UT Faculty Member Interviews Jimmy Carter for Upcoming Book

roessner-carterAmber Roessner, an assistant professor of journalism and electronic media, interviewed former President Jimmy Carter last week at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

The interview was for Roessner’s second book, tentatively titled Jimmy Who: Jimmy Carter and the Practice of Presidential Press and Promotion in the First Post-Watergate Election, due to be published by LSU Press in 2017.

“President Carter was so gracious to share his valuable time for an interview with me,” Roessner said. “We had the opportunity to discuss communication strategies employed during the 1976 campaign, including his successful use of cinema verite-style advertisements and radio actuality services, and subsequent media coverage.

“He also shared his perspective on why public perceptions shifted about his abilities as a mass communicator during the course of his presidency.”

Roessner said the interview was one of more than twenty-five self-conducted oral histories and long-form interviews scheduled for the book.

A sportswriter and magazine editor in Georgia before turning to academia, Roessner is an expert in the history of mass communication.

Roessner recently received American Journalism‘s Rising Scholar Award at the American Journalism Historians Association’s Annual Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, earlier this month. The award carries $2,000 in research funding that she will use to continue archival and oral history research for her book about Carter.

Also at the conference, Roessner received an honorable mention for the Maurine Beasley Award for the outstanding paper on women’s history. Co-authored with College of Communication and Information alumna Jodi Rightler-McDaniels and graduate student Shiela Hawkins, the paper was entitled “Forgetting the ‘Mother’ of Social Justice: Cultural Amnesia Surrounding Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s Women’s Rights Crusade.”

“This research was conducted on behalf of the Ida Initiative, an experiential learning project designed to help students in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media put their knowledge of the history of mass communication and their journalism skills to good use while chronicling the multifaceted story of Ida B. Wells-Barnett,” Roessner said.

On behalf of the Ida Initiative, JEM will host Ida B. & Beyond, a daylong conference featuring keynote speaker Mia Bay of Rutgers University, in Knoxville on March 26, 2015. The event will be held in conjunction with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s fortieth annual Southeast Colloquium. For more about the Ida Initiative and the Ida B. & Beyond conference, see theidainitiative.wordpress.com.