation which makes it persuasive to jury members.
If Looks Could Kill: The Ethics of Digital Manipulation of Fashion Models and Attitudes of Readers • Shiela Reaves, Jacqueline Hitchcon-Bush, Sung-Yeon Park, Gi Woong Yun, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Magazine editors and visual educators need to expand the ethical connections between digital manipulation of fashion models and the increased health crisis of eating disorders. This study examines reader response to the digital manipulation of fashion models and explores readers’ attitudes toward this use of new technology. This study challenges the implicit assumption of magazine editors and advertisers who defend digitally altered fashion photos by saying “our readers understand.” This study identified magazine images that promoted “the thin ideal” and then recovered the body image in a second photo that was digitally altered and restored to a healthy slimness. In an experiment 104 subjects viewed a total of six photographs, three “thin ideal” originals and three restored versions that transformed the models to slender as opposed to extremely thin. Findings indicated that prior exposure to very thin models, as opposed to versions restored to slenderness, reduced subjects sensitivity to the difference between extremely thin and slender versions, increased their self consciousness, and eroded their healthy eating attitudes. Furthermore, prior exposure to the thin ideal disempowered the subjects even after viewing both versions of each photograph: they were less likely to take action protesting the manipulation to editors and advertisers.
A Longitudinal Analysis of Network News Editing Strategies from 1969 through 1997 • Richard Schaefer, University of New Mexico • Four editing variables were tracked through a content analysis that spanned two 14-year periods. The analysis revealed that synthetic-montage increased and continuity-realism decreased across both periods, as network news editors embraced shorter sound bites, more special effects, and an increasing use of montage-edited footage. Quicker overall cutting rates and the use of more asynchronous sound increased from 1969 through 1983, but appeared to level off over the next 14-year period. When taken together, the results suggest that television journalism has evolved from more “camera of record” news techniques in favor of more thematically complex editing strategies.
Representing Class: John Vachon’s Portrait of 1940s Dubuque • James Tracy, University of Iowa • This project is an interpretive analysis of photographs of Dubuque, Iowa taken by FSA photographer John Vachon in 1940. This essay argues that the photographs constitute substantive historical evidence augmenting the existing history of a working class environment and culture. The paper considers the labor-management antagonism in Dubuque and the meaning and importance of images to interpretive historical inquiry.
Press Freedoms in the American Colonies, 1755-1765: The Public and the Printers Gigi Alford, University of Alabama • During the decade leading up to the Stamp Act of 1765, printers in the American Colonies faced a growing demand for press freedoms. The right to a free press, colonists believed, belonged to the people rather than the printers. In fact, the people often pushed the printers toward greater liberties, creating a dynamic negotiation of the limitations of press freedoms. This discourse, however, was cut short by the revolt against England.
Negotiating the Transition from True Woman to New Woman in the Lydia Pinkham Animated Ads of 1890 • Elizabeth Burt, University of Hartford • Negotiating the Transition from ‘True Woman’ to ‘New Woman’ in the Lydia Pinkham Animated Ads of 1890 This paper analyzes five illustrated advertisements designed by the Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Company in 1890. These animated ads all make statements about woman’s place in late Victorian society, a time when the traditional True Woman was being challenged by the emerging paradigm of the New Woman. These advertisements reveal aspects of both models and suggest to the modern reader how women in 1890 reading these ads could negotiate the transition between the two.
Considering Contempt by Publication, 1800-1830 • Butler Cain, West Texas A&M University • Contempt by publication was one of the earliest methods the American judicial branch used to control media coverage of state and federal court systems. Editors, publishers, and reporters could be fined and jailed if their publications raised the ire of a judge. During this period, American courts began considering under what circumstances this authority should be used to protect the integrity of the judicial process. Meanwhile, free press advocates began arguing against the power.
