Adopted on:

August 27, 1967

Revisions Adopted on:

July 26, 1982

August, 1985

August 14, 2005

August 10, 2007

August 8, 2008

August 12, 2011

August 10, 2012

August 7, 2014

August 8, 2015




The Mass Communication and Society (MCS) Division is a division of the Association for Education in Journalism (AEJMC). As such, it is subject to all of the regulations and responsibilities decreed by the parent AEJMC for its various divisions. The Constitution and Bylaws of AEJMC and its standing committees shall take precedence over those of the MCS Division.




The purposes of the MCS Division are:

  • To encourage the study of mass communication as a system which provides the means for certain needs of society to be met and for certain problems to be solved.
  • To encourage the study of mass communication as it relates to other institutions in society. An understanding of the systems through which societies communicate is as important to an educated person as is an understanding of the better known political, economic, and social orders of society.
  • To encourage the study of mass communication through diverse forms of qualitative, quantitative, and historical research approaches.
  • To encourage members of AEJMC to bring to their teaching and research a conception of the whole of mass communication and not just its individual parts.
  • To help provide a liaison between members of AEJMC and scholars in other areas who are interested in mass communication and what it does to and for society.


To achieve these purposes, the Division may:

  • Sponsor programs at the annual conventions of AEJMC and of other scholarly organizations.
  • Encourage a dialogue within AEJMC and between AEJMC and other scholarly organizations concerning the role of mass communication in modern society.
  • Publish papers, monographs, journals, and newsletters.
  • Cooperate with other divisions and groups of AEJMC in the sponsorship of conferences, programs, meetings, publications, etc., which contribute to an understanding of mass communication and society.
  • Encourage awareness among practitioners in the various mass communication professions and industries that they are part of a vast system that affects society and is affected by society in various ways.




Membership is open to all interested members of AEJMC.


Dues are $24.00 per calendar year for faculty members, although a special, reduced fee may be approved by the MCS Executive Committee to attract new members or to benefit certain groups (e.g., graduate students). Membership includes a subscription to the division’s journal. Dues are set annually by the MCS Executive Committee, but changes must be ratified by members at the annual Business Meeting to become permanent.




The MCS Executive Committee shall be composed of the Division Head, Vice Head, Vice Head-Elect, Immediate Past Head, Division Journal Editor, and Chairs of all standing committees. The Executive Committee will help the Division Head establish and implement overall Division policy, advise the Division Head as needed, and perform other duties as the Division Head shall direct.


To provide continuity in the administration of the Division, the Vice Head-Elect shall move up to Vice Head who shall move up to Head at the close of the Division’s annual business meeting at the AEJMC convention. If the Vice Head is unable to serve, the Vice Head-Elect will assume the position of Vice Head. Other vacancies on the Executive Committee will be filled by a nomination process before the convention and approval by the members during the MCS meeting, although nominations may be made from the floor during the MCS business meeting at which an election is held.


Head: The Division Head shall be the principal officer of the Division and shall in general supervise its affairs. He or she shall plan and preside at the annual business meeting and any special members’ meetings of the Division. The Head shall maintain the Division’s books and (with the counter-signature of AEJMC’s Treasurer), shall spend Division funds for legitimate Division purposes. All Division expenditures must be approved in writing by the Division Head before funds may be disbursed. The Head has the authority to appoint special committees, to chair meetings of the Executive Committee and to canvass the Executive Committee for advice as needed. The Head is expected to attend the annual AEJMC convention, where he or she will conduct Division business.


Vice Head: The Vice Head shall perform the duties of the Division Head in the absence of the latter or in the event of the Head’s inability to act. The Vice Head shall serve as the Division’s program coordinator for the AEJMC annual convention at which the Vice Head moves up to Head, and he or she shall perform other duties as the Head shall direct. The Vice Head, as the Division’s Program Chair, is expected to attend the annual AEJMC convention where he or she will conduct Division Business.


Vice Head-Elect: The Vice Head-Elect shall perform the duties of the Vice Head in the absence of the latter or in the event of the Vice Head’s inability to act. The Vice Head-Elect shall serve as the Division’s membership coordinator for the AEJMC annual convention at which the Vice Head-Elect moves up to Vice-Head, and he or she shall perform other duties as the Head shall direct. The Vice Head-Elect, as the Division’s Membership Chair, is expected to attend the annual AEJMC convention where he or she will help conduct Division business.

Before an MCS Officer can become Vice Head-Elect of the MCS Division he/she should be a Division Officer for a minimum of three years. At least one of these years should be served as an Executive Board member. If no suitable candidate is available, the Head may appoint someone.


Secretary: The newsletter editor/secretary shall be responsible for the minutes of division meetings and distribute minutes to all division members and publish and distribute the division’s newsletter four times each year (fall, winter, spring, summer prior to conference).


Other officers in the Division will include those members elected to lead PF&R, Teaching, Research, Awards, Communications, Graduate Students, and Midwinter Conference efforts for the Division and others elected for special duties by the membership.




