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.

  • 20 Mar 2017 6:28 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    Provincial Newspapers: Lessons from History

    to be held at the Journalism Department,

    Liverpool John Moores University on September 8, 2017.

    Closing date for proposals: 1 June 2017

    Papers are invited for a one-day conference on the theme of provincial, regional and local newspapers. The conference is being jointly organized by media historians from Coventry University and Liverpool John Moores University at a time when newsprint journalism has moved from the intensive care ward and obituaries are being pondered and some written. Yet local and regional journalism has been challenged before and emerged altered if not unscathed. This event will bring industry representatives and academics together to take a retrospective look at the current conundrum faced by the regional local newspaper industry in an effort to extrapolate lessons for the future.

    We welcome paper proposals from all eras and nationalities, shedding new light on longstanding or recent media historical topics. We anticipate sessions of 90 minutes (20 minutes per paper plus 30 minutes of questions /discussion). It is expected that suitable papers will be developed into chapters for an edited volume on this subject for Routledge.

    Themes to explore might include (but are not limited to):

    • The future of the local press and local newspaper businesses
    • Newspapers and regional identity
    • The role of local newspapers in their communities
    • Political and judicial accountability
    • Economic models
    • Trans-regional collaboration
    • Media as political and social discourse
    • Advertising
    • Production and reception histories

    The event is organized by Dr. Guy Hodgson, Senior Lecturer in Journalism at LJMU, and Dr. Rachel Matthews, Principal Lecturer in Journalism, Coventry University. In order to encourage a wide range of papers, there will be no conference fee and lunch will be provided.

    Please include an abstract of no more than 300 words and a cover sheet with a brief biographical note, your institutional affiliation (where relevant) and your contact details (including your email address). Abstracts should be sent to <>

    Closing date for proposals: 1 June 2017.

    You will be notified of the acceptance of your paper by 15 June 2017.

    More details can be found at:

  • 19 Mar 2017 5:06 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    (Editor's Note: Prof. Jennifer Abbott presented her paper, "The Lessons of Yesterday’s Public Journalism for Tomorrow’s Citizen-Engaged Journalism," at the National Communication Association convention in Philadelphia in November 2016. As public journalism from the early 1990s already is becoming history, not current events, The Intelligencer asked Dr. Abbott to tell us more about why she is researching this topic, what it means and why it's important.)

    By Jennifer Abbott

    Wabash College

    How might the news media help readers deliberate important public issues? How can journalists encourage citizens to work through a tough issue by bringing diverse perspectives together, developing mutual understanding, weighing tradeoffs, and making collective choices about how to best address the problem?  

    I asked these questions a few years ago after being trained in deliberation facilitation by the Charles F. Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio. I learned how to arrange and moderate face-to-face conversations in my community about problems like drug addiction. As a scholar and teacher of rhetoric with a background in communication studies, such oral engagements felt familiar, albeit difficult.

    I wondered, however, how the news media might aid such deliberations in their local regions. I had studied and taught about journalism and mass media for several years, but always in terms of their general influence and power to shape readers’ understanding of reality. Now I was curious about how they might citizens approach public issues more deliberatively and productively. The question seemed timely since the digital age had enabled news consumers to publicly interact with and comment upon topics covered by news organizations.  

    When I began this project, I was already somewhat familiar with public journalism, the field of practice and study that began in the late 1980s. Public journalists sought to produce news reporting that empowered citizens to identify, deliberatively engage, and improve important public issues. Given its relevance to the questions I was asking, I thought public journalism would be a good starting point to relearn how journalists had attempted to engage readers, and what scholars had concluded about their efforts.

    I found in the public journalism scholarly literature that while no consensus existed about what constituted public journalism, scholars repeatedly associated it with a clear mission and four reporting strategies. Public journalists sought to enable citizens to ameliorate public life. To this end, they covered important public issues, chosen by or with citizens. They tried to include citizens’ voices in the news, such as by turning more often to non-elite sources. Public journalists also enabled and encouraged the public to deliberate and possibly solve civic problems, and, finally, they motivated the public to get involved with the issues.  

    By the early 2000s, however, scholars largely turned their attention away from public journalism and toward newer forms of digital journalism that also attempted to involve citizens. I wondered how these newer forms similarly or differently engaged citizens compared to public journalism.  I asked how their journalistic practices and assumptions about citizens might compare or contrast. And what can we learn from public journalism to inform and improve the future of citizen-engaged journalism?

