Fall 2017 Newsletter

The Fall 2017 MC&S Newsletter (Vol. 51, No. 1) is now available. Visit the link below to download a PDF of the newsletter.

Included in the Fall newsletter:

  • Welcome from the division head, Melanie Sarge
  • Midwinter Conference Update
  • This year’s MC&S Award Winners
  • Call for a special issue of Mass Communication & Society
  • Much more!

Download the Fall Newsletter

Tips for Grad Students: How to Rock AEJMC 2017

Ruoxu Wang, Graduate Student Liaison

So you have papers accepted to AEJMC 2017? Congratulations! As a graduate student, how can you make the most of an academic conference? We have six tips for you. 

  1. AEJMC is a professional international conference and most attendees wear business or business casual. Pack your favorite business suit before you fly to Chicago.
  2. Before you attend the conference, don’t forget to register and book your flight/hotel. Early registration can help you save tons of money. Conference registration: http://aejmc.org/events/chicago17/registration/. Hotel reservation: http://aejmc.org/events/chicago17/hotel/
  3. Travel Grant. Many divisions at AEJMC offer travel grants for graduate students. The MCS Division Graduate Travel Award program assists graduate students with their research endeavors by providing funds to travel to the Midwinter or annual AEJMC conferences. For more information: http://aejmc.us/mcs/awards/travel-awards/graduate-travel-award-program/
  4. Conference Navigation. Pick up your program book at the registration to find out which session you would like to go to. Download the mobile app on your phone if you want to go paperless. Follow AEJMC divisions on social media to find out what is coming next. Follow MCS on Twitter (https://twitter.com/aejmc_mcs) and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/254439784658/).
  5. Make Appointments. Got a scholar you want to connect with? Make an appointment! Just send a polite email to the scholar you want to talk with. Some professors may decline your requests as they may have other duties at the conference (i.e. interviewing job candidates). Check the online conference program to find out when and where the scholar is presenting. Attend paper sessions and poster sessions punctually can boost your chance of meeting with the scholar you always want to talk with. Don’t forget to bring your business card!
  6. Enjoy Chicago. Last but not the least, take some time to enjoy Chicago. There is a lot of things to do and see. Check this link out: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g35805-Activities-Chicago_Illinois.html

Engage with MCS Division on Social Media During Annual Conference

The Communication Committee is pleased to announce some exciting news for AEJMC’s 100th Annual National Conference in Chicago, Ill.:


Be sure to follow the MCS Division if you haven’t already, on  @aejmc_mcs. Be sure to tag us in photos in and around the conference. The Windy City is always an amazing host and no one takes over a city like the MCS Division, While conferences are vital for the sharing of knowledge, they are also a time for reunions, making new friends, and for exploring the different locales and cultures of the host city.


Our division will be using the #MCS17 at the AEJMC National Conference in Chicago. We will be using our Twitter (@AEJMC_MCS) and Instagram (@aejmc_mcs) accounts for a contest (described below) during the conference ). Make sure as you make your way to all of the MCS research panels, presentations and social events, you are using the #MCS17 hashtag as you immortalize yourself on social media.

Conference Swag

We routinely have the best “swag” every year at the national conference. This year will be no different as we have 15 MCS-imprinted Bluetooth speakers that will be awarded as prizes for our contest. The first 10 speakers will be awarded for an online trivia contest about Chicago, AEJMC history and the MCS Division. Each of the 10 questions will have one winner of one Bluetooth speaker. The questions will be posted through our Twitter and Facebook accounts from Aug. 9-Aug. 11. First one to respond to the question correctly with the #MCS17 hashtag will win. Winners will receive their prizes at the MCS Social. Speakers will also be awarded to the top individual attendee using the #MCS17 hashtag for panels, presentations, social events and other gatherings. More information will follow on our Facebook page.

MCS Journal Announces Reviewer and Article of the Year Award Winners

Fuyuan Shen, Mass Communication and Society Editor

Each year, Mass Communication and Society recognizes a top reviewer for the journal as well as a top paper that has been published. I am pleased to announce the following winners for the year of 2017.

Reviewer of the Year Award:

Dr. Renita Coleman, University of Texas at Austin

Article of the Year Award:

Cacciatore, M. A., Scheufele, D. A., & Iyengar, S. (2016). The end of framing as we know it… and the future of media effects. Mass Communication and Society19(1), 7-23.

The Reviewer of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has done an outstanding job in reviewing manuscripts for the journal. To select the winner, we examined our review record and sought feedback from all the editors. We identified a short list of top reviewers based on the quantity and quality of their reviews. Dr. Coleman was chosen as this year’s recipient of the award. She has been an active reviewer for the journal for many years, and has consistently provided high quality reviews with short turnaround time.

The Article of the Year Award is presented annually to a top paper that was published in the past year. The selection criteria include advancement of theory, quality of writing, and impact. We started by identifying a number of top papers based on a set of metrics provided by the publisher. We also solicited additional nominations from members of the journal’s editorial board. This process resulted in a short list of articles, from which the editors voted to select the top paper. The article by Cacciatore, Scheufele, and Iyengar emerged as the winner of this award.

Please join me in congratulating this year’s winners!

We will be recognizing them during the divisions’ awards luncheon on August 11, 2017 during the AEJMC conference.

News from Division Head

Jennifer Kowalewski, Division Head

This year has gone by so fast, but had been such an awarding and fulfilling time being head of Mass Communication & Society.

Our first major accomplishment was to work together with the Public Relation to increase the money award for the Susanne A. Roschwalb Grant for International Study and Research. The Public Relation has given out this grant since 1996. The division approached us with the possibility of matching the funds their division puts forth for this grant, while opening the grant to our division members for the next three years. In three years, we will visit our relation further. We felt this was a way for us to work together with other divisions, while given our members something positive in the process. We should continue to work together with other divisions and interest groups, which will make our division stronger while opening opportunities for our members.

We want to continue to support our members research as much as we can, which is why we also will work over the next year about the possibility of starting a new journal. Mass Communication & Society will remain our flagship journal, with continued excellence in publishing research in our field. However, we can begin a second journal associated with our division that would help our members, as well as the research community to find another venue for research. Our former journal editor, Stephen Perry, will spearhead a group to discuss the new journal. We should have information about the possibility of the new journal over the next year.

As we prepare for this year’s conference, we hope to see our members at our Board Meeting on Thursday at 6:45 p.m., followed by our highly anticipated social afterward at 8:30 at Pinstripes in Chicago. We have several items to discuss at our meeting, including a discussion about our board make up, as well as a clearer path to leadership within the division. We want to hear from our members what they think about these prominent issues. We want to continue to make Mass Communication & Society strong. But we can only do that with the help of our members. It has been an honor serving you as head of Mass Communication & Society.

MCS Members to Tour Tribune, Chicago Public Media

Scott Parrott, PF&R Chair

We have two professional tours lined up for Chicago, taking members into a famous newsroom and into the public media company responsible for one of the most popular podcasts in history.

The tours, which take place Friday, are scheduled so they do not interfere with our division’s research presentations and poster sessions. Each should last about an hour, leaving time for transportation between the conference and tour sites. Spots remain available, so please let us know if you are interested in the free trips.

First, at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11, a small group of MCS members will tour the Chicago Tribune, located in the Tribune Tower two blocks South of our conference hotel.

On this tour, you will be able to attend the daily budget meeting for the Tribune. You will also get the chance to meet journalists such as Public Editor Margaret Holt.

Space is limited to 10 members. Therefore, we are taking reservations first-come, first-serve. If interested, please email msparrott@ua.edu . At the time of this writing (July 10), we have two spots available. You must be outside the Tribune building at 9:45 a.m. in order to sign in with Tribune security and attend the meeting.

At 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, we are going to tour Chicago Public Media on the Navy Pier about 1 mile east of the conference hotel. It is a 22-minute walk or short commute via public transportation, cab, Lyft or Uber.

Chicago Public Media is home to radio programs such as Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, This American Life, and S-town, a podcast that went viral in 2017 and set records for downloads. S-town tells the story of an eccentric Alabama man who lives in a small town about 30 minutes east of Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama and site of our 2018 Southeast Colloquium.

