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Emerson College hosts AEJMC national conference

Nearly 2,000 journalism educators and professionals will convene at Emerson for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) prestigious annual conference, held through Aug. 4-8. The internationally recognized AEJMC supports education and standards within the field of journalism and mass communication. Faculty and students from Emerson College, the only four-year private college in the United States devoted to communication and the performing arts, have worked closely with the AEJMC on several activities at this year’s conference. The College’s involvement ranges from orchestrating a keynote speaker to using current students as exclusive conference reporters through a partnership with UPI.

“We have collaborated with AEJMC for the past year to plan a dynamic conference that showcases our home city as well as the diverse talents within the Emerson community,” says Janet Kolodzy, associate professor of journalism at Emerson College and a host committee member. “We are excited to help fuel the discourse on the future of journalism, something we all discuss broadly in classrooms and face through our practice daily in this era of digital media.”

On the conference opening night, Carole Simpson, the leader-in-residence at Emerson since January 2007, will offer the keynote address along side her daughter and fellow journalist Dr. Mallika Marshall. For the past 40 years Simpson has been a pioneer among African-American women in the field of journalism. Following her retirement from ABC News in 2006, she joined Emerson as a full-time faculty member. Simpson and Marshall, medical reporter for Boston’s- WBZ-TV, will lead a discussion titled “She Said, She Said… and It’s a Wrap,” around trying to balance career, home life, and the changing nature of journalism within the current economy and media culture.

Concurrent with Emerson’s commitment to cooperative learning, during the course of the conference, a select group of students will have the exclusive opportunity to work directly with visiting UPI editors, making the school’s labs an AEJMC “newsroom.” UPI has been working with the AEJMC to promote UPIU, a platform that bridges the divide between the media industry and the media academia. For the conference, seven Emerson students will work with UPI print and video editors to gain professional newsroom experience and post stories on the UPIU and AEJMC websites. These “real time” reports will allow AEJMC members to learn from a variety of sessions, virtually allowing one to be in more than one place at once.

“We’re excited to be working with these Emerson students in the AEJMC newsroom. It should be a good experience for all of us,” says Marcy Kreiter, managing editor for UPI NewsTrack.

While often recognized as the birthplace of the American Revolution, Emerson Professor Emmanuel “Manny” Paraschos has discovered that Boston is also the birthplace of American Journalism. He has thoroughly researched and published on Boston’s deep journalism’s roots—the first three, and five of the first seven, newspapers in North America were published in Boston—and especially for this conference, has created “The Boston Journalism Trail.” This multi-page booklet will be handed out to the AEJMC conventioneers to showcase the visual “trail” of journalism in the host city. View the pamphlet and more on Paraschos’s research.

Finally, Emerson will also provide space for a meeting of the Radio Television Journalism Division (RTVJ) of AEJMC. On Thursday, August 6 broadcast educators from around the world will convene at the Huret Gallery (6th floor, Walker & Tufte) from 6:45 to 9:00 p.m. to discuss the status of broadcast media and tour Emerson’s journalism facilities.

“From administrative staff volunteers and students to professors leading panel discussions, the College has been actively involved in this international event,” says Kolodzy. View a full schedule of events, all under the AEJMC’s 2009 theme of “Survive and Thrive in Journalism and Mass Communication. A sampling of programs that include Emerson faculty include:


  • Assoc. Prof. Janet Kolodzy, workshop panelist: Small Programs, Big Opportunities: New Ideas and Practices for Convergent Classes & Curriculum (1 p.m.)


  • Assoc. Prof. Janet Kolodzy, co-moderator of panel: “(Ad?)Ventures in Online Journalism: New Ideas, New Ways of Doing Business” (11:45a.m.)
  • Assoc. Prof. Melinda Robins, discussant for Intl. Communication Div. research session : Beyond the Visual and Written Message: A New Dialog in Media Identities & Representations (10 a.m.)
  • Leader-in-Residence Carole Simpson (with Daughter WBZ-TV medical reporter Mallika Marshall) She Said… She Said – And It's a Wrap: Navigating Today's Changing Media Landscape (6:45 p.m.)


  • Asst. Prof. Mark Leccese, paper presentation: Civic/Citizen Journalism and the Political Realm (8:15 a.m.)
  • Assoc. Prof. Jerry Lanson & Asst. Prof. Paul Niwa, panel participants: “Should the Changing Means of Delivering News Redefine Reporting, Commentary, and Opinion?” panel (6 p.m.)
  • Emerson hosts RTVJ division meeting (6:45 p.m.)


  • Asst. Paul Niwa, paper presentation Sourcing Within Ethnic Media (8:15 a.m.)


  • Asst. Paul Niwa, paper presentation Source Diversity within Hyperlocal Reporting (11:45 a.m.)

About the AEJMC

The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication is a non-profit, educational association of journalism and mass communication faculty, administrators, students and media professionals. Dedicated to promoting the highest standards for education, the Association provides an abundance of resources for news, research and career opportunities, including a multicultural network of practitioners from every discipline of journalism and mass communication.

Founded in Chicago in 1912, AEJMC is the oldest and largest alliance of journalism and mass communication educators and administrators at the college level. Today, the Association has some 3,600 members around the world. AEJMC conventions attract more than half these members each year to various destinations throughout the United States and Canada.

For more info about the AEJMC annual conference, you can look for live updates on:


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