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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  • 30 Jun 2020 7:01 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The American Journalism Historians Association invites paper entries, panel proposals and abstracts of research in progress on any facet of media history for its 39th annual convention to be held as a condensed virtual conference Oct. 2-3.

    The deadline for all submissions is extended until July 1, 2020.

    The AJHA views journalism history broadly, embracing print, broadcasting, advertising, public relations, and other forms of mass communication that have been inextricably intertwined with the human past. Because the AJHA requires presentation of original material, research papers, research in progress, and panels submitted to the convention may not have been submitted to or accepted by another convention or publication. Research submitted for the conference must be significantly different from previous work, meaning the submitted research would represent new archival research, interviews or content analysis that has not been presented before at a conference and represents a new departure from prior presented or published work. Research previously presented as a research-in-progress presentation at an AJHA convention or the Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference, however, may be submitted as a research paper. Each author may submit at most one paper, one research in progress and one panel.

    Research papers

    Authors may submit only one research paper. They also may submit one research-in-progress abstract and one panel proposal on a significantly different topic from the paper. Research entries must be no longer than 25 pages of text, double-spaced, in 12-point type, not including notes. The Chicago Manual of Style is recommended but not required.

    Papers must be submitted electronically as Word attachments. Please send the following:

    • An email with the attached paper, saved with author identification only in the file name and not in the paper.
    • A separate 150-word abstract as a Word attachment (no PDFs) with no author identification.
    • Author’s info (email address, telephone number, institutional affiliation, and undergraduate student, graduate student, or faculty status) in the text of the email.

    Send papers to Authors will be notified in early August whether their papers have been accepted.

    Accepted papers are eligible for several awards, including the following:

    • David Sloan Award for the outstanding faculty research paper ($250 prize).
    • Robert Lance Award for outstanding student research paper ($100 prize).
    • Jean Palmegiano Award for outstanding international/transnational journalism history research paper ($150 prize)
    • J. William Snorgrass Award for outstanding minority-journalism research paper.
    • Maurine Beasley Award for outstanding women’s-history research paper.
    • Wally Eberhard Award for outstanding research in media and war ($50 prize).   

    Research Committee Chair Erin Coyle ( of Temple University is coordinating paper submissions. Authors will be notified in early August whether their papers have been accepted.


    Preference will be given to proposals that involve the audience and panelists in meaningful discussion or debate on original topics relevant to journalism history. Preference also will be given to panels that present diverse perspectives on their topics. Entries must be no longer than three pages of text, double-spaced, in 12-point type, with 1-inch margins. Panel participants must register for and attend the convention.

    Panel proposals must be submitted electronically as Word attachments. Please include the following:

    • Authors of accepted papers must register for the convention and attend to present their research.

    • A title and brief description of the topic.
    • The moderator and participants’ info (name, institutional affiliation, student or faculty status).
    • A brief summary of each participant’s presentation.

    Send proposals to

    No individual may be on more than one panel. Panel organizers must make sure panelists have not agreed to serve on multiple panels. Panel organizers also must secure commitment from panelists to participate before submitting the proposal. Moderators are discussion facilitators and may not serve as panelists. Failure to adhere to the guidelines will lead to rejection of the proposal.

    Panelists may submit a research paper and/or research-in-progress abstract.

    Rob Wells ( of University of Arkansas is coordinating the panel competition. Authors of panel proposals will be notified in early August whether their panels have been accepted. Panelists must register for the convention and attend.

    Research in progress

    Each author may submit only one research in progress. The research-in-progress category is for work that will NOT be completed before the conference. Research in progress must be significantly different than previously presented or published research. Participants will give an overview of their research purpose and progress, not a paper presentation, as the category’s purpose is to allow for discussion and feedback on work in progress. RIP authors may also submit a research paper on a significantly different topic.

    For research-in-progress submissions, send a blind abstract of your study. Include the proposal title in the abstract. The abstract should include a clear purpose statement as well as a brief description of your primary sources. Abstracts must be no longer than two pages of text, double-spaced, in 12-point type, with 1-inch margins, excluding notes.

    Primary sources should be described in detail in another double-spaced page.

    Entries that do not follow these guidelines will be rejected.

    The AJHA research-in-progress competition is administered electronically.

    • Proposals must be submitted as Word attachments, saved with author identification ONLY in the file names and NOT in the text of the proposal.
    • Each proposal must be submitted as an attachment, with author’s info (name, project title, telephone number, email address, institutional affiliation, and student or faculty status) in the text of the email.

    Send research-in-progress proposals to Authors will be notified in early August whether their proposals have been accepted. Authors of accepted proposals must register for the convention and attend.

    Authors whose work is accepted must register for and attend the convention.

    Keith Greenwood ( of University of Missouri is coordinating the research-in-progress competition.

  • 30 Jun 2020 6:36 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The American Journalism Historians Association seeks applications for its annual Joseph McKerns Research Grant Awards.

    The research grant is intended to provide research assistance and to recognize and reward the winners. Up to four grants for up to $1,250 each will be rewarded upon review and recommendation of the Research Grant Committee. Grants may be used for travel or other research-related expenses, but not for salary.

    Awardees must submit a brief article to the Intelligencer newsletter about their completed research by Sept. 1, 2021, discussing method, findings, complications and significance.


    • All current AJHA full members with a minimum of three years' membership at the time of application are eligible.
    • The research must be related to mass media history.
    • Awardees are expected to continue their membership through the grant period.
    • Members may apply for a McKerns Research Grant once every five years.

    Application requirements

    • Complete application form included with the Call For Proposals.
    • A 1- to 3-page prospectus/overview of the project, including a budget (which should include a listing of amount and sources of other support, if appropriate), timelines, and expected outlets for the research.
    • If appropriate, include Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from the applicant's university.
    • A shortened curriculum vita (no more than 3 pages).

    Grant applications must be submitted via email to Research Grant Committee Chair Erin Coyle. Materials may be submitted as PDF files or Word documents by July 1, 2020.

  • 28 May 2020 8:48 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    By Kimberly Voss, Ph.D.

    Professor, University of Central Florida

    Journalism Halls of Fame often mirror the histories of journalism where the stories of white male trailblazers are widely lauded and institutionalized. Left in the margins or footnotes are women and people of color. When the portraits and busts that populate these shrines are primarily male, the echo chamber grows and these groups are forgotten or ignored by history.

    Nominating important but overlooked journalists to these halls of fame is a way of engaging in public history.

    Public history is largely defined as using historical methods outside of the academic world. Typically, it is the audience that differentiates the public historian’s work from more traditional historical fields. (This, of course, does not mean that researchers won’t use the information. One of the fashion editors I study, Madeleine Corey, has only been referenced in the Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame.)

    Two examples of women I’ve successfully nominated to state journalism halls of fame are Marjorie Paxson and Roberta Applegate, though the process is not easy. Both took repeated nominations before gaining entrance.

    Marjorie Paxson

    Paxson was a groundbreaking journalist who covered hard news for a wire service during World War II (an unheard of opportunity prior to the war) before being forced back into the women’s pages during peacetime – where she helped change the definition of women’s news. By the time she retired from journalism more than 50 years later, she had been one of the first female U.S. newspaper publishers and established the National Women and Media Collection (NWMC). She also was editor of Xilonen, the eight-page daily newspaper published for the United Nations World Conference for International Women’s Year held in Mexico City in 1975, played a significant part of the 1976 governmental report To Form a More Perfect Union and in 1963 was elected president of Theta Sigma Phi (now known as the Association for Women in Communications).

    She was the fourth female publisher in Gannett — first at the Public Opinion in Pennsylvania (1978-1980) and then the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma (1980-1986). In Muskogee, she used her power to change her newspaper’s editorial stance that had been previously opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment and changed newsroom policy to allow women to wear pants — something that had been prohibited. She made a difference for female employees and women in her community.