‘Severe in invective’: Franc Wilkie, Wilbur Storey, and the improbable ‘send rumors’ quotation W. Joseph Campbell, American University • This paper scrutinizes the evidentiary record behind the famous anecdote about Wilbur F. Storey’s instructing a Civil War correspondent to send rumors if no news was to be found. The paper offers a compelling case that the anecdote about Storey, the editor of the Chicago Times, is quite likely apocryphal. Reasons for doubting whether Storey ever sent such instructions are many, and are discussed in detail. Among the reasons is that the anecdote is thinly documented and uncorroborated, except for a passage in a memoir by Franc B. Wilkie that was published in 1891, twenty-seven years after the instructions would have been sent. The paper draws on a variety of primary and secondary sources, including the literature of false memories and the work of psychologists who have described the difficulties in recovering long-ago memories with any precision.
Late to the Game: William Randolph Hearst, the New York Journal, and the Modern Sports Section John Carvalho, Auburn University • William Randolph Hearst has been credited with creating the modern sports section in the New York Journal soon after he purchased it in 1895. Several of Hearst’s biographers, however, do not mention this strategy. Is it reflected in the earliest editions of the New York Journal? This article looks at the sports page for the first two months of the Journal to find evidence of the assumed emphasis on developments to the sports section: an increase in pages devoted to sports, bylined articles by popular athletes and writers, banner section flags, extended coverage of high-profile sports events, and use of illustrations. Most developments credited to Hearst were not, in fact, frequently used.
Friends of the Bureau: Personal correspondence, and the cultivation of journalist-adjuncts by Hoover’s FBI • Matthew Cecil, South Dakota State University • Beginning in the mid-1930s with Director J. Edgar Hoover’s initial steps into the public consciousness, the FBI developed an expansive public relations division that maintained advantageous relationships with dozens of reporters, broadcasters and editors. Through mountains of personal letters produced by his staff, Hoover fostered the illusion of interpersonal relationships with journalists like The American Magazine’s Courtney Ryley Cooper, Fulton Oursler of Reader’s Digest, and Jack Carley of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. In return for Hoover’s favor, these friends of the Bureau became reliable supporters, passionate defenders, and even quasi-agents of the FBI.
All Things Are As They Were Then: Radio’s You Are There • Matthew Ehrlich, University of Illinois • This paper analyzes the 1940s radio series You Are There, originally titled CBS Is There. The series expressed the optimistic liberalism of its producer-director at the same time it reproduced consensual, patriotic interpretations of America’s past. Its creative blend of fact and fiction challenged conventional definitions of journalism and documentary while momentous changes were sweeping American broadcasting, underscoring the power and authority of radio news even as television was eclipsing radio as a national medium.
Cold War Culture, Broadcast News Documentaries and the Approach of War in Vietnam • James Ettema, Northwestern University • Broadcast documentaries are the medium’s most coherent attempt to make sense of the run-up to war in Vietnam. Sounding such themes as France’s fiasco and America’s exceptionalism they capture both hopes and fears of the cultural moment. As journalism they are not naïve but they are more fretful than probing, more anxious than prescient thus highlighting the role of history and culture in imposing limits on journalism in the performance of its duty to democracy.
A Light out of This World: Awe, Anxiety, and Routinization in Early Nuclear Test Coverage, 1951-1953 • Glen Feighery, University of Utah • Above-ground nuclear testing in the early 1950s commanded attention in the news. This study contributes to understanding atomic test coverage as an environmental issue. It examines how national, state, and local newspapers described the blasts, addressed the issue of fallout, and reacted on their editorial pages. Although some scholars have portrayed certain news organizations as propagandistically uncritical of nuclear testing, this study suggests another explanation: that news routines influenced coverage more than disregard for public safety.
The president’s private life: A new explanation for ‘the right to privacy’ • PATRICIA FERRIER, AUSTIN PEAY STATE UNIVERSITY • On December 15, 1890, in the Harvard Law Review, Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis criticized the press for overstepping in every direction the obvious bounds of propriety and of decency. Many scholars who have written about the first, major step in recognizing personal privacy say the article was a reaction to press reports of Warren’s social life. Perhaps scholars have not looked in the correct places for the explanation of why Warren and Brandeis called for common-law protection of personal privacy. The weekly press in Boston and the daily press in New York provide evidence that a seemingly tenuous link with a former president of the United States may be the key to explaining the genesis of the Warren/Brandeis article.
United States v. Shriver and the Rise of the Public Policy Rationale for the Journalist’s Privilege: 1894-1897 • Patrick File, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities • This paper explores the historical context surrounding U.S. v. Shriver, a journalist’s privilege case in the 1890s. Employing an examination of the case record as well as the professional discourse surrounding it, I argue that U.S. v. Shriver arose at an historical moment that, for the first time, allowed the newspaper industry to employ discursive themes that highlighted the modern newspaper’s value as a public service and justified adoption of a journalist’s privilege as good public policy.
The Communications Circuit of John Hersey’s Hiroshima • Kathy Forde, University of South Carolina • In August of 1946, one year after the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and the end of World War II, the New Yorker published John Hersey’s Hiroshima, an account of what happened in the Japanese city from the moment the atomic bomb dropped through the following year, told through the perspectives of six civilians who survived. In this publication and reading history of John Hersey’s Hiroshima, I adopt book historian Robert Darnton’s well-known conceptual model of the communications circuit—the life cycle of a printed book that includes the roles of author, publisher, bookseller, reader, and, in the case of John Hersey’s Hiroshima, other media institutions, such as book clubs, newspapers, magazines, and radio. I attend not only to the institutions and production processes of journalism, which are the usual preoccupations of journalism history, but also to book history’s emphasis on the content of journalism and the uses readers made of this content in a given historical moment.
An Incitement to Riot: Television’s role in the civil disorders in the summer of ’67 • Thomas Hrach, University of Memphis • In the summer of 1967 America’s cities exploded in violence with riots in poor, black neighborhoods. Many people, including members of Congress, blamed televised news coverage of rioting for spreading violence around the nation. It was that issue that sent the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission, to investigate whether the mass media played a role in causing the riots. When the Kerner Commission issued its report on March 1, 1968, television was exonerated. The report said there was no direct connection between television and the rioting. Television’s critics had been defused, and Congress took no action against television executives. Yet there was data that was never revealed as part of the report that could have been used to come to a different conclusion. The commission hired a research firm named Simulmatics to produce a content analysis of news media coverage of the riots. Data from the analysis, which is now available in the National Archives, was mentioned only briefly in the report. A full examination of that data lends credence to the criticism that there was a connection between television and the riots. This paper examines how the data fits into criticism of television violence in the 1960s and concludes that there was a more direct connection than the commission reported.
Building an American story: How early American historians used press sources to remember the Revolution • Janice Hume, University of Georgia • This study examines histories of the American Revolution published before 1899 to see how they used newspapers and magazines as sources. It seeks to determine how the press helped build America’s first real story as an independent nation, distinct from native and colonial origins. These histories did use press sources in myriad ways, and their permanence helped assure that these iconic narratives endured. Findings add to our understanding of the press and American collective memory.
Alchemy and Finesse: Transforming Corporate Political Media Spending into Freedom of Speech, 1977-78 • Robert Kerr, University of Oklahoma • This paper documents the late seventies behind-the-scenes battle that forged a five-justice majority for a narrow Supreme Court holding that first brought corporate political media spending within the protections of the First Amendment. It shows that justices on the Court then recognized the holding as a greater alteration of established law than another five-justice majority would maintain in 2010 when it expanded the influence of corporate money on democratic processes far beyond that seventies precedent.
Often Caregivers? Sometimes Wild Women? An Archetypal Study of Sea Captains’ Wives in the New York Times, 1851-1900 • Paulette D. Kilmer, University of Toledo • Although conventional wisdom tells us that women were considered bad luck if they appeared anywhere onboard ships other than in the wooden figure carved out of the bow, examination of 500 articles in the New York Times and 100 in the New York Tribune indicates women went to sea with their husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles, and cousins. Moreover, at least from the early 1850s, captains hired stewardesses whose duties might include housekeeping, bookkeeping, medical care, and kitchen supervision to reduce scurvy. The news items reflect Carol S. Pearson’s Caregiver archetype, C.G. Jung’s Mother archetype, and Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Wild Woman archetype.
