Congrats to our winners

PJIG congratulates all our winners in this year’s paper competition!

Top faculty paper:

Understanding Social Media in Journalism Practice: A Typology
Muhammad Fahad Humayun and Patrick Ferrucci, Colorado-Boulder

Second-place faculty paper:
Working Together? Contributing and Adopting Citizen Visuals from the Lens of Social Media Usage, Perception, and Visual Attributes
Deborah Chung, Hyun Ju Jeong and Yung Soo Kim, Kentucky

And, read more about our dissertation award winner, Andrew Conte, below.


We have a winner!

Our dissertation award got a record number of submissions this year! And we’re proud to announce our winner, Andrew Conte of Point Park University.

Our communications officer Jake Nelson did a quick Q&A with Andrew about his work, which he hopes will soon be available at a bookstore/library near you.

Can you give us a brief summary of the dissertation? What is the story/argument you’re making with it?
My research focuses on what happens to a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania when its newspaper closes. I conducted a qualitative case study in order to understand how people responded to the death of the newspaper in the five years since it closed. My work hopes to reveal some insights about an emerging problem across the United States as many small communities, and now even some larger ones, lose their traditional source of communication in the form of a local newspaper.

Can you tell us a little bit about what drew you to your dissertation topic? How did you decide to focus on news deserts, and on this news desert in particular?
I run the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, which is a laboratory for present and future forms of journalistic storytelling. Before that, I was an investigative reporter in Pittsburgh for many years. Because of that work, I’ve been interested in the ways that newspapers inform citizens, and how citizens in turn shape local news and interact with it. After I left my newspaper to start work full-time at the university, I started receiving phone calls from people wondering what happened to their local reporters. When I did some research I discovered that in many cases the reporters no longer existed because the newspapers they worked for had either closed or withdrawn their coverage areas leaving “news deserts” behind. I wanted to better understand this phenomenon and what happens at the local level.

How did you decide on the method you used for this dissertation? What is it about the qualitative case study that you felt made it the best choice for this project?
I knew that some excellent quantitative research already exists, particularly the work done by Penny Abernathy formally of University of North Carolina and Michelle Ferrier now at Florida A&M. I wanted to better understand what happens within a single community by talking with residents and community leaders to explore whether they felt a sense of loss, and if so, what they have done to fill that void. I felt like I could best understand this type of situation by spending time in one small community that lost its newspaper and really digging into the qualitative research that way.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as you pursued this work?
Anytime you start work in a community as an outsider, it takes time to build up trust and for people to come to know and accept you. That was probably the biggest challenge in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the community that I covered. Fortunately I already had established some relationships with people in the community through my work at the Center for Media Innovation, and previously as a newspaper reporter. Beyond that, it just took time and a little luck to meet people and convince them to talk with me for my research.

What was the most fascinating or exciting part of this journey?
I’m fascinated by what an outsized role Facebook in particular has come to play within local communities as people look for information and share out what they discover. I think this creates a tremendous opportunity, but it also means that work needs to be done to produce better quality information on social media. That will require an acknowledgment that the information that people share on social media has value; then we must work with people to help them produce more reliable and more relevant information there.

A lot of people (myself included) have moments in the dissertation where something happens, they run into an obstacle, and they need to change their original plans. Did you run into any of those kinds of issues? If so, what was it, and how did you overcome it?
I was fortunate in that I was able to finish my field research about a day or two before the governor of Pennsylvania shut down the state because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in terms of overcoming an obstacle, I would say one of the biggest ones was limiting my expectations from the start. I had hoped to do a photo voice component as part of my research as well, but my committee convinced me to save that for post-doctoral research.

How do you hope your dissertation might help improve understanding of the challenges journalism faces among journalism researchers and/or practitioners?
We’ve been able to track the growth of news desert as they spread across the United States, and we’re starting to get an understanding of what it means when newspapers are hollowed out from within even though they still exist. But we struggle to find out what goes on within areas as traditional news outlets disappear. News still happens, and people still search for meaning and understanding about what goes on in their community. But left on their own, citizens often don’t do a great job of focusing on objective, accurate, and relevant information. My hope is that this research, and similar research like it, will help all of us start to understand how we can produce higher quality information in the absence of traditional media.

