Assistant professor Kathy Roberts Forde's book "Literary Journalism On Trial: Masson v. New Yorker and the First Amendment" was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in August.
SJMC faculty Kathy Roberts Forde, Marco Yzer and former faculty member Michael Stamm finished the 2008 Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn., on June 21. Forde was among the top 75 women finishers in her division. Congratulations to our marathoners!
The Knight Foundation awarded $110,000 to Minnesota Journalism Center director and professor Kathleen Hansen and Institute for New Media Studies director Nora Paul to continue their Knight News Challenge Grant support for "Playing the News." The pair also received a College of Liberal Arts InfoTech Fees Course Transformation Program Grant for $12,000. They will use the funds to continue development of the online learning Web site for Jour 3004H Information for Mass Communication, which will incorporate additional interactive learning and engagement materials throughout the site.
Assistant professor Jisu Huh received the 2008 Distinguished Young Scholar Award from the Korean American Communication Association at its 30th anniversary conference on Aug. 5. Huh, one of two award recipients, received a certificate and research stipend of $1,000. Last spring, Huh was awarded a $2,500 grant from the American Academy of Advertising Research Fellowship competition. Her research proposal was co-authored with Denise DeLorme (University of Central Florida) and Leonard Reid (University of Georgia). The grant will fund data collection for her research on Asian-targeted direct-to-consumer advertising campaigns.
Adjunct instructors David Husom and Mike Zerby completed a project for the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) documenting the old Soo Line Railroad ore docks in Ashland, Wis. Built in 1915, the 1,800-foot-long, 80-foot-high remaining dock has not been used since 1965 and is literally falling into Lake Superior. It is the last of five docks that at one time served northern Wisconsin's ore industry. Since the dock is deemed an important historic structure, the current owner, the Canadian National Railway, was required to have it documented before demolition could begin. Also, since parts of the dock are accessible only by crossing the ice, the photographs had to be taken in the winter. Husom and Zerby lucked out with two days near 30 degrees during the shooting. The collection is a part of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
Silha Center director and professor Jane Kirtley received a $15,000 Speaker and Specialist Grant from the U.S. Department of State to visit Sierra Leone, June 15-24. She delivered lectures and appeared on panels discussing media law and media ethics in an emerging democracy. Her schedule included a lecture titled "Ethics and the Law," delivered as part of a symposium for reporters and local council representatives in Makeni; a lecture titled "Journalism and Ethics" as part of a symposium for journalists and local council representatives in Bo; a lecture titled "Professional Integrity: The Cornerstone of a Journalist's Credibility" as part of a symposium for editors at the U.S. Embassy; and a dinner meeting with local editors and a panel discussion on ethics and the law as part of a symposium for journalists in Freetown.
Associate professor Mark Pedelty has been named an Interdisciplinary Graduate Faculty Teaching Fellow by the University of Minnesota Graduate School.
Associate professor Gary Schwitzer received a grant from the Kaiser Family Foundation to research and write a report on the state of health journalism in the United States. He will interview dozens of health journalists, editorial decision makers and industry analysts. In the spring, Schwitzer was named to a list of seven top sources for health/medical news and information-- part of a broader list of 75 "experts who are not on the payroll of industry." To counter claims that it is impossible to find experts who do not have financial conflicts of interest, journalists Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee announced the list at the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists in Washington, D.C., in March. Schwitzer's health news blog has received recognition from two blog ratings services. Wikio named his blog the 44th most influential health blog in the blogosphere. And the Online Nursing Degree Directory lists his blog among the top 100 academic medical blogs and among the top 11 health news blogs. Finally, his blog has also risen to the fifth most active (largest number of entries) out of 6,405 at the University of Minnesota, hosted by the UThink system.
Assistant professor Marco Yzer was awarded an $82,000 grant from Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer, a National Cancer Institute funded program. The research project, titled "The Effects of Information in the Media on Antecedents of Weight Control," includes researchers from Case Western University. Yzer will serve as principal investigator.
Publications and Research
Last spring, associate professor Chris Ison conducted a workshop at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). The presentation was titled "Bulletproofing Watchdog Stories." Ison also helped lead a workshop on "Presenting the Watchdog Story." Both presentations were part of IRE's Better Watchdog Reporting series. He was a panelist at this year's First Amendment Forum at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn., on April 11. The panel, for which Ison gave opening remarks, was titled "Is Freedom of Information Dead?" Ison also conducted a workshop on accuracy and fact-checking, titled "Getting It Right," for IRE's Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop in Minneapolis on April 12. He was a panelist for the session titled "The Standards and Ethics of Investigative Reporting," also presented at the Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop.
Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law, was a panelist for "First Amendment/Newsgathering: Who, Which and What's It" at the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law conference, "Representing Your Local Broadcaster: A Wrinkle in Time," in Las Vegas on April 13. The following week, Professor Kirtley, together with Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu in Columbo, Sri Lanka, conducted a digital video workshop on media ethics for journalists in Sri Lanka from the World Bank's studios in Washington, D.C. During her trip to D.C., she was interviewed by members of the World Bank's Media, Information and Governance team for its Journalism Training for Transparency and Governance program for journalists in Honduras. Her taped interview about the importance of freedom of information and media ethics will be incorporated into the eight-month-long training project. Her commentary, "Objecting to 'Parasites,' Whatever Their Price," was published in the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, April-June 2008 (vol. 23, no. 2). Together with Washington, D.C.-based attorney Jon Hart, Kirtley conducted a workshop on Internet law at the A Passion for Place: New Pamphleteers/New Reporters conference at the University of Minnesota on June 5.
Lecturer Leyla Kokmen's article on alternative medicine and kids was published in the April issue of Minnesota Monthly. Her article about the new green justice movement was published in the March-April issue of the Utne Reader.
Director of the Institute for New Media Studies Nora Paul wrote the foreword to "Making Online News: The Ethnography of New Media Production" by Chris Paterson and David Domingo, recently published by Peter Lang. In March, she gave a talk at the Columbus Post Dispatch newsroom titled "The Naked Truth about Internet Research." She visited the ECM Publishing Group's Futures Committee on March 27 to talk about trends in online publishing.
Last winter, associate professor Gary Schwitzer taught a workshop for the California Endowment/University of Southern California Annenberg Health Journalism Fellows in Los Angeles. On April 27, he spoke to the National Breast Cancer Coalition in Washington, D.C. His talk was titled, "Rating the Media: How Well is Breast Cancer Reported?" That same month, he spoke to the monthly Men's Club breakfast at the Jewish Community Center of Greater St. Paul, where he discussed misplaced priorities in health news coverage. In May, he taught a workshop titled "Overcoming the Hurdles: How to Write Accurate Medical Stories on Deadline," in the Chicago newsroom of Medill Reports at Northwestern University and also participated in "American and German Health Care: Health Technology Assessment and Health Care for All," a forum hosted by the University of Minnesota Center for German and European Studies. In the media, Schwitzer was quoted in a May 6 Slate magazine article, "Stealth Marketers: Are Doctors Shilling for Drug Companies?" on NPR; an MSNBC story, "Without Ads, Restless Legs May Take a Hike," on May 14; and the July issue of Discover magazine in an article headlined "Wonder Drugs That Can Kill."
An article by associate professor Brian Southwell and Ph.D. candidate Rita Langteau titled "Age, Memory Changes, and the Varying Utility of Recognition as a Media Effects Pathway" was published in a special issue of Communication Methods and Measures. The article was selected for the special issue from those presented at a conference sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University on the relations between media exposure and health behavior.
Cowles Professor of Journalism, Diversity and Equality Catherine Squires delivered a keynote address at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., for its Black History Month speaker series. The talk covered her ongoing research on mainstream press coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
In April, adjunct instructor Dan Sullivan judged the national finals of the American College Theater Festival's Young Critics competition at the Kennedy Center in New York City. The winner receives a full scholarship to the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center. Sullivan has directed NCI since 1999.