    With support from the Kettering Foundation, I set off to find some answers. I initially collected recent scholarship on four current versions of citizen-engaged journalism—participatory journalism, citizen journalism, network journalism, and community journalism—and I compared and contrasted the findings with the scholarship on public journalism. The resulting paper, however, was overly lengthy, and two of the literatures were more interesting than the others. So I cut out network journalism and community journalism and focused only on participatory journalism and citizen journalism.  

    I discovered three things as I compared scholarship about these two more current versions of journalism with public journalism. First, and this won’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the research, the literatures lack consistency in how they define and differentiate types of journalism. So I created basic definitions based on what I read. I defined participatory journalism as occurring when citizens contribute to professional journalists’ news production, such as by providing eyewitness imagery and observations, commenting on or liking a story, or even co-writing and editing stories. Citizen journalism refers to news produced by people untrained in journalism without the help of professional journalists, such as through blogs, websites, and social media posts.

    My second discovery regarded the mission and goals of journalism. I found that although participatory and citizen journalisms share some aspects of public journalism, such as encouraging citizen interactivity and involvement in public life, they don’t necessarily share public journalism’s mission to improve public life by helping citizens identify, engage, and improve important civic issues. In contrast, the newer forms of journalism tend to seek to inform the audience or to create interactivity among users. Thus, the fulfillment of public journalism’s mission through these newer forms of journalism seems more the result of chance, luck, or exception than a necessary entailment of the practices themselves. I think that difference in mission or goal is important, as I’ll explain below.

    My third discovery concerned scholars’ assumptions about citizens. Proponents and scholars of public journalism often made their assumptions about citizens explicit: they assumed citizens were willing to solve, and capable of solving, public problems. Consequently, they brought citizens into their work. Scholars of the newer forms of journalism rarely stated their assumptions about citizens explicitly, but they were implied in their findings and discussions. They assumed citizens are willing to actively participate in public life, but they offered conflicting assumptions about citizens’ capability to contribute to or produce journalism that aids public life.  

    On one hand, scholars implied that citizens are capable of aiding and, in some cases, even producing journalism that benefits public life. Particularly in the scholarship on participatory journalism, scholars assumed that ordinary citizens can effectively assist professional journalists’ creation of the news. They celebrated citizens’ collaboration with trained journalists and lamented professional reporters’ unwillingness to give more control of the news production process to such capable citizens. They called on professionals to shift their role from informing to engaging citizens in order to increasingly bring citizens’ contributions into their work.

    On the other hand, scholars of the newer forms of journalism also implied that citizens are less capable than professional journalists of producing news and commentary that adequately serve public life. Though this assumption can be found in some of the research on participatory journalism, it most strikingly appeared in the scholarship on citizen journalism. When citizens worked on their own, scholars questioned their ability to produce news that achieved the quality or impact of news reported by trained journalists. Scholars advised professional journalists to remain closely involved in news production so as to guide citizens’ contributions and moderate their discussions. 

    I think these findings prompt several questions for scholars interested in the future of citizen-engaged journalism. Are citizens today capable of contributing to the news in ways that benefit the public’s welfare? I’m not always sure they are, especially with the circulation of fake news and politically motivated reporting. Yet I think public journalism showed us that this capability can exist if journalists nurture and facilitate it. Such an investment, however, assumes a news organization is devoted to empowering citizens to identify, deliberatively engage, and improve important public issues. That investment raises another question, prompted by my findings, about mission. Should journalists—trained or untrained—who work in digital contexts more purposefully adopt public journalism’s mission to improve public life?  I think they should in order to help make citizen involvement with the media more purposeful, more deliberative, and more impactful on public life. The mission or goal would, ideally, drive more productive reporting practices and activities. 

    Of course, all of this means journalism scholars may need to find and study where citizens’ news efforts are already encouraging deliberative and productive civic engagement even when they alter the definition or production of news. By discovering the merits of such alterations, and not just lamenting their drawbacks, scholars might encourage professional journalists to expand and adapt their practices in the name of nurturing citizen involvement and improving public life.

