Monday, May 5, 2014

Blending History and Journalism by Rachel Farrell

SBU senior Emmariah Holcomb presents
her part of the presentation at the JJCHC
In this semester’s Journalism and Mass Communication class, Women, Minorities and the Media, students had the opportunity to learn about advocacy journalism and how specific women and minority groups helped to shape the media industry. The class studied historically significant advocacy journalists presented through required reading and then conducted research on lesser-known individuals who fit the classification as advocacy journalists.

The research goal was to bring to light the works of individuals to highlight in a paper entitled, "Mediation: Instrument of Change," and present them at this year’s Joint Journalism & Communication History Conference (JJCHC).

One reviewer of the proposal noted: “I love the idea of having a student panel at the conference and applaud the efforts of the course instructors at Saint Bonaventure for this idea.”

The JJCHC is made possible through collaboration between the American Journalism Historians Association and the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. A short video at the following link gives more information about the conference:

SBU students emphasized the works of journalists such as Randy Shilts, a ground-breaking gay journalist (; Veronica Guerin, an Irish crime reporter murdered for her activism (; and Melissa Fabello, who maintains a strong online presence to educate people about hot topics such as gender identity, feminism and eating disorders (

The evolution of journalism, whose basis is in service to the people, to educate and advocate for good, is an interesting topic of study, and one that I have enjoyed pursuing further over the last months. Anyone interested in the topic would benefit from the class, one I highly recommend.

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