August 13, 2011

Done with AEJMC11? Not so fast... help me brainstorm

I know, I'm tired too, but while it's still in your noggin' help me, the new program chair for COMJIG, think about what kind of programs you'd like to see us support and plan for next year in Chicago. I met this morning with the other program chairs and started talking with some of them about the programs and partnerships that we can co-sponsore for next year. I will be asking in a more formal way for proposals for programs in a few weeks, but I thought I'd take a moment and scrawl down my own ideas and hope that it encourages others to share as well.
Remember a couple of things:
- We'll be in Chicago, home to a great assortment of community-related media of all kinds and home to the Chicago School, whose research contributed mightily to our undsertanding of community media.
- It is the 100th anniversary of AEJMC and they want to mark that milestone.
So, here are a few of the ideas I have -- many based on what I've learned at AEJMC this year.
- Theory and Community Journalism: I would love to see some kind of panel focusing on what the big theoretical ideas and questions are in community journalism. Everyone seems interested in commununity as a concept now. I'd love to see us lead the way. This comes after having completed co-editing Foundations of Community Journalism with Bill Reader (working with MANY COMJIG members) and in talking with Chip Stewart, editor of the new peer-reviewed journal, Community Journalism, who stressed the need to list the key questions that need to be explored in community journalism right now.
- Chicago school scholars and their contribution: A look at either one or all of the amazing scholars that added so much to our understanding of ethnic media (Park) and the relationships between communities and media (Janowitz). Jack Rosenberry wrote a chapter on this for our book, so maybe he's a good pick for a panel on this.
- International perspectives on community journalism. I'm very excited about this idea because my own research has moved toward this area. It could either be a more broad look at how culture contributes to the norms of community media or a look at more specific case studies such as the role of community radio in devleoping nations (where COMJIG's Al Cross might be able to help). The new program chair in ICD seems most receptive to these kinds of collaborations. If we had the funds, I'd love to bring some people over from some of the South African community radio stations, but that's a pretty steep price tag. I'd also like to entice community radio scholar Tanja Bosch of Cape Town to pay us a visit and share what she knows (Ohio U. graduate, by the way).
- Ethnic community media in Chicago: I almost want to say, just like we did last time, because the panel hosted by Liz Hansen of Eastern Kentucky in Chicago was just perfect. I would like to do it again. Maybe it needs another wrinkle.
- Communities of interest? Are there opportunities to partner with either GLBT or Religion to look at these issues. The door is open.
My hope is that that an emphasis for COMJIG in 2012 is to emphasize our scholarly interests, which should not be hard to do with so much great resarch being done by so many people.
So, this is raw and doesn't even have hyperlinks at the moment, but I thought I'd make an attempt to at least start the conversation.

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