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--Special 93rd Annual National Communication Association Convention Issue--

Mass Communication Division
National Communication Association
April 2008
Published three times annually by the Mass Communication Division of NCA.
Publications Editor - Adam Earnheardt, Youngstown State University

In this issue:

Welcome from the Chair
R. Lance Holbert,

Greetings to all members of the Mass Communication Division. I am sure you are once again hitting your stride after completing your NCA submissions for our 2008 convention in San Diego. I know that your submissions are in good hands with division Vice Chair Travis Dixon (University of Illinois) and Research Committee Chair (Sharon Mazzarella, Clemson University) in charge of the selection process for our division.

I also extend a special welcome to our new members and our student members. We had a fine turnout at our business meeting in Chicago. However, I would very much hope for an even larger turnout at the business meeting this coming year. It is extremely important for the health and future well being of the division to get as many people as involved as possible, and attending the business meeting is the gateway for future participation. I encourage all of you to attend our next business meeting in San Diego and to get involved in the division by volunteering to serve on committees and/or nominating yourself for officer positions. I’ve found few tasks as rewarding as serving this particular NCA division.

The division retains a strong foundation of volunteers and I consider myself most fortunate to have worked with all of them. I would like to take a moment to thank the division’s past, present, and future officers: Travis Dixon, Vice Chair; Andrew Billings, Vice-Chair Elect; Emmett Winn, Past Chair; Jae-Hwa Shin, Secretary; Meghan Sanders, Secretary Elect; Adam Earnheardt, Publications/Web Editor; Nick Bowman, Graduate Student Representative; Sharon Mazzarella, Rsearch Committee Chair; Rebecca Chory, Research Committee Vice Chair; Jennifer Aubrey, Research Committee Vice Chair Elect; Karyn Riddle, Chair of the Nominations Committee; Mary Beth Earnheardt, Nominations Committee; Rebecca Verser, Nominations Committee; Janellen Hill, Nominations Committee; Cary Horvath, Nominations Committee; Stan Tickton, Legislative Assembly Attendee; Jane Banks, Legislative Assembly Attendee; Sahara Byrne, Resolutions Committee.

The 2008 convention in San Diego promises to be a setting from which the discipline will be propelled forward. The conference will be held from November 21, 2008 through November 24, 2008, and the theme is "unCONVENTIONal!" The division’s officers will be working hard as we gear up for the San Diego conference. If you have any questions concerning the division between now and when we meet in San Diego, please feel free to contact me at Thank you for your interest in the division.

R. Lance Holbert, Chair
Mass Communication Division, NCA
Associate Professor
School of Communication
The Ohio State University

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Research Committee Report
Sharon R. Mazzarella,
Chair, Research Committee

Now that the 2008 Mass Communication Division program is completed and submitted for approval to NCA, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the 104 (!) paper and panel reviewers for the San Diego Conference. (No, I can’t let anyone know yet if their paper or panel was accepted. NCA has to approve the program first. But you can expect to hear directly from them in early May.)

This year, the division had 174 paper submissions and 19 panel submissions, so we needed every reviewer. While everyone did a fantastic job, I would like to single out Mehdi Semati for reading five papers at the last minute when the original reviewer was unable to complete them. Not only did Mehdi read these papers on extremely short notice, but he gave them thoughtful and constructive reviews.

It was a pleasure to work with all of you and with the Division’s Vice Chair, Travis Dixon, who oversaw this year’s panel review process. Putting together the Division’s program truly is a team effort.

