Key faculty from Boston University’s College of Communication (COM) joined communication specialists from universities around the nation at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) annual conference in Chicago, August 9 -12. COM also announced its new Division of Emerging Media at a reception for colleagues, faculty, and friends on Thursday, August 9.

Topics covered in BU faculty presentations and panel discussions ranged from the legal controversy surrounding privacy invasions on Google and Facebook to interactive marketing in music and social media.

Mina Tsay-Vogel, assistant professor of communication and her colleague K. Maja Krakowiak (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) presented empirical data on the psychological and social effects of indecency and led a discussion on the impact of violent, sexual and profane content on viewers. The discussion interwove perspectives from all sides including the issues raised by the recent case of FCC v. Fox.

Dustin Supa, assistant professor of public relations, presented a paper titled, “Seeking an Updated Understanding of the Public Relations – Journalist Relationship in the Age of Social Media.” The paper addresses the role traditional journalists play in the media relations process for public relations practitioners. Supa noted that the audience was astonished at the high survey response rate (34.5%) garnered by he and his colleague Dr. Lynn Zoch (Radford University). This sparked a discussion about the research methodology, and why such a high response rate was delivered.

H. Denis Wu, associate professor of communication, presented a co-authored paper (with Dr. Tien-Tsung Lee, University of Kansas) titled “News coverage of Asian American political candidates in the first decade of 21st century: An update”.

In addition to the presented papers, multiple faculty members served as discussion moderators and panelists. Tom Fauls, associate professor of advertising, was thrilled to be participating in a conference based in the hub of the U.S. advertising industry. “It was exciting being able to do this right on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, just blocks from so many of the agencies where I’ve worked. In fact, for the paper on the FCB Grid, I was able to draw on my first-hand experience at FCB in the 80’s, being in many client presentations using the famous grid— less than a block away from the conference.”

Additional COM panelists and presenters included T. Barton Carter, chair of the Mass Communication, Advertising, and Public Relations Department and professor of communication law, Joe Bergantino clinical professor of journalism and director of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, Donald K. Wright, professor of public relations and Harold Burson Chair in public relations, and Fred Bayles, associate professor of journalism and director of COM’s Boston-based State House Program.

In other conference news, Assistant Public Relations Professor Cheryl Lambert was chosen as the Secretary for the Public Relations Division for the 2012/2013 AEJMC year.

Next year’s AEJMC Conference will be held in Washington D.C., August 8-11, 2013. For more information, visit the conference site here.

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