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.

  • 24 Sep 2018 3:48 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    Laura Díaz-Esteve, a  Ph.D. student in History in Universitat Pompeu Fabra, in Barcelona, Spain, reports that she is spending a month doing research in Washington, D.C., and will attend the AJHA convention in Salt Lake City while in the USA. She describes her background and research interests with, “I graduated in Journalism in 2015 and I got a master’s in global history in 2016. Already in my master’s thesis, I showed my interest in journalism history as it dealt with coverage of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide in the Spanish newspaper, El País. Nowadays I am in the second year of my Ph.D. program and my research interests are journalism and imperialism at the turn of the 20th Century.”

    George Garrigues, emeritus, Lincoln University of Missouri and University of Bridgeport, has published Marguerite Martyn, America’s Forgotten Journalist as an ebook through It is available on Amazon, and a print version will be ready soon.

    Information from Marilyn Greenwald’s biography A Woman of the Times, Journalism, Feminism and the Career of Charlotte Curtis (Ohio University Press, 1999) was used in a September 21 New York Times story, “When the Times Kept Women Reporters Upstairs,” about the history of the women’s pages at the Times.

    Mark Holan's piece about American journalist William Henry Hurlbert’s 1888 travels in Ireland was published on “The Irish Story,” a Dublin-based website. The article was drawn from Holan’s 40-part blog serial, "Ireland Under Coercion, Revisited," and included research at Trinity College Dublin.

    Jon Marshall, Northwestern University, co-authored an Op-Ed for The New York Times, “The Myth of Watergate Bipartisanship,” published Aug. 14. Jon collaborated on the column with Michael Conway, who served as counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during its impeachment inquiry of Richard Nixon. Jon also appeared on CNN’s “Newsroom” Aug. 25 to discuss the column and historic similarities and differences between the Watergate era and now.

  • 21 Sep 2018 10:59 AM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    By Dianne Bragg, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa

    Football and fall have finally arrived, but temperatures have still been scorching down South. Many of us are looking forward to cooler weather when we meet in Salt Lake City for the 2018 AJHA National Convention. In Alabama, though, historians have good reason to remain hot under the collar.

    The Dallas Morning News has reported that the Texas State Board of Education recently voted to remove certain historical figures from their curriculum, which means they will also be absent from future textbooks. Their reasoning is that children are required to learn about too many people from the past, and there needed to be some streamlining. They designed a rubric to determine which historical figures would score high enough to remain in the curriculum and who would be removed. 

    After the scores were tallied and the penalties assessed, it was decided that third graders would no longer be forced to learn about one of the most influential and inspirational women in our country’s history, Alabama’s own Helen Keller.

    Like a kicker who missed one too many field goals, she just didn’t make the cut.

    But, Keller, whose story is recounted in plays, movies, and books, isn’t alone. In fact, some would say she’s in pretty good company, as she is joined by the first woman to run for president as the candidate of a major political party. That’s right, the one who actually won the popular vote only to lose the Electoral College. Gender aside, it seems just the civics lesson involved in how our elections work would be enough to keep Hillary Clinton in the history books.

    But, that’s not how they do it in Texas. No, in Texas, history is often influenced by groups such as Texas Values, whose president, Jonathan Saenz, is pleased by the board’s decision to keep textbook passages on Moses’ influence on the Constitution, Arab countries’ responsibility for conflict in the Middle East and the Rev. Billy Graham.

    “In Texas, you don't mess with the Alamo and you don't mess with our Christian heritage. We applaud the majority of the State Board of Education for doing the right thing by restoring our foundational rights and history,” Saenz said in a statement reported by the News. “We are prepared to fight to protect these standards all the way to the end.”

    All of this should give us pause for several reasons, and foremost among them would be the idea that a partisan religious organization would wield any influence in the area of public school textbooks. But, historically, they do, and that’s not just in Texas. In fact, textbook decisions made in Texas often influence and reflect school board curriculums across the country. 

    All said, we are reminded once again about the importance of teaching an inclusive history, one that represents the varied cultural historical heritages of our country. That’s what a public school history education should do in order to teach and inspire American students of all races, genders and religions. Removing women like Clinton and Keller from curriculums that too often are saturated with one historical perspective does a disservice to all underrepresented groups, and especially to their children.

