All members and friends of our division are welcome to join our social get-together.
Thursday August 7, from 10:15 PM – 11:45 PM in Salon 3 at the conference hotel of AEJMC conference. Media Management and Economics division will celebrate another year of academic achievements produced by our award winners – Robert Picard Book Award and division best paper awards and all good research published in two journals of our field – Journal of Media Economics and The International Journal on Media Management.
This year’s social is generously sponsored by Taylor and Francis.
No registration necessary – just step by, socialize and enjoy free drinks.
“The Social Media Industries” edited by Alan Albarran, New York: Routledge, 2013 (Media Management and Economics Series).
The judges were struck by the potential the edited work has to move social
media research into both significant and tighter theoretical frames.
One judge said: “This is a significant volume in that it attempts to bring
the social media phenomena into a work space that traditional media
researchers understand. Additionally, students new to these concepts will be
provided a stronger foundation for future research.”
Another judge noted: “We are finally looking at social media as a business
typology rather than simply an evolving set of issues. These chapters show
us where mass communication researchers should start in their investigations
to draw the exploding arena of social media into a manageable context for
Congratulations to all those who contributed to this valuable publication.
Kenneth C. Killebrew, Ph.D.
Immediate Past Division Head – Named Award Committee Chair
Join the MME division for a pre-conference workshop designed help you improve your scholarly writing.
Tuesday, August 5 – 1.30 PM to 5 PM
This session will explore issues related to successfully publishing journal articles and books including how to: formulate a strong and interesting research project. write and edit a manuscript, select a journal or book publisher to submit a manuscript to, submit an article or book for consideration, revise work based on reviewers comments, and work with editors during the revision process.
Participants will be asked to submit a manuscript for review. This manuscript will be reviewed by an appropriate reviewer, who will serve as the participant’s writing coach. Each participant will meet one-on-one for a 30-minute session with his/her personal writing coach. The coach will share his/her review of the participant’s manuscript, analyze the manuscript in light of the discussion in the morning session, answer questions, and make suggestions.
While the one-on-one coaching sessions are being conducted, participants not in those individual sessions will be in a group coaching on making academic presentations. Each participant will make a 10-minute research presentation, which will be constructively critiqued by fellow workshop participants and coaches. Presentations will be taped and a copy of the tape given to the participant.
These sessions should help prepare graduate students and junior faculty for greater success with academic conferences, publications and job talks.
JOIN us or SHARE it with your colleagues!
By George Sylvie, University of Texas
More than a month has passed since Jill Abramson lost her job as executive editor of The New York Times in a move Publisher Arthur Sulzberger says he made to improve the newsroom’s management.
Since then, other motives have been suggested, including Abramson’s reported lack of presence and disengagement during Hurricane Sandy, her supposed lack of communication with Managing Editor Dean Baquet regarding an attempt to hire a co-managing editor for digital news, and a management style that some felt made her seem brusque, inaccessible, and aloof at times. Additional tea-leaf readers have offered more salacious rationales: a row over compensation (did her successor get paid more?), The Times’ inability to de-emphasize print and fully join the digital-first movement (damn that print attitude), the traditional (to journalism, anyway) inability to learn on the job quickly enough to please the boss, and, of course, the boss himself.
More recently, Columbia Business School professor Daniel Ames makes the particularly intriguing observation that many of us simply have no clue as to how we come across on the job. His soon-to-be-published study with colleague Frank Flynn shows that not only do those seen as appropriately assertive often believe they overdo it, the converse also occurs: A majority of study participants seen by their peers as over-assertive actually felt they came across well or somewhat under-assertive. Such “line-crossing illusion” suggests that we’ll probably hear a rebuttal from Abramson relatively soon; probably a book, no doubt.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, when media management research was in its infancy, we were told that although the business still promoted non-managers into management positions, the days of the crabby, authoritarian and overbearing supervising newsroom manager were over. Seems as if the more things change, the more they remain the same, however.
A Times editor has been forced to turn over the reins to someone “getting the newsroom fully focused on its work and returning a lot of authority to editors on the front lines,” only this time it’s Baquet who’s getting the reins (instead of Abramson predecessor Bill Keller). And Abramson “was unable or unwilling to become a ‘hybrid’ manager who could maintain key old assumptions with relevant new ones.” Abramson is, in effect, the new Howell Raines, and the quotes are from “A Lesson From The New York Times: Timing and the Management of Cultural Change,” an article I researched for The International Journal of Media Management (v. 5 No. 4) some 11 years ago circa the Jayson Blair scandal.
So are editors (and, in this case, publishers) doomed to make the same dumb mistakes over and over? As Newsroom Decision-Making: Under New Management (Media XXI, 2012) points out, decision-making is the expression or the extension of how a news manager interprets the gap between how audiences value the product and what effort the news organization puts into the product (pp. 263-264). Put another way, decision-making is a means toward achieving value capture and, if done profitably, will include a large dose of audience value. In essence, then, Sulzberger is doing nothing more than making sure the newsroom goes where it needs to go – interpret “where” however you want to interpret it.
That doesn’t mean he’s good at it. But the fact that we (as part of the journalism community) get caught up the personnel changes at the world’s most prominent newspaper simply belies our human tendencies to become attracted to personalities and issues. It makes life interesting. It gets journalists talking, tongues wagging. Still, it doesn’t mean managers shouldn’t take newsroom values into consideration.
While Abramson was attempting to create an organizational form and approach that alleviated what she saw as dissent between the print and digital products, she ignored conflicts between subordinates’ organizational and professional commitments to such things as open communication and participative management. If anything about the Blair scandal became clear, it was that The Times’ newsroom would not be ignored and that timing is everything. But again, as studies in Newsroom Decision-Making show, “newsroom managers have a mental disconnect when it comes to the values of their subordinates” (p. 269).
Newsroom decision-making as evidenced by Abramson’s and Sulzberger’s actions shows that who makes the decision isn’t as important as who the decision-maker consults or considers. Such “systemic selection,” then, seeks not to abolish journalistic autonomy; instead, it represents a reframing of newsroom behavior into a process-oriented, entrepreneurial, creative, and value-dominant lens. Baquet, too, may find that the sword he brandishes in replacing Abramson could also be his undoing if he takes on the mantle of change-agent over that of “hybrid.”
Just ask Abramson and Raines.
Editing – and thus leading a newsroom – has ceased to simply be the removal of words, the verification of facts, the coaching of reporters, the controlling of content, or the management of a budget. It has become peer- and audience-based, and timing-sensitive. Adapt and you succeed. Fail and you are silenced.
George Sylvie is an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas. Sylvie studies technology, change, innovation, and decision-making in the newspaper industry. His work, presented at various international conferences, has focused on newspaper editors’ decision-making styles in the United States and Scandinavia. Sylvie has co-authored a leading media management textbook, Media Management: A Casebook Approach, in its fourth edition in publication by Taylor & Francis, and he sits on the editorial boards of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, The Journal of Media Economics, The International Journal on Media Management, and The Journal of Media Business Studies.