The Content and Context of Digital Culture: Production, Distribution, Consumption

October 31, 2011

On November 7th and 8th, Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) at CU will offer a symposium about emerging forms of communication and their uses for sustaining contemporary culture and society. The symposium parallels CU’s ongoing efforts to adjoin the studies of communication, multimedia storytelling, commercial design, studies of technology, and the digital arts and humanities as a part of the campus Information, Communication, Journalism, Media and Technology (ICJMT) process.

Speakers and panelists will discuss current research, describe ongoing projects, and introduce future ideas about media literacy as a basic requirement in a modern liberal education, the growth and meaning of digital networks, digital media entrepreneurship, and more. The symposium will also expose a wide range of interdisciplinary possibilities for campus research and education.

This event is the first of two symposia sponsored by the JMC in support of CU’s ICJMT Initiative. Launched by Provost Russell Moore, the initiative is working towards creating a new school or college that will engage in the areas of information, communication, journalism, media and technology (ICJMT).

The second event will take place on February 27-29, 2012.

Read the schedule.

Featured speakers:

Patricia Aufderheide, Professor of Film and Media Arts at American University
Adrienne Russell, Associate Professor of Digital Media Studies at the University of Denver
Tom Streeter, Professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont

All events are free and open to the public. CU faculty and students are encouraged to attend.

For more information, please contact Christina Lefevre-Gonzalez at or at 303-735-5795.

Sponsored by Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The reinvention and rebuilding of journalism is under way at CU

July 19, 2011

Interim Director Chris BraiderA message from Interim Director Chris Braider

Despite the so-called “discontinuance” needed to allow Journalism and Mass Communi cation to begin the process of reinvention and rebuilding currently under way, the former school’s work has in fact continued unabated.  Indeed, with the appointment of an interim director who, as an outsider, has no personal or professional stake in the outcome, JMC’s faculty and staff have been given the chance to refocus on what truly matters—the educa tion of our students and the scholarly, journalistic, and creative work the program’s dis tinguished faculty produce.

The immediate road ahead thus involves devoting our energies to what brought us here in the first place: designing new courses and teaching old ones; recruiting bright new stu dents for our seminars and placing those students in fruitful careers of their own; advan cing research efforts like those pursued in the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture, the Center for Environmental Journalism, or the Digital News Test Kitchen; and publish ing our results in top-flight venues throughout the United States and the world.

However, even as JMC goes about its normal business with a renewed sense of purpose, no fewer than 11 members of the faculty are participating in the reinvention of our disciplines to which the Provost, the Office of Faculty Affairs, and the Dean of the Gra duate School have helped us set our hands.

As currently envisioned, the next two years will witness the creation of a new institution al framework and the articulation of a new curricular, professional, and scholarly mission involving elements drawn from across the spectrum of the arts, social sciences, computer and media sciences, and humanities on Boulder campus.

In the first year, the core work of reconceptualization and planning will be undertaken by the Steering Committee for Information, Communication, Journalism, Media, and Tech nology (ICJMT), chaired by a member of the JMC faculty.  ICJMT will in turn be ad vised by eight discussion groups designed to ensure that as many interests, insights, and perspectives as possible find a voice.  The plan is to tap CU-Boulder’s unparalleled re sources in such a way as to enable the Steering Committee to elaborate a model as com prehensive as it will be adventurous, and as rich as it will be challenging and exact.

The result of this year-long deliberative process will be the publication, in May 2012, of CU-Boulder’s formal plan for a new school, college, or network of research centers and institutes in which JMC will find a new home and fully restored autonomy.  This will then lay the foundation for the recruitment of a new leader capable of guiding JMC into the future.

Even the shrewdest of us can, as yet, only dimly imagine what will come of all of this.  The one thing we do know is that, with the recruitment its new leader, JMC will reemerge from the turmoil of the past few years endowed with a leadership role of its own.  For the social, technological, intellectual, and cultural transformations that contributed to the cri sis JMC has had to endure affect the university—and in fact the nation—as a whole.

Next steps in creating a college or school of information, communication, journalism, media and technology (ICJMT)

July 15, 2011

Provost Russell L. Moore has announced two important steps in the long-term goal of creating a school or college of information, communication, journalism, media and technology (ICJMT). Moore has appointed a steering committee to examine ICJMT issues and a set of eight discussion groups to inform that committee’s work.

The steering committee will be chaired by Andrew Calabrese, long-time faculty member in journalism at CU-Boulder, and will coordinate its activities with Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs Jeffrey Cox.

A message from Director Chris Braider

June 20, 2011

A Message to JMC Faculty and Staff

It is a great pleasure, and a great honor, to join you as colleague and director.

Despite the difficulties you have faced over the past few years, JMC remains a going concern.  This pays tribute to the remarkable work all of you do, and to the contributions you make to the University and broader community.  But it also reflects the inestimable value of the research you pursue, of the programs and internships you have created, of the classes you teach, and of the service you have performed in keeping things running smoothly.  Whether in Journalism, Advertising or Media Studies, your efforts have ensured that JMC is here to stay, whatever shape it takes.

As recent events in the Middle East vividly remind us, nothing is more vital to democracy than a well-informed public possessed not only of the right of free expression but of the skills and media that make its exercise possible.  And as events in our own country remind us, even mature democracies need the devotion to truth, the passion for knowledge, the critical self-consciousness, and the powers of both clear and forceful communication that lie at the core of JMC’s wide-ranging mission.

With the discontinuance of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, something like the worst has happened.  Yet the discontinuance has also given you the chance to reimagine not only your programs but your discipline itself.  When we recall, moreover, that the professions and disciplines you represent currently find themselves in exactly the same position, the timing may even be said to look miraculous.  The worst that could have happened may turn out to be the best.

I am, of course, no journalist.  However, as both the Provost, Russell Moore, and John Stevenson, Dean of the Graduate School, have indicated, my lack of experience and expertise in journalism and mass communication may be integral to what I can offer as JMC makes the transition to whatever new form the future will bring.

My ethos as a director and chair has always been that of a fellow member of the faculty committed to representing his colleagues’ views as faithfully and forcefully as he can.  But, in trying to grasp and communicate my colleagues’ needs and interests, I have also always sought to encourage community of effort and consensus.  Community of effort and something approaching consensus seem all the more needful in JMC’s case not only because of the unit’s recent past but given the challenges that lie ahead.

For obvious reasons, I have no agenda here; and while overseeing the unit’s day-to-day operations, I will have no say in curriculum or in any of your many research projects.  However, JMC can only play a leading role in determining its future mission and shape if all its members—faculty and staff alike—present a united front.  My aim will accordingly be to foster an environment in which everyone has a say, and in which everyone gets heard.

An obvious first step is to hold regular monthly meetings, thereby creating frequent opportunities to exchange views and to deliberate future plans and policy.  But I also mean to meet with everyone in the unit—as far as possible one-on-one—to be sure I both know each of you as individuals and understand how each of you sees the unit’s purpose and promise.  And it goes without saying that each of you is always welcome to visit me in my office, to contact me by email, or to call me up on the phone.

As the new semester approaches, I will be in touch about regular curricular and administrative matters—and, among other things, a schedule for monthly meetings.  In the meantime, I look forward to working and talking with you soon.

Chris Braider

Director, Journalism and Mass Communication

School applications are highest in six years

May 4, 2011

Journalism students meet with Dean Paul Voakes every month for Cokes with Voakes.

The school received the highest number of applications for fall 2011 in six years. The SJMC admitted 171 of the 313 applicants or 55 percent. The school has 750 majors this spring, with more than 250 graduating this spring and summer.

Prejournalism students apply to be admitted into one of five sequences: Advertising, Broadcast News, Broadcast Production, Media Studies or News-Editorial.

CU admissions reported last week that 200 prejournalism majors have confirmed they will attend CU next fall — about 20 more than confirmed at this time last year before the restructuring process began.