[AEJMC Newspaper Division list] New name for Newspaper Division?
pparsons at elon.edu
Fri Jul 18 21:49:19 CDT 2008
I, too, favor News Division as the most appropriate name, on the basis of parsimony as well as breadth.
Our convention topics involve online convergence themes, bloggers being recognized as journalists by presidential campaigns, and Web sites such as Politico.com that hire journalists and do original reporting. These topics aren't about NEWSPAPERS, but they're all about NEWS. If we don't seriously look for a way to broaden our name now, the division will continue downward in membership.
The name change also works well for the division's journal, which as the News Research Journal can remain known as NJR.
I say this as someone who worked at newspapers and still reads newspapers thrown in my driveway. But the time has come. Perhaps we put a proposed name forward and see if RTVJ wishes to join in the conversation.
From: news-list-bounces at aejmc.net on behalf of Yates, Ronald E
Sent: Thu 7/17/2008 4:20 PM
To: Janna Anderson; news-list at aejmc.net
Subject: Re: [AEJMC Newspaper Division list] New name for Newspaper Division?
This sounds like a logical approach to me...if we eliminate the word "news" then what are we teaching? The gathering of data? Professional newsrooms will not go away--but they will not look the same as when I started at the Chicago Tribune in 1970--or when I left in 1997, or even as they look today. That doesn't mean we are no longer about news--its gathering, its writing, its preparation and organization, its delivery, etc.
News Division says it best...
(Please Note New Email Address): ryates at illinois.edu
Ronald E. Yates
Dean, College of Media (formerly College of Communications)
Sleeman Professor of Journalism
University of Illinois
119 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright St
Urbana, Ill. 61801
From: news-list-bounces at aejmc.net [mailto:news-list-bounces at aejmc.net] On Behalf Of Janna Anderson
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 2:34 PM
To: news-list at aejmc.net
Subject: Re: [AEJMC Newspaper Division list] New name for Newspaper Division?
It should be the News Division.
If others (broadcast folks, etc.) want to join the News Division, that's fine. "Online" is not apt, and with the Minneapolis Strib and other papers requiring all reporters to shoot and edit video and gather podcasts and the better broadcasters running print articles, are no longer walls between broadcast, magazine, radio. Plus, with innovations in display technology ahead, we can foresee even now that people will be able to receive news on e-paper, smartphones, their kitchen counters and even bathroom walls within the next 10 years or less.
"News" is the best descriptor, and it fits great in a headline.
All news organizations that survive the next decade are going to be doing comprehensive journalism using every tool available to report the news. Many are already there.
The public has come to see "news" as the appellation that refers to information that has been sought out and packaged by professionals. Wikipedia defines it as "the reporting of current information." People perceive that professional journalists are responsible for reporting the news.
A plus: the use of "news" allows us to retain a portion of the historic moniker "newspaper."
Janna Quitney Anderson
Associate Professor of Communications
Director of Internet Projects
School of Communications
andersj at elon.edu
On 7/17/08 3:00 PM, "JOHN B ZIBLUK" <JZIBLUK at astate.edu> wrote:
> First off, I am pleased we are beginning to use the news-list as a forum to
> exchange ideas. In this world of changing media, efforts to build and maintain
> communities may well be a key to success in any of our efforts within and
> without the AEJMC newspaper division.
> so let's keep using such fora to exchange ideas and insights.
> Anyway, on the name change, I believe we really have to look at this
> strategically. Let's ask what our goals are as a division and let's see how a
> name change fits into those goals. If we change the name, it shouldn't be
> cosmetic. we should back up any change with a real change in substance and
> approach. If we expect to do the same things, there is no reason to change the
> However, I think this discussion presents an opportunity to discuss the
> identity and focus of the whole division. And I think that discussion,
> whatever the outcome, is a healthy endeavor.
> In her Leadtime piece, Susan notes that a name change would denote sensitivity
> to the realities of the media marketplace. She also implies that in an
> increasingly competitive and fragmenting field of journalism education that
> the Newspaper Division may be less attractive to new scholars than more
> specialized interest groups such as religion, sports or entertainment.
> I won't imply it, I will say it: the term "newspaper" may carry the
> connotation of inflexibility and, perhaps, failure to succeed in the modern
> media world. I hear that sentiment from students all the time. And I am
> concerned that scholarship is moving away from news-related issues as well. As
> a former small programs interest group head, I know that religion is the
> single biggest AEJMC inerest group. And it's growing. While that may not be a
> direct threat to the newspaper division, I think it is an example of the
> increasing specialization and atomization of our field. And I do believe fewer
> people are working on news-related scholarship all the time. It worries me.
> But Wally (great to see a fellow Bowling Green veteran is still at it) and
> others point out, rightly, that there are core industries and core values we
> need to honor as part of our whole raison d'etre.
> When I was on the executive committee of the National Press Photographers
> Association recently, we faced very similar issues. We considered changing the
> name of the organization to something like the Visual Journalism Association.
> On the one hand, we needed to demonstrate an openness to change, but on the
> other we wanted to respect our history and our core functions and values.
> Ultimately, we rejected the move to change the name because we decided the
> established identity and "brand" was respected; and changing it would convey a
> rejection of the organization's identity.
> In this case, I think the issues are similar and the strategic goals are
> similar. We want to convey openness and an understanding of the media world,
> and, let's be honest, attract and retain members. I think this is a truly
> viable and important issue. A scan of the AEJMC program shows a great deal of
> interest in technology, race, gender and diversity issues, international
> issues, new media issues, entertainment issues and others. But I sense (and
> yes, there's probably a fairly easy-to-do study here) that there's less
> interest in newspaper and "news" issues all the time within communications
> Therefore, I think there is a strategic benefit to re-position ourselves with
> a name change. We can focus on news, whether it's on-line or in print. Randy
> makes the point that other divisions do news-related scholarship, so calling
> us the news division would dilute our mission. That is a valid point.
> But I think a greater concern is the loss of focus on real news and its very
> important place in scholarship and in society. I think much of our scholarship
> is getting too esoteric and atomized. If we call ourselves the news division,
> it would reflect an effort by serious journalism scholars to reclaim the
> field for serious scholarly work on news organizations, products, processes,
> functions and practices whether they appear on-line or in print.
> So let's not just change the name in an effort to be reactive, let's do it to
> be pro-active. Let's do it to represent an effort to reclaim scholarship for
> things that matter: free speech, news and information. If journalism educators
> don't do it, nobody else will.
> OK, I will get off my soapbox now.
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