What’s next for you? What are you currently working on, and what do you hope to work on in the future?
I’m in the process of updating and expanding my dissertation with the hopes of turning it into a nonfiction book that can be published in 2022. In addition I continue my work at the Center for Media Innovation to experiment with new ways of sharing information and making it financially sustainable. People can find out more about our work at 

PJIG’s conference schedule

The AEJMC conference is fast approaching! The conference officially runs August 4-8, and PJIG has a pre-conference August 3. There’s a lot going on this year, so we’ve collected all the PJIG sessions into this email for you. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Please remember that the conference schedule is in central time. If you’re registered for the conference, you’ll receive details about the virtual platform soon.

Tuesday August 3, 1:30-3 CST

Preconference Workshop Session

Engaged Journalism Exchange: Toward an Antiracist Journalism Education


  • Daniela Gerson, California State-Northridge
  • Jacob Nelson, Arizona State
  • Andrea Wenzel, Temple


  • Diamond Hardiman, Media 2070/Free Press News Voices
  • Alissa Richardson, Southern California
  • Sue Robinson, Wisconsin
  • Fernanda Santos, Arizona State

Around  the  U.S.,  news  organizations  have  been  reckoning  with  the  structural  racism  that  undergirds  their newsrooms and the larger industry. At the same time, a number of scholars have been researching how racism and whiteness influence the field’s norms and  practices.  In  this  Engaged  Journalism  Exchange  preconference,  we  will explore  where  efforts  seeking  to  push  toward  antiracist  journalism  have  the  potential  to  collide—in  journalism education classrooms and beyond.

In a series of lightning presentations and breakout discussions, we will explore how journalism educators have been bringing best practices for inclusive and antiracist journalism into the classroom, and discuss how curricula may be adapted to question harmful norms and practices, and to build competencies needed for more inclusive journalism.

This Engaged Journalism Exchange ( preconference aims to connect journalism educators, researchers and practicing journalists. It is supported by the Agora  Journalism  Center/Gather,  the  Walter  Cronkite  School  of  Journalism  and  Mass  Communication  at  Arizona State University, Temple University’s Klein College, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, and AEJMC’s Participatory Journalism Interest Group.

Please RSVP here:

Wednesday August 4, 1 to 2:30 p.m. CST

Refereed Paper Session

Engaging Publics via Participatory Journalism on Social Media


  • Mark Coddington, Washington and Lee

Understanding Social Media in Journalism Practice: A Typology (Top Paper Award)

  • Muhammad Fahad Humayun
  • Patrick Ferrucci, Colorado-Boulder

Working Together? Contributing and Adopting Citizen Visuals from the Lens of Social Media Usage, Perception, and Visual Attributes (Second Place Paper Award)

  • Deborah Chung, Kentucky
  • Hyun Ju Jeong, Kentucky
  • Yung Soo Kim, Kentucky

Reacting to Black Lives Matter: Facebook Engagement with News Coverage During the Summer 2020 Protests

  • Jennifer Cox, Salisbury


  • Mark Coddington, Washington and Lee

Wednesday August 4, 5-6:30 p.m. CST

Internships and Careers and Participatory Journalism Interest Groups

PF&R Panel Session

Winners and Losers: Teaching Business and Economics Reporting to Student Reporters Covering Sports, Entertainment and Any Other Beat


  • Jennifer Brannock Cox, Salisbury


  • Tony DeMars, Texas A&M Commerce
  • Melissa Wall, California State, Northridge
  • Chris Roush, Quinnipiac
  • Connie Ford Mitchell, Maryland

How do we attract diverse talent to journalism and help them learn valuable reporting skills –that help them land an internship or job -while guiding them  to report on  topics  they care about? This panel looks  at unique ways to engage  these  students. Community  journalism  works  best  when  reporters  and  residents  work  together  to  better understand  local  issues  and  their  impact  on  the  people  who  live  with  them.  College  students  can  benefit  from building a relationship with community members by engaging them in the reporting process. Panelists will describe their  experiences  incorporating  participatory  journalism  practices  into  their  classes,  offering  helpful  hints  and guidance for others who want to do the same. Business and economics reporting pays well and offers many jobs while other parts of journalism are seeing declines. Yet too many students still prefer to write about sports, fashion or entertainment  while  viewing  business  reporting  as  either  daunting  or  boring. This  panel will explore  teaching methods to make business reporting interesting and exciting to students studying and reporting in other genres. And the business reporting skillsets are vital to the sports and entertainment beats and are a way to expand diversity and inclusion  in  business  and  economics  reporting –a  sector of journalism that is influential and  pays well but lacks diversity.

Thursday August 5, 11-12:30 a.m. CST

Research Panel Session

For vs. About: Challenging Journalists’ Perceptions of Audiences and Communities


  • Jacob Nelson, Arizona State


  • Candis Callison, British Columbia
  • Anita Varma, Texas at Austin
  • Andrea Wenzel, Temple
  • Miya Williams Fayne, California State-Fullerton

As journalists seek to build trust with historically marginalized communities, a common stumbling block is the refrain from residents that previous coverage has been about their communities (and predominantly negative), but not with or for their communities. This panel will highlight a range of perspectives on how journalists’ view their perceived audiences and communities and how these perceptions shape their efforts to build relationships with them. It will highlight recent research on perceptions of audiences, and explore models for redefining relationships such as community-centered journalism, solidarity journalism, and systems journalism.

Thursday, August 5, 7-8:30 p.m. CST

Refereed Paper Session

Constructing Journalism with Audiences: Challenges and Opportunities in Participatory Journalism


  • Antoine Haywood, Pennsylvania

I Did My Best to Show Their Pain: Participatory Genres of Photojournalistic Witnessing

  • Kenzie Burchell, Toronto Scarborough
  • Stephanie Fielding, Toronto Scarborough

“I Think We Are Truly Ignored” –An Assessment of How Small Town Media Serves the Information Needs of BIPOC Residents

  • Letrell Crittenden, Thomas Jefferson
  • Andrea Wenzel, Temple

“When You’re Out Here On Your Own”: Journalists, Harassment and News Organization Responses

  • Avery Holton, Utah
  • Valérie Bélair-Gagnon, Minnesota
  • Diana Bossio, Swinburne University
  • Logan Molyneux, Temple


  • Antoine Haywood, Pennsylvania

Thursday, August 5, 8:45 to 10:15 p.m. CST

Members meeting

We’ll hand out first- and second-place paper awards, as well as our dissertation award. We’ll also choose officers for next year, and discuss strategy for increasing interest and submissions going forward. Please join us!

Friday August 6, 5-6:30 p.m. CST

Participatory Journalism Interest Group and Scholastic Journalism Division

Research Panel Session

Community Media, Engaged Journalism, and the Future of Local Information Access


  • Antoine Haywood, Pennsylvania


  • Mike Wassenaar, President & CEO, Alliance for Community
  • Alicia Bell, Media 2070 Director, Free Press
  • Ernesto Aguilar, Executive Director, National Federation of Community Broadcasters

This panel discusses the contemporary contours of community media advocacy work in the U.S. The panelists leading this conversation are experienced community organizers who have extensive backgrounds in community radio, local access television, participatory journalism, and public interest media policy advocacy. This discussion promotes ongoing conversations and future research collaborations that help reimagine, build, and sustain local storytelling networks.

You’ve been busy: A roundup of research from our members

compiled by Paromita Pain, University of Nevada, Reno

Thematic analysis of journalism engagement in practice,” by Dr. Mark Poepsel from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, in the #ISOJ Journal, the journal of the International Symposium on Online Journalism. Poepsel investigates how journalists engage audiences, and highlights how audience engagement can go beyond what has been done in the past.

Collaborating in a Pandemic: Adapting Local News Infrastructure to Meet Information Needs,” by Dr. Andrea D. Wenzel, Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University, and Dr. Letrell Crittenden from Thomas Jefferson University, in Journalism Practice. As media outlets around the globe seek to play a constructive role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, this study looks at how local news initiatives in the U.S. city of Philadelphia attempted to respond to the information needs of marginalized communities.

Community-Centered Journalism: Engaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust, a new book by Dr. Andrea D. Wenzel, Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University. Contemporary journalism faces a crisis of trust that threatens the institution and may imperil democracy itself.  Wenzel models new practices of community-centered journalism that build trust across boundaries of politics, race, and class, and prioritize solutions while engaging the full range of local stakeholders.

Imagined Audiences: How Journalists Perceive and Pursue the Public, a new book by Dr. Jacob L. Nelson from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The book draws on ethnographic case studies of three news organizations to reveal how journalists’ assumptions about their audiences shape their approaches to their audiences. Nelson examines the role that audiences have traditionally played in journalism, how that role has changed, and what those changes mean for both the profession and the public. He concludes by drawing on audience studies research to compare journalism’s “imagined” audiences with actual observations of news audience behavior. The result is a comprehensive study of both news production and reception at a moment when the relationship between the two has grown more important than ever before.

When Media Succumbs to Rising Authoritarianism: Cautionary Tales from Venezuela’s Recent History, a new book edited by Dr. Ezequiel Korin and Dr. Paromita Pain at the University of Nevada, Reno. This book provides a transversal scholarly exploration of the multiple changes exhibited around Venezuelan media during the Chávez regime. Bringing together a body of original research by key scholars in the field, the book looks at the different processes entailed by Chavismo’s relationship with the media, extending their discussion beyond the boundaries of the specific cases or examples and into the entire articulation of a nearly- perfect communicational hegemony.

Teaching participatory journalism in COVID times: a tip from one of our members

By Dr. Jennifer Brannock Cox

When my textbook, “Feature Writing and Reporting: Journalism in the Digital Age,” published in time to adopt for my Advanced Feature Storytelling class in fall 2020, I was thrilled. Finally, I would be able to pair my class activities perfectly to the text and share new reporting strategies for community and citizen engagement with students.

Then I remembered the central theme of my book: Get out there and report!


That message was a bit off-brand for 2020, as my students would be participating in the class remotely – many of them hours away from our Salisbury University campus on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Asking them to get out into the community to engage citizens in the reporting process in the midst of a global pandemic seemed not only reckless but downright impossible.

But participatory journalism is possible in all forms and at all times, as long as you are willing to adapt. I scrambled to make my modes of audience-centric reporting feasible and effective for online engagement, and I was inspired when my students took up the challenge and produced quality work.

My chapter on community journalism centers around one of the Hearken organization’s models for participatory journalism. The company, founded by former WBEZ Chicago reporter Jennifer Brandel, creates strategies for news and other organizations to engage with their audiences.

One strategy that I have used in previous classes is a hands-on activity wherein students get permission to set up tables throughout the city and engage citizens by asking them what questions they have about their community. Students took dog treats to the local dog park, set-up shop in front of the city library and fanned out in other high-traffic areas to learn more about the town they call home only nine months of the year.

From the questions they gathered, students produced fascinating stories about the history of our community and got answers to burning questions plaguing residents today on issues from traffic to gravesite maintenance to food truck regulation.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t use the same technique this semester, so I borrowed another page from the Hearken playbook. The company has worked with newsrooms to create online question submission sites, where citizens can submit questions and vote on which ones they would like reporters to answer. Reporters can connect with question-askers over the phone, keeping them updated on the reporting process and including their reactions in the finished news piece.

My students adopted a similar strategy, using their existing social media platforms to ask the simple question: “What do you want to know about Salisbury?” They received a variety of responses and were able to catalog the questions into a viable list of story ideas.

One challenge we faced was the use of friends and family members as sources. Because most students don’t have separate professional and personal social media accounts, most of their questions came from people who would be considered conflicts of interest as sources.

I have an unflinching rule against such conflicts, which prohibited them from using question-askers in their finished products, but it did not hinder their reporting process otherwise. They were still able to produce quality journalistic articles from a distance that were inspired by community participants. In this climate, I consider that a win.

While we are facing new challenges in having students engage with citizens during the pandemic, we are also seeing opportunities to move their reporting processes into a more modern, professional format. Social media journalism is a requirement for everyone going into the field, so why not use this moment to have them start?

