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Two professors from Old Dominion University's communication and theatre arts department, Jeffrey Jones and Gary Edgerton, were invited to speak at recent conferences in recognition of their expertise in the field of communication studies.

Jones, associate professor of communication and theatre arts, was a panelist at the Peabody/Loyless Seminar Thursday, Oct. 18, on the University of Georgia campus in Athens. Sponsored by the George Foster Peabody Awards and funded by the Donald Loyless Fund, the seminar brought together scholars from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern University and Old Dominion University, and TV critics from the New York Daily News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the St. Petersburg Times to discuss issues facing television and its consumers in a time of rapid technological change, industrial reorganization and developments in media policies. The panel's observations and suggestions will be compiled in a "State of Television 2007" report to be published by the Peabody Awards.

Reflecting on the experience, Jones noted that "it was an invigorating discussion, one in which we all realized that truly fundamental changes are occurring in the relationship that exists between the television industry and audiences - changes that will be played out for quite some time to come."

The Peabody Awards, established in 1940 and administered by UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, are the oldest honor in television and radio. Today the Peabody recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by TV and radio stations, networks, producing organizations, individuals and the World Wide Web.

Edgerton, professor and chair of communication and theatre arts, was the distinguished achievement speaker for his new book, "The Columbia History of American Television," at the annual Conference of the Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Sciences (VACAS) Friday, Oct. 19, at Regent University in Virginia Beach. VACAS is the primary Virginia state organization for scholars and educators in the communication discipline.

Edgerton delivered the plenary address, "Television and the Remaking of American Life." His recently published book follows the technological developments and increasing cultural relevance of television from the 1940s to today, concluding with a look at the new forms of instantaneous communication that continue to change America's social, political and economic landscape.

"I am very grateful to the members of VACAS for this recognition of my new book and for the opportunity to speak to them about it," said Edgerton. "The discussion afterwards cut across three generations of participants, many of whom talked about the various ways they use TV, how it has affected them as individuals, and how it remains such a large part of their daily lives along with the Internet."

This article was posted on: October 22, 2007

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