    Sadly, the truth is that many school districts won’t decry the removal of Clinton from the history books. Some will be glad to see her go because they disagree with her politically or just don’t like her. There are a great many men, though, with whom I disagree, say Joseph McCarthy or Robert E. Lee, but they certainly belong in our history books. History is not a popularity contest, no matter what the rubrics say. It’s a record of our past, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    As for Keller, there might be a bit of a backlash. Maybe Texas thinks it’s ok to mess with Keller, but they should be careful with Alabama, on and off the football field.

  • 14 Sep 2018 1:48 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    The peer-reviewed quarterly journal of the American Journalism Historians Association has awarded its 2018 “Article of the Year” prize to Dr. Tom Mascaro of Bowling Green State University.

    American Journalism’s editors selected Mascaro’s “The Blood of Others: Television Documentary Journalism as Literary Engagement” as the best article to have been submitted to the journal over the last year.

    “I was particularly pleased to have had this article accepted by American Journalism, because it takes documentary scholarship in a new direction,” Mascaro said, “but to have it selected as the Best Article by people I truly admire far exceeded my expectations. I am genuinely honored and thrilled.”

    In his article, Mascaro argues that documentary journalists have been too narrowly defined as strictly journalists.

    Mascaro posits documentarians, like their counterparts in literature, intimately engage with and immerse themselves in the topics they research, which warrants examining documentaries as both acts of journalism and engaged literature.

    Mascaro will be recognized for his work at the upcoming AJHA National Convention, Oct. 4-6 in Salt Lake City.

  • 14 Sep 2018 1:19 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    By Scott Burgess, Wayne State University

    To me, archives are a lot like churches. Both hold ancient texts; both operate in hushed silence; and both have too few visitors. During my career as a journalist, I had visited a few archives, but more to poke around and see what might be there, hoping to stumble upon something I could use for a story. Good research, however, requires more than just groping in the dark for a light switch. Good research tries to figure out where to look before the flailing begins. 

    As a doctoral student, I rediscovered both my reverence for archives and artifacts and the pure excitement behind realizing you just may have found something important. Under the demanding but kind hand of Wayne State University’s journalism historian Dr. Michael Fuhlhage, I began a project that examined how the United Auto Workers used the media to recruit African-American workers in 1940s. Over the course of the semester, Dr. Fuhlhage patiently helped me hone my skills to comprehensively and meticulously pour through documents filed away that rarely see sunlight. Wayne State’s Walter P. Reuther Library houses all of the UAW’s archives and contains a staggering amount of material ranging from internal memos and handwritten notes to meeting minutes and various campaign flyers. However, as I’m sure many historians know, finding these documents and determining their significance remains is no easy task.

    Combining my journalism skills and carefully plotted instructions that showed me how to organize my findings (and later interpret them), I folded away my personal belongings in a hallway locker and entered the archive’s examination room with just a list of boxes I hoped to view, a pencil, and my camera. I set up at a large oak table and took in the cathedral-like atmosphere. A few other scholars quietly worked around me, combing through files. I opened one reserved box and was hit by that sweet pungent smell of damp paper and began my exploration. I worked for more than two weeks – and having strategically invested in cookies for the archivists on a few days -- found the documents that brought to life the first paper I would have accepted at any academic conference – the 2017 American Historical Journalism Association’s national conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    I had only a vague understanding of how many hours I spent in the Reuther because it was so easy to lose focus on the task at hand and start reading everything. Six banker boxes waited for me when I walked in the first day and every day after that there would be between eight and 10 sitting on library carts. Walter Reuther, a founding member of the UAW, made famous when Henry Ford’s team of thugs beat him outside of the Rouge River plant, had more than one hundred feet of documents. Telegrams from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, letters for dignitaries, and Reuther’s handwritten edits on onion skin drafts of speeches that would embolden union members to continue their work were now in my hands. Another box from another UAW official had notes about how all of the union leaders carried guns because of the constant threats made against them, and how on one night, the second president of the UAW and Reuther’s brother, Viktor, almost killed each other in a dark alley. It was easy to lose myself in the history I was physically holding.

