Summer 2014 – Ready for AEJMC in Montreal?

Hello fellow ICIG members,
Here is a list of the Internships and Careers Interest Group events at the AEJMC 2014 conference in Montreal that we would like you to consider attending. Our incoming Head, Nigel Dobereiner (2014-2016), and incoming Vice Head, Erica E. Clarke (2014-2016), will be hosting many of the group sessions, with the assistance of our prior Head, John Chapin (2010-2012). As the outgoing Head, I want to thank everyone for making this Interest Group a successful and growing arena of activity over the last four years.

Best wishes,
Abhinav Aima, Penn State New Kensington
Outgoing Head, ICIG (2012-2014)
Tuesday (Aug. 5 – Pre Conference Day) – One event

  • Tuesday (Aug. 5) from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. – ICIG Pre-conference “Boot Camp” Workshop

Presiding/Moderating: Nigel Dobereiner, Westfield State University.
$5 Fee (Participation limited to 20)
Presented by Internships and Career Interest Group

The ICIG Workshop will provide a variety of tips and “Best Practices” information for internship advisors currently developing or evaluating their internship programs. The session shall also feature a discussion of survey results charting the value of internships for students. There shall also be a session on how to go about creating a career and internships training program for students, and a discussion of the contemporary legal environment for unpaid internships.
Workshop Presenters:

  1. Mary Beth Ray and Dana K. Saewitz, Temple University, “The Value of the College Internship: Acquiring cultural capital through well-managed collegiate programs.”
  2. Erica E. Clarke, Penn State Greater Allegheny, “Preparing students ‘softskills’ to transition from the classroom into internships and beyond.”
  3. Nigel Dobereiner, Westfield State University, “Examining the legal landscape of unpaid internships.”

Wednesday (Aug. 6 – Day 1) Two events

  • Wednesday (Aug. 6) from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – HIST (Lead) with ICIG (co-sponsor)

History Division and Internships and Careers Interest Group

Teaching Panel Session: Open Questions: Building the Transnational History of Journalism

Transnational history is a well developed field, but that is less true for the transnational history of mass communications. The majority of journalism historians work exclusively on the national journalism history of a particular country. This is understandable to some degree, for the society where journalism is practiced has considerable influence on the form of that practice. However, there are international connections that could be explored as well, and small groups of scholars around the world are beginning to form partnerships or collaborations to open up this field more fully. This panel is intended to bring together scholars from a variety of locations to discuss what questions might direct the work of those interested in contributing to the development of transnational journalism history. Topics that seem to suggest themselves would be the development and spread of particular professional practices or technologies, the influence or impact that migrant or visiting journalists may have had, or the influence today of global media outlets. This panel is intended to explore those sorts of open questions scholars should be exploring in both their teaching and research as the field of transnational journalism history begins to develop.

Moderating/Presiding: Robert Stewart, Ohio
Panelists:  “What Is Transnational Journalism History and Why Does it Matter?”, Debbie van Tuyll, Georgia Regents
“Connecting the Irish and the Irish-American Press”, Mark O’Brien, Dublin City
“E.J. Dillon and the Mexican Civil War”, Kevin Rafter, Dublin City
“Kazakhstan and Russia’s Transnational Journalistic Norms and Routines Across Central Asia”, Karlyga Myssayeva, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Journalism, Al-Farabi Kazakh National 

  • Wednesday (Aug. 6) from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. – ICIG (Lead) with SPIG (co-sponsor)

Session Title:Adapting with the times: Journalism and mass communication internships in a time of flux.”

Unpaid internships are a hot topic. Recent court decisions have rebuked employers, particularly in media, for treating interns essentially as unpaid employees doing work that could be performed by paid workers. Some employers provide interns with formal teaching, field trips, special supervision and so on, but many do not. And given the vague and confusing wording of the law, which says that unpaid interns may not do work that provides any “benefit” to the employer, even the most well-intentioned companies may be breaking the law.

While court victories may have benefited the individual students who sued, these legal battles bring forth more questions than answers. Are interns nowadays more aware of their rights? Or did supply and demand change in the media industry? What effects will these rulings have on the journalism and communication internship market? The recent news that Condé Nast – the target of a current lawsuit by former unpaid interns – will eliminate its entire internship program in 2014 suggests that some employers may decide the risks outweigh the benefits of the free labor.

Unpaid internships favor students who can afford to sacrifice paid summer employment. Students who need summer earnings to pay tuition and other educational expenses may forgo an experience that has become essential to launching careers in journalism, public relations and other communications fields. Even during the school year, poorer students are at a disadvantage because the cost of transportation to and from job sites may be prohibitive. To get from Stony Brook University, 60 miles out on Long Island, to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan costs $35 a day round trip on the Long Island Rail Road, for example.

