Intelligencer is a blog featuring teaching and research essays as well as news about the organization and its members.

To submit member news or suggest a blog topic, contact Intelligencer editor Melony Shemberger.

PDFs of the Intelligencer in its previous newsletter form can be found at the Intelligencer archive. Visit the News page for press releases on the organization's activities.

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  • 27 Dec 2019 11:35 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    Elisabeth Fondren, of St. John’s University, published a chapter on “News Editing and the Editorial Process” in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication (Oxford University Press). The entry traces the historical origins of international editing practices (Europe, Asia, North America), professionalization in the 20th century, changes in copy editing technology, and digital gatekeeping in the online news environment. 

    Here is the citation:

    Klein, T., Fondren, E., & Apcar, L. News Editing and the Editorial Process. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford University Press. doi:

    In addition, Fondren was recognized in November 2019 with a faculty award by the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society for her commitment to student success. 

    Jon Marshall, assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School, had an op-ed, “Like Watergate All Over Again? In Some Ways, Yes, but There Are Stark Differences,” published Sept. 25, 2019, in the Chicago Tribune.

    Dr. Melony Shemberger, associate professor of journalism and mass communication at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, was selected for the first cohort of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's Faculty Advisory Network. This new group of 12 faculty across Kentucky will convey faculty perspectives on state-level policies and initiatives and advise the CPE president on matters of interest to the faculty. In the 2019-20 academic year, the network will focus on closing achievement gaps, responding to current business needs, and enhancing academic quality. 

    In addition, Shemberger graduated Oct. 18 from the Bluegrass Academic Leadership Academy in Kentucky. She was among five faculty to represent Murray State University in the academy.

  • 27 Dec 2019 11:08 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The fifth global meeting of Slavery Past, Present and Future will take place June 22-24, 2020, at Webster University, Leiden, The Netherlands. Proposals for paper are being sought.

    Slavery (the treatment of humans as chattel) and enslavement through conquest, birth, gender, race, ethnicity, kinship, and exploitation of indebtedness have been an intrinsic part of human societies.

    Slavery and a variety of other forms of exploitation existed in ancient societies across the world, and in many other states and territories. The Transatlantic Slave Trade furnished at least 10 million Africans for slavery throughout the Americas.

    Controversial and contested estimates indicate that up to 40 million people worldwide are enslaved today. This modern re-emergence of slavery into public view, following legal abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade over two hundred years ago, is said to be linked to the deepening interconnectedness of countries in the global economy, overpopulation, and the economic and other vulnerabilities of individual victims and communities.

    But should we think of these people as enslaved? And if so, is slavery an inevitable part of the human condition? Like ‘consumers’ of past eras, such as early industrialization, are we dependent on the exploitation of others? What does the persistence and mutations of different forms of exploitation mean in the context of abolition and recognition of universal individual and collective human rights?

    The varieties of contemporary forms of exploitation appear to be endless. This interdisciplinary conference will facilitate a multidisciplinary exploration of slavery in all its dimensions.

    Submissions are sought from people from all walks of life and identities, including:

    • Academics: from all disciplines, such as art, film, anthropology, sociology, history, ethnic studies, politics, social work, economics, and any field that touches the study of exploitation.
    • Civil society members: human rights activists, leaders in non-governmental organizations, and others in the NGO or social advocacy fields.
    • Professionals: social workers, corporate social responsibility and business ethics professionals, business leaders, and health care professionals.
    • Government actors: representatives, policymakers, lobbyists, and analysts
    • Global citizens with personal connections to slavery or exploitation: former slaves or indentured laborers, members of at-risk populations, migrant or guest workers, non-regularized immigrants, and refugees.

    Conference organizers particularly encourage submissions from the Global South.

    Potential themes and sub-themes

    Defining slavery

    • What do we mean when we talk about “slavery”?
    • Using “slavery” to obscure other endemic forms of exploitation.
    • Teaching and learning about historic slavery and contemporary forms of exploitation.

    Slaveries of the past

    • Classical (Egyptian, Greco-Roman, etc.) slavery.
    • Conquests and colonization – Aboriginal Australians, indigenous peoples of the New World, dividing and colonizing Africa and Asia.
    • Slaveries in Europe pre-Industrialization, such as villeinage and serfdom
    • Trans-Atlantic slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade
    • Depictions of slaves and slave traders in texts and art during the Abolition Period
    • Systems of slavery in tribal and traditional societies
    • WWII and post-WWII forced labor camps

    Human trafficking and other Forms of contemporary exploitation

    • Definitions - Is human trafficking “slavery”?
    • Types of human trafficking (labor trafficking, sex trafficking, organ trafficking, etc.).
    • Civil society anti-trafficking activism: assessing contemporary initiatives and movements.
    • The role of the nation state: Can the nation state enslave? (prison labor, mandated military service, etc.); anti-trafficking policies and legislation.

