I generally am uncomfortable with self-promotion and don’t engage in much of it. But when you’ve published a new book, have another one on the cusp of being published, and a third major project in the works, I guess these are the types of things people want to know about.
Out this week is the second edition of Applied Mass Communication Theory: A Guide for Media Practitioners, a theory/research text I co-wrote with Fisher colleague Lauren Vicker.
We published the first edition of the book in 2009. When our original publisher sold the title to Taylor & Francis/Routledge, the new owners were interested in a second edition, and we were happy to provide one.
The manuscript was finished last summer, production and proofreading continued over the fall and winter, and it’s available now from Routledge.
When I was working in Galway, Ireland for a semester last year (January to May 2016), I got the idea for a book about Irish community media. With a sabbatical scheduled this spring semester, I had the perfect opportunity to work on it.
Ireland has an interesting duality in its media structure with a relatively small number of national outlets (TV, radio, newspaper) augmented by a robust community media in the form of local and regional weekly newspapers and radio stations. However, the academic literature about Irish media lacks a comprehensive look at its community media and so I set out to fill that gap.
Even before the book contract was in hand, I made plans to visit Ireland for research, and did so for a few weeks in February and March. I interviewed more than 20 people, mostly journalists, about local media and what they bring to their communities. The results I got were fascinating, and form the heart of the book.
Shortly after I returned from the trip I did receive confirmation of the book contract, and have been working on it since. It’s very nearly complete, and should be published by fall. Right now, I am at the stage of trying to find colleagues who know something about Ireland or community media or both to critique a chapter or two for me. (If you’re interested in doing that, let me know.)
More work on journalism and democracy
Finally, in spare moments during the sabbatical I’ve been working on a third pretty significant project that continues the work I was involved with last year through the Kettering Foundation’s Journalism Educators Exchange. And with the books behind me, this project will now move to the front burner.
Kettering, for those who don’t know about the organization, is dedicated to research about making democracy work more effectively. The exchange is a group of (mostly) educators from around the country collaborating with Kettering on ideas for innovations in journalism education related to citizenship and democracy.
The group’s biggest project so far, which I helped to direct, was partnering with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on a series of research articles for AEJMC’s flagship academic journal. The results were published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly a couple of months ago
As a follow-up to that, Kettering has asked me to produce a white-paper report extending that project. The JMCQ research was focused on fairly detailed curricular ideas. The current project is meant to identify some of the more fundamental principles behind the nexus of journalism education, citizenship and democratic engagement that could be guiding future innovations in educational practice. It’s interesting and important work, and I feel privileged to get the assignment to work on it.
So, it’s been a busy and productive winter/spring on sabbatical, and I’m looking forward to keeping busy during summer as well. Although teaching is the largest and most important part of my job, research and scholarship also are important. It’s fun to report successes in that arena.