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.
By Will Mari, AJHA membership co-chair, and the membership committee
During my first AJHA convention in North Carolina, in October 2012, Jim McPherson paid for one of my dinners.
He then made sure I met a bunch of senior scholars, and then, if that wasn’t enough kindness for one weekend, fed me again when I missed my flight and had to spend an extra night in Raleigh. Jim, who will be retiring soon from Whitworth University, continued to mentor me as I finished my dissertation at the University of Washington and started my first full-time academic job at Northwest University.
But his care and concern were and are not the exception: Carole O’Reilly at Salford University in the UK, Ross Collins at North Dakota State University, Betty Winfield, professor emerita from the Missouri School of Journalism, Michael Fuhlhage at Wayne State, Stephen Banning at Bradley, Candi Carter Olsen at Utah State, Katherine Edenborg at the University of Wisconsin-Stout … I can definitely go on … these people have all mentored me in ways big and small.
Indeed, we are all at least partially the result of a vast collection of folks who have influenced, encouraged, and welcomed us in mentoring relationships within the academy.
But mentorship goes horizontally, too, from peer-to-peer.
Scholars such as Nick Hirshon at William Patterson, Teri Finneman at South Dakota State and Will Tubbs at the University of West Florida—these peers have all mentored me. Whether it’s through listening conversations, reading over drafts, comparing research notes or connecting me to archives and collections, these younger fellow mentors have already had a crucial impact on my work and sanity.
As a member of AJHA, you have the opportunity to mentor junior scholars, but also peers. Research and teaching in media history can be a sometimes lonely mission—but mentoring up, down, and across draws us into a bigger community of scholars from varying fields, departments, universities and countries. It enhances our work, and makes us better colleagues at our home institutions.
It’s more important than ever to mentor someone, or graciously let yourself be mentored, in this age of global change and connections.
Recently, I met a media historian from France, François Robinet, who encouraged me to spread the word about the Société pour l'Histoire des Médias. Robinet, the chair of the history department at the University of Versailles, believes that there should be stronger ties between French, British and American media-history scholars. I agree.
We should be ready to extend our mentoring and our reception of mentoring across national borders. Ultimately, we’ll all benefit from a more mentored academic world.
If you have questions or suggestions for the membership committee, or are interested in getting connected to a mentee or mentor, please email me at email@example.com. And follow AJHA’s Twitter account at @AJHAsocial to get connected to fellow scholars there.
The American Journalism Historians Association announced Dr. Matthew Pressman as the winner of the annual Margaret A. Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation Prize.
Pressman, an assistant professor of journalism at Seton Hall University, completed his dissertation at Boston University under the direction of Dr. Bruce J. Schulman.
Pressman’s dissertation, “Remaking the News: The Transformation of American Journalism, 1960-1980,” focused on the evolution of the journalistic concepts of newsworthiness, objectivity, and the role of media in relation to the empowered.
“I’m greatly honored that the scholars on the Blanchard Prize committee selected my dissertation as the winner,” Pressman said. “As a relative newcomer to academia, it’s extremely gratifying to have senior scholars in the journalism-history field recognize my work. I’m currently adapting my dissertation into a book (to be published in 2018 by Harvard University Press), and winning this award gives me further inspiration to make that book as good as it can possibly be.”
Pressman and three honorable mention recipients will present their research at the AJHA’s 2017 National Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas, this October.
Those earning honorable mention were:
The Margaret A. Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation Prize, given for the first time in 1997, is awarded annually for the best doctoral dissertation dealing with mass communication history. An honorarium of $500 accompanies the prize, and a $200 honorarium is awarded to each honorable mention.
