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SOC @ AEJMC 2014

Below is a listing of SOC faculty presentations at this year's AEJMC Conference. For full details on AEJMC “Theme Sessions” visit the AEJMC 2014 conference website.

Tuesday, August 5

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(w3) “Programming as a Research Method: A Beginner’s Guide to Wrangling Social Media Data with Python”

This half-day pre-conference led by Dr. Deen Freelon of American University will provide an introduction to working with social media data using the Python programming language. It will focus on converting raw data exported from social media APIs into formats suitable for advanced statistical analysis. A dataset from Twitter will be provided for all participants to work with. No prior knowledge of computer programming is required. Topics covered include importing and exporting tabular data, extracting usernames and hashtags, counting keywords and duplicate items, and preparing tweets for network analysis. Participants are required to bring a personal laptop to the session. For additional information contact Myiah Hutchens ( or 614-917-7895) or Lauren Feldman ( (CTAM, PCIG)

Wednesday, August 6

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
“Communicating Controversy: Ethical and Practical Considerations when Communicating about Controversial Science and Political Issues with the Public”
This panel, featuring Assistant Professor Declan Fahy, will explore the ethical and practical considerations that emerge when communicating with the public about research that focuses on controversial science and/or political issues. Campuses across the country are increasingly encouraging faculty to share their research findings with a public audience, bringing added visibility for the university and the research under consideration. This panel focuses on the challenges of distilling academic research findings for a public audience and the ethics of choosing what to convey vs. what to leave out. The panelists include academics with a diverse set of research areas and interests and prior professional experience in public relations and corporate strategic communication. (PCIG, SHER)

10-11:30 a.m.
Cultural and Critical Studies Division
American University professorial lecturer Margot Susca will present “I Kill Czervenians”: Adolescent Video Game Users as a Commodity Audience for War. The paper is based on a chapter of her 2012 dissertation, which examined the U.S. Army's use of violent video games for military recruitment. She coded nearly 10,000 online comments of the Army's video game America's Army to try to uncover ways the audience engages with mediated messages of violence and war.

1- 2:30 p.m.
Top Papers in Visual Communication
"Sticking It to Obamacare: The Visual Rhetoric of Affordable Care Act Advertising in Social Media"
Authors: Janis Teruggi Page, Margaret Duffy, and Greg Perrault

3:15 pm to 4:45 pm
“Big Data :” Professional and Field - wide Challenges
Communication Theory and Methodology Division and Political Communication Interest Group PF&R Panel Moderating/Presiding: Lauren Feldman, Rutgers; and Jörg Matthes, Vienna; Panelists: Deen Freelon, American University; James E. Katz, Boston Seth C. Lewis, Minnesota – Twin Cities; Dhavan Shah, Wisconsin - Madison


5:00 – 6:15 p.m.
Beyond the Mythology of Watergate: Revisiting the Historical Record about Woodward, Bernstein and Deep Throat
Forty years ago this week, Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency in disgrace. Since then, Hollywood and popular culture have celebrated the event as the triumph of investigative journalism over a corrupt chief executive. But new historical research has led scholars to reinterpret the role of the press, and its anonymous sources, during Watergate. What do we know now that we didn’t know four decades ago? Does it change our fundamental understanding of Watergate or the media’s importance in uncovering the scandal? How does the folklore square with historical reality? Panelists include W. Joseph Campbell, American University); Max Holland, independent scholar; and John Watson, American University. Mark Feldstein (Maryland) will moderate. (HIST, ETHC)

Teaching in an age of smartphones and smarter apps: Can mobile pedagogy bridge the digital divide and bring more diverse voices into the classroom?
Social and mobile media can provide exciting ways to reach students, enhance learning and engagement, as well as prepare students for a world in which they will have to learn to communicate on multiple platforms. Whether extending discussion beyond the classroom with Facebook and Twitter, or engaging students with a polling app, reaching students who live on their smartphones, iPads, and laptops can require innovation and creativity. But what impact do these innovations have on the digital divide and increasingly diverse student populations? Research has long maintained that whites and Asians are far more likely to have broadband access at home than blacks and Latinos. And a recent Pew study revealed that 51% of Latinos and 46% of blacks primarily use their phones to access the internet, whereas only 30% of whites do. What does this persistent race and class gap mean to us as educators, and how can we ensure that we incorporate mobile and social media in a way that helps bridge the divide – as well as incorporates as broad a range of voices as possible?
Panelists: Odette Alcazaren-Keeley,Director, National Network Building, TV News Anchor/Executive Producer; Awards Chair, NAM Ethnic Media Awards & Gala for New America Media, San Francisco; Amy Eisman, Director, Media Entrepreneurship & Interactive Journalism Graduate Programs, American University School of Communication; Jacob Groshek, Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Studies; Jason Martin, Assistant Professor of Journalism, DePaul University; Moderator: Angie Chuang, Associate Professor of Journalism, American University School of Communication

Thursday, August 7

8:15 – 9:45 a.m.
J-Schools: How to Incubate Media Entrepreneurs
Breakfast provided (Participation is limited to 70) News startups are this years big news and journalism schools are getting into the act. How do you teach students to be innovators and entrepreneurs? What makes for a good media idea? How do you make it happen? Can you build prototypes? Can you attract seed funding? Learn how schools are launching media entrepreneurship courses, programs, master’s degrees and professional development programs. What are the core elements? Whom should you partner with? Can media entrepreneurship be taught online? Panel includes American University professors Amy Eisman and Jan Schaffer. (J-Lab, CoAF, COMJ)

Thur 5-6:30 pm
Minorities and Communication Division
Session: Media, Racial Representation and the Power of Rhetoric "Richard Sherman Speaks and Almost Breaks the Internet: Race, Media, and Football"
Authors: Margaret Duffy, Janis Teruggi Page, Cynthia Frisby, and Brad Best