    Despite all the accomplishments throughout her journalism career, she was not a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, which I sought to correct. It took five years to get her inducted. (She would have been officially inducted posthumously in a March event but the virus postponed it. She will be officially honored in the fall.)

    Roberta Applegate

    Several years ago, I nominated women’s page editor (and later Kansas State University journalism professor) Roberta Applegate into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. Her father, Albert A. Applegate, was a longtime journalism professor at Michigan State University, and had been inducted into the Hall of Fame years earlier. It took two nomination attempts to get Roberta inducted, but when she was, it marked the first father-daughter combination in the hall. Along with her brother, I had the honor to speak at her induction ceremony.

    After earning a master’s degree in journalism, Applegate covered the Michigan statehouse during World War II and went on to become one of the first women to be a press secretary to a governor. She then wrote for the top women’s pages in the country – at the Miami Herald. Ultimately, she became a journalism professor at Kansas State University where she subscribed to the leading women’s pages to help her students improve the sections.

    Her inclusion in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame means that Roberta Applegate is an official part of journalism history. She needed two nominations before earning her recognition. Part of the process was to submit numerous letters of recommendation – which is no easy feat considering that she died when I was in middle school. Luckily, she saved everything and the NWMC included her reference letters from the World War II era.

    Marie Anderson

    Fingers are crossed that legendary Miami Herald women’s page editor Marie Anderson gets inducted into the Florida Journalism Hall of Fame. Anderson’s section won so many Penney-Missouri Awards — the top recognition for the sections — that she was retired from the competition. She was a groundbreaking editor and became a regular speaker for newspapers across the country who wanted to improve women’s page news. 

    I recently turned in the nomination paperwork for Anderson. Several more nominees will be sent in soon. It’s a way of making marginalized women visible. If you know of a woman or person of color who is a part of local journalism lore but has been left out of the historical record, consider engaging in an act of public history and nominate him or her to their state or regional journalism hall of fame. But be prepared to do it more than once — but it will be worth it for its contribution to public history.

  • 27 May 2020 7:32 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The steering committee of the 28th annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression solicits papers dealing with U.S. mass media of the 19th century, the Civil War in fiction and history, freedom of expression in the 19th century, presidents and the 19th century press, images of race and gender, sensationalism and crime in 19th century newspapers, and the antebellum press and the causes of the Civil War.

    Selected papers will be presented during the conference Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12–14, 2020. The top three papers and the top three student papers will be honored accordingly.

    The symposium will be conducted via Zoom (for both speakers and participants). If possible, it will also be conducted in person.

    The purpose of the November conference is to share current research and to develop a series of monographs. This year the steering committee will pay special attention to papers related to press coverage of Civil War soldiers themselves, particularly African American and ethnic or immigrant soldiers. The symposium will also pay special attention to papers related to press coverage of the natural environment. Since 2000, the symposium has produced eight distinctly different books of readings: The Civil War and the Press (2000); Memory and Myth: The Civil War in Fiction and Film from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Cold Mountain (2007); Words at War: The Civil War and American Journalism (2008); Seeking a Voice: Images of Race and Gender in the 19th Century Press (2009); Sensationalism: Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, and Disasters in 19th-Century Reporting (2013); A Press Divided: Newspaper Coverage of the Civil War (2014); After the War: The Press in a Changing America, 1865–1900 (2017); and The Antebellum Press: Setting the Stage for Civil War (2019).

    The symposium is sponsored by the George R. West, Jr. Chair of Excellence in Communication and Public Affairs, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Communication Department, the Walter and Leona Schmitt Family Foundation Research Fund, and the Hazel Dicken-Garcia Fund for the Symposium, and because of this sponsorship, no registration fee will be charged.