By Maddie Liseblad, Arizona State University
I knew by age six I wanted to be a journalist. By that time, I was publishing my own newspaper, complete with pretty awful drawings to accompany my stories. And my stories, yeah, not so sure there were really what you would call articles. But, I had a fantastic mentor – my neighbor Jan. Every day Jan would walk by my house with his dog, and as often as I could, I would join them. During these walks I interrogated poor Jan about being a journalist and about life in general. Jan told my mom I was going to be a journalist for sure because I certainly knew how to ask questions. Little did he know back then that, fast forward some twenty years or so, Jan was going to be training me to take over his newspaper editor role.
I’ve had many mentors throughout my life, fantastic people who have encouraged and supported me, but also not been afraid to provide constructive criticism. I wouldn’t be who I am today without their guidance. There’s my Swedish teacher in high school, Gertrud, who encouraged me to explore my creative writing voice. There’s Lee, my first television news manager who showed me what kind of a boss to strive to be. There’s Ingmar, who showed me that public relations really isn’t the dark side. And then there’s Dean, my undergrad journalism professor. Dean is the reason I am where I am today, pursuing my Ph.D. at Arizona State’s Cronkite School.
I think it’s important for all of us to have mentors to help guide us, to steer us in a good direction. For me, switching gear and entering academia late in life has been kind of daunting. I have found I have a passion for historical research. I probably enjoy it so much because in a way, I still get to be a journalist and tell a story. I enjoy the hunt for that obscure piece of evidence, that primary source that has been forgotten. There’s great satisfaction in bringing history to life again. And I have found many kindred spirits in AJHA members and a support system I think is pretty unique.
As a graduate student, my experience with AJHA is that it is an incredibly welcoming organization. I was told before I attended my first AJHA convention that I was going to enjoy the experience, much more so than any other convention I had been to. And that certainly turned out to be true. The setting is more intimate and we all share a deep passion for history. There’s a connection from the get-go that is very inclusive and special.
While it was certainly intimidating to walk up to senior scholars whose work I greatly admire and whose footsteps I’d like to follow, the setting and atmosphere at the convention made it fairly easy. And you know what? Those senior scholars all turned out to be fantastic. They were very willing and eager to share their experiences and knowledge. I was treated as a valued colleague, rather than “merely” a graduate student.
I can’t say enough good things about the people I have encountered through AJHA. They have helped me in several different ways, everything from pulling reading material for my comprehensive exams to telling me which archive to find what in. I have never once been turned down, even when I have had complex questions or requests.
Within AJHA, I have found not only one, but a whole network of journalism history mentors. And furthermore, I have found colleagues and friends. I don’t regret for one moment that I joined and got involved with AJHA as a graduate student. What I do regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
Maddie Liseblad is the chair of the Graduate Student Committee. If you are a graduate student and have questions about AJHA, please contact her at MaddieL@asu.edu.
By Teri Finneman, South Dakota State University
Oral History Committee member Melita M. Garza of Texas Christian University is featured this month in the spotlight on members’ oral history projects. Garza describes her project below:
"With the help of a $1,500 Dean’s Research Grant from the Bob Schieffer College of Communication, my goal is to develop an oral history project and undergraduate research course that would examine the role journalists have played in chronicling movements for social change beyond matters of black-and-white. My project seeks to illuminate the role of journalists in civil rights reporting across fault lines of race, gender, geography, generation, and class.
"In this way, the project would contribute to the idea of the U.S. civil rights movement as “long and wide” rather than constrained to a racial binary, the geography of the South, and the time period of the 1950s and ‘60s. The traditional binary view, which historian Charles Payne called “the Montgomery to Memphis Framework,” is increasingly being challenged by scholars such as Mark Brilliant, who propose a Long and Wide Civil Rights Movement model to more accurately and comprehensively capture the conflicts and accomplishments of movements for equal rights.
"Historians have long followed the trail of journalist coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, looking among other thing, at their role as “sympathetic referees” in the black freedom struggle. As this project looks more expansively at the journalistic role in the nation’s freedom struggles, I seek answers to questions such as: How did the reporters’ background, training, and personal and journalistic outlook play into their news coverage of various struggles for civil rights not typically included in the broader accepted narrative? How did journalists report across ethnic, racial, economic, and other differences? How were their efforts accepted in the newsroom and community at large?
