Thursday, December 18, 2008

Instructions to submit to AEJMC

Today AEJMC published instructions for paper submitters. Here's the Uniform Paper Call for the Boston convention for your reading pleasure.

If you plan to direct your submission to CCJIG, here's our call, to be read in conjunction with the instructions. I look forward to all the good research!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

AEJMC Boston convention hotel open for booking

AEJMC has opened a block at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, the venue of its 92nd annual convention August 5-8.

The hotel block will be available until July 3.

If you plan to attend you may want to reserve a room early: Boston's hotels can be famously expensive!

"Who will adopt the orphan news?"

Leonard Witt at

What is it that subscribers to The New York Times really pay for each day? The paper without the news on it is worthless. At the same time, consumers refuse to pay for news served up on the Internet. So right now as a consumer product, news without paper is also worthless. People only seem to be willing to pay for two worthless commodities when they are combined into one. In the case of The New York Times they pay $10 a week, $500 a year. Strange isn’t it.

In the past, you could argue that people also wanted the ads, but you won’t be able to make that argument much longer. Ads and news are decoupling. News and paper are decoupling. You will still have ads, news and paper, just not together any more.

No one wants empty paper, so you can push that aside. So we are left with ads and news. There will be plenty of places to get your ads. So no worry there. Now we have that orphan news.

Without proper nurturing that little orphan will wilt away. Who will adopt it? Who will nurture it? Who will help it stand on its own?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Invitation to review papers for CCJIG

If you are a CCJIG member, here's a quick update for you from AEJMC's winter meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, over the weekend.

1. Each submitted paper for the 2009 convention in Boston will get three reviewers. Our group’s tradition has been that officers, who are not permitted to submit, volunteer to review instead. In addition, I invite any of you with no plans to submit a paper to please consider reviewing: Contact either of our research co-chairs, Burton St. John ( or Glenn Scott ( Graduate students cannot be reviewers.

Only as a last option would I like to solicit reviewers from outside of our membership. If recent years are an indication, we should expect to have nearly two dozen submissions.

2. I would like to remind potential submitters that, per AEJMC rules of blind review, any author-identifying information in the submission would automatically disqualify the paper. Regardless of whether an accepted paper ends up presented in a high-density, poster or regular session, it would have gone through the exact same review process.

3. We will aim for a 50 percent acceptance rate. The only criterion of acceptance will be a paper's quality as decided by the multiple blind reviewers.

4. January 30 is the deadline to ask for speaker funding, if you’d like to invite a non-AEJMC keynoter for any panel. Approved reimbursement would cover the speaker's coach-class airfare, airport transfer, hotel room, and meal expenses. First you'd have to fill out a speaker funding request form (pdf) available on the AEJMC site.

Nikhil Moro, Ph.D.
Chair, Civic & Citizen Journalism Interest Group

CCJIG's program for the 2009 Boston convention

I am happy to report that the Civic & Citizen Journalism Interest Group was able accommodate nearly all of the panels proposed for Boston, thanks to vice-chair Mary Beth Callie’s diligence.

The process depends on lining up co-sponsors for panels –– we got some excellent collaborators. CCJIG’s Boston convention program:

a. AEJMC Pre-convention, Tuesday August 4.

i. 1-4 p.m. (updated time!), “Citizen Journalism and Media Literacy in the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks” (CCJIG and COMJIG). This conference/workshop will bring together scholars of media literacy and citizen/community journalism to critically examine the practices and semiotics of south Mumbai’s blogger-reporters during the terrorist strikes of November 27-29, 2008. The goal is to highlight some key critical skills for audiences of citizen journalism to analyze and evaluate citizen messages for bias, accuracy, and fairness in times of crisis, in order to facilitate both an educated citizenry and high quality citizen journalism. Event contact: Nikhil Moro,

ii. 4-10 p.m (updated time!), “Journalism Jobs in a Digital Age.” This conference will address questions such as: Will journalism students, will journalists, find work in the future, and if so, will it be in traditional forms of journalism or in emerging or altogether new venues? Where precisely will the jobs be? And what skills will our students need? How will they be paid for the work they do? What will the journalism ecosystem be like? What will be the challenges to producing ethically sound, high quality journalism? What instructional adjustments must be made? The conference will be developed by the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication (currently held by Leonard Witt) and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Event contact: Leonard Witt,

b. AEJMC Convention, Wednesday August 5.