This semester, my students will continue to conduct interviews remotely or from a safe distance. They will produce those stories on a variety of platforms, and they will use social media to publish and promote their work. This new way of thinking may ultimately benefit them, as it will not just be me who sees their work; it will be public.

In these trying times for journalism education, we cannot back down our expectations for their work. We have to help students use innovative social media techniques to report and build their brands – just like they will do in professional newsrooms.

-Jennifer Brannock Cox is an associate professor teaching multimedia journalism in the Communication Department at Salisbury University. She is the author of “Feature Writing and Reporting: Journalism in the Digital Age.”

Call for papers for AEJMC annual conference

The Participatory Journalism Interest Group, PJIG, invites research paper submissions for the 2021 AEJMC Conference, August 4-7 to be held virtually. The deadline for paper submissions is April 1, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. (CDT).

Scope: We are interested in research exploring participatory journalism and engaged journalism. Broadly, we are interested in journalism that involves members of the public in the selection, production, dissemination, and sharing of news and information. Participatory journalism may involve professional journalism outlets or community newsrooms, but what distinguishes it is the role “citizens,” “users,” “audiences,” or “participants” play in creating content or otherwise collaborating in the journalistic process. This may include a range of practices—for example, social media commenting and sharing, crowdsourcing story ideas or reporting, public newsrooms, citizen journalism initiatives, and more. While digital tools and platforms have made many of these practices more common, we are interested in both online and offline approaches to participation in journalism and efforts to build more reciprocal relationships between journalism and publics.

Research topics may include, but are not restricted to, the following areas. Quantitative and qualitative methods are respected equally.

  • 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

Awards: Papers submitted will be eligible for four separate awards: first- and second-place faculty paper awards and first- and second-place student paper awards (both $150 and $75 respectively). The poster award will be given after the poster session and is based on the combined quality of the research and poster presentation. Students should clearly identify their papers as “student papers” in the submission process. Papers co-authored with faculty members do not qualify for the student competition.

Submission guidelines:

Papers must be submitted in accordance with all requirements of AEJMC and its uniform paper call and electronic submission process. The full paper length is limited to 25 pages, not including references, tables, figures or appendices. Font size should be 12 pt. Times New Roman with margins at least 1 inch on all sides. A COVER SHEET or a sheet with the 75-word ABSTRACT is required but EXCLUDED from the page number limits. We accept papers in any academic formatting style. Papers should not have been published or under review by another conference.

Please direct questions to PJIG Research Chair You Li (

Author Identification: All submissions undergo a blind review process. Authors should ensure that their papers do not contain any self-identifying references of any kind including self-citations or the properties section of the pdf document or it will be disqualified from the conference. For a detailed explanation, please see “submitting a clean paper” under the uniform paper call on the AEJMC website. We urge you to submit at least two days before the deadline so you can check your uploaded document for self-identifying information and resubmit prior to the deadline.

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,

PJIG Call for Papers: New Orleans 2021

AEJMC 2020: PJIG Call for Panels 

The Participatory Journalism Interest Group (PJIG) is now accepting panel proposals for the 2021 Convention August 4-7 in New Orleans.

Deadline to submit Friday, September 25, 2020.

Panel Proposal Types: PJIG is accepting teaching, professional freedom and responsibility (PF&R), or research panel proposals. Please review guidelines for each type of proposal carefully and use the provided sample panel proposal to complete your submission. ​

IMPORTANT: Diversity matters! Please keep this in mind when you’re thinking about potential panelists. Race, ethnicity and gender identity are key factors to consider, of course, but so is geography. Think about how you might be able to pull together people from different regions or continents to talk about an issue. See if you can get a diversity of scholars plus people from the industry, where relevant.

Please be sure, though, to leave a spot for someone from a co-sponsoring division or interest group.

Teaching panels: To discuss teaching ideas, challenges, innovations, technologies, etc. that are relevant to participatory journalism, community media and/or considerations of media, race, gender and participation in and out of the classroom.