"This project attempts to answer these and other questions through oral history interviews with journalists across the fault lines and fissures that the late journalist Robert C. Maynard so eloquently spoke to. I’m kick-starting the project by attending Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez’s Voces Oral History Summer Research Institute this summer at the University of Texas at Austin."
Deadline: 30 June 2017, via http://bit.ly/BlocksPlatesStones-Submit
Keynote Roundtable: Dr Richard S. Field (Yale), Prof. James Mosley (Institute of English Studies), Dr. Ad Stijnman (Leiden), and Prof. Michael Twyman (Reading)
Call For Paper Abstracts & Poster Abstracts:
The material turn in fields that rely on historical printed matter has led to interest in how those texts and images were—and are—produced. Those objects, including cut woodblocks, etched and engraved metal plates, and lithographic stones, could be fundamental to research. Tens of thousands survive from the last 500 years, but the vast majority are inaccessible because they do not fit into the cataloguing structures and controlled vocabularies used by the libraries, archives and museums that hold them. Those that are accessible tend to be under-used, as few researchers are equipped to understand them or communicate about them across disciplinary boundaries. Even the most basic term is debated: in book research, a matrix is the mould for casting pieces of type; in art research, each resulting type is a matrix (and the sheets printed from them are the multiples). As new possibilities to catalogue and digitize these artifacts are revealing their research potential, it is essential to establish how they can best be made available and how they can be used in research.
This deeply interdisciplinary conference will survey the state of research into cut woodblocks, intaglio plates, lithographic stones, and other matrices/printing surfaces. It will bring together researchers, curators, librarians, printers, printmakers, cataloguers, conservators, digital humanities practitioners, and others who care for or seek to understand these objects. The discussion will encompass all media and techniques, from the fifteenth century through the present. Please submit abstracts for papers (20 minutes) and posters (A1 portrait/vertical) by 30 June 2017 at http://bit.ly/BlocksPlatesStones-Submit.
Location: (Senate House, London; reception at British Academy)
Funder: This event is part of a 12-month British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award, ‘The Matrix Reloaded: Establishing Cataloguing and Research Guidelines for Artefacts of Printing Images’, http://bit.ly/BARSEAMatrixReloaded. The discussions will support the creation of a research network to distill a single, interdisciplinary best practice from existing standards across disciplines and heritage collections and produce a program to train researchers to engage with matrices/printing surfaces.
Contact Info: Dr Elizabeth Savage (Institute of English Studies)
The American Journalism Historians Association is seeking nominations for three board positions and the office of second vice president. Board members serve for three years and are expected to attend board meetings at the annual convention. The 2nd VP, under normal circumstances, rises to the presidency in two years, then serves on the board for an additional two years. A nominee to the Board of Directors or to any of the other Officer positions must have been a member of the AJHA for at least one calendar year immediately preceding the date of the election. No more than one person from an institution can serve on the board at one time. To make nominations and to vote in an election, an individual must be a member of AJHA.
Those who wish to nominate candidates may do so by sending an
email with the nominee's name, contact information and affiliation to
election and nominations committee chair Amber Roessner,
University of Tennessee, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please confirm the candidate's willingness to serve before sending the nomination to Amber, and if possible, you should send a brief bio of the candidate.
Deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. August 26. Nominations may also be made from the floor.