    Frankly, I’m continuing to think through these implications of my findings as I consider the feedback I gained at the National Communication Association national convention and from a journal reviewers as I work to revise and resubmit this essay for publication. After I make revisions, I plan to return to a case study I’ve written, but need to significantly revise, about two community newspapers that adapted the practices of public journalism for the 21st century. I’m also interested in keeping up with current collaborative efforts happening between people involved with journalism and with deliberation, such as through the Kettering Foundation and through the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) and Journalism That Matters. I think the fields of journalism and deliberation have much to gain and learn from each other as we move forward in thinking about how the news media might help readers deliberate important public issues.

  • 19 Mar 2017 3:20 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    NPHFI Tenth Annual Conference, Newcastle University, UK, 10-11 November 2017

    Fake news is a term that has become familiar in late 2016 and early 2017, not least because of international political developments. But is it necessarily a new phenomenon? The control, presentation and manipulation of news has played a key role in the, sometimes tumultuous, history of Anglo-Irish relations. And a similarly important role in the assertion and subversion of power in colonial, totalitarian and radical societies throughout history worldwide.

    To what extent does fake news, and its close relative propaganda, represent active falsification of information and the dissemination of misinformation, as opposed to the reporting of mistakes or errors due to confusion? What are the implications of the accusation of fake news for a report or news outlet? How does historical perspective change the evaluation of whether something is fake news? The Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland (NPHFI) seeks to investigate this phenomenon and its historical application in the print media at its tenth annual conference. Papers are invited that interrogate and/or challenge these questions from a range of disciplinary perspectives. The focus of papers should be on print media.

    Topics that may be addressed include, but are not, limited to:

    • Propaganda, political lobbying and activism.
    • Irish views of Britain and British views of Ireland.
    • News manipulation across the political spectrum.
    • Representations of ‘the Other’.
    • War reporting and embedded reporting.
    • Representing and reporting civil unrest and conflict worldwide.
    • Fake news and celebrity.

    Papers may address any historical period, up to and including the present day, and any geographical region.

    To submit a proposal please email an abstract of no more than 250 words to the NPHFI secretary, Dr James O’Donnell, at

    Abstracts must contain a clear title and present clearly the main thesis/ argument proposed. Each abstract must also include name(s), affiliation, institutional address and email address(es) of the author(s).

    Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 May 2017

    The Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland seeks to achieve gender balance on its conference panels and welcomes proposals from researchers of all career stages working in academia, media, and in professional organizations.

  • 19 Mar 2017 3:14 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    American Journalism: A Journal of Media History, official scholarly journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, announces a call for proposals for a special issue to be published in April 2019 to commemorate the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution that granted the women of all states the right to vote. We seek original historical research on the role of media in and about the suffrage movement, work that illuminates lasting cultural, political, economic, ideological, and social problems. Research could center on movement, mainstream, ethnic or alternative media; strategic communication, visual culture, or closely related themes.

    Much can be gleaned from examining pro- and anti-suffrage media strategies and the public responses they elicited. For the past forty years, an important body of scholarship has emerged about the movement and media. For the occasion of this centennial anniversary, our goal is to build on this foundation with work that asks new questions and presents new theoretical and methodological approaches, insights, and arguments.

    The proposal should be five to ten pages, including a title or a two-sentence summary, a 250-word abstract, and a narrative that explains the scope of the project, its theme or argument, and its importance. It should demonstrate familiarity with the relevant literature and historical context as well as historiography, provide examples of primary sources, and address how the author plans to develop and structure the work.

    Topics may include, but are not limited to, studies of:

    • iconography and visual culture
    • constructions of womanhood and sexuality
    • the business and economics of the suffrage media
    • publicity and strategic communications
    • the politics of race and racial tensions
    • suffrage and the media within the broader women’s rights agenda
    • audiences and reception of suffrage media
    • popular culture representations and media interpretations of this history
    • intersection of suffrage with the mainstream media
    • the recalibrated movement media image in the amendment’s aftermath
    • audiences and reception of suffrage and anti-suffrage media

    Submission Schedule

    July 1, 2017: Proposals are due.

    September 1, 2017: Invitations to submit the full article will be delivered.

    April 1, 2018: First drafts of articles are due, with final decisions, edits, and requests for revisions to follow.

    Please send your title/description, 250-word abstract, and five- to ten-page proposal to:

    Prospective authors should feel free to contact members of the editorial board listed below.

