News from American Journalism and the American Journalism Historians Association


Matthew Pressman is the winner of the 2017 Margaret A. Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation Prize, presented by the American Journalism Historians Association. Pressman won the award for his dissertation title, “Remaking the News: The Transformation of American Journalism, 1960-1980.”

The study, completed at Boston University under the direction of Bruce Schulman, examined the evolution of the journalistic concepts of newsworthiness, objectivity, and the role of media in relation to the empowered. Pressman will receive a $500 prize at the 2017 AJHA convention.

Three others won honorable mention and will receive a $200 prize:

  • Lorraine Ahearn for “Narrative Paths of Native American Resistance: Agency and Commemoration in Journalism Texts in Eastern North Carolina, 1872-1988,” completed at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Chaired by Barbara Friedman).
  • Denise Hill for “Public Relations, Racial Injustice, and the 1958 North Carolina Kissing Case,” completed at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Chaired by Friedman).
  • Rianne Subijanto for “Media of Resistance: A Communication History of Anti-Colonial Movements in the Dutch East Indies, 1920-1926,” completed at the University of Colorado (Chaired by Janice Peck).



The 36th annual American Journalism Historians Association convention will be held October 12-14, 2017, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. The deadline to submit original research papers, panel proposals, and research in progress abstracts is May 15. More information about the convention is available at www.ajhaonline.org.

American Journalism seeks applicants for the Rising Scholar Award. The award provides research assistance for a junior faculty member who has not yet achieved tenure. The proposed research project must be related to media history. All methodological approaches are welcomed. Funding may be used for travel to work with archival collections, copying/digitization expenses for archival material, or to pay a research assistant. The deadline for nominations is June 1, 2017. More information about the award is available at www.ajhaonline.org.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2017 American Journalism Historians Association’s National Award for Excellence in Teaching. An honorarium of $500 accompanies the award, and the winner will be recognized at the AJHA convention. Nominees may be tenured or untenured, and should hold either a full- or part-time appointment at a college or university that confers an associate, baccalaureate or higher degree in journalism, mass communication, communication studies, or history, as of the submission due date.  Nominees must have responsibility for teaching the history of journalism and mass communication either as a stand-alone course or as part of a broader course. The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2017. More information about the award is available at www.ajhaonline.org.