AEJMC 2015 Conference Paper Abstracts
San Francisco, California • August 6 to 9
The following AEJMC groups conducted research competitions for the 2015 conference. The accepted paper abstracts are listed within each section.
- Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk (ComSHER)
- Communication Technology (CTEC)
- Communication Theory and Methodology
- Cultural and Critical Studies
- Electronic News
- International Communication
- Law and Policy
- Mass Communication and Society
- Media Ethics
- Media Management and Economics
- Minorities and Communication (MAC)
- Newspaper and Online News
- Public Relations
- Scholastic Journalism
- Visual Communication (VisCom)
- Community Journalism
- Entertainment Studies
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
- Graduate Student (formerly Graduate Education)
- Internships and Careers
- Participatory Journalism
- Political Communication
- Religion and Media
- Small Programs (SPIG)
- Sports Communication (SPORTS)
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
Information Access and Control in an Age of Big Data
Submission Deadline for Papers: June 1, 2015
Edward L. Carter, J.D. LL.M., Associate Professor, Brigham Young University
Laurie Thomas Lee, Ph.D., Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
In a keynote address at a 1996 conference on information policy sponsored by the U.S. government, scholar and analyst William J. Drake said, “The new information infrastructure can and should be designed to balance the needs of all parties with direct stakes in it: large corporate suppliers and users, the public sector, the non-commercial sector, small and large businesses, and individual users.” However, Drake warned that conflicting interests and competing international models of information access and control could impede the achievement of this vision. He suggested that use patterns and government regulation should be monitored and managed as technological advances caused changes in mass communication.
Given the impact of Big Data and technological advances in the nearly 20 years since Drake’s comment, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly proposes to publish a special issue on “Information Access and Control in an Age of Big Data.” The editorial team of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly believes this research has the potential to make an important contribution to the literature appraising the current state of information and communication technology, consumer and audience behavior, and policy and law, as well as to provide a platform for development of future research in journalism and mass communication.
We invite contributions to a special issue of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly that will address access to and control of information in an age of Big Data. We encourage submissions that approach this topic from an inclusive range of fields and research methodologies within journalism and mass communication and also from other disciplines, with a focus on the implications of the topic to media and society. Papers may offer insights about technological, behavioral, policy, legal and other issues. Possible topics might include, among others, the so-called right to be forgotten on the Internet; social media and privacy; the implications of Big Data for journalism and mass communication; government and corporate surveillance; technology solutions to protect confidentiality in reporter-source relationships; access by news media and other individuals to digital records of government and other institutions; the response of journalism, public relations and advertising to challenges and opportunities in the current environment; search engine optimization and reputation management; intellectual property and freedom of expression; data protection; and the right of publicity. This special issue lends itself to research from a variety of cultural and international perspectives, and therefore papers with international and intercultural approaches are particularly encouraged. We welcome both qualitative and quantitative approaches to the topic.
Details of Paper Content, Length, and Due Date
Papers will undergo blind peer review. Those selected for publication will then enter the editorial publication process, resulting in publication online in January 2016 and in print in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly in summer 2016. The deadline for full paper submissions is June 1, 2015 at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jmcq.
Authors are requested to submit manuscripts in APA Style, 6th Edition. Manuscripts in other citation styles will be considered in initial review. Other manuscript submission details for Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly are available at http://www.sagepub.com/journals/Journal202061/manuscriptSubmission.
For questions regarding this special issue, please contact the guest editors:
Edward L. Carter, Brigham Young University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Thomas Lee, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, email@example.com
 William J. Drake, Keynote Address, “Balancing Interest in the New Information Structure—National and Global Perspectives,” 1996 Federal Library and Information Center Committee Forum on Federal Information Policies, Summary of Proceedings, at http://www.loc.gov/flicc/Forum96.html#Keynote.
Using Research to improve Teaching Skills
By Catherine Cassara
AEJMC Standing Committee on Teaching
School of Media & Communication
Bowling Green State University
(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, November 2014 issue)
Some of the most telling lessons I have learned about teaching have come from the findings of other scholars’ research listening to students.
I am thinking about these studies particularly now because I was reminded how reluctant we are to listen to our students as members of my university faculty learning community were brainstorming topics for the year.
Our community’s focus is learning technologies and I suggested we might get student input. By the time all the topics were listed on the board, mine was not because “we have grad students in the learning community,” the facilitator said. We do have graduate students and they are very nice people who are already in the classroom our side of the student/teacher divide when it comes to discovering how students view what succeeds or fails in the classroom.
Since teaching “assessment measures”—however they are envisioned—can only be operationalized according to our teacherly understandings of how class dynamics work, they cannot measure things if we do not we address things we do not comprehend. We cannot listen to students or find out what’s there unless we are asking if other researchers have already taken it on.