    The Editorial Board

    American Journalism’s Special Issue on Women’s Suffrage and the Media

    Maurine Beasley

    Jinx Broussard

    Kathy Roberts Forde

    Carolyn Kitch

    Brooke Kroeger

    Linda Lumsden

    Jane Marcellus

    Jane Rhodes

    Linda Steiner

  • 15 Mar 2017 1:35 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)
    (Editor's Note: Carolin Aronis presented her paper, "Letters, Newspapers, and Communication with the Dead: Practices of (Im)materiality," at the National Communication Association convention in Philadelphia in November 2016. TheIntelligencer asked Dr. Aronis to tell us more about why she is researching this topic, what it means and why it's important.)

    By Carolin Aronis

    Colorado State University

    Opening the popular newspapers in Israel on days of national tragedy such as war, terrorist attacks, wildfires and alike, one usually finds next to the common hard news items framed texts that look like opinion pieces but are actually strange letters addressing people who died at the covered event. The letters open by the first name of a dead person. These texts tell in the second person to the deceased relatives and friends, in personal and emotional language, their deep longing to him or her, what happened at the event that caused their death and what happened after it, including the terrible void and sorrow that dead addressee have created by his or her leave. Many of these letters close with promises to the dead—some make certain requests to watch the living from above and to wait for them before uniting again. The letters end with warm and loving words, and a personal signature. These letters, strangely enough, are not brought to the newspaper from another context, as republishing a text that has been written and read in a funeral or Memorial Day, but the discussed letters are purposely written to and for the publication in the newspaper. 

    For the last two decades, these letters have become an Israeli journalistic genre for the coverage of national tragedies. While approaching the dead through electronic media technologies (telegraph, television, telephone, internet, etc.) is a historically and currently known phenomenon in Western culture—writing to the dead by using an integration of interpersonal and mass communication technologies (e.g., letter and newspaper) provide media scholars with some additional and essential thinking about the field.

    It positions meaningful issues in the intersection of written technologies, inter-mass communication, death and recipiency. My work, which I would like to introduce here, deals with the rhetoric and “operation” of these letters. 

    The first letter I found was of a mother writing to her baby who died due to a failure in a baby food company in Israel (known as the Remedia Affair, 2003). I studied this case for my master’s thesis, looking at the journalistic discourse about mothers, and of mothers, in the public construct of blame, among others—of the mothers that did not nurse their babies. However, this letter (“They Murdered You, My Baby”), which was published on the cover page of the most popular newspaper in Israel, at first reading brought tears to my eyes, and it kept “bothering” me. It initiated something special in the newspaper, and attracted me as a reader in a different way than other journalistic items. It is said that from every M.A. thesis one can produce one to two academic articles, and I was willing to open a new direction with this letter. I dealt previously with holocaust witnessing and the gaps of space and time along with the unreachable dead. I found in this letter some of these aspects. I also found some unexpected intimacy in a mass medium and I was willing to study and understand it. 

    During the last few years I kept thinking about the reasons for this genre to emerge and the functions it serves—regarding the writers, the newspaper, and its readership. These inquiries lead me to additional questions about what these letters can tell us regarding the role of newspapers in our society and in our media environment; what is the character of rhetoric the letters build with challenges of materiality and the missing addressee; and what kind of communicative acts these letters establish with the newspaper readership and with the dead addressee. All those focuses represent different aspects that lead to understand the essence of mass communication, and especially journalism—either generally or particularly—through another point of view than it is customary in studies in the field. 

    I would like to introduce a paper I presented at the latest National Communication Association convention in Philadelphia, and to shortly discuss issues of im/materiality within this case. The title of my presented paper, in the Media Ecology Division, is “Letters, Newspapers, and Communication with the Dead: Practices of materiality and immateriality.” I am thankful to John Dowd (Bowling Green State University), the NCA division chair who made me notice how relevant my work is to Media Ecology, which is all about mediums and matters themselves. A first draft of this paper was presented in a seminar of the 2015 Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) as “The Practice and Materiality of the Jewish Death.” The seminar, which was thought provoking for me, was led by Sean Burrus, an archaeologist and a Jewish studies scholar, and it was my first foray into areas of matters and materiality with this case study. During the last few years, and parallel to others’ studies, I have conducted research about balconies as urban communication media in the Mediterranean city.