i. 8.15-9.45 a.m., “Has the Civic/Citizen Movement Brought Journalism Full Circle?” (CCJIG and History). America’s earliest printer-editors, such as Benjamin Harris, James Franklin and Benjamin Franklin, who lived in Boston, were apparently community activists more than they were editors. They were not J-school trained in reporting, pagination, or ethics. But they invariably had a finger on their readers’ pulse, an ear close to their audience's chest. Today, as America’s loftiest legacy media organizations increasingly embrace a YouTubization –– harnessing the collective intelligence of their former audiences –– to keep the news accurate, cheap and exciting, is it an indication that journalism has come full circle from the era of Harris and the Franklins? If yes, in what ways? Those are the questions this research panel will examine. Panel contact: Nikhil Moro,

ii. 10-11.30 a.m., “Helping Rural Journalists Better Serve Their Communities” (COMJIG and CCJIG). This PFR panel will explore university-based training programs and projects designed to help rural journalists better serve their communities. Several could become prototypes for programs across the country. Panel contact: Elizabeth Hansen,

iii. 11.45 a.m.-1.15 p.m., “Reinventing Journalism: Anatomy of a One-Year Applied Field Experiment” (CCJIG and COMJIG). This PFR panel will discuss the one-year Representative Journalism field experiment in Northfield, MN, as seen through the lens of Leonard Witt, who conceived the idea, Shayla Tiel-Stern, who observed it as a researcher, Bonnie Obremski, who worked as the journalist/fellow, and Griff Wigley, who participated as a community member. Panel contact: Leonard Witt,

iv. 5-6.30 p.m., “Journalists and Law Enforcement: Rights versus Security” (CCJIG and Law & Policy). This research panel will discuss how the tension between law enforcement authorities and the press has significant concerns for the development of both the practical and theoretical development of citizen-focused journalism in the United States. Panel contact: Burton St. John,

c. AEJMC Convention, Thursday August 6.

i. 8.15-9.45 a.m. Refereed research paper session, with presentations of four or five of the submitted papers accepted after blind review.

ii. 1.30-3 p.m. Scholar-to-Scholar session, with presentations of six to eight of the submitted papers accepted after blind review.

iii. 6.45-8.15 p.m. Joint meeting of CCJIG and COMJIG members until 7.30 p.m., followed by a separate meeting of CCJIG members to elect officers for 2009-10. Finally, all depart for an optional off-site social.

d. AEJMC Convention, Friday August 7.

i. 12.15-1.30 p.m., J-Lab Luncheon Panel on “Civic News Networks: Collaboration vs. Competition?” (CCJIG, CoA, and COMJIG). This PFR panel will explore whether “scoop” is disappearing from the vernacular of newsrooms. As a response to shrinking newsrooms, costly Associated Press fees, and an emerging culture of collaboration and participatory media, regional news organizations around the country are starting to build innovative consortiums for sharing content on a statewide or regular basis. Participants see it as a win-win: Securing additional feet on the street, broader distribution of their content, less “me, too” duplication of reporting. How is the public served? And can the public participate? Panel contact: Jan Schaefer,

ii. 1.45-3.15 p.m., “Common Health, Commonwealth: Public Understanding, Problem-solving, and Action” (CCJIG and Newspaper). This PFR panel will examine journalistic, nonprofit, and governmental efforts to inform and educate the American public about healthcare reform at the state and national levels. Panelists will focus on coverage of mandated health insurance in Massachusetts, State Children’s Health Insurance Program expansion (SCHIP) in Colorado, and national healthcare reform during the presidential campaign. Panel contact: Mary Beth Callie, mcallie@regis@edu.

iii. 3.30-5 p.m., “The Journalism Academy and the News Media’s Quest for a Digital-Age Business Model: Who Speaks for Ethics and the Public Good?” (CCJIG and Media Ethics). This PFR panel will explore the educational, professional, and ethical challenges of the digital era. Panelists will examine whether the journalism academy, frequently in tandem with other academic disciplines, can and/or should spire to a significant measure of influence on the design, values, goals, priorities, and direction of mainline and alternative media in the digital age. Panel contact: Ed Lambeth,

e. AEJMC Convention, Saturday August 8.

i. 1.30-3 p.m., “World View: International Efforts to Teach Civic and Citizen Journalism” (CCJIG and International Communication; thanks to Community College Journalism Association for the donation of a half-chip!). This teaching panel will explore the theories and skills that are being taught by journalism schools and nonprofit groups, outside the United States, which have launched efforts to teach civic or citizen journalism. Panel contact: Jeff South,

Boston, here we come!