This year’s Mass Communication Division reviewers were:

Najla Amundson
Michela Ardizzoni
John Arnold
Charles Aust
Glenda Balas
Jane Banks
Kathleen Battles
Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz
Jamel Santa Cruze Bell
Andrew Billings
Jeffrey Bolt
Bradley Bond
Nicholas Bowman
Andy Boyan
Margaret Miller Butcher
Sahara Byrne
Serena Carpenter
Sumana Chattopadhyay
Rebecca Chory
Heather Crandall
Rebecca Curnalia
Corey Davis
Bryan Denham
Travis Dixon
Edward Downs
Kristin Drogos
Scott Dunn
Gretchen Dworznik
Adam Earnheardt
Lynne Edwards
Teresa Filipowicz
Robert Gobetz
Carlnita Greene
Anne Greenleaf
Tanni Haas
Veronica Hefner
Jayne Henson
Kristen Hoerl
Cynthia Hoffner
R Lance Holbert
Sara Holmes
Cary Horvath
Teresa Housel
Heather Hundley
Mary Hurley
Ric Jensen
Jakob Jensen
Ann Johnson
Mary Kidd
Andrew Kirk
Matthew Kushin
Gracie Lawson-Borders
Anthony Limperos
Cynthia Lont
Russell Maloney
Yuping Mao
Nicole Martins
Keith Massie
Dana Mastro
Matthew McAllister
John McArthur
Divya McMillin
Debra Merskin
Alison Miller
Jon Mills
Kristin Moran
Cortney Moriarty
Emily Moyer-Gusé
Norma Pecora
Erik Peterson
Jessica Piotrowski
Margaret Pitts
Narissra Punyanunt-Carter
Veena Raman
David Rhea
LaChrystal Ricke
Karyn Riddle
Leslie Rill
Sarah Rosaen
Iliana Rucker
Meghan Sanders
Michelle Seelig
Mehdi Semati
Maria Simone
Shayla Thiel Stern
Stanley Tickton
Mina Tsay
Adam Tyma
Jeffrey Tyus
Angharad Valdivia
Rebecca Verser
Gerald Voorhees
James Walker
Andrew Weaver
David Weiss
Christopher Westgate
Danielle Williams
Matthew Willis
J. Emmett Winn
Tracy Worrell
Qingjiang Yao
Sharon Zechowski
Yingfan Zhang
Weiyu Zhang

Thank you!

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2007 Business Meeting Minutes
jae-Hwa Shin,

Mass Communication Division Business Meeting Minutes
National Communication Association Conference, Chicago, IL, 2007

1. Call to order and distribution of agenda (Chair: J. Emmett Win)
Waldorf Room, Chicago Hilton from 2:00 p.m. on November 17, Saturday

2. Introduction of Mass Communication Division (MCD) officers (Chair: J. Emmett Win)
Current officers & officers elect

3. Minutes of 2006 Business Meeting (Secretary: Dana E. Mastro)
Motion to approve minute from 2006.

4. Reports and announcements from MCD Committee officers:

a. Nominating Committee and election of new officers (Nominations Committee Chair: Mary Beth Earnheardt). Elections were held concurrently with other meeting activities and the election results are as follows.

  • Vice Chair Elect
    Andy Billings- Clemson
  • Secretary Elect
    Meghan S. Sanders – Louisiana State
  • Research Committee
    Jennifer Stevens-Aubrey –Missouri-Columbia
  • Representative to the NCA Nominating Committee
    Cary Horvath – Youngstown State
  • Nominating Committee Chair of the Division
    Mina Tsay – Kentucky
    Karyn Riddle – Wisconsin-Madison [Chair]
  • Representative to the NCA Resolutions Committee
    Sahara Byrne – Cornell
  • Legislative Assembly Representative
    Jane Banks – Indiana-Purdue – Fort Wayne
  • Graduate Student Representative
    Nick Bowman – Michigan State

b. Report: 2007 Convention program (Research Committee Chair: Heather Hundley)

  • Among 149 individual papers submitted, 99 were accepted with 66% acceptance rate. 83 reviewers reviewed no more than 5 papers each.
  • Out of 30 panel submissions, 12 were accepted with a 47% acceptance rate.
  • Among a total of 40 slots at NCA, two slots are our business meeting and social gathering.

c. Awards: Top paper awards (Vice Chair: Lance Holbert)

