High Expectations For Second AEJMC Trip to California’s Bay Area

The countdown is on for the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), which begins this week in San Francisco.

For those of us who teach journalism at the college level, THIS is the big conference of the year as AEJMC is a “one-stop” shopping place for updates on the cutting-edge scholarship in the field, teaching techniques that we can use to “freshen up” our courses that start in a couple of weeks and a place to learn trends that are influencing what we do as academic leaders in this arena of journalism education.

It will be my second trip to the so-called “Bay Area.”  My last trip was for this same conference in 2006.   My last trip was only for two days, enough time to present a research paper and make a visit to a local television station.

This time I will have an opportunity to do a couple of off-site visits this week in addition to catching up with my fellow journalism and mass communication educators from around the country.

Five Questions I Hope to Answer This Week

googleplex1.  Is Googleplex really all that’s it’s cracked up to be?
The AEJMC Media Management and Economics (MME) Division is gathering for an daylong visit to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. this week.  Looking forward to catching up with MME Colleagues and seeing what the Google campus is like.     Google is definitely as important as any traditional media company in mass communication today.

CLS - Portraits
Tim Wu

2.  What is Net Neutrality Theory and Can Tim Wu Predict What’s Going to Happen Next?
The matter of how to regulate the Internet has been a big topic of discussion in communication policy circles.  The man who wrote the book on Net Neutrality Theory is kicking off our conference.  Reading his book, The Master Switch, now and am looking forward to Professor Wu’s keynote address on Thursday night as the conference officially opens.
3.  How much interest is there in media coverage of race in the wake of recent events in South Carolina?

I’ve been tapped to moderate a “Hot Topics” Roundtable on the recent events in Charleston, SC and the debate over the Confederate flag.   We struggled to get this topic on the conference program at the very last minute.  But, I’m interested in seeing just how many AEJMC members show up to engage in dialogue with our dynamic panelists.

4.  Is The Weather Really Cooler in the Bay Area?

I remember last time in San Francisco it didn’t always feel like summer.  The slightly cooler temperatures reminded me more of fall.   Wonder will it be like that this time?

5.  Which is better San Jose or San Francisco?

With a guest appearance on KQED-TV’s Equal Time later this week,  I’ll have to visit San Jose, California for the first time.  The public affairs program is produced out of studios at San Jose State University.  I’m just curious of the three major cities in this area– Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, which is best place to live?

A Special Time for U. of Alabama

This will be a memorable AEJMC conference for those of us from “The Capstone of Higher Education” as the University of Alabama will receive the 2015 Equity and Diversity Award.     We are so grateful for the recognition of our diversity efforts here at an institution known as the place where a former governor stood in “The Schoolhouse Door.”

Also, my colleague, Margot Lamme has been nominated for a top book award.   We’ll find out if she’s the winner later this week.

Jennifer Greer
Jennifer Greer

Along with receiving these awards,  we’ll see our Former Interim Dean Jennifer Greer ascend to the position of vice president of the organization.    Greer, who was my department chair in journalism for more than five years,  is now the associate provost for administration here at University of Alabama.

And, on Saturday, I will accept the Robert P. Knight Multicultural Award from the AEJMC Scholastic Journalism Division.   Excited to have a chance to talk briefly about some of ways we have worked here to turn pre-college students on to journalism.

Should be an great week all the way around.   I hope to provide a few updates here along the way.

Five Words for AEJMC In the Coming Year

Some suggestions are made for the organizers of the AEJMC Annual Conferences in the future.

AEJMC Members raise their hands to vote on a proposal introduced at Friday's business meeting in St. Louis

ST LOUIS– We’ve been posting from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual Conference (AEJMC), which ended Saturday.

So it’s time to move on from this gathering that’s arguably the biggest of the year for me as a journalism educator.

There are some topics on which I will continue to post even though the conference is over.

But, in this final update, I address some of the AEJMC organization-specific issues that may have not been reported else.  This kind of “inside baseball”  stuff is often left to those in leadership to decide.

Continue reading “Five Words for AEJMC In the Coming Year”

Winners of AEJMC awards help further association’s diversity efforts

Research award winners from the 2011 AEJMC Annual Convention reflect a new level of ethnic and gender diversity in award recipients.

ST LOUIS–While it probably never crossed the minds of the various selection committees, the winners of several of the top awards at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) reflect what appears to be a new level of diversity.

For a number of years, women have risen through the ranks of AEJMC leadership to become president.  In fact, three of the last five presidents are women.  The new president, Linda Steiner will continue the female dominance of this position.

Next year in Chicago, a man, Kyo Ho Youm, will lead the organization. A native of South Korea, Youm will to be succeeded in 2013 by Paula Poindexter, an African American woman.

Despite the diversity in these leadership roles, change has been slower to come in the ranks of those receiving top honors for their research and scholarship.

In an association like this, one’s scholarly profile is equally, if not more important than a particular office or leadership position held.

“We don’t realize the importance of role models, of being part of a group where you don’t see anybody like you,” said Felix Gutierrez, a professor of journalism and communication at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication. ”

After this convention, young women will see that they can be recognized for their sustained scholarly contributions.  International graduate students can look to this year’s award winners and see AEJMC as a place that doesn’t allow a language barrier or a cultural difference to keep  them from making an important in the contributing new knowledge to the field of mass communication.

At least two of the faculty award-winners have international backgrounds while a third has broken a significant gender barrier.

First Woman Deutschmann Winner

-6 books
-50 journal articles
-25 book chapters

Those are just some of the scholarly stats on Sharon Dunwoody, the Evjue-Bascom Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The former president of AEJMC on Friday became the first woman to receive one of the association’s highest honors, an award that is NOT given every year– the Paul J. Deutschmann Award.

2 terminal degrees, Mission To Fight Cancer Among Latinos

It wasn’t enough for Mugur Geana to receive his Medical Doctor degree from the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania.  He had to go back to school and work on another terminal degree, a Ph.D. in Strategic Communications from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Now he’s working on using his dual background to help fight colorectal cancer in the Latino community.

Expert  on Psychosocial Properties of Digital Media

He may have a long last name, but those who know “Sri” in AEJMC know what Sri Kalyanaraman has contributed to knowledge of digital media.

He started building his national profile as a scholar as a doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University.  Now he’s an associate professor on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill faculty.  On Friday, he was recognized for his early career contributions to the field.

On this 40th anniversary of AEJMC’s Minorities and Communication Division, it is worth noting how much ethnic and gender diversity is reflected in those chosen for scholarly recognition at this 94th gathering of the nation’s largest group of journalism and mass media educators.

“When I joined AEJ, I was glad there was a Minorities and Communications Division of which to be a part,” Gutierrez said.

Times Writer, Movie Star Brian Stelter to Appear at AEJMC Conference Wednesday

New York Times Media Reporter Brian Stelter will appear on an 1:30 p.m. AEJMC Panel Discussion on “Social Media on Crisis Coverage and Crisis Management During ​a Natural Disaster.”

ST. LOUIS– Even though I haven’t yet seen his performance in the new Page One film, Brian Stelter will be making an appearance Wednesday here at the AEJMC Annual Conference.   So I’ll at least get to hear the New York Times media reporter in person.

You may remember earlier this summer I did an analysis of Stelter’s tweets during the Joplin, MO tornado.

On Wednesday, he talks about the “Impact of Social Media on Crisis Coverage and Crisis Management During a Natural Disaster.”  The 1:30 p.m. session occurs exactly 24 hours before I lead a session on the teaching aspect of extreme weather.

In an interview published by Dailyactor.com last month, Stelter  said Twitter  is:

  1. An early warning system for breaking news
  2. A tool for interacting with readers
  3. A great way to promote and improve our work.
We’ll look to see WHAT ELSE he says about this particular social media outlet on Wednesday.