Skip navigation

Category Archives: Life

kidreporter-fbI got interested in studying youth journalism because I was involved in it when I was a kid. Even at a very young age, I knew that I wanted to do something in journalism.
 
Well before my high school journalism experience, at age 10, I got an opportunity to volunteer at an NPR station in Columbus, Ohio. When we moved to Indianapolis, my dad helped me get business cards that said “kid reporter” on them, which we thought I could use to find other media volunteer opportunities.
 
So, I submitted an application — with my business card — to Children’s Express, where I learned even more about journalism and got some pretty amazing opportunities. 
 
Children’s Express became Y-Press several years ago. In 2008, I got the opportunity to spend several days as a chaperone/adviser with Y-Press kid reporters covering the Republican National Convention. It really was an amazing experience that reminded me of the value of youth journalism and media programs.
 
Today, I received an envelope from Lynn Sygiel, the director of Y-Press who has been there since CE started and since I joined the group in 1993. In it, she included this photo and business card. 
 
Unfortunately, amid financial challenges, the Y-Press board decided to dissolve the organization. I am so saddened by this news. Y-Press and organizations like it are so vital to teaching civics and promoting a strong youth voice in media. I hope — somehow — that youth media organizations find a way to survive, and that funders see the benefit of these important programs.

On June 2, I married the most wonderful person in the world, Renée Petrina. And, if I do say so myself, our wedding was pretty fantastic. Many of our close friends and family traveled to Indianapolis, where we celebrated the Mass at Renée’s old parish from when she lived in Indy, St. Jude. After the ceremony, we were able to invite everyone to the reception at one of our favorite places, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

You see, the museum is very meaningful to both of us, as Renée volunteered there as an adult when she lived and worked in Indy, and I volunteered there as a teenager some 15 years ago. As Renée says, it is her “happy place.” On June 2, it was a happy place for our loved ones, too. And thanks for two friends in particular, photographers Marc Lebryk and Julio Cortez, we’re going to be able to remember the day for years to come. I’ll post a couple of the photos here, with more to come in the future. Click on the big photo and us and Bumblebee from the movie “Transformers” (photo by Marc) to see a small gallery.

Wedding Photos

One of my hopes was to be able to go back to Indiana after getting the Ph.D. And that’s becoming a reality. I was recently hired as the new assistant professor of journalism at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.

The journalism program is fairly small, with just two full-time faculty (including me), but there are hopes to grow in future years. In addition to teaching, I’ll also be advising the student newspaper, The Horizon.

The job is tenure-track, with a 3/3 load. That means that each semester, I’ll teach three classes (one of which is advising the newspaper) and will have one course release for research. This is exactly the kind of job I wanted. I get to work with students on creating a publication. I get to continue some of my research. And I  get to work with a growing program interested in preparing students for a changing media environment.

We’re probably going to be living in Louisville, which is just across the Ohio River from New Albany.

Now, to find a job for Renée. We’re pretty optimistic. If anyone knows of anything, send us a shout.

That’s right. I’ve got a busy few months ahead of me. I’m deep into dissertation writing – have about half written and should be collecting more survey data within the next month. I will easily be able to finish this summer. At least I’m further than the first paragraph.

Also, I’m still looking for a job for next year. It’s a tough market for the journalism faculty positions now. Maybe I should have studied advertising. 😉 In all seriousness, though, things are looking up for the future, and I hold quite a bit of faith that I will be teaching and/or researching come fall.

Oh, and there is this other thing that I am forgetting. What … is … it? Oh, I’m getting married. Renée and I just sent out the invitations this week, and they look great (thanks to our good friend, Shelby Geidner, who designed them).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I truly can’t wait for the wedding. Having the opportunity to marry the love of my life is truly a blessing. The wedding will be fun, and I can’t wait to see so many wonderful friends and family members. But it is the marriage that I am most excited about. I can’t wait to be married to an amazing women who makes me a better person every day.

That’s about all I’ll write for now. I’m keeping busy with writing the dissertation and working on a couple other research projects, applying for jobs, and planning the wedding. This schedule leaves little time for blogging, but an update was needed.

So, a little update is in order. I meant to update this in August with some posts about the sessions I attended at AEJMC, but studying for comps got in the way. I think my choice to study was the right one.

I passed comps about a month ago, so I am officially a doctoral candidate, though I am actually still finishing a couple classes this semester. The plan for the dissertation is to focus on understanding the process of developing predispositions to self-censor, focusing on familial and educational antecedents. More details in the coming weeks as I work on writing the prospectus.

In addition to writing the dissertation proposal, I’m applying for jobs (please hire me!). I’m also working on a couple research projects, including the following:

  • Studying community news site use, using hierarchical linear modeling to test whether site characteristics relate to user satisfaction and trust.
  • Continuing news media literacy scale development work with Stephanie Craft, Seth Ashley, and Christopher Matthews. In fact, we got a grant to continue this work during the next year. An initial study will be submitted to a journal in the next few weeks or so.
  • Revising a law paper I wrote last year arguing for more clarity in how state open records laws deal with educational exemptions and how FERPA has often been misapplied to effectively keep public records about schools under wraps. Co-author Jon Peters and I hope to have this out to a law journal sometime before the end of the calendar year.
On a personal note, Renée and I are less than eight months away from our wedding. We’re starting to get things organized and planned. We’ve created a website and are sending out save-the-date cards this week.