Dr. Matthew Pressman, assistant professor of Journalism in the College of Communication and the Arts, was recently awarded the Margaret A. Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation Prize. The American Journalism Historians Association bestows this award annually for the best dissertation in the realm of mass communication history.
Pressman's dissertation titled "Remaking the News: The Transformation of American Journalism, 1960-1980," delivers a compelling argument that contemporary American Journalism was shaped in the 1960's and 1970's. In speaking with Dr. Pressman, he stated, "I started on my dissertation research with one big question: why is the modern American press the way it is? In the end, I wound up focusing on a certain set of values that I think have defined American journalism since the 1970s."
His research, which he calls a 'labor of love,' took 3 years to complete as he travelled around the country analyzing archives of different news organizations and journalists across time periods. Along this journey, he was able to interview dozens of previous employees who worked at New York Times and LA Times to gather valuable insight on what their work was like a these news organizations.
"I am truly honored to receive this award because the judges are among the country's leading journalism historians. As a young academic, to get this kind of recognition from the senior scholars in my field is incredibly gratifying."
As this year's winner, Dr. Pressman will be giving a presentation on his work to fellow academics at the American Journalism Historians Association conference being held in October. He is excited to announce that he will be adapting his dissertation into a book, expected to publish in 2018 by Harvard University Press, with hopes to expand knowledge and enlighten a wider audience.
Dr. Pressman teaches courses that align perfectly with his passions, such as "American Journalism." Due to his extensive background dealing with the history of journalism, he incorporates his dissertation research into his lesson plans. "My students may have noticed that we spend a lot of time on the 1960's and 70's. That's because this era was not only a crazy time in U.S history, but was a time where the key elements of contemporary American journalism really took shape."
Dean Deirdre Yates of the College of Communication and the Arts was thrilled to learn of this honor, saying, "We are so proud to have Dr Pressman as a member of our faculty. We celebrate not only this prestigious recognition, but also how he is able to bring his passion to life in the classroom."For more information on Dr. Pressman's award, visit here »