Science in Advertising: The Role of Research for Richardson-Vicks during the Scientific Advertising Movement • Yeuseung Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study examines how advertisers and advertising agencies conducted and incorporated research in their work during the time when scientific advertising started to receive attention. Drawing largely on the Richardson-Vicks, Inc. archival materials, this study aims to add to the history of advertising by exploring how over-the-counter (OTC) medication was marketed and specifically, how research was used to support, create, and evaluate Vicks’ marketing and advertising efforts.
Jessica Mitford’s Experiments Behind Bars and the Moral Craft of Investigative Journalism • Amy Snow Landa, University of Minnesota • This paper examines the moral craft and public impact of Jessica Mitford’s 1973 exposé titled Experiments Behind Bars: Doctors, Drug Companies, and Prisoners, which was first published as an article in Atlantic Monthly and later as a chapter in Mitford’s book Kind and Usual Punishment: The Prison Business.
Frontier Fears: The Clash of Indians and Whites in the Newspapers of Mankato, Minnesota, 1863-1865 • Charles Lewis, Minnesota State University,Mankato • This research explores how two Minnesota frontier newspapers contributed to a climate of fear and hatred through their coverage of Indian-related events in the state during the three years following the horrific 1862 Dakota War. Such news did not create the conditions of brutality that persisted in Minnesota after the conflict, but the reporting helped perpetuate a white perspective of cruelty and callousness as well as promote notions of manifest destiny.
Piloting Entertainment News: Entertainment Tonight and its Lasting Impact on Television News Programs • Sara Magee, West Virginia University • For more than 25 years Entertainment Tonight has reflected the debate over news and entertainment. Decisions made early on by its creators are forerunners to how television news and entertainment programs are produced today. This paper takes a historical look at the little known period during 1981 when ET was created. Through personal interviews it showcases the struggles faced in bringing this program to life and its impact on media for generations to come.
Legacy of the Covenant: Media, Riots, and Racialized Space in Chicago, April 1968 Meagan Manning, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities • By fusing the notion of racialized space, Chicago’s storied spatial history, and the content of the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Defender through the month following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., I argue that the content of each paper assumes new meaning for the study of race in American history and illustrates a historical moment when the struggles of America’s marginalized populations were thrust to the forefront of American society writ large.
Creating a Photographic Record of the First World War: Real History and Recuperative Memory in Stereography • Andrew Mendelson, Temple University; Carolyn Kitch, Temple University • While largely forgotten today, stereograph photography was a 19th-century mass medium that survived well into the 20th century. These photographs produced three-dimensional images for viewers. The purpose of this paper is to examine the visual and verbal discourses of one set of stereographs – the Keystone View Company’s 1923 300-card history of the World War I. Since Americans saw few battle images during WWI, this set had a special opportunity to tell a definitive historical story of the war after its close. The Keystone stereograph set, a work of popular history for a lay audience, provided reassuring memory in keepsake form. As such, it is a predecessor to better-known (and more often studied) commemorative media of the later 20th century.
A Half Crazy Fellow: Newspapers and the Insanity Plea of the Assassin Charles Guiteau • Justin Murphy, Syracuse University • Charles Guiteau assassinated President James Garfield on July 3, 1881. At his murder trial, he unsuccessfully pleaded insanity. This paper examines media coverage of Guiteau’s case, and his insanity defense in particular. It is illustrated that the media coverage of this trial reflected popular frustration with the insanity defense in the late 19th century. Even before Guiteau’s trial, Americans had been angered by acquittals based on the insanity dodge. This paper further shows that newspapers took advantage of a major schism in the medical community, seizing upon the uncertainty generated by conflicting ‘expert’ testimonies to advocate for a politically popular outcome.
The Shibboleth of ‘Freedom of the Press’: The 1940s Newspaper Crisis, Media Criticism, and the Move Toward Regulating the Press • Victor Pickard, New york University • Given the current problems facing journalism, there is reason to pay close attention to previous eras when news industries faced structural crises. These crises often precipitated normative discussions about the role of the press in a democratic society, and the function of government to regulate that role. The following discussion draws on archival materials and press accounts to recover a moment in the 1940s marked by pronounced dissatisfaction towards the press—a moment when structural reform of major media institutions was seriously considered, but ultimately defeated.