On this tour, we will meet outside the Chicago Public Media building at 1:45 p.m. Space is limited to 30 members. At the moment, we have plenty of spots available.

If you are interested in either tour, or if you have questions, please email Scott Parrott at msparrott@ua.edu.

MCS Annual Conference Programing

Melanie Sarge, Vice Head

In addition to our regular programming that includes 6 co-sponsored research, teaching, and professional freedom and responsibility (PF&R) panels, we have a lot scheduled for your educational and entertainment needs.

Refereed papers will be presented in 3 traditional moderated panels (5 papers in each), 2 scholar-to-scholar events, and 1 high-density session. Be sure to attend our top paper panel at 5pm on Thursday, August 10, immediately followed by our member’s business meeting at 6:45pm and our member’s social (that I hear involves some free drinks, food and bocce ball play) at 8:30pm.

Also, if you haven’t signed up already, keep your eye out for information regarding our 2 (yes, TWO) PF&R tours planned – one to Chicago Public Media and one to the Chicago Tribune.

Last but not least and actually scheduled as our first event on the program is our pre-conference workshop, Wading through the Waters of Fake News and Alternative Facts. This workshop will be on Tuesday, August 8, from 1pm to 5pm and includes public relations practitioners, journalists, and media managers from Edelman, the Chicago Tribune, NBC Chicago, and more. Do miss it!

We hope you have a great time at the conference and be sure to check out some or all of these events we have to offer you.

MCS sets records at Midwinter

Kelly Kaufhold, Midwinter Chair

The Mass Communication & Society Division set multiple records at this year’s Midwinter Conference: 57 submissions, with 31 abstracts accepted (54% acceptance rate, in line with previous years) and 8 panels – all new highs for MC&S at Midwinter. In the end, 23 studies were presented across the 8 panels spread across both days of the conference. MCS Midwinter panels showcased work from 37 authors, including a dozen graduate students.

Presenters hailed from Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Kansas, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, Florida, and Guangdong Province in China. Topics included Campaign 2016, agenda setting, advertising, media differences across cultures, meta-analyses, journalism evolution and critical/cultural discourse.

As usual, MCS had the largest representation of any division at Midwinter, with, by far, the most submissions and accepted abstracts of any division – 57 out of 182 total submissions (31%).

Remember, Midwinter is unique among conferences – you can present your work there, get expert scholarly feedback in March and still submit to the main conference on April 1. And submitting to Midwinter is easy. Watch for notices on MC&S social media and in the Listserv during the fall with details and a link; then submit your 600 to 800-word abstract via the Microsoft CMT Research database in early December. You’ll learn your status in mid-January and final papers are due in February, about a month before the conference, which is also an excellent, welcoming venue for graduate students and first-time presenters.

Elanie Steyn, journalism sequence head at the University of Oklahoma and organizer of the Midwinter conference, is looking forward to hosting Midwinter’s 10th anniversary at OU in March of 2018. We hope to see you there.

2017 MCS Social: Bocce, Beer, & Food

Jay Hmielowski, Vice-Head Elect

For this year’s MCS social, we have reserved space at Pinstripes (435 E Illinois Street, Chicago, IL. 60611). The social is scheduled from 8:30 to 10:30pm, Thur., Aug. 10, immediately following the Division Business Meeting. It should take about 10 minutes to walk from the conference hotel to Pinstripes.

Per usual, we have reserved a space where people can sit around at chat with their colleagues. However, we have also reserved three bocce courts in an adjacent room. In other words, we have exclusive access to these courts during the time we have reserved for the social so those interested can play a game (or games) of bocce.

Of course, we will also provide food and drink for the members. This event will have an open bar that includes imported and domestic beer, Canyon Road Wines, Wycliff Sparkling wine, and an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages. The food includes pizza and flatbreads. There will also be an assortment of salads that include Cesar salad, garden salad, and pasta salad. Most importantly, there will also be caramelized cheesecake and chocolate cake available for dessert.

Please do join us at Pinstripes on the River Level Balcony after the business meeting to catch-up with colleagues, play some bocce, and have a few drinks. We look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago.