School of Journalism Celebrates "National News Engagement Day" Oct. 7

AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 6, 2014 – The School of Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication will celebrate "National News Engagement Day," which the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) will sponsor on Tuesday, Oct. 7. Broadcast journalism students will interview fellow students and faculty in the Belo Center for New Media and Jesse H. Jones Communication Center to learn how they engage with news.

"We believe the interviews our journalism students will conduct on Tuesday can provide important archival material – video evidence, stored in the cloud, of how we all engage with the news in 2014," said R.B. Brenner, director of the School of Journalism. "In this centennial year of the School of Journalism, it's fascinating to wonder what the video interviews will tell viewers about our society when they are watched 25, 50 or 75 years from now. How will news engagement change in the coming decades? Will the relentless march of technology make us more or less informed?"

WHEN: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7

WHERE: Outside the Belo Center for New Media, 300 W. Dean Keeton St.; and Jesse H. Jones Communication Center, 2504 Whitis Ave.

BACKGROUND: On Oct. 7, everyone is encouraged to read, watch, like, tweet, post, text, email, listen to or comment on news. Universities, organizations and media in at least 42 states, the District of Columbia and six countries have pledged to engage with news. For more information, visit To engage in National News Engagement Day use #newsengagementday and follow @newsengagement. News engagement activities and events can be shared on the National News Engagement Day – Activities Board on Pinterest.

NBC Network News Anchor Brian Williams has promoted the day, saying it "offers a special occasion to lift up and celebrate the value of news." Williams says the goal of encouraging "everybody to engage with news from reading and watching to tweeting and discussing is vitally important, especially for young people. The Pew Research Center finds that news isn't even in the lives of almost a third of young adults, that they are essentially growing up news-free."

Paula Poindexter, associate professor at the School of Journalism, created National News Engagement Day as one of her initiatives as the 2013-2014 president of AEJMC, an association of over 3,700 journalism and communication educators, media professionals and graduate students. The new AEJMC Poll on Public Attitudes Toward the Press, which Poindexter conducted for National News Engagement Day, helps explain why a day to focus on engaging with news is more important than ever. Only 57 percent of adults get news daily and that number drops to 44 percent for people who actually seek out news. Furthermore, the poll found only 35 percent were raised to believe being informed is important and less than one-fifth (19 percent) felt empowered by being informed.

The School of Journalism is commemorating its centennial year with celebrations of legendary alumni – including 30 Pulitzer Prize winners – a digitally transformed undergraduate curriculum, a nationally recognized graduate program and the state-of-the-art Belo Center for New Media.

About The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication

One of the nation's foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students, the Moody College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. For more information about the Moody College, visit


Contacts: Laura Byerley, (512) 471-2182; Paula Poindexter, (512) 695-6879

Laura Byerley
Public Affairs Representative