Amy Jo Coffey
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Telecommunication Associate Professor Amy Jo Coffey is the recipient of the University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship award for 2014-16.
Coffey received her doctorate from the University of Georgia, where she focused on media management, economics, and audience issues. Her research interests stem in part from her professional news background, which included positions with CNN in Atlanta, as well as reporting, anchoring, assignment editing, and production positions in television and radio in Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Since her arrival at the University of Florida, Coffey has developed an impressive record of distinction in research. Over the course of her career, her scholarship has produced 14 refereed publications, two book chapters, and 21 refereed conference papers. She also has received top paper awards from both the Broadcast Education Association and AEJMC. In addition, Amy Jo’s work has appeared in several prominent journals, including the Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Advertising Research, Communication Law & Policy, International Journal on Media Management, and the Journal of Media Business Studies.
Her research has been extensively supported by grant funding, including $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense. Her scholarship has earned her distinction in the areas of ethnic audiences and media and the utilization and effects of new media spaces. In the former area, her work has examined how audience valuation by advertisers influences the provision and sustainability of non-English speaking audiences within the United States. In the latter, her emphasis has been to empirically test virtual media (e.g., Second Life) as a platform for learning and cultural sensitivity outcomes. Notably, her work has earned attention in both the academic and professional communities.
The term of her professorship is from 2014-2016 and comes with a $5,000 a year salary supplement, as well as an allocation of $3,000 to support her research program.
Congratulations to the WUFT-FM &TV staff and students for winning seven 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the awards Tuesday.
The awards recognize work of the highest quality produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world. The regional winners are automatically entered in the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged during the summer. National awards will be presented at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City in October.
WUFT-FM & TV, competing in the small market categories against stations from Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, won the following:
Small Market Radio
- Breaking News, “Banner Plane Crash,” Leanna Scachetti, 4TEL
- Investigative Reporting, “Old Landfill,” Ellyn Ayres, 4JOU
- Reporting: Hard News, “Small Town Liquor Laws,” Samantha Schuyler, 4JOU
- Broadcast Affiliated Website: WUFT.org
Small Market Television
- News Documentary, “Contentious Cleanup,” Chris Peralta, MAMC 2014
- Writing, Chris Kirschner, 4JOU
Small Online News Organization
- Use of Video, “Return to Haiti,” Leah Harding, 4TEL
HuffPost Media on April 21, 2014 published “Free Speech Lessons From a Lifetime Movie That Beat Censorship, Not Women,” a column by Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication Clay Calvert.
HuffPost Media on April 18, 2014 published “Why the Future of Media and Journalism Really Is Bright,” a column by Director of Entrepreneurship and Partnerships Randy Bennett.
Professor and Brechner Eminent Scholar Clay Calvert is quoted in the April 17, 2014, Vice magazine article, “When Trolling Gets Teens Thrown in Jail,” about true threats of violence communicated by teens on Twitter and other online venues, including while at school. He notes that “sometimes zero-tolerance policies can be zero common sense” and that “after Columbine, judges are going to be hugely deferential to school officials.”
Sandra Chance, Lenore Devore, Ralph Lowenstein and Lyle McBride.
The Ledger (Lakeland) has been named the winner of the 28th Annual Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award for its investigative series. The award-winning series highlights the difficulties reporters and citizens face when they try to exercise their fundamental constitutional right to access government information.
Ralph Lowenstein, Dean Emeriti of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, presented the $3,000 prize to The Ledger’s Editor, Lenore Devore and Investigative Reporting Team Editor Lyle McBride at the Florida Free Speech Forum’s annual Buddy Davis award luncheon today.
“The series exposed blatant violations of the law, and forced a number of local agencies and officials to change their procedures to comply with the law,” Sandra F. Chance, executive director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, said.
“The two-year-long investigation uncovered a stunning lack of understanding of the state’s government in the sunshine law by many of Lakeland’s public officials. They found an appalling lack of compliance with the law and a disturbing failure by these officials to understand the important role theses laws play in protecting our democracy and our ability to oversee our government,” Chance continued.
Devore, a UF alumna, said it was particularly meaningful to return to Gainesville for the special event and accept the award.
“Our staff has done an amazing job holding our government officials accountable,” she said. “We all believe in journalism and the first amendment…I just could not be more proud.”
The annual award was established by the late Joseph L. Brechner, an Orlando broadcaster. Previous award winners include: the AP, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The St. Petersburg Times, The Dallas Morning News, the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel and the Houston Chronicle.
Located at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, Fla., the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information exists to educate and promote freedom of information laws and policies. It serves the students of UF, Florida citizens, media lawyers and journalists nationally and internationally by providing training sessions, answering queries and conducting scholarly research on First Amendment and freedom of information issues.
Journalism professor and Knight Chair Mindy McAdams is quoted in the Poynter report, “Journalism needs the right skills to survive,” published April 9, 2014.
Mindy McAdams (left) leads a panel at J/i.
The UF College of Journalism and Communications was well-represented last week at Journalism Interactive, a two-day meeting where journalists, educators and scholars shared knowledge on research and best teaching practices in such areas as data, digital and mobile. Held this year in College Park, Md., the conference is a partnership among the UF College, the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the University of Missouri.
College of Journalism and Communications Dean Diane McFarlin, Director of the Innovation News Center Matt Sheehan, Director of Entrepreneurship and Partnerships Randy Bennett, Journalism Professors Mindy McAdams and Dave Carlson, and visual coordinator Steve Johnson attended this year’s edition of J/i.
“I see this as the front lines of innovation in journalism education,” said McFarlin. “The speakers that are brought in are talking about how we can advance our programs so that when our students graduate they are cued up for the best jobs.”
The J/i conference was founded in 2011 by the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. It was expanded in 2013 through a partnership with the UF College of Journalism and Communications, which served as the host for the 2013 event. It has since expanded further to welcome the University of Missouri to the consortium as a sponsoring school for both the 2013 and 2014 J/i events and host of the 2015 conference.
“I really enjoy this kind of conference because I get to learn a lot of new things and mingle with professionals who are doing things and learn from them,” said McAdams, who led a panel discussion on 10 Things to Teach About Mobile and a workshop on making maps with Google Fusion Tables. “Having three schools together makes it possible to have a nicer conference.”
The conference will continue in 2015 at the University of Missouri with a focus on journalism education and research.
“We hope to bring more research into the conversation next year,” said McFarlin. “When J/i was conceived it was meant to be a venue for research and interactive media, and we are hoping we can bring that forward next year.”
The Huffington Post on April 3, 2014 published “Supreme Court Should Decide Whether Rap Lyrics Are Free Speech,” an op-ed piece by Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication Clay Calvert.