    But I did have a paper to finish, and I resisted the urge just enough to discover the first bulldog edition of the UAW’s weekly newspaper that was printed exclusively for African-Americans. While I have never found a reference to this paper in previous literature, the paper was sitting right out in the open in a bounded edition of the papers. The only difference was that every photo in the eight-page tabloid paper included African Americans and the stories were written about and for African Americans. As it would turn out, the UAW’s role in recruiting African Americans would have a profound impact at other unions and throughout the automotive world. It would still take decades before the civil rights movement would take hold – something the UAW would eventually join – but many strategies first employed by the UAW would be used by African Americans fighting for civil rights. 

    As part of a different historical research team led by Dr. Fuhlhage, I assisted with a second paper accepted at the 2018 AJHA national conference examining how newspapers around the country in 1860 wrote about succession and the editorials that followed. We traced the exchange programs and examine how stories moved around the country more than 150 years ago. Anyone who immerses themselves in those papers immediately understands that any argument that suggests that the Civil War was not about slavery has only a loose grip on reality. A sharp focus and insight into the past certainly crystalizes what is happening today in ways that will continue to produce fascinating research on the human’s race inability to learn from its own mistakes. 

    While I began my academic career strictly as a political communication scholar who loves journalism, it is through AJHA and the Dr. Fuhlhage’s infectious excitement in journalism history that has broadened the scope and depth of my scholarship. At the end of the day of researching, having dug through dozens of boxes, hundreds of files, you can judge how hard your worked by how dark the ink stains are on your hands. It’s immensely satisfying. Especially after you have on your camera pictures of a brochure created by the UAW in 1941 and used exclusively to recruit African Americans into the union that changed the course of the future. Those little discoveries continue to build up for me, and I understand yet another church-archive similarity. When you find something meaningful, even an atheist like me realizes that there just might have been divine intervention. 

    G. Scott Burgess is a second-year doctoral student at Wayne State University. A former paratrooper and journalist, Scott has been a reporter, editor, war correspondent, and automotive critic. Scott’s scholarship includes political communication, incivility, new media and journalism history.

  • 05 Sep 2018 11:59 AM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    The editors of American Journalism, the peer-reviewed quarterly journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, have announced Dr. Susan E. Swanberg of the University of Arizona’s School of Journalism as the winner of the 2018 Rising Scholar Award.

    Swanberg received this honor in recognition for her ongoing research titled “Spinning Science: Journalism’s Role at the Interface of Science and Public Policy During the Birth of the Atomic Age.” "I'm honored and thrilled to be the recipient of an AJHA Rising Scholar Award,” Swanberg said. “With this award I'll be able to visit archives crucial to my research on journalism’s role at the interface of science and public policy during the birth of the atomic age. I look forward to sharing the untold history of science journalism in the early years of the Atomic Era.

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

    Swanberg’s research will examine not only the impact of journalism on science policy in the mid-20th century, but also the lasting effect of the work of key scientific journalists on today’s scientific landscape.

    Dr. Vanessa Murphree, associate editor of American Journalism and professor at The University of Southern Mississippi, said this trajectory distinguished Swanberg’s research from the field of Rising Scholar Award candidates. “Dr. Swanberg has developed an important and timely research agenda that examines the knowledge gap between scientists and the public,” Murphree said. “She further examines how this lack of information influences expertise influences policy development in important areas such as energy, climate, public health, space exploration and other important scientific matters.”

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

  • 02 Sep 2018 7:35 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    Jean Folkerts, former dean and alumni distinguished professor emeritus at UNC-Chapel Hill, reports, "I have a collection of materials regarding the history of journalism, public relations and advertising education history. It probably would fill a small box movers use to move books. If anyone is interested in having this collection, I’d be happy to ship it to them for the cost of shipping. If you are interested, please contact

  • 02 Sep 2018 4:43 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    Second Vice President: Tom Mascaro, Bowling Green State University