    Papers should be able to be presented within 20 minutes, at least 10–15 pages long. Please send your paper (including a 200–300 word abstract) as a Word attachment to by Aug. 27, 2020.

  • 27 May 2020 6:54 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    The “News Quality in the Platform Era” workshop, convened by the Media & Democracy program at the Social Science Research Council and in collaboration with the NewsQ Initiative, will bring together social scientists and humanities scholars to present and receive feedback on research about the nature and quality of news. In particular, works of theoretical, conceptual, empirical, or applied research that suggests new approaches to—and actionable critiques of—algorithmic news dissemination are invited.

    The workshop, co-chaired by Philip M. Napoli, professor at Duke University, and Regina Lawrence, professor at the University of Oregon, is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Social Science Research Council in New York City on Nov. 12-13, 2020. Accepted participants’ travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the organizers.

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, workshops will include a range of synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for formative feedback, which hopefully will culminate in an in-person meeting in New York City in the fall but may be postponed until the spring. Despite the challenges of social distancing, the workshops will continue providing opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and exchange. 

    To apply, applicants should submit a current C.V., an abstract of up to 500 words, and a statement of up to 300 words outlining their interest in participating in the workshop to by Monday, June 15, 2020.

    For more information:

  • 27 May 2020 6:48 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    In light of COVID-19, the 2020 AJHA national conference, scheduled for October in Memphis, will be a condensed virtual conference Oct. 2-3 with no registration fee.

    Deadlines for research submissions are extended until July 1, 2020:

    AJHA will resume the full, in-person conference Oct. 7-9, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio, and will return to Memphis from Sept. 27-Oct. 1, 2022.

    Because AJHA confirmed the revised Memphis dates recently, AJHA did not incur a financial penalty from the hotel.

    More details will surface as they become available.

  • 27 May 2020 10:05 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    Dr. Teri Finneman, a member of the AJHA board, was granted tenure and promotion to associate professor at the University of Kansas.

    Dr. Debra Reddin van Tuyll, professor of communication at Augusta University, is co-editor of a new book that will be published in June by Syracuse University Press.

    The book, Politics, Culture, and the Irish American Press: 1784–1963, also is edited by Mark O'Brien and Marcel Broersma

    Van Tuyll is the 2019 recipient of the AJHA Kobre Award for lifetime achievement in journalism history.

    Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith and Dr. Tracy Lucht recently joined Dr. David Sloan as editors of the 11th edition of the textbook The Media in America: A History.  

    The Media in America was first published 30 years ago. 

    Dr. Pribanic-Smith is the co-author of Emma Goldman’s No-Conscription League and the First Amendment. She has written a number of book chapters, and her articles have been published in American Journalism, American Periodicals, Journalism History, Kansas History, and Media History Monographs

    Dr. Lucht is the author of Sylvia Porter: America’s Original Personal Finance Columnist and co-author of Mad Men and Working Women: Feminist Perspectives on Historical Power, Resistance, and Otherness. Her articles have been published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, American Journalism, and other journals. 

    Dr. Pam Parry will be the next editor of the journal, Journalism History, a peer-reviewed publication of the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

    Parry, a professor of public relations at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, where she teaches media history, is the author or co-editor of eight academic books. She is the author of Eisenhower: The Public Relations President (Lexington 2014) and has a forthcoming book, Eisenhower and Women: Changing the Face of Politics. She is also co-editor of the book series Women in American Political History.

    Parry will serve as an apprentice under current editor Greg Borchard (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) beginning in August and then begin her three-and-a-half-year term as editor in August 2021.

    Dr. Melony Shemberger, associate professor of journalism and mass communication at Murray State University, recently earned the Quality Matters Teaching Online Certificate. 

    To earn the certificate, seven classes were required by Quality Matters, a global assurance program for online teaching. It is considered the gold standard in online pedagogy.

    Mark Holan presented at the 2019 AJHA National Convention in Dallas about Ruth Russell in Revolutionary Ireland. He closed with the issue detailed in the below link from his blog.