  • Teaching panels must address:

One of the following FOUR general areas identified by the AEJMC Standing Committee on Teaching Standards:

  1. Curriculum development including the philosophy, design, and examination of issues, developments, and trends in journalism or global communication.
  2. Leadership issues, especially the administrative and organizational efforts formulated to address the changes in the field of journalism and mass communication.
  3. Course content and methods showcasing innovative teaching techniques and strategies.
  4. Assessment reports highlighting diverse range of activities measuring the effectiveness of journalism education.

Professional Freedom and Responsibility panels should focus on one or more of the following areas: freedom of expression; ethics; media criticism & accountability; racial, gender and cultural inclusiveness; or public service.

Research panels should focus on original, innovative and trending research by a panel of experts on a topic related to communication. PJIG welcomes research panel submissions on all topics related to national and international communication, but PJIG will give special consideration to proposed research panels that focus on the core interest of the group.

You should submit your proposal to only one division, and we invite you to submit it to the PJIG. Considering that there are a limited number of conference slots available for our interest group, priority will be given to proposals that are relevant to the mission of PJIG. This includes proposals with institutional, regional, gender, and methodological diversity, which have confirmed co-sponsor(s) and adhere to submission guidelines. 

Send research panel proposals to:

Paromita Pain ( (Vice Chair PJIG)

Proposal Format: (I have attached a form at the end of this call.)

All proposals should be one-page in length (single-spaced) and include the following:

  1. Panel title: Be creative and broad with your title – keep in mind current trending issues and the potential for attracting co-sponsors.
  2. Panel type: A statement of whether the panel would be a Teaching, Research or Professional Freedom and Responsibility panel.
  3. Panel Description: Describe clearly in one paragraph the key issues or subject matter to be addressed by the panelists.
  4. Rationale for the Panel: Describe briefly why the panel’s topic is important.
  5. Panel Co-sponsorship: Suggestions for divisions or interest groups that might be interested in co-sponsoring the panel. Please indicate whether you have been in touch with the potential co-sponsoring division, interest group, or commission. Panels including co-sponsoring divisions/interest groups/commissions have a better chance of being accepted, because they are likely to be of wider interest at the conference and give the interest group a chance to take part in more sessions.
  6. Possible Panelists [about 3]: Names of proposed panelists, affiliation, demographic data (race, gender, ethnicity) and contact information for each (please indicate whether they have committed to participate). AEJMC tracks diversity among panelists, moderators and discussants, so please keep that in mind when planning. Limited funds for travel reimbursement are available for panel participants who are not AEJMC members. The deadline for those requests is late January. Whenever possible, please try to find local panelists or AEJMC members whom you expect will be attending the convention anyway.
  7. Panel Moderator: Provide the name of the person who will moderate the panel (remember this can be you or someone you nominate).
  8. Contact Person: Provide the name, affiliation, email, and phone number for the person proposing the panel.

Thank you, and we look forward to your submissions!

Paromita Pain ( & Magda Konieczna {Chair} (


(1)      Tentative Panel Title:

(2)    Panel Type (Research, Teaching, or PF & R):

(3)    Panel Sponsorship:  Indicate other AEJMC Divisions or Interest Groups for which this proposal might prove relevant.  (Please note:  Sole-sponsored panel proposals will be considered.  However, the majority of AEJMC panels tend to be co-sponsored across Divisions and Interest Groups.)

(4)    Description of Panel:  Provide a succinct description in paragraph form of the key issues or subject matter to be addressed by the panelists.

(5)    Possible Panelists:  Indicate individuals (or types of individuals) who would be appropriate participants for this panel and their D/IG/Commission affiliations. You may leave this area blank. Note that it is very important that panels show diversity and balance across co-sponsored groups.

(6)    Moderator:  This can be you or someone you nominate to moderate the panel. It can be TBD.

(7)    Contact Person:  Include your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number as the contact person for this panel proposal.



PJIG AEJMC conference schedule now available


The Participatory Journalism Interest Group’s schedule for August’s annual AEJMC conference is set, and it’s an exciting one!

We’re disappointed to miss the opportunity to meet together in person, but we’re looking forward to the great lineup of sessions we have in virtual form this year. I know it’s a difficult time for everyone, and many people’s institutions have slowed or frozen their funding for conferences, but if you’re able, I would highly encourage you to attend this year’s conference.

