The 86th Annual
Conference of the Association for Educators of Journalism and Mass Communications
By Ralph D. Berenger
especially the advent of new competing Arabic channels in the Middle East in the
context of the 2003 Iraq War, took center stage at the annual meeting of the Association
for Educators of Journalism and Mass Communications July 30-Aug. 2, 2003.
The 86th annual event
was held at the sprawling Crown Center-Hyatt Regency complex in Kansas City with
over 2,000 members from around the world attending hundreds of sessions throughout
the four-day event.
AEJMC is the premier organization
for all subject specializations of university and college educators in journalism
and mass communications. The annual is a showcase for research completed by academics
from around the world.
Papers and workshops dealing
with various aspects of transnational broadcasting included:
Karie L. Hollerback, "A Propaganda Analysis of the Shared Values Initiative:
The first U.S. Advertising Campaign to the Muslim World."
Matthew Cecil, "Propaganda v. Public Diplomacy: How 9/11 Gave New Life to
a Cold War Debate."
Christopher Beaudoin, Michael Antecol, and Esther Thorson, "Fox News and
its Links to Hawkish Support for the War in Iraq."
Stephen Quinn and Tim Walters, "Al-Jazeera: A Broadcaster Creating Ripples
in a Stagnant Pool."
Rita Zajacz, "The International Sources of Section 12 of the Radio Act of
Gregory Pitts, "Job Satisfaction and Professionalism Among Private Radio
Station Employees in Bulgaria"
Enas Salmeen, "Al-Jazeera and CNN: News Sources Used during a Conflict."
Ece Algan, "Privatization of Radio and Media Hegemony in Turkey."
Pi-yin An, "U.S. Local Commercial Television Broadcast Stations on the World
Mohamed M. Arafa, Philip Auter, and Khaled Al-Jaber, "Instrumental Use of
Al-Jazeera TV Among viewers in the Arab world and Arab Diaspora."
Robert Rabe, "Selling the Shortwaves: Commercial Shortwave Broadcasting
to Latin America and the Limits of the 'American System.'"
In addition to several
individual papers on Al Jazeera, a panel was jointly sponsored by the organization's
broadcast journalism and international communications divisions about the Doha-based
broadcaster. Taking part on the panel were Ali Al-Hail from Qatar, Mohamed Arafa,
an Egyptian working in Georgia, Mohamed el Nawawy from Stonehill University, and
Ed Freeman from Zayed University. The panel title asked, "Al Jazeera TV: What
Kind of Voice in the Arab World?"
A panel of journalists,
some of them working for international broadcasters, convened under the rubric
of "Correspondents Covering America's Recent Wars." Scott Canon (who covered the
Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq wars, the latter as an embedded reporter), Jim Barcus
(a photographer in Afghanistan), Malcolm Garcia (who spent three tours in Afghanistan),
and Matt Schofield, an embedded journalist in Iraq, reported their experiences
in a well-attended session.
The Iraq war was on the
minds of panelists and attendees who examined "the Iraq War as Spectacle," which
included papers on "Al-Jazeera: Framing the Iraq War for the Mideast Audience,"
by Najib Ghadbian; "Sponsorship and Promotion of the War in Iraq" by Jan LeBlac
Wicks; "Fox News and CNN: Did They Cover the Same War?" by Robert H. Wicks, Todd
Shields and Boubacar Souley; "War on the Web: The First Hours of Operation Iraqi
Freedom" by Daniela Dimitrova, Lynda Lee Kaid and Andrew Paul Williams; and "Comedy
CENGTRCOM: Framing the War with Humor on late-Night TV" by Kaye Trammel, Andrew
Paul Williams, Kristen Landreville, and Justin Martin.
Another panel featured
refereed (peer-reviewed) papers in a discussion titled, "The Media Go to War:
Fighting Words and Myths That Kill." Taking part in that panel were Denise St.
Clair and Atsushi Takjima, Jack Lule, Sue Lawrence, and Richard Kaplan.
The personal safety of
journalists assigned to the war zone and other world trouble spots was the topic
of a curiously titled panel, "Boot Camp War Correspondents: When Journalists Train
Like Soldiers, Is their War Coverage Taken Hostage?" While the panel did not truly
address the issue of media censorship, the journalists, some of whom worked for
international broadcast news companies, did offer some fascinating insights into
how big-league journalists train for dangerous assignments and what safety equipment
they have to pack next to their laptops and mobile phones.
A smaller panel investigated
"International Coverage in the U.S. Media Since September 11: What News Consumers
Want and What They Get." Amy Mitchell presented her paper on a content analysis
of broad and print media since 9/11, among other presentations.
International news flows,
the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) and media development
issues-the staple of most global media books-were the topic of one panel that
featured Giovanna Dell'Orto, Dong Dong, Adina Giurgiu, and Jensen Moore's "Democratic
and Non-Democratic Framing in Foreign News: An Analysis for Effects of International
Perceptions," Eunjung Sung and Won Yong Jang's "Globalization or Alienation? A
Comparative Study of News Coverage Between AP and IPS," Orayb Najjar's "The NWICO,
a Sequel: the Many Models of Media Development in Arab Gulf Countries," and Youichi
Ito's "What Sustains the Trade Winds? The Pattern and Determinant Factors of International
Copies of the papers are
available from AEJMC for $3.50 each. For more information, interested persons
can visit the organization's homepage, www.aejmc.org
The organization's 87th
annual convention will be held in Toronto in the summer of 2004. TBS
Ralph Berenger is a member
of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University
in Cairo and TBS reviews editor.