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Faculty

Jennifer Rauch

Jennifer Rauch

Acting chair, Department of Journalism & Communication Studies Associate Professor of Journalism & Communication Studies

B.A., The Pennsylvania State UniversityM.J., Temple UniversityPh.D., Indiana University

Description

Before joining the LIU faculty, I contributed to a wide range of mediated endeavors—variously as a writer, editor, photographer and page designer for the American Red Cross, China Daily and Philadelphia City Paper, among other publishers and publicists. I managed the photojournalism lab at Temple University's School of Media and Communication and administered Lehigh University's media relations office for a while. I also hosted dozens of radio shows as a college/community deejay at WMUH-Allentown and spent time interning with Tony Michaelides, a British music promoter who plugged for 4AD, Factory and other influential independent labels.

These experiences helped to shape my perspective as a scholar and educator. I began my academic career with an interest in the dialectical relationship between mainstream and alternative conceptions of media. For more than a decade, I’ve examined alternative media, audiences, social activism and popular culture from critical and cultural perspectives. I also teach courses that weave together popular culture, activism, ethics, interviewing and social media with a strong emphasis on writing, creativity, civic engagement and critical thinking. I have guided seminars, independent studies and thesis projects looking at topics such as YouTube, The Daily Show, print and analog media, unplugging, youth use of digital devices and rock criticism.

In studies of the U.N.'s Inter Press Service, Independent Media Centers and self-published zines, I explored how certain media sources and communication models might constitute “alternatives” in terms of their content, practices, uses of technology and engagement with audiences. This work includes an article on “Activists as Interpretive Communities” for the journal Media, Culture & Society, a chapter for the Blackwell book Audience Studies (edited by Radhika Parameswaran) that relates theories of ritual and reception to activist media research, and the very last entry to the International Encyclopedia of Communication: “Zines.” I also contributed a chapter about Slow Media and fans of printed zines and vinyl records to the new Routledge Companion to Alternative & Community Media (edited by Chris Atton).

More recently, my interests have expanded from "alternative media" to "alternatives to media." In new projects, I am examining media business practices and popular unplugging activities from the viewpoint of social and environmental sustainability. I derive inspiration from the media ecology perspective of Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, et al. as well as the cultural environment movement of George Gerbner. (James Carey, Walter Benjamin and Robert McChesney have left indelible marks, too.) Another great theoretical source for me is Slow Food, where I've found a framework for thinking about the influence of media on the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Specialties

Alternative & Activist Media, New Communication Technologies, Media & Social Movements, Popular & Consumer Culture, Media Audiences

Publications

  • Author, “Exploring the Alternative-Mainstream Dialectic: What ‘alternative media’ means to a hybrid audience,” published in Communication, Culture & Critique (2014)
  • Author, “Slow Media as Alternative Media: On the cultural persistence of print and analog forms,” published in “The Routledge Companion to Alternative & Community Media” (2014)
  • Author, “Participation Beyond Production: Possibilities for reception and ritual in the study of activist audiences,” published in “Audience & Interpretation in Media Studies” (2013)
  • Author, “The Origin of Slow Media: Early diffusion of a cultural innovation through popular and press discourse, 2002-2010,” published in Transformations: Journal of Media & Culture (2011)
  • Author, “Superiority and Susceptibility: How Activist Audiences Imagine the Influence of Mainstream News Messages on Self and Others,” published in Discourse & Communication (2010)
  • Author, “Activists as Interpretive Communities: Rituals of consumption and interaction in an alternative media audience,” published in Media, Culture & Society (2007)
  • Co-author, “From Seattle 1999 to New York 2004: A longitudinal analysis of journalistic framing of the movement for democratic globalization,” published in Social Movement Studies (2007)
  • Co-author, “Gender in Crime News: A case study test of the chivalry hypothesis,” published in Mass Communication and Society (2006)
  • Author, “Hands-on communication: Zine circulation rituals & the interactive limitations of Web self-publishing,” published in Popular Communication: International Journal of Media & Culture (2004)
  • Co-author, “Clinging to Tradition, Welcoming Civic Solutions: A survey of college students’ attitudes towards civic journalism,” published in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator (2003)
  • Author, “Rooted in Nations, Blossoming in Globalization? A cultural perspective on the content of a ‘Northern’ mainstream and ‘Southern’ alternative news agency,” published in Journal of Communication Inquiry (2003)

