tag: AEJMC Political Communication Interest Group: Our First Four Months Have Been a Fun Ride

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our First Four Months Have Been a Fun Ride

By Tom Johnson, Vice-Head & Program Chair 

One of the real perks of buying a new car is that new car smell.  To keep that new-car odor some people will buy new-car spray, a leather-scented compound to keep your car smelling new even if the pet hair, juice box stains and drink bottles wedged under the front seat may betray the brand-new smell.

The Political Communication Interest group rolled off the assembly line last August at the AEJMC conference where I was fortunate enough to be voted the first head of the group.  We have traveled pretty far in those four months without losing that new-car smell.  A quick summary:
  •  We made a splash at AEJMC even before we were organized as a group.  We sponsored a great, well-attended panel at AEJMC: The State of Political Discourse in America: Reevaluating the Role of the Media in the Political Process, featuring David Perlmutter, Dhavan Shah, Regina Lawrence, Spiro Kiousis and Dietram A. Scheufele.  The panel was organized and moderated by Guy Golan, the person most responsible for the creation of this interest group. See photos from the panel.
  • Our first business meeting attracted more than 60 people even going up against more established groups with similar interests.  We elected a wonderful group of hard-working officers:  Guy and Erik Nisbet are our research chairs; Monica Ancu and Mark Poepsel are in charge of social media and publicity for the group; Anne Golden Worsham is our chair for Professional Freedom and Responsibility and Roselyn Du is the teaching chair.  Emily Vraga has been serving as our graduate student liaison. 
  • We were given $250 by AEJMC to kickstart our activities.  We voted to give a prize for the top paper presented at this year’s conference.
  • In addition to creating this blog, our social media chairs Monica and Mark are running a PCIG Facebook group, that will probably be our first place to make announcements.  We have about 185 members now, but there is always room for more. Visit us at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=39593702910
  • We have our call for papers ready for whenever the AEJMC website begins posting the calls. We are convinced we will receive a lot of entries this year and are desperately looking for reviewers.  If you are interested contact either Guy at golanresearch@yahoo.com or Erik at nisbet.5@osu.edu. 
  • I saved the best for last.  The first weekend in Dec. I went to Albuquerque for the business meeting to determine the schedule for this summer’s conference. If you haven’t been to a chip auction it is like the reality show Survivor combined with roller derby without the helmet and elbow pads.  Success depends on developing several solid alliances with several other groups and a whole lot of luck.  I had both.  They choose who goes first by lot, and we were near the front.  Thus we were able to secure a poster session along with Mass Comm & Society and the International Division, two research sessions, and great research, teaching and PF&R panels.   We also are co-sponsoring a preconference PF&R session.  This means we will be able to schedule up to 44 papers at AEJMC, so we will be a strong presence in St. Louis.  I will let each of the division chairs tell you about what we have planned.

This has been an exciting four months, but this is just the beginning.  We are hoping to make a loud noise at St. Louis and we need your help to do it.  This year is going to be a fun ride.


  1. Very nice masterpiece, Tom. Thank you for your leadership. I feel so proud to be a part of this group.


  2. I am currently working on my project to submit a paper and will join in making the loud noise of our group in St. Louis. I am very proud of being part of this group. Thank, Dr. Johnson, for sharing all information.

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