Cynthia Barnett joins the College as a Hearst Visiting Professional, will teach Environmental Journalism course in the Spring

Published: October 29th, 2014

Cynthia Barnett

Cynthia Barnett

Award-winning environmental journalist and author Cynthia Barnett will join the University of Florida for 2015 as a Hearst Visiting Professional, part of the College of Journalism and Communications’ commitment to help students gain and share critical understanding of the environmental challenges of our time, including water and climate change.

Barnett has covered water and climate worldwide, from epic drought in Australia to groundwater depletion in India. She will teach Environmental Journalism and other courses; work hands-on with students to cover environmental issues in Gainesville and globally; and team up across disciplines with UF faculty and students who are working to help improve public understanding of complex environmental issues.

“In a state defined by water and already feeling the impacts of climate change, we want to help our students tell these stories in ways that make a difference,” said Diane McFarlin, Dean of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. “Geography gives the college a natural specialization in water and climate, and Cynthia can help us build it.”

Barnett’s books are known for engaging the public as they balance hard-hitting journalism with forward-thinking solutions. Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. won the gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards and was named by the Tampa Bay Times as one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read. Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis was named by The Boston Globe as one of the top 10 science books of 2011.

The Globe calls Barnett’s voice “part journalist, part mom, part historian, and part optimist.” Her latest book, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, is due out in April from Crown/Random House. She describes it as “drawing new readers to climate change – a topic too many people don’t want to talk about – with the help of the weather, a topic everyone loves to talk about.”

A long-time newspaper and magazine reporter, Barnett is a CoJC alumna who also has a master’s in environmental history from UF and spent a year as a Knight-Wallace Fellow studying water at the University of Michigan. After working with the CoJC professors behind UF’s capstone water-reporting course and frank conference devoted to communications for the social good, she said, “I was so inspired by the direction of the college that I wanted to contribute in the classroom.”


Category: Faculty news

We’re Building an Agency: Construction Begins at 1000 Weimer

Published: October 23rd, 2014

Construction of the new office space for The Agency began last week with a ceremonial demolition event.

On hand were Dean Diane McFarland, Assistant Executive Dean Dr. Spiro Kiousis, Advertising Chair Dr. Tom Kelleher, PR Chair Dr. Juan-Carlos Molleda, The Agency Executive Director Andy Hopson and several students including Assistant to the Executive Director Ryan Baum and Advisors, Ana Gomez, Angelica Marino, Katy Whitehurst and Dena Manos.

“We’ve made significant progress in the past few months,” said Hopson.  “Jobs will be posted soon and we’ll be conducting interviews in early November.”

The Agency, an integrated advertising and PR firm which is slated to launch early in the Spring 2015 semester, will be led by professionals and staffed by students, offering an immersive learning opportunity working with major clients in a real work environment.

Available positions will be posted soon.


Cornell University provost Kent Fuchs is named UF’s next president

Published: October 15th, 2014

Dr. Kent Fuchs

Dr. Kent Fuchs

Dr. Kent Fuchs (pronounced “fox”), provost of Cornell University, was named the 12th president of the University of Florida today by the UF Board of Trustees.

The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2015. Fuchs’ appointment requires ratification by the Florida Board of Governors, which is scheduled to meet on Nov. 5 and 6.

Learn more at →

FPREN Ribbon Cutting

Published: October 7th, 2014

DSC_3965This past Monday, the college celebrated the opening of our Florida Public Radio Emergency Network in the WUFT-FM FPREN Studios on the ground floor of Weimer Hall.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Florida Director of Emergency Management Bryan Koon were our special guests and helped us launch this important network.

The venture, funded by the State of Florida, builds on the long and successful history of Florida’s public radio stations in providing critical information to millions of Floridians and visitors during times of crisis.  FPREN will communicate hurricane, tropical storm and other emergency information statewide through a seamless system of free over-the-air radio, still the single best and most reliable information delivery vehicle. The information is delivered in English and Spanish.

The FPREN StormCenter, under the direction of UF meteorologist Jeff Huffman, is hosted at WUFT-FM/WUFT-TV and is a part the College’s Division of Media Properties.

College launches “Captivate” today on Medium

Published: October 2nd, 2014

Captivate imageUF CJC today launched a new online series called “Captivate: Perspectives on the business and craft of audience engagement.”  The series will include articles from more than 30 leading media executives on the challenges of capturing people’s time and attention and how to use new storytelling and engagement approaches to be successful.  They will include news, advertising, public relations and entertainment perspectives.

The first five articles were posted today on Medium (there’s also a link from our home page).  We’ll be publishing a few each week over the next couple of months, including pieces from Juan-Carols Molleda, Tom Kelleher and Ann Christiano (and open to more from faculty members!).

We hope this series will help increase recognition for UF CJC as a thought leader on audience and engagement.

