AEJMC notebook

Chicago Defender’s Michael House makes a point during his MAC-SCHJ Luncheon talk. (Photo by David W. Bulla)

By DAVID W. BULLA

Here are a few news tidbits for the Scholastic Journalism Division gathered at the 2012 AEJMC convention in Chicago. It was held Aug. 8-12 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Hotel on Michigan Avenue …

UNC-Chapel Hill will have a two-day conference on the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier U.S. Supreme Court decision on Nov. 8-9. The event is co-sponsored by the UNC Center for Media Law & Policy and the Student Press Law Center. Next Jan. 13 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision. The case was argued in October 1987. Among the featured speakers in Chapel Hill will be Frank LoMonte, executive director of SPLC; Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California-Irvine Law School; Francisco Negron, general counsel of of the National School Boards Association; and Sam Chaltain, author of American Schools: The Art of Creating a Democratic Learning Community … 

Illinois and Michigan high school teachers who attended the Chicago Teach-In were fortunate to here a talk by Barry Locher, director of the Illinois Press Foundation and former editor and photographer for the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill. This included a presentation of his photojournalism … The division would like to thank Loyola School of Communication Dean Don Heider and student media manager Ralph Braseth for hosting the Teach-In at Loyola’s new building in downtown Chicago …

Marina A. Hendricks, a former Charleston (WVa.) Gazette reporter and now the manager of the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, shared her website Social Media Toolbox. It offers 16 different lesson plans and more than 80 activities for tackling the use of social media in today’s scholastic environment. Hendricks, who earned her master’s degree in journalism at Kent State University, won the Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Media for 2012. Hendricks also did youth media for the Charleston newspaper …

Cheryl Pell of Michigan State gave an inspiring honors lecture on Friday, Aug. 10, using old photographs and other props to show, among other things, that she came from a newspaper family. One of the photos showed her father working on a manual typewriter and another her mother working on a linotype machine …

Lots of exciting research was presented, including a national census from Peter Bobkowski at the University of Kansas and Candace Perkins Bowen and Mark Goodman at Kent State. Goodman noted that there are nearly 12,000 scholastic publications and only 8,000 professional daily and weekly newspapers in the United States. He said that we might as well realize now that scholastic journalism is indeed a major home of the American press … Another significant finding was that for all media platforms, less than 30 percent of scholastic publications are operating online … Bruce Konkle of the University of South Carolina had an interesting historical finding in his paper titled “Highlights from High School Student Publications as Public Relations Tools,” noting that for the first half of the 20th Century the perception among advisers was that the student newspaper or yearbook promoted the school … Ed Madison of the University of Oregon gave an engaging presentation on the inner workings of one of the nation’s top scholastic programs, Palo Alto High School in California. Madison looked at the motivations individuals and groups of students had for participating in that program …

Konkle, who drove up from Columbia, S.C., to take part in the AEJMC conference, was surprised when his family showed up to see him get the David Adams Educator of the Year Award. They had not accompanied him on his automobile drive though the country. He thought they were back home in Columbia … Konkle stopped in Bloomington, Ind., to see long-time division member Jack Dvorak, who retired from Indiana University last December …

In the business meeting, discussion was held about considering moving the Mid-Winter Meeting to the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tenn. However, it was agreed the division would stay in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the Poynter Institute for January 2013. Tentatively, the Mid-Winter Meeting is set for Jan. 4-5 at the Poynter Institute …

Michael House, president and publisher of the Chicago Defender, talked about the challenges the black press faces in the 21st Century at the Minorities and Communication-Scholastic Journalism Division Luncheon at the Grand Lux Cafe. House said that one of the ways his newspaper is creating a new revenue stream in running major events like the Bud Billiken Parade, which was the brainchild of Defender founder Robert Sengstacke Abbott … House brought posters of historically significant Defender front pages, including the one from the week Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated …

The division decided to stick to the traditional face-to-face meeting for the annual AEJMC CHIPS Session, which is historically held the first weekend in December. The majority of Council of Division members would like to change to an electronic format. That is still being considered, but in the meantime the CHIPS Session for the 2013 conference in Washington, D.C., will take place in Dallas … The Council is also considering four cities for the 2016 convention: Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Nashville or New Orleans … The 2014 conference will be in Montreal and 2015 in San Francisco …

Please send your ideas for the Mid-Winter Meeting to Division Vice Head Calvin L. Hall of Appalachian State University. Email Hall at the following address:

Calvin Hall

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