Two particular threads of research have rocked my world. The first showed up as a reading assignment in a faculty learning community I participated in several years ago. Another study showed up when a graduate student brought in an article about grading writing as part of a weekly assignment in a media & communication pedagogy course I teach. I will tackle them in this order.
The Project Information Literacy surveys of undergrads on 200 campuses are always insightful, but the one that had the most impact on me was the 2009 report, where students told researchers they found library research “daunting.” They reported that because they did not understand the assignment and did not know where to start, they put off their work until the night before the paper was due. (In addition to surveying the students, the researchers review the assignments they received, but that’s another story.)
“Many students reported that they often had little or no idea how to choose, define, and limit the scope of a topic found in the library,” the PLI researchers recounted. As a result, students reported that Wikipedia served as a unique and indispensable source because it helped them obtain both the big picture on their topics and the vocabulary they needed just to begin a keyword search.
At first I relaxed, thinking that my students were better off because I always make sure they have a training session with a librarian. But, unfortunately, the students told the PLI researchers that going to the library for research training was helpful, but by the time they needed to use the information they could not remember what they had learned.
In one of the later studies, when researchers met with students in focus groups, the students revealed another reason they delayed completing the assignment until the last minute— something that would never have occurred to me. They delay deliberately in order to increase their own interest in and motivation to complete the work. A looming deadline makes an assignment much more interesting.
The research article the doctoral student shared was Still and Koerber’s 2010 article from the Journal of Business and Technical Communication that studied student reactions to an instructor’s comments on written work. In a state-of-the-art lab, the researchers watched, listened to and recorded their student research subjects as they attempted to follow the corrections on a graded assignment in return for a possible better grade.
The students are frustrated by the comments telling them a section is awkward, or marks and lines on the paper that signify something that is not clear; given their frustration, they move on to work on the easier corrections of spelling, grammar and mechanics where it is easy for them to identify what the problem is and fix it. The students were willing to correct what they understood to be the most serious problems with their work; they just did not understand what the instructor wanted.
I encountered that article several years ago. A friend had already told me that students don’t read comments so she taped comments, but given that I grade writing, that did not seem possible.
When I grade on paper — AP quizzes, etc. — I try to be neat. For stories and papers, however, I do not grade on paper. I have started grading in Word — using comments, etc. — and I have started using simple rubrics that allow me to write individualized comments. I expect that there is still frustration on the other end, but I hope the typing is an improvement on the scrawl my handwriting turns into when I am tired.
Of course, I had to be careful the first few times I used Word’s track changes function, because if I made the changes students had the option of just accepting everything except what I put in comment boxes. But since I always download all the stories or papers just to have them before I start, I knew where they started and what if anything they had done themselves to rewrite which is the point of the rewrite option.
Conference Papers Again Eligible for News Audience Research Award
The News Audience Research Paper Award is an effort to encourage more research and discussion on the audience for news. Accepted 2015 AEJMC papers that have researched some aspect of the news audience are automatically eligible to be reviewed by a specially appointed committee for this award. Cash prizes in the amount of $500, $300 and $100 will be given to the first-, second- and third-place winners at the AEJMC Business Meeting in San Francisco.
There is no separate submission process for this award. Papers on this topic should be submitted to whatever division or interest group 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 this 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. 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 peer review.
Background. This award was created by Paula Poindexter, 2013-14 AEJMC president. In its first year, the special committee reviewed 16 papers on the news audience and made four awards. This award complements Poindexter’s presidential initiative, National News Engagement Day. The award will also help strengthen one component of AEJMC’s mission: contributing to an informed society.
Questions can be directed to Poindexter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the March 2015 issue of AEJMC News
AEJMC Begins Mutual Funds Investments
At its December 2014 mid-winter meeting, the AEJMC National Board approved the next steps in investing a portion of AEJMC reserve and endowment funds. It has directed Jennifer McGill, executive director, to begin working with Janney Montgomery Scott LLC of Columbia, South Carolina, to initiate these investments.
These steps are the result of two years of AEJMC national board discussions under the leadership of former AEJMC Presidents Paula Poindexter and Kyu Youm who saw the need to think more about the limited financial return earned by AEJMC reserve and endowment accounts currently housed in certificates of deposit (CD’s). Over several meetings, national officers, financial committee and national board members came to the decision that well-advised financial management of AEJMC funds could not be found in certificates of deposit. They found that other nonprofit organizations were already making mutual funds investments.
