AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
School of Journalism
University of Texas at Austin
The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.
Interview Subject: Reginald Stuart
Interviewer: Martin do Nascimento
Interview date: 3/30/2014
Number of Recorded Segments: 1
Interview length: 01:13:51
Reviewer: Carlos Morales
Date of review for index: 7/1/2014
Table of Contents:
Early Experiences in Journalism (3-7)
Diversity in the Newsroom (7-11)
Journalism education (11-14)
The News Industry Today (14-15)
0:00 – 3:15 Introduction and preamble
Early experiences in journalism
3:16 Stuart’s first experience with journalism dates back to his childhood. He had
3:22 He had a newspaper when he was a kid, around 10-12-years-old.
3:30 The major daily newspaper in his hometown of Nashville did a story about two competing neighborhood editors, Stuart and a kid from down the street.
3:57 When they interviewed Stuart for the article they asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. He told them that he wanted to own the paper – their paper.
4:05 Stuart says they were amused.
4:16 When he went to college he majored in sociology.
4:24 After he graduated he went looking for a job and decided not to go into sociology. He went by the newspaper and applied for a job.
4:33 In those days, Stuart says, it’s a lot easier than it is today.
4:42 They told Stuart that there wasn’t an immediate job opening but he could apply and they’d let him know when positions became available.
4:48 The newspaper remembered Stuart from the childhood story that was written about him.
4:54 They said, “He’s the kid that wanted to buy the paper, right?” and hired him.
4:58 The newspaper called Stuart about a week before graduating college and offered him a job.
5:06 The position was a starting reporter.
5:23 The managing editor – although Stuart had wanted to take the summer off before working – said he needed Stuart to beging work the Monday after graduation.
5:28 He told Stuart that if he couldn’t take it the job would be gone. Stuart took the offer.
5:36 “I went to work like a week after I graduated and I haven’t stopped work since and that was more than 40 years ago.”
5:47 Stuart says that he loves what newspaper do now and he loved what they did then as a child.
6:10 Stuart grew up in a “city where news is very important to all people”
6:19 There were weekly papers, there were the two major daily papers. Those weren’t papers for kids, though, Stuart says.
6:27 Stuart says that he wanted to have a paper not because the other papers were for adults, but because he wanted to be involved in “this enterprise of gathering information.”
6:50 The idea, Stuart says, was to be the first to know about things in his neighborhood.
6:57 The inspiration, Stuart says, was the desire to get the news first and disseminate it.
7:07 Stuart shortly realized that despite how good the local papers were, there was still news that they couldn’t cover.
7:17 They didn’t have enough people, time, or they just didn’t know about things.
7:25 Stuart wrote about the things he thought should be in the paper.
7:37 He had news stories in it, he had a friend make cartoons for the editorial page, entertainment news, a gossip column, a music column – it was hyper-local news, focusing on his street.
8:13 Stuart did that for 3 years and it evolved into a really good following.
8:23 Stuart’s rival editor, who lived at the end of the street, took care of his end of the neighborhood.
8:30 “It was growing on an innate feeling that there’s more news out there and I want to tell about it.”
8:45 Stuart gives an example of the kind of stories he’d write. The hospital in his neighborhood was going to expand and build a new wing – he wrote about that.
8:51 There were back-to-school stories.
9:01 He had a fire-prevention week story.
9:06 It was “nice stuff”, Stuart says, that he found interesting as a young person.
9:37 His early endeavor was “ a reflection of what was going on around the neighborhood – it was important.”
9:45 Stuart called it “The Neighborhood Times”.
9:50 He named nicknamed the paper “TNT” – after the explosive material, a reference to the Cold War Era, Stuart says.
10:26 Stuart wrote some of the stories, but he also relied on his neighborhood for help. Older people in the area helped Stuart with cooking columns or secretarial tips columns and kids his age wrote the gossip and music column.
11:10 Whenever these people didn’t have time to write, Stuart would write it.
11:18 He would then type it up on stencils and would have it printed at printing department at the hospital, who Stuart had befriended.
11:33 He would charge Stuart a dollar or so for 100 sheets of paper
11:38 Stuart would write for a couple days, sell ads for a couple days, then print on a Thursday or Friday and distribute the paper.
11:50 Stuart says that at some point his paper gained popularity and he reached “national circulation”
11:59 “National circulation” included all of Stuart’s relatives across the country.
12:43 Stuart says his innate feeling to cover and disseminate the news was because he “must’ve been nosey”
12:47 “I liked reading the paper…I just thought that newspapers were cool because they talked about stuff and I liked to talk about stuff.”
13:10 Stuart read many newspapers growing up, including The National Tennessean, The Banner, Life Magazine.
13:40 Stuart got these at the library. He was a paperboy and “threw” the Banner so he kept a copy for himself.
14:04 Stuart goes on to list several more newspapers and magazines that he read and that were available to him.
14:48 The main thing, Stuart says, is that they all had something new and different.
15:14 There wasn’t a particular theme or topic that Stuart enjoyed the most. He “liked it all”
15:30 A lot of things, Stuart says, you learned as you went. “You started off saying I want to know what’s in there, and then you start picking and choosing.”
15:46 For Stuart some of his disinterests included sports. He liked science, and politics. He wasn’t a big culinary enthusiast, he adds.
16:25 There were things that were important, Stuart says, that he may not have had an interest in, but others did.
16:42 Stuart says he learned a lot about the importance of the skillsets that were described in his columns, such as cooking and typing.
17:22 Stuart’s mother was a “big reader”, his dad read Western fiction and the paper. But they weren’t “consumed with reading” – it was jut a part of their routine.
17:56 Radio news was marginal in those days, Stuart says.
18:07 Television was a half hour a day. No noontime newscast, or evening news. Stuart said he had 3 stations: NBC, ABC, CBS.
18:30 Stuart says that the 30-minute newscast only allowed for so much. The news generally included sports, weather, and regular news.
18:46 Eventually, Stuart says, more and more stations began having newscasts, what they called “rip and read”
18:55 Stuart says they were called this because on the FCC mandates you have 5 minutes of news every hour if you were a certain category of station.
19:05 According to Stuart, everyone had news. They might be “ripping and reading” Stuart says, but they had news.
19:14 That’s important, he continues, because you grew up in an environment of being informed.
19:41 Stuart says you couldn’t listen to one station all day long. “You had to get some information on which to make decisions about things. And that was cool.”
20:04 Stuart says that he learned that “gossip is valuable”
20:15 “Even the smallest information you have – that’s a story.
20:25 You also learn, Stuart adds, that as a newspaper editor or publisher you have a lot of power, you have a lot of responsibility.
20:52 In TV you learn the same thing, Stuart said.
20:54 “You’re reaching thousands of people at one time. It’s a very delicate and fragile responsibility.”
21:48 Stuart says that when you have only a certain number of people on the staff you can’t cover everything.
22:24 A lot of publications couldn’t cover everything because they didn’t have the manpower, Stuart says.
22:33 Another reason is that as a news organization you make a judgment about what’s important and what needs covering.
22:42 A lot of times you make a judgment that reflects your history, what your interests are, etc.
23:05 This is why, Stuart says, that broadening the ranks of newsmakers became so important.
23:15 News organizations soon realized that they weren’t covering the whole community; they weren’t covering people of color, they weren’t covering poor people, women, etc.
23:28 As these organizations open their mind to what’s important, Stuart says, then you’ll start seeing things that weren’t being covered.
24:30 Stuart says he was too young to recognize that they local papers weren’t covering these issues.
24:40 There were a lot of social changes between when Stuart was a kid and when he began working.
24:52 It’s then, he says, that he realized what the issues were
25:13 Stuart offers an example of how he understood news as a kid and as an adult
25:17 Nashville had a lot of colleges and the paper had a “vibrant” sports section
25:43 You realized after a while, Stuart says, that some of the black colleges were only getting a couple paragraphs worth of coverage – even in their winning season.
26:05 Clip abruptly cuts
26:33 Stuart says that American Airlines – the major airline servicing Nashville – had a strike coming up. This kept him busy
26:44 One time, he went to the airport and noticed a factory that was making the wings for what was then a type of plane, the jumbo jet.
27:14 This inspired Stuart and he went back to the paper saying that he’s found his beat: “a combination of transportation and aviation”
27:29 Although reluctant at first, the paper allowed Stuart to work this beat. He ended up writing at least 2 front-page articles a week for the next several months.
27:50 Stuart says he had to learn how to write newspaper style first and had to find his niche. “You had to figure out a niche, this is yours, aviation and transportation were mine.”
28:13 “Those little things,” Stuart adds, “were important, teach-ful moments that helped me get focused as a journalist.”’
Diversity in the Newsroom
28:53 Stuart was the first full-time black news reporter. There was a part-time black religion writer and one full-time black person running the photo lab.
29:12 “It was a diverse as you were going to get in 1968”
29:33 Stuart says there weren’t any problems that came up in the newspaper
29:38 The problems that Stuart had were “external.”
29:47 Stuart had a problem with the police department. He realized that the speech they used when talking over the radio was antiquated, “they were stuck in the 50s and before.
30:29 Stuart went to the Police chief and asked them if they still used the term “colored.”
30:40 By then, Stuart adds, they were being called “negroes.”
30:50 The police chief was hesitant to believe Stuart, asking if he had research to back up the claim that they didn’t want to be called “colored.” So Stuart started a survey.
31:09 Stuart then did a survey, asking members of city council and civic leaders of the black neighborhood.
31:18 He took the survey back to the chief. But Stuart doesn’t think it every changed anything.
31:35 Stuart says that the paper was very supportive.
31:38 What the paper wanted, Stuart said, was people – regardless of sex or color – who were in to journalism, who had spark, who could go out and do things.
32:06 “What I also learned was that if they gave anybody hell, they gave everybody hell.”
32:26 It didn’t matter who you were, Stuart said. “If your stuff was bad, your stuff was bad”
32:32 When Stuart realized that the structure of checks and balances on people wasn’t limited to race or sex, he saw that the newspaper had a high standard of productivity and expectation.
32:57 The newspapers commitment to journalism was greater than any discriminatory practices.
33:16 Stuart watched a couple people who got one-day dismissals because they weren’t reporting well.
33:46 “It wasn’t a double standard or triple standard or a black standard or a white standard – it was a standard for journalism and you had to be good at it.”
New York Times?
35:44 At the times, Stuart says, there was a high standard as well. What you didn’t know you had to learn fast
36:21 They were a superbly edited newspaper, Stuart adds. “If you work with them, they worked with you.”
36:57 The level of diversity at the Times was about the same as the Tennessean
36:59 Stuart says this is because newspapers were two mindsets 1) they were going to find journalists or 2) they were going to find untrained people and teach them journalism skills.
37:36 No one is really qualified, Stuart said, adding, “the question is are you ready for the challenge?”
37:46 Stuart says that news organizations were going to have much more luck in finding a successful reporter if they looked for spark and drive – not color or sex.
38:09 The Times was looking for people ready for the challenge.
39:08 Stuart, however, does say that there were plenty of times when diversity needed to be addressed in the newsroom.
39:13 There were two lawsuits against the New York Times, Stuart says, both about hiring women and minorities.
39:22 Both lawsuits looked at the number of people being hired and salary discrepancy.
39:36 “They were at points in time for the Times that you could use that boost of attention to keep doing progressive things – not because it was the law, but because it was the right thing to do.”
40:14 You don’t find many people saying that today, Stuart says.
40:28 When Stuart got in the business he says there was a passion to change things.
41:01 Stuart says that could be said of all the places he worked. “In that era it was the time to do the right thing.”
41:29 You had degrees of moving forward
41:41 You could identify the different paper’s ideologies, Stuart says, by reading them for a couple weeks. What are they covering? What are the editorials saying? What kind of columnists do they have?
42:25 Stuart says that to “you wanted to make sure you had a complete report” when reporting.
42:36 His report would be diverse when it needed to be. He didn’t ignore anything.
42:50 “You got to remember there’s a lot of discrimination that’s active and there’s discrimination that’s passive.”
42:55 He says that a lot of discrimination that was before his generation was passive.
43:02 A lot of discrimination was active, too. Stuart says that you could find a lot of newspapers – primarily in the south – that actively didn’t cover.
42:19 “That was a reflection of who they were as an institution”, Stuart says.
42:25 Stuart saw influencing diversity as part of his job. “My job was not to go out and make sure the race news got covered, my job was to make sure that the news we covered was inclusive.”
43:38 Stuart says that it’s a sematic difference, but that it’s a very important one.
43:41 There are some things, Stuart says, that he would find that he would want to be covered that wouldn’t be normally.
43:55 Stuart gives example
43:55 Stuart says that if he’s writing a story about the demise of the old military-related retiree clubs, historically you would write about the white club. But he says he would find the Black club and include the two American Legion Clubs together.
44:23 It’s a subtle shift in what you’re doing, Stuart says, but you’re still writing about the same topic.
44:46 Across the South, Stuart says that there were a couple of teacher associations. There was the white one and there was the black one.
45:12 De-segregation happens and these two organizations dissolve and unite into one. But the merger occurred differently on both sides, Stuart says.
45:25 In some of them “all the black structure would disappear” and blacks would just be members they wouldn’t be leaders.
45:35 In others you would find that blacks were merging as leaders or in some higher capacity.
45:41 In writing about this simulation, Stuart says, you would focus on the shortcomings of the mergers, e.g. people aren’t paying dues. Race, Stuart says, adds “a whole new layer of discussion.”
47:20 Stuart first got started with journalism education in the 1970s. At this time, he says, there was still an effort to accelerate the pace at which they were bringing people of color into the newsrooms.
47:39 Several programs emerged out of these efforts. One was by the Ford Foundation out of Cornell University in New York. It eventually moved to UC Berkley.
47:55 It was called the Summer Program for Minorities in Journalism
47:57 Stuart says you would recruit about 15-20 college graduates who wanted to be journalists and you would bring professionals in to mentor them about 6 days a week, 8 hours a day.
48:18 The idea was to teach the students in about 8-10 weeks what they would normally learn in 1 year in a newsroom.
48:25 This is where Stuart got started in journalism education.
48:46 By this point, Stuart had 12 years experience in journalism.
49:07 The mentors would teach how to structure a story, how to report it, what the ups and downs are of doing so, ethics, writing style, etc.
50:01 These students, Stuart said, needed to figure out what a reporter does. Which he says is to find people, go to situations, and get them to talk. The second part is to write it.
50:42 Nowadays, he adds, you find that too many reporters – particularly television reporters – you find that you’re told what a source says, but never hear from them.
50:56 “Your job, truthfully, is to facilitate people telling the story.”
51:19 You need to tell their story effectively, coherently – in either long form or briefly. Stuart says that a lot of what the students wanted to know is how to do that.
51:30 “You got to ask questions”
52:39 Stuart says that the program taught these students how to report and in the process of good reporting “the adjectives will provide themselves”
53:24 We’d also teach them to learn that “they’re not important, the story is”
54:18 It’s the philosophy of being inclusive. You can’t just say you’re looking for the truth, Stuart says, you need to be looking for the facts – the truth will emerge.
55:50 Stuart says that the questions that the program’s students asked (about diversity) were generally expected.
55:55 “’I’m going into an all-white newsroom. What do I do?’ and my answer is pretty stupid, ‘be a reporter.’”
56:02 Stuart says he doesn’t want to inject more skepticism, or self-intimidation into your thinking before you get there.
56:20 If you’re not productive, if you’re not good, they’re going to target you, Stuart says.
56:25 Stuart says that thinking that they’re picking on you because you’re black is the wrong thinking.
56:35 He says that’s because your work may be sloppy. “There’s a lot of reasons they don’t like you and race is not the main one.”
56:50 Stuart says he’s worked with people who were racists.
57:14 Stuart says that sometimes when you can overcome the other reasons that they’re picking on you, the race factor will disappear.
57:41 “You can’t play the race card over and over again when you’re not producing up to speed, when you’re not carrying your part of the load.”
59:19 Stuart says that the main thing you need to understand about teaching journalism is that the people you’re teaching aren’t dumb just because they don’t know what you know.
59:32 By the same token, Stuart says, you need to understand that people that have been here longer than you know more.
59:46 Stuart says he was interviewing a student who wanted to be a sports writer. He gave him a name-recognition quiz, tailored for sports. The student failed it.
1:00:14 “That doesn’t mean he’s dumb, that doesn’t mean he’s stupid – it does mean he’s not qualified, but he’s ready for the challenge.”
1:00:29 Stuart says that if he spends time working with this student on his knowledge gap then he’ll be ready in a couple years.
1:01:06 “So when you’re teaching you have to understand that you’re going to wind up with a mixture of people who just really are late. There’s lots that they don’t have.”
1:01:26 If you can find someone who wants to learn, then share your knowledge with them, Stuart says.
1:02:14 Stuart tells an anecdote of a graduate student.
1:02:25 This student had to take a math class. And she said in the middle of class, “I’m not here to learn math, I’m here to cover politics and government.”
1:02:47 Stuart says she missed the whole point. “Wherever you are – politics, entertainment, science, health – it’s money.”
1:03:19 Stuart says that this student was too narrow in her thinking of what a journalist does.
1:03:40 Stuart says that he meets a lot of people in college that want to be entertainment writers.
1:04:00 But, Stuart says, what happens if they star gets in trouble? You need to know how to write a court story, follow their arrest procedure, etc.
1:04:41 “Will you lose the story once it goes to page 1?”
1:05:52 “It’s so important to write about the whole story. We’re talking about inclusiveness – that’s the whole story.”