    Dr. Thomas A. Mascaro is a documentary historian and the author of Into the Fray: How NBC’s Washington Documentary Unit Reinvented the News (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2012), which won the 2013 James W. Tankard Award for Best Book on Journalism given by the Standing Committee on Research of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), honorable mention from the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA), and recognition from the Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism and Mass Communication Research Award. His articles and reviews appear in American Journalism, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism History, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and the Journal of Popular Film and Television. His analysis on “The Benjamin Report” earned Mascaro the Annual Covert Award in Mass Communication History for best article of the year (co-winner, 2006, AEJMC History Division). Dr. Mascaro earned his Ph.D. in Radio-TV-Film from Wayne State University (1994) and Master of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan (1990). He is a professor in the School of Media & Communication (SMC) at Bowling Green State University, where he was a finalist for the Master Teacher Award in 2013. Dr. Mascaro is the Advisor to the SMC Documentary Minor and teaches undergraduate courses on documentary history before/after 1968, film-TV-videogame criticism, and media history. He co-founded the Documentary Division of the Broadcast Education Association (2004) and was its first chair, 2005-2008. He teaches graduate classes on Critical Media Analysis, Philosophical Foundations of Communication Theory, and Documentary Studies and has been on dissertation committees dealing with documentary ethics, practices, and fandom, and media depictions of gender. He is also researching a project on documentary ethics and standards and working on the sequel to Into the Fray titled Hard Truths: Documenting America’s Social/Global History from Johnson to Reagan.

    Board of Directors: Gerry Lanosga, Indiana University

    Gerry Lanosga's research and teaching revolve around the practice of journalism from both contemporary and historical standpoints. In particular, his interests include the development of journalism as a profession, prize culture in journalism, and journalism's intersections with public policy through investigative reporting and the use of freedom of information laws. Lanosga completed his Ph.D. in 2010 at Indiana University and taught for three years at Ball State University before returning to IU. Previously, he spent nearly two decades as a print and broadcast journalist. He worked nine years as an investigative producer at WTHR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, where his work won numerous state, regional and national honors, including the duPont-Columbia award, the George Foster Peabody award, Sigma Delta Chi’s public service award, and the Freedom of Information medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. Before that, he was a reporter and columnist for The Indianapolis News and The Indianapolis Star. A frequent speaker and writer on issues relating to open government, Lanosga serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations working in that arena – the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, the Indiana Coalition for Open Government and the Indiana Debate Commission. In addition to his scholarly work, he is a regular contributor to the Indianapolis Business Journal's Indiana Forefront political blog. Lanosga is married and has three sons.

    Board of Directors: Willie Tubbs, University of West Florida

    Dr. Willie Tubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of West Florida. His expertise in communications is broad and includes interactive media, message design, journalism and media relations. Tubbs’ primary area of research is media history with a focus on 20th Century American media. In addition to his academic and teaching career, Tubbs has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, writer and reporter. Tubbs has served in numerous volunteer capacities. His affiliations include the American Journalism Historians Association and Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. For his work in academia, Tubbs has won numerous awards for teaching, presentations and papers. Tubbs received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Louisiana College, master’s degree in interactive media from Quinnipiac University and a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Southern Mississippi. Tubbs enjoys spending time with Mary Beth, his wife; Scarlet, his Pomeranian; and Charlie, his cat. He is also a fan of traveling, reading classic works of fiction and weight lifting.

    Board of Directors: Ken J. Ward, Lamar University

    Ken J. Ward is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Lamar University. His research explores both historical and contemporary dimensions of journalism with an emphasis on the relationship between journalism and community. Current projects include an exploration of the impact of past and present trends in journalism on social capital in the United States.

    He currently serves as registrar of AJHA and a member of the 2018 AEJMC Presidential Task Force on Building Connections, and he is a charter advisor to the Lamar University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. His research and teaching have received numerous awards, including the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools, and he is an inductee of Kappa Tau Alpha.

    Ken’s research appears in such peer-reviewed publications as Journal of Media Law and EthicsJournal of Media Ethics, and Journal of Magazine and New Media Research

  • 28 Aug 2018 10:04 AM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    The American Journalism Historians Association has selected Steven Casey of the London School of Economics and Political Science as the winner of its Book of the Year Award for 2018 for The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War Against Nazi Germany (Oxford University Press).