    Systems and structures of enslavement and subordination (historic and contemporary)

    • Role of slavery in national and global economies.
    • Economic, political, legal structures – their role in enslavement and exploitation.
    • Slavery’s impact on culture and the cultural impacts of historic slavery.

    Voices of the enslaved

    • Slave narratives of the past and present.
    • Descendants’ interpretation of their enslaved and/or slave-holding ancestors.

    Legacies of slavery

    • Identifying and mapping contemporary legacies – economic, social, cultural, psychological (e.g., Post traumatic stress disorder and intergenerational trauma).
    • Assessment of slavery’s impact – economic, political, other.
    • Commemorations and memorialization of enslavers and/or the enslaved.
    • Legal regimes tacitly designed to perpetuate slavery (e.g., convict leasing).
    • Legal segregation or discrimination (in housing, education, banking, transportation, etc.).
    • Racial terror (e.g., lynching, forced removals).
    • Racial subordination and re-enslavement (e.g., voter disfranchisement, mass.

    incarceration, medical apartheid

    • Desecration of burial sites of the enslaved.
    • Destruction of or denial of access to historical information.
    • Lack of memorialization of sacred events/sacred persons/sacred sites.
    • Transitional justice (e.g., reparations, memorialization, restitution).
    • Limited rights attribution and recognition for Afro-descended peoples.
    • Capacities (and limitations) of domestic and international law in creating, implementing and challenging slavery’s legacies.
    • Built environment (e.g., architecture, historic buildings, cityscapes, borders).

    Anti-slavery initiatives and movements

    • Reparations.
    • Economic compensation.
    • Restorative justice.
    • Teaching and learning about slavery.
    • Relationship to the global racial hierarchy.
    • Abolitionism and law: effects and (in)effectiveness.
    • The role of technology and multimedia.

    Submission guidelines

    Proposals should be submitted no later than Friday, Feb. 28, 2020:

    • Karen E. Bravo, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law:
    • Email subject line: Slavery Past Present & Future 5 Proposal Submission
    • File format: Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX)

    The following information must be included in the body of the email:

    • Author(s)
    • Affiliation as you would like it to appear in the conference program
    • Corresponding author email address
    The following information must be in the Microsoft Word file:
    • Title of proposal
    • Body of proposal (maximum of 300 words)
    • Keywords (maximum of 10)

    Keep the following in mind:

    • All text must be in Times New Roman font, size 12.
    • No footnotes or special formatting (bold, underline, or italicization) must be used.

    Proposal evaluations

    All abstracts will be double-blind peer reviewed, and authors will be notified of the organizing committee’s decision no later than Friday, March 20, 2020. If a positive decision is made, authors will be asked to register online promptly and to submit a draft paper of no more than 2,000 words by Friday, May 8, 2020.

    The conference registration fee is €220.

    A limited number of fellowships is available to participants who would otherwise be foreclosed from attending. The fellowships take the form of registration deferrals.

    Conference committee

    • Karen E. Bravo (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, USA).
    • David Bulla (Augusta University, Augusta, Georgia, USA).
    • Ursula Doyle (Northern Kentucky University School of Law, USA).
    • Judith Onwubiko (University of Kent, United Kingdom).
    • Ulrich Pallua (University of Innsbruck, Austria).
    • Sheetal Shah (Webster University, Leiden, The Netherlands).
    • Judith Spicksley (University of Hull, United Kingdom).
  • 27 Dec 2019 10:57 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    A special issue of TMG - Journal for Media History will focus on transnational journalism history.

    Transnational journalism history acknowledges that cultural forms are produced and exchanged across borders. It focuses on the interactions between agents, ideas, innovations, norms and social and cultural practices beyond national boundaries, as well as the way these interactions affect the incorporation and adaption of new ideas, concepts, and practices into national frameworks. By moving back and forth between the national and transnational level, the connective and dialectic nature of these movements is emphasized. It thus treats the nation as only one level or context among a range of others, instead of being the primary frame for analysis.