Nikhil Moro, Ph.D.
Chair, Civic & Citizen Journalism Interest Group

We are the largest

Vice-chair Mary Beth Callie and I attended AEJMC’s mid-winter meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, this weekend.

While in Louisville I made sure to check out the famed Fourth Street.

And yes, I visited the Ali Center: Muhammad Ali was, after all, my sporting hero during much of high school. (Not that I could box to save my life!)

Ali may well have been "the greatest," but I am no less proud to announce that we, the Civic & Citizen Journalism Interest Group, are now the largest:

CCJIG has emerged as AEJMC’s largest interest group in 2008-09. We have 116 registered members of whom 57 are female; six identify themselves as African-American, two as Asian-American, and twelve as International. Kimberly Bissell, the Council of Divisions chair, made the announcement Friday evening.

The status reflects our growing ability to decipher the many challenges of practicing journalism in a quickly transforming media firmament.

Shortly I will post the details of CCJIG's program for the 2009 Boston convention.

Nikhil Moro, Ph.D.
Chair, Civic & Citizen Journalism Interest Group

Monday, December 1, 2008

The missing link

Here's one of those embarassing cyber stories -- I lost the link to this blog shortly after the convention. Last week I mentioned to Doug Fisher in CJIG that I hadn't heard from the CCJ folks in ages. And then I remembered the blog.

The upshot is that I will read through and see what I missed, but someone should let me know if you are waiting for something from me.

I hate to say this, but blogs are killing me. My media overload means I increasingly skip visits to blogs and sites and instead wait for an email. I'm not sure what that means for the genre.


Position in Digital Journalism available at Old Dominion

The Departments of Communication and English at Old Dominion University invite immediate applications for a joint-position in Digital Journalism at the rank of Assistant Professor (tenure-track).

Successful candidates will hold a Ph.D. in Journalism or related disciplines, and have scholarly or applied expertise in digital journalism with promise for curricular leadership in this subject area. Work experience in digital journalism and/or multimedia production skills are preferred. Candidates should demonstrate exceptional promise as researchers, be committed to undergraduate and graduate teaching, and be willing to participate in university/college/departmental service activities.

Send a letter of application that addresses the position, a curriculum vitae, a sample publication, and the names and contact information of three references to: Digital Journalism Search Committee, 3000 Batten Arts and Letters, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0087.

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and requires compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Call for research papers: AEJMC's Boston convention of August 2009

The Civic and Citizen Journalism Interest Group (CCJIG) invites research paper submissions for the 2009 convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication to be held in Boston, MA, from August 5 to 9, 2009.

Papers must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2009, in accordance with all requirements of AEJMC and its uniform paper call and electronic submission process. More information is available here.

Papers submitted will be eligible for separate faculty and student top paper awards of $151.

In general, CCJIG is interested in research that examines the emergence, practice, sustenance and/or teaching of civic/citizen journalism.

Suggested paper topics include: Citizen/civic journalism in the 2008 campaign season, citizen media, blogging, civic mapping, community conversations, newsroom projects, legal and ethical issues in civic/citizen journalism, crowdsourcing versus traditional "gatekeeper" journalism, civic/citizen journalism in a multicultural environment, civic/citizen journalism and new technologies, history/philosophy of civic/citizen journalism, the changing newspaper industry economy and its effect on the development of civic/citizen journalism movements, media convergence and civic/citizen journalism, the missions and meanings of "civic journalism" and/or "citizen journalism," teaching civic/citizen journalism, and using polls, focus groups and other methods in civic reporting.

Please direct any questions to CCJIG Research Co-Chairs Burton St. John ( or Glenn Scott (