(switching SD cards)
The News Industry Today
1:07:06 Stuart says that overall the role of diversity in newsrooms has cooled off. The economy, Stuart adds, has also contributed to this
1:07:26 The enthusiasm of journalism is not present today, Stuart says.
1:07:40 People still say the right thing, but we don’t see them doing the right thing, Stuart says.
1:07:55 In that respect, Stuart says, diversity may be important, but how important it is to the people has come down a few notches.
1:08:09 There’s no one making noise about it, Stuart says.
1:08:18 The consequence of this is that the newsrooms will regress to where they were years ago.
1:08:30 Newsrooms that were once making progress in bringing diversity to their ranks and no longer doing that.
1:08:49 You don’t want this to be a fluke decade or era, Stuart says, in regards to diversity efforts, but that’s what it’s become.
1:09:52 Media owners still have a lot of money left, Stuart says, and they need to invest in people of color.
1:10:06 There are a lot more companies now moving online and social media, Stuart says. And he hasn’t seen a serious effort there to bring emerging people of color into these areas
1:10:44 “The same effort you had for print and broadcast 30 years ago, 40 years ago, you need to have that same presence today for emerging media – and I don’t see it.”
1:11:43 Stuart says that we need to be straightforward in asking for more people of color.
1:12:01 We want a broad array of meaningful programing aimed at a broad audience.
1:12:10 If we don’t get the consumer giving us feedback, Stuart says, then the people “running it” don’t realize that they’re missing anything.
1:12:32 If you hear more people complaining, then you’re going to hear it, Stuart says.
1:13:06 The reader, the public may need to wake up, Stuart says, and say something and the newsrooms will respond and “get their act together”
1:13:15 Stuart says that the news industry is unfortunately “trailing off” in that area.
AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
School of Journalism
University of Texas at Austin
The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.
Interview Subject: Paula Poindexter
Interviewer: Martin do Nascimento
Interview date: 5/7/2014
Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 01:13:24
Reviewer: Carlos Morales
Date of review for index: 5/14/14
Table of Contents:
Early Experience in Journalism (3-6)
Diversity and Academia (6-12)
AEJMC and Diversity (12-16)
*Poindexter begins to mention AEJMC here with frequency, by page 12 the mentions are more related with diversity
0:09 Poindexter is the president of AEJMC – the association of education in journalism and mass communication. She’s also a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
0:21 – 3:38 (Preamble and miscellaneous)
Early Experiences in Journalism
3:48 Poindexter’s interest in journalism was completely “accidental.”
3:55 When she graduated from college, she was a radio-television-film major.
4:03 Poindexter wasn’t involved in journalism or interested in it. Her goal was to become a television producer in Los Angeles.
4:16 The first full-time job as a news reporter and producer.
4:31 She says at this time there were very few women and people of color in the newsroom. Her job was at KPRC-TV, the NBC affiliate, in Houston, Texas
4:47 She says she had “no idea” what she was doing because she hadn’t studied journalism, but she was familiar with video and film.
5:02 The program she worked on was a daily news and feature program. She was a co-producer. She – and her team – were responsible for making a local news feature in the Houston area.
5:27 It’s here she says that she learned about producing features.
5:47 She discovered journalism on the job and it became something she was very interested in.
6:00 Next, Poindexter realized that she didn’t like the particular line of work, particularly because she didn’t like being on television; she wanted to remain behind the scenes.
6:20 Additionally, she grew apart form the field because she was restricted to mainly feature type work, which didn’t seem as important. From here she decided to go to graduate school.
6:30 She was at KPRC-TV for almost 3 years.
6:35 She then left for graduate school in Syracuse.
6:41 She decided she wanted to become a magazine journalist. Syracuse, she said, was a pipeline to New York City and magazine work there. However, while there she was introduced to research.
6:58 Poindexter had a research assistantship in the communication research center and had an opportunity to work under Doctor Maxwell McCombs, a renowned international scholar.
7:17 Their research work involved public opinion surveys of various communities around the Northeast.
7:22 They were interested in understanding and learning why people were interested in the news.
7:32 That was the first time that she had been exposed to learning about things from the news-consumers perspective.
7:38 After she finished her Master’s, Poindexter decided to stay and get her Ph.D.
7:46 While there she had both research and job opportunities
7:53 She moved to the University of Georgia where she taught for a year
7:58 Athens, according to Poindexter, was pretty isolated and she didn’t enjoy working there.
8:06 She had an opportunity to work at the LA Times. She met the publisher, Tom Johnson, and went to work for the LA Times.
8:30 At the LA Times she was on the business side as opposed to the newsroom.
8:34 Poindexter enjoyed this because she had an opportunity – having already worked in a newsroom – to see journalism from both sides.
8:49 Until relatively recently, Poindexter says, the business side has been kept separated from the newsroom.
9:18 Learning the business side of journalism was a great experience for Poindexter
10:20 Poindexter says there’s a particular moment in which she became aware of diversity in the newsroom.
10:25 However, she does say that she’s aware of the need for diversity because of the state of Texas’ longstanding history of segregation, because it was a slave state, and because UT Austin still employs very little African Americans
11:00 She says that consciously, she didn’t necessarily translate this into the field of journalism but when she did work for the TV news in Houston, she did make a point of seeking out diversity in terms of the stories they covered.
11:35 “You can’t help – certainly in the time that I grew up and also in the state of Texas – it’s just a part of you.”
11:48 Poindexter recalls some of the stories that she covered.
12:03 She had come up with this idea that she wanted to do a documentary on Blacks in Houston. It was called “On the Other Side”
12:16 The news director approved it. It was an hour-long documentary that aired, which is unheard of, Poindexter said.
12:23 She made an effort to really explore Houston and specifically African-Americans from a cultural point of view.
12:39 Poindexter says it was more of a feature documentary, but she did want to bring that awareness to people.
12:51 Poindexter also had the opportunity to do several features on the Houston Museum of Art, which had become an art fixture both nationally and internationally.
13:32 Poindexter says that she made a conscious effort to make sure that African-Americans were included, too.
13:57 Poindexter would also work behind the camera, shooting and editing. It was important, she recalled, for her to learn how to do all of that.
14:09 It was a time that she learned about the production – researching, writing, reporting, shooting and editing it
15:29 When Poindexter began working in TV, women were just starting to get into the newsroom and blacks as well.
15:41 TV was probably doing a better job hiring minorities, Poindexter says, only because the FCC required it.
15:51 Stations had to keep records of their diversity in the newsroom, in the TV stations.
16:01 Poindexter says that TV stations are licensed, so if there’s no effort at diversity at all, someone could challenge their licensing
16:15 TV stations were very concerned about having diversity in their newsroom for this reason
16:28 It made news directors more aware, Poindexter said, but at the same time “there was only so much that was going to be done.”
16:40 Poindexter said when she was younger she really didn’t think about diversity in the newsroom, but that later she “developed a consciousness about this.”
17:51 Poindexter has spent more time in the academy than in the profession
18:00 “We do need to keep in mind that today there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.”
18:10 Poindexter says it’s better than in years past, but there’s still a lot of ground to be made.
18:14 This includes, hiring more people of color in newsrooms, but also retaining people of color in newsrooms and making sure they have opportunities for leadership.
18:32 Poindexter believes this is a huge part of the problem.
18:36 Poindexter believes that the admirable goals of the ASNE – to have parity in the newsroom – will never be achieved. The group had to scale their goal back
19:18 They were never even able to come close to it, Poindexter says.
19:22 If you look at census data today, you can see that it would be extremely ambitious to reach that goal, Poindexter say.
19:30 Poindexter says that they have to keep in mind that not every person of color wants to enter in this field.
19:41 The truth is everything is open now. “You can be a rocket scientist, you can be a physician, you can be an attorney, a teacher, a nurse – it’s completely open and at one time it wasn’t.”
20:20 It’s unrealistic, Poindexter says, to expect that we’re going to have parity in the newsroom. There needs to be a back-up plan.
20:27 She believes that the back-up plan should be that everyone in newsroom – despite his or her color – has a responsibility to understand why diversity is important. Everyone in the newsroom needs to be knowledgeable so that they can include and accurately report.
21:11 The priority the, Poindexter says, is to ensure that the way the news is covered is inclusive and not filled with stereotypes.
22:39 TV station requirements for diversity changed things
22:44 That focus was just on employment not on content, meaning that the stories that you cover were not a focus.
23:05 Because there was an expectation to have diversity in the newsroom, news directors began hiring a small number of people of color. Poindexter says she was one of them, she knows she got her first job because she was African-American.
23:30 Today you must have a lot of experience to join a network.
24:01 Poindexter says that there were advocacy organizations that were challenging licenses of TV stations.
24:15 Newspapers, however, weren’t doing a lot.
24:25 But that changed for ASNE after the Kerner commission in 1968
24:37 It was extremely critical, Poindexter said, of news organizations, saying they were not doing a good job of diversity and of telling the story of race relations in the United States.
25:01 The effort to diversify newsrooms has been going on for a while. And that’s when the goal for parity, Poindexter says, came from.
26:01 Poindexter doesn’t recall discussions of diversity in graduate school.
26:03 Those discussions really took place in AEJMC.
26:11 She attended her first AEJMC meeting in graduate school. That’s where she began experiencing these issues of diversity in a more systematic way.
26:42 Specifically, it’s within the MAC (minorities and communication) division of AEJMC that she experienced this.
26:47 There are many niche divisions within AEJMC
27:13 The founder of MAC, Dr. Lionel Barrel, according to Poindexter, singlehandedly made an effort to push for the development of diversity.
27:52 He was the one who “raised the consciousness of AEJMC”
27:59 One of the things, Poindexter says, that we have to keep in mind is that there is at least one person who is getting the conversation started, but it boils down to being persuasive and explaining its importance
28:38 A lot of Barrel’s work started with him and came out of the MAC division.
28:47 Poindexter says he did it singlehandedly in the sense that it was his idea. AEJMC has a responsibility since they’re training the next newsroom generations.
29:22 That’s how AEJMC became a leading force in the changes taking place in journalism education, Poindexter said.
30:30 Journalism education is lacking people of color, Poindexter says. There aren’t many Hispanics in this field.
31:15 The vast majority of AEJMC members are from universities, but there are professionals that are engaged with these issues.
31:40 The organization allows people to come together from all backgrounds and discuss these issues.
32:16 Dr. Barrel was from Howard University – a predominantly black university.
32:36 It’s not a surprise that Dr. Barrel pushed for the MAC division. Considering the time, his background and experience it made sense.
33:09 Poindexter says that we take it for granted or we forget that the news industry is founded on the first amendment of the constitution. That means it’s unique – there’s a special responsibility that journalists have that you might not have in other fields.
33:48 Addressing diversity is a natural fit, Poindexter says because of the sense that this field is different, combined with the social responsibility aspect of the job, and what you expect of Universities.
34:34 Often there are very few minorities on staff
35:00 These discussions have influenced Poindexter’s studies
35:16 Poindexter says she was probably amazed when she went to her first AEJMC conference and noticed that these conversations were taking place.
35:31 It influenced her research areas: 1) The audience for news 2) Diversity in news coverage 3) research methods and ethics
36:12 Poindexter says that her research area the diversity in news coverage directly grew out of attending her first AEJMC conference.
36:24 After that conference Poindexter added her second research area,
36:36 She also created a course that’s called African-Americans in the media.
36:49 That particular course is even more important today than when she first created it, Poindexter said.
36:56 The bottom line, Poindexter said, is that AEJMC, more than anything else, has had an impact on her research, teaching and her worldview.
37:38 AEJMC is organized around three areas: research, teaching, and PF and R (Professional freedom and responsibility).
37:58 Poindexter further explains each area
37:58 People do research and submit conference papers. If the paper is accepted then it’s presented at the August conference.
38:21 There are several initiatives and teaching components at the conference.
38:47 The course Poindexter teaches is focused on African-Americans on the media. But there are other courses at UT that center on gender.
39:13 Teaching is very important to AEJMC. Every year at the conference there are many panels about being more effective teachers
39:33 And from time to time these panels are about diversity.
39:39 Poindexter says diversity remains one of the most important panel topics and needs to be covered more.
40:38 Poindexter says there’s an urgency that’s not felt by many.
41:04 If you want to be in an accredited university there are certain things you have to do.
41:12 One of these requirements is that you have to have a diversity plan. That plan means what it is what you’re trying to do to increase diversity in your faculty, what you’re doing to increase diversity in your curriculum.
41:33 If you want to be an accredited university that’s one of the things you have to do
41:40 The are other things you have to do – that’s just one of the standards that’s required every six years you go up for re-accreditation.
42:00 Many universities around the country are struggling with diversity. They’re certainly trying to diversify their faculty.
42:12 But as Poindexter pointed out earlier, diversifying faculty – like diversifying the newsroom – can be difficulty. Not every minority is getting their doctorate in journalism – there are other fields they’re pursuing.
42:32 By that same token, Poindexter adds, some might choose to work in the newsroom instead of in academia
42:32 There are a lot of hurdles and challenges, Poindexter says.
42:55 Even the universities that are challenged with filling this diversity requirement are making an impact where they can.
43:13 “You can still have an impact on the curriculum. You can have a very diverse curriculum, you can make sure you’re integrating diversity throughout the curriculum – which is the ideal.”
43:33 To do that, Poindexter says, it does require engagement with faculty. Poindexter says workshops could help bring people up to speed.
43:45 The bottom line is that there several steps you must take to be apart of an accredited university.
43:59 Some things are hard, Poindexter says. Diversifying your curriculum is easier than some of the other things
44:05 You may not have success in your hiring, but there are things you can do. You can look as widely as possible to try and diversify the search process as much as you can while hiring.
44:22 We can certainly do a better job at UT Austin.
44:32 It boils down to, Poindexter says, down to commitment. “Every university is not committed. Every university does not see the benefit, the value.”
44:46 “For a long time when some news organizations, and certainly the ASNE, were trying to diversify…they would say ‘this is good business.’”
44:58 Poindexter believes otherwise. “This is a social responsibility.”
45:03 This goes back to an earlier point that Poindexter made about the press being in the first amendment.
45:13 There is a reason, Poindexter says, for that.
45:21 “I think if universities recognized that social responsibility then they may get it, why this is important.”
45:33 Universities are also training future journalists, so there’s a pressure on them to properly inculcate their students.
45:49 It gets harder to teach these generations as time goes on, Poindexter says.
45:51 For example, the generation after millennial is the post-millennial generation and they will be farther and farther away from the Civil Rights movement and the experiences that inspired people like Dr. Lee Barrel.
46:11 “This generation is so far away from that they have no idea.”
46:18 Poindexter says that this generation doesn’t realize that things weren’t always this way.
46:24 “The bottom line is that we have a lot of work to do and AEJMC needs to continue to help people, help universities, help individual faculty members, continue to support.”
46:42 Poindexter says that AEJMC is one of the most supportive organizations around when it comes to diversity.
(talking, question asked)
48:53 Poindexter says that it’s no question that there’s less emphasis on diversity in newsrooms now than in the past.
48:57 She says it’s understandable, however, in the sense that newsrooms have been trying to survive.
49:06 Newspapers in particular, Poindexter says, were extremely profitable. For a long time, these groups were slow to change.
49:39 Instead of getting ahead of the issue, newspapers were behind and they got caught.
50:14 The newspaper industry in particular, Poindexter says, was in bad shape. It’s a business, she said, if you want to be successful you have to be successful with your news but you also have to be successful with the business side.
50:48 If you’re spending all of your time trying to figure out not to go under, then it’s hard not to think about all these other things, e.g. diversity.
51:02 Poindexter believes this has a lot to do with it
51:12 Journalists are now having to do a whole lot more than before. You’re doing more with less.
51:36 The past few years, Poindexter says, it’s the first time that every other news article isn’t about the news industry dying. “The bleeding has stopped”
51:55 In the mean time it hasn’t changed the fact that diversity needs to be a priority.
52:02 Poindexter says that she understands why diversity hasn’t been a priority recently, but it’s time to change that.
52:26 She says the same is true of journalism and communication schools.
52:32 Because of the fact that many of these schools work closely with news organizations, when their students aren’t being hired because they can’t hire anybody.
53:04 Poindexter says we need to go back to having a diverse as possible newsroom and that we need to improve coverage, being more inclusive and not stereotyping.
54:18 Poindexter first became a member of AEJMC when she was in graduate school.
54:21 She says it’s an expectation. If you’re in a Ph.D program, it is the case that you’ll become a member.
54:49 That’s what distinguishes a graduate program that’s oriented towards research, Poindexter said.
55:10 When she started her Ph.D. program she received a doctoral diversity scholarship. It was a part of Dr. Barrel’s efforts to increase minority representation in journalism and communication.
56:03 Poindexter says that the scholarship, which was created by donations from AEJMC members, reveals that they were serious about increasing minority faculty.
56:12 To get a minority faculty you need to establish a pipeline where there are more minorities going to graduate school and a Ph.D program.
56:39 Poindexter says that if you were to look across the country at the various racial and ethnic groups who are now teaching at various universities, you’ll see that many of them were probably recipients of this scholarship.
57:06 She presented research papers at these conferences and even won an award for it.
57:16 When she became inspired about doing research that dealt with race and ethnicity, a colleague and her did a review of the literature.
57:27 They looked at the studies that had been published about blacks and the media.
57:50 It was a literature review, a meta-analysis. From that they published an article in Journal Broadcasting.
57:59 Her involvement with AEJMC was multifaceted. She was a recipient of the scholarship, she was active in the MAC division, she did research, and she ran for office early on.
58:31 AEJMC really supported Poindexter in her academic endeavors.