We would appreciate your efforts in helping us promote this.   Here are a few suggestions:

1)      Retweet and favorite posts from @ufjschool

2)      Send your own Tweet mentioning @ufjschool and some of the authors, e.g.  @Digidave@rishad@rsingel@marklittlenews and @LegacyForHealth, the link ( and a hashtag, e.g. #captivate, #captivateus or #engagement.

3)      “Like” the post from the school’s Facebook page

If you have questions or have an piece you’d like to write, please contact Randy Bennett at


College celebrates the reopening of Studio 3

Published: October 2nd, 2014

Left to right: Randy Wright, David Ostroff, Bill McClancy, Bob Wood, Dean McFarlin, Houston Wells and Quenta Vettel

Left to right: Randy Wright, David Ostroff, Bill McClancy, Bob Wood, Dean McFarlin, Houston Wells and Quenta Vettel

On Tuesday, Sept. 30 the College and Media Properties celebrated the reopening of Studio 3 with a ribbon cutting.

Special kudos go to Bob Wood, Bill McClancy and Brad Noblitt for on their work on the renovation. This is a great addition to the College and Media Properties, and will provide added opportunities for our students. Congratulations!

New book features chapter on multimedia journalism by Mindy McAdams

Published: October 2nd, 2014

Mindy's book coverCongratulations to Mindy McAdams – she has written a chapter on Multimedia Journalism for a new book “Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices.” The book is edited by Lawrie Zion, associate professor, La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and David Craig, a professor and associate dean at the University of Oklahoma.

In the book, a team of internationally diverse authors explored emerging best practices in journalism, ranging from transparency and verification to aggregation, collaboration, live blogging, tweeting and the challenges of digital narratives.

Mindy has been studying the evolution of multimedia journalism for 15 years, since the earliest stories built with Adobe Flash appeared on the Web. She is the author of “Flash Journalism: How to Create Multimedia News Packages,” published in 2005.

Find details on the new book at: “Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices.

Category: Faculty news

College Presents Inaugural Award in Investigative Data Journalism

Published: September 29th, 2014

DSC_3056Minnesota Public Radio’s coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse by the clergy in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s reporting on delays in hospital screening of newborns won the inaugural “University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism” at the Online News Association’s 2014 Online Journalism Awards banquet, Saturday night in Chicago.

The award, established this year by the UF College of Journalism and Communications, was presented in two categories – Small/Medium and Large. They recognize the growing importance of digital and data journalism and honor high-impact data journalism that is exceptionally well presented.

Read More

Clay Calvert interviews Hustler magazine’s Larry Flynt about 1st Amendment

Published: September 25th, 2014

Larry Flynt and Clay Calvert

Clay Calvert (standing) with Larry Flynt in Flynt’s office in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Steve Johnson.)

Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication Clay Calvert interviews Hustler magazine publisher and 1st Amendment champion Larry Flynt on the occasion of Hustler‘s 40th anniversary in a video published by The Newseum Institute. The video is produced by Steve Johnson.

Read more and watch the video →

Category: Faculty news

Juan-Carlos Molleda keynote speaker at international colloquium

Published: September 24th, 2014

MolledaJuan-Carlos Molleda was the keynote speaker of the opening plenary at the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management’s (GA) Research Colloquium on Sunday, Sept. 21, in Madrid, Spain.

The Global Alliance started its operations in 2002.  It is the world’s largest confederation with a secretariat in Lugano, Switzerland, that represents, unites, provides development resources, ands advocates for national and regional professional associations and institutional members of the public relations and corporate communication field.

The name of his keynote address was “What can professionals and scholars learn from each other?” He is also the chair of the Colloquium session “Developing conversations in a globalized world.”

He discussed the virtues of comparative research and how communication technologies are allowing academics and professionals to work together on conducting multinational studies and contributing to the body of knowledge and strategic practices, and explained methodological challenges and theoretical contributions for an evolving and expanding global profession and area of study.

Juan-Carlos also acted as chair of the professional session “Values” at the 8th GA World Public Relations Forum.  The confederation of the world’s public relations and communication professional associations and institutions hosts this event every two years.  The host association is Dircom, the Spanish Association of Communication Directors.

At the Global Alliance’s Research Colloquium and World Public Relations Forum in 2012, delegates from 30 countries agreed on a vision of the communicative organization with three key roles for public relations and communication: The definition of organizational character and values; the creation of cultures of listening and engagement; and the instilling of responsibility in all its dimensions – individual, professional, organizational and societal.

This year, delegates representing 62 countries in the 2014 Forum in Madrid continue this conversation on the gathering theme: “Communication with conscience.”

The outcome of the 2014 Forum centers on the key principles of communicative leadership: How can communication help organizations become leading actors? How can public relations and communication professionals play leading roles in this transformation? What personal journeys have leading communicators had to get them to leadership roles?

Category: Faculty news