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10:15 am Session

Journalism That Matters, the DC Sessions
Aug. 8, 2007


  • Convener: Jim Shaffer, Dean, University of Southern Maine School of Business
  • Attendees:
    • Jessica Clark, Research Director, Center for Social Media
    • Norman Sims, Professor of Journalism at U-Mass, Amherst
    • Jennifer Snyder-Duch, Asst. Professor, Carlow University
    • Paul Thomas, writer-researcher, ePluribus Media
    • Elin Waring, ePluribus Media
    • Jeffrey Young, web editor, Chronicle of Higher Education

The comments are not reported in chronological order, but are rather grouped by topic.

Issues discussed:

1. Do new media academic researchers have adequate journals or other means of sharing research? Does the world need a peer-reviewed “Journal of Media Transformation?”

Jessica: Not clear to her that there’s a need. She’s studied a “Ven diagram” of overlapping journal, including “The Journal of Net Roots Innovation” (JONI). Was it published? No. She’s not tenure-track and didn’t feel the need. But, she will e-mail her study to participants.

Also, library schools have a lot available. Henry Jenkins at MIT is an expert.

“Don’t need a new journal, but there IS a new field of study.”

Jennifer: She does need to publish, and she publishes in the Journal of Interactive Advertising. There’s also a Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media that was formerly the Journal of Broadcasting.

Norman: There might be a need for a new journal. He’s not aware of a “Journal of Media Transformation” Sometimes a journal can create a community. Why not propose this to Sage in CA, publisher of many journals. They could do a market study. They would want to see rosters of conference attendees, etc., as evidence of a market.

Jim: Would this have to be edited by a Ph.D.? Norm: Not for Sage. They are business people. Jim: Hmm. Bill Densmore might be good at this. Several: Agree!

Jim: It might also be useful to check Cabell’s Journal of Publishing Opportunities to see what they list in the field.

2. What topics might be useful to JTM? Who would pay? Who would use?

Norman: What academic research could contribute to the JTM effort? Most academic research to date has been about history or criticism. Jessica: Also accessibility.

Norman: The Ford Foundation is very curious about where the media is going, and would be willing to invest huge $$ into big projects. One problem is, many academics prefer small projects that are easily managed, published, and … counted.

Norm: What academic research really changed anything?

Jim: I do remember eye-tracking research changing newspaper layout … relates to how consumers actually use and respond to the new media.

Norman: The research he’d like to see is about young peoples’ access and use of the media.

Jim: Simmons or Three Sigma might fund this. Others: But they would keep the results proprietary.

Jim: So who would fund on a public-knowledge basis? Maybe foundations … big projects.