Cynthia Barnett joins the College as a Hearst Visiting Professional, will teach Environmental Journalism course in the Spring

Published: October 30th, 2014

Cynthia Barnett

Cynthia Barnett

Award-winning environmental journalist and author Cynthia Barnett will join the University of Florida for 2015 as a Hearst Visiting Professional, part of the College of Journalism and Communications’ commitment to help students gain and share critical understanding of the environmental challenges of our time, including water and climate change.

Barnett has covered water and climate worldwide, from epic drought in Australia to groundwater depletion in India. She will teach Environmental Journalism and other courses; work hands-on with students to cover environmental issues in Gainesville and globally; and team up across disciplines with UF faculty and students who are working to help improve public understanding of complex environmental issues.

“In a state defined by water and already feeling the impacts of climate change, we want to help our students tell these stories in ways that make a difference,” said Diane McFarlin, Dean of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. “Geography gives the college a natural specialization in water and climate, and Cynthia can help us build it.”

Barnett’s books are known for engaging the public as they balance hard-hitting journalism with forward-thinking solutions. Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. won the gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards and was named by the Tampa Bay Times as one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read. Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis was named by The Boston Globe as one of the top 10 science books of 2011.

The Globe calls Barnett’s voice “part journalist, part mom, part historian, and part optimist.” Her latest book, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, is due out in April from Crown/Random House. She describes it as “drawing new readers to climate change – a topic too many people don’t want to talk about – with the help of the weather, a topic everyone loves to talk about.”

A long-time newspaper and magazine reporter, Barnett is a CoJC alumna who also has a master’s in environmental history from UF and spent a year as a Knight-Wallace Fellow studying water at the University of Michigan. After working with the CoJC professors behind UF’s capstone water-reporting course and frank conference devoted to communications for the social good, she said, “I was so inspired by the direction of the college that I wanted to contribute in the classroom.”


Category: College News

Spiker: 3 Mindset Shifts That Help Weight Loss

Published: October 14th, 2014

Time on October 14, 2014 published “3 Mindset Shifts That Help Weight Loss” a column by Associate Professor and Interim Journalism Chair Ted Spiker.

Category: Faculty Bylines

New book features chapter on multimedia journalism by Mindy McAdams

Published: October 6th, 2014

Mindy McAdams

Mindy McAdams

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Professor of Journalism Mindy McAdams has written a chapter on Multimedia Journalism for a new book “Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices.” The book is edited by Lawrie Zion, associate professor, La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and David Craig, a professor and associate dean at the University of Oklahoma.

Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best PracticesIn the book, a team of internationally diverse authors explore emerging best practices in journalism, ranging from transparency and verification to aggregation, collaboration, live blogging, tweeting and the challenges of digital narratives.

McAdams, who also holds the Knight Chair in Journalism Technologies and the Democratic Process, has been studying the evolution of multimedia journalism for 15 years, since the earliest stories built with Adobe Flash appeared on the Web. She is the author of “Flash Journalism: How to Create Multimedia News Packages,” published in 2005. She joined the UF faculty in 1999.

Before moving to Florida, McAdams worked on the Metro desk at The Washington Post and at TIME magazine in New York. In 1994, she was the first content developer at Digital Ink, The Washington Post’s first online newspaper. In the mid-1980s she was a business editor and reporter covering personal computers, and earlier, a copy editor at Dell Publishing in New York.

Find details on the new book at: “Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices.”

Calvert: Boston Bombing Libel Suit Settles: New York Post’s Shoddy Reporting Leaves Legal, Ethical Lessons

Published: October 6th, 2014

HuffPost: Media on October 3, 2014 published “Boston Bombing Libel Suit Settles: New York Post‘s Shoddy Reporting Leaves Legal, Ethical Lessons” a column by Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication Clay Calvert.

Category: Faculty Bylines

Street Fight features Randy Bennett on entrepreneurial publishing

Published: October 3rd, 2014

Director of entrepreneurship and partnerships Randy Bennett is interviewed in the October 3, 2014 article in Street Fight, “Why Entrepreneurial Publishing is Catching Fire in Local Digital

Molleda: When Stakeholders Are in Charge, Clients Count on Data and Analytics

Published: October 3rd, 2014

PRNewser on October 2, 2014 published “When Stakeholders Are in Charge, Clients Count on Data and Analytics,” an article by Public Relations Professor and Chair Juan=Carlos Molleda.

