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PhD students, faculty present research at AJHA

by Michael Sweeney, Professor; Associate Director for Graduate Studies

Two Scripps PhD students joined several faculty members in presenting their research at the annual conference of the American Journalism Historians Association in Tucson, Ariz., Oct. 7-9.

One of the professors, Aimee Edmondson, received honors for the best faculty paper on a topic related to minorities and the mass media. Her paper, “Making Whiteness: Racial Defamation and the ’Negro’ Moniker,” examined a category of libel cases that existed before the 1960s in which newspapers misidentified a white person as being black. Many of the mislabled whites sought financial compensation by claiming damage to their reputation, Edmondson said, but she could find no evidence of the opposite being true — people of color being misidentified as white, and choosing to sue for libel.





Her paper also won honorable mention for top faculty paper.



The two PhD students who presented original research were Molly Yanity and Michael DiBari Jr. Yanity’s paper, “Digging, Dodging and Daring: How WFAA-TV and the Dallas Morning News Covered the SMU Football Scandal of 1987,” analyzed a pivotal news investigation that resulted in the NCAA imposing the “death penalty” on SMU football. DiBari presented research in progress on “Life Magazine and Desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School: A Civil Rights Case Study.”

AJHA does not identify student papers as such when they are sent to reviewers for blind judging. In other words, student work competes on equal footing with the work of faculty members for space on the conference program. Thus, the quality of Yanity’s and DiBari’s work speaks for itself.

Other Scripps presenters at the conference were:

  • Professor Joseph Bernt, presenting a reseach-in-progress paper co-authored with Scripps professor Marilyn Greenwald, “The New York Newspaper Strike and Expansion of the Evening Television News in 1963.”

  • Professor Ellen J. Gerl, presenting a research-in-progress paper co-authored with Scripps professor Craig Davis, “’Woman at the Wheel’: Julie Candler’s Automotive Column for Woman’s Day 1965-1983.”

  • Professor Michael S. Sweeney, presenting a research-in-progress paper, “Embed vs. Unilateral: A Case Study of Three Russo-Japanese War Correspondents.”

posted in: AJHA journalism historians academic papers
October 11, 2010

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