Narratives of progress in times of faith and optimism in industrial development: Press coverage of Operation Bootstrap in Puerto Rico (1947-1963) • Ilia Rodriguez, University of New Mexico • This research builds upon the definition of development as an ideological field to examine the historical role of the Puerto Rican elite press during the period of industrial development known as Operation Bootstrap (1947-1963). It centers on the how the press became a site where universalist notions of progress and modernity met locally grounded interpretations to produce particular understandings at a time of profound historical change. The investigation is based on the assumption that while actively promoted by the discursive practices of U.S. government agencies and other international policy-making institutions, the central premises of a global ideology of development disseminated during the Cold War were reinterpreted or resignified in the local press to legitimize particular visions of progress as well as particular political agendas and class interests.
Herodotus As An Ancient Journalist: Reimagining Antiquity’s Historians as Journalists Joe Saltzman, USC Annenberg • The ancient historian is accused of not worrying much about what was true or false, making up quotes, frequently relying on legend rather than fact, often accepting idle rumor, malicious gossip and hearsay as fact. That sounds more like a tabloid journalist than a historian. In this paper, we reimagine Herodotus as the father of journalism rather than Cicero’s appellation, the father of history, as we examine how he reported, researched, and wrote his Histories.
The Role of the Business Press in the Commercial Life of Cincinnati, 1831-1912 • Brad Scharlott, Northern Kentucky University • In the 1830s two different price currents, which reported market-related news, appeared in Cincinnati but soon failed. In 1844, after the city’s economy had matured, the Cincinnati Price Current began and thrived. In 1846, its publisher concurrently became superintendent of the new Cincinnati Merchants’ Exchange, and for decades the current and exchange reinforced each other – and as they prospered, the city benefited. However, technological and market changes ultimately led to the decline of both.
As if the Sixties never happened: A singing cop, Baltimore’s last minstrel show, and the white media narratives • Stacy Spaulding, Towson University • This paper explores a 1982 episode of blackface minstrelsy by a white performer—a Baltimore cop who fought and won a First Amendment battle with the police department over his right to perform in blackface—to decode the surrounding media narratives in a white working class neighborhood on Baltimore’s east side. This paper uses historical methodology, rhetorical analysis and a whiteness studies framework to understand minstrelsy and the media as a site of racial and cultural negotiation.
Freedom’s Vanguard: Horace Greeley’s thoughts about press freedom and ethics in the Penny Press era • Daxton Stewart, Texas Christian University • Horace Greeley, founder of The New-Yorker and The New York Tribune, became one of the most important American journalists during the Penny Press revolution. This historical study examines Greeley’s writings about freedom of the press and journalism ethics in pre-Civil War era, focusing on four main themes: legal restrictions such as libel, threats of mob violence against the press, the role of neutrality, and moral duties of the press to the public.
Politics as Patriotism: Advertising, Activists and the Press during World War II • Inger Stole, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • This paper traces the battle over advertising regulation in the early 1940s. It outlines the activist critique of WWII advertising and explores the advertising industry’s creation of the Advertising Council as public relations tool. It discusses the crucial role that commercial news media played in shaping journalism to promote their commercial interests at the expense of the public interest and explores how the outcome helped shape postwar discussions about the role of advertising.
A Celebrated Illustrator and the Man Behind the Man: J. C. Leyendecker and Charles Beach Rodger Streitmatter, American University This paper focuses on J. C. Leyendecker, the most successful American magazine illustrator during the early 1900s. Hundreds of his hand-painted images appeared on the covers of such leading magazines as the Saturday Evening Post and Vanity Fair. Adding to Leyendecker’s fame were the high-profile advertisements he created for a long list of companies. The manuscript breaks new ground by illuminating the role that Leyendecker’s same-sex partner Charles Beach played in the illustrator’s career.
