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Presentations, Publications, and Research

Assistant professor Giovanna Dell'Orto read from 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" at The American Library in Paris on Jan. 14, 2009.

Adjunct instructor Debra Kelley and senior instructional technology fellow Darin Mather represented the SJMC at the College of Liberal Arts' (CLA) Academic Technology Showcase on April 16, 2009. They presented an exhibit that demonstrated how Kelley and adjunct instructor Nance Longley use blogs as teaching tools in the Jour 3321, Basic Media Graphics, course. Kelley and Longley wanted to give their media graphics students experience working in online environments. Blogs provided an excellent platform to display students' media graphics projects. In one assignment, students researched a famous graphic designer, created a media presentation and used a blog to display the artist's work. In another assignment, students used the blog format to create individual portfolio sites, in which they showcased their own creative work. The projects challenged students to incorporate various design elements and interactive technology in a way to communicate effectively. The purpose of the annual showcase is to demonstrate some of the advances CLA staff and faculty have made in the use of technologies and to inspire the imaginations of colleagues, helping to keep the College of Liberal Arts at the forefront of technology-enhanced teaching and research at the University.

Professor and Silha Center director Jane Kirtley moderated a panel discussion on the art and ethics of documentaries at the screening of "Chicago 10," at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, on Oct. 2, 2008. Panelists included the filmmaker Brett Morgen and local documentarian Matt Ehling.

In November, she presented a paper, "Perils of the Internet: A Perspective from the U.S.A.," at the Ad IDEM/Canadian Media Lawyers annual conference in Ottawa, and appeared as a panelist for the "Reporters Privilege and Anonymous Speech" session at the Practising Law Institute's annual conference, "Communications Law in the Digital Age," in New York City.

Locally, Kirtley delivered a lecture, "The First Amendment @ Your Library," at the Minnesota Library Association annual conference held in Bloomington, Minn., Nov. 19-21, 2008, and conducted a seminar titled "The Role of Media in the 21st Century Democratic World" for the University's 2008-09 Humphrey Law Fellows on Feb. 25, 2009. Her chapter, "The Future of Ethics and the Law," appears in a new book, "An Ethics Trajectory: Visions of Media Past, Present and Yet to Come"(John Michael Kittross, ed.), published in 2008 by the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois. Her articles "Web v. Journalism: Court Cases Challenge Long-Held Principles" and "Obama's 'New Era of Openness' " appeared in the winter 2008 issue of Harvard University's Nieman Reports and the March/April 2009 issue of The Association for Women in Communications Communiqué newsletter, respectively. Kirtley presented "Freedom of Information and Media Ethics" at the 20th Annual U.S. Coast Guard Academy Ethics Forum in New London, Conn.

She also was the keynote speaker at American University's conference "Privacy Protection After 20 Years Under Reporters Committee," presented by that university's Washington College of Law on April 28, 2009, in Washington, D.C. The conference commemorated the 20th anniversary of the most significant Freedom of Information Act decision ever issued, Department of Justice v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In addition, numerous local and national media outlets interviewed Kirtley during the 2008 Republican National Convention, the 2008 presidential campaign, and the 2009 Star Tribune bankruptcy filing.

German producers at 3sat, a public television network broadcast primarily within Germany, Austria and Switzerland, interviewed Institute for New Media Studies director Nora Paul and Minnesota Journalism Center director Kathleen Hansen for its weekly program, "Neues Computainment Magazine." Filmed in the SJMC's Digital Media Studio last summer, the piece featured Paul and Hansen discussing the use of games in education and their classroom journalism game "Neverwinter Nights." Searcher, The Magazine for Database Professionals, interviewed Hansen and Paul in an article titled "The Future of Journalism, Newspapers, and Finding Information." The story, which ran in the magazine's April 2009 issue, discusses journalists' access to information in the digital age and how the Internet, while providing unprecedented access to information, has room for improvement in terms of saving and archiving information.

Assistant professor Amy K. Sanders was awarded a leave for the 2009 fall semester to develop her research project titled "Broadcast Indecency: A Look at the Who, When, What, Where and How of FCC Regulation." The project will provide a comprehensive examination of the Federal Communications Commission's regulation of broadcast indecency.

Associate professor Dona Schwartz will be the keynote photographer for the first International Visual Methods Conference, to be held at the University of Leeds (England) in September 2009. She will present a paper titled "Visual Art Meets Visual Methods: Making a Case for Making Pictures."

Kehrer Verlag will publish Schwartz's first photographic monograph, "In the Kitchen," this year. Her work was featured in the photography festival Darmstadt Days of Photography 2009, held April 24-26 in Darmstadt, Germany. Photographs from her "On the Nest" series were featured in the exhibition "I Want to Be Happy" at Uno Art Space in Stuttgart, Germany, Feb. 28-May 5, 2009. Schwartz's work also appears in "The Art of Caring: A Look at Life," May 16-Aug. 2, 2009, at the New Orleans Museum of Art, and "Digital--Daguerreotype: Photographs of People," June 20-Nov. 10, 2009, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Associate professor Gary Schwitzer recently made headlines with his findings for his Kaiser Family Foundation report on the state of health journalism. Schwitzer maintains that huge cutbacks in the news business are creating new challenges for health journalists who are trying to report on current health care policy issues. A survey of members of the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), conducted in partnership between AHCJ and Schwitzer, details how the financial pressures on the media industry and the fierce competition to break news on new and expanding platforms on the Internet are affecting the quality of health reporting. The difficulties cited in Schwitzer's report have caused many in the industry to worry about the loss of in-depth, detailed reporting and the influence of public relations and advertising that could color news content. The full survey and report can be viewed online at http://kff.org/entmedia/mh031109pkg.cfm.

Schwitzer wrote a column for the spring issue of the Harvard University Nieman Reports about his work at HealthNewsReview.org, where he grades health news reporting by 60 leading news organizations, paying close attention to those that include unsubstantiated claims in the course of health reporting. He was the subject of a feature story in Minnesota magazine, the publication of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, where he discussed his continuing efforts to bring accuracy and integrity to health reporting--and his quest to push journalists to ask tough questions about health care that aren't being answered.

Schwitzer also was an invited guest for the Consumer Reports health bloggers forum in New York in January, a guest speaker at the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making research and policy forum in Washington, D.C., in February and a Poynter Ethics Fellow at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., in March.

In March, associate professor Brian Southwell was a guest lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he presented "Aging and Its Implications for Media Effects." A special issue of Communication Theory, (vol. 19, no. 1), co-edited by Southwell and associate professor Marco Yzer, is now available in print. The issue focuses on the intersection of political campaigns, health campaigns, advertising and public relations campaigns and conversation.

Assistant professor Shayla Thiel-Stern is lending her new media expertise to a Minneapolis high school's digital technology learning program, spearheaded by the University's College of Education and Human Development. Known as DigME, a new learning community was created to give students the chance to work with the kind of audio, video and computer technologies that are shaping society. The program, which was the brainchild of Roosevelt High School English teacher Delainia Haug and dean of students Damien Poling, has tapped the expertise of faculty and students from the College of Education and Human Development as well as other University units. The DigME curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and hands-on technical skills in numerous subject areas and gives students the opportunity to create audio, video, blogs, and wikis--essentially online collaborative communities. In the process, students learn essential group work tools, along with organizational, management and communication skills.