    As can seen in the bottom photo on the blog page, Ruth's name has been added to the gravestone with her sister, Cecilia.

  • 27 May 2020 9:55 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    Katie Day Good, assistant professor of strategic communication in the department of media, journalism and film and affiliate faculty in American studies at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, will receive the 36th annual Covert Award in Mass Communication History.

    Good won for her article "Sight-Seeing in School: Visual Technology, Virtual Experience, and World Citizenship in American Education, 1900–1930," Technology and Culture, 60, no. 1 (2019): 98-131.

    Good argues that the influx of media technologies into schools between 1900 and 1930 was facilitated by an emergent technoutopian rhetoric in American culture that placed new social value on the acquisition of virtual and worldly experience. Her article thus provides a critical historical perspective for present-day discussions about the importance of global citizenship and mediated learning in an age of ubiquitous technology and globalization.

    The committee congratulates Good for her wonderful job of placing the changing role of visuals, including National Geographic, into the larger societal changes of the Progressive era. Her archival study is a fine example of robust historical research informed by theories of cultural studies, rhetorical analysis, and the role of new technologies.

    The award, endowed by the late Catherine L. Covert, a professor of public communications at Syracuse University and former head of the AEJMC History Division, goes to the article or chapter in an edited collection that represents the year's best essay in mass communication history. The article was selected from 10 articles nominated.

    The Covert Committee includes the current and past heads of the History Division and previous winners of the award. Committee members this year were Teri Finneman, University of Kansas; Erika Pribanic-Smith, University of Texas at Arlington; Ana Stevenson, International Studies Group, University of the Free State, South Africa; Richard B. Kielbowicz, University of Washington; and Sheila Webb, Committee Chair, Western Washington University.

    The History Division will present the $200 award to Good at the division's Awards Gala during the August 2020 AEJMC annual conference.

  • 27 May 2020 9:49 AM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

    American Journalism, the academic journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, seeks applications for its Rising Scholar Award. The award is presented at the AJHA annual convention.

    The award is intended to provide research assistance of up to $2,000 for a junior faculty member who has not yet achieved tenure. Media professionals who have transitioned within the last four years to full-time work in the academy also are eligible to apply.

    The proposed research project must be related to media history. All methodological approaches are welcomed. Funding may be used for travel to work with archival collections, copying/digitization expenses for archival material, or to pay a research assistant. Funds may not be used for faculty salary, travel to attend conferences, equipment, or software. Funding may not be requested to reimburse expenses incurred prior to this award.

    For the proposal selected, a two- to three-page report is due to AJHA by Aug. 1, 2021, describing work accomplished and presentations/publications planned or accomplished.


    • Applicants must be current AJHA members at the time the proposal is submitted.
    • Proposals may be for sole-authored or co-authored work. If two or more individuals apply together, the award amount will be shared.
    • The award is not intended for dissertation completion research.
    • Undergraduate and graduate students are not eligible for this award.

    Application requirements

    • A cover letter with name and contact information for applicant(s).
    • A three- to five-page prospectus/overview of the project. Describe and explain the project's topic and justify its contribution to the historiography of media. Describe the scope of the project. Identify and describe the primary sources to be used, if any, and explain their importance to the project. Identify and justify the project's objectives. Provide a timeline for the project.
    • An itemized budget of no more than one page. If additional funding will be used for the proposed project, indicate source and amount.
    • If appropriate, include Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from the university.
    • A list of possible publication venues for the finished project. (Note: The award recipient is not required to submit the resulting work to American Journalism, nor would acceptance be guaranteed if the work is submitted. However, grantees must acknowledge the American Journalism Historians Association in any publication(s) resulting from the award.)
    • A letter of support from the applicant's department chair or dean.
    • A curriculum vita of no more than three pages.

    Send proposals no later than June 15, 2020, to Vanessa Murphree,

  • 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.

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