The format will certainly be different, but it’s going to be full of timely and pertinent scholarship and discussions. Here’s the link to register: You can get early-bird rates through July 9.

Here’s PJIG’s schedule for this year’s conference. All times are in Pacific Time, and note two sessions in particular: Our preconference on engaged journalism on Wednesday, which promises to be an outstanding discussion, and our members’ meeting on Saturday night.

We’ll be electing new officers at the meeting, so if you’re interested in serving as an officer or know someone who is, please reach out to Mark Coddington, the head of the Participatory Journalism Interest Group! His email is:

Wednesday, Aug. 5

9-11 a.m. PT

Preconference workshop session: Engaged Journalism: News Quality and Sustainability

Andrea Wenzel, Temple University
Jacob Nelson, Arizona State University

Madeleine Bair, Free Press
Letrell Crittenden, Thomas Jefferson University
Antoine Haywood, University of Pennsylvania
Victor Pickard, University of Pennsylvania
Mike Wassenaar, Alliance for Community Media

This two-hour Zoom workshop will bring together journalism researchers, practitioners, funders, and other stakeholders from across the globe to discuss how, in a pandemic and post-pandemic world, journalists should best serve their communities, as well as what should be done to ensure their efforts are financially sustainable. More information here: RSVP here: If you have any questions, reach out to us at or

Thursday, Aug. 6

1:30-3 p.m. PT: Refereed Paper SessionParticipating in a Public Dialogue: The Communication Strategies of Citizens and Journalists in a Connected World
Moderating/Presiding: Jennifer Cox, Salisbury 
Ventriloquism as a Communicative Strategy of Journalists on TwitterErin Perry, Ashley Teffer, Crystal Coleman, and Subhashini Pandey, Wayne State Audience as Boundary Worker: Deconstructing the CNN Live Broadcast from the San Bernardino Shooters’ ApartmentVolha Kananovich and Gregory Perreault, Appalachian State Comments that Hurt. Incivility and Offensive Speech in Online Discussion of Minority-related News Magdalena Saldana and Valentina Proust, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Discussant: Paromita Pain, Nevada-Reno

3:15-4:45 p.m. PT: Teaching Panel Session Creating a Culture of Critique, Self-reflection and Professional Development in the Collaborative Journalism Classroom

Moderating/Presiding: Kalli Anderson, City University of New York
Panelists:Tina Korani, San Jose StateYoon Chung Han, San Jose StateAllison Lichter Joseph, The New SchoolKalli Anderson, City University of New York

Friday, Aug. 7

8:15 to 9:45 a.m. PT: Teaching Panel Session (with Media Ethics Division)Listening Before (and After) the Story Pitch: Teaching Students About Public-Powered Journalism
Moderating/Presiding: Elia Powers, Towson
Panelists:Katie Place, Quinnipiac Carrie Brown, CUNYLetrell Crittenden, Thomas Jefferson UniversitySummer Fields, HearkenLindsay Green-Barber, The Impact Architects
Social listening and ethical listening let journalists and others engage stakeholders through inclusive dialogue. This panel will discuss ways to incorporate this audience engagement practice into the journalism curriculum.

Saturday, Aug. 8

3 to 4:30 p.m. PT: Research Panel Session (with Communication Theory and Methodology Division)Pathways to Reimagining and Rewarding Publicly Engaged Scholarship in Academia
Moderating/Presiding: Serena Miller, Michigan State
Panelists:Deborah Chung, KentuckyDaniela Gerson, California State, NorthridgeSerena Miller, Michigan StateSilvio R. Waisbord, George WashingtonAndrea Wenzel, Temple
This panel is intended to encourage inclusivity by encouraging a broader interpretation of scholarship. Faculty members will share how they are collaborating with communities, organizations, professionals, and publics in order to address problems and identify solutions throughout the research process. They will also detail how to communicate the academic value, benefits, and challenges of publicly engaged scholarship.
4:45 to 6:15 p.m. PT: Refereed Paper Session
Voice from Citizens: Content Creation, Moderation, and Representation and Their Impact on Journalism
Moderating/Presiding: Mark Coddington, Washington & Lee
Citizen News Content Creation: Perceptions on Professional Journalists and the Additive Double Moderating Role of Social Media and Traditional News Use*
Manuel Goyanes, Carlos III University, and Homero Gil de Zúñiga, Vienna
A Multi-level Analysis of Commenting’s Effects on Journalism Practice**
Patrick Ferrucci, Colorado-Boulder and David Wolfgang, Colorado State
Seeing 360-Degree: Toward a Framework of Authentic Representation of Indigenous Communities Through Citizen-driven Reporting
Jiun-Yi Tsai, Northern Arizona; Rian Bosse, Nisha Sridharan and Monica Chadha, Arizona State
Discussant: Rosie Jahng, Wayne State
* First Place Paper
** Second Place Paper
6:30 to 8 p.m. PT: Virtual Members’ Meeting
Moderating/Presiding: Mark Coddington, Washington & Lee