Media and Communication's Volume 6, Issue 1
Title: Media History and Democracy
Editor: David W. Park (Lake Forest College, USA)
Deadline for Abstracts: 30 June 2017
Deadline for Submissions: 30 September 2017
Publication of the Issue: March 2018
Information: The journal Media and Communication hereby announces a thematic issue (to be published in 2018) dedicated to the topic of media history and democracy. Democracy, in its many guises, has long been an influential concern for media historians. The emphasis on democracy in this thematic issue is intended to link up with media histories that take on the intersection of democracy and media as understood through any one of a number of lenses. The issue of democracy brings this thematic issue in contact with numerous approaches to media history. Authors will find connections to be made between democracy and concerns for: history of technology, social history, cultural history, political history, the history of social networks, intellectual history, and more. Democracy need not be conceptualized as a formal political system for this thematic issue, and many authors may find it fruitful to consider the multifarious aspects and meanings of democracy as they reflect on how they might draft a submission to this thematic issue. Media and Communication is an international journal, and we are particularly interested in programming a thematic issue that features historical scholarship from around the world, including manuscripts that address transnational communication flows. This thematic issue of Media and Communication would be a good match for articles addressing the following topics:
The history of democratic ideals in the development of media technology;
Considerations of democratic formations as they relate to journalism history and historical understandings of the role of journalism;
Histories of media as they relate to political activism;
The history of alternative and independent media outlets as they relate to democratic processes;
The history of public service broadcasting and its applications worldwide or transnationally;
Histories of media reform movements;
Treatments of the history of literacy and its political meanings;
Internet histories as they relate to citizenship or democracy;
The historical roles of interpersonal communication and social networks as they relate to democracy;
The history of media policies and regulation designed to arrange for (or thwart) democratic communication;
Historical themes concerning the relationship between capitalism and democracy.
Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors (http://www.cogitatiopress.com/mediaandcommunication/pages/view/forauthors) and to send their abstracts (about 200–250 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the Guest Editor (Dave Park: email@example.com) by 30 June 2017.
Voice of Witness' 7th Annual Amplifying Unheard Voices Oral History Training will take place from June 27-30, 2017 at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, led by Education Program Director Cliff Mayotte and Erin Vong.
This unique four-day training highlights the power of personal narrative and provides educators, storytellers, and social justice advocates with the tools to conduct oral history projects in their classrooms and communities.
Workshop participants engage in an interactive process that introduces the skills, ethics, and social significance of creating oral history, as exemplified by Voice of Witness and other leading practitioners in the field.
This training is geared towards new and experienced practitioners from a variety of backgrounds, disciplines, and community settings. Past participants have included high school teachers, university professors, advocates, journalists, artists, and more.
During the training, participants will:
Date: June 27-30, 2017
LAST DAY TO REGISTER IS JUNE 10, 2017
Check out our website for more information: http://voiceofwitness.org/education/amplifying-unheard-voices/
Erin Vong, Education Associate at Voice of Witness
By Teri Finneman
One of the primary tasks of the Oral History Committee is to conduct interviews with members at the convention. This year, committee members Melita M. Garza and Pamela E. Walck interviewed Jean Folkerts and Mike Sweeney. Below are summaries of those interviews, with more to come later.
Interview by Melita M. Garza:
Mileposts in the journalism history career of Jean Folkerts include a stint as a pupil in an 8-student, 1-room Nebraska schoolhouse, a doctoral dissertation on William Allen White at the University of Kansas, and the deanship of the highly regarded UNC Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism.
Along the way, she became editor of the influential scholarly publication, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, a co-author of the important journalism history textbook Voices of a Nation, and also a leading historian of journalism education.
It’s easy to see why Folkerts, was named the 2016 winner of AJHA’s Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism History. Folkerts received that award at AJHA’s St. Petersburg, Florida, convention, where she also sat down for an oral history interview. During the discussion, she shared her consternation at the steady elimination of journalism history as a requirement in undergraduate and graduate programs. Now more than ever students across disciplines and majors need a solid understanding of journalism and its role in the polity, Folkerts said.
“I’d like to see it (journalism) as a general education requirement, and I’d like to see it incorporated more into journalism schools and history departments,” said Folkerts, now Interim Director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Kansas State University. “Students across the board will understand the intersection between democracy and the media. Scholars and teachers of history need to learn new ways to incorporate into the curriculum, sell it as a way to understanding the world.”
