International broadcasting, especially the advent of new competing Arabic channels in the Middle East in the context of the 2003 Iraq War, took center stage at the annual meeting of the Association for Educators of Journalism and Mass Communications July 30-Aug. 2, 2003.
The 86th annual event was held at the sprawling Crown Center-Hyatt Regency complex in Kansas City with over 2,000 members from around the world attending hundreds of sessions throughout the four-day event.
AEJMC is the premier organization for all subject specializations of university and college educators in journalism and mass communications. The annual is a showcase for research completed by academics from around the world.
Papers and workshops dealing with various aspects of transnational broadcasting included:
—Karie L. Hollerback, "A Propaganda Analysis of the Shared Values Initiative: The first U.S. Advertising Campaign to the Muslim World."
—Matthew Cecil, "Propaganda v. Public Diplomacy: How 9/11 Gave New Life to a Cold War Debate."
—Christopher Beaudoin, Michael Antecol, and Esther Thorson, "Fox News and its Links to Hawkish Support for the War in Iraq."
—Stephen Quinn and Tim Walters, "Al-Jazeera: A Broadcaster Creating Ripples in a Stagnant Pool."
—Rita Zajacz, "The International Sources of Section 12 of the Radio Act of 1927."
—Gregory Pitts, "Job Satisfaction and Professionalism Among Private Radio Station Employees in Bulgaria"
—Enas Salmeen, "Al-Jazeera and CNN: News Sources Used during a Conflict."
—Ece Algan, "Privatization of Radio and Media Hegemony in Turkey."
—Pi-yin An, "U.S. Local Commercial Television Broadcast Stations on the World Wide Web."
—Mohamed M. Arafa, Philip Auter, and Khaled Al-Jaber, "Instrumental Use of Al-Jazeera TV Among viewers in the Arab world and Arab Diaspora."
—Robert Rabe, "Selling the Shortwaves: Commercial Shortwave Broadcasting to Latin America and the Limits of the 'American System.'"
In addition to several individual papers on Al Jazeera, a panel was jointly sponsored by the organization's broadcast journalism and international communications divisions about the Doha-based broadcaster. Taking part on the panel were Ali Al-Hail from Qatar, Mohamed Arafa, an Egyptian working in Georgia, Mohamed el Nawawy from Stonehill University, and Ed Freeman from Zayed University. The panel title asked, "Al Jazeera TV: What Kind of Voice in the Arab World?"
A panel of journalists, some of them working for international broadcasters, convened under the rubric of "Correspondents Covering America's Recent Wars." Scott Canon (who covered the Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq wars, the latter as an embedded reporter), Jim Barcus (a photographer in Afghanistan), Malcolm Garcia (who spent three tours in Afghanistan), and Matt Schofield, an embedded journalist in Iraq, reported their experiences in a well-attended session.
The Iraq war was on the minds of panelists and attendees who examined "the Iraq War as Spectacle," which included papers on "Al-Jazeera: Framing the Iraq War for the Mideast Audience," by Najib Ghadbian; "Sponsorship and Promotion of the War in Iraq" by Jan LeBlac Wicks; "Fox News and CNN: Did They Cover the Same War?" by Robert H. Wicks, Todd Shields and Boubacar Souley; "War on the Web: The First Hours of Operation Iraqi Freedom" by Daniela Dimitrova, Lynda Lee Kaid and Andrew Paul Williams; and "Comedy CENGTRCOM: Framing the War with Humor on late-Night TV" by Kaye Trammel, Andrew Paul Williams, Kristen Landreville, and Justin Martin.
Another panel featured refereed (peer-reviewed) papers in a discussion titled, "The Media Go to War: Fighting Words and Myths That Kill." Taking part in that panel were Denise St. Clair and Atsushi Takjima, Jack Lule, Sue Lawrence, and Richard Kaplan.
The personal safety of journalists assigned to the war zone and other world trouble spots was the topic of a curiously titled panel, "Boot Camp War Correspondents: When Journalists Train Like Soldiers, Is their War Coverage Taken Hostage?" While the panel did not truly address the issue of media censorship, the journalists, some of whom worked for international broadcast news companies, did offer some fascinating insights into how big-league journalists train for dangerous assignments and what safety equipment they have to pack next to their laptops and mobile phones.
A smaller panel investigated "International Coverage in the U.S. Media Since September 11: What News Consumers Want and What They Get." Amy Mitchell presented her paper on a content analysis of broad and print media since 9/11, among other presentations.
International news flows, the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) and media development issues-the staple of most global media books-were the topic of one panel that featured Giovanna Dell'Orto, Dong Dong, Adina Giurgiu, and Jensen Moore's "Democratic and Non-Democratic Framing in Foreign News: An Analysis for Effects of International Perceptions," Eunjung Sung and Won Yong Jang's "Globalization or Alienation? A Comparative Study of News Coverage Between AP and IPS," Orayb Najjar's "The NWICO, a Sequel: the Many Models of Media Development in Arab Gulf Countries," and Youichi Ito's "What Sustains the Trade Winds? The Pattern and Determinant Factors of International News Flows."
Copies of the papers are available from AEJMC for $3.50 each. For more information, interested persons can visit the organization's homepage, www.aejmc.org
The organization's 87th annual convention will be held in Toronto in the summer of 2004.