AJHA News Center
News and announcements
from the American Journalism Historians Association

For all news releases, contact:
Jodi Rightler McDaniels | phone: (865) 251-1890 | email

Visit the Intelligencer page for archives of the AJHA newsletter.


New President Erika Pribanic-Smith aims to focus on communication.

President's Column: Read about how AJHA energizes journalism historians.

Kimberly Wilmot Voss received AFJ's inaugural Carol DeMasters Service to Food Journalism Award for her pioneering food history.

Several AJHA members were honored for their research at the 2014 AEJMC national conference in Montreal.

Julie Williams of Samford University was among five awardees for the 2014 Ella Dickey Literacy Award, along with former First Lady Laura Bush.

American Journalism Historians Association members presented an eclectic selection of research at the 2014 Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference in New York.

In the President's Column, AJHA President Amy Mattson Lauters of Minnesota State University, Mankato, reflects on research while recalling the streets of New York City.

AJHA members and their students presented a broad range of research as part of the History Panel of the 2014 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium in Gainesville, Fla.

Six students were honored with research awards at AJHA's 2014 Southeast Symposium in Panama City, Fla.

Planning underway for 2014 convention at the historic Saint Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minn., Oct. 9-11, 2014.

Amy Lauters of Minnesota State University-Mankato has assumed the AJHA presidency. She began her new post during the 32nd Annual AJHA Convention in New Orleans in September.

Richard K. Popp of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has won the AJHA book award for his book, "The Holiday Makers: Magazines, Advertising, and Mass Tourism in Postwar

Melita Garza of Texas Christian University has won the 2013 Margaret A. Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation Prize. Carolyn Edy, Julia Guarneri, and Donna Lampkin Stephens won honorable mentions.

Frank E. Fee Jr., associate professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina, has won the award for Best Article in 2013 in American Journalism. “Breaking Bread, Not Bones: Printers’ Festivals and Professionalism in Antebellum America,” chronicled efforts to celebrate and advance printing and journalism.

14 scholars won research paper awards at the AJHA convention in New Orleans. The awards honored researchers in the categories of top faculty paper, top student paper, and best papers in the categories of history of women, war and media, and minorities.

Earnest Perry of the University of Missouri has been selected to receive the 2013 American Journalism Historians Association National Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Press releases about the September 2013 convention provide an overview of the convention and of the 2013 Presidential Panel, which addressed ways to archive digital records.

Meg Lamme of the University of Alabama and Tracy Lucht of Iowa State University recently received $1,250 each in research grants from the American Journalism Historians Association.

Janice Hume of the University of Georgia has been selected to receive the 2012 American Journalism Historians Association National Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The American Journalism Historians Association has selected Peter Hartshorn as the winner of its 2012 Book Award. Hartshorn received the award on Oct. 12, 2012, at the AJHA 31st Annual Convention in Raleigh, N.C.

Brian Dolber of the State University of New York College at Oneonta has won the 2012 Margaret A. Blanchard Dissertation Prize. Honorable-mention awards went to Fred Carroll, Jason A. Peterson, and David Wallace.

Members of the American Journalism Historians Association are among the nation's top journalism professors. A national web site named Ross Collins, Chris Daly, Carolyn Kitch, Joe Marren, Michael Smith, and Bob Stepno as the "Top 50 Journalism Professors in 2012."

American Journalism Historians Association members Doug Ward and Kathy Forde will receive prestigious awards for teaching and research at the 2012 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication national conference.

Glenn "Pete" Smith, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Mississippi State University, has joined the staff of American Journalism as the first digital media editor.

David P. Nord, professor emeritus in the Indiana University School of Journalism, is the winner of the 2012 Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism History. The Kobre Award is the AJHA's highest honor.

AJHA member Kathleen Endres produces fourth documentary, "Rebels on Lake Erie." The film explores a Southern pirate's effort to liberate a Civil War prison camp on Lake Erie. Several AJHA members provided their voices for the documentary.

AJHA member dresses the part to promote Titanic story

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—As the nation commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking on April 14, Julie Hedgepeth Williams donned her 1912 best and addressed a full house at a Titanic exhibit in Kansas City.

Kansas City is significant to Williams’ latest book, A Rare Titanic Family, because that is the city where her great-uncle Albert Caldwell and his wife Sylvia met. The couple and their 10-month-old son Alden were among the few complete families to survive the famous disaster together.

Williams, an American Journalism Historians Association member and past president, said that she grew up hearing stories about the voyage and its inauspicious end. Until Caldwell’s death at the age of 91, when Williams was a senior in high school, he recounted the tale every chance he got.

Caldwell’s openness surprised members of the Titanic Historical Society when Williams addressed them in April.
“Apparently, a lot of survivors were too traumatized to talk about their experiences, so I was able to tell even the big Titanic buffs things they didn’t know,” Williams said.

Following her great-uncle’s lead, Williams now shares the Caldwells’ saga every chance she gets. She’s been traveling the country promoting her book, which NewSouth Books published in January.

Despite a full schedule of appearances this spring, no weekend has been busier than the 100th anniversary weekend. In addition to multiple engagements in Kansas City, Williams did a book talk and signing that weekend at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Williams said the most fun events have been those where the attendees have dressed in costume. Beehive Books in Monroeville, Alabama, started the trend by featuring Williams at a “Last Night on the Titanic” theme party.
“People came up with some really clever costumes,” Williams said.

She described one attendee who dressed in an antique nightgown and life jacket and another who dressed in pajamas with a tuxedo jacket and no shoes.

“When people asked him where his shoes were, he said, in character, ‘I got up on deck as fast as I could,’” Williams said.
For that event, Williams tried to dress similarly to how Sylvia Caldwell was dressed in a photo from that era. Since then, Williams has purchased two 1912 costumes that she alternates wearing on her appearances. She admits, though, that she’s not as hardcore as some people.

“I went to an event where one couple changed costumes for every different speaker,” Williams said. “I realized then that I definitely wouldn’t have been cut out for First Class.”

Williams is assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. Her prior books include Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama, 1910 (NewSouth, 2010) and The Significance of the Printed Word in Early America: Colonists’ Thoughts on the Role of the Press (Greenwood, 1999).

Akron journalism professor assumes AJHA top post

Kansas City, Mo. – Therese “Terry” Lueck, Professor and Fulbright Scholar in Journalism in the School of Communication at The University of Akron, has become the next president of the American Journalism Historians Association.

Lueck, who served as AJHA’s first vice-president during the last year, began her term as president at the end of the organization’s most recent conference, which took place Oct. 6-8 in Kansas City, Mo.

“The decision to run crystallized several years ago,” Lueck recalled. “I saw two groups of people—heady intellectuals, and at the same time, the most fun group of people I’ve had the pleasure of hanging around. I wanted to do whatever I could to help them.”

Lueck has at least three goals for the upcoming year. The most important of these goals is to push forward the work of the AJHA History in the Curriculum Committee, formed several years ago to foster the development, accreditation, and retention of media history courses in college journalism and communication programs.

“History is under attack in the accreditation process. It’s never been completely vested in the process,” Lueck stated. “We need to work to get history courses integrated into the curriculum and measure their value in accreditation.”

Lueck also wants to do a thorough review of the AJHA bylaws to make sure they are accurate and reflect the current practice. Accordingly, she has formed an ad hoc committee with current AJHA first vice-president Kimberley Mangun, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Utah, and AJHA secretary Carol Sue Humphrey, a professor of history at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Lueck also plans to work with the AJHA graduate student members in planning their own social event at next year’s convention. This event, Lueck hopes, will allow graduate students to network for potential teaching positions.
“We have an incredible group of graduate students, and I want them to translate their value beyond our borders,” she said.
In fact, Lueck insists, “The involvement of a lot of the members is what shapes the [AJHA] organization.”

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.

Feldstein wins AJHA book award

The American Journalism Historians Association recently named Mark Feldstein as winner of its annual Media History Book Award.

Richard Eaton Professor of Broadcast Journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park, Feldstein authored "Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture," which was originally released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2010 with a paperback edition published in 2011.

Feldstein noted that millions of Americans are familiar with the reportorial legend of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, but few know that Richard Nixon’s greater journalistic nemesis was columnist Jack Anderson, whom history largely has forgotten.

“I have tried to restore his rightful place, for better and for worse, as a missing link in the history of investigative journalism who upheld its lonely banner in the decades after the demise of the original muckrakers a century ago and before Watergate made investigative reporting fashionable again,” Feldstein said. “I have also tried to use the story of Anderson’s battle with Nixon to tell a larger story of how Washington’s modern scandal culture was born.”

Book Award Committee Chair Aimee Edmondson said that book judges lauded the depth of research and Feldstein’s attention to detail, noting that the book would appeal to a wide audience, not just an academic reader. One judge wrote: “The author understands that it is important to keep the reader turning the page … The result is a highly readable two-scorpions-in-a-bottle narrative that will introduce to some and remind others of what the thirst for power did to some politicians and one reporter.”

Feldstein said he felt deeply honored by AJHA’s recognition of his work.

“This award is particularly meaningful to me not only because AJHA is unquestionably the premier organization of American journalism historians but also because so many AJHA members have been so supportive and encouraging to me ever since I attended my first conference nearly a dozen years ago as a bewildered graduate student,” he said.