Interview by Pamela E. Walck
Michael Sweeney’s first college-level teaching gig was unpaid. He was working at the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram as a features editor, having successfully made the jump from news reporter to editor, when a newsroom buddy asked him if he wanted to try teaching at the local community college.
“So I—just as a lark—taught literature classes for free to old farts, people 55 and older, and now I am one at 56,” Sweeney said in an oral history interview during AJHA’s annual convention in St. Petersburg, Florida. “What I learned was that as much as I loved journalism, I loved teaching more.”
After taking night classes at North Texas to earn his master’s degree, Sweeney arrived at Ohio University for his doctorate and found himself terrified.
“I remember not knowing whether I would be a good teacher or not, and thinking in my mind that I was, but the proof in the pudding is in the eating. I remember the first time I taught at Ohio University just being scared out of my mind in front of these 18-and 19-year- olds,” Sweeney recalled. “But I had nothing to be afraid of. They were probably more afraid of me. But once I did it, I got juice out of it. I get electricity. Energy. . . . A good day of teaching just leaves me exhausted because I burn so much energy and so much excitement.”
To learn more about Sweeney’s foray into academia, how he began researching the wartime press and writing books for National Geographic, and how he once injured himself over an awesome headline in his news editing class, check out the latest additions to AJHA’s oral history collection.
Dr. Dane S. Claussen, Editor of the American Journalism Historians Association's The Intelligencer newsletter and the James Pedas Professor of Media, Communication and Public Relations at Thiel College (Greenville, PA), has been appointed as the next Editor of Newspaper Research Journal. The refereed, quarterly, scholarly journal has been published since 1979 by the Newspaper and Online News Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
His term will run from Jan. 1, 2018, until Sept. 30, 2021, although a transition period will start in September 2017. He will be eligible to apply for additional three-year terms as NRJ's editor starting in 2021. Dr. Claussen previously was a very active member of the Newspaper Research Journal’s Editorial Board from July 2000 to September 2012.
Dr. Claussen, who also is Chair of the Department of Media, Communication and Public Relations and Executive Director of the James Pedas Communication Center at Thiel College, is the former publisher and editor of daily, weekly, biweekly and monthly newspapers in Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington state and a former newspaper management consultant and media mergers/acquisitions broker. Throughout his teaching career, he has taught newspaper-oriented courses such as news writing, feature writing, opinion writing, public affairs journalism, news editing, and newspaper/magazine management, as well as other many other mass communication courses (media history, First Amendment law, media ethics, social science research methods, mass communication theory, media literacy, public opinion, advertising sales, etc.).
The Newspaper Research Journal’s current co-editors, Sandra H. Utt and Eleanor Kelley Grusin, both of the University of Memphis, have edited the journal since early 2001.
Dr. Claussen was Editor of the international, refereed Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, also an AEJMC quarterly, from March 2006 to September 2012, and served on its editorial board both before and since his editorship.
In AEJMC, he also has served as Head of the: History Division; Media Management, Economics & Entrepreneurship Division; Mass Communication & Society Division; Magazine Media Division; and LGBTQ Interest Group, among other roles. Claussen has been an elected member of AEJMC’s Teaching Committee; appointed member of its Publications Committee; and ex officio member of its Diversity Task Force.
Before joining Thiel, a liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, in 2015, he was Visiting Professor of International Journalism at Shanghai International Studies University in China (2013-15); Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (2011-2013); Professor & Graduate Programs Director, School of Communication, Point Park University (2001-10); and Assistant Professor of Media, Journalism & Film and of Gender Studies, Missouri State University (1999-2001). Claussen was a Fulbright Specialist (2009-2014) and has done extensive consulting for universities and nonprofits in Bangladesh.
Claussen holds the Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Georgia, an MBA from the University of Chicago, an M.S. in mass communications from Kansas State University, and a B.S. in journalism from the University of Oregon.
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