Category: TCF News & Notes

Chair of JCM Department Named: Cory Armstrong

Cory Armstrong, professor and director of the Mayborn School of Journalism, at the University of North Texas, has accepted the position of chair of UA’s newly merged Department of Journalism and Creative Media.

She will begin her appointment July 15, 2016.

According to her UNT faculty information page:

“Armstrong is the editor of the book Media Disparity: A Gender Battleground, and her research has focused on race, gender, class and media. Armstrong participated in the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy and is active in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, where she serves on the Standing Committee on Research.

She is associate editor for Mass Communication & Society, is on the Newspaper Research Journal editorial board and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

She earned her Ph.D. in mass communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

Job Opening: Chair of Merged TCF and Journalism Departments

Position Summary:

Oversee the administration of a merged Telecommunication/Film and Journalism department. Teach undergraduate and graduate students and conduct a scholarly research program. Expected starting date: 16 August 2016.


The College of Communication and Information Sciences at The University of Alabama seeks a chair to oversee the administration of a merged Journalism and Telecommunication/Film department. The new chair will have the opportunity to help shape this newly created unit, which includes 32 full-time faculty members teaching some 900 undergraduate and graduate students in a media and mass communication curriculum. The department has a faculty of eminent teachers, scholars and artists with national and international reputations.

The department, one of four academic units in the College, includes degree programs in the journalism and telecommunication/film areas. Courses are offered in broadcast, print and digital news, sports media, television and cinema, documentary film, media production and media management. Media criticism, history, law and ethics also are integral parts of the curriculum.

The department offers a Master of Arts in telecommunication and film and a Master of Arts in journalism. Both provide scholarly and professional training to full- and part-time students. Departmental faculty holding the Ph.D. also have the opportunity to teach in the College of Communication and Information Sciences doctoral program, with specialty areas in mass communication; library and information sciences; and critical, cultural and rhetorical studies.

The Department works closely with other units in the College, including media facilities in the College’s new 50,000 square foot Digital Media Center, home to the Center for Public Television, Alabama Public Radio, and WVUA 23, a full-power commercial television station serving a top-50 television market.


A Ph.D. in communication or a closely related field is required. Candidates should be at the professor or senior associate professor rank, and should have the academic credentials and professional reputation that warrant a senior-level appointment at a major research institution. Candidates should have a distinguished record of research, college-level administrative experience, evidence of teaching excellence, and professional experience. The search is open with respect to subfield specialization. The successful candidate would be appointed to the permanent faculty and would serve as chair for an initial term of three years.

The chair directs the teaching, research, creative activity and service efforts for a department with scholars in media effects, media arts, critical-cultural studies, identity studies, history, law and ethics, media sociology, media management and audience analysis. For fall 2016, we seek a leader who understands and shares our department’s mission to develop critically thoughtful media practitioners and citizens who can communicate credibly and creatively in an ever-changing media environment. The successful candidate will be a scholar who values innovation, creativity, rigorous inquiry, collegiality, and diversity, and who will contribute to the department’s research/creative activity profile beyond her or his term as chair. The successful candidate will have a strong commitment to collaborative decision-making and faculty governance.


Salary will be competitive and commensurate with credentials and experience.

The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama is the state’s flagship public university and offers the full course of academic programs and social life to its approximately 37,000 students. It is located in Tuscaloosa, which has a metropolitan population of more than 115,000 and offers excellent quality of life with many cultural and outdoor activities, as well as a very reasonable cost of living. Tuscaloosa is a morning’s drive from the Smoky Mountains, Gulf Coast beaches, New Orleans, Nashville, and Atlanta.

Candidates must apply online at and must attach a cover letter and CV that includes a list of three references with phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Please refer to the online instructions for applicants. Candidates selected for interview will be required to submit a disclosure and consent form authorizing a background investigation. Review of applications will begin in November 2015 and will continue until the position is filled. Questions may be directed to the co-chairs of the search committee: Dr. William Evans at or Dr. Wilson Lowrey at

The University of Alabama is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

UA EEO Statement

The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status, and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants to and employees of this institution are protected under Federal law from discrimination on several bases. Follow the link below to find out more.

“EEO is the Law”

Application Process

Applications must be submitted online:

New Publications by Kim

TCF faculty member Yonghwan Kim is author or co-author of three new publications in peer-reviewed journals:

Kim, Y. (2015). Does disagreement mitigate polarization? How selective exposure and disagreement affect political polarization. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. Advance OnlineFirst Publication. doi:10.1177/1077699015596328

Lee, N. Y., Kim, Y., & Kim, J. (2015). Tweeting public affairs or personal affairs? Journalists’ tweets, interactivity, and ideology. Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism. Advance OnlineFirst Publication. doi:10.1177/1464884915585954

Kim, Y. & Chen, H. (2015). Discussion network heterogeneity matters: Examining a moderated mediation model of social media use and civic engagement. International Journal of Communication, 9, 2344-2365.

TCF Students Selected by Television Academy Foundation

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama was one of only two schools in the nation with multiple students who earned internships in 2015 through the Television Academy Foundation’s highly competitive internship program.

Telecommunication and film majors Tanner Robbins, of Hoover, Dillon Owen, of Moulton, and Christina Irion, of Spanish Fort, were selected for the prestigious program.

Christina Irion, Dillon Owen and Tanner Robbins
Christina Irion, Dillon Owen and Tanner Robbins

The Television Academy Foundation, the charitable arm of the Television Academy which annually presents the Primetime Emmy Awards, identifies talented students from across the country and provides opportunities to work with the most reputable companies in the industry, across more than 30 disciplines.

The chosen students will spend the summer in Los Angeles as part of a UA course called TCF in L.A., offered in the College of Communication and Information Sciences.

TCF in L.A. was developed by Dr. Rachel Raimist, who teaches the course in California each year.

“I hope to learn what it’s like to be a real cinematographer,” said Robbins, who will be mentored by American Horror Story cinematographer Michael Goi during his internship. “I want to see how preproduction, production and postproduction actually work for a professional DP (director of photography) and what kind of pressures are put on them.”

Owen will be working for Revelations Entertainment, a production company co-owned by superstar actor Morgan Freeman. His work will involve a variety of administrative and production-related tasks, including researching site locations and reading scripts.

“I hope to gain knowledge that is far greater than what I can receive in a traditional classroom,” Owen said. “I want to know how a production company is run, how to network and make lasting connections that will benefit me for the rest of my life and to gain more experience in the postproduction side of things, whether it’s in the editorial process or marketing aspect of pushing a product and getting it noticed before its release.”

Irion will intern with the Wolper Organization, based in the backlot at Warner Bros. She was part of the TCF in L.A. class during summer 2014 and returned in 2015 for the internship.

“I am a television development intern for scripted television,” Irion said. “I will be sitting in on conference calls for television shows in preproduction, pitches for new shows, and meetings on shows that the company is developing now. It’s very exciting to see a show built from the ground up and what it takes to get it off the ground.”

Robbins said being able to add such an internship to his resume should give him a huge leg up when applying for future jobs.

“The Television Academy Foundation’s internships mean something in this industry,” Robbins said. “Not only will I have that recognition on my resume, but I will have experience that not many other people my age can say that they’ve had.”

Applications for the 2016 Internship Program will open next spring at

About the Television Academy Foundation 

Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future. Through renowned educational and outreach programs such as the Archive of American Television, College Television Awards and Student Internship Program the Foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices our industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society. For more information on the Foundation, please visit

Andy Billings’ research on media and global sports events

Another week, another batch of publications co-authored by TCF faculty member Andrew Billings, continuing Dr. Billing’s research program related to media and global sports events. Both articles had been published online in advance of print, but are now issued in print.

Billings, A. C., Brown, K. A., & Devlin, N. B. (2015). Sports draped in the American flag: Impact of the 2014 Winter Olympic telecast on nationalized attitudes. Mass Communication & Society, 18(4), 377-398.

Billings, A. C., Burch, L. M, & Zimmerman, M. H. (2015). Fragments of us, fragments of them: Social media, nationality, and U.S. perceptions of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Soccer & Society, 16(5-6), 726-744.

Kristen Warner’s book, on the politics of TV casting, is released

TCF faculty member Kristen Warner is the author of The Cultural Politics of Colorblind TV Casting, now available from Routledge. As the Routledge promotional material notes: “This book fills a significant gap in the critical conversation on race in media by extending interrogations of racial colorblindness in American television to the industrial practices that shape what we see on screen.”

Warner, K. J. (2015). The cultural politics of colorblind TV casting. New York: Routledge.

TCF Senior’s Film Selected for Screening at Cannes Film Festival

University of Alabama telecommunication and film student Michael Thomas will enjoy an international spotlight when his short film “Traces” screens at the Cannes Film Festival this summer.

Thomas, a senior from Birmingham, originally created the film for UA’s Campus MovieFest, where it won a Jury Award. The film tells the story of a young boy searching for his mother after a storm.

“My passion is cinematography,” Thomas said. “I love visuals, painting with light, conveying a story through imagery. I love directing, but my passion is cinematography.”

Dr. Rachel Raimist, an assistant professor of telecommunication and film, said Thomas’s inclusion at Cannes was well deserved. Her children Joseph and Tiana also appeared in the short film.

“Michael shows extraordinary passion, focus and dedication to learning his craft,” Raimist said. “He has taken advantage of many of the opportunities as a TCF student and has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Other crew members included Anna Marie Odom (human development, Huntsville), composer; Tanner Lee Robbins (telecommunication and film, Birmingham), gaffer; Stephen Thomason (telecommunication and film, Savannah, Ga.), gaffer; Anthony Baroody (mechanical engineering, Birmingham), gaffer; Lauren Rossi (telecommunication and film and theater, Coral Springs, Fla.), production designer; Andrew Sbrissa (marketing, Birmingham), gaffer; Katie Tygielski (telecommunication and film, Madison), gaffer; Patrick Maddox (telecommunication and film, Birmingham), composer; Austin Glenn Woods (music education/instrumental music, Florence), composer; Michael Ciulla (accounting, Birmingham), actor; Paula DiBenedetto (music therapy, Hoover), actor; Emily Higginbotham (dance, Laurel, Miss.), actor; Rachael Galbreath (communication studies, Birmingham), actor; and Tiana Raimist-Carter (pre-major studies, Northport), actor.

Thomas plans to pursue his Master of Fine Arts at UCLA after graduating from UA in May.