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.

Kansas City Call editor/publisher to be honored at convention

By Kimberley Mangun

Donna F. Stewart, editor and publisher of The Call, will be honored at the Donna Allen Luncheon during AJHA's annual convention in October.

Named for the founder of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C., the event honors a woman who has made significant contributions to the field of journalism. Stewart graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

She returned to Kansas City, her hometown, and began working for The Call as a general assignment reporter. In 1984 she was promoted to managing editor. Stewart purchased the newspaper in 2003.

"It?s been a privilege to now observe my 34th year of service to the greater Kansas City community through my employment and ownership of The Call," Stewart wrote recently.

The Kansas City Call was founded in 1919 by Chester A. Franklin. He eschewed the tabloid sensationalism that was popular then and focused instead on "presenting the achievements and worthwhile happenings among the African American community." His wife, Ada Crogman Franklin, "believed The Call's most outstanding asset was its reputation for accurate and truthful reporting."

Today, Stewart describes The Call as "an advocate for those who need one" and notes that it is an important voice in the greater Kansas City community.

Stewart has many anecdotes to share about her roles as a newspaper publisher and committed journalist, so be sure to sign up for the Donna Allen Luncheon on October 7 and help AJHA honor one of Kansas City's distinguished journalists. If you can't wait until then to learn more about the newspaper, you can read it here.

Kathy Roberts Forde becomes American Journalism Associate Editor

Kathy Roberts Forde, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, has become associate editor of American Journalism, effective Sept. 1.

A twentieth-century American media historian with research interests in the First Amendment, the African American freedom struggle, literary journalism, and the history of the book and print culture, Forde has published articles in journals such as Communication Law & Policy, American Journalism, and Journalism Practice.

Kathy Roberts Forde

Her book Literary Journalism on Trial: Masson v. New Yorker and the First Amendment won the Frank Luther Mott-KTA book award and the AEJMC History Division book award in 2009, and she currently is working on a second book, under contract with UMass Press.

Forde said she is honored and delighted that Editor Barbara Friedman asked her to become Associate Editor of American Journalism.

“The journal and the American Journalism Historians Association have nurtured my career as a journalism historian, and I look forward to giving back to both,” Forde said. “I also look forward to working with Barbara, whose scholarship and leadership I have long admired."

Forde’s selection as associate editor is part of Friedman’s plan to strengthen the journal.
During her year as editor, Friedman said she has worked to expand the journal’s content to reflect a wide range of approaches to historical scholarship and to otherwise challenge journalism historians to think about the field in new and exciting ways.

Friedman said that it seemed like the opportune time to take on a partner in the endeavor, and Forde was a prime candidate.

“She is a highly regarded scholar whose work is ambitious and meaningful, and of course, she is a wonderful colleague,” Friedman said. “Kathy and I, together with Dolores Flamiano, who continues as the book reviews editor, offer a range of strengths and skills that I believe will combine to make the journal the best it can be.”

Since its first issue in 1983, AJHA’s quarterly journal has published articles, essays, research notes, book reviews, and correspondence dealing with the history of journalism. Friedman said that American Journalism has long been an exemplar of the finest research in field, and she has worked diligently to continue that tradition.

Founded in 1981, the American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Through its annual convention regional conferences, committees, awards, speakers and publications, 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.


David Copeland honored for lifetime achievement

TUCSON, Ariz. – American Journalism Historians Association awarded David A. Copeland (A.J. Fletcher Professor in the School of Communications at Elon University) with the Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism History during its annual convention, which took place in Tucson Oct. 7-9.

“The Sidney Kobre Award is the highest honor awarded by AJHA each year,” said Mike Conway, Chair of the Awards Committee.  “The Kobre Award is considered a lifetime achievement award and involves a person's research, teaching and service achievements in the area of journalism history.”

Conway noted that Copeland has excelled in all areas of journalism history, and he has won numerous other awards for teaching and scholarship.  Author of numerous books, book chapters and journal articles, Copeland is known as a dynamic classroom instructor who can bring history alive for his students.  He has served AJHA not only as president but also as a member of numerous committees and the executive board.

 “It's almost as if the Kobre Award was created for someone like David Copeland," Conway said.

Copeland said that AJHA has nurtured his research since his first presentation as a graduate student. He credits its members with expanding knowledge of media's role in the United States and changing the understanding of the relationship between media and culture.

“The Kobre Award is a truly humbling experience,” Copeland said.  “When you think of some of
the people who have received this recognition during the past 20 years, plus the outstanding scholar for whom this award was named, you realize just what an honor receiving it is.”

Founded in 1981, the American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Through its annual convention regional conferences, committees, awards, speakers and publications, 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.


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