  • The 4 top papers were awarded as follows:
    • Preschoolers’ attraction to media characters by Barbara Wilson, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign & Kristin Drogos, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
    • Conceptualizing the small-scale public sphere by Zack Stiegler, University of Iowa
    • Conveying the Olympic message: NBC producer and sportscaster interviews regarding the role of identity by Andrew Billings, Clemson University
    • The influence of Television viewing on expectations for and assessments of romantic relationships by Jeremy Osborn, Albion College
  • MCD Teaching and Service Awards (Vice Chair-Elect: Travis L. Dixon)
    • MCD Teaching Award went to Cindy Lont at George Mason University, who has been teaching in the area of video production, mass communication theory and women and media for over 30 years. Her work includes books, articles and DVDs that help students better understand theory and production.
    • MCD Service Award went to Mehdi Semati at Eastern Illinois University. He has served as Chair, Vice Chair, Research Committee Chair, on the Research Committee of the MCD and as a member of the Legislative Assembly. He has been an active member of the division since he was a graduate student, serving as a paper reviewer every year since that time.

d. Report: Legislative Assembly (MCD Legislative Assembly representatives: Stan Tickton & Jeff Tyus)

  • Unbundling of membership dues and convention registration fees (carryover for last year’s meeting)
  • Proposed new structure for membership dues and convention registration fees passes 76-33 (questions and discussions about this
    - According to the new structure, regular members and sustaining members are now identical which reduces regular membership dues and increases sustaining membership costs, respectively to $165. Student dues remain the same as $60.
    - Both regular members and sustaining members pay for the convention registration fees of $130 (off-site) and $195 (on-site), but students pay for the registration fees of $75 (off-site) and $110 (on-site).
    - It will create $5,000 budget to bring in speakers for future conventions.
    - Review of benefits of NCA membership to members is necessary.
  • Chairs, respondents and designated paper/panel presenters must pre-register for the November 2008 convention by August 6th. In the case of the paper or panel presenter failing to pre-register, the entire paper or panel entry will be deleted with their names from the final conference program.
    - Originally, there was an amendment that those who were first authors have to pay registration fee by credit card, but then there was a motion to make it designated participants. Only the presenter of a multiple-author paper as identified in All Academic needs to pre-register for the conference for the submission to remain on the final conference program. The remaining authors on the multiple-authored work need not pre-register for the conference in order for the submission to remain on the final conference program.
    - Rationale: Last year 400 people attended the conference and brought papers and did not register for the convention. That’s a lot of money that the NCA lost.
    - Concern about the August 6th deadline. People who were away over the summer might forget. It is realistic to the pre-registration date should be moved to the later date. The pre-registration policy recently adopted by NCA may need to be applied to only faculty members, not students.
    - This was extremely controversial and hotly debated but passed and is now a done deal!

5. Planning for the 2008 convention program (Vice Chair-Elect: Travis L. Dixon; Research Committee Vice Chair: Sharon R. Mazzarella)

a. Call for competitive papers and thematic panel proposals for program
sessions distributed

  • 2008 Annual Convention: San Diego, CA, November 21 - 24
  • Convention Theme: “Unconventional” It underscores and reinforces the association’s efforts at outreach and reflects the fact that NCA is now on the radar of important and powerful associations in Washington, DC and throughout the country, and are being sought out to offer expertise at the national level and connect it to partners and experts in other fields for national influence.
  • Paper submission deadline: Feb. 14, 2008
  • It is the policy of NCA that each unit should only accept one paper from any person submitting as first author.
  • Mentorship panel proposals by associate and full professors are requested for assistant and associate professors.
  • Request for paper reviewers; session chairs; and respondents. A competitive paper review form was distributed to sign-up to serve as reviewer. Question: Can people indicate online their willingness to serve as a chair or respondent?

6. Installation of new officers (Chair: J. Emmett Winn)
Lance Holbert as New Chair

7. New Business Proposal

a. Suggestion: We might want to change the bylaws to extend the chairmanship a bit longer in order to make the transition smoother and provide continuity.
b. Suggestion: The institutional membership rate should be raised, but students should get increased benefits and/or reduced rate. There are some institutions that do not have graduate students, so separating the two cases may be considered.
c. Question: Can one submit a paper and serve as a reviewer at the same time?
d. The MCD committee will collect information from the Division members to submit to NCA regarding the new registration policy. The Chair should commission a group to gauge the Division’s opinion on the pre-registration policy and then submit a formal letter with feedback from the members to the NCA national office. It does not have to be voted on next year, but that the final version will be prepared.