AEJMC accepts extended abstracts for 2020 conference

In light of the extraordinary and historic disruptions to the lives of faculty members and graduate students as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, AEJMC will accept extended abstracts as well as full papers in all divisions and interest groups for the 2020 conference.

The extended abstract format is suitable for authors who are sufficiently along in the research process to address the content elements described below, but have not had sufficient time to prepare the full paper. The extended abstracts must be at least 750 words long but no more than 1,500 words. Extended abstracts must include a reference list and a 75-word summary of the abstract. (The reference list and summary are not included in the word count). Extended abstracts may be submitted to only one division or interest group. Extended abstracts must be uploaded as a single file to the AEJMC All-Academic site by the existing conference deadline of 11:59 p.m. CDT April 9, 2020. Authors whose extended abstracts are selected for presentation at the conference must still submit their full paper, with all identifying author information, to the All-Academic site by 11:59 p.m. CDT, July 15, 2020.

To preserve the value of fully developed research papers, long a hallmark of the AEJMC conference, extended abstracts will not be eligible for division, interest group, or conference-wide awards. Divisions and interest groups can program extended abstracts as they see fit in regular paper sessions, high density sessions, or poster sessions, and will specify allotted presentation time as appropriate. Extended abstract submissions will be designated as such in the conference program. Finally, this new format is not one intended for future AEJMC conferences.

Content and Formatting Guidelines

1) As noted above, length of extended abstracts must be at least 750 words but no more than 1,500 words. A 75-word (max.) summary of the abstract should precede the abstract itself. References and summary are excluded from the word count.

2) Extended abstracts should contain all of the same content sections/elements that would normally be used in the division or interest group’s paper submissions, including the study’s purpose, literature review, research questions and/or hypotheses, method, findings and discussion/conclusion. The main difference, however, is the length of this submission format.

3) For authors considering the extended abstract option, data collection and analysis must be at least 75% complete in order to meaningfully report tentative findings and conclusions. Authors should clearly report in the Method and Findings sections how far along the data collection and analysis phases are, respectively, and explain what steps remain and the anticipated value/contribution of these steps, so that reviewers can assess the foundations on which conclusions are based. Extended abstracts will be reviewed and scored using the same evaluation rubrics as currently used for full papers, but will be evaluated as to how well each of the criteria are achieved given the relative length of an extended abstract.

4) When submitting in this format, authors must include the words “Extended Abstract” at the start of their paper title (e.g., “Extended Abstract: [Your paper title]”). Authors should clearly indicate the same on the title page of their submission. Submissions that are not appropriately labeled may be rejected.

5) When creating the file for upload, please insert the 75-word summary of the abstract at the beginning of the extended abstract, so that this is what readers and reviewers see first.

6) As with full paper submissions, please ensure all identifying author information has been removed for extended abstract submissions and that title pages do not contain author information. Please reference the AEJMC Uniform Paper Call for information about how to ensure this information is removed in order to ensure a blind review.

7) Other than the extended abstract format (including length differences) and ineligibility for award competitions, all other AEJMC Uniform Paper Guidelines apply. Please review these at

For questions please contact Katie Foss, Council of Divisions Head or Jan Boyles, Council of Divisions Vice Head.

Thank you.