58:35 She stayed active with AEJMC until she went to work for the LA Times.
58:53 When she returned to teaching at UT Austin she got involved with AEJMC again.
59:10 Her involvement since then has only grown.
59:13 There are many divisions, Poindexter says. “There are 30 or 40 divisions, interest groups and commissions.”
59:21 You are not only a member of AEJMC but you are a member of any division, interest group or commission you select.
59:39 Through the MAC division, Poindexter was eventually elected “first vice-head, then head” of the group.
59:54 From there she was elected, across the whole membership, to the standing committee on research. There’s several of these committees. She has served 2 3-year terms.
1:00:21 That committee has responsibility for the awards that are given across the division.
1:00:31 When she chaired that committee she had the chance to start a new award. This is the seventh or eighth year that the award is given now.
1:00:50 When you chair that committee you also serve on the board of the directors.
1:01:19 Poindexter finished her terms. Shortly after which she was nominated for a new award – also named after Dr. Barrel. It’s for recognizing one’s contributions for research, teaching and leadership.
1:01:58 This was an important award for Poindexter because it recognized her in the areas that were most important for Dr. Barrel.
1:02:09 A few years later she received a call from nominations and elections committee chair, saying they wanted Poindexter to run for Vice President of AEJMC.
1:02:36 Poindexter, who was finishing up a book at the time, didn’t think she would have time. But she ended up running and winning.
1:02:45 Poindexter has been in a leadership role for AEJMC
1:02:53 This year, 2013-2014, is Poindexter’s year as president. She will preside over the conference in Montreal. As president of AEJMC, she has several initiatives.
1:03:27 Every president writes a column for the AEJMC newsletter and the column that Poindexter is going to write is about diversity.
1:03:40 It’s to remind people that it’s important, it still matters, and there’s still work to be done.
1:03:47 The president of AEJMC, Poindexter says, has the opportunity to make difference in many ways.
1:04:04 AEJMC celebrated their centennial anniversary 2 years ago. One goal for that year was to reach a pledge of $300,000.
1:04:21 A portion of the money they raised specifically went towards diversity programing.
1:04:31 Poindexter was on the board that got to decide how they would spend that money.
1:04:45 “You can have an impact and I believe I’ve had an opportunity to have a positive impact on diversity.”
1:04:49 Poindexter isn’t the first African-American president of AEJMC. There have been 3 before her.
1:05:09 What this says, according to Poindexter, is that AEJMC “walks the talk.” They don’t just say that diversity is important.
1:06:14 Poindexter recently attended the Unity Diversity Caucus in D.C. representing AEJMC
1:06:24 Unity was originally composed of all of the minority journalism associations, but two have dropped out.
1:06:44 At this particular caucus they asked each representative how the organization they were there for had had an impact on diversity.
1:07:13 In her initial comments Poindexter said that diversity is in its DNA – it is who they are.
1:07:24 “When you say AEJMC you are talking about diversity.”
1:07:32 If you look at the bylaws, it’s in the bylaws.
1:07:36 There is a concerted effort to make sure there is diversity in every single way in AEJMC
1:07:56 The group doesn’t always succeed as much as they would like to.
1:08:02 These different divisions sometimes can’t as diverse as they’d like to because (again) the population for it isn’t there. “You can’t make people appear if they’re not in the pipeline to appear.”
1:08:24 The bottom line, Poindexter says, is that AEJMC is at good place in the area of diversity.
1:08:47 There’s an award that was started to recognize a university’s progress at diversity, areas like hiring, curriculum, teaching, etc.
1:09:16 When Poindexter joined AEJMC they primarily had the MAC division, so there weren’t these other ways to acknowledge the importance of diversity and award those efforts.
1:09:39 The real question, Poindexter says, is where do we go from here?
1:09:43 The incoming president will restart a mentorship initiative to get more diverse administrators.
1:09:58 So those on faculties who are interested in being deans or department heads could get that training/mentoring
1:10:09 AEJMC originally funded that program for seven or eight years, but then because it was no longer able to receive foundation support, it wasn’t able to continue and placed on hiatus.
1:10:24 But as a result of the centennial program that Poindexter mentioned, they’re now able to restart it.
1:10:38 AEJMC is still working to do as much as it can to stay ahead, Poindexter says.
1:12:09 The foundation stopped supporting it – Poindexter is unsure why, but now they’re able to support it again.
AEJMC 2015 Graduate Student Info Expo
These schools participated in AEJMC’s 2015 Graduate Student Info Expo held Aug. 8 during the AEJMC Conference in San Francisco. Details of the schools’ journalism/mass communications graduate programs can be found below. (DOWNLOAD THE PDF FILE)
Bowling Green State University
Michigan State University
Pennsylvania State University
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Miami
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri
University of Oklahoma – Gaylord College
University of Oregon
University of Texas at Austin
College of Communication
In the Boston University College of Communication (COM), new media, innovation, communication, and a passion for storytelling intersect. Students at COM gain an edge on their peers by understanding and doing what communication is today – and what it will be tomorrow. And, the city of Boston and the surrounding areas provide an unmatched higher education atmosphere and a wealth of job and internship opportunities for students.
At COM, we’re breaking new ground with graduate programs in Media Ventures, Emerging Media Studies, and Cinema and Media Production. But we’re also reinventing traditional industries and infusing them with the latest new media technologies: programs in Public Relations, Journalism, and Advertising rest at our core.
Our complete list of program offerings:
Applied Communication Research (MS in Mass Communication)
Cinema and Media Production (MFA)
Communication Studies (MS in Mass Communication)
Emerging Media Studies (MA and PhD)
Film and TV Studies (MFA in Film)
Mass Communication and Law (JD/MS Dual Degree)
Media Ventures (MS)
Public Relations (MS)
Science Journalism (MS)
Bowling Green State University
School of Media & Communication
The graduate programs in the School of Media & Communication at Bowling Green State University offer students a variety of options to aid them in their academic and professional pursuits. The School offers a Ph.D. program, a generalist MA, three MA specializations, and three graduate certificates.
The School prides itself in providing a collaborative environment where multiple perspectives and approaches to the study of media and communication thrive and contribute to mutual enrichment. As one of the nation’s most diverse programs in media and communication, our doctoral program is founded on the principle of inclusiveness. The doctoral program in Media and Communication is designed to prepare students for a career in scholarship, academic research, and teaching at the university and college levels.
Our generalist MA program offers great breadth and depth to meet a broad spectrum of scholarly needs for students. Students in this track are preparing for doctoral study and a future academic career.
The master’s program also offers three specializations:
International/Intercultural Communication: This specialization is designed to meet the increasing needs of individuals and organizations to communicate more effectively in international/intercultural contexts. It enhances students’ capacity for effective communication by raising international/intercultural understanding and sensitivity.
Social & Interactive Media: This specialization is designed to meet the needs of a rapidly changing media and communication industry while providing intellectual leadership to the study of social and interactive media. Founded primarily on the social scientific knowledge of social and interactive media for their strategic applications, this program also exposes students to the process of online and interactive media production to help them better understand the technology and apply it to their practice or research.
Strategic Communication: This specialization is designed for media and communication professionals working in corporations, non-profit organizations, and media companies to coordinate and execute various communication functions such as public relations, advertising, and social media. The program is geared toward professionals with a minimum of three years of professional experience who desire to update their knowledge and skills to advance in their current positions or to explore new career opportunities.
These specializations are also available as graduate certificates: Graduate Certificate in International/Intercultural Communication; Graduate Certificate in Social & Interactive Media; Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication.
Michigan State University
School of Journalism
Master’s of Arts Degree in Journalism
Our master’s students have different backgrounds and different reasons for pursuing a master’s degree.
Some of our students may be grouped into one of the following areas:
• Are returning professionals who want to update their skills.
• Have a BA in another area and want a new career in journalism.
• Come straight from a journalism undergrad degree and want to pursue a specialization.
• Want to kick-start a career in academia and pursue a Ph.D.
Our program has a track for professional development and a track for academic and research training. We can accommodate students wanting to learn fundamental skills in journalism, the latest communication technologies, a specialization, applied or academic research methods or better understand the relationship between society and media.
Our students graduate with a great project to show to prospective employers, or an internship that might open doors to a new job or a thesis to gain experience in research and theory in a topic that inspires them.
Special concentration areas include health, environment and science; international and journalism education.
For more information, please see the academic catalog and the admissions process.
You may also contact the director of the journalism grad program: Geri Alumit Zeldes, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Media and Information Studies Ph.D.
The School of Journalism is a collaborator in the Media and Information Studies (M.I.S) Ph.D. program.
Students choose Journalism as their home department if they would like to study any aspect of journalism (text and visual communication) and its relationship to societies in our global village.
Our students also study the industry, audiences and traditional media and innovative technologies influences. And, they work with faculty on issues concerning social media, health and environment, and international studies, among myriad other topics of their choosing.
We invite you to join other students in this exciting interdisciplinary field that is at the intersection of the social sciences, traditional media and socio-technical systems. Students develop and apply knowledge about media and information and communication technologies. They become active scholars, teachers, and leaders in media and information fields in industry and at universities across the globe.
Our M.I.S. Ph.D. program is ranked among the top 10 of all doctoral programs in communication in the United States, according to the National Research Council (NRC). Our faculty and the colleges Ph.D. programs were placed No. 1 in educating researchers in communication technology, and were in the top four in mass communication, according to the most recent National Communication Association (NCA) rankings. In addition, we were ranked third in faculty publications and student authorship in a study reported in The Electronic Journal of Communication.
College of Communications
M.A. in Media Studies and Ph.D. in Mass Communications
The College of Communications at Penn State offers the M.A. in Media Studies and the Ph.D. in Mass Communications. The curriculum allows students to design a program of study tailored to their interests, choosing from an array of classes that explore theory and research methods in mass communication. Students work closely with advisers and faculty committees in choosing course work to support and expand their expertise. Doctoral students are provided mentorship and experience in classroom teaching.
The college’s special enterprises – including the Media Effects Research Laboratory, the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, and the Institute for Information Policy – bring faculty members and students together around cutting-edge research initiatives. Students and faculty have jointly presented research at dozens of conferences. They also have published articles in numerous scholarly journals including the Journal of Advertising, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Computers in Human Behavior, Journal of Sports Media, and Newspaper Research Journal. Students receive generous support for travel to conferences. They may also apply for internal research grants and they receive guidance in seeking external funding.
Graduates of the college hold faculty positions at an array of colleges and universities including Bates College, Virginia Tech, Louisiana State University, Clemson University, Susquehanna University, Niagara University, Elon University, University of Missouri, University of Florida, and University of Connecticut. They also hold positions at AccuWeather, Nickelodeon, Media Kitchen, and the Pacific Telecommunications Council.
The Newhouse School at Syracuse University is one of the nation’s premier communications schools where talented students come to study and learn from top industry professionals. We pride ourselves on the highest caliber education made possible by an incredible, forward-thinking faculty and state-of-the-art facilities.
We offer 13 on-campus, professional master’s degree programs in public communications, most of which can be completed in one calendar year. They are: Advertising; Arts Journalism; Audio Arts; Broadcast and Digital Journalism; Computational Journalism; Documentary Film and History; Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism; Media and Education; New Media Management; Photography; Public Diplomacy; Public Relations; Television, Radio and Film.
We also offer a part-time, online master’s degree in Communications with three different tracks: advertising, public relations, and journalism innovation; an executive master’s program in Communications Management for public relations professionals; an academic master’s program in Media Studies; and a doctoral program in Mass Communications.
School of Media and Communication
Temple University’s School of Media and Communication provides graduate education that excels in new media, social engagement and global development. The School of Media and Communication is located in Philadelphia – the ideal location to pursue graduate education in media and communication. Philadelphia is the fourth-largest media market, and is well positioned between Washington, D.C. and New York City. This cosmopolitan, diverse and fast-moving city is an excellent setting to study and pursue opportunities.
Master of Journalism
The Master of Journalism (M.J.) degree is designed for students who want to work in today’s every-changing media environment. Academic and professional course work emphasizes a multimedia/multi-platform approach grounded in a solid understanding of reporting, writing, editing, ethics and law. The M.J. program is committed to helping aspiring journalists develop into engaged and innovative professionals.
Media Studies and Production, M.A.
Designed to be flexible, the M.A. program involved students in the study of media industries and technologies, social and cultural processes of communication, and media networks and organizations. The program prepares students for an array of post-graduate career options in communication. Students may complete professional media training and internships or they may pursue a course of study toward a doctoral program.
Communication Management, M.S.
Students learn to manage and apply strategic communication as part of a leadership team. Using advanced skills in research management, problem-solving and issues management, students gain relevant management and communication competencies to build effective relationships between all types of organizations and their publics.
Globalization and Development Communication, M.S.
This one-year program involves 30 hours of course work on communication theory and research methods. While the Globalization and Development Communication program includes training in research skills and theory, it emphasizes effective action and involves a practicum capstone experience. It tailors academic training to the needs of practitioners, policy makers and project managers.
Media and Communication, Ph.D.
The Media and Communication curriculum offers a strong foundation in research and methodology and is oriented around the institutions and social processes of media and communication. Students are mentored through individualized courses and participate in faculty research and publications.
University of Kansas
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
The University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers both academic and professional graduate experiences, including an accredited integrated marketing degree, a traditional master’s degree, a hybrid online certificate program, and a Ph.D.
Integrated Marketing Communications
The Integrated Marketing Communications Master of Science in Journalism program trains professional communicators to find solutions for business problems from a managerial perspective. The curriculum emphasizes the integration of marketing communications specialties, including research, marketing ethics, writing, creativity, innovation, branding, sales and leadership. The program is designed for part-time, evening study to accommodate working adults.
KU’s integrated marketing degree is one of just 24 graduate programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Digital Content Strategy
KU’s master’s degree in digital content strategy provides skills in data and social media while giving students the flexibility to complete most of their work online.
The program is built on two specialty certificates, one in social media strategy and one in gathering, analyzing and communicating data. Students may complete either of the certificates or combine both for a master’s degree. Courses will match journalism instructors with data and media experts from KU Libraries, providing a unique perspective on today’s information landscape.
The program begins June 2016 with five days of instruction on the Lawrence campus. The rest of the certificate courses will be offered online, followed by another brief stay on the Lawrence campus.
Master of Science in Journalism
The Lawrence-based Mass Communications MSJ program offers professional and thesis courses, emphasizing the study of real-world media issues, critical thinking skills, and media use. The program provides advanced professional and scholarly skills that will allow you to operate at the highest levels of the industry. In the two-year program, students take advanced seminars and a concentration of their own choosing.
Ph.D. in Journalism and Mass Communications
KU’s Ph.D. program offers innovative and rigorous education in research skills leading to original research and the creation of knowledge. The Ph.D. program prepares students to enter academia at tenure-track positions with exceptional teaching and research skills.
Working closely with faculty, students develop a rich portfolio of publishable empirical and theoretical research that prepares them for positions at Research I institutions.
For more information, please check out the website (http://journalism.ku.edu/degrees) or contact Associate Dean Scott Reinardy (Reinardy@ku.edu; 785-864-7691, or Administrative Assistant Jammie Johnson (email@example.com; 785-864-7949).
University of Kentucky
College of Communication and Information
The College of Communication and Information offers programs leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Communication, as well as a dual master option through the School of Library and Information Science. Additionally, we offer the unique opportunity to obtain Graduate Certificates in Health Communication, Instructional Communication, and Risk Sciences independent, or as part, of the graduate degree.
We approach the study of communication and information as social sciences with an emphasis on both theory construction and empirical research methods in order to generate knowledge about communication and information as core processes. Our students benefit from broad foundational understanding of the disciplines, as the 54 graduate faculty in the program draw from each academic unit in the College of Communication and Information (i.e. the Department of Communication, the Department of Integrated Strategic Communication, the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, and the School of Library and Information Science) as well as outside of the college (i.e. the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the College of Medicine, and the College of Public Health).
Students may develop a program of study emphasizing (or combining) research areas such as health communication, information studies, instructional communication, media and mass communication, as well as risk and crisis communication. We have a long history of encouraging collaboration among communication and information professionals to conduct research that will contribute to the well-being of citizens.
Our program is designed to serve the needs of students whose goals may include teaching and academic research, professional research, or communication and/or information careers in the media or other organizations. Many of our doctoral students secure tenure-track positions at Research I institutions. Other successful graduate placements include research director for the Cancer Information Service, senior health communication specialist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and associate vice president for a large health care system.
We invite you to visit the University of Kentucky and see for yourself why we are so proud of this prestigious program.
University of Miami
School of Communication
The 4-year fully funded Ph.D. program focuses on communication for social change including health, environmental, international, intercultural, and organizational communication, as well as journalism studies and media development. In essence, students will conduct research, engage in immersive experience, and translate these into evaluation-based practice for the well being of the world.
The 18-month Journalism MA program in the Department of Journalism and Media Management is a converged program that works for both students with experience or with undergraduate courses in journalism as well as those with no background. The program is an intensive combination of academic study and hands-on practice designed to develop competitive, high-level, cross-platform digital storytelling skills appropriate for today’s media landscape.
The 2-year Public Relations MA program in the Department of Strategic Communication combines hands-on learning and instruction in theory and communication research. Through engaging coursework, students learn to promote a client’s business, image, product, or service in the national and international marketplace and develop the skills to become successful strategists, managers, and communicators. Students graduate fully prepared to practice in today’s quickly evolving digital world.