    Moving to Colorado few years ago, I started to be immersed in the scholarship of spatial and material rhetoric thanks to connections I made with Greg Dickinson (Colorado State University) and John Ackerman (University of Colorado Boulder). Yet, it was an exciting move for me in bringing matters and the material into the analysis of letters, journalism, and the intersection between communication, life and death. And it was not surprising that some of this move also found an anchor at the media ecology scholarship that usually look at the medium more than at its message, giving more emphasis to the material act of communication. 

    I figured out that in several aspects these letters written to the dead are material and immaterial at the same time. In their content, they are based on material and immaterial rhetoric when they relate to the actual body and environment of the writer—some letters include descriptions of the writers’ tears, their shaking body, the wet keyboard or the view that is seen from the window next to the desk. At the same time, the letters describe the absence of the dead addressee, its immateriality—the orphaned chair, the memory of the touch, the disappearing smell from the dead’s clothes, and the dead’s essential non-existence—various of things that represent void and absence. 

    In addition, as in any technology of communication, both the letters and the newspaper hold messages that have material performance—printed words, photographs, the paper itself—but represent immaterial messages: emotions, information, requests, things that one cannot necessarily feel with his or her senses. The contradiction or the relation between material and immaterial is at the very core of communication and media. Especially with written technology, and even more so with technologies of mass communication as the newspaper, there is a significant gap between the place and time of the writing act and the reading act. In this case, the writers and the addressees are just an abstract idea for each other, not tangible people. The writer does not know to where his text will arrive if at all, readers and the action of reading, as Walter Ong brightly explains, are never known to the writer. In the case of letters written to the dead and published in the newspaper, the unknown addressee is intertwined with the dead, the non-existent reader, or with substitute “eavesdropping” readers, who might read the letter, but it does not address them directly. The unknown destination of the letter/newspaper is intertwined with the unknown realm of death. 

    While examining the actual rhetoric of the letters and their journalistic frame (performance) in the newspaper, I considered also the materiality that is embraced in the notion of letter and newspaper, as they both represent a geographical movement, or as can be adopted from Marshal McLuhan – a certain “paper route.” The notion of a letter evokes in our mind the material route of the paper, the envelope with its stamp, a mailbox, the transportation through spaces, and the waiting in another mailbox. The notion of the newspaper evokes the printing process and the distribution to everywhere and anywhere (paraphrasing Jeffrey Sconce’s definitions). The materiality and immateriality are also part of life and death, of existence and non-existence. 

    Following the axis of materiality–immateriality that stands in the heart of both media and death, I address these issues in my paper and explain the nature and rhetorical practices of the latter and newspaper technologies—together and separately—and how their reconstruction of this communicative act seems to bridge between the realms of life and death. 

    This case study could be viewed through several prisms of journalism research. It demonstrates the growing populism of the newspaper, especially in competing with electronic media. It demonstrates the ordinary voice in the shaping of the news, even to a point where the source speaks for itself, almost without any mediation of a journalist. It also demonstrates a change in the language and topics of the news – instead of writing about facts that happened in the past, this genre creates an illusionary situation, in present and future tenses. Additionally, the case demonstrates the newspaper as a site for mourning and remembering, and of course reminds the tight relationship between the historical emergences of the newspaper letters exchange.  

    This project will hopefully produce three published articles (the first one is in an R&R procedure) and in the future a book about letters written to the dead and mass communication.  

    * * *

    Dr. Carolin Aronis received her Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Department of Communication and Journalism. She is currently teaching at Colorado State University and previously was a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In the past, Dr. Aronis worked as a journalist. For further interest/information please write to or

  • 14 Mar 2017 6:55 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    Jhistory posted on March 10, 2017:

    "Jim Leonhirth, Jhistory's longtime moderator, is stepping down.  He's done an amazing job over the years and was one of the early members of the list; we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his years of service. 

    "We are looking for another moderator (or two) to help manage the list.  You'd be moderating the list about three or four months a year (we take turns) and the workload is about an hour or two a week when you're on."

  • 10 Mar 2017 12:24 AM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    American Journalism, the flagship journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, seeks applications for its Rising Scholar Award. The application deadline is Thursday, June 1, 2017.

    The award provides research assistance of up to $2,000 for a junior, untenured faculty member or a media professional who has transitioned within the last four years to full-time work in the academy. The proposed research project must be related to media history, and all methodological approaches are welcomed.

