Annual provides compendium of research
Being a newspaper adviser, I had mixed thoughts when I learned in 2011—prior to becoming editor—that College Media Review was moving to an online-only format. Seeing how some college publications have embraced the web and the benefits of more storytelling options and a faster publication and distribution cycle, I was looking forward to the new possibilities. But, being a researcher and someone who has survived the promotion and tenure hurdles, I knew that an online-only format could have many disadvantages, most notably the potential loss of credibility for research articles in the eyes of those P&T committees. That would be bad for both the College Media Association members publishing in the journal and the journal itself, since the journal could consequently receive fewer quality submissions as authors sought more traditional print outlets for their work.
Recognizing the value of print for scholars, the CMA Board voted last year to create a Re- search Annual to highlight the peer-reviewed articles published every year. This volume, which includes all of the research articles since the journal went online in the fall of 2011, is the first of what will hopefully be many Research Annuals. While this edition is being distributed in January, future editions will be sent to members in early fall and contain research articles published online during the previous academic year.
The creation of a Research Annual has two other benefits besides adding credibility, promoting research among members and increasing the readership of that research:
- The addition of downloadable PDF files when articles are published. Because we will be putting all the research articles into the Annual, we’ll be creating the Annual as we go, laying out the articles in PDF form at the initial time of publication in CMR so readers can both scroll through the article or download the PDF (and so authors can immediately print off a professional-looking copy if they need it for an annual review or P&T packet). We’ve already done that for the articles in this Annual, going back and adding in PDF links on the CMR website (www.cmreview.org).
- The revision of the Ken Nordin Research Award. Previously, the award was given to the top paper presented at the fall convention. The problem was that that paper might not have been the best paper on college media presented or published that year, especially given the strength of the papers accepted for the CMA slot at the Association of Educators of Journalism and Mass Communication conference. Now that we have a Research Annual, it makes sense to give the award honoring former Research Chair Ken Nordin, who passed away in 2005, to the top paper published in the Research Annual that year (http://cmreview.org/awards/ ken_nordin_award/). This 2011-2013 volume contains the last two Nordin winners from the fall conventions, while the Research Annual published this fall will include a winner chosen by the College Media Review Editorial Board from among the articles published in CMR.
As you read through the articles in this inaugural issue, I hope you are able to find some information that is valuable to you in your role on student media. It’s that practicality of re- search that drew me to CMR and led me to accept CMA past president Dave Swartzlander’s offer (with only minimal arm twisting!) to edit the journal. If you haven’t already read Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver’s article online, do it now: it is a gold mine that provides answers to about half of the questions posed on the CMA listserv. The article written by Lisa Lyon Payne, the new Research Chair for CMA, is also very useful in understanding how the liberal arts environment affects college publications. Holly-Katharine Johnson, the 2012 Nordin Award winner, has an excellent article about viral college media content and how to handle the problems that may arise when content from your publication goes viral. The next article by lead author Cliff Brockman on the Pacemaker winners provides a snapshot of what the cream of the crop news- papers are doing online, while Sonya DiPalma and Michael Gouge delve more specifically into how one newspaper has been affected by the digital transformation in the industry. Lei Xie and James Simon focused their research on media advisory boards, surveying all 600+ members of the College Media Association. Douglas Swanson also employed survey methodology in his examination of how peer-to-peer mentoring is effective in college media. Alexa Capeloto’s excellent dissection of privitization of facets of public universities is a must-read for all public school media advisers. All good stuff.
In addition to reading the research, I give you one more task: consider conducting research yourself and submitting your work to College Media Review. There are so many interesting topics to cover in college media, and there has been precious little qualitative and quantitative research done in this field. More than ever, we need to have a better grasp as a body of advisers how our field is changing.
Finally, I want to give thanks for everyone who has played a role in making this Research Annual possible. I’d like to thank the Board for providing the financial support, the national office for handling the printing and distribution logistics and the reviewers for evaluating and helping improve these articles. Thanks also go to my two Griffon News editor-in-chiefs whom I converted into editorial assistants to help out with laying out the journal: Dave Hon and Katelyn Canon. And, of course, a huge thanks goes out to the CMR Editors: Managing Editor Debbie Landis for her continued work on the “popular” articles for the journal, Bill Neville, who has worked wonders with the CMR website and Associate Editor Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, who has been instrumental in working with the research submissions.
Bob Bergland, Missouri Western State University
Click on an article to open it in PDF. Most computer systems provide you the option of viewing or saving the PDF when you mouse over the open article. On older systems Right-Click (or Option + Click) to save the PDF top your desktop.