The 2-year Communication Studies MA program in the Department of Communication Studies helps students develop an advanced understanding of the human communication process and the interdisciplinary nature of the communication field. Students may select the General Communication Studies, Health Communication, or Organizational Communication track. The program specializes in the rapidly developing field of health communication through collaborative work with UM’s Miller School of Medicine and other campus resources.
The 2-year MFA in Interactive Media program in the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media aims to prepare a new generation of innovators and leaders in the field of interaction design. Its mission is to explore the use of technology, design, and human behavior, and their impact on communication. The multidisciplinary curriculum brings together students from different backgrounds to learn about games, mobile, data visualization, interaction design, and other emerging technologies. The program was ranked a top 25 graduate game design program by The Princeton Review.
The 3-year MFA in Motion Pictures program in the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media emphasizes critical understanding of moving image practice in diverse social and cultural contexts for the creation of work that is relevant and impactful. Students may pursue a flexible specialization in Producing, Directing, Screenwriting, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, and Interactive Media creation. The annual Canes Film Showcase in Los Angeles screens student work for film professionals and provides a unique one-on-one critique from inside Hollywood.
University of Minnesota
School of Journalism & Mass Communication
The graduate program at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication prepares students to conduct research in the mass communication field through interdisciplinary coursework and research projects tailored to student interests. Students study and develop research in collaboration with award-winning faculty and, upon graduation, are prepared to become the next generation of mass communication researchers.
Ph.D. in Mass Communication
The program prepares independent scholars for academic careers in teaching and research in mass communication and related fields. Students will gain a solid foundation in the discipline through multifaceted exploration of the theories and methods that influence the shape and scope of mass communication research. See more at http://cla.umn.edu/sjmc/graduate/degrees/phd-mass-communication
M.A. in Mass Communication
The curriculum’s interdisciplinary nature allows students to develop unique research projects tailored to individual interests. Upon graduation, students are prepared to begin doctoral study, a career in communications policy or research, or as an educator at a community college. Learn more at http://cla.umn.edu/sjmc/graduate/degrees/masters-programs/ma-mass-communication
The M.A./J.D. or Ph.D./J.D. dual degree is conducted in partnership with the Law School. This degree prepares students to conduct scholarly research in the field of mass communication and law concurrently. Upon graduation, students will be prepared for a career in media law or communications policy. See more at http://cla.umn.edu/sjmc/graduate/degrees/majd-phdjd-mass-comm-law-dual-degree
Top Reasons to Choose the University of Minnesota:
Top Funding Opportunities
Minnesota offers one of the best funding packages in the country. Packages include tuition waivers, graduate research or teaching appointments, salary stipends, health care benefits and $1,500 annual conference travel stipends.
Located in Thriving Media Market
The University of Minnesota is located in the heart of Minneapolis-St. Paul, which is home to more than 300 advertising/PR agencies, two daily newspapers, six television stations and 15 Fortune 500 companies.
From focus group rooms to eye-tracking devices, our program offers top-of-the-line research facilities, and houses two research centers, the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law and the Minnesota Journalism Center. Students receive office space and access to state-of-the-art technology.
Our alumni hold prominent positions within academia both nationally and internationally, including deans, chairs, directors, directors of graduate study, as well as professorships at top-ranked universities.
Students explore multiple areas of mass communication through interdisciplinary research. From political science to public health, students can diversify research and collaborate with faculty across the university.
University of Missouri
School of Journalism
The Missouri School of Journalism is a recognized leader in graduate study in journalism and strategic communication, and conferred the first master’s and doctoral degrees ever awarded in our field in 1921 and 1934, respectively. The Missouri School of Journalism has over 20 program models in the on-campus and online master’s programs, and 8 areas of faculty focus in the doctoral program.
Our graduates hold leadership positions at major news outlets, magazine titles, broadcast networks and cable stations as well as global public relations and advertising agencies. They are award-winning faculty at outstanding colleges and universities who conduct major research studies. Doctoral graduates of recent years are now on the faculties of Kansas and Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Florida and Florida State, Oregon, and other accredited journalism programs.
You will find a rich intellectual environment at the Missouri School of Journalism. The doctoral faculty consists of 18 respected scholars in every area of journalism, mass communication and strategic communication. There are an additional 16 doctoral faculty from across our campus that hold courtesy appointments in journalism and are actively involved with our doctoral students. Our school has 8 centers and institutes where graduate students are involved in all aspects of research. Your student peers will be some of the most prolific producers of research in the field, as witnessed by our top performances at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
We look forward to speaking with you about the many opportunities that await graduate students who join us in the pursuit of better mass communication processes. If you have specific questions about how you can best make use of our educational program, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can find more information online at http://journalism.missouri.edu.
University of Oklahoma
Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
Graduate programs at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication allow students from various professional and academic backgrounds to collaborate with leading faculty – and each other. Gaylord Graduate programs provide support and flexibility for achieving individual goals. Master’s level classes are scheduled to accommodate working professionals, and assistantships and fellowships are available for both master’s and doctoral students.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) program is designed for students seeking an advanced degree in Advertising, Creative Media Production, Journalism, Media Management and Public Relations. The Master of Professional Writing (MPW) program is designed to develop and refine commercial and professional writing skills for students interested in writing fiction, nonfiction, novels and screenplays.
The Doctoral (Ph.D.) program allows students to work with leading research faculty on projects across the field of communication and mass communication. Individual research interests are encouraged. Our program includes three broad categories: Media Arts, News and Information and Strategic Communication. The program features a strong grounding in a range of theoretical foundations, research methods, an emphasis on regular interaction between students and faculty about research, an expectation of student excellence in teaching and opportunity for flexible, interdisciplinary study in an outside area of concentration.
University of Oregon
School of Journalism and Communication
The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication graduate programs provide a dynamic environment for storytellers and scholars to build on their professional strengths, engage with world-class faculty and develop the foundation necessary to succeed in the ever-changing media and academic landscape.
Our interdisciplinary curriculum offers students the opportunity to expand their skillsets and earn credentials needed to achieve their goals. Through small group and individual instruction, rigorous coursework, and the integration of theory and practice, SOJC graduate programs will prepare students to become leaders and innovators in their fields.
At our Eugene campus, students are immersed in a rich academic setting with master’s and PhD programs in Media Studies, as well as a professional master’s program in Journalism. Advanced graduate courses enable students to develop their understanding of the emergent media landscape and prepare for their professional futures.
Our Portland campus is located in the heart of an exciting urban media hub in Old Town. Portland’s unique culture offers an ideal backdrop for students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in Multimedia Journalism or Strategic Communication. Evening and weekend classes at the George S. Turnbull Center aim to meet the needs of working professionals seeking to advance in their careers.
University of Texas at Austin
School of Journalism
A Ph.D. from the University of Texas School of Journalism is a research-intensive degree, preparing student to become active and productive researchers in quantitative and qualitative approaches. The degree is flexible, allowing students to specialize in topics of their choice rather than predetermined areas. Students from Texas are among the most prolific producers of papers at conferences such as AEJMC.
The professional master’s program allows students to specialize in one of four tracks – accountability journalism, culture/entertainment/sports, visual storytelling, and international journalism. UT also has a research and theory master’s degree, preparing students for a Ph.D., and a hybrid of the professional/research and theory degree.
For more information, please visit http://journalism.utexas.edu/graduate/graduate-program
(winner) — Making News at The New York Times – Nikki Usher
Pathways to Public Relations – Burton St. John III, Margot Opdycke Lamme and Jacquie L’Etang
Public Relations and Religion in American History: Evangelism, Temperance, and Business – Margot Opdycke Lamme
(winner) — Shaping Immigration News: A French-American Comparison – Rodney Benson
The American Revolution and the Press: The Promise of Independence – Carol Humphrey
Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy – Robert McChesney
(winner)– Into the Fray: How NBC’s Washington Documentary Unit Reinvented the News – Tom Mascaro
Women of the Washington Press: Politics, Prejudices, and Persistence – Maurine H. Beasley
Can Journalism Survive? : An Inside Look at American Newsrooms – David M. Ryfe
(winner) — Radio Utopia: Postwar Audio Documentary in the Public Interest – Matthew C. Ehrlich
After the Czars and Commissars: Journalism in Authoritarian Post-Soviet Central Asia – Eric Freeman and Richard Shafter
Audience Evolution: New Technologies and the Transformation of Media Audiences – Philip M. Napoli
(winner) — About to Die: How News Images Move the Public – Barbie Zelizer
Knights of the Quill: Confederate Correspondents and their Civil War Reporting – Patricia McNeely, Debra Reddin Van Tuyll, and Henry Schulte
Global Journalism Ethics – Stephen Ward
(winner) — Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting – John Hamilton
Normative Theories of the Media: Journalism in Democratic Societies – Clifford G. Christians, Theodore L. Glasser, Denis McQuail, Karl Nordenstreng and Robert A. White
The Origins of Television News in America: The Visualizers of CBS in the 1940s – Mike Conway
(winner) — The Environment and the Press: From Adventure Writing to Advocacy – Mark R. Neuzil
CBS’s Don Hollenbeck: An Honest Reporter in the Age of McCarthyism – Loren Ghiglione
Press Critics are the Fifth Estate: Media Watchdogs in America – Arthur S. Hayes
(winner) — Dark Days in the Newsroom: McCarthyism Aimed at the Press – Edward Alwood
Journalism as Practice: MacIntyre, Virtue Ethics and the Press – Sandra Borden
Mass Media Unleashed – Carl Ramey
(winner) — The African American Newspaper: Voice of Freedom – Patrick S. Washburn
The Year That Defined American Journalism – W. Joseph Campbell
Waves of Opposition: Labor and the Struggle for Democratic Media – Elizabeth Fones-Wolf
From the November 2015 issue of AEJMC News
Revitalizing the Bonds
of Journalism, Citizenship and Democracy
We all know that journalism has struggled as trust in news has declined, new media forms have exploded and journalistic ethics are in flux. It’s legitimate to ask: Why does journalism exist and what role does it play in a democratic society?
We used that language to announce a special call for papers this past summer at the 2015 AEJMC Conference in San Francisco.
The deadline for abstract submissions has just ended, with more than 50 proposals submitted by AEJMC scholars who plan to examine the ways that journalism can address problems of democracy by supporting the process of citizens working together in communities to solve shared public problems.
I take that tremendous response to the paper call as evidence that many other scholars and educators share my focus and concern.
Indeed, these are some of the most critical questions we face in the 21st century — as journalism and mass communication educators, as practitioners of journalism and other forms of public communication, and even more importantly, as citizens.
How are citizens connected to public life through journalism? Has the connection to journalism and democracy been lost?
What ideas do journalists have about citizens and where do they get those ideas? What is a journalist’s accountability to her community and her responsibility to encourage deliberative public conversations?
I first gave real thought to these questions when invited to participate in a learning exchange sponsored by the Kettering Foundation in July 2014. Kettering is a research organization that studies the ways that people can become more effective in solving their shared challenges by taking responsibility for them and working together to find solutions — another name, if you will, for democracy.
Gathered into a working group of journalism educators, scholars and practitioners, we started exploring questions like these.
What role do journalists want to play in encouraging communities to thrive? When journalists name a shared public problem, does it help to activate citizens to find shared solutions?
Should we reward journalists who activate citizens to address shared public problems by framing issues that minimize conflict and seek a common ground?
The special paper call was possible because of tremendous financial and other support from the Kettering Foundation, whose research has identified three elements — citizens, communities and institutions — that must be aligned for democracy to work as it should.
Response to the special call for papers was an overwhelming success. The challenge ahead is for reviewers to select from this group the top 20 papers for full paper development. The top five papers will be presented at a special panel next August when AEJMC gathers in Minneapolis, where the conference theme will be: Innovate. Integrate. Engage.
I’m exceptionally grateful to the Kettering Foundation for their support of the call, especially to Paula Ellis, David Holwerk and Alice Diebel, whose vision around journalism, citizenship and democracy is so closely aligned with ours in AEJMC.
I’m also indebted to Jack Rosenberry, chair of the Department of Media and Communication at St. John Fisher College, for his willingness to coordinate the paper call and to serve as guest editor of a special section of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.
Grateful thanks to JMCQ Editor Louisa Ha for her enthusiasm to include the special section and to Jennifer McGill, who always makes the work of AEJMC appear seamless.
I like the notion that it is a journalistic act of citizenship to identify shared public problems. The idea of activating people to act is so different from advocacy. Where citizens seek to exercise their rights to hear and be heard, to take responsibility for the problem and working together through journalism, social media and beyond to find a shared way to address those challenges is what democracy and journalism are all about.
To start where people are struggling to solve a common problem — and how you name it — is a profound role. During my year as AEJMC president, I’m excited to focus our attention on these important questions, and to explore the roles that we as scholars and educators might play in seeking ways to revitalize the bonds of journalism, citizenship and democracy, through our research, our teaching and our citizenship.
By Lori Bergen, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Boulder
2015-16 AEJMC President
“From the President” is courtesy of AEJMC News.
The Device Du Jour Is Changing and Challenging
By Amy Falkner
AEJMC Standing Committee on Teaching
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, September 2015 issue)
This is my last Teaching Tips column and I couldn’t be more jazzed. Not because I’m almost done — writing 800 words every once in awhile isn’t too taxing — but because of what I learned at the AEJMC San Francisco Conference. I am cycling off the Standing Committee on Teaching after two wonderful terms where I had an opportunity to think, discuss and judge great teaching. But, mostly, learn a lot.
To wit, I will share with you some great teaching resources and insights from the San Francisco Conference. If you are like me, your head was spinning when you got back with all the things you heard that you wanted to immediately incorporate into your fall courses. I’m writing this in mid-August but you are reading this in September and hopefully well on your way. If not, there is always time to adjust.
This dizzying effect may have taken hold while trying to follow #aejmc15 on Twitter during the conference. Yes, we were trending at one point. The good news is all those thousands of tweets are still available and — after you sort out the snapshots of the Golden Gate Bridge — very valuable. They are chock full of links to terrific graphics, articles and complete presentations as well as pithy food for thought on what we should be talking about in the classroom.
One of your pit stops should also be the AEJMC website and the Teaching Resources link (under the “Resources” heading). There you will find the last nine Best Practices in Teaching booklets, including the latest on Best Practices in Teaching Online and Blended Learning.
The conference presentations by this year’s winners blew me away. Perhaps it is also because my school has just launched a new online master’s program and I have been wrestling this summer while planning my course with the what-do-I-teach-live versus recorded question. I am fortunate that the platform we are using is super interactive, but if you are at a school where that is not the case, the innovations of the winning professors (listed in box, right) will provide inspiration. There are tools you would expect — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Hangouts, WordPress, Blogger — with inventive means to an end.
I also heard about new ways of student learning from Ron Yaros, Maryland, one of the contest winners, who teaches using an app called Nearpod that his students access during live class on tablets or smartphones. No laptops allowed. On purpose. Ron has been testing how students best learn and some of that is to eliminate multitasking and distractions.
So maybe the device du jour is changing and that is part of our challenge — both in what we teach and how we teach it. Do we need to learn every new app and teach it in class? No, we’d lose our family, offline friends and probably our sanity if we invested every waking hour to that. But getting a handle on what new (and potentially free) tools our students can use related to analytics and, in particular, measuring social media was a theme I heard echoed in several panels and across disciplines.
Full disclosure: I am in the Advertising Division so my POV on POE (point of view on paid, owned, earned may differ from yours) but a fascinating panel on that topic put together by Patricia Mark, South Alabama, gathered quite a crowd at 8:15 a.m. on Friday of the conference. Penn State’s Marcia DiStaso made a great presentation titled “Data Science Changes in the Classroom” that included free analytical tools such as SimplyMeasured, Followerwonk, SumAll, Quintly, Cyfe and Keyhole that may (or may not) be familiar to you. Her slide on this has been tweeted and retweeted for good reason, including by me (@amyfalkner if you need it).
The last panel I will mention was led by (shameless plug alert) Newhouse’s Beth Egan on the topic of native advertising, which is Beth’s area of expertise and fertile ground for debate among the Ad, PR and journalist types in the room. The panel included Steve Rubel, EVP of Global Strategy and Insights at Edelman, who basically told the crowd that native is (and has been) happening for years, and too bad if we don’t like it. He also said publishing companies don’t matter much, mobile is the sun and all other platforms are planets, and that consumers will sort out the ethics of native advertising. That last snippet caused a kerfuffle. Is that the job of consumers? Shouldn’t we be teaching students the ethics of this?
So that trail eventually led to a discussion among the Teaching Committee to consider “teaching ethics in relation to emerging media” as our next teaching contest. It isn’t finessed or finalized yet, but look for the call explaining the next topic in the near future. Then mark your calendars for Aug. 4-7, 2016, in Minneapolis and be sure to add the Best Practices in Teaching session to your mobile app schedule. As for me, I will not need to attend another 7 a.m. meeting for this committee (the only happy part about my term ending), but I will definitely be at that session. #aejmc16 #loveteaching
“It’s on us.” The role of social media in individual willingness to mobilize against sexual assault • Cory Armstrong; Jessica Mahone, University of Florida • “Stopping sexual violence has become a key issue in the public and media agenda. This study examines the role of social media and bystander intervention in predicting an individual’s willingness to engage in collective action against sexual violence. Two surveys were conducted in fall 2014 and early 2015 examining young adults’ views of SNS, rape culture and collective action. Results indicated that gender and bystander intervention were key predictors, along with the privacy concerns of SNS and views supporting rape culture, which had a negative association. Implications were discussed.
Covering Clinton (2010-2015): Meaning-making strategies in news and entertainment magazines • Ingrid Bachmann, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; Dustin Harp, University of Texas-Arlington; Jaime Loke, University of Oklahoma • With a trailblazing political career, Hillary Clinton has been the focus of media attention for decades. This study examines 27 magazine covers of the former First Lady and presumptive presidential hopeful from 2010 to 2015, and addresses what these mediated representations of Clinton say aboWith a trailblazing political career, Hillary Clinton has been the focus of media attention for decades. This study examines 27 magazine covers of the former First Lady and presumptive presidential hopeful from 2010 to 2015, and addresses what these mediated representations of Clinton say about the relationship between gender, power and politics. Based on a semiotic analysis, we found that Clinton is presented as a power-hungry, emasculating and surreptitious politician, with the media often warning citizens about her authenticity and ambition. ut the relationship between gender, power and politics. Based on a semiotic analysis, we found that Clinton is presented as a power-hungry, emasculating and surreptitious politician, with the media often warning citizens about her authenticity and ambition.
Media Representations of Hillary Clinton’s Emotional Moment: A Semiotic Analysis • Deborah Bauer, New Mexico State University • This study analyzes media discourse surrounding Hillary Clinton’s ‘emotional moment’ during her Presidential campaign. Interpreting media representations through semiotic and phenomenological analysis, a gendered language emerges as a sign of residual cultural stereotypes that continue to dichotomize gendered abilities. This study demonstrates media representations as a site for perpetuating a woman’s use of emotion to manipulate, connive, or calculate career goals.
Love the Way You Authenticate Domestic Violence Narratives • Laurena Bernabo, University of Iowa • Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), in all its forms, is a social epidemic which affects millions of Americans. The CDC’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, the first of its kind, found that 35.6% of women and 28.5% of men in the U.S. have experienced IPV in their lifetimes, and even more (48% of women and men) have experienced psychological aggression; the impact of such experiences includes fear, PTSD, injury, and the need for medical, housing, and legal services. While public attention to these issues has increased incrementally over time, media texts have engaged rather minimally in terms of accurate, complex representations. This research interrogates the pop culture phenomenon of Love the Way You Lie, a two-part song with an accompanying music video made famous by Eminem and Rihanna, two musicians known for their own first-hand experiences with IPV. By applying work done in the areas of gender violence, domestic violence and IPV to the lyrics and video, this paper demonstrates how public reactions to the media texts conflate the two with each other, and inextricably tie both to the performers through discourses of authenticity. Ultimately, this research argues that the song and video contribute to public conceptions of the cycle of violence by extending the popular understanding of domestic violence beyond the application of physical force.
Gold is the new pink: A qualitative analysis of GoldieBlox retail ratings and feedback • Sara Blankenship, University of North Texas; Sheri Broyles, University of North Texas • The pink and blue color washing of the toy aisle suggests it has remained untouched by the advancements of our social progress. GoldieBlox, a toy company focused on stimulating girls’ interest in engineering, set out to change this. This qualitative analysis of GoldieBlox user ratings has determined this generation of parents unequivocally and enthusiastically supports the concept of encouraging girls to pursue a science-based education, rending Barbie irrelevant.
Activism? Or Group Self-Objectification? • Shugofa Dastgeer, University of Oklahoma • This paper is a comparative analysis of visual images of two feminist groups, FEMEN sextremists and extreme Islamists. The main purpose of this paper is to explore how women in these two groups use their bodies to express their ideologies, and how these tactics give are seen in visual images? The findings show that women in both feminist groups express themselves as objects, which misrepresents their political causes. So, both extremism and sextremism reproduce similar traditional values for women’s bodies by using different approaches.
Building Community? The Use of Social Media by Scholars for Peer-Communication • Stine Eckert, 3135770716; Candi Carter Olson, Utah State University; Victoria LaPoe, Western Kentucky University • This study surveyed 62 members and affiliates of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a subdivision in the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), about their social media use for professional, non-classroom purposes. It is theoretically grounded in media ecology and cyberfeminism. Respondents preferred Facebook for sharing information, followed by Twitter; few participants used LinkedIn. Several respondents noted that due to time constraints they do not use social media. This begs the question of whether or not promoting and utilizing social media as a time-saver, especially for women scholars, may result in a more connected online community, and in turn may help with membership and retention. Given the dearth of studies on scholars’ use of social media for peer communication, this study gives valuable insights into and suggestions for the ways scholars and academic organizations can enhance professional relationships through a communication strategy that integrates social media.
Journalistic Coverage in Rape Culture: Reporters’ Socialization in a Gender-Biased Indian Patriarchal Society • Deepa Fadnis • This study examined the journalistic coverage of the Delhi gang rape case of 2012 in the Times of India to understand the influences of the Indian society firmly rooted in gender inequalities and patriarchy on individual reporters. This content analysis suggested that female reporters were more vocal about rape law reforms and setting up immediate relief measures for women in need. And contrary to the popular belief, male reporters did not entertain ideas about male supremacy through their reporting. Further implications for gender inequality in India are discussed.
Mum’s the word: An analysis of frames used on parents who left children in cars • Andrea Hall, University of Florida; Lauren Furey, University of Florida • This study explored how media communicate biological and parental gender roles when parents commit a crime in addition to how frame is affected by story type. A content analysis of 348 news articles over a 15-year period was conducted. This study found that a gender divide in some cases, such as women being referenced as mothers, but not in others. Child’s gender was also a factor in analyzing when analyzing stories.
RAW Appearances: Examining Contrast Effects in Adaptation to Women Wrestlers’ Sexualization in World Wide Entertainment • Nisha Garud; Carson Wagner • Several studies in psychology confirm the operation of contextual contrast effects on judgments. This experiment extends adaptation-level contrast effects to the field of media through examination of attitudes towards sexualization of WWE women wrestlers. Participants (N=75) were randomly primed with high-sexualized and de-sexualized content and their explicit and implicit attitudes towards sexualization were measured. Contrast effects were found as high-sexualized group rated WWE Women’s program low on sexualization whereas the de-sexualized group rated the program high on sexualization. Both the groups were compared to a control group. Implicit measures supported explicit attitudes. Regression analysis suggest women wrestlers’ clothing, touch, movement and pose strongly predict sexualization. However, no gender differences were found in attitudes towards sexualization.
Easy, Breezy, and Patriarchal: Femvertising in CoverGirl and Beyond • Kate Hoad-Reddick, Western University • This paper takes a 2014 CoverGirl advertisement as its object of study to explore the pervasive advertising trend of femvertising—advertising that positively represents women—and question the impacts of commodified feminism on the feminist movement. By deconstructing the hypocrisy inherent in this commercial, the author problematizes femvertising and questions the mainstream media’s ability to offer feminist sentiments that resist commodification. Using the theoretical lens of ventriloquism, this analysis argues femvertising stems from hegemonic patriarchy.
Women as Eye Candy: Predictors of Individuals’ Acceptance of the Sexual Objectification of Women • Stacey Hust, Washington State University; Kathleen Rodgers, Department of Human Development, Washington State University; Nicole Cameron, Washington State University • Exposure to music videos that objectify and sexualize women was associated with traditional gender beliefs. A survey of undergraduate students indicates exposure to music and a preference for rap music were positively associated with the acceptance of women’s sexual objectification, even after controlling for gender, religiosity and beliefs in sexual stereotypes. This suggests consistent exposure to music videos reinforces traditional gender attitudes, but contextual factors still play a role in the formation of gender attitudes.
Gender Trouble in the Workplace: Applying Judith Butler’s Theory of Performativity to News Organizations • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri; Teri Finneman, University of Missouri • Butler’s theory of performativity challenges understandings of gender, suggesting gender is constituted through ritualized performances of norms. Although Butler primarily considered discursive constructions of gender, we argue this theory can be considered within organizations. This paper offers a critical perspective by examining patriarchal organizations’ definitions of gender performances and the emancipatory potential of performativity. We explore how performativity could be understood and studied within TV newsrooms, where women reinforce gender roles mandated by organizational norms.
Gathering Online, Loitering Offline: Hashtag Activism and the Claim for Public Space by Women in India • Sonora Jha, Seattle University • This paper provides a theoretical critical analysis of the online discursive (textual and visual) representations of women claiming public spaces across India through the #WhyLoiter hashtag campaign in December 2014, protesting “rape culture” following the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder of a student. Using feminist media theory and the theory of digital social movements – cyberfeminist protest in particular – I examine the strides and limitations of online and offline repertoires of the #WhyLoiter campaign.
Searching for Thinspiration: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Tumblr Blog Posts about Weight Loss and Disordered Eating • Nicki Karimipour, University of Florida • Young women’s use of microblogging sites to communicate and disseminate messages about body image ideals is an emerging topic of research. As thinspiration content continues to proliferate online, body image researchers and psychologists seek to understand how people, mostly young women, discuss and engage with this phenomenon on social media. This study takes a feminist perspective on body image, and includes theoretical foundations such as the sociocultural model of female body image and identity demarginalization theory to help explain prevalence of online communication about stigmatized conditions such as eating disorders. This study utilized a qualitative, inductive approach to examine tone of the blog posts, commonly appearing codes, motivations for engaging in weight loss, use of hashtags, and mentions of recovery and/or recovery resources. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations, and avenues for future research are outlined within.
Is Breast Best? Feminist Ethics for Breastfeeding Promotion as Public Relations • Amanda Kennedy, University of Maryland • This paper took a critical feminist approach to interrogate dominant discourses of breastfeeding and motherhood in America and how they have manifested in public relations campaigns. Using the National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign as an illustration, we identified ethical dilemmas in their popular constructions of breastfeeding and motherhood. We proposed materialist and care-based feminist ethics as more ethical and practical alternatives for breastfeeding promotion and public relations.
Collective Memory of the Feminist Revolution: “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” in a Post-Feminist Twenty-First Century • Katherine LaPrad, University of South Carolina • This study examines the collective memory of the feminist revolution through the filter of the feminist art movement by analyzing a variety of media engaged with WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, a retrospective exhibition of feminist art and visual culture. Through a qualitative analysis this inquiry interrogates media coverage and public dialogue surrounding this commemorative exhibition, revealing the collective memory of the feminist revolution and its impression on feminism in the current social and political landscape.
Butts and other body parts: Celebrity culture, ethnic identification and self-objectification • Carol Liebler; Li Chen, S.I. Newhouse of Public Communications • This study investigates women’s experiences with a sexually objectifying environment by examining the degree to which engagement with celebrity culture affects self-objectification among women. We further explore the role of ethnic identification in this relationship. An online survey was conducted in the U.S. of 249 women of East Asian or Southeast Asian ethnic descent. Results indicate that strength of ethnic identification and perceived knowledge of and interaction with celebrity culture are predictors of self-objectification, but that results vary by ethnic group. Findings highlight the need to consider the intersectionality of gender and ethnicity in relation to self-objectification.
Problematizing postfeminist/neoliberal female sexual subjectivity: A textual analysis of sex-related articles in Cosmopolitan in post-socialist China • Qi Ling, The University of Iowa • This study adopted postfeminism as a critical tool to analyze sex-related articles in Cosmopolitan (Chinese version) to see how female sexual subjectivity is constructed, and how the internal conflict of neoliberal rhetoric in it may render the touted message of empowerment problematic. Three interpretive repertoires were exacted from the text: “empowering sexiness”, “self-surveillance on sexual body”, and “sexual liberty”, all of which contributed to an enabling female sexual subject, while re-entrenching the normative by making it the only one and the most rewarded choice within the existing system. This paper further suggests that the fact that postfeminist discursive strategies originated in West is gaining currency in post-socialist China has bearing on its integration into the symbolic and economic order of global neoliberalism.
Boy story: An analysis of gendered interaction frames in the Toy Story trilogy • Timothy Luisi, University of Kansas • Past research shows that what children see can greatly influence behaviors and the development of gender identity. Female characters have been depicted in film with less frequency and detail than their male counterparts. The following study examined female-voiced characters within the Toy Story trilogy and used grounded theory to find frames between female-voiced characters and male characters based on their interactions. The findings build upon past literature in gaze theory and symbolic annihilation.
Gender, politics, and social networks: Tracking the 2014 elections on Twitter • Shannon McGregor, University of Texas – Austin; Rachel Mourao, The University of Texas at Austin • The 2014 elections offer a last chance to evaluate discourse about female politicians before the 2016 presidential campaign. Building on gender bias literature, we assess the differences in network attributes of male and female candidates. Results show that when a woman runs against a man, the conversation revolves around her. Female candidates are both more central and more replied to. Findings suggest that there is still something unique about a campaign with a woman.
“Why just my children? This is for all our children.” – The rise of the woman citizen journalist in India • Paromita Pain, The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism • Recent citizen journalism developments, especially in developing countries like India, is encouraging a new generation of women in very resource poor areas to participate in the news production process that could potentially level the playing field by allowing them to sidestep traditional gatekeepers and barriers. Using the most significant change technique and qualitative data from three citizen media organizations in India, this paper employs feminist readings of Habermas’ theory of the public sphere to argue that citizen media can significantly contribute towards a feminist public sphere and be used as an important tool for women’s empowerment in the developing world.
“A Woman Walks Alone in the Dark:” Hostile Sexism & Script Writing for Crime TV • Scott Parrott • Crime-based television programs in the U.S. often contain gender-based stereotypes, including the inaccurate association of females and victimhood. The present study explored the relationship between hostile sexism and the appearance of gender role stereotypes in plot synopses that communication students wrote for a crime-based dramatic program. Respondents (n=197) to a survey studying “the creative process behind scriptwriting” were asked to outline the plot for an episode of a crime-based drama and to provide descriptive information, including gender, for three characters (victim, police detective, criminal). Respondents most often assigned the role of victim to a female and the roles of police detective and criminal to males. Plot synopses often included violence against females. Separate analyses showed that the higher the respondents’ hostile sexism, the more likely they were to assign the victim role to a female and the less likely they were to assign the detective role to a female.
Constructing Girls in a Post-Feminist Society: Female Adolescent Gender Representations in Glee • Roseann Pluretti, The University of Kansas; Kristen Grimmer, University of Kansas; Jessica Casebier, University of Kansas • This exploratory study examines adolescent gender identity formation and the female adolescent gender representations in the teen drama Glee. Through feminist theory, this study investigates how these representations compare to past representations and if they contain post-feminist ideals. A qualitative textual analysis of six episodes and over 130 scenes was implemented. Thematic analysis of these representations found empowering, post-feminist and stereotypical representations in Glee. These representations could shape female adolescent audiences’ gender identity formation.
Using Feminist Memories for Postfeminist Needs: The Celebratory Feminism of MAKERS: Women Who Make America • Urszula Pruchniewska, Temple University • Through the lens of collective memory, this paper uses textual analysis to explore the documentary MAKERS, which traces the second wave women’s movement by presenting a collective memory of “celebratory feminism.” Despite aiming to show the movement as continuing, by evoking postfeminist sensibilities in its presentation of the feminist past, MAKERS categorizes feminism as over. Thus the construction of collective memory of feminism in MAKERS works to fit the needs of the present climate, postfeminism.
If You Can’t See It, You Can’t Be It: Do Children’s Movies Pass The Bechdel Test? • Erin Ryan, Kennesaw State University • Organizations such as the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media consistently report gender imbalance is still very much alive. This is particularly true of media crafted specifically for children, and this has real consequences for the ways in which children are taught to perform their gender. Cultivation theory tells us that continuous consumption of media can change people’s attitudes and beliefs about the world, beginning in childhood. If children see the same depictions ad nauseum they can only assume the gender performance they see is the “right” one. And as social learning theory demonstrates, beginning in toddlerhood children begin to mimic behaviors they see in media. Thus, it is crucial to study children’s media with an eye on gender roles. One method to do so is the so-called “Bechdel Test” which puts films to a three-question test: are there two or more women in the film who have names? Do they talk to each other? Do they talk to each other about anything other than men? This content analysis put the top 21 children’s movies to the Test and results revealed seven failures: Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Princess Bride, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Ratatouille, and Up. Release date did not appear to affect whether a movie passed, implying that women’s roles in children’s movies have not evolved over time. However, a tally of character actions revealed female characters in both passing and failing movies to be performing fewer stereotypical roles than non-stereotypical
Crusaders, Not Subordinates: How Women’s Page Editors Worked to Change the Gender Climate Within APME and ASNE • Kimberly Voss; Lance Speere • This scholarship reveals what women were doing in the 1960s and early 1970s within the newspaper industry, which had largely excluded them from decision-making or leadership positions, to produce change. Yet, they worked within their limitations to improve working conditions and to improve content for women within the pages of their newspapers. This study documents their efforts to initiate change through the Associated Press Managing Editors and the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Understanding images of sexual objectification: A study of gender differences in Taiwanese magazine ads from 1985 to 2011 • Ping Shaw, National Sun Yat-sen University; Yue Tan, National Sun Yat-sen University • Content analysis is used to explore media portrayals of 1856 female and 816 male models in 2336 Taiwan magazine advertisements over a 27 year period, from 1985 to 2011. We mainly examined how female models and male models are sexually objectified differently over time in terms of four coding categories: “decorative roles”, “portion of body shown”, “sexual explicitness”, and “objecting gaze and touch”. We argue that these categories measure different dimensions of the sexual objectification concept. The results from the content analysis revealed that the four measures correlated moderately, indicated different degree of gender gaps, changed differently over time, and influenced differently by the women’s movement and consumerism in Taiwan. Finally, the implications of the results for the sexual objectification theory are discussed.”
