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‘True international scholar’ Becker earns prestigious Deutschmann Award
Dr. Lee Becker, a professor of journalism at Grady, received the 2013 Paul J. Deutschmann Award for Excellence in Research on Aug. 10 from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
“Lee Becker was feted by a room of journalism luminaries, including several of the Mount Rushmore figures in the field,” said Grady College Dean Charles Davis. “He was among friends, for he joins them as one of the winners of the most prestigious awards a journalism educator can earn. UGA's glory is reflected in Lee's achievements, and we all are so proud of this signal achievement.”
Becker directs the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research within UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Becker received the award at the business meeting of AEJMC and was roasted and toasted in a special session following.
The Deutschmann Award is the most prestigious of the award given by AEJMC. Becker was the 24th recipient of the award since it was inaugurated in 1969. Previous recipients include Wilbur Schramm and Ralph O. Nafziger, founders of the field of journalism and mass communication, and prominent scholars such as George Gerbner, Jack M. McLeod, Steven Chaffee and Maxwell E. McCombs. Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin, a renowned scholar whose work focuses on media coverage of science, was the most recent Deutschmann Award recipient, in 2011.
The award recognizes Becker for a body of scholarship that spans four decades and includes six books, 35 book chapters and more than 60 peer-reviewed research articles.
The Deutschmann nomination letter noted that Becker’s scholarship has been consistently recognized for its impressive scope, its methodological rigor and its contributions to understanding political communication and democracy. Supporters of his nomination described Becker as a “true international scholar” whose career has been remarkable for the “consistent and prolific contributions to research and theory in this field.”
Within AEJMC, Becker is well known for his Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication, which track enrollments and the job-market experiences of graduates. His nomination letter described that research program as “an exceptional example of public scholarship that marries theory-based sociological investigation with service to both the academy and industry.”
AEJMC has honored Becker twice in the past, first in 1985 with the Krieghbaum Under-40 Award and again in 2004 with its Presidential Award.
Becker was the second University of Georgia scholar to receive the Deutschmann Award. Scott Cutlip, who was instrumental in developing scholarship in public relations, received the Award in 1991. Cutlip was dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“This is a tremendous honor for Lee, and for the Grady College,” said Janice Hume, journalism department chair at Grady. “If you look at the list of former Deutschmann Award winners, and it is a pretty short list, you'll see some of the giants in our field. Dr. Becker's impressive body of research has served the industry, as well as education in journalism and mass communication, for decades.”
To view video of speeches honoring Becker, click here.
Date: August 20, 2013
Grady journalism professor Lee Becker (center) is congratulated by Doug Hindman of the AEJMC Committee on Research and Paula Poindexter, incoming president of AEJMC