Council amends standards language
to address industry changes,
growing international interest

The rapidly changing industry and expanding global society were the focus of
the Council meeting Aug. 28 in Chicago, resulting in several revisions to standards language. The keynote presentation and a panel discussion also addressed pertinent issues of change in the industry and how educators and the Council can adapt to meet these needs.

In response to growing need for online knowledge and competency in the industry, the Council approved a recommendation, placing greater emphasis on “current” in standards language. Collectively, the standards and supporting indicators direct programs to keep up-to-date with technological change and professional practice and authorize site teams to hold programs accountable for doing so. The emphasis applies to all programs undergoing self-studies during the 2009-10 year and thereafter. President Peter Bhatia said the subject should be continued in future discussions to keep the Council relevant in today’s changing environment.

Following considerable discussion, the Council also approved an addition to the Professional Values and Competencies (now totaling 12) and several standards language amendments intended to guide accreditation decisions of programs operating within unique cultural, social or religious parameters. The actions were in response to concerns raised last spring by executive director Susanne Shaw on how to respond to increasing inquiries from international programs and by the Accrediting Committee in seeking clearer guidance in judging domestic programs within unique environments. At the May Council meeting, Bhatia appointed Doug Anderson to chair the International Program Committee and gave the committee the task of addressing these issues through standards language revisions.

In presenting the proposed amendments to the Council, Anderson said other U.S.-based accrediting programs had found ways to meet the international challenge. The Council wrestled with how to embrace an international society while preserving its commitment to freedoms of speech and gender equality. Some members saw expansion into international markets as a way to help spread awareness of freedoms of speech practices. There also was some concern that domestic programs would use the language revisions as a way to get around domestic diversity. Bhatia assured Council members that programs clearly outside the bounds of good practice would not be accredited.

Friendly amendments were made to several of the proposals before their approval. The revisions will be in the 2010-11 guidebook and apply to programs completing the self-study in 2010-11 and thereafter.

Medill School of Journalism Dean John Lavine told the Council that the rapidly changing industry is an exciting time for journalism with enormous opportunities.

Changing industry presents new opportunities

While there’s been a great deal of attention given to the difficult times in the current media industry, John Lavine presented a different take during his keynote presentation. “Yes, this is a time of crisis, but I can’t think of a more exciting time for journalism and mass communication,’’ said Lavine, who is dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Lavine said it was a time of enormous opportunity for both educators and graduates.

He presented ideas on how changes in content, platform and staffing could be advantageous for today’s journalists and he offered ideas for educators on how to rethink and better prepare students for the changing environment.

The afternoon panel discussion focused on the media’s changing landscape. Topics included what employers are looking for in today’s graduates and how educators can equip students to be more marketable in the changing industry. The roles of ethics, social media, team production and emerging technology were also discussed at length.

Panel image

Above: A panel of industry professionals provided insight into what employers are looking for in today's hires. Participating in the panel, from left: Jeff Cohen, executive vice president and editor of The Houston Chronicle; Steve Buttry, innovative coach for Gazette Communications’ Complete Community Connection; Barbara Cochran, president emeritus of the Radio-Television Digital News Association; Ron Culp, Ketchum partner and managing director of Midwest operations; Mark Potts, CEO of; and Tim McGuire, Frank Russell Chair for the business of journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University, who served as facilitator.

Meetings materials available online
Revised Standards language can be viewed on the ACEJMC Web site at

John Lavine’s keynote presentation is available at
and on the ACEJMC Web site at

The panel discussion is available on the ACEJMC Web site at

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Appeals Board appointed

Loy Singleton, dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama, was named chair of the Appeals Board by Council President Peter Bhatia. Others appointed to the Appeals Board by Bhatia include Peggy Kuhr and Gary Corbitt. Kuhr is dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Montana. Corbitt is research director for WJXT-TV/Post Newsweek Stations.

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RTDNA name change approved

The Radio Television News Directors Association has changed its name to the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). The change took effect Oct. 13. The association says it will continue to lead in areas of ethics, training and advocacy, but it will change how it approaches news coverage and how it represents the industry. More information on the association and the name change can be found on the association’s Web site at

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Meetings calendar

Accrediting Committee
March 13-14, 2010
Westin Hotel on Michigan Avenue
Hotel information will be sent in January


Accrediting Council
April 30 – May 1, 2010
Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel
801 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, Va.
Hotel information will be sent in March


Vol. 16 #3, Oct. 2009



Schools working
on the self-study:


-- Before Nov. 2, submit CEO’s letter of invitation to ACEJMC executive director.

-- Before Nov. 2, return the Enrollment and Credit Hour Information and preferred dates sheets to ACEJMC executive director.

-- Receive from ACEJMC the date of 2010-2011 site visit and due date for self-study.
-- Schedule exit interview with CEO and team in the morning on the last day of visit.

Schools hosting
site visits:

-- Provide detailed visit schedule for site team no later than 30 days before the visit.

-- Payment due two weeks before visit for the 80 percent invoice of estimated cost of the visit.
-- Set up visit team’s work room; updated general information should be ready for the team’s arrival.
-- Within 3 weeks after the visit, submit a response to the team chair regarding errors of factual information or interpretation (if any) in the team report.
-- Final report received from site team within three weeks of visit.
-- Optional response to visit report recommendation; submit in writing on unit letterhead to ACEJMC executive director.


Newsletter of the Accrediting Council on Education
Journalism and Mass Communications

Vol. 16, No. 3, October 2009

President, Accrediting Council
Peter Bhatia
Executive Editor, The Oregonian
1320 S.W. Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 221-8393
Fax (503) 294-5012

Vice President, Accrediting Council
Doug Anderson
Dean, College of Communications
201 Carnegie Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-1484
Fax (814)863-8044

Chair, Accrediting Committee
Carla Lloyd
Professor, School of Public Communications
Syracuse University
215 University Place
Syracuse, NY 13244-2100
(315) 443-2305
Fax (315) 443-3946

Vice Chair, Accrediting Committee
Will Norton
Dean, Edwin and Becy Meek School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Fax: (662) 915-7765

Executive Director
Susanne Shaw
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-3986

Assistant to the Executive Director
Cindy Reinardy
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-7640

Office Staff
Cheryl Klug
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-3973

Council Web site: