Dissertation award deadline April 1

The award recognizes the best Ph.D. dissertation in the field of participatory journalism research and includes a monetary prize. Dissertations are eligible if successfully defended between Sept. 1, 2019, and Aug. 31, 2020. The committee reserves the right not to grant the award in any given year.

Suggested dissertation topics include

  • Participatory journalism in political campaigns (crowdsourcing ideas, coverage, etc.)
  • Efforts to build trust through participatory and engaged journalism practices
  • The use of user-generated content, polls, focus groups and other methods to report news
  • Citizen media, civic mapping, community conversations, user comments, community organizing practices in journalism  
  • Entrepreneurial journalism with collaborative elements
  • History/philosophy of participatory media
  • The mission and meaning of “participatory” and/or “engaged” media
  • Legal and ethical issues in participatory journalism
  • Journalism boundaries and norms such as “objectivity” and participatory/engaged journalism
  • Crowdsourcing versus traditional “gatekeeping” models of journalism practice
  • News sharing and social media distribution
  • Participatory journalism in a multicultural and/or multinational environment
  • Participatory journalism and mobile/wearable/immersive technologies
  • Economic elements of traditional media and their relationship to participatory journalism movements
  • Teaching journalism and media production in participatory contexts

How to nominate: 

Self-nominations are accepted as well as nominations by the dissertation chair/advisor. The nomination package includes four items:

  1. the nominator’s cover letter, which includes the nominee’s name, university affiliation, and dissertation title.
  2. a six-to-eight-page abstract summarizing the dissertation in English. The abstract should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins, use 12-pt. Time New Roman Font, and not contain any appendices or references. Nominees may wish to refer to AEJMC Nafziger-White-Salwen Dissertation Award and the judging criteria when writing their abstracts. The instruction can be found here. The abstract should be organized as follows with subheadings:
    1. Introduction and statement of purpose
    2. Theoretical framework and key elements of previous research
    3. Method
    4. Findings
    5. Conclusion and discussion
    6. Statement of importance to the field
  3. a PDF of the dissertation
  4. the nominee’s CV.

If the dissertation is nominated by the dissertation advisor, the nomination letter should be submitted electronically by the nominator. All other materials should be submitted by the nominee.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. The nomination package must be submitted electronically as email attachments on or before 11:59 p.m. (Central), Thursday, April 1, 2021.  All four (4) items must be delivered electronically by the deadline to qualify for consideration.
  2. Acknowledgements and other information that might identify the author, the adviser or the university must be removed from the dissertation PDF and the abstract. This includes references to the university where the dissertation was written that may appear in the text. Submissions containing identifying information in these files may be disqualified.
  3. The full dissertation must be submitted in ONE single PDF file.
  4. A separate file comprising the extended (blind) abstract summarizing the dissertation must be submitted in ONE file (PDF, DOC, or DOCX).
  5. “PJIG Dissertation Award [insert nominee’s last name]” must be used as the subject header for any and all correspondence in relation to the award.
  6. Submissions will be acknowledged by email within 24 hours of receiving the applications.
  7. Non-electronic methods of submission (facsimile, standard mail, courier) are not available or acceptable.

Please send nominations and direct questions to Participatory Journalism Interest Group Research Co-Chair You Li at Eastern Michigan University, yli23@emich.edu


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