Terrains of Media Work; Producing Amateurs and Professionals in the 19th-Century United States.

Abstract: This article investigates the reproduction of the foundational terrain of media work as composed of amateur and professional realms through the youth movement of amateur journalism in the late 19th-Century United States. Amateur journalists wrote, typeset and printed journals of essays, commentary, word puzzles and stories, which were circulated primarily among themselves in subcultural networks of reciprocity. A broad cultural analysis characterizes how debates about social change due to industrialization shaped definitions and valuations of amateurism and professionalism. A critical political-economic analysis examines how these changes and debates as refracted and reproduced through the commercialization of literary industries and printing technologies spawned amateur journalism. A critical analysis of surviving autobiographical works by amateur journalists of the day explores the on-the-ground cultural production of amateurism and professionalism through amateur journalism’s ascendance, peak and decline. The article concludes by reflecting on the value of these findings for understanding today’s media terrain.

From Riches to Rags: The Decline of Venezuelan Telenovelas

ABSTRACT: In 1994, economist Abdel Güerere classified telenovelas as Venezuela’s most important non-traditional export and envisioned a prosperous future for this media product. In 1999 the country produced 8–12 telenovelas a year. Today no telenovelas are produced in Venezuela and the country’s once powerful telenovela industry is virtually invisible in the international market. Based on research conducted since 1999, this chapter examines this decline, its causes and consequences. What do these factors say about the relation between the media and government in Venezuela, the country’s state of freedom of expression, and the regulation of its discursive spaces in the last 20 years?

Communication rituals, alternative media regimes and enactments of participatory journalism in rural ‘news deserts’ in Georgia

Karin Assmann and Ev Andrews.(Grady MA student). “Communication rituals, alternative media regimes and enactments of participatory journalism in rural ‘news deserts’ in Georgia.” Accepted for presentation at AEJMC’s 2021 Midwinter Conference (Community Journalism Interest Group) to be held online on March 5 – 6: won the top abstract award from the Community Journalism Interest Group. (Abstract listed in the Conference section below.)

On the merits of transparency in crisis: Effects of answering vs. evading through the lens of deception theory.

Abstract: This article applies interpersonal deception theory (IDT) to crisis communication. As strategic communicators, spokespeople representing organizations in crisis often evade questions in media interviews. Upper management and legal counsel tend to prefer evasive language over directly answering questions. Normative crisis communication, however, exhorts honest and straightforward language. In Experiment 1, a company spokesperson either evades or directly answers questions during a media interview. Consistent with IDT, truth and completeness in the messaging mediate the effect of a spokesperson being perceived as less trustworthy when evading, which hampers the organization’s reputation. The results replicate in Experiment 2, in which a spokesperson replies to questions in a media interview through varying degrees of narratives including on-topic narratives, off-topic (spin) storytelling, and nonnarrative answers. On-topic narratives and nonnarratives both serve as viable strategies – bolstering the spokesperson’s trustworthiness and the organization’s reputation – through the messaging components of truth, completeness, clarity, and relevance.

open access: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/ETCSUIBYJFJZYTAXSVFX/full?target=10.1080/1553118X.2020.1836644

Perceptions of media roles in Serbia and Croatia: Does news orientation have an impact?

Abstract: This study examined the perceptions of media roles among journalism students in Serbia and Croatia (N=401). The results showed that the most important were citizen-oriented and watchdog roles and that they were positively predicted by hard news orientation, whereas consumer and loyal roles were least important. Consumer role was positively predicted by the soft news orientation, whereas the best predictor for the perceptions of the loyal media role was political orientation (right of the center). This is the first study that comparatively analyzed students’ views in two countries of the former Yugoslavia using national samples.