AEJMC leadership discussed how and in what way a long-term investment strategy, such as mutual funds, could help grow AEJMC assets. Of particular need were 19 endowment accounts, most of which are not sufficient to underwrite awards without taking monies from the principal funds, which is not allowed. The result of these deliberations was a national board formally approved AEJMC Portfolio investment policy statement that will serve as a blueprint for the next year of implementation; and, the selection of investment firm Janney Montgomery Scott after considering two additional firms’ proposals.
The 2014-15 national board approved an investment portfolio policy statement that established five objectives:
• To practice wise stewardship of AEJMC’s reserves and endowments through investments.
• To make investments that are reflective and directed by the AEJMC 2009 Strategic Plan.
• To build an income stream from the AEJMC financial reserves and endowment accounts to support AEJMC programs and future initiatives.
• To consider investment of AEJMC reserves and endowments separately from the AEJMC operating budget.
• To achieve more conservative investments for AEJMC endowments than for the reserves.
The long-term goal of the investments of AEJMC reserves and endowments is to provide immediate income, income growth, and over time some capital appreciation. The basic tenets include an income builder of 80 percent stocks and 20 percent bonds invested initially from a portion of AEJMC reserves and then a portion of the dividends from any financial growth of the investments. The AEJMC endowments will be invested more conservatively with an asset allocation of 50 percent stocks and 50 percent bonds.
The AEJMC finance committee, composed of term appointees and the national officers, will serve as the investment policy committee to monitor the investment strategy and make recommendations to the AEJMC national board. The AEJMC national board will make the final decisions on all investment portfolio policies.
A management committee made up of the AEJMC president, president-elect and the AEJMC executive director will confer to make any day-to-day decisions on the AEJMC portfolio. McGill, as executive director, will be the point of contact with Janney’s investment consultant.
The AEJMC national board gave considerable attention to all of the fiduciary duties for which it will be responsible. It included in its approved AEJMC portfolio policy statement several items called the “prudent investor rule.” These items include duties to make conscientious decisions concerning the levels of risk appropriate to the purposes of the investments. Another duty is to sound diversification of investments but also investment choices that are in keeping with the mission of AEJMC.
After a first year of building the investment portfolio, the AEJMC national board will assess its initial investment strategy.
McGill and the management committee will begin working on a gradual transfer of certificates of deposit monies as these become available and we set up the necessary working relationship with our investment consultant. The national officers meeting in May 2015 will review a first quarterly report. Slow and deliberate steps to be sure but exciting at the same time that lead us to expect to produce a 5 percent growth in the level of portfolio income annually.
Over several years and especially with the successful Centennial fundraising campaign achieving over $300,000 to invest in AEJMC’s second 100 years, AEJMC has increasingly benefitted from member contributions to endow research awards and awards to recognize members’ distinguished research, teaching and service. With the beginning of a mutual funds investment strategy for AEJMC reserve and endowment funds, AEJMC will be able to continue a rich array of programs for beginning and senior scholar research, conference travel support for graduate students, educational opportunities, and leadership training, to name only a few of the initiatives already available to members and for new initiatives yet to be imagined.
By Elizabeth L. Toth
University of Maryland, College Park
2014-15 AEJMC President
“From the President” is courtesy of AEJMC News.
MobileMe&You: A Mobile-First Conference • October 28-30
College of Journalism and Mass Communications University of Nebraska-Lincoln
If you are trying to adapt your curriculum to be “digital first,” you might be missing out on the opportunity to be an emergent leader. Digital first has been replaced by mobile first. The digital disruptor is already being disrupted, because our industries are going where their audiences are, and that’s mobile.
Journalism and Mass Communication Educator is seeking research papers on mobile media pedagogy and classroom best practices. How are mobile media best incorporated into a classroom or a curriculum? What works and what doesn’t? What types of professors and students have the greatest success with mobile in the classroom? What are the learning outcomes assessment practices for mobile? The papers will be published in a special edition of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, and the authors of the three best papers will be recognized with cash prizes at a national mobile media conference sponsored by the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Deadline for submission of manuscripts is midnight, May 1, 2015. Manuscripts, clearly indicating they relate to this Call for Papers, should be uploaded through the SAGE Track system at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jmce.
The top manuscripts will be published in the September 2015 issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator. The authors of the best papers will be asked to present their papers at the October mobile media conference at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Knight News Challenge Bridge Grants
Bringing the Knight News Challenge into Your Classroom (AEJMC Montréal Conference)
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Moderating/Presiding: Jennifer H. McGill, executive director, AEJMC
This mini-workshop, held Thursday, August 7, 2014, provided tools and tips for using Knight News Challenge products in your classroom. Click on links below.
Julie Jones | University of Oklahoma
Jeanine Guidry and Marcus Messner | Virginia Commonwealth University
Susan Zake | Kent State University
Scott Parrott | University of Alabama
Amy Schmitz Weiss | San Diego State