Michelle Ferrier Awarded $1,000 for Media Entrepreneurship Research at Educator Conference

Associate Professor Michelle Ferrier receives one of the first annual industry research forum awards of $1,000 and a plaque from Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, past president of AEJMC on August 11, 2012.

Michelle Ferrier, associate professor of communications, presented on two panels regarding media entrepreneurship curriculum development at the Association of Educators of Journalism and Mass Communications conference in Chicago from Aug. 9-11, 2012.

Ferrier was awarded $1,000 in the first annual Council on Affiliates Industry Research Forum blind paper competition. She presented her paper “Media Entrepreneurship: Curriculum Development and Faculty Perceptions of What Students Should Know and Do” on August 11 which is published on the AEJMC website and will be distributed to industry affiliates such as the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.

For the research, Ferrier interviewed a cohort of international professors who are teaching courses such as “entrepreneurial journalism” and “media entrepreneurship” and discovered the challenges and barriers to the development and implementation of such courses. Professors also shared the objectives of these courses and how they’ve integrated them into existing curricula.

“The media ecosystem is shifting and changing,” Ferrier said. “The intent of these courses isn’t to have every student pursue an entrepreneurial path, but to teach them the art of the hustle. They need to learn how to reinvent themselves and create products and services both within and outside of legacy media organizations.”

In an earlier panel on Aug. 9, Ferrier presented with three professors who have implemented media entrepreneurship concepts into courses. The panelists, including Ferrier, had been part of the inaugural Arizona State University Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute. The presenters discussed the institute experience and how they implemented what they learned in the classroom.

In his keynote speech to the AEJMC educators, Richard Gingras, head of Google News, urged communication educators to teach students the entrepreneurial mindset so that graduates can innovate and create whether they are inside existing media organizations or developing media startups.

“The media landscape is in the process of being completely reformed. We are not in a transformation from one state to another,” he said. “The process of change is not over and in fact will never be over.”