Ron Rodgers is named UF Research Foundation Professor

Published: November 27th, 2012

Category: College News, Research News

Ron Rodgers

Ron Rodgers

Ron Rodgers, associate professor of journalism, has been named a UF Research Foundation Professor for 2012-2015.  He is one of 33 UF faculty members chosen by the UF Research Foundation to receive the honor this year.

Rodgers is the 14th College of Journalism and Communications faculty member to receive this prestigious award, which goes to faculty members who have a distinguished record of research and a strong research agenda that is likely to lead to continuing distinction in their fields.

He is the sole author of 10 refereed publications in leading journals including his 2011 66-page monograph, “The Social Gospel and the news” in Journalism and Communication Monographs.  He is co-author of another refereed publication and author of nine book reviews.  He has a particular interest in the history of journalism and its relationship to religion.

“I have been researching several aspects of the relationship between journalism and religion,” Rodgers said.  “When Sunday newspapers first began to be published, the church fought against them believing they were desecrating the Sabbath.  Then the church said, well if they exist, we need them to be moral, which began religion’s effort to constrain journalistic conduct and content. I also have just had a paper accepted on the more than century-long demand for a Christian daily newspaper, and I’m currently working on a book now on the pulpit, the press and the struggle for newspapers’ soul.”

Rodgers also has presented 19 sole-authored and one co-authored paper at international, national, and regional conferences.  He was ranked 11th among 35 faculty members in an analysis of AEJMC refereed conference paper productivity for the period 1999-2008, which was published in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator.

In addition to his interest in the intersection of journalism and religion, Rodgers’ research interests revolve around journalism history, especially the raucous, changing world of journalism in the latter part of the nineteenth century and first two decades of the twentieth.  He sees similarities in the current upheaval in the industry involving issues of new technology and consolidation and the questions that follow about objectivity and journalistic ethics.

Rodgers spent more than 20 years as a journalist at newspapers in four Western states and Japan and South Korea before deciding in 2002 to return to school and earn his doctorate degree in mass communications at Ohio University. He worked as assistant city editor for both the Anchorage Daily News and The Bulletin in Bend, Oregon, and also served a five-year stint at the Seattle Times.