Dr. Ann Hollifield at the Sixth Annual Conference on Media and the Public Sphere held at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Media And The Public Sphere Conference Sponsored By The Thomas C. Dowden Media Industry Research Program In The Grady College

The Six Annual Conference focusing on Media and the Public Sphere brought together more than 50 scholars from the U.S., France, China and Romania Oct. 20 to 22 at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

The conference has rotated among its sponsors, the Center for Research in Communication at the National University for Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania, the Institute of Communication at the University of Lyon 2, in France, and the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

This year the conference also was sponsored by the Thomas C. Dowden Media Industry Research Program in the Grady College.

The Cox Center is a unit of the Grady College, and it last hosted the conference in 2013.

Attendees were faculty and graduate student scholars from Romania, China, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Tennessee, the University of Alabama, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Florida, St. John Fisher University, and the University of Georgia.

Dr. Alison Alexander, senior associate dean, and Dr. Jeff Springston, associate dean for research and graduate studies welcomed the participants.

Dr. Ann Hollifield, Thomas C. Dowden Professor of Media Research, opened the program on Oct. 20 and introduced researchers from media industries around the country invited to join with the academic scholars for the three-day event.

“We were thrilled to welcome to Grady some of the nation’s leading experts on media analytics,” Dr. Hollifield said.

Dr. Hollifield moderated a panel on media analytics and the future of media and the public sphere.

During the following days of conference, two other panels of experts focused on analytics and the future of advertising in a digital world and on media data and its impact on news decisions and journalism.

Panelists were: Billy McDowell, vice President of Research, Raycom Media Inc.; Howard Shimmel, senior vice president of Research, Turner Broadcasting; Steven Walsh, executive vice president, Local Television comScore Inc.; and Eric Bruce, Research Director, WSB-TV, Atlanta.

Researchers presented 26 scientific papers were in the other seven sessions of the conference.

Drs. Lee B. Becker and Tudor Vlad, director and associate director of the Cox International Center, presented a paper on salaries and benefits for journalists and other communication professionals.

Dr. Vlad also coauthored a paper on the impact of anti-Western speech in the Romanian public sphere, in collaboration with three Romanian scholars.

The best conference papers are scheduled to be published in the Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations.