I’m happy to announce that Rodney Benson (NYU) is the recipient of the 2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award for his book Shaping Immigration News: a French-American Comparison (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Below is the official announcement of the award from the full award committee, which included Jesper Strömback, Matt Carlson, and myself.
2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award to Rodney Benson
It is one thing to say how you think media and politics should be researched, theoretically and methodologically. It is another to do it.
Rodney Benson has for years excelled at writing both theoretical, methodological, and empirical pieces laying out his vision—and his practice—of what political communication research and journalism studies can be like and what it can accomplish.
His 2013 book Shaping Immigration News: a French-American Comparison is an outstanding example of this, and I’m proud to honor it with the 2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award on behalf of the journal and the award committee, which this year consisted of Jesper Strömback, Matt Carlson, and myself.
This is the first year we give the IJPP Book Award, which we have instituted to honor “internationally-oriented books that advance our theoretical and empiric al understanding of the linkages between news media and politics in a globalized world in a significant way.”
Books published within the last ten years are eligible for the award, and we had a very strong field of candidates. This is a real testament to the theoretical creativity, methodological rigor, and growing internationalization of this field of research.
The award committee agreed that Rod’s book stood out as carefully written and researched work with a clear and strong link between theory, method, and data, and with an impressive comparative research design comparing immigration news in France and the US not only cross-nationally, but also over time, and linking a detailed, large-scale content analysis with historical evidence, interviews, and a wider analysis of the journalistic fields in each country.
As Matt Carlson said early in our discussions: “Lot’s of people have talked and thought for a long time about this, and about how to do it. Rod really does it.” And as Jesper Strömback put it in our final conversation: “This is the kind of book we always say we want to see, but don’t often see.” I agree with them.
This is a terrific book, an inspiring book, and one that is important far beyond the study of immigration news or indeed the study of French and American journalism. This is a mixed-method, historically-informed, comparative analysis of news regimes that not only tells us how to do good research, but shows it, unfolding the theoretical, empirical, and normative implications of its findings.
I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Rod for writing this book. The award is simply a way for the community to recognize and highlight his contribution to the field.