    The award, which recognizes the best book in journalism history or mass media history published during the previous calendar year, will be presented at AJHA’s Annual Convention Oct. 4-6 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    “Our panel of judges agreed that Steven Casey’s work once again established that good history at its best should be good reading,” said Aimee Edmondson from Ohio University, chair of the book award committee. “They also agreed his book provides a landmark work for scholars, an engaging and compelling account of journalists dedicated to reporting the Allied campaigns to dislodge the German forces from Europe.”

    Casey is a professor of international history who specializes in U.S. foreign policy. His book—based on hundreds of manuscript collections, many previously unpublished—provides the first comprehensive account of how American war correspondents reported World War II.

    Two authors also will be given honorable mention for the award: Carolyn Edy from Appalachian State University for The Woman War Correspondent, the U.S. Military, and the Press: 1846-1947 (Lexington Books), and Julia Guarneri from the University of Cambridge for Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans (University of Chicago Press).

     “Typically we name one winner, but this year’s competition included so many wonderful works, judges agreed we should award two honorable mentions,” Edmondson said.

  • 28 Jul 2018 10:30 AM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    The American Journalism Historians Association announced today that Dr. Mike Sweeney of Ohio University has won the organization’s 2018 National Award for Excellence in Teaching.

    Sweeney has been on faculty at Ohio University since 2009, having previously worked from 1996-2009 at Utah State. He will receive his award at the AJHA National Convention, which will take place Oct. 4- 6 in Salt Lake City.

    “I am honored to join the ranks of some truly great teachers of journalism history – the ‘Mount Rushmore’ of professors -- previously recognized with this award,” Sweeney said. “In accepting, I would like to say that an effective professor recognizes the rich, two-way nature of communication required for deep learning in the classroom, and so I would like to say ‘Thank you’ to my excellent students.”

    AJHA’s education committee, the members of which judged all entries, noted Sweeney’s consistently strong course evaluations, creative course and project designs, and engagement with his students. Sweeney’s work with aspiring media historians has also translated into several of his doctoral students participating in annual AJHA national conventions. “The level of mentoring it takes to guide student research projects, and then to oversee the presentations of the projects at a major professional conference, seems to me to separate out Sweeney’s accomplishments," one of the judges’ ballots read.

    Kaylene Armstrong, chair of the education committee, said the committee received excellent applications for the award, making the job of the judges particularly difficult this year. "I think we would have been comfortable awarding this honor to any of the applicants," she said.

  • 27 Jul 2018 11:19 PM | Dane Claussen (Administrator)

    Call for Papers

    Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression

    November 8–10, 2018

    The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

    Deadline: August 27, 2018

    The steering committee of the twenty-sixth annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression solicits papers dealing with US 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 in the 19th century press, sensationalism and crime in 19th century newspapers, the press in the Gilded Age, and the antebellum press and the causes of the Civil War. Selected papers will be presented during the three-day conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee, ThursdayFriday, and Saturday, November 8–10, 2018. The top three papers and the top three student papers will be honored accordingly. Due to the generosity of the Walter and Leona Schmitt Family Foundation Research Fund, the winners of the student awards will receive $250 honoraria for delivering their papers at the conference. 

    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 on the Civil War and the press, presidents and the 19th century press, and 19th century concepts of free expression. Papers from the first five conferences were published by Transaction Publishers in 2000 as a book of readings called The Civil War and the Press. Purdue University Press published papers from past conferences in three distinctly different books titled 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), and Seeking a Voice: Images of Race and Gender in the 19th Century Press (2009). In 2013, Transaction published Sensationalism: Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, and Disasters in 19th-Century Reporting, and in 2014, it published A Press Divided: Newspaper Coverage of the Civil War. In 2017, Transaction (now Routledge/Taylor & Francis) published After the War: The Press in a Changing America, 1865–1900.

    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 August 27, 2018. For more information, please contact:

    Dr. David Sachsman

    George R. West, Jr. Chair of Excellence in Communication and Public Affairs, Dept. 3003

    The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

    615 McCallie Ave.

    Chattanooga, Tennessee 37403-2598

    (423) 425-4219,

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