8. Adjourn

a. Meeting closed 3:30 p.m.
b. Announcement of reception after the business meeting

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Academic Research for Media Reform, Minneapolis, June 5
Bob McChesney []

This is a quick update and reminder about the symposium for scholars which will take place in Minneapolis on June 5th, a day before the National Conference on Media Reform. The symposium is called “Academic Research for Media Reform,” and the program is now online. We urge you to register and join us there in this unique opportunity to engage in a dialogue between academics and media reform advocates.

We are very excited about this year’s program. It offers an expansive presentation of scholarship on the most pressing issues in the media reform community. The program committee­through a double-blind peer review process­generated 8 sessions of papers submitted by leading academics from the nation's top schools. The sessions will focus on media ownership (and the FCC's research effort), sustainability of independent media, access to dominant platforms, network neutrality, international media reform efforts, and the media reform movement itself.

The symposium also features two special sessions. There will be an opportunity for a roundtable discussion with members of the "future of American telecommunications working group" ( This group is currently designing a new media and telecommunications policy framework for the new administration in 2009. In addition, there will be a session on "copyright and free speech" in which Neil Netanel will present his new book “Copyright's Paradox.”

All registrants to the symposium are eligible for the "early-bird" fare for the NCMR itself -- we urge you to stay for both.

We hope the symposium will be an opportunity to strengthen the ongoing commitment to a fruitful cooperation between the academic and activist worlds as well as to find immediate, practical applications for this critical work.

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MCD Membership News and Updates


In January 2008 Kristen Harrison (Department of Communication, University of Illinois) received a $300,000 grant from the Illinois Council on Food and Agriculture Research for a 3-year project titled "The STRONG Kids Project: Cross-Disciplinary Investigation of Media Effects on Childhood Obesity and Health within Family and Community Contexts."  For the project she joins forces with co-investigators from food science and human nutrition, human and community development, social work, medicine, and kinesiology and community health, to study media and marketing influences on preschool children in Illinois.

Books and Chapters


Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television, London: Routledge, 2008.
Andrew C. Billings


News as Entertainment: The Rise of Global Infotainment, Sage.

Daya Thussu

Richly detailed and empirically grounded, this first book-length study of infotainment and its globalization by a leading scholar of global communication offers a comprehensive and critical analysis of this emerging phenomenon. Going beyond - both geographically and theoretically - the ‘dumbing down’ discourse, largely confined to the Anglo-American media, the book argues that infotainment may have an important ideological role, a diversion in which ‘soft news’ masks the hard realities of neoliberal imperialism.

"The Hollywood View: Protecting the Status Quo in Schools Onscreen"
Mary M. Dalton
published the chapter "The Hollywood View: Protecting the Status Quo in Schools Onscreen" in Mirror Images: Popular Culture and Education, eds. Diana Silberman Keller, Zvi Bekerman, Henry A. Giroux, and Nicholas C. Burbules. Peter Lang: New York, 2008.

Transforming Culture: A Model for Faith and Film in Hollywood
Christine Gunn-Danforth
This book examines the cultural mandate as purpose for the church to engage the medium of film. It proposes a practically viable theology of communication that can be utilized to create effective Biblically-based productions and serves as lens to analyze and critique films.  Written by a dual Ph.D. in Communication and Biblical Studies. Wipf and Stock publishers. Release date late 2008 to be announced.

The Essential HBO Reader, Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2008
Edited by Gary R. Edgerton and Jeffrey P. Jones

Democratic Communications: Formations, Projects, Possibilities. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
James F. Hamilton
This is the first book to take issue with the long-standing assumptions about alternative media and democratic communications and place them in a detailed cultural and historical context. Ranging from prophecy in sixteenth century England to the self-managed projects of critical literacy and social change of today, it assesses the historical heritage, present conditions, and future possibilities of today's remade media landscape for democratic communications.

