Recovering the Midwestern Ethos of Journalism Research

Jane Yeahin Pyo, Nikki Usher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is a reminder that practice and theory have gone hand in hand since the beginning of professional journalism. However, this history and this partnership have been lost somewhat, particularly when it comes to PhD research. By calling back to the land-grant mission at the universities home to the first schools of journalism in the United States (the University of Missouri, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin), the chapter recalls how the focus on skills and on understanding mass communication was aligned with the mission of journalism education. The chapter examines the founding of the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois and its PhD program that focused on applied journalism and mass communication research, explaining the role of legendary journalism scholar James Carey in recentering (and decentering) the tension between practice and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJournalism Research that Matters
EditorsValérie Bélair-Gagnon, Nikki Usher
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780197538470
ISBN (Print)9780197538487
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Communication research
  • James carey
  • Journalism
  • Journalism degree
  • Land-grant universities
  • Media history
  • Research-practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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