    This special issue aims to critically interrogate and go beyond the national frameworks within which historical developments of journalism are generally studied. Due to its institutional organization and topical focus, journalism historiography has traditionally been confined to national boundaries. This holds true for studies restricted to the development of journalism in one country, like most press histories, as well as studies that take nations as units for comparative research. Differences and, to a lesser extent, similarities in professional practices and news coverage are usually discussed as autonomous developments and ascribed to national peculiarities. The special issue intends to bring together papers that open new venues for research that move beyond this national boundary. Articles are invited that relate to transnational journalism that (particularly, but not exclusively) focus on one of these areas:

    • Theoretical and methodological reflections on transnational journalism.
    • Transnational journalistic networks.
    • Journalists or publishers who were influential “transfer agents."
    • Transnational impact on journalistic genres.
    • Adaptation of foreign examples in a national context.
    • Case studies of transnational reporting.
    • Case studies that rely on digital humanities methods (for example, text mining or network analysis).


    Those interested should submit an abstract of maximum 350 words that clearly outlines a research question, relevance of the topic, a theoretical/historical framework, justification of research material and approach, and main argument.

    Send proposals to the editors: Frank Harbers ( and Marcel Broersma ( The deadline is Jan. 15, 2020. Authors will be notified of acceptance by the end of January 2020.

    Tentative timeline

    The authors of the accepted abstracts will be invited to contribute a full article (maximum 8,000 words, excluding references and bibliography). The deadline for the full papers is May 29, 2020. It is also possible to contribute a non-peer reviewed piece (between 4,000-6,000 words).

    TMG - Journal for Media History is an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal, published in the Netherlands. Its aim is to promote and publish research in media history. It offers a platform for original research and for contributions that reflect theory formation and methods within media history. For more information and author guidelines, see:

  • 27 Dec 2019 10:44 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The fifth annual conference on Transnational Journalism History will be held May 28-29, 2020, at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia.

    Papers that study historical transformations in journalism from a transnational perspective are being sought. The deadline to submit papers is Feb. 1. 

    Conference organizers welcome papers that discuss theoretical or methodological issues as well as empirical case studies from all parts of the world. Specifically, here are possible contributions:

    • the transfer of norms, practices, genres, and textual conventions from one country/region to another and their consecutive adaptation in national contexts.
    • transnational networks of actors.
    • biographical studies of transnational agents such as journalists or publishers.
    • the transnational coverage of particular news stories.
    • transnational audiences.
    • the impact of (emerging) technologies on transnational journalism.
    • different media such as television, radio, newspapers or magazines, and the intersection between them.
    • theoretical perspectives/interpretations/applications of transnational journalism history.


    Abstracts of maximum 500 words (for research-in-progress), full papers (for completed projects) and panel proposals (max. 4 papers; 400-word panel description and 150-word abstract of each paper) should be submitted to by Feb. 1, 2020. Submissions will be blind reviewed.

    Conference fee is still being finalized but should be around $75 and will include coffee/tea breaks, lunches and conference dinner. Keynote speaker will be announced in the next months.

    This conference is sponsored by the journalism and mass communication programs at Augusta University, at Dublin City University in Ireland, Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and the Centre for Media and Journalism Studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

    Any questions may be addressed to Debbie van Tuyll (, Marcel Broersma or Frank Harbers via, or Mark O’Brien (

    Book project

    The conference organizers are working toward the publication of a Companion to Transnational Journalism History. Submissions for the conference will also be considered (in adapted form) for publication in the handbook, and discussions during the conference will be geared toward preparing the publication.

    About Transnational Journalism History

    Transnational journalism history acknowledges that cultural forms are produced and exchanged across borders. It focuses on the interactions between agents, ideas, innovations, norms and social and cultural practices, and their consecutive incorporation and adaptation into national frameworks. By moving back and forth between the national and transnational level, the connective and dialectic nature of these movements is emphasized. It thus treats the nation as only one phenomenon among a range of others, instead of being the primary frame for analysis.

    This opens new venues for research because journalism history is institutionally and topically still confined primarily to national boundaries. This holds true for studies restricted to the development of journalism in one country, like most press histories, as well as studies that take nations as units for comparative research. Differences and, to a lesser extent, similarities in professional practices and news coverage are usually discussed as autonomous developments and ascribed to national peculiarities. Transnational journalism history critically interrogates these national paradigms and provides new ways forward.

  • 27 Dec 2019 10:38 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The American Journalism Historians Association elected a new second vice president and three new board members during its 38th Annual Convention in Dallas, Texas.

    Mike Conway of Indiana University will serve as second vice president during 2019-20, beginning a three-year tenure which will culminate in his serving as the organization’s president in 2021-22.

    Elected to the board were Teri Finneman of The University of Kansas; Michael Fuhlhage of Wayne State University; and Gwyneth Mellinger of James Madison University.

    “I am honored the members have elected me to the leadership track of AJHA,” Conway said. “This organization has done so much for me over the years that I am happy to serve in any way that helps advance AJHA and the importance of journalism history.