Employers who seek interns need the cooperation of colleges and universities to recruit students and to provide academic credit. Are there models for unpaid internships that meet the letter of the law? How can educators work to prevent abuses? Should AEJMC take a stand on this issue? If so, what should it be? Our panelists will outline the law as it stands and review relevant court decisions. They will discuss what works and what fails to work for both their students and media organizations in the context of the characteristics of their programs. The panelists’ reflection will offer a map to a successful internship program that adapts with time.

Presiding/Moderating:Lei “Tommy” Xie, Fairfield University


  1. Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center
  2. Rachele Kanigel, Acting Director of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, San Francisco State University
  3. James Simon, Associate Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University
  4. Grace F. Levine, Professor of Communications and Internship Coordinator, Quinnipiac University
  5. Barbara Selvin, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Stony Brook University

Thursday (Aug. 7 – Day 2) Two events

  • Thursday (Aug. 7) 8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. – ICIG (Lead) with COA & COMJIG (co-sponsors)

Session Title:Preparing Students for Community Journalism.”

Community Journalism seems to fit very well in the new hyper-local and community driven journalism industry, both online and in print/broadcast formats. How can instructors better shape their class instruction and guide students into internships that help develop these skills?

A teaching panel discussion focusing on:

  1. What “Best Practices” classroom instruction and experience motivates students’ interest in Community Journalism,
  2. What types of internship opportunities fit best into a Community Journalism experience.

Presiding/Moderating:John Chapin, Penn State Beaver

  1. Al Cross, Director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, University of Kentucky
  2. Sue Porter, Vice President/Programs for the Scripps Howard Foundation
  3. Doug Fisher, University of South Carolina
  4. Ralph E. Hanson, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Thursday (Aug. 7) from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.ICIG (Lead) with COA (co-sponsor)

Session Title: “The J-School Gender Gap: Causes and Impacts.”

In recent years, roughly two-thirds of students enrolled in journalism programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels have been women. Why is this so? And what does this gender gap mean for news coverage and newsrooms? Paradoxically, study after study finds that sources for news stories, domestically and worldwide, remain overwhelmingly male – even when the topic is of particular concern to women, such as birth control or abortion. And the glass ceiling remains intact in many newsrooms, with the majority of newsroom leadership remaining male. How can educators prepare women students to confront and change these realities? Will the growth of entrepreneurial journalism make a difference? And what is the role of male professors and deans in these matters?

Presiding/Moderating: Barbara Selvin, Stony Brook University

  1. Janice Marie Collins, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne
  2. Kim Golombisky, Associate Professor, University of South Florida
  3. Dwight E. Brooks, Professor and Director, School of Journalism, Middle Tennessee State University
  4. Pam Fine, Knight Chair for News, Leadership and Community and professor of journalism, University of Kansas
  5. Michelle Ferrier, Associate Dean, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University

Friday (Aug. 8 – Day 3) Three events

  • Friday (Aug. 8) from 8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. – ICIG Refereed Research Papers Session. 
  • Friday (Aug.8) from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – ICIG Scholar to Scholar (Poster) Sessions 
  • Friday (Aug. 8) from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – ICIG Members’ Meeting: Incoming ICIG Head Nigel Dobereiner will preside, and ICIG officers will be present to chat with members. 

Saturday (Aug. 9 – Last Day) Two events

  • Saturday (Aug. 9) from 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. — Training for Incoming Head, and Incoming Vice Head / Program Chair, and Incoming Research Chair:ICIG members moving into these positions will need to attend these sessions.
  • Saturday (Aug. 9) from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – PR (Lead) with ICIG (co-sponsor)

Teaching Panel Session:  I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours: Internship Advisors Share Internship Program Assessment, Protocol, and Issues

No set internship program protocol exists, and reliable internship assessment instruments are also deficient. The ACEJMC has not determined a standardized means for evaluating internships, because internship set up and assessment are the responsibility of individual departments and/or schools.

However, the number of interns has grown greatly over the years, and the task of managing internships can become onerous. Faculty who supervise internships have questioned ways in which to revamp internship programs, but more questions than answers seem to have arisen. This panel includes internship directors, or faculty who help supervise their schools’ interns, who will speak about their respective internship program arrangements and issues. This information will allow internship directors/faculty at other schools to learn about assessment techniques, the internship program structure at other schools (does a central intern director or various faculty help with intern needs), recruitment/maintenance of industry supervisors, intern advisor compensation methods, internship legal issues, etc.  The advent of several lawsuits regarding unpaid or under-paid internships has recently surfaced, which is a new issue internship supervisors will need to address as the number of paid internships seems to be dwindling. “Real world” experience via internships is vital for communications students to gain valuable job skills and professional characteristics as they prepare for entry-level positions after graduation. The discourse during the panel may lead to a support network of intern directors/advisors who can continue the conversation via email and social media after the Montreal conference has ended.

Moderating/Presiding: Vicki Todd, Quinnipiac
Panelists:Grace Levine, Quinnipiac
John Chapin, Pennsylvania State-Beaver
Nigel Dobereiner, Westfield State
Charles A. Lubbers, South Dakota
Pam Bourland-Davis, Georgia Southern

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