Sports Mania: Essays on Fandom and the Media in the 21st Century, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008.
Edited by Lawrence W. Hugenberg, Paul M. Haridakis and Adam C. Earnheardt
In these essays, thirty of the leading scholars in sports communication tackle a wide range of subjects, including the ways in which people root for their teams, the consumption of sports information, and the uses of technology to cultivate fan communities. Taking an interdisciplinary approach through the fields of communication, psychology and telecommunications, this collection explores modern fans, their motives and culture, and their identification with sports and individual teams.

Tilted Mirrors: Media Alignment with Political and Social Change – A Community Structure Approach, Cresskill, NJ, Hampton Press, 2007.
John Pollock
Instead of examining the impact of media on society, Tilted Mirrors explores how society shapes media coverage. How do communities affect the way media build different issue perspectives or frames? The book adopts an innovative community structure approach, finding that inequality in cities significantly drives coverage of critical events.

Media, Culture, and Society in Iran: Living with Globalization and the Islamic State, Routledge, 2008.
Edited by Mehdi Semati
Featuring contributions from among the best-known and emerging scholars on Iranian media, culture, society, and politics, this volume uncovers how the existing perspectives on post-revolutionary Iranian society have failed to appreciate the complexity, the paradoxes and the contradictions that characterize life in contemporary Iran, resulting in a general failure to explain and to anticipate its contemporary social and political transformations.
Click here for more information



Punyanunt-Carter, N. M. (in press). College students’ perceived realism perceptions on occupational roles, negative personality characteristics, low achieving status, and positive stereotypes of African American portrayals on television. Howard Journal of Communication.

Gerald-Mark Breen, M.A., and Jonathan Matusitz, Ph.D., both of the University of Central Florida, have published two articles in the Global Media Journal; the first in Fall, 2007 and the second in Spring, 2008. The topics relate to journalistic practices and misconduct, and they provide specific examples of pack journalism and how to ameliorate these instances.

Christopher C. Hull's article "When Presidential Candidates Skip Iowa: Modeling Participation in the First-in-the-Nation Caucuses, 1976-2008" appears in the American Review of Politics.

Mazzarella, S. R., & Pecora, N. (2007). Revisiting girls’ studies: Girls creating sites for connection and action. Journal of Children and Media, 1(2), 105-125.

Awards and Appointments

Elisia L. Cohen,, moved from Saint Louis University to the University of Kentucky and appointed as an Assistant Professor.

Mary M. Dalton of Wake Forest University was awarded a Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Research Leave for Fall 2008.  Additionally, Dalton's documentary Addie James:  Art Unbound won the Bennett Spirit Award (for the most positive portrayal of a woman) at the Gate City Women's Film Festival, March 14-15, 2008.

Narissra Punyanunt-Carter,, appointed associate professor with tenure at Texas Tech University.

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Position Announcements

Assistant Professor level in Electronic Media
University of Memphis

Kris M. Markman,

The Department of Communication at The University of Memphis seeks to hire a one-year appointment at the assistant professor level in Electronic Media. PhD desired, but candidates with a MA will also be considered, especially those who have experience working in the broadcast industry. Teaching responsibilities include some combination of three courses per semester in traditional and/or new media studies, such as history of electronic media, computer mediated communication, audio production, and broadcast management.

For more details about the Department, College, and University, see the Department's web page Send letter of application, vita, evidence of teaching excellence, sample of research, and contact information for a least three references to Dr. Michael Leff, Department of Communication, 143 Theatre-Communication Building, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152-3150, Attn. Electronic Media Position. Review of applications will begin April 25th and may continue until the position is filled.

The University of Memphis is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Chair and Professor - Department of Media Studies and Film
The New School

The New School seeks a senior media scholar or leader in the media professions to lead a large, diverse, and well established department and to play a university-wide role in developing new programs. The Department of Media Studies and Film includes 450 Media Studies M.A. students (60 of whom are online only), graduate certificate students in Documentary Media Studies and Media Management, and 900 registrations per semester in undergraduate and non-credit classes in theory, criticism, and production, including audio, video, 16mm film, and digital media.