Lectures and Presentations

  • Presenter, “Slow Media as Alternative Media: On Cultural Resistance and the Persistence of Print and Analog Forms,” Annual Meeting, International Communication Association (2014)
  • Presenter, “Power to the People: Spiritual and Nutritional Metaphors in Intentional Media Non-Use,” Symposium on Social Media and Psycho-Social Well-being, Rutgers University (2014)
  • Presenter, "Popular Resistance to Mediatization through Constructive Rituals," Annual Meeting, Eastern Communication Association (2014)
  • Presenter, “Exploring the Alternative-Mainstream Dialectic: What ‘alternative media’ means to a hybrid audience,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2013)
  • Presenter, “Sabbath, Diet, Detox, Fast: New Rituals of Unplugging from Media,” Annual Meeting, Media Ecology Association (2013)
  • Presenter, “Participation Beyond Production: Possibilities for reception and ritual in the study of activist audiences,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2012)
  • Presenter, “Slow Media: Subcultures of media avoidance and resistance,” Annual Meeting, Media Ecology Association (2012)
  • Presenter, “From Digital Overload to Digital Fasts: Balancing the need to stay connected with the need for grounding & reflection,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2012)
  • Presenter, “Activist Media and Technological Convergence,” Annual Meeting, International Communication Association (2009)
  • Presenter, “How News Audiences Spontaneously Display the Third-Person Effect in Naturalistic Conversation: A qualitative look at self-other comparisons,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2008)
  • Presenter, “Do Students at Your College Follow the News? How to foster youths’ understanding of current events, survey methods and their own media consumption,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2007)
  • Presenter, “Activists as Interpretive Communities: Rituals of consumption and interaction in an alternative media audience,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2006)
  • Presenter, “‘If This Were All I Knew…’: How activists play with mainstream news meanings and imagine the mass audience,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2005)
  • Presenter, “Not Necessarily the News: Youth culture, news and popular media discourse,” Annual Meeting, International Communication Association (2005)
  • Presenter, “Gender in Crime Coverage: A case study of a local newspaper,” Annual Meeting, International Communication Association (2004)
  • Presenter, “From the ‘Battle of Seattle’ to the ‘War on Terrorism’: A dynamic approach to framing protests against globalization,” Annual Meeting, International Communication Association (2003)
  • Presenter, “Hands-On Communication: The ritual limitations of Web publishing in the alternative ‘zine’ community,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2002)
  • Presenter, “Clinging to Tradition, Welcoming Civic Solutions: A survey of college students’ attitudes towards civic journalism,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2002)
  • Presenter, “Rooted in Nations, Blossoming in Globalization? A cultural perspective on the content of a ‘Northern’ mainstream and ‘Southern’ alternative news agency,” Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2001)

Honors/Awards

  • Recipient, Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching, Long Island University
  • Recipient, GIFT Scholar Award (Great Ideas for Teachers), Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Recipient, Top Student Paper Award, Civic & Citizen Journalism, Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Recipient, Frances G. Wilhoit Research Paper Award, Indiana University, for “‘Radical, Accurate and Passionate Tellings of the Truth’ Online: The post-Seattle Independent Media Center network in content and context”
  • Recipient, Louise Hess Miller, Mark & Ruth Ferree, Ernie Pyle, Roy Howard, Eugene Pulliam fellowships, Indiana University
  • Recipient, Chancellor's Fellowship, Indiana University
  • Recipient, Sheila Robin Even-Tov Scholarship, Temple University
  • Member, Kappa Tau Alpha, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Member, Phi Kappa Phi, The Pennsylvania State University

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication
  • International Association for Media & Communication Research
  • International Communication Association
  • Media Ecology Association
  • National Communication Association
  • New York State Communication Association
  • Society of Professional Journalists

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