Reporters and Willing Propagandists: AEF Correspondents Define Their Roles • Michael Sweeney, Ohio University The early twentieth century witnessed greater journalistic emphasis on professionalism and allegiance to audience. At the same time, war reporting was evolving from open-access, patriotic coverage to greater military control. This study draws on documents in the National Archives to examine how accredited American reporters on the Western Front in World War I defined their roles. It found reporters seeking partnerships with the AEF to shape what they acknowledged as propagandistic, pro-American news stories.
Courage and Composure: The framing of the 1916 Easter Rising rebels as heroes in The Irish Times Carrie Teresa, Temple University • This study examines The Irish Times newspaper’s coverage of the rebel leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising by utilizing 26 articles published in the newspaper from the beginning of the Rising to the establishment of the Dail Eireann. This study argues that coverage of the Rising framed the rebels as national heroes, despite the political agenda and ownership influence of the newspaper itself, which questions traditional beliefs about ownership influence during political and social unrest.
Managing China’s Image Abroad: Justification and Institutionalization of International Propaganda in Republican China • Yong Volz, University of Missouri School of Journalism • China’s international propaganda was born in the aftermath of the anti-imperialist May Fourth Movement of 1919, and fed by an acute awareness of China’s weak position in the world. This study focuses on how Western-trained Chinese intellectuals justified international propaganda within the grand narratives of national crisis, world peace and truth. Their discourses provided legitimacy and means for the Guomindang government to institute a propaganda system to garner international support during its anti-Japanese war.
Explaining the Origins of the Advertising Agency • Tim Vos, University of Missouri School of Journalism • This study reopens the investigation into the origins of the advertising agency. By approaching the inquiry from the perspective of sociological institutionalism, new sites of historical exploration are identified. Volney B. Palmer began the first agency in Philadelphia in 1842, but little is known about the events that precipitated the agency. The study concludes that Palmer’s work in the canal business played a direct role in launching his ad business.
In the Name of the South: Fear-Based Rhetoric, the Southern Media and Massive Resistance David Wallace, University of Colorado at Boulder • During the civil rights movement, Southern editors and journalists capitalized on the values, beliefs, and fears of the South, serving as a propagandistic asset in the successful call for massive resistance. This paper argues that fear-based rhetoric in the Southern press was used to foster and establish an insider-outsider mentality, encouraging both vigilant protection of the Southern way of life as well as suspicion and hostility toward all those who were believed to challenge it.
We have no newspapers -dull, dull! American Civil War Media Dependency • Betty Winfield, University of Missouri; Chad Painter, University of MIssouri School of Journalism • This historical study of Civil War media dependency examines soldiers’ letter references to newspapers and magazines. Through a textual analysis, we sought repeated patterns of media dependency. While we found evidence of DeFleur and Rokeach’s three major dependency themes of understanding, orientation and entertainment, we also found new media dependencies: validation of experiences, proxy correspondence, personal journalistic acknowledgements, checking mechanisms for accuracy, newspapers as exchange barters, and emotional longings for home. These findings should be useful for future media dependency studies, especially during war when there is a need to reduce ambiguity and have some semblance of normalcy.
When the Computer Became Personal: Print Ads for Early Home Computers • Bartosz Wojdynski, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Contemporary research in the psychology of communication technology suggests that many users form parasocial relationships with computers and other devices. Might this phenomenon be rooted in how computers were marketed to a mass audience? This study analyzes magazine advertisements for IBM and Apple home computers from 1981-1984 and analyzes techniques used to make computers seem similar to humans, similar to existing technologies, and necessary for success in modern life.
The Failed Attempts to Merge the Scripps and Hearst Wire Services During World War I • Dale Zacher, University of Arkansas at Little Rock • This historical study uses original manuscript materials to trace discussions the Scripps-owned United Press had with William Randolph Hearst’s International News Service about a possible merger during World War I. This study breaks new ground in showing that the two for-profit wire services, had trouble competing during the war period. The study argues the merger ultimately did not take place, primarily because of Hearst’s concerns he was surrendering too much control to the United Press.