Candidates must demonstrate broad-based expertise in Media Studies and a record of continuing scholarly, artistic, or other professional accomplishments. Candidates should have: a PhD or equivalent achievements, significant administrative experience, the ability to manage a complex media organization, and the ability to relate effectively to a wide range of people, including alumni, funding sources, and industry leaders. Ability to work in a collaborative environment is essential. All areas of subject matter expertise will be considered, with interdisciplinary and new media experience preferred. Having a goal-oriented spirit within a context of academic excellence is important. Salary, rank and tenure are open but candidates are expected to teach in one or more areas of the program's curricular areas.

To apply, please go to:

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NCA MCD Officers (2007-2008)

Chair - R. Lance Holbert
School of Communication
The Ohio State University
3016 Derby Hall
154 North Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210-1339
(614) 247-7644
Vice Chair - Travis L. Dixon
Dept. of Speech Comm.
Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
702 S. Wright St. #244 Lincoln
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 244-0104 (phone)
(217) 244-1598 (fax)
Vice Chair Elect - Andrew C. Billings
Communication Studies Dept
Clemson University
409 Strode Tower
Clemson, SC 29634-0533
(864) 656-1477
Past Chair - J. Emmett Winn
Dept. of Communication & Journalism
217 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama 36849
(334) 844-2761
Secretary - Jae-Hwa Shin
University of Southern Mississippi
School of Mass Communication and Journalism
Box 5121
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4282
Secretary Elect - Meghan S. Sanders
Louisiana State University
Manship School of Mass Communication
Louisiana State University
211 Journalism Bldg.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
(225) 578-7380
Publications/Web Editor - Adam Earnheardt
(term expires November 2009)
Youngstown State University
Dept. of Communication
1 University Plaza
Youngstown, OH  44555
(330) 941-1845
Graduate Student Rep - Nick Bowman
College of Communication Arts & Sciences
Michigan State University
557 Comm Arts & Sci
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 355-2170
Research Committee
Research Committee Chair - Sharon R. Mazzarella
Communication Studies Dept
Clemson University
410 Strode Tower
Clemson, SC 29634-0533
(864) 656-4399
Research Committee Vice Chair - Rebecca M. Chory
Department of Communication Studies
108 Armstrong Hall, P.O. Box 6293
Morgantown, WV 26506-6293
West Virginia University
(304) 293-3905
Research Committee Vice Chair Elect - Jennifer Stevens Aubrey
Department of Communication
University of Missouri-Columbia
203B Switzler Hall
(573) 882-0739

Nominations Committee
Karyn Riddle (Chair)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
5014 Vilas Communication Hall
821 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-7836
Mary Beth Earnheardt
Youngstown State University
Department of English
1 University Plaza
Youngstown, OH  44555
(330) 941-1655
Rebecca M. Verser
New Mexico St. Univ.
Dept of Comm. Studies
MSC 3W; P. O. Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003
(505) 646-1603
Janellen Hill
Department of Communication Arts
Regis University
3333 Regis Blvd, E-8
Denver, CO 80221
(303) 458-4969
Mina Tsay


Legislative Assembly - Stan Tickton
(term expires November 2008)
Norfolk State University
Mass Communication/Journalism
700 Park Ave., Unit 3249
Norfolk, Virginia 23504
(757) 823-2383
Legislative Assembly - Jane Banks
(term expires November 2009)
Indiana University/Purdue University
Dept of Communication
2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805-1499
(260) 481-6548
Resolutions Committee -
Sahara Byrne
Department of Communication
Cornell University
314 Kennedy Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-8058
Nominating Committee - Cary Horvath
Youngstown State University
Dept. of Communication
1 University Plaza
Youngstown, OH  44555
(330) 941-3631

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Send your updates to The Gatekeeper
Adam Earnheardt, Youngstown State University

The next issue of the Gatekeeper (newsletter for the NCA Mass Communication Division) will be published in late summer 2008. We need your news. Please provide content you would like considered for publication in the newsletter (position announcements, new books, appointments, etc.). Send your news by July 30, 2008.  Send updates to Adam Earnheardt at or call 330-941-1845 and leave a message.

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