A note from the Chair

By David Scott, Utah Valley University 

As the new Chair of the Religion and Media Interest Group of AEJMC, I would like to offer a hearty welcome to all newcomers and a note to all our members about the value and contributions we can all offer to AEJMC and the academic world as members of this interest group.

The last few years have been especially good for scholars interested in the interplay of religion and media given the run-up to an election year in the United States when religion became a significant component of the discourse about the candidates and U.S. politics. Furthermore, world events across the Middle East and the rise of laws in the European Union that discriminated against Islam in the name of “protecting women’s rights” in recent years gives rise to a need for even more outreach and study of religion, culture, and media in the modern world.

Last summer, we had a particularly good AEJMC meeting in which we were engaged in scholarship that was broad in the scope of religious traditions. Not only that, but we were also had research and panels co-sponsored with other units of AEJMC to extend our influence and knowledge across disciplinary boundaries.

This upcoming year offers another opportunity to grow as a unit and reach out to others in joint academic adventures. I would like to encourage ALL members to reach out to our colleagues in other units and encourage those with similar interests or research agendas to consider joining RMIG if they have not already done so. Finally, I would like to ask all of our members to seriously consider sending their research for the 2013 conference. As our mission statement says, we are: dedicated to the exploration of the intersection of media and religion in our world. We encourage scholarly analysis (both quantitative and qualitative) of this intersection in three areas: (1) religion portrayed in secular media; (2) the manner in which religious institutions and organizations use the media to propagate their message; and (3) the impact of religion and/or religiosity of media consumers and its impact on their media use. I would like to encourage members not only to consider scholarship that addresses a broad range of religious traditions, but also to help us move into the twenty-first century by considering non-traditional media venues as well as social media and the Internet in considering proposals and research for 2013.

David W. Scott, Ph.D.

Chair, RMIG

scottdw@uvu

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