Our Stories March 2023
Our Stories March 2023

Director's Note

As the days get longer (and hopefully warmer), we’re keeping busy in SJMC.

This month, several students attended the 2023 Investigative Reporters and Editors’ annual NICAR conference in Nashville, Tennessee. We hosted a panel about freedom of speech and expression with 10 journalists from the World Press Institute. We also held a showcase of student work to highlight the fantastic storytelling that our students produce in SJMC courses.

We have several events and visitors planned for April, including our rescheduled McGranahan Lecture with Dr. Jelani Cobb, a visit from media law and ethics professor, Dr. Caitlin Carlson, and the Ken Starck memorial seminar and reception. These opportunities for students and faculty are made possible thanks to the generosity of SJMC donors, alumni, and friends.

Tomorrow is One Day for Iowa, the University of Iowa’s 24-hour online giving day, and your donations to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication will continue to support our efforts. Thanks to the generosity of SJMC alum, Jeff Grisamore, One Day for Iowa gifts will be matched up to $25,000! You can also support SJMC by sharing our link, https://1dayforiowa.org/fa-sjmc23, and commenting on and sharing social media posts using the hashtag #1DayForIowa.

We are incredibly fortunate to have the support of such a wonderful community.

If you have a story to share, please send it to sjmc@uiowa.edu.

Melissa Tully, Interim Director

Faculty News

Alex Scott presented his research "Visualizing Social Difference: Convention and Conformity in Photogenic Practice," in a seminar for the Department of Communication Studies. 

Rachel Young co-authored a new study that examined how user comments influence perceptions of news stories published in Science Communication.

David Dowling delivered the keynote address at The Future of Technological Mediation in Journalism and the Media conference presented by the University of Paris. 

Graduate Student News

Frankline Matanji received a T. Anne Cleary International Dissertation Research Fellowship. The fellowship will provide up to $5,000 in funds to support Frankline’s dissertation research in Kenya.

Munachim Amah has been selected to serve as the Easton Teaching Fellow for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Congratulations to Mir Ashfaquzzaman and Patrick Johnson for winning 2023 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards from the Council on Teaching at the University of Iowa. They will be honored along with other winners at a reception in May.

Undergraduate News

SJMC junior Ashley Weil was awarded the Bob Fransen Leadership Scholarship from the Upper Midwest Emmy® Foundation of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She will be picking it up in Minneapolis on March 31. 

Several students who work on the daily newscast at DITV have been nominated for a variety of awards presented by the same organization.

You can access the full list of nominees and recipients here.  

                                                                                  ONA Members

Six members of the ONA organization attended the 2023 Investigative Reporters and Editors’ annual NICAR conference in Nashville, Tennessee. They attended educational panels ranging from journalistic practices to programing languages.

                                                                       World Press Institute Visit

The World Press Institute visited SJMC on its 2023 tour. Ten journalists fielded questions from faculty and students regarding freedom of speech and expression in the countries they work in. 

                                                                       SJMC Student Gallery Work

On Thursday, March 23, SJMC held a Storytelling Across Media: Gallery of SJMC Student Work pop-up. Faculty, staff, students and their families enjoyed all sorts of student work. Attendees listened to podcasts, viewed photos and more at the interactive event. 

Save the Dates

SJMC is hosting a seminar and reception in honor of former SJMC Director Ken Starck on April 14 at 2:30 p.m. in the Adler Journalism Building. The event will feature panel discussions with Ken’s former students and colleagues and will be followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public. Check out the schedule and RSVP on our website.

Dr. Jelani Cobb rescheduled visit to SJMC and UI to deliver our 2023 distinguished McGranahan Lecture is April 19. We are partnering with the University Lecture Committee on this event. Dr. Cobb’s public/free lecture, titled The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today, is April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the IMU Black Box Theater. Dr. Cobb is Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism and Dean of the Columbia Journalism School. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2015 writing on race, history, justice, politics, and democracy. He received a Peabody Award for his 2020 PBS Frontline film Whose Vote Counts? and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary in 2018.

Alumni News

Scott Wendel (BS, education, 1976) and Sandra Goldberg Wendel (BA, journalism, 1971) have donated 113 acres of Loess Hills prairie in Bronson, east of Sergeant Bluff, to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, ensuring that this ecologically rich area is forever protected from the development pressures of the nearby Sioux City Metro area. More than 50 species of prairie plants have been identified on the property—some quite rare because this remnant prairie has never been tilled—a number that is expected to increase after management efforts like prescribed fire. Wohlers also plans to hold volunteer and educational events on the property. The land is part of a Century Farm that has been in the Wendel family since 1912. It will be known as the Wendel Prairie Preserve.

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