Category: Faculty Bylines

College Presents Inaugural Award in Investigative Data Journalism

Published: September 27th, 2014


Dean Diane McFarlin presents the inaugural Award in Investigative Data Journalism at the 2014 Online News Association banquet.

Minnesota Public Radio’s coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse by the clergy in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s reporting on delays in hospital screening of newborns won the inaugural “University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism” at the Online News Association’s 2014 Online Journalism Awards banquet, Saturday night in Chicago.

The award, established this year by the UF College of Journalism and Communications, was presented in two categories – Small/Medium and Large. They recognize the growing importance of digital and data journalism and honor high-impact data journalism that is exceptionally well presented.

“We congratulate these two winners,” said Diane McFarlin, Dean of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. “We hope this award encourages more groundbreaking journalism using big data, and entices more journalists to learn how to find and tell significant stories through data.”

The two winners will each receive a $7,500 prize, the largest award given by ONA. The prizes were established through a generous gift to the University of Florida from the estate of the late Lorraine Dingman.

Members of the reporting and producing teams will be invited to the UF campus to work with College of Journalism and Communications students and faculty as journalists in residence this spring.

“We hope these journalists will be able to share their stories with our faculty and students, and show how you can tell important stories through data,” McFarlin said. “This award also helps raise the bar for our College as we implement our own educational programs in data.”

The Online News Association is the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists; its annual awards honor data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, public service, technical innovation and general excellence.

About the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications is driving innovation and engagement across the disciplines of advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunication. The strength of its programs, faculty, students and alumni  — in research and in practice — has earned the college ongoing recognition as one of the best in the nation among its peers. The college offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, both online and on campus. The college’s strength is drawn from both academic rigor and experiential learning. CJC students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in the Innovation News Center, which generates content across multiple platforms, and a strategic communication agency that will begin operation in Fall 2014. The college includes seven broadcast and digital media properties and the nation’s only program in public interest communications.

About the Online News Association
The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, developers, photographers, educators, students and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

Category: College News

Elite Daily features Mark Little visit for The Innovators Series

Published: September 25th, 2014

The Innovators Series visit of Mark Little, founder and CEO of Storyful, is the subject of this Sept. 24, 2014 Elite Daily story by student Katie Campbell, “How Storyful CEO Mark Little Sees The Future Of Journalism As Influenced By Social Innovation.”

Clay Calvert interviews Hustler magazine’s Larry Flynt about 1st Amendment

Published: September 25th, 2014

Larry Flynt and Clay Calvert

Clay Calvert (standing) with Larry Flynt in Flynt’s office in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Steve Johnson.)

Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication Clay Calvert interviews Hustler magazine publisher and 1st Amendment champion Larry Flynt on the occasion of Hustler‘s 40th anniversary in a video published by The Newseum Institute. The video is produced by Steve Johnson.

Read more and watch the video →

Amy Jo Coffey participates in AEF visiting professor program

Published: September 24th, 2014

Amy Jo Coffey

Amy Jo Coffey, Associate Professor of Telecommunication at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, was one of 15 professors selected nationally to participate in the Advertising Educational Foundation’s Visiting Professor Program this summer.

She spent the last two weeks of July as the guest of two media agencies within the Starcom MediaVest Group–MediaVest in New York City and Tapestry in Chicago.

During the program, Coffey observed the media planning and buying processes, strategy work sessions, and vendor and strategic partner meetings. She had the opportunity to meet with leaders in consumer insights, research and marketing, and sales from Univision, Telemundo, Spotify, Google, and Facebook, as well as key personnel and executives from MediaVest and Tapestry.

As part of the Visiting Professor Program, Coffey also gave a research talk at both agencies, sharing her insights on reaching multicultural, non-English speaking and bilingual audiences in the U.S.

Starcom MediaVest Group is the largest media agency network in the world, and Tapestry, part of SMG Multicultural, is the largest multicultural brand agency in billings in the United States. Both are also among the most awarded for their work. More information on AEF’s Visiting Professor Program can be found at

Coffey has also had a stellar research year, publishing several articles in international journals:

She also two other articles published recently, which were co-authored with Yan Yang (PhD, ’11) now of High Point University:

  • Yang, Y. & Coffey, A.J. (2014). “Audience valuation in the new media era: Interactivity, online engagement, and electronic word-of-mouth value.” The International Journal on Media Management, 16(2), 77-103.
  • Yang, Y. & Coffey, A.J. (2014). “Audience interactivity on video websites and the business implications for online media platforms.” Journal of Media Business Studies, 11(2), 25-56.