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News & Press: Conventions

Recognition for Sharon Downey, Outgoing WJC Editor

Tuesday, February 20, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christina Yoshimura
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By Joan McAlister, Publications Committee Chair

Our profession could not survive without many important kinds of labor, but to serve as a journal editor is to play a particularly crucial role. Editors have tremendous power and therefore tremendous responsibility—they can shepherd research into print in the form of articles with the potential to secure jobs, promotions, and awards for authors.  Editors also perform a uniquely holistic role in the publication process: they act as mentors, as critics, as allies, as copyeditors, and as advocates. They can make sure that a scholarly project gets the readers it deserves, whether the author is a graduate student or a full professor. In some ways, editors are the only ones who can—who must—put the quality of the research first, above any and all other interests.
Our discipline is deeply shaped by the underpaid and under-acknowledged work of editors, and the Editor of the Western Journal of Communication has an exceptionally vital set of tasks in tending a “regional” journal that has developed national standing and an international readership, a communication studies outlet that publishes work in all areas of the field, a venue that draws a high number of submissions and produces an impressive number of issues each and every year.
For all of these reasons, we thank Sharon Downey for her exceptional service to the Western Journal of Communication and for the difference she has made in the careers of so many authors and readers.

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