The Division’s three major, permanent areas of concentration are Professional Freedom and Responsibility (PF&R), Research, and Teaching.


Activities in each area shall be coordinated by two persons approved by the membership at the annual meeting. Each committee will have a Chair and Associate Chair. Additional committee members will be appointed by the Head and the slate voted on at the annual Business Meeting. Associate Chairs and additional Committee Members will be Officers in the Division. Chairs should rely upon their respective committees in making decisions for the Division. In addition, Chairs should train Associates and Committee Members so they can subsequently move into leadership positions. Associate Chairs may move up to Chair positions the subsequent year. If so desired, and in consultation with the Head, the persons may appoint a committee to help with duties.


The PF&R, Teaching and Research Chairs are responsible for helping the Program Chairperson develop at least one convention session, for advising the Division Head as needed, and for performing other duties as the Head shall direct. In addition, the Research Chairperson is responsible for coordinating paper competitions during the AEJMC convention.




The Division’s annual business meeting will be held in conjunction with and during the annual AEJMC convention. Special meetings may be called by the Head as necessary.


A quorum at the annual business meeting shall consist of the Division members present. A quorum at a special meeting shall consist of a majority of the Division Executive Committee.


A Division member unable to attend a meeting may give his or her proxy in writing to another Division member. The proxy shall be deposited with the Secretary prior to or at the opening of the meeting.




The bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those present at the annual business meeting.


Proposed amendments should be distributed in writing to the total Division membership at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which they are to be voted on.




Division awards and contests are to be conducted annually with the majority approval of the Executive Committee. Rules as well as monetary amounts are under the discretion of the Executive Committee. Information regarding rules and monetary amounts will be publicized to the membership as soon as it is available.


Paper competitions for the annual conference will be guided by the Research Committee Chair. Midwinter Conference competitions will be guided by the Midwinter Committee Chair. All other awards and contests will be guided by the Chair of the Awards Committee.

In MCS paper competitions, graduate students should not serve as reviewers. (per the AEJMC Research Chair’s Handbook).

In MCS paper judging, submitters cannot judge in a competition in which they have submitted (per the AEJMC Research Committee guidelines).

Members serving on the Research Committee cannot submit to the MCS Division paper competitions at the annual conference. Members serving on the Midwinter Committee cannot submit to the MCS Division paper competitions at the Midwinter Conference.


The Awards Committee Chair will keep a current record of all awards and competitions rules, deadlines, monetary amounts, and other pertinent information so that this information can be kept consistent from year to year and easily passed on to the succeeding Chair.




The Division will support the publication of the refereed journal “Mass Communication and Society” six times annually. Special issues may be published from time to time, but not more often than once per volume.


A portion of each member’s annual dues may be used to support “Mass Communication and Society.”

Separate books will be maintained by the MCS Division Head for “Mass Communication and Society” revenue and expenditures. All expenditures from the “Mass Communication and Society” account must be approved by the MCS Division Head. The Division should aim to maintain a balance in the Journal account equal to twice the annual expenses. In addition, a long-term fund (initially $100,000) will be maintained in an investment managed in coordination with AEJMC. Such investment principle would only be accessed for future emergency Journal needs. Revenues generated by this investment will return to the Division annually to underwrite free graduate student Division membership and other Division expenses.


A Committee of five persons (i.e., Editorial Selection Committee), including the Committee Chairperson, will oversee selection of Editors of “Mass Communication and Society.” Production, promotion, distribution, fulfillment, and subscription management for members and non-member subscribers to the publication will be managed by a Publisher. The relationship with the Publisher will be governed by an agreement between the Division and the Publisher, the terms of which will be revisited prior to the end of each renewal period. The Editorial Selection Committee Chairperson will be appointed by the MCS Division Head, and the Chairperson will select three members of the committee, with the advice and consent of the Division Head. The fifth member of the committee will be the Vice Head of the MCS Division. The Editorial Selection Committee Chair will be a granted status as a member of the MCS Executive Committee for that period. A representative of the Publisher will also serve in a non-voting capacity on the committee.


The Editor for “Mass Communication and Society” will be elected by the Division’s membership every three years at the Division’s annual business meeting. Applications for the position will be solicited from Division members in January of the year of the appropriate Division meeting by the Editorial Selection Committee, which will be two years prior to the publication of the new Editor’s first volume. To be considered for the position, each candidate must be a member of the Division and AEJMC in good standing, and the Editor must remain a member of the Division throughout the term of service. After consultation with the MCS Executive Committee, the Editorial Selection Committee will circulate its recommendation in the MCS newsletter at least two months before the appropriate annual meeting. The Incoming Editor will take on the editorial responsibilities for the Journal one year prior to the publication of the first issue for which he/she is responsible.


Any person selected as “Mass Communication and Society” Editor will serve a three- year term; a limit of two terms will be imposed on the number of consecutive terms an Editor may serve. If for some reason the Editor is not able to serve his or her complete term, the Editorial Selection Committee, after consultation with the Division Head, will make an interim appointment to complete the unfinished term.