    “Those of us who study journalism history know we’ve faced some tough times in journalism over the centuries. We need to spread that knowledge of the past to help guide us through this current environment when so many would rather demean our profession rather than face difficult truths.”

    AJHA’s new president will be Donna Lampkin Stephens of the University of Central Arkansas, who was initially elected to the board in 2014, served as second vice president in 2017, and as first vice president from October 2018-October 2019.

    Aimee Edmondson of Ohio University will serve as first vice president. Erika Pribanic-Smith from the University of Texas-Arlington will continue as administrative secretary, and Carolyn Edy from Appalachian State University will continue as treasurer.

  • 27 Dec 2019 10:36 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The American Journalism Historians Association honored scholars with awards for outstanding achievement in research during its October national convention in Dallas, Texas.

    The William David Sloan Award for top faculty paper went to Ronald R. Rodgers of the University of Florida for his paper, “Journalism and the Concept of the Constructive.”

    Runners up were Julie Lane, Boise State University, for “Defending Joe McCarthy” and Bernell Tripp, University of Florida, for “Dancing to a Different Tune: Black Minstrelsy’s Impact on the Creation of Black Entertainment Journalism.”

    Tripp’s paper was also selected for the J. William Snorgrass Memorial Award for the Outstanding Paper on a Minorities Topic. Runners-up were Nathaniel Frederick and William Schulte, Winthrop University, for “HUMOR IN HUE: The Social Cartoons in Black World Magazine during the Black Power Movement, 1970-1976”; and Erika Pribanic-Smith, University of Texas at Arlington, and Jared Schroeder, Southern Methodist University, for “Breaking the White Circle: How the Press and Courts Quieted a Chicago Hate Group, 1949-1952.”

    The Maurine Beasley Award for the Outstanding Paper on a Women’s History Topic was given to Pamela E. Walck and Emily Fitzgerald, Duquesne University, for “Finding the ‘Cullud’ Angle to Feminism: Evelyn Cunningham, ‘The Women,’ and the Pittsburgh Courier.”

    The Robert Lance Memorial Award for top graduate student paper went to Ashley Walter of Pennsylvania State University for “‘Is the newspaper office the place for a girl?’: Coverage of the U.S. Press Class-Action Sexual Discrimination Lawsuits of the 1970s-1980s.” The runner up was Timothy Ballingall from Texas Christian University for “Gendering the Bridge of Understanding: Mary Oyama's Advice Column and the Nisei Press.”

    Ballingall’s paper was also honored with the Jean Palmegiano Award for Outstanding International/Transnational Journalism Research.

  • 27 Dec 2019 10:30 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The American Journalism Historians Association recently awarded three Joseph McKerns Research Grants.

    The recipients were Candi S. Carter Olson, Utah State University; Gerry Lanosga, Indiana University; and Teri Finneman, The University of Kansas.

    Carter Olson’s grant will go toward her project, “Act Like a Lady.” She is going to use the McKerns grant to return to Washington, D.C., and sift through more of the Washington Women's Press Club's archive at the National Press Club's headquarters. She will also use it to buy transcripts of the oral histories that the Washington Press Club Foundation has not put online from their Women in Journalism oral histories.

    “I'm honored to receive the McKerns grant," Carter Olson said. “Archival work is expensive but necessary if we want to tell the full historical story. This kind of research is only possible through the support of organizations like AJHA. Women’s voices are being recovered because this grant will enable them to speak again.”

    Lanosga will use his grant for his book on the history of journalism prizes, “A Contest for ‘Craftsmen’ or a Prize for Professionalism? The American Newspaper Guild’s Trailblazing Awards for Local Journalists.”

    “It’s a thrill to have been selected for a McKerns grant, my first one as an AJHA member,” Lanosga said. “This award will allow me to make one or two more archive visits to wrap up my research.”

    Finneman’s project is “Press Portrayals of ‘Other’ First Ladies,” which is about the sisters, nieces and others who used to perform those duties on behalf of the president, before America became accustomed to only presidents’ wives fulfilling that role in more recent decades.

    “I think this will provide some critical context as we look to a future where the role of the 'first lady' at some point will not be filled by a female spouse,” Finneman said. “I look forward to using my grant money to visit archives to learn more about these ‘other’ first ladies who have largely disappeared from American memory but who can provide valuable insight for the future.”

    Named for the late Dr. Joseph McKerns, who taught at both The Ohio State University and Southern Illinois University and was AJHA president in 1986-87, the McKerns Grant provides research assistance, while also recognizing and rewarding the winners. Up to four grants for up to $1,250 each are awarded upon review and recommendation of the Research Grant Committee.