    Applicants must be current AJHA members at the time the proposal is submitted. Proposals may be for sole authored or co-authored work (award amount will be shared).

    Applicants must submit the following to Jinx C. Broussard, Manship School of Mass Communications, 205 Hodges Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, or via e-mail to

    • Cover letter with name and contact information for applicant(s).
    • Three- to five-page prospectus of the project timeline, describing and explaining the topic, scope, objectives, primary sources, and justifying its contribution to the historiography of the mass media.
    • One-page itemized budget. Indicate if additional funding will be used, including the source and amount.
    • If appropriate, include Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from the university.
    • A list of possible publication venues for the finished project.
    • A letter of support from the applicant’s department chair or dean.
    • A curriculum vita of no more than three pages.

    Founded in 1981, the American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Members work to raise historical standards and ensure that all scholars and students recognize the vast importance of media history and apply this knowledge to the advancement of society. For more information on AJHA, visit

  • 28 Feb 2017 2:44 PM | Dane Claussen (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 36th annual convention to be held October 12-14, 2017, in Little Rock, Arkansas. More information on the 2017 AJHA convention is available at

    The deadline for all submissions is June 1, 2017.

    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 and panels submitted to the convention should not have been submitted to or accepted by another convention or publication.


    Authors may submit only one research paper. They also may submit one Research in Progress abstract but only on a significantly different topic. 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 PDF or 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 student or faculty status) in the text of the email.

    Send papers to

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

    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.

    Research Chair Michael Fuhlhage ( of Wayne State University is coordinating paper submissions. Authors will be notified in mid-July 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 one-inch margins. Panel participants must register for and attend the convention.

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

    Tracy Lucht ( of Iowa State University is coordinating the panel competition. Authors of panel proposals will be notified in mid-July whether their panels have been accepted.


    The Research in Progress category is for work that will NOT be completed before the conference. 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 PDF or 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 mid-July whether their proposals have been accepted.

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

    Melita Garza ( of Texas Christian University is coordinating the Research in Progress competition.

  • 21 Feb 2017 10:27 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    The Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism History

    The organization's highest honor 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. Award winners need not be members of the AJHA. Nominations for the award are solicited annually, but the award need not be given every year. Those making nominations for the award should present, at the minimum, a cover letter that explains the nominee's contributions to the field as well as a vita or brief biography of the nominee. Supporting letters for the nomination are also encouraged.

    Distinguished Service to Journalism History Award

    The Distinguished Service to Journalism History Award recognizes contributions by an individual outside our discipline who has made an extraordinary effort to further significantly our understanding of, or our ability to explore, media history.  Nominations are solicited annually, but the award is given only in exceptional situations.  Thus, it is not given every year. Those making nominations for the award should present, at the minimum, a cover letter that explains the nominee's contributions to the field as well as a vita or brief biography of the nominee. Supporting letters for the nomination are also encouraged.

    The deadline for both awards is Saturday, May 13, 2017. Please send all material via email to:

    Mike Conway

    Indiana University Media School

  • 02 Feb 2017 5:36 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    On Thursday, the executive leadership of the American Journalism Historians Association released an official statement regarding the organization’s stance on the policies, positions and statements of the administration of President Donald J. Trump in relation to journalism, democracy and history.

    The statement reads:

    The American Journalism Historians Association, as the nation’s largest organization dedicated to the study of journalism history, is particularly well suited to consider the centuries-old American struggle for free press, truth, and transparency, both in its principles of democracy and of journalism.

    In the past, efforts to limit that freedom have moved the United States away from its ideals of liberty and equality. AJHA believes that assaults on journalists and free speech from the highest levels of U.S. government constitute a dangerous attack on this country’s fundamental democratic principles and traditions, while simultaneously undermining the very basis of historical truth.

    AJHA affirms its position that facts, truth, integrity, and respect for the importance of journalists have been a hallmark of American law and custom for more than two centuries, and must continue to be a bedrock principle of American democracy.

    David Vergobbi, AJHA President, University of Utah
    Dianne Bragg, AJHA 1st Vice-President, University of Alabama
    Ross Collins, AJHA 2nd Vice-President, North Dakota State University

    Founded in 1981, the American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Members work to raise historical standards and ensure that all scholars and students recognize the vast importance of media history and apply this knowledge to the advancement of society. For more information on AJHA, visit 

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