News and Events

Meeman Matters: The Department Newsletter  

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Retired P.R. professor E.W. "Bill" Brody dies

E.W. "Bill " Brody, 85, retired professor in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, who taught public relations for 30 years at the University of Memphis, died Aug. 3 in Memphis.

Brody was a futurist who led the way for the department of journalism to begin the first fully online masters degree in journalism in the country in 1995. He led the department's public relations concentration and was a leader both locally and nationally in public relations.

Brody served the local public relations community for years including leadership roles as president of the Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, chair of the national PRSA education affairs committee, and the PRSA technology taskforce. Brody was the first practitioner from Memphis to be elected to PRSA's College of Fellows.

He also wrote eight public relations books, and numerous articles and papers on public relations and technology.

His futurist leadership in technology and education led him to create online journalism education 10-15 years before most of the higher education community understood that mode of education.

Besides the many public relations students taught, Brody's legacy at the University of Memphis is the development of online education, according to former vice provost for extended programs and chair of journalism, Dan Lattimore. "The development of the first online program approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the first journalism program in the nation led the way for the University of Memphis to become a leader in online education, one that was far ahead of the rest of the country, " according to Lattimore.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sandy, five children, 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.


Paul D'Ambrosio presenting his top award winning paper at AEJMC.

Journalism and Strategic Media graduate student Paul D'Ambrosio presents his research paper at the 2018 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium at the University of Alabama on March 10. D'Ambrosio's research was awarded the top student paper in the newspaper and online news division at the conference.

Journalism grad student earns top regional research award

Journalism and Strategic Media graduate student Paul D'Ambrosio was awarded the "Top Student Paper" in the Newspaper and Online News Division on March 10 during the 43rd Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Southeast Colloquium at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

D'Ambrosio's paper, "Growing the Audience: Does a Metrics-Driven Newsroom Lead to More Web Clicks but Fewer Watchdog Stories?" used a mixed-method of a national survey, reporter interviews and quantitative analysis of newsroom data to examine the impact of newsroom metrics pressure on watchdog reporting. Discussant Chris Roberts of the University of Alabama noted that D'Ambrosio used qualitative interviews to answer the "why" behind the data.

The research study found that despite the temptation to write "cat-in-tree" clickbait stories for viral hits, reporters are writing more and deeper watchdog stories because they are driven to expose wrongdoing – and the public is responding with higher page views.


Angus McEachran, former editor of 3 newspapers, has died

Angus McEachran, who began his newspaper career as a copy clerk at The Commercial Appeal in 1960, and retired in 2002 as editor and president of the newspaper, died Monday after a sudden illness. He was 78.

Mr. McEachran, who studied journalism at the University of Memphis from 1959 to 1961, and was a Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 1988, also served as editor of the Birmingham Post-Herald and the Pittsburgh Press. All of his tenure was under the former Scripps-Howard chain.

McEachran was serving as metro editor of The Commercial Appeal when both Dr. Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis on April 4, 1968, and when Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977.

He was also in charge of the Pittsburgh Press when the paper won back-to-back Pulitzer Prizes in 1986 and 1987 for investigative journalism.

He would return to Memphis as editor of The Commercial Appeal in 1993 and remained in that position, adding president to his title, before retiring in 2002. Shortly after returning to the newspaper, editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez won a Pulitzer for his work, the third for a newspaper under Mr. McEachran's guidance.

The family asks that donations be sent to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or the International Center for Journalists.


Pennington Abroad Awards help JRSM majors study abroad

The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media is now offering awards to study abroad through the Pennington Abroad Awards. Each recipient receives $1,000 toward a study abroad experience offered at the UofM (summer, semester or full academic year). These awards are reserved to Journalism and Strategic Media majors who have at least a 2.5 GPA. To complete the 2019 application, click here. For more information, contact Dr. David Arant

Pennington Study Abroad Scholarships


Graduate Student and Faculty Research Colloquiums and Twitter Chats

The Department plans Research Colloquiums for the 2018 Fall Semester in order to engage graduate students and faculty in research efforts. And this semester the department will bring in six candidates for two department faculty positions. And graduate students may go to any of these candidates' research presentations as a replacement of the Research Colloquium. 

The Department also planned two twitter chats for graduate students in the 2018 Fall Semester. One was on 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 and the other is to be on 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 13 using the hashtag #meemangrad. The archived chat record is posted here https://storify.com/MemphisJRSM.