  • 26 Sep 2019 8:06 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    By Bailey Dick

    At every AJHA conference I’ve been to, I’ve spilled something on myself.

    In 2017, it was coffee. In 2018, it was an entire hot tea. On both occasions, it was right down the front of whatever business casual, but neither too business nor too casual outfit I’d picked out to wear. And on both occasions, it was on the last day of the conference, right before the awards ceremony.

    The good people of AJHA have been kind enough not only to provide me with a few certificates to cover my clumsiness with, but also were nice enough to not point out the fact that I was covered in my caffeinated beverage of choice two years in a row while receiving them. In a way, that’s what my time in AJHA as a graduate student so far has been about: Seeing those who I look up to champion the work of graduate students, and being warm and welcoming to us as we learn to be historians ourselves.

    As a master's student, and now a doctoral student at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, I’ve had the honor to learn from Dr. Mike Sweeney and Dr. Aimee Edmondson, who are the embodiment of what AJHA is all about. They both believe in me and my work more than I believe in myself, and are what we Ohioans call “good people.” Both of them told me that I’d find AJHA to be full of people who are genuinely interested in my research, people who aren’t competitive or territorial, people who want me to succeed as much as they want to succeed themselves.

    And it’s true. At every AJHA conference I’ve attended so far, I’ve had conversations with people whose books I’ve read, whose research I’ve cited in my own work, whose faculty bios I have bookmarked on my web browser so I can look through their work. And they’ve wanted to hear about my work. Not because it’s particularly amazing or because I’m particularly aggressive in wanting to talk about myself (it actually makes me deeply uncomfortable). It’s all because these are scholars and teachers who want to see others love history, love this field just as much as they do. And that’s a sign of mature, selfless scholarship.

    AJHA has been a space where graduate students like myself are welcomed not only by faculty, but by other graduate students. It’s a solid network of people doing the same kind of work I am, and who care about history just as much as I do.

    I know AJHA conferences have helped bolster my own confidence in my work as a journalism historian, and that’s thanks in no small part to the warm, welcoming atmosphere cultivated by both faculty and other graduate students. I’ve found it to be a group of people who will still root for you, even after you’ve spilled something on yourself. Twice.

  • 26 Sep 2019 8:02 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The editors of American Journalism, the peer-reviewed quarterly journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, have announced Dr. Cristina Mislán of the Missouri School of Journalism as this year’s AJHA Rising Scholar award winner.

    The Rising Scholar honoree is chosen annually by the editors of American Journalism. The award is designed for scholars who show promise in extending their research agendas.

    Mislán is currently working on a book that will address a unique angle of coverage of the Cuban Revolution.

     “I am honored to receive the 2019 Rising Scholar Award,” Mislán said. “This award will allow me to complete my first book, which analyzes how Black journalists, writers, publishers, and editors imagined the Cuban Revolution of 1959. In taking a deep dive into approximately six decades of media coverage, I hope to join a growing group of scholars who have provided indispensable insight into the critical role that the Black press played in shaping this nation’s history.”

    Mislán expressed thanks to the entirety of AJHA.

    “I've found AJHA members to be  supportive, collegial and inclusive colleagues as well as wonderful scholars,” Mislán said. “Thank you AJHA for your support! I will use this award wisely and well."

    Mislán will be formally recognized during the 38th Annual AJHA Convention, which will be held Oct. 3-5 in Dallas.

  • 26 Sep 2019 7:54 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    American Journalism, the peer-reviewed quarterly journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, has awarded its 2019 “Article of the Year” prize to Dr. Cynthia B. Meyers of the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

    Meyers’ award-winning article is titled “The March of Time Radio Docudrama: Time Magazine, BBDO, and Radio Sponsors, 1931-39” and appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of American Journalism.

    "I am very grateful to American Journalism for publishing this article and, as a historian of advertising and broadcasting,” Meyers said, “I am extremely pleased that it has been recognized by my colleagues in journalism history for contributing original scholarship to the field. I hope it will stimulate more scholarship into the interlocking histories of journalism, advertising, and broadcasting."

    In her article, Meyers recounts “The March of Time,” a 1930s live radio docudrama. While ostensibly created to promote Time magazine, this show was actually produced by an advertising agency, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. Meyers argues that while this show, which featured actors impersonating newsmakers in scripted scenes based on actual events, accompanied by live orchestration and sound effects, is often dismissed as an embarrassing detour from journalism, the program was innovative and influential in terms of showing the impact of sponsor control on the development of broadcast news in the 1930s.

    Meyers will be officially recognized for her scholarship at the 38th Annual AJHA Convention, which will be held Oct. 3-5 in Dallas. 

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