Frat Daddies and Sorostitutes: How TotalFratMove.com and Greek Identity Influence Greek Students’ Rape Myth Acceptance • Bailey Thompson, Texas Tech University; Rebecca Ortiz, Texas Tech University • College students in social Greek organizations are at greater risk of sexual assault than other college students. The present study examined how readership of the online news site TotalFratMove.com (TFM), which often includes coverage of stereotypical fraternity culture, may impact rape myth acceptance. Results revealed that the more frequently Greeks read TFM, the more likely they were to be accepting of rape myths when also taking into account the strength of their Greek social identity.
One “pin” closer to the image of health: The medicalization of makeup discourses on Pinterest • Andrea Weare • This study explored discourses that medicalize beauty on Pinterest. With a boom in social media use among the beauty industry, these platforms are serving as affordances to extend a user’s ability to perform desired industry actions: product consumption. Results illuminate an understanding of the uses of Pinterest and how female users are hailed to be more beautiful and healthy, as well as how scholars and health practitioners might mediate this discourse to improve women’s health.
The global media job market: A comparison of requirements in job listings for six broadcast news organizations • Mariam Alkazemi; Wayne Wanta, University of Florida • ob listings for six broadcast news media were content analyzed for required qualifications for new hires. Only seven of the 120 job notices did not mention some technological skills, supporting a trend of media convergence. Another common requirement mentioned was a college degree. In comparing the six media, Al-Jazeera America differed from other organizations most often. Job postings for Al-Jazeera America were more likely to mention ethics and less likely to mention foreign language knowledge. Both Al-Jazeera America and Al-Jazeera were more likely to mention good news judgment as a requirement for their jobs. The findings have implications for hiring practices in the media industry.
Closed-Cohort Structure In Online Graduate Programs: Advancing Career Opportunities For Mid-Career Communication Professionals • Justin Blankenship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Rhonda Gibson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • In a closed-cohort educational program design, students enter a program together, take the same courses together, and graduate together. This article surveyed students in one of the few closed-cohort graduate programs in a communication school, one intended for mid-career professionals. Results indicate that students found several aspects of closed-cohort important, felt a sense of community among their cohort, and used their cohort to create a professional network of peers.
Avoiding the Bad Jump Cut: Developing a Senior Year Experience For Journalism Students • Lorie Humphrey, Colorado State University; Michael Humphrey, Colorado State University • Leaving college and beginning life outside of the familiar institution is one of the major transitions in many people’s life. This can be especially daunting for journalism students at a time when career paths are muddied by regularly changing economics, platforms and best practices. Both professor and career counselors often struggle to support students in this transition. One initiative, The Senior Year Experience, offers a variety of approaches to alleviate that struggle. This paper discusses the challenges soon-to-be graduating journalism students face, and the types of programs available including formal coursework, experiential learning opportunities, and campus events and activities aimed at smoothing the pathway. Teachers, advisors, and career counselors can play an integral role in developing programs and building coalitions with other partners on campus to guide journalism students in successful transitions.
Inside The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Noetic Crisis of the WGA Strike • Nathan Rodriguez, University of Kansas • I was a production intern at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at a time when the Writer’s Guild of America was on strike. I borrow ethnographic tools to document all-staff meetings and patterns of interaction during the strike. This essay illuminates not only the inner-workings of one of the more successful television programs in recent history, but also shows how a group of individuals dedicated to comedy managed to navigate a workplace crisis.
Revisiting Entering the Game at Halftime: Engaging students in internships and co-curricular activities. • Lauren Vicker, St. John Fisher College • This paper reports a large-scale follow-up to a pilot study that examined ways that mass communication programs engage transfer students in internships and co-curricular activities. The author conducted a large-scale survey of students enrolled in programs listed in the AEJMC directory and also conducted interviews with some survey respondents. Results indicate differences between transfer and native students in key areas and offer suggestions for ways to improve experiences for both populations.
Engaging the Public with CSR Activities Through Social Media • Alan Abitbol, Texas Tech University; Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University • This study examines how communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives via Facebook impact public engagement. Using the stakeholder and dialogic theories as frameworks, a content analysis of 533 Fortune 500 companies’ CSR-specific posts was conducted. After testing the effects of issue topic and three dialogic strategies on public engagement, results indicated that the use of multimedia content and interactive language in messages affected public engagement most. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed further.
Making social media work: Modeling the antecedents and outcomes of perceived relationship investment of nonprofit organizations • Giselle Auger, Duquesne University; Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee • A lack of empirical studies prompted the development and testing of a model investigating the antecedents and outcomes of perceived relationship investment (PRI) in nonprofits. All parts of the model were supported including antecedent tactics of tangible rewards, interactivity, and information sharing, their effect on relationship quality, and positive behavioral intentions such as keeping the organization foremost in consideration of volunteer time or large gift allocation when time or financial resources allow.
Campaign and Corporate Goals in Conflict: Exploring Corporate Social Initiative Types and Company Issue Congruence • Lucinda Austin, Elon University; Barbara Miller, Elon University • Corporate social responsibility is increasingly important in boosting public acceptance for companies, and emerging research suggests corporate social marketing could be the most effective type of CSR. However, scholars caution that corporate social marketing is not a one-size-fits-all. Through a content analysis of Coca-Cola’s social media posts on its controversial topics related to sustainability, this study explores how corporate social initiative type and company-issue congruence influence public response to an organization’s social media CSR posts.
Communicating Sustainability: An Examination of Corporate, Nonprofit, and UniversityWebsites • Holly Ott, The Pennsylvania State University; Ruoxu Wang, Penn State University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • This study analyzed the websites of top corporations, nonprofits, and colleges/universities for the types of sustainability content presented. Comparisons are made between organization types. Few nonprofits in the sample provided sustainability content; however, nearly all universities and over half of the corporations had a designated sustainability section on their websites. Findings suggest that organizations are promoting certain content, and fewer than 40% quantify their sustainability claims on any topic. Implications are discussed.
More than just a lack of uniformity: Exploring the evolution of public relations master’s programs • Rowena Briones, Virginia Commonwealth University; Hongmei Shen, San Diego State University; Candace Parrish, Virginia Commonwealth University; Elizabeth Toth, University of Maryland; Maria Russell, Syracuse University • PR is well known for its adaptability through continual change, and as a result PR master’s programs have been re-conceptualized to remain rigorous and competitive. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with administrators of PR master’s programs. Findings demonstrated that although many programs have moved away from traditional curricula, programs exist that still model CPRE recommendations. These findings could be used to better ground the discipline by ensuring a stronger cohesiveness within PR master’s education.
If organizations are people, they need to have the same values: Personal values and organizational values in stakeholder evaluations of organizational legitimacy • John Brummette, Radford University; Lynn Zoch, Radford University • In today’s Linked-in, friend heavy, tweeted about world, in which many organizations have constituents who follow, share and like them, the general public often places anthropomorphic expectations on organizations. This study found a positive relationship between individuals’ personal values and the values they deem as desirable for organizations. Findings from this study also support the assumption that human and organizational values are directly related with the concept of organizational legitimacy.
The effect of CSR expectancy violations on public attitudinal and behavioral responses to corporations: An application of expectancy violation theory • Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee; Sun-Young Park, Rowan University; Soojin Kim, University of Florida • By applying expectancy violation theory (EVT) to corporate public relations, the study explored how publics respond to an organization’s CSR activities. A 2 (publics’ pre-predictive CSR expectancy) X 2 (CSR practice information) experimental study examined how both negative and positive expectancy violation and conformity influenced publics’ attitude toward an organization and their supportive behavior intention. Also, the study explained the moderating role of corporate likability in influencing the effect of expectancy violation.
Crisis communication and corporate apology: The effects of causal attributions and apology types on publics’ cognitive and affective responses • Surin Chung, University of Missouri Columbia; Suman Lee, Iowa State University • This study examined how corporate apologies influence cognitive and affective public responses during a crisis. A total of 200 participants were exposed to one of the two types of causal attributions (internal vs. external) and one of the two types of apology messages (responsibility-oriented vs. sympathy-oriented). The study found the main effects of causal attributions on public responses. The study also revealed the interaction effects between causal attributions and apology messages on public responses.
Reassessment of audience in public relations industry: How social media reshape public relations measurements • Surin Chung, University of Missouri Columbia; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri, School of Journalism • The growing adoption of social media in PR practice has provided opportunities for newer audience measurements and contributed to cultivating newer conceptions of their audience. This study conducts a historical textual analysis of articles in PR Week to establish the conception. The analysis maps the structural transformation of the field that has guided the PR industry’s reconceptualization of their audiences from the quantity of media placements to the quantity and the quality of behavioral outcomes.
The Effects of Framing in Mainstream and Alternative Media on Government Public Relationships • Ganga Dhanesh; Tracy Loh • This study aimed to examine the effects of differential framing in alternative media and mainstream media on publics’ perceptions of government-public relationships; an attempt to integrate the rich bodies of work in framing and relationship management theorizing in public relations, in the context of government public relations and the challenges thrown up by the emergence of alternative media. The study employed an experimental design and found that reading alternative media negatively affected publics’ perceptions of trust, commitment, control mutuality and satisfaction, but not communal and exchange relationships. Reading mainstream media on the other hand had no significant relationship with publics’ perceptions of government-public relationship. The difference in effect is attributed to the framing devices employed in alternative and mainstream media. Implications for public relations theory and practice are discussed.
Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Journalist perceptions of reputation and errors in corporate communication • Melanie Formentin, Towson University; Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University; Alyssa Appelman, Northern Kentucky University • Exploring reputation and organizational communication, this study tests how journalists perceive press releases containing errors, and examines the legitimacy of using fictional organizations when testing reputation via experiments. Journalists (N = 118) read releases from reputable or fictional companies, with or without typos. Releases without errors and from an existing company were ranked more favorably based on press release judgments and reputation. Analysis showed no interaction effects, suggesting reputation cannot overcome negative error effects.
Care in Crisis: Proposing the Applied Model of Care Considerations for Public Relations • Julia Daisy Fraustino, West Virginia University; Amanda Kennedy, University of Maryland • This work builds global bridges from ethics theory to practice in crisis public relations. It forms foundations for ethical organizational communication throughout the crisis lifecycle and across contexts. The Applied Model of Care Considerations is proposed using the illustration of Nestle’s global baby-formula-promotion crisis. Rooted in feminist normative philosophies, this research addresses public relations literature gaps from lack of: (1) general crisis ethics theory; (2) applied crisis communication ethics for practice; (3) feminist-theory-oriented crisis communication.
Mascot Nations: Examining university-driven college football fan communities • Matthew Haught, University of Memphis • In the sport of college football, engagement with fans drives revenue for the sports teams and the athletic department; the more fans buy, the more money the school gets. This study examines the ways college football teams use Facebook to engage their publics, and how that engagement builds a sense of community. Specifically, it explores six teams that represent new college foot-ball teams, mid-major teams, and state flagship institution teams. Ultimately, it seeks to explain how social media can be a force in establishing and maintaining an online community.
Informing crisis communication preparation and response through network analysis: An elaboration of the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication model • Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia; Yan Jin, University of Georgia; Bryan Reber, University of Georgia; Patrick Grant, University of Georgia • To test and elaborate as necessary the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication (SMCC) model’s key publics classifications (Liu et al., 2012) and to provide practical insight to public identification for crisis communication planning and response, this study uses network analysis to identify social mediators (Himelboim et al., 2014) and clustered publics in airline Twitter networks. In our analysis, social mediators and network clusters are classified according to the publics taxonomy of the SMCC model. The characteristics of the social mediators and the network structure of the clusters are also identified in airline Twitter networks. Our findings suggest further elaborations and more in-depth identification of key publics in social-mediated crisis communication.
Minding the representation gap: Some pitfalls of linear crisis-response theory • Yi-Hui Huang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Hiu Ying Choy, The School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Fang Wu, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Qing Huang, The School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Qijun He, the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Deya Xu, Department of Communication, CUHK • Scholars assume the direct influence of crisis communication strategies (CCSs) upon representations of CCSs in the media and online public posts. This study 1) introduces the concept of representation gap to address how media and netizen’s gatekeeping practices represent organizational CCSs differently; and 2) highlights how social context leads to an evaluation gap of communication effectiveness. Analysis validates the robust predictive power of this representation gap with regard to interpreting the effectiveness of CCSs.
Too much of a good thing: When does two-way symmetric communication become unhelpful? • Yi Grace Ji, University of Miami; Cong Li, Univ. of Miami • The current study proposes a moderated mediation model by revisiting the effects of two-way symmetric communication on relational outcomes in a social-mediated relationship management context. Through a 2 (interactivity: one-way vs. two way) × 2 (message valence: positive vs. negative) between-subjects experiment, it was demonstrated that two-way symmetric communication led to more favorable relational outcomes only when the communication was centered on a negative subject, and such effects were mediated by perceived source credibility.
Making a good life in professional and personal arenas: A SEM analysis of fair decision making, leadership, organizational support, and quality of Employee-Organization Relationships (EORs) • Hua Jiang, Syracuse University • Scholars and practitioners have well acknowledged the importance of studying influential factors leading to quality employee-organization relationships (EORs). A growing body of literature exist in developing theoretical models to explain the underlying mechanisms between EORs and organizational contextual variables that are closely related to EOR outcomes (trust, commitment, satisfaction, and control mutuality). Based on a national sample of employees (n=795) working in diverse organizations in the US, the present study proposed and tested a model that examined how organizational procedural justice, transformational leadership behaviors of employees’ immediate supervisors, and supportive organizational environment, as three influential factors were associated with time-based and strain-based work-life conflict and employee-organization relationship outcomes. Results of the study supported the conceptual model, except for the direct effect of transformational leadership upon strain-based work-life conflict and that of strain-based work-life conflict upon quality of EORs. Theoretical contributions and managerial ramifications of the study were discussed.
Is there still a PR problem online? Exploring the effects of different sources and crisis response strategies in online crisis communication via social media • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Hyojung Park, Louisiana State University • This study examined how organizational sources (vs. non-organizational sources) affect perceived source credibility in the context of social media and how the effect of source interplays with crisis response strategy in determining crisis communication outcomes, such as crisis responsibility, reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions. A 3 (source: organization, CEO, or customer) X 2 (crisis response strategy: accommodative or defensive) X 2 (crisis type: airline crash or bank hacking) mixed experimental design was used with 391 participants. The organizational sources, especially CEOs, were more likely to be perceived as more credible than the non-organizational source. The path analysis indicated that perceived source credibility mediated the effect of source on reputation and behavioral intentions; however, this mediation was moderated by the type of crisis response strategy being used. In addition, crisis response strategies had an indirect effect on crisis communication outcomes through perceived company credibility.
Understanding public and its communicative actions as antecedents of government-public relationships in crisis communication • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Andrea Miller, Louisiana State University; Hyunji Lim, University of Miami • This study explored an effective government-public relationship by understanding its antecedents, public and its communicative actions, in crisis communication. The government-public relationship research has overlooked the importance of its antecedents and focused on the quality of relationship (outcome) in terms of long term relationship building. To fill the gap, the current study attempts to understand public and its communicative actions as antecedents of government-public relationships in a government crisis, problem-solving situation, by applying a Situational Theory of Problem Solving (STOPS) to relationship research. Using an online nationwide survey with 545 participants, this study tested a proposed model employing structural equation modeling (SEM). The findings indicate that active public’s communication behaviors are more likely to positively associate with attribution of responsibility on the organization and, at the same time, negatively associate with relationship outcomes and subsequent consequences, negative reputation and less behavioral intention to support. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The value of public relations: Different impacts of communal and exchange relationships on communicative behavior • Jarim Kim, Kookmin University; Minjung Sung, Chung-Ang University • The purpose of this paper was to investigate the impacts of relationship on organization-public relationships using the situational theory of publics and its extended model, specifically in a tuition issue context, and to test the different effects of a communal and exchange relationship on a public’s perception regarding the issue. The study employed a survey with 508 university students. The results indicated that the perceived student-university relationship had a positive influence on students’ constraint recognition regarding a university-related issue, whereas the relationship had a negative influence on problem recognition. Problem recognition, involvement recognition and constraint recognition positively predicted students’ motivation to take an action, which further predicted communicative action. The current study also found a different influence of communal and exchange relationships on the public’s perception regarding an issue. Communal relationships had a negative association with problem recognition and a positive one with constraint recognition. Exchange relationships had positive relationships with problem recognition and involvement recognition. As one of the few studies that has examined a relationship’s influence on the public’s perceptions of an issue and that empirically tested the differential effects of different types of relationships, this study advances the field of public relations by theoretically extending the public relations model and by providing solid empirical data to support the current conceptual model.
Examining the Role of CSR in Corporate Crises: Integration of Situational Crisis Communication Theory and the Persuasion Knowledge Model • Jeesun Kim, California State University, Fullerton; Chang-Dae Ham • The impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on consumer perceptions has widely been discussed. However, knowledge about the role of CSR communication in the corporate crisis context is still limited. In this study we aim to help fill this gap by conducting 2 (crisis type: accidental vs. intentional) x 2 (CSR motives: values-driven vs. strategic-driven) x 2 (CSR history: long vs. short) between-subjects design experiment. In particular, we integrate Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) with the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) to better understand how and why consumers, as an active public, cope with rather than simply accept or resist corporate crisis strategies based on their knowledge structure. We found an interaction effect between consumers’ persuasion knowledge (CSR motive perception) and topic knowledge (crisis type perception) on word-of-mouth intention and purchase intention. In addition, persuasion knowledge (CSR motive perception) interacted with agent knowledge (CSR history perception) on purchase intention. We discuss theoretical as well as practical implications.
