Shemberger presents talks on media history

Dr. Melony Shemberger, associate professor of journalism and mass communications at Murray State, presented two pieces of journalism history research in early August at the Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication’s national conference in Washington, D.C.

Her paper, “Southern Education Report: An Examination of a Magazine’s Contribution to Education News in the Civil Rights Era,” was accepted as a poster presentation in the organization’s history division.

She also took part in a history research panel at the conference about the role of press in the struggle for suffrage. Her paper, “Writing Woman Suffrage: Tennessee Hometown Newspapers on the Vote for Women,” is part of a book that will be published in time for the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women in the U.S. the right to vote. Highlights from the paper were shared in a panel featuring the book’s contributors at the Ohio Valley History Conference in late October at the University of Tennessee–Martin.

In continuing her focus on suffrage, Shemberger presented research in progress about suffrage press superintendent work in Kentucky at the American Journalism Historians Association’s national conference in early October in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Additionally, Shemberger was invited to present a paper at the inaugural Roy W. Howard Symposium at Indiana University in Bloomington about her research “‘More Distinctive and More Revolutionary’: An Examination of the 1914 Model of War Correspondent,” which focuses on how Howard, one half of the Scripps-Howard media empire, developed a tactic that encouraged correspondents with the United Press wire service to circumvent censorship and restrictions during World War I and broke exclusive wartime news coverage.

Shemberger is listed on the 2018-19 roster of the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau with two media talks available. One is about Dorothy Dix, the early 20th-century journalist born in Montgomery County, Tennessee, known for her advice columns and court reporting — the latter of which being the subject of Shemberger’s presentation. Her second talk explores the library bookmobile as an American icon.

Journalism and media history are among Shemberger’s top research interests. At Murray State, she teaches the graduate course American Media History and a section of the undergraduate course Contemporary