Welcome New Faculty
The SJMC welcomes assistant professor Miranda Brady for the 2008-09 academic year. Brady, a recent Ph.D. graduate from Penn State University, spent the 2007-08 academic year as a lecturer in the University's writing studies department. In the SJMC, she will teach Jour 1001, Introduction to Mass Communication; Jour 3745, Mass Media and Popular Culture; and Jour 3741, People of Color and the Mass Media. Brady's research addresses the complexities of representation and identity construction of race and gender in the media and other cultural and social institutions. Her dissertation project explores the intersection of policy, popular culture, nationalism and the discourse of pan-indigenous identity articulated in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
SJMC alumna Giovanna Dell'Orto joins the SJMC facultyfor the 2008-09 year. Assistant professor Dell'Orto, a scholar of 19th-century journalists' interpretation of free speech rights, received her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota. A former reporter for the Associated Press and contributing writer for City Pages and the Stillwater Gazette, Dell'Orto will teach Jour 3004V, Information for Mass Communication; Jour 3007, The Media in American History and Law: Case Studies; and Jour 3614, History of Media Communication. Her book, "The Hidden Power of the American Dream: Why Europe's Shaken Confidence in the United States Threatens the Future of U.S. Influence," was published this year. She also co-authored "Hated Ideas and the American Civil War Press" with SJMC emerita professor Hazel Dicken-Garcia, published in 2008.
The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law welcomes Silha Visiting Faculty Fellow Robert Drechsel for the fall 2008 semester. Professor Drechsel has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1983, serving as director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 1991 to 1998. Before joining the faculty at Wisconsin, Drechsel taught for four years at Colorado State University. An alumnus of the University of Minnesota, Drechsel will work on a research project on local television coverage of courts with a colleague at the William Mitchell College of Law and a large-scale, long-term study of the professionalization of media occupations and legal liability during his fellowship. His research at the University of Wisconsin has focused on tort law and constitutional law affecting mass communication, and on reporter-source interaction in state trial courts. He is the author of "News Making in the Trial Courts" (New York: Longman, 1983), and articles in a variety of legal and communication journals. Silha Visiting Fellowships are awarded on a case-by-case basis to outstanding faculty members in the area of media ethics and law. The last visiting fellow hosted by the Silha Center was professor Kaarle Nordenstreng, from the University of Tampere in Helsinki, Finland, who visited in the fall of 1994.
Side BarIn May, associate professor Gary Schwitzer's manuscript, "How Do U.S. Journalists Cover Treatments, Tests, Products and Procedures? An Evaluation of 500 Stories," was published in the journal PLoS Medicine. The manuscript, which summarizes his experiences over the past two years with the HealthNewsReview.org Web site, explains that between 62 and 77 percent of stories failed to adequately address costs, harms, benefits, the quality of evidence and the existence of other options when covering health care products and procedures. Schwitzer calls it a "kid in the candy store" portrayal of U.S. health care, where everything is made to look terrific, risk-free and without a price tag.
In an editorial, "False Hopes, Unwarranted Fears: The Trouble with Medical News Stories," PLoS editors wrote: "Schwitzer's alarming report card of the trouble with medical news stories is thus a wakeup call for those involved in disseminating health research--researchers, academic institutions, journal editors, reporters and media organizations--to work collaboratively to improve the standards of health reporting."
The article drew major media attention, including stories and mentions on the Wall Street Journal health blog, Minnesota Public Radio, MinnPost.com, City Pages, the ShopTalk TV news industry newsletter, Romenesko's media news blog, the Poynter Institute Web site, the Integrity in Science Watch newsletter, the Association of Health Care Journalists' Web site and newsletter, the Century Foundation's Health Beat blog, MedPageToday.com, the Columbia Journalism Review, Science Daily, New Scientist, The Guardian and the Access Minnesota radio program of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association. Bloggers in France, Germany and Thailand were among those writing about the study.
Read the article at: http://medicine.plosjournals.org.