The Editor makes decisions about all matters related to the content of the Journal. The Editor will establish an Editorial Board, which provides advice and review of material submitted for publication. The Editor will be responsible for the administration of the Journal. The Editor will serve as a liaison between the Division and the Publisher on Journal matters, and will provide an annual report on the Journal at the AEJMC annual conference. The Editor is responsible for assuring that the Journal follows accepted practices of academic peer review. The Editor receives a yearly stipend from the publisher in the amount contractually agreed to between the Publisher and the MCS Division. The Division will provide support of up to $5,000 to cover expenses of the Editor related to the administration of the Journal from Journal funds. The Division will also provide a $2,500 summer stipend to be paid after all proofs are submitted to the publisher for an annual volume, concurrent with stipend payments to Associate Editors.


In the event that the Editor is not able or willing to complete his/her duties in a satisfactory manner, the Editor may be removed. In the case that it is deemed necessary to remove an Editor, the Division Head will reconstitute the Editorial Selection Committee (see Section 3) to propose removal. Unanimous agreement of the Editorial Selection Committee is required to submit a proposal for removal to the Division membership. It is intended that these measures be pursued only in the direst of circumstances, such as repeated non-publication of issues or clear violations of peer review procedures. In the event that an Editor is removed, the Editorial Selection Committee will select an Interim Editor to complete the term, and will include this recommendation with its proposal for removal of the Editor.


At the Editor’s discretion, up to 100 pages may be added to the Journal’s allotted size each year to provide space for a forum on a special topic determined by the Editor with input from the Editorial Board. The additional pages will be paid for from Journal funds. The special topic “symposium” will occur within the standard number of issues of the annual Journal provided by the Publisher.

The Editor may select a Guest Editor with expertise in the chosen topic. The Guest Editor must be a member of the MCS Division. The Guest Editor, in conjunction with the Journal Editor, will be responsible for issuing a special call for papers on the topic. If a Guest Editor is chosen to edit a special topic symposium in any given year, $1,500 will be provided to the Guest Editor from Journal funds upon submission of final symposium proofs to the Publisher for printing.


The Journal Editor may appoint up to five Associate Editors to serve concurrently, who will each be paid an annual stipend of $2,500 from Journal funds after satisfactorily performing their assigned duties through submission of proof copy edits to the Publisher for an entire volume of the Journal. Associate Editors who serve less than a full year may have their stipend prorated based on the proportion of issues in the volume that were completed during their time of service. The Editor-Elect may also receive a $2,500 stipend for the year served in advance of publishing his or her first issues and receiving support from the Publisher.


At the Editor’s discretion, up to 150 pages may be added to the Journal’s allotted size each year to provide space for reducing the backlog of accepted manuscripts that otherwise could not be published for more than six months. The additional pages will be paid for from Journal funds.


The MCS Journal fund will provide financial support for a student to serve as the Editorial Assistant at the Editor’s home institution. Financial support of the lesser of $10,000 or the actual financial remuneration paid to the student at the institution’s normal stipend rate (or hourly rate if not paid by stipend insofar as any offer is consistent with the student’s home college/university regulations and/or student employee union rules or guidelines) will be provided to the host school or department. If the Assistant’s time is divided between the Journal and other duties, the payment from the Journal funds will correspond with the percentage of the student’s stipend funded work that is devoted to the Journal (e.g. $15,000 stipend * 50% work for journal = $7,500 support). Amount of stipend to be reviewed upon an Editor’s election.

Editorial Assistant summer stipend: The MCS Journal will pay an annual stipend of $5,000 to the Editorial Assistant for continuing duties between spring and fall semester. The stipend will be renewed annually pending availability of funds.


Transition between an Outgoing Editor and an Incoming Editor may require dual support for editorial expenses and Journal assistants. Therefore, expenses may be paid for support of both Editors and their student Editorial Assistants for a period not to exceed six months or one academic term as applicable. Affected expenses are listed in Sections 6 and 11 of Article IX.


The MCS Journal fund will pay an annual stipend of $2,500 to the Book Review Editor for coordinating and soliciting book reviews for the Journal.


To motivate and reward service of reviewers, the MCS Journal will give an award of $500 (from Journal funds) accompanied by a plaque or certificate to one outstanding reviewer selected each year. The Editor and Associate Editors will form a committee to select the reviewer of the year. Criteria for determining the award will include the number of reviews completed, quality of the review, promptness of review response, and the impact of reviews in nurturing young scholars. In the event of no suitable nomination, the Editors reserve the right not to give the award.


To recognize and reward authors, the MCS Journal will award a $500 prize and plaque (from Journal funds) to one outstanding article published in MCS during the previous volume year. The Editor and Associate Editors will form a committee to receive nominations and to select the outstanding article of the year. Authors can self-nominate or nominate others. Criteria for determining the award will include the advancement of theory, quality of writing, and number of citations (or downloads), and publicity (if applicable). In the event of no suitable nomination, the Editors reserve the right not to give the award.