Relational Immunity? Examining Relationship as Crisis Shield in the case of Purdue’s On-Campus Shooting • Arunima Krishna, Purdue University; Brian Smith, Purdue University; Staci Smith • This study examined the influence of a crisis on relational perceptions by investigating students’ perceptions of their relationship with Purdue University following the on-campus shooting. Findings show that despite the generally positive relationship Purdue maintains with its students, the crisis had a negative impact on the students’ perceptions of their relationship with Purdue. Furthermore, results show how publics’ emotions, especially empathy, about the organization regarding the crisis influence their evaluations of organization-public relationships
Understanding an Angry Hot-Issue Public’s response to The Interview Cancellation Saga • Arunima Krishna, Purdue University; Kelly Vibber, University of Dayton • This study examines comments on online news articles about The Interview’s cancellation and eventual release. We examine these comments from the context of communication behaviors of hot-issue angry publics, and present a longitudinal analysis of themes present over the duration of the issue. Anti-corporate sentiment, conspiracy, and questioning the film content/premise were consistent throughout the timeline. Discussion on how monitoring these types of communication might lead to better engagement with key publics is provided.
Never Easy to Say Sorry: Exploring the Interplay of Crisis Involvement, Brand Image and Message Framing in Developing Effective Crisis Responses • Soyoung Lee, The University of Texas at Austin; Lucy Atkinson, University of Texas at Austin • This study examines how the interplay between crisis involvement, brand image, and message framing has an impact on the effectiveness of brand’s apology message in a crisis context. To determine the effectiveness of an apology, based on SCCT guidance and ELM, a 2 (Crisis involvement: high vs low) × 2 (Brand image: symbolic vs. functional) × 2 (Message types: emotional vs. informational) factorial design are employed. Theoretical and empirical implications are discussed.
The Role of Company–Cause Congruence and the Moderating Effects of Organization–Public Relationships on the Negative Spillover Effects of Partnerships • Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota • The purpose of this study was to explore whether negative spillover effects occur in the corporate–nonprofit partnership context when a crisis strikes a partner organization, and to investigate two factors—company–cause congruence and organization–public relationships (OPRs)—that might affect the degree of negative impact. The results of an experiment proved negative spillover effects; when respondents were exposed to negative information about a partner organization, their attitude toward the principal organization became less favorable. Contrary to our hypotheses, however, the perceived congruence between the company and the cause of the nonprofit organization yielded buffering effects that minimized the negative spillover effects, and OPRs moderated the impacts. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications.
Understanding Consumer Resentment Before It’s too Late: Empirical Testing of A Service Failure Response Model • Zongchao Li; Don Stacks, University of Miami • This paper investigated consumer response mechanism in a service failure context. A Service Failure Response Model was introduced that incorporated emotive and cognitive antecedents, a mediation process and four behavioral outcomes. Data were collected via an online survey (N=371) and further analyzed using the structural equation modeling approach. Results confirmed the Service Failure Response Model: anger, dissatisfaction and perceived betrayal were emotive/cognitive antecedents that lead to consumers’ exit, voice, and revenge responses. This process was mediated by desire for avoidance and desire for revenge.
Crowd Endorsement on Social Media: Persuasive Effects of Organizations’ Retweeting and Role of Social Presence • Young-shin Lim; Roselyn J. Lee-Won, The Ohio State University • Despite the technological affordances of social media platforms allowing organizations to engage in two-way, many-to-many communication with their stakeholders, organizations tend to simply posts unilateral messages. Drawing on the concept of social presence and the theory of reasoned action, this research investigated the persuasive effects of organizations’ retweeting practices. An online experiment was conducted, featuring a Twitter page of a fictitious organization. Results showed that retweeted user messages, when compared with organization’s original tweets, induced higher levels of social presence, which in turn led to higher levels of social norm perception, more positive attitude toward the behavior advocated by the organization, and stronger intention to perform the advocated behavior. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Crucial Linkages in Successful Public Relations Practice: Organizational Culture, Leadership, Engagement, Trust and Job Satisfaction • Juan Meng, University of Georgia; Bruce Berger, University of Alabama • The study examines the effects of critical organizational factors (organizational culture and excellent leader performance) on public relations practitioners’ job engagement and trust in the organization that link to improved job satisfaction. A national online survey of 883 public relations professionals working in a variety of organizations was used as the empirical data to test the relationships in a proposed conceptual model. Results confirmed the strong impact organizational culture and leader performance can have on outcomes at the practitioner level (engagement, trust, and job satisfaction). In addition, results revealed the significant mediating effects of engagement and trust in the relationship between organizational factors and practitioners’ job satisfaction. The study concludes with research and practical implications.
Change Management Communication: Barriers, Strategies & Messaging • Marlene Neill, Baylor University • In a world characterized by constant change, there has been a neglect of scholarly research on change management communication in the context of public relations. Through 32 in-depth interviews with executives in marketing, public relations and human resources, this study provides new insights into the barriers, effective strategies and key messaging in change management communication. Change management was examined in 10 sectors representing 15 employers. Barriers for communicators included lack of a plan, changing plans, change fatigue and multiple cultures, missions and priorities. In addition, public relations tended to serve more of a tactical role rather than a strategic one being brought in after key decisions had already been made. Effective communication approaches internal communicators reported using included road trips by senior leaders to meet with employees, videos, testimonials, and recruiting employee ambassadors or influencers. Executives said messages should reinforce core values, communicate what the changes mean for employees, the benefits of the change and end goals.
Political Organization-Public Relations and Trust: Facebook vs. Campaign Websites • David Painter, Full Sail University • This experimental investigation (N = 649) parses the influence of online information source and interactivity on the effects of strategic campaign communications on gains in citizen-political organization-public relations and political trust. Although simple exposure exerted significant effects on all participants, the results indicate Facebook was differentially more effective than campaign websites at building overall citizen-political party relationships (POPRs) and trust in government. Specifically, Facebook was more effective at building relational trust, control mutuality, and political trust; while campaign websites were more effective at building satisfaction and commitment, particularly among those who engaged in dialogic, expressive behaviors on either platform. These findings verify the direction of the exposure effects in the political organization-public relations model and extend two-way communication theory by specifying the online platform on which expression exerts the greatest positive influence on citizen-political organization relationships and political trust.
Fashion Meets Twitter: Does the Source Matter? Perceived Message Credibility, Interactivity and Purchase Intention • Yijia Wang; Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University • Through an online survey, this study explored the perceived source credibility of fashion industry Twitter messages with varying message sources (the brand itself, celebrity endorser, friend/acquaintance). Online interactivity and purchase intention of potential customers were also assessed to examine if a particular message source and its credibility increase the likelihood of online engagement with the message and customers’ intention to purchase.
How Negative Becomes Less Negative: The Interplay between Comment Variance and the Sidedness of Company Response • Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota; Doori Song, Youngstown State University • The study examined the influence of the public’s negative comments regarding the CSR campaign in the social media setting, and how best to respond to them. A 2 (variance of comments: positive vs. negative) x 2 (company’s responding strategy: 1-sided vs. 2-sided message) between-subjects experiments was employed. The results revealed that two-sided CSR messages, compared to one-sided responses, are more effective in enhancing altruistic motives of CSR, reducing perceived negativity in consumers’ comments, and eliciting favorable public’s attitudes, especially when the consumer’s comments were negative. The effects of message sidedness disappeared when the consumer’s comments were positive. The results also showed that perceived altruism and perceived negativity mediates the effects of message strategies on the public’s attitudes toward the company.
Taking the ice bucket plunge: Social and psychological motivations for participating in the ALS challenge • Soojin Roh, Syracuse University; Tamara Makana Chock • An online survey (N = 511) investigated the impact of narcissistic personality, selective self-presentation, and the need for interpersonal acceptance in people’s decision to take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We also examined how and to what extent these factors differed in terms of the type of contribution (e.g. dumping water over head, donation, and doing both). Implications for social media campaign strategies for long-term engagement and directions for future research were discussed.
Time-lagged Analysis of Third-level Agenda-building: Florida’s Debate on Medical Marijuana • Tiffany Schweickart; Jordan Neil; Ji Young Kim; Josephine Lukito, Syracuse University; Tianduo Zhang; Guy Golan; Spiro Kiousis • This study aims to advance theoretical and practical understanding of political public relations in the context of Florida’s Amendment 2 about the legalization of medical marijuana. This unique context was used to explore the salience of stakeholders, issues, and related attributes between public relations messages and media coverage at all three-levels of agenda-building’s theoretical framework using a time-lagged analysis. Our results present strong support for shared influence between campaign and media agenda-building at three levels.
Biological Sex vs. Gender Identity: Nature vs. Nurture in Explicating Practitioner Roles and Salaries in Public Relations • Bey-Ling Sha, San Diego State University; Courtney White; Elpin Keshishzadeh; David Dozier • Using an online survey of members of the Public Relations Society of America (response rate = 14%), this study found that enactment of the manager and technician roles in public relations was unrelated to practitioners’ biological sex, but was related instead to their avowed, predominant gender identity. Both biological sex and predominant gender identity were found to contribute to the persistent, gendered pay gap in public relations. (67 words)
An Analysis of Tweets by Universities and Colleges: Public Engagement and Interactivity • jason Beverly; Jae-Hwa Shin, University of Southern Mississippi • The analysis of 1,550 individual tweets by colleges and universities suggest that institutions of higher learning are not necessarily using Twitter in a dialogic manner that promotes two-way communication. This supports findings from previous studies that have suggested that colleges and universities fail to incorporate the dialogic features of Twitter as part of their online public relations efforts.
Public Relations as Development Communication? Conceptual Overlaps and Prospects for a Societal Paradigm of Public Relations • Katie Brown, University of Maryland; Sylvia Guo, University of Maryland; Brooke Fowler, University of Maryland; Claire Tills, University of Maryland; Sifan Xu, University of Maryland; Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Maryland • A thorough discussion of the overlaps between development communication and public relations is missing from the literature. This paper provides a first step towards an integration of public relations and development by reviewing theories and concepts within development communication literature and public relations scholarship examining areas relevant to international development practice. The paper highlights theoretical and conceptual overlaps between the disciplines as well as similar challenges in practice, and offers suggestions for developing a societal paradigm of public relations.
The Importance of Authenticity in Corporate Social Responsibility • Mary Ann Ferguson; Baobao Song • This experimental research with 395 consumers explored the effects of prior corporate reputation, stated CSR motive (self vs. social), and CSR brand-cause fit on consumers’ attitude towards the company and behavioral intention. In addition, the study incorporated a new variable in CSR communication model – perceived CSR authenticity. Having a poor corporate reputation requires specific attention be paid to the fit and stated motive of the CSR program particularly when the authenticity of the communication is under suspicion. Corporate messages that are perceived as highly authentic will provide equally positive results for companies with good and bad prior reputations. Overall, this study suggested a holistic view on effective CSR communication.
Towards effective CSR in controversial industry sectors: Effect of industry sector, corporate reputation, and company-cause fit • Baobao Song; Jing (Taylor) Wen, University of Florida; Mary Ann Ferguson • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been well recognized as a critical component for any company to maintain organizational legitimacy and increase consumers’ positive company evaluation. However, only a few CSR studies have focused on controversial industries. In fact, controversial industry sectors tend to be more committed to CSR, in order to defy their negative images and reputations. Given the conflicted nature of companies in controversial industries, this study is aimed to further unveil the differences between controversial industries and non-controversial industries in terms of CSR outcomes. Particularly, this study tries to dissect the concept of corporate reputation from industry controversy, and examine whether corporate reputation and CSR company-cause fit will affect controversial industries vs. non-controversial industries differently.
Do you see what I see? Perceptions between advertising and public relations professionals • Dustin Supa, Boston University • This study represents an initial step in the empirical understanding of integration as it relates to the advertising and public relations fields. Using a survey of practitioners (n=1076) it finds that while many practitioners are aware of integration efforts within organizations, they may be less than enthusiastic about the concept. The results offer suggestions both for the practice and education of professional communication.
Understanding Shareholder Engagement: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility • Nur Uysal, Marquette University • The rise of shareholder activism for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in recent years charters a new role for public relations professionals. This study analyzes social activism enacted by institutional shareholders through filing resolutions at publicly traded U.S. corporations between 1997 and 2011 (N = 14, 271). Building on the literature in public relations, management, and social movements, the study develops and tests a theory of shareholder engagement through a tripartite framework. The findings showed that corporate stakeholder commitment, issue type, and sponsor type affect the outcomes of shareholder activist-corporate engagement on CSR issues. We argue that CSR is both an antecedent to engagement and also an outcome and public relations professionals can facilitate the engagement process between corporations and shareholder activists groups on mutually acceptable social expectations.
PR Credibility as News Unfolds: How Perceptions Gauged in Real Time and Post Exposure Differ • Matthew S. VanDyke, Texas Tech University; Coy Callison, Texas Tech University • This study investigates how perceptions of news conference sources vary from measures taken in real-time to those taken retrospectively after exposure by having participants (N = 184) view four organizational spokespersons responding to environmental crises. Results suggest while PR practitioner credibility suffers in comparison to that of other sources when participants evaluate following exposure, practitioners see a real-time bump in trustworthiness following revelation of job title that is common across other source job affiliations.
Within-border foreign publics: Micro-diplomats and their impact on a nation’s soft power • Kelly Vibber, University of Dayton; Jeong-Nam Kim • This study tests the relationship between antecedents of the perceived relationship a within-border foreign public (e.g. international students) has with its host country (e.g. the United States) and how this relationship impacts their communicative action to their social networks living in their home country (e.g. positive or negative megaphoning). It also examines the role this megaphoning has on the communicative action of members of the home country, in order to understand the potential of micro-diplomacy.
Experimenting with dialogue on social media: An examination of the influence of the dialogic principles on engagement, interaction, and attitude • Brandi Watkins, Virginia Tech • Much of the public relations research on online relationship building has examined social media content for the use of the dialogic principles outlined by Kent and Taylor (1998). These studies, using content analysis as the primary methodology, have found that the dialogic capabilities of social media are under-utilized. However, there is limited research on the effectiveness of these methods. Therefore, the goal of this study is to examine the influence of social media content utilizing these principles on engagement, interactivity, and attitude. Results of this study indicate that usefulness of information can have a significant influence on engagement and attitude.
Examining the Importance and Perceptions of Organizational Autonomy among Dominant Coalition Members • Christopher Wilson, Brigham Young University • Scholars have defined the value of public relations in terms of organizational autonomy. Nevertheless, only a few public relations studies have attempted to measure it. In addition, there is no empirical research to document whether or not dominant coalition members actually consider organizational autonomy important. This study seeks to advance theory by examining whether this fundamental concept is as important to public relations as current theories assume it to be.
Public Relations Role in the Global Media Ecology: Connecting the World as Network Managers • Aimei Yang, University of Southern California; Maureen Taylor; Wenlin Liu, University of Southern California • Media studies in public relations have predominantly focused on the dyadic relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists. This focus reduces public relations practitioners to information providers and obscures the broader functions of public relations. We argue that this narrow view of media relations as public relations is increasingly outdated. This paper advocates for a network ecology approach to public relations-media relationships, and identifies four roles that public relations organizations perform in a media network ecology: relationship initiator, relationship facilitator, relationship broker and fully functioning society facilitator.
Estimating the Weights of Media Tonalities in the Measurement of Media Coverage of Corporations • XIAOQUN ZHANG, University of North Texas • This study estimated the weights of media tonalities in the measurement of media coverage of corporations by using linear regression analysis. Two new measures were developed based on these estimations. These two new measures were found to have higher predictive power than most other linear function measures in predicting corporate reputation. The estimations were based on a content analysis of 2817 news articles from both elite newspapers and local newspapers.
A Case Study of the Chinese Government’s Crisis Communication on the 2015 Shanghai Stampede Incident • Lijie Zhou, University of Southern Mississippi; Jae-Hwa Shin, University of Southern Mississippi • This study analyzed the Chinese government’s crisis communication efforts during 2015 Shanghai Stampede incident and offered insight into difference between traditional and social media in relation to media frame, response strategy, government stance and role of emotions. Findings indicated traditional and social media followed similar dynamic pattern across lifespan of the incident, yet revealed different features in message frames and presence of emotions. The government has demonstrated changing stances differently in social and traditional media.
Hootsuite University: Equipping Academics and Future PR Professionals for Social Media Success • Emily S. Kinsky, West Texas A&M University; Karen Freberg, University of Louisville; Carolyn Kim, Biola University; Matthew Kushin, Shepherd University; William Ward • Through survey and in-depth interviews, this research examines the social media education program Hootsuite University. Researchers assessed perceptions of Hootsuite University among students who completed the certification program as part of communication courses at five U.S. universities between 2012 and 2014. Researchers also assessed perceptions of professors and employers regarding the value of the program. Implications for public relations education in an age of social media are discussed.
Teaching, tweeting, and telecommuting: Experiential and cross-institutional learning through social media • Stephanie Madden, University of Maryland; Rowena Briones, Virginia Commonwealth University; Julia Daisy Fraustino, West Virginia University; Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis • This study explores how to improve student preparedness for a technological working world. Instructors at four institutions created and implemented a cross-institutional group project that required students to create and share an instructional video on a social media topic. Students then discussed the videos and teleworking experience through three subsequent cross-institutional Twitter chats. Results include suggestions for helping students learn through teaching, and a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of teleworking.
Exploring diversity and client work in public relations education • Katie Place, Quinnipiac University; Antoaneta Vanc • This exploratory study examined public relations students’ meaning making of diversity and the role of diverse client work within the public relations curriculum. Findings are based on in-depth interviews with 19 students at two private universities who completed a public relations campaign course. Findings illustrate the evolution of students’ interpretation of diversity from passive exposure to active awareness to a new mindset. In addition, it offers insights regarding public relations and diversity pedagogy.
The Best of Both Worlds: Student Perspectives on Student-Run Advertising and Public Relations Agencies • Joyce Haley, Abilene Christian University; Margaret Ritsch, Texas Christian University; Jessica Smith, Abilene Christian University • Student-led advertising and/or public relations agencies have increasingly become an educational component of university ad/PR programs. Previous research has established the value that advisers see in the agencies, and this study reports student perceptions of agency involvement. The survey (N=210) found that participants rated the ability to work with real clients, the importance of their universities having agencies, and the increase in their own job marketability as the most positive aspects of the agency experience. Participants said that the most highly rated skills that agency participation built were working with clients, working in a team structure, and interpersonal skills.
An Examination of Social TV & OPR Building: A Content Analysis of Tweets Surrounding The Walking Dead • Lauren Auverset, University of Alabama • This study investigated a growing second-screen media phenomenon, Social TV, and examined how entertainment media organizations utilize Social TV to communicate with their publics. A content analysis was conducted using publicly available conversations (via Twitter) surrounding a popular television program, AMC’s The Walking Dead. Through the analysis of these Social TV dialogic exchanges, this study highlights how one entertainment media organization uses Social TV and Twitter to respond to and interact with their online publics.
Attribution Error of Internal Stakeholders in Assessments of Organizational Crisis Responsibility • Jonathan Borden, Syracuse University; Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida • This paper sheds further light on the mechanics of responsibility attribution for organizations in crisis. Utilizing a two-group experimental design, relationships of organizational identification, evaluation, collective self-esteem, in-group preference, attribution bias, and attitudes regarding norm violation were examined among stakeholders in the post-crisis phase. Findings show that identification with and assessment of the organization are linked and significant predictors of attribution bias and violation minimization. Theoretical and professional implications are discussed.
SeaWorld vs Blackfish A Case Study in Crisis Communication • Ken Cardell • This case study examines SeaWorld’s strategic response following from the release of Blackfish. An analysis of SeaWorld’s communicative response to various reputational threats can be understood through the application of corporate apologia theory, by explicating the message strategies used within the discourse. Elements of Grunig’s conception of activist publics are also used to provide perspective as to the factors that contributed to the level of opposition that followed from Blackfish.
To whom do they listen? The effects of communication strategy and eWOM on consumer responses • Zifei Chen, University of Miami; Cheng Hong, University of Miami • This study examined the effects of corporate communication strategy and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) valence on responses from an important stakeholder group—consumers on social media. A 3 (communication strategy: corporate social responsibility/CSR, vs. corporate ability/CAb, vs. hybrid) x 2 (eWOM valence: positive vs. negative) between-subjects experiment was conducted. Results showed significant interaction effects on consumers’ CSR associations and significant main effects of both strategy and eWOM valence on CAb associations, perceived reputation, and purchase intention.
A New Look at Organization-Public Relationship: Testing Contingent Corporation-Activist Relationship (CCAR) in Conflicts • Yang Cheng, University of Missouri • Content analyses of 696 news information on the conflicts between corporations (Monsanto and McDonald’s) and their activists provide a natural history of the use of contingent organization-public relationship (COPR) in public relations. By tracking the changing stances of each corporation and its activists longitudinally, results generate the frequency and direction of six types of contingent corporation-activist relationship (CCAR) over time. Findings show that CCAR is dynamic and contingent upon stances of both parties on a specific issue. No matter the conflict is finally resolved or not, competing relationship occurs more frequently than cooperating relationship does in the conflict management process, which supports the argument that both parties in conflicts maintain a competitive relationship for self-interests, and when possible may adopt strategies to achieve mutual benefits. Theoretical and practical implications of findings are discussed.
Public Relations’ Role in Trust Building for Social Capital • Shugofa Dastgeer, University of Oklahoma • Social capital is a building block of social and political communities. At the same time, trust is the foundational prerequisite for the formation of social capital. Public relations plays a role in fostering social capital and trust in society. This paper proposes a model for public relations in building trust for social capital. The model illustrates that trust, communication, and engagement are vital for the development of social capital.
Stealing thunder and filling the silence: Twitter as a primary channel of police crisis communication • Brooke Fowler, University of Maryland • Twitter can be used successfully by police departments as a channel for stealing thunder and establishing the department as a credible news source. A case study on the Howard County Police Department’s use of Twitter during the Columbia Mall Shooting was conducted. Results reveal the potential benefits and limitations of using Twitter to steal thunder and a new technique, filling the silence, is proposed for maintaining an audience once an organization has stolen thunder.
Between Ignorance and Engagement: Exploring the Effects of Corporations’ Communicatory Engagement With Their Publics on Social Networking Sites • Eun Go • Two-way communication tools have expanded and magnified the range and scope of interactions between an organization and its publics. To understand the value of such communication tools, the present study identifies significant psychological factors as outcomes of using these tools. Employing a series of mediation analyses (N=148), this study particularly explores how the commenting function on social networking sites can be strategically used to promote online users’ favorable attitudes toward an organization. The findings show that active communication by an organization via the commenting function promotes favorable attitudes toward the organization by way of heightening the organization’s social presence and creating enhanced perceptions of the organization’s relational commitment. On the other hand, an organization’s dismissal of its users’ comments leaves a negative impression, suggesting to the public that the organization has exaggerated its social commitment. Further theoretical and practical implications of the study are also discussed.
Crisis Response Strategies of Sports Organizations and Its Fans: The Case of Ray Rice • Eunyoung Kim, University of Alabama • This study employs a content analysis to examine how a sports organization and its fans interactively used social media and how they utilized crisis response strategies in the Ray Rice case. The study compares crisis response strategies by the Baltimore Ravens team and its identified fans through social media. The results confirm (a) interactive use of Twitter with hyperlink, (b) utilization of separation strategy, and (c) sports fans’ communicating role with various strategies.
CSR without transparency is not good enough: Examining the effect of CSR fit and transparency efforts on skepticism and trust toward organizations • Hyosun Kim, Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Tae Ho Lee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • In order to tackle recent challenges surrounding CSR initiatives—stakeholder skepticism—this study aims to understand how CSR fit and transparency affect the enhancement of trust and encourage organization advocacy while lessening skepticism. In a 2 (CSR fit) X 2 (levels of transparency) between-subject experiment, this study discovered a significant main effect of transparency on skepticism, trust, and organization advocacy. A significant interaction on trust was also found, suggesting that low fit with high transparency increases trust.
Institutional Pressure and Transparency in CSR Disclosure: A Content Analysis of CSR Press Releases at CSRwire.com • Tae Ho Lee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This content analysis examines CSR press releases from 2007 to 2014, finding that coercive institutional pressures as manifested in CSR press releases are significantly related to a low level of accountability—one of the three transparency dimensions. This confirms previous suggestions that coercive isomorphism would generate nominal compliance without substantive efforts. Additionally, the integration of global perspectives from institutional theory and the general representation of transparency in CSR press releases are investigated and discussed.
Reputation from the inside out: Examining how nonprofit employees perceive the top leader influencing reputation • Laura Lemon, University of Tennessee • In-depth interviews with nonprofit employees were conducted to examine how nonprofit employees perceive the top leader and the top leader’s influence on the organization’s reputation. Participant perceptions primarily focused on positive and negative personality attributes that contributed to or detracted from perceptions of leadership style. One emergent finding was that most participants considered the top leader responsible for employee engagement. Additionally, some employees perceived the organization’s reputation as starting with the top leader. The top leader’s ability to create an internal participatory environment was the primary influence on the organization’s internal reputation. Participants perceived the top leader as the face of the organization and being recognized as an expert influencing the organization’s external reputation. One significant contribution from this study was the role of supporting manager that emerged in the interviews. In the case of perceived poor leadership, a supporting manager stepped in to compensate for the top leader’s management weaknesses.
Another crisis for government after crisis: A case study of South Korean government’s crisis communication on the Sewol Ferry disaster • Se Na Lim, university of alabama; Eunyoung Kim, University of Alabama • The current study investigates the crisis response strategies of South Korean government organizations on social media after the Sewol Ferry disaster. By conducting content analysis of 288 posts on Facebook of 13 South Korean government organizations, this study assesses their communication response strategies based on framing and situational crisis communication theory. The findings indicate that South Korea government organizations perceive the crisis with various perspectives and accordingly use various crisis response strategies.
Enhancing OPR Management through SNSs: The Role of Organizations’ SNS Message Strategies and Message Interactivity • Xinyu Lu, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Hao Xu, University of Minnesota • Heeding the limited research on the effects of corporate SNS communication strategies on relationship building, this experimental study examined the effects of two corporate SNS communication strategies—message strategies and message interactivity—on relationship building. The results suggest that both message strategies and message interactivity have strong effects on publics’ perception of organization-public relationship outcomes. Moreover, people’s identification with a company to some extent moderates the effects of these two strategies.
I am One of Them: A Social Identity Approach to Crisis Communication • Liang Ma • This study focused on how an individual’s ethnic and organizational memberships influence his/her emotional and cognitive experiences in a crisis. College students (N = 638) from a mid-Atlantic university participated in an online quasi-experiment. SEM was used to test the mediation model. Organizational membership protects organizational reputation and increases guilt. Shared ethnicity with victims has no effects on either organizational reputation or anger. Guilt threatens organizational reputation indirectly via anger. Reputation then predicts NWOM intentions.
Government Relationship-Building Practices Online: An Analysis of Capital City Websites • Lindsay McCluskey, Louisiana State University • Government public relations professionals have many opportunities to communicate directly with their publics; however, some practitioners have expressed concern about their website efforts. Websites are one popular and consequential medium for engagement and the government organization-public relationship. This study examines the website homepages of 50 capital cities through qualitative content analysis. The researcher assesses what website features and characteristics promote and advance Hon and Grunig’s relationship outcomes and Kent and Taylor’s dialogic public relations principles.
If Anything Can Go Wrong, It Will: Murphy’s Law, and the Unintended Consequences of Deliberate Communication • Timothy Penn, University of Maryland • Murphy’s Law popularly describes the unpredictable and often capricious relationship between humans and the modern technological world. The global media environment, changing cultural landscapes and changing social norms amplify this phenomenon. This case study explores this phenomenon by examining the JWT India, Ford Figo advertising campaign scandal. Poster cartoons, submitted for an advertising competition, that featured popular sport, celebrity and political figures kidnapping other celebrities, caused a worldwide media sensation, and led to the resignation of JWT executives. Borrowing from sociological theory, this exploratory study uses Merton’s (1936) typology of the unanticipated consequences of social action as a lens to analyze factors that led to JWT’s releasing the ads, and the worldwide reaction to them. The study used qualitative textual analysis of traditional and social media, on-line interviews and web logs. Analysis found five themes of Merton’s typology, lack of foreknowledge, habit, myopia, values, and self-defeating prediction, could partially explain or describe both the campaign’s release and the subsequent worldwide media reaction. Future research could lead to developing a typology of unintended consequences of deliberate communication for public relations.
Mobile Technology and Public Engagement: Exploring the Effects of College Students’ Mobile Phone Use on Their Public Engagement • Yuan Wang, University of Alabama • Mobile communication technology has been exerting a substantial impact on our society and daily lives. This study examined the effects of college students’ mobile phone use on their public engagement and the impacts of public engagement on behavioral intentions. More specifically, it conducted a survey of 409 college students in the United States to investigate college students’ use of mobile phone for information seeking and social media applications. The current study could advance the literature on public relations and mobile communication technology. Furthermore, this study could make some practical implications for university management to utilize mobile technology effectively to engage their students and establish relationships with them.
Ethical Approaches to Crisis Communication in Chemical Crises: A Content Analysis of Media Coverage of Chemical Crises from 2010 to 2014 • Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida; Jonathan Borden, Syracuse University • Through a content analysis of media coverage of chemical crises in the U.S. from 2010 to 2014, this study examined chemical companies’ crisis communication strategies. Results revealed that, compared with large Fortune 500 corporations, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) were more likely to delay their response and to use more legal strategies and less public relations strategies. SMEs were also less likely to use base response strategies in their crisis response.
The Uses and Gratifications Theory and the Future of Print Magazines • Elizabeth Bonner, University of Alabama • In the midst of the persistent discussion that print journalism is dying, data suggests many magazines are still thriving, particularly with Millennial audiences. The uses and gratifications theory emerges as a pivotal tool for magazines hoping to make it through this time of technological transformation. If print magazines wish to survive, they must make efforts to understand how this instrumental Millennial demographic uses magazines and what gratifications its members seek in those uses.
Finding the Future of Magazines in the Past: Audience Engagement with the First 18th-Century Magazines • Elizabeth Bonner, University of Alabama • In the midst of the discussion that print journalism lacks value today because it cannot provide the interactive platform modern audiences desire, data suggests many magazines are thriving. Assessing this print versus digital debate in the context of historical magazines reveals readers’ desire for interactivity is actually age old. This study examines the audience engagement efforts of America’s first two magazines founded in 1741 and seeks to shed light on the future of print magazines.
Survivors and Dreamers: A Rhetorical Vision of Teen Voices magazine • Ellen Gerl, Ohio University • This study explores how Teen Voices, a magazine written and edited by teenage girls, created a rhetorical vision of empowerment through its text and photographs. Using social convergence theory and fantasy theme analysis, the researcher identified four fantasy types: 1) I am a survivor, 2) I am a dreamer, 3) I am an activist, and 4) I can do anything. Findings discussed within the framework of third wave feminism show the rhetorical community established within Teen Voices magazine valued individualism and personal strength.
App Assets: An Exploratory Analysis of Magazine Brands’ Digital Drive for Audience Attention • Elizabeth Hendrickson, Ohio University; Yun Li • This research examines the evolution of today’s consumer magazine content distribution and considers how a media organization’s digital developments might reflect a further tapering of consumer demographics. This study applies the diffusion of innovation framework to magazine media convergence trends and explores how the industry’s leading publishing organizations respond to the changing needs and expectations of its already-niche audiences.
The Ethics of Common Sense: Considering the Ethics Decision-Making Processes of Freelance Magazine Journalists • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri • Freelance journalists face many of the same ethical dilemmas as journalists working in newsrooms. Because they work independently for various organizations, they may develop different strategies for making ethical decisions. This study used in-depth interviews with freelance magazine journalists (N = 14) to explore how they define ethical dilemmas and the individual and organizational frameworks guiding their decision-making. The study sheds light on the forces shaping ethical decision-making, particularly in the context of magazine journalism.
Picturing Cities: A Semiotic Analysis of City and Regional Magazine Cover Images • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri; Keith Greenwood • City and regional magazines serve multiple functions in communities, providing ideas for how residents should spend their time and money and offering insight into the people and experiences that define urban life. The covers of these publications both promote this content and reveal the images of cities these magazines perpetuate. This study used content analysis to examine the covers of nine award-winning city and regional magazines. The study aimed to assess the philosophy of selection the magazines used when choosing cover content, particularly whether covers were created to accurately reflect the community and the challenges and opportunities it faces or to enhance sales through promoting a limited vision of urban life. The analysis indicated that city magazines focused on items to be consumed over depictions of people, but when people did appear, they reflected a narrow demographic slice of city’s populations. The magazines also emphasized lifestyle topics and more often represented generic backdrops than specific locations. Lastly, the covers relied on photographic approaches through which readers could establish social connections with the subjects presented. These findings suggest that city magazines emphasize depictions of affluent urban lifestyles over representing more diverse images of city life.
Looking Westwards: Men in Transnational Men’s Magazine Advertising in India • Suman Mishra • This study examines advertising content of four top-selling Indian editions of transnational men’s lifestyle magazines (Men’s Health India, GQ India, FHM India, Maxim India) to understand how it is constructing masculinity for urban Indian men. Through content analysis, the study finds greater presence of international brands and Caucasian models than domestic Indian brands and models in the advertisements. Male models often appear alone and in decorative roles as opposed to professional roles promoting clothing and accessories. Advertisements with sexual explicitness and physical contact are few, which is in line with global trends and local conservative Indian culture. The study discusses the emergence of class-based masculinity that helps to assimilate the upper class Indian men into global consumer base through shared ideals, goals and values.
A Boondoggle in Space: Themes in 1960s Era Space Exploration Journalism • Jennifer Scott, Regent University; Stephen Perry • The success of Sputnik I in 1957 both propelled Russia to the forefront of the Space Race and challenged the United States to invest more time, resources, manpower, and finances into space exploration. By the 1960s, skepticism grew concerning the United States’ objectives and ability to enter space and eventually reach the moon. This study examines articles published in The Saturday Evening Post that editorialize on the U.S. space program. A fantasy theme analysis shows exaggerated and negative language used to inflate the severity of the Space Race and criticize the United States’ failures and disorganization. Themes emerge in the articles that construct a rhetorical vision of the United States far behind Russia in the highly dangerous, overly expensive, and severely wasteful arena of space travel.
Sexuality and Relationships in Cosmopolitan for Latinas Online and Cosmopolitan Online • Chelsea Reynolds, University of Minnesota SJMC • Since 2012, leading publishers have launched magazines targeting Latina readers. This study positions those titles within the larger Latino marketing boom and problematizes their representations of Latina women. This qualitative framing analysis contrasts frames of sexuality and relationships in Sex & Love articles published on Cosmo For Latinas online with those from Cosmopolitan online. While CFL stereotyped Latinas’ bodies as caught up in political and family struggles, Cosmo focused on readers’ sexual and romantic autonomy.