AEJMC Gene Burd Award Winners Announced

Jiwon Kim and Ariadne A. Gonzalez, faculty members at Texas A&M International University, are the recipients of AEJMC’s $2,000 Gene Burd Award for Research in Urban Journalism Studies. Their research project is titled “LaGordiloca’s Live-Streaming on the Streets of Laredo: Social Media and Urban Journalism on the U.S.-Mexico Border.” The purpose of this new, annual grant is “to stimulate research that explains, enlightens, inspires, and improves the practice and study of journalism and communication, in order to advance our understanding of journalism in urban environments.”

The award, which honors Gene Burd, professor emeritus of Journalism at the University of Texas and a pioneer in urban journalism studies, is jointly sponsored by AEJMC and the Urban Communication Foundation (UCF).

The Kim-Gonzalez project will explore the current status of border-city journalism through a case study of Priscilla Villareal, the controversial citizen journalist in Laredo, Texas, known as “LaGordiloca.” The scholars intend to examine new forms of urban citizen journalism – focusing on controversial, uncensored, social-media formats – and to explain how journalism functions in border cities. They will present preliminary findings and analysis during the session sponsored by the Urban Communication Foundation at next summer’s AEJMC conference in Toronto.
A three-member panel of judges, representing AEJMC and UCF, made the award. The judges praised the overall quality of this year’s entries. “Many of the submissions were excellent,” one judge stated. “However, the winning proposal was distinctive in its timeliness, its creativity and its commitment to shedding light on communication dynamics in border cities.”
The full call for the program will be issued in mid-2019. For the grant’s second year, research proposals will be due on or before Oct. 18, 2019. The grantee, who will be selected in December 2019, will present preliminary research results at the AEJMC conference in San Francisco in August 2020.