As always, we had a terrific group of graduate students finishing up their master’s theses this year including from left Joselyn Arroyo, Stephanie Stassel, and Ashlea Tate.
Joseyln’s master’s project was a radio documentary about the increasing number of California students who are here without papers – oftentimes brought into the country as infants or toddlers who grow up with no idea that they are not legal residents.
Stephanie conducted a study of California community college journalism programs and discovered a lack of emphasis on ethics; as part of her project she created a model course on journalism ethics for the community college level.
Ashlea researched an understudied area – travel journalism – focusing specifically on travel writing about the Middle East and Africa pre- and post-911.
Other graduate students who earned their MAs included Stephan Robley, who won the department’s thesis of the year with his narrative analysis of news coverage of the 311 boys, a so-called gang of teens in Las Vegas, whom local news outlets demonized. Walter Hammerwold studied the impact of the internet on the peace movement’s media practices. Kelly Wilkinson assessed the New York Times’ portrayals of US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and Liz Ohanesian conducted oral histories with former KROQ DJs.
Update: Former student Liz Ohanesian mentioned above has been freelancing a good bit for the LA Weekly. Her write-up of the band, Dengue Fever, which included some background on the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, is the kind of pop culture writing the world could use more of.