38th Annual AJHA Convention
Dallas, TX   |   Oct. 3-5, 2019

Convention contacts

Convention Coordinator
Caryl Cooper
University of Alabama

Registration Coordinator
Ken Ward
Lamar University

Program Coordinator
Aimee Edmondson

Ohio University

Convention hosts

Erika Pribanic-Smith
University of Texas at Arlington

Melita Garza
Texas Christian University

James Mueller
University of North Texas


Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement: Debra Reddin van Tuyll

AJHA's highest honor, the Kobre Award, recognizes individuals with an exemplary record of sustained achievement in journalism history through teaching, research, professional activities, or other contributions to the field of journalism history.

This year's honoree is Debra van Tuyll from Augusta University, who has been an important contributor to AJHA, serving as a member of the Board of Directors from 2005-2008 and 2016-present, the Convention and Sites Committee from 2005-2008, and a judge for AJHA’s Book Award competition from 2003-2004.

VanTuyll will be honored during the awards reception Thursday, Oct. 3. Read the news release.

National Award for Excellence in Teaching

Presented at the annual Awards Luncheon, the National Award for Excellence in Teaching honors a college or university teacher who excels at teaching in the areas of journalism and mass communication history, makes a positive impact on student learning, and offers an outstanding example for other educators. An honorarium of $500 accompanies the prize.

This year's winner is David Vergobbi from the University of Utah. In selecting Vergobbi for the honor,  AJHA’s education committee members noted Vergobbi’s sustained excellence in all areas of teaching, as well as a commitment to involvement and interaction, as cornerstones of the courses he’s taught. He has been on the faculty at Utah since 1992.

Verboggi will be honored during the awards reception Thursday, Oct. 3. Read the news release.

AJHA Book of the Year Award: Thomas Aiello

AJHA's Book of the Year Award recognizes the best book in journalism history or mass media history published during the previous calendar year.

This year's winner is Thomas Aiello of Valdosta State for his book,“The Grapevine of the Black South: The Scott Newspaper Syndicate in the Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement,” his study of study of the preeminent black press in the Southern states.

Three authors earned honorable mention for their books:

  • Matthew Pressman, Seton Hall, “On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News”
  • Ronald D. Rogers, Florida, “The Struggle for the Soul of Journalism: The Pulpit versus the Press, 1833-1923”
  • Michael Stamm, Michigan State, “Dead Tree Media: Manufacturing the Newspaper in Twentieth-Century North America”

The award will be presented during the book award panel on Saturday, Oct. 5. Read the news release.

Margaret A. Blanchard Dissertation Prize: Rich Shumate

Since 1997, AJHA has presented the Blanchard Prize for the best doctoral dissertation dealing with mass communication history completed during the prior calendar year.

This year's winner is Rich Shumate, who completed his dissertation, “Elite Voices and Irritated Conservatives: Pathways Leading to the Perception of Liberal Media Bias Arising from Elite News Media Coverage of the Emergence of Movement Conservatism, 1960-1964," at the University of Florida under the direction of Huan Chen.

The following scholars earned honorable mention for their dissertations:

  • Jeremy Chatelain (University of Utah; director, Kimberley Mangun)
  • Elisabeth Fondren (Louisiana State University; director, John Maxwell Hamilton)
  • Jason Lee Guthrie (University of Georgia; director, Janice Hume)

All four award recipients will discuss their work in a special conference session on Oct. 4. Read the news release.

American Journalism Rising Scholar Award: Cristina Mislán

Editors of AJHA's quarterly academic journal American Journalism present the Rising Scholar Award at the annual General Business Meeting to recognize the achievements and potential of an untenured scholar who shows promise in extending her or his research agenda.

This year's winner is Dr. Cristina Mislán of the Missouri School of Journalism. She is currently working on a book that will address a unique angle of media coverage of the Cuban Revolution.

The award comes with $2,000 in research funding, underwritten by a gift from Stan Cloud in honor of his wife, the late Barbara Cloud, an early member and former president of AJHA. Read the news release.

Best American Journalism Article: Cynthia B. Meyers

The Best Article Award honors research published in American Journalism within the last year that is original, rigorous, and makes an outstanding contribution to developing scholarship in the field of journalism and mass communication history.

This year's winner is Cynthia B. Meyers of the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Her award-winning article, “The March of Time Radio Docudrama: Time Magazine, BBDO, and Radio Sponsors, 1931-39,” appeared in the magazine's Fall 2018 edition.

Meyers will present with other recent best article award winners on a panel scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4 at 9 a.m. The editors of American Journalism will present the award during the annual General Business Meeting on Oct 5. Read the news release.

Joseph McKerns Research Grants

Joseph McKerns Research Grants provide funding of up to $1,250 per person for media history research projects while recognizing and rewarding the winners.

2019 winners are:

  • Candi Carter Olson, Utah State, "Act Like a Lady"
  • Gerry Lanosga, Indiana, "A Contest for 'Craftsmen' or a Prize for Professionalism? The American Newspaper Guild's Trailblazing Awards for Local Journalism"
  • Teri Finneman, Kansas, "Press Portrayals of 'Other' First Ladies"
    Research Paper Awards

    During the general business meeting on Oct. 5, the following research awards were given for papers presented at the convention in Dallas.

    Maurine Beasley Award For the Outstanding Paper on a Women’s History Topic
    Pamela Walck and Emily Fitzgerald, Duquesne

    J. William Snorgrass Memorial Award for the Outstanding Paper on a Minorities Topic
    Bernell Tripp, Florida

    Honorable mentions:

    Erika Pribanic-Smith, Texas-Arlington, and Jared Schroeder, Southern Methodist
    Nathaniel Frederick and William Schulte, Winthrop

    Jean Palmegiano Award for Outstanding International/Transnational Journalism Research
    Timothy Ballingall, Texas Christian

    Robert Lance Memorial Award for Top Grad Student Paper
    Ashley Walter, Penn State

    Honorable mention:
    Timothy Ballingall, Texas Christian

    Wm. David Sloan Award for Top Faculty Paper
    Ronald R. Rodgers, Florida

    Honorable mentions:

    Julie Lane, Boise State
    Bernell Tripp, Florida

    Dallas Convention Sponsors


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