Clay Calvert, UF College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication and Director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project, was quoted in “Pay for People to Sue Their Enemies.” The article was published on May 25, 2016 in fortune.com. Calvert commented on billionaire Peter Thiel’s financial involvement in the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker.
A commentary by Clay Calvert, UF College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication and Director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project, was published in the May 24, 2016 edition of fortune.com. “Here’s Why Everyone Overreacted to Facebook’s ‘Liberal Bias’ Controversy” focuses on the changes that will be made to the Trending Topics feed after an internal investigation on possible bias.
Calvert indicates that “Objectivity in journalism is a myth and always has been. Subjective decisions are made every day in traditional newsrooms across the country about which stories to cover, how many inches those stories merit, where those stories are placed on the front page or buried on A14 – and who gets to write them.” He continues “So why did some somehow expect Facebook to be any different? Because machines using algorithms were supposedly more neutral than humans in identifying trends? Humans created those algorithms, and it is natural for Facebook, as a business, to want as many people to stay tuned – to use an antiquated legacy media phrase – as possible to its site.”
Former UF College of Journalism and Communications Dean John Wright was named as interim chair of the Public Relations Department beginning June 6. Wright replaces Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda who is leaving to serve as the new Edwin L. Artzt dean of the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Oregon. Molleda will work with Wright until June 30 to insure a smooth transition.
In addition to the interim position, Wright will continue to lead the Sports Journalism and Communications program. A formal search for a new chair will begin in the fall.
The Gainesville Sun featured UF College of Journalism and Communications Dean Diane McFarlin in a May 23, 2016 profile. In “A Story to Tell,” McFarlin focuses on the evolution of journalism and her quest to ensure students have a career path following graduation.
Gary Green Publishes Research on Emerging Media Technology in High-profile Court Trials in Journalism Practice
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Deputy News Editor and Digital Director in the Division of Media Properties Gary Green published “The New Norm” in the May 2016 issue of Journalism Practice.
This article examines how one Central Florida newspaper used emerging media technologies to communicate and engage better with a newly active audience during its coverage of two high-profile court trials. Through a series of in-depth interviews with participating journalists, the author demonstrates how the Orlando Sentinel disrupted traditional newsgathering and dissemination methods during reporting of the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials, and in doing so, challenged long-standing gatekeeping media theories and exemplified emerging participatory journalism models. Findings show that audience demands for live and continuous information throughout the development of the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman stories and resulting court proceedings were a driving force in changing outdated journalism paradigms that led to the adaptation of a new norm by the Orlando Sentinel newsroom and journalists.
UF College of Journalism and Communications Telecommunication Professor Churchill Roberts has received a $20,000 Art Works Award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support production and post production costs for his documentary film The Curse of the Terracotta Warriors.
Art Works Awards support the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields. This grant was part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. So far this year, the NEA awarded $82 million nationally to local arts projects and partnerships.
In The Curse of the Terracotta Warriors will tell the little known story of the seven farmers who in 1974 uncovered the Terracotta Army of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, and how their lives were forever changed after their discovery. Once completed, the film will be offered to film festivals, universities and museums and will be targeted for national broadcast.
Roberts was also a recipient of a UF College of Journalism and Communications seed grant to help fund the film’s production.
The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications is accelerating its efforts to help organizations use the science and art behind effective storytelling, particularly on digital platforms, to better inform, persuade or connect with their audiences.
The College today named Matt Sheehan to the new role of Director of Stories and Emerging Platforms. Sheehan will transition from his current role as Director of the Innovation News Center (INC), the College’s award-winning, multimedia news operation.
Sheehan will be charged with driving real-world experimentation at the intersection of storytelling, narrative science and social good across all four of the College’s disciplines – advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunication. He also will work collaboratively in the College’s Media Effects and Technology Lab, which is being spearheaded by Journalism Professor Sri Kalyanaraman.
“Our mission is to develop a strategic vision for emerging storytelling approaches, grounded in solid research, to inform content experimentation,” said Dean Diane McFarlin. “Matt’s visionary work in the INC, deep understanding of emerging technology, teaching experience and strong network of potential partners will allow us to hit the ground running.”
The program will use the College’s extensive student immersion programs and media properties to experiment with content approaches in real-world environments. INC students produce news, weather and sports content for the College’s seven terrestrial broadcast and affiliated digital properties, including the local NPR, PBS and ESPN affiliates. The College also is home to The Agency, an advertising, public relations and consumer research firm led by professionals and staffed by students primarily focused on marketing to millennials.
“There is an increasing amount of science about effective storytelling and how to use stories to prompt social change,” Sheehan said. “My role will be to help apply the science in partnership with industry and academic organizations to demonstrate what is possible and what works. We are fortunate in our ability to take risks and ‘fail fast’ in real-world environments without fear of impact on the bottom line. ”
Experimentation and innovation will be centered in a new content incubator. A team of students from all four of the College’s departments, as well as other disciplines within the University, over the course of an academic year will form and reform into product development work groups. Additional consultants — including developers, content strategists and visiting professionals — will be added on a project-by-project basis.
Sheehan joined the University of Florida in 2011 as director of the nascent 21st Century News Lab and a member of the Journalism Department faculty. The Lab evolved into the Innovation News Center, which Matt helped architect and has led since its launch in 2012. Prior to joining UF, he was COO of a media startup, a former assistant news editor at The Washington Post and worked in administration at University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
For more on Sheehan’s perspective on news and news operations, visit his Medium publication.
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Telecommunication students Ryan Nelson and Taylor Trache were runners-up in the Society of Professional Journalists student Mark of Excellence national competition.
Nelson was honored in the “Radio In-Depth Reporting” category for a story on the demand for bear taxidermy following the Florida bear hunt. Trache’s series, “Jockeys: Misunderstood Athletes,” was honored in the “Radio Sports Reporting” category.
CJC student winning entries in all categories – print, digital, radio and television – can be seen and heard here.
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Journalism students Taylor Bello and Paige Levin have received prestigious Dow Jones News Fund Internships (DJNF). DJNF provides paid summer internships in digital media, business reporting, news editing and data journalism for juniors, seniors and graduate students.
Bello was selected for the news copy editing program and will work at newspapers, websites and other media. Levin will participate in the digital media program based at The Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University in Phoenix.
The DJNF works with news organizations from across the country to offer students a one-of-a-kind internship that provides professional hands-on training in the newsroom.
Journalism Professor Norm Lewis, who administers the tests for internships, indicated that only about one in ten applicants win an internship, and this is the eighth consecutive year that one or more CJC journalism students have won one.
The Palm Beach Post quotes University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Advertising Department Chair Tom Kelleher on a May 10, 2016 story “National Hurricane Center, there’s no app for that,” on the value of mobile apps for information sharing and tracking.