Western States Communication Association (WSCA) Convention, February 13-17, 2009 featured a panel on "Metaphorical Images of War: Weaving Perspectives of History, Gender and Popular Culture" chaired by IJPC Associate David Natharius, adjunct professor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University. The panel explored three diverse sources of images about war and the women and men war journalists who create the enduring stories of war. Carol Schwalbe and Bill Silcock of Arizona State University presented "War Images Past and Present: A Brief History of Controversial Images from the American Civil War to Iraq"; IJPC Director Joe Saltzman from USC Annenberg discussed"Depiction of the War Journalist in Movies and Television from the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (IJPC) Project," a presentation that will include a video; Sammye Johnson, Trinity University and co-founding editor of The IJPC Journal, shared her research on "The Female War Journalist in Popular Novels: Glamour, Grit and Guts."
Carl Schwalbe and Bill Slcock of Arizona State University presented "War Images Past and Present: A Brief History of Controversial Images from the American Civil War to Iraq," a look at the historical and ethical flash points as visual journalists covering humankind's most menacing act -- war. In recent years, our 24/7 news-hungry society has witnessed a proliferation of tragic and violent images, especially during wartime. But photography and conflict have kept company since the mid-19th century, when the British government sent photographer Roger Fenton to chronicle war in the Crimea, and Matthew Brady and other Civil War photographers snapped stark black-and-white images of fields of dead soldiers. Photos shot during World War I also depicted the corpse-strewn trenches and gutted villages of war's aftermath. During the early years of World War II, the U.S. government restricted publication of gory photographs that could be used as propaganda against the war effort. But it was television that eventually eclipsed still photography as the primary medium for showing battles and massacres, which continue to be a staple of war footage. The Iraq War is the first U.S. war covered on the Internet and the first to provide steady, real-time coverage by embedded photographers with high-resolution digital equipment. Beyond the battlefield, raw images from Abu Ghraib forced Americans to confront torture inflicted by their own troops.
Joe Saltzman of USC Annenberg spoke on the "Depiction of the War Journalist in Movies and Television from the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (IJPC) Project." This presentation focuses on a segment of the IJPC Project that looks at depictions of the war journalist/correspondent. The undisputed journalist hero is the war correspondent. During the 1940s, the war correspondent became a national folk hero. Popular actors couldn't wait to play the glamorous overseas war reporter who would save the day, his loved one and his country in less than two hours. They were where the action was and a whole nation held its breath while they risked their lives overseas to get the story back to the home front. Issues of distorting the truth in times of war and censorship were sometimes touched upon in the movies, but when bullets were flying and lives were in jeopardy, those were nuances the American movie makers and the American movie-goers weren't much interested in. Many war correspondents died on the battlefield while trying to get a story out of enemy territory. With Iraq in the daily news headlines and no end in sight, this topic seems more timely than ever.
Sammye Johnson of Trinity University discussed "The Female War Journalist in Popular Novels: Glamour, Grit and Guts." Only a handful of studies have focused on the depiction of the war correspondent in popular culture, with most of them analyzing movies and TV shows with male journalists as the protagonists. No research has looked at how female war correspondents are depicted in popular fiction. This presentation is the first stage of a large project studying the portrayal of female war journalists in 39 popular novels published from 1990 through 2006. Ten characteristics developed from research about the image of the journalist in popular culture are applied to Danielle Steel's bestselling Message from Nam, which takes place in Vietnam during the late 1960s and early 1970s and features a gorgeous, gutsy, idealistic war journalist as the heroine.
February 13-17, 2009 presented a three-hour workshop for teachers on Saturday, February 14, held by David Natharius, adjunct professor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University, and IJPC Director Joe Saltzman from USC Annenberg called "Using the IJPC Project in the Classroom: Creating Your Own Course or Course Segment from Resources of the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture." Workshop Description: The use of video clips and scenes from movies and TV in the classroom has become a primary teaching tool in a large number of communication courses, including interpersonal and small group communication, mass communication, media studies, organizational communication, film studies, public relations, visual communication, political communication, public address, and communication theories.
In this workshop, communication instructors and scholars will be given an introduction to the IJPC database with an unlimited selection of potential visual resources from film, video, and TV and the exclusive IJPC Videos with which to create their own courses or course segments utilizing video clips to illustrate communication principles and processes. Instructors will also have the opportunity of identifying the videos they want to use to design their specific course or course segments.
Guest Speaker Joe Saltzman, IJPC Director, discussed "Hollywood and the News: The Image of the Journalist in Movies and Television in the 20th Century" at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. The two-hour presentation included two 35-minute videos, "Hollywood